Unexploded Ordnance Discovered and Removed

FLAGSTAFF – On October 31, 2017 at approximately 5:20 pm Coconino County Deputies responded to Fort Tuthill after a citizen reported finding what he believed to be unexploded military ordinance. Upon arrival Deputies determined that an item likely unearthed during recent excavation did in fact appear to be military ordinance.

The Flagstaff Bomb Squad was requested and after determining the item may be a viable explosive requested assistance from an Explosive Bomb Disposal Unit (EOD Unit) assigned to Luke Air Force Base. The EOD Unit agreed to respond during daylight hours. To insure public safety Sheriff’s deputies remained on site throughout the night to prevent inadvertent access to the location.

On November 1, 2017 at approximately 12:45 pm the discovered device was detonated in place by the Bomb Disposal Unit.

Fort Tuthill prior to its current use by Coconino County has served many roles. One of these was as a training site for the 158th Infantry regiment who called the location home from 1929 through December of 1948.

Halloween safe alternatives available in Williams

Halloween is coming and there is a safe way to get through the Halloween season.

Instead of wax candles in your jack-o-lantern, you could use the battery operated type or even flashlights. Make sure you do not overload your household circuit with plugin lights. Make sure the lights you use outdoors are designed for outdoor use.

Arizona Game and Fish issued a notice that jack-o-lanterns may attract wildlife so they recommend that you keep them indoors in your window. Remember we still have skunks about. In addition you won’t find your hours of carving work smashed on the roadway.

Costumes should be light and reflective. If you have already purchased dark costumes, use glow sticks, reflective vests or flashlights.

When the kids go out to trick-or-treat, they should stay in the neighborhood where you know the neighbors. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult or older sibling. Make sure they know not to eat any candy before adults can inspect it. They should not trick-or-treat too late after dark.

After dark, or instead of trick-or-treat, you could visit one of the churches having fall festival activities. The First Baptist Church and Family Harvest Church across the street from Safeway have such safe alternatives. The Methodist Church on 2nd and Grant will once again sponsor trunk-or-treat. They hand out candy from their cars and have food and games besides.

The Tunnel of Doom haunted house is open again this year at 1099 Allison Way after dark until 9 p.m.

Whatever activities you choose during this season, we wish you a safe season.

Halloween decorations may attract wildlife

PHOENIX — Halloween is on the horizon and soon those carefully carved pumpkins sitting outside may be attracting some unwanted trick-or-treaters: hungry wildlife looking for an easy meal.

As such, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds area residents to be aware that Halloween pumpkins and other fall decorations, such as gourds or squash, can attract wildlife when displayed outdoors.

AZGFD recommends that jack-o-lanterns, uncarved pumpkins and cornucopias be displayed indoors on window sills so they can be seen from outside if desired, and discarded securely to help prevent encounters with foraging wildlife.

“Pumpkins and other edible decorations are easy meals for wildlife and often attract javelina, coyotes, deer and even bears,” said Mike Demlong, AZGFD Wildlife Education program manager. “Habituating wildlife to human food sources can lead to conflicts, resulting in potentially serious injuries to people or pets and even property damage. That is why it is important to help keep wildlife wild.”

Additionally, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease.

The public is reminded that it is illegal under state law (A.R.S. 13-2927) to feed wildlife in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties, with the exception of birds as well as tree squirrels, which are rare at lower elevations.

Other wildlife may eat bird seed, so birds are best fed only in an enclosed yard, preferably from a bird feeder. A tray can be attached beneath a feeder to catch spillover seed. Seed blocks should be placed in an enclosed area or on a secure raised platform.

For tips on minimizing conflicts with wildlife, see www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife.

‘Terrifying’ traffic can occur during afternoon commute on Halloween

halloween_cropPHOENIX — Halloween brings out more than ghosts and goblins. When the spooky celebration falls on a weekday – this year it’s on Monday – many commuters adjust their routines, leaving work early to get home for trick-or-treating and parties. The result is often a wicked commute.

Given the potential for a cursed commute, the Arizona Department of Transportation recommends the following:

  • If possible, try to make an earlier start in the afternoon to avoid the scariest traffic. Freeway traffic builds between 4-6 p.m. in what has come to be known as the “witching hour.”
  • Be patient and recognize that it may take longer to get home. Take your time.
  • Don’t let down your guard when you’re nearing home. Remember: superheroes, princesses and too-old-to-be-trick-or-treating teenagers will be crossing streets in your neighborhood and might not be paying attention.

Beginning Saturday morning and lasting through Halloween, ADOT’s overhead message boards statewide will display this safety message:


Failure to wear a seat belt is one of the leading factors in traffic deaths on Arizona’s state highways, county roads and city streets. In 2015, 29 percent of the 895 people killed in vehicle crashes in Arizona weren’t wearing seat belts.

Will Haunt for Food

WILLIAMS — Spooky and fun Halloween events continue through the weekend to the big event on Monday. It is the final weekend for the events Bearizona and Grand Canyon Railway. A haunted house will spook up some food for the Williams Food Bank. Businesses and houses throughout the community are ready to distribute candies.

This weekend is the final chance to visit the Howly, Owly, Growly festival at Bearizona. It is also the final weekend for the Pumpkin Patch train at the Grand Canyon Railway. This special train this weekend features the steam engine.tunneldoom-16-10-19-01
Starting Friday the 29th and running through Halloween you can take a walk through The Tunnel of Doom. The fee is a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Williams Food Bank. The Tunnel of Doom is at 1066 Allston Way in Williams (MAP). We got to visit the “skeleton” of the Tunnel earlier and it looks to be a spooky experience.800-161024_175623Safe Halloween alternatives are planned by Churches on Monday. The Williams First Baptist Church and Family Harvest Church across the street from Safeway will hold their annual Fall Festival. The Methodist Church on 2nd Street will host their Trunk-or-Treat event. Kids can get candy from Halloween-mobiles and get a hotdog or hamburger at the bbq.800-161024_175529Of course the big day is Monday, the 31st. We urge all parents to trick-or-treat with their children or another responsible adult. There are safety tips available here and here. You should check to make sure the house has decorations outside indicating that they are welcoming visitors. Remind your children not to eat any treats until you check them out yourself.800-16-10-19-01On Saturday, you can drive around and check for houses appropriately decorated. Don’t forget that businesses downtown also may be handing out treats.800-16-10-19-03Have a SAFE Halloween.scan10-19

Halloween in Williams

800-15-10-24 008WILLIAMS — Halloween events have already started around Williams with the decorations. That, however, is not the end of it. You still have a chance to go to one of the businesses in Williams and pick up a contest form. Go to each business on the list and check out their scarecrow. While you are there, get a signature. Turn the form into the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce for a chance to win the Grand Prize.

There are many other events that occur that visitors might want to know about. On Halloween, most of the businesses along Route 66 hand out candy.

On October 28 at 6:30 p.m., the Young Life Lost Canyon camp will host a bonfire, hot dog roast and movies for High School youth and middle school youth (6th – 8th Grade). You can call Bob 928-380-4346 or the First Baptist Church office 635-4692.

Speaking of the First Baptist Church, they will be hosting their annual Fall Festival on Halloween night. There are games and prizes and, of course, candy. This is a safe alternative to trick-or-treat. Across the street at the Family Harvest Church they also hold a Fall Festival.

Another great alternative is the Trunk-or-Treat at the United Methodist Church on South Second Street. Church members park their cars and hand out candy. There are also games and food for the adults.

Most of these events begin around 6:30 p.m.

Of course all of our restaurants will be open for those adults without kids. They probably would not mind if you dress up. Some may even offer a Fall fare to try out. For example the Grand Canyon Coffee and Cafe in the Red Garter Inn, which just happens to be open until 9 p.m. on Saturday, offers an Autumn Breakfast Sandwich. It consists of sausage and eggs in between two pumpkin spice pancakes.

300-PetBoutique15-10-20-005If you have not had a chance to get a costume, the Pet Boutique on the east end of Route 66 has pug masks, t-shirts and t-shirts you might enjoy. Plus some costume for your pets. If you are on a budget, you can check out the thrift stores at the Williams Senior Center by Safeway or the Camp Civitan Thrift store on Route 66. Of course they have other new and used products you can purchase. You will also be helping out a great cause.

Don’t be afraid to check out the fun and decorations at the Grand Canyon Railway and Bearizona just east of Williams. You might want to check out the Deer Farm petting zoo on Deer Farm Road. You can get directions to all of the events at the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce in the visitor center.

The key is to make Halloween a safe time for kids and parents. We have not had any reported incidents in Williams as far as candy and cookies that are handed out. However there is a lot of traffic. So make sure you carry a flashlight. You can purchase glow-lites and necklaces at Safeway, Family Dollar and Dollar General to light up your kids.

Williams Alpine Harvest Festival in full swing

Folks enjoy a scare at Scarizona.

Folks enjoy a scare at Scarizona.

Williams Wear always has the scariest scarecrow. GMO Scarecorn.

Williams Wear always has the scariest scarecrow. GMO Scarecorn.

WILLIAMS — The Grand Canyon Railway Pumpkin Patch Train is running every weekend Friday through Sunday. At Bearizona they have a scary haunted house and decorations for their Howly Growly Owly festival.

After enjoying the aforementioned events, you can enter for a chance to win a Scarecrow Contest Prize Basket to be drawn for on November 1.

The scarecrows are fun, but not all of the businesses decorated, this year, are on the list. Some are just decorated with great fall decorations. The Open Road Cowboy on Route 66 made me go into video mode.

Pick up a form at one of the listed businesses or the Williams Visitor Center. Get signatures from at least 10 of the 15 businesses for signatures.

Take the completed form to the Williams Visitor Center on Railroad Avenue across the street from Circle K to enter the contest.

Decorations at Allstate Insurance not complete, yet. Check them out in a couple of days.

Decorations at Allstate Insurance not complete, yet. Check them out in a couple of days.

This scarecrow at the Williams Library a bigger problem than too little time. How about too little eyes?

This scarecrow at the Williams Library a bigger problem than too little time. How about too little eyes?

Our competition even decorated. We were going to post a scarecrow of our editor at deadline. But that would be too much competition for the amateurs.

Our competition even decorated. We were going to post a scarecrow of our editor at deadline. But that would be too much competition for the amateurs.

Hoot & Howl Your Way through Bearizona during the Howly Growly Owly Festival

Howly-7280WILLIAMS — Bearizona is hosting Howly Growly Owly Festival weekends in October. Visitors are encouraged to dress up in costume and kids that do will get a “beary” special treat!

Festivities Include:

Howl-O-Ween Express: Hop on the windowless bus that takes visitors through the drive-through animal exhibits. This is about as close as you are going to get to our animals, so you don’t want to miss out. Patrons can howl with the wolves in the Alaskan Tundra & Arctic Wolf enclosure and watch the bison interact with a special Howl-O-Ween enrichment treat. Bus rides depart from the Fort Bearizona parking lot at 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. every Friday and 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October.

Growly Bear Cave: Check out our array of jack-o-lanterns that adorn the inside of the Kindergarten Bear Cave.

Scarizona at Bearizona Haunted House: Those who dare can walk through our super scary Haunted House (PG-13 Rated) open Friday 12:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Saturday ave Sunday 10:00a.m-5:00p.m.

Raptor Show: Guests should plan to catch an Owly Raptor Show at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., after visiting Fort Bearizona’s baby and smaller animals.

Photo Ops: Several areas of the park are decorated in different themes so visitors can take photos with their families.

Scavenger Hunts: Both adults and children can get in on this fun activity. Check in at the front of Fort Bearizona Walk Through with the attendant and get your scavenger hunt form. After you complete the scavenger hunt make sure to turn in your card at the gift shop for a prize.

Bearizona’s mission is to promote conservation through memorable and educational encounters with North American wildlife in a natural environment.

The Pumpkin Patch Train event begins this weekend.

WILLIAMS — The Grand Canyon Railway rolls to the secret pumpkin patch starting this weekend and running every weekend through October. The event includes some spooky fun at the terminal on Grand Canyon Boulevard.

The long-range weather forecast currently shows sunny weather for the event on Friday and Saturday with a slight chance of thunderstorms on Sunday. Highs will range from 82 to the upper 70s throughout the week. Highs Saturday and Sunday are expected to be around 78.
There are only eight-days for the Pumpkin Patch Event through October. The dates are the 3, 4 (this weekend), 9, 10, 11, 12, 17 and 18. Departure times are 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets for the Pumpkin Patch train event are $23 for adults and $18 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the Grand Canyon Railway web site.

Williams prepares for Mountain Village Holiday

640-141029-18WILLIAMS – The trees are starting to look bare as the beautiful fall colors are starting to give way to the coming winter. The long range forecast shows a possibility of snow on Sunday. The city is stringing lights. The Pumpkin Patch train ended and the Grand Canyon Railway Haunted Train has given way to Christmas lights in preparation for Mountain Village Holiday. The annual Mountain Village Holiday begins Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the new year.

The Grand Canyon Railway is also preparing the Polar Express which starts November 7 and runs through the new year.

The City of Williams has sent applications for the annual lighting contest and they may also be picked up at the City Hall on First Street.

300-MVH-1Mountain Village Holiday kicks off with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree on Second Street and a Parade of Lights. During this period the Young Life camp hosts a Thanksgiving dinner and the Kiwanis Club hosts a community dinner.

There is still plenty of Halloween, of course. The scarecrows still adorn Route 66. Bearizona ends their Howly Growly Owly Festival tomorrow. Their new cave display of small creatures of the west—such as mice, scorpions and Ringtail Cats—will remain.

The First Baptist and Family Harvest Churches, across from Safeway on Grant, will hold safe activities for the kids.

Of course trick-or-treating of the houses and businesses on Route 66 will still be available.

Just after Halloween, the weather forecast shows a chance of rain on Saturday with a low of 37. Sunday there is a 30% chance of snow with accumulations of less than a half-inch. A high of 47 is possible during the day dropping to 23-degrees overnight. Fair weather returns Monday with highs around 50-degrees during the day dropping to the mid-20s at night.