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Fatally injured man identified after 1-40 accident

KINGMAN – The Department of Public Safety has identified the Kingman man who was fatally injured in a May 15 traffic accident in west Mohave County. DPS Sergeant Tim Case said Marvin Thompson, 53, was dead at the scene of the 3:15 a.m. incident on Interstate 40, twelve miles east of the California border. Case said Thompson had stopped his Jeep partially on the interstate and was standing outside his vehicle when it was struck by a westbound semi-tractor trailer rig. He said Thompson was then killed when struck by his Jeep. Case said the big rig rolled after striking the Jeep. He said the truck driver and a passenger were released following treatment of their injuries at an area hospital.

NACFD decides to raise tax levy

The Governing Board of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District (NACFD) has decided to raise the tax levy to offset declining property value assessments to sustain services as best the district can. Fire Chief Pat Moore said the Board voted May 12 to raise the levy to $3.00 from its current rate of $2.88 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Determining the levy is a precursor to upcoming preliminary adoption of the 2015-16 budget. Despite the upward adjustment in the levy, Moore said many NACFD taxpayers will actually see the fire district component of their tax bills reduced due to downward property value assessments. Accordingly, the district is expected to generate about $250,000 less in property in tax-based revenue, despite the levy bump, in fiscal 2015-16.

Parker retires after 41-year education career

KINGMAN – Betsy Parker is retiring after a 41-year career in the education field. Parker spent much of her time as an administrator in the Kingman Unified Elementary School District. Parker assumed the helm of the Western Arizona Vocational Education (WAVE), Joint Technical Education District (JTED) at its inception in 2009. The outgoing superintendent said she looks forward to slowing down and spending time with family in Indiana. Amy West will succeed Parker as WAVE JTED superintendent.

Barrel inspection proved to be safe

KINGMAN – Kingman Fire Department Hazardous Materials personnel responded to the Mohave County Public Works facility in Kingman on Friday, May 8. Battalion Chief Bill Johnston said they were dispatched for a public safety inspection of three 55-gallon drum barrels that were taken to the facility in the 3600 block of Sunshine Drive. Johnston said access was restricted to qualified personnel as the barrels were isolated and perimeter established. “An Incident Action Plan was developed which called for entry, backup and decontamination teams,” Johnston said. “Hazardous Material Team members were able to sample and identify the product as a non-hazard by using a chemical identification system.” There were no injuries and the barrels were turned over to Emergency Services for disposition.

Exploring possible July 4th Festivities

KINGMAN – Kingman residents know they won’t be enjoying the traditional community fireworks extravaganza this 4th of July, but they still might be treated to some other Independence Day celebration. A mix of issues involving litigation, venue, and bidding windows for pyrotechnics has pulled the plug on this year’s fireworks show, even though the city has $35,000 budgeted. Shawn Walsh has asked the City Council to allocate some of that money to help sponsor a fireworks show he’s trying to stage at the Route 66 Motor Sports Park north of Kingman. City staffers will meet with Walsh to explore a possible partnership, thought City attorney Carl Cooper indicated concerns involving liability exposure and insurance coverage. Council member Mark Abram has suggested consideration of a 4th of July block party, perhaps in downtown. Council member Carole Young has floated the notion of a city-funded celebration at Centennial Park.

5 semi-finalists have been selected

KINGMAN – The field of applicants for the Kingman City Magistrate position has been whittled down to five semi-finalists. The trimming of the 18 applicants came during a May 5 executive session of the Kingman City Council. Mayor Richard Anderson said the semi-finalists, each of them Arizona residents, were to undergo Skype interviews on Wednesday, May 13. Anderson said finalists would be selected for follow up in-person interviews. The City is looking for a successor to Kathy McCoy, the longtime Magistrate who is retiring at the end of June.

You are never too old to donate blood

MOHAVE COUNTY – Although, there is a minimum age restriction on donor eligibility, (17 years old), there is no maximum cut off date which a person cannot donate blood. Ann Trilby, United Blood Services Tri-State Representative adds "Eligibility to donate blood is not based on age; it is based on the current health of the donor, weight, type of medications they are on, i.e., blood thinners usually defer a donor (baby aspirin excluded), recent surgeries, travel to countries that may defer a donor due to bacteria/elements in the atmosphere that could affect the recipient, and tattoos that are within a year. We are under the strict guidelines of the FDA and CCC, so we are very careful to follow all guidelines, which protects the donor, as well as the receiver of the blood." "The oldest donor I have met was 94 years old lady who still road her motorcycle and was in extremely good health" Trilby added. For more information on blood drives in your area or donor eligibility, visit www.Unitedbloodservices. org or call 1-877-827-4376.

Former Mohave County Medical Examiner dies

MOHAVE COUNTY – A retired pathologist and ophthalmologist who worked for years as the Mohave County Medical Examiner has died of burn injuries sustained in an April 26 fire in Bullhead City. Dr. Donald Schieve, 82, reportedly suffered burns over more than 50% of his body in the fire in his RV in the 1600 block of Highway 95. Schieve died May 2 at University Medical Center in Las Vegas hospital where he was being treated. Officials said Schieve was burned when he ran through the fire that destroyed his RV and a parked car and damaged the awning of an adjacent structure. Schieve’s daughter is the mayor of Reno, Nevada. She issued a statement indicating appreciation for the support she received after the accident.

The last Great Lakes flight has left Kingman

KINGMAN – A federal subsidy that guaranteed flight service to the Kingman market for more than 40 years came to an abrupt halt last week. Uncle Sam pulled the plug on the annual $1.6-million dollar grant award to Great Lakes Aviation through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. Perpetually low passenger counts for Great Lakes in the Kingman market led to the EAS termination decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The end of Kingman’s inclusion in the EAS program came after many “use it or lose it” ultimatums that the DOT issued to the community over the years. The last Great Lakes flight left the Kingman Airport in the early afternoon of April 30.

Commissioner applications received

Interviews being scheduled

MOHAVE COUNTY Seven people formally applied for the Mohave County Superior Court Commissioner position that becomes vacant this summer. After holding the post for more than 16 years, Commissioner Julie Roth is retiring at the end of July. The identities of those who submitted application by the April 20 deadline are confidential. Interviews are being scheduled for May 15. A screening panel will forward its appointment recommendation to Presiding Judge Chuck Gurtler. Judge Gurtler intends to review public input as well before making a selection decision.

Jail fee increase draws opposition

Proposal to raise daily inmate fees to $78.00

MOHAVE COUNTY – A proposal to increase the fee that Mohave County charges municipalities to house jail inmates arrested in their jurisdiction drew opposition during the April 20 Board of Supervisors meeting. The fee has historically been a bone of contention between the cities and the county. Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter said Bullhead City spent more than $615,000 in such fees last year. And he said the city is opposed to the county proposal to increase daily fees per inmate from $69.50 to $78.00. “The three cities have always been opposed to the formula that’s being used,” Cotter said. He said inclusion of depreciation in the fee calculation is fundamentally and unfairly flawed. Supervisor Jean Bishop said she needed more information on the jail fee complexities before conclusion and decision-making. Chairman Steve Moss agreed and the Board voted to have County Administrator Mike Hendrix and Office of Management and Budget Director Gene Hepler meet with city managers to see if any compromise or consensus can be reached.

Let the Spring Cleaning begin

KINGMAN – The city of Kingman is offering special sanitation fees to encourage residents to clean up their property during the month of May. Extra curbside trash pickup can be arranged for a nominal $3.00 fee, a savings of roughly $12. Residents within the city limits can schedule the service by calling the Public Works (692-3115) or Water (753-5561) Departments. A number of items prohibited for pickup under this program include tires, batteries, hazardous waste, concrete, brick, dirt and gravel. Refrigerators and air condition units will only be picked up if cooling compressors or coils are removed.

KUSD employees to get raises

KINGMAN – Nominal pay raises have been approved for all Kingman Unified School District personnel. The salary bumps vary from employee to employee but the total impact to the district will be an expenditure increase of $760,000. Superintendent Roger Jacks said the adjustments include a base pay increase for all levels of teaching in the district. The salary increases take effect with the start of the next school year. The Board also approved a three-year extension of Jack’s employment contract, which was set to expire next summer.

Fenske steps down

Cassens to serve as interim Director

LAKE HAVASU CITY – Valerie Fenske is resigning her position as Administrative Services Director for Lake Havasu City. Fenske was placed on paid administrative leave on March 4 following a complaint about her conduct by a subordinate employee. Human Resources Director Shirley Palbicki said an internal investigation revealed that the bulk of the complaint was unfounded. She said portions of the allegations were substantiated, that the situation was “workable” but that Fenske simply chose to resign. Fenske has headed up the financial operations of the city for nearly five years. Her exit becomes official once she completes burning up paid time off on June 25. City Manager Charlie Cassens is serving as interim Director of Administrative Services.

Running down a kid

Oakleaf accused of child abuse and assault

BULLHEAD CITY – Another adoption victim is reported in the same home in Bullhead City where a man molested six of his young adopted brothers. Michael Oakleaf, 43, is serving a 20-year prison term for sex offenses committed upon adopted brothers 4 to 12 years of age. The convict’s mother, 62-year-old Margaret Oakleaf, is accused of using her vehicle to try to run down her adopted 13-year-old son. Bullhead City police spokeswoman Emily Fromelt said the boy was not struck and that he hid behind a truck parked in a nearby driveway. “She (Oakleaf) got out of the car and yelled at him to never come home again,” Fromelt said. “The boy went to a friend’s house and the neighbor called police.” Oakleaf was arrested and charged with child abuse and assault counts.

Guerrero and GVFD battle finally over

GOLDEN VALLEY – The battle between former Administrative Manager Nicole Guerrero and the Golden Valley Fire District (GVFD) is over. The dispute has been resolved through a confidential settlement. GVFD Board Chairman Paul Gorham said financial terms are not disclosed and parties are bound by an agreement not to speak about the settlement. The deal brings an end to Guerrero’s harassment claim and whistle blowing complaint against the district that terminated her employment in early January.

Bombshell bandit sentenced to prison

MOHAVE COUNTY – The Riverside, California woman who robbed banks in her home state, Utah and in Lake Havasu City has been sentenced to federal prison. A 5 and 1/2 year prison term was imposed April 7 for Sandeep Kaur. Kaur, 24, previously pled guilty to four bank robberies. Her use of a lavish wig and sunglasses disguise, and her threats to blow up the banks that she robbed, earned Kaur the nickname of the “Bombshell Bandit.”

Back to the drawing board

KINGMAN – Staff proposed amendments to the Kingman landscaping ordinance drew a lukewarm reception at the April 7 City Council meeting. The Council voted to send the matter back to staff for further work with direction that revisions be more friendly to commercial enterprise. The Council decision came after input from business community members Toby Orr, Richard Hamilton and Dwayne Patterson. Each of them said they appreciated staff desires to beautify the community through landscaping regulations, but they also argued that a number of the requirements of the amended ordinance are too stringent and expensive, and will have a negative impact on investment and development.

Road dedication

CHLORIDE – A road re-alignment project reconnecting Chloride Road to Patterson Road is completed, and a “ribbon-cutting” ceremony is taking place Friday, April 10, at 10 am. Taking part in the dedication, are several county employees, and possibly statewide and Federal officials, whose efforts made this transition possible. The re-alignment was necessary due to a boundary dispute between a landowner and Mohave County. For the past one-hundred and fifty years, a 900’ section of Patterson Road leading to the celebrated Chloride Cemetery crossed over private property. The present landowner laid claim to the land and forced the county to make changes in road direction, a change that required people who wanted to either visit deceased relatives, or visit the cemetery, to take a five-mile detour. The new road alleviates that situation. Yesterday’s Restaurant is holding an all-day celebration beginning Friday at 11 am, with live music starting at 5 pm. For more information, please call 928-565-4251.

Fire district consolidation discussion ongoing

MOHAVE COUNTY – The possible consolidation of two area fire districts won’t occur quickly. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors has directed involved parties to work to merge the more rural and densely populated Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District into the larger Kingman-based Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District (NACFD). Fire Chief Pat Moore said the NACFD governing board will likely discuss the matter at its April 16 meeting. Moore said public information and input meetings will likely be held in each of the fire districts sometime in June and July. Moore said the consolidation question won’t likely be formally answered until late this summer. Should there be approval, Moore said it would likely take until the early fall to implement a merger.

Navy flight-training exercises expired

MOHAVE COUNTY – The Navy’s Texas-based Training Squadron Twenty-Seven has completed flight-training exercises conducted at the Kingman Airport and the Laughlin/ Bullhead International Airport. The flight-training missions have kept military aircraft buzzing over the tri-state area for the past three months. “The use of your airfield for practice landings and emergency landings was a critical part of our ability to successfully complete this necessary training,” Commanding Officer J.C. Hanson wrote in his letter to Kingman Airport officials. “This detachment was absolutely critical to my squadron’s mission of producing the highest caliber student Naval aviators,” Hanson stated. “Please take pride in the fact that your support has played an important role in keeping the world’s finest Navy manned and trained appropriately to conduct its vital missions.”

Judge Roth retires

MOHAVE COUNTY – Mohave County Superior Court Commissioner Julie Roth is retiring. Court Administrator Kip Anderson said Roth intends to leave the bench at the end of July. Former Presiding Judge Gary Pope appointed Roth to the post in October 1998. Anderson said he’ll soon be posting the position to begin a recruitment campaign to fill the bench spot this summer.

Legal fees bloat GVFD budget

GOLDEN VALLEY – Expenditures in the Golden Valley Fire District have been bloated by legal fees in the current budget. Chief Thomas O’Donohue told board members March 18 that the district has spent $316,000 on legal fees so far this fiscal year. Board Chairman Paul Gorham said total legal expenditures could reach $350,000 by the end of June, but could be closer to $100,000 in the next spending plan. The lion’s share of the district’s legal expenses this year have been associated with pursuit of ambulance service, an effort that nears its end. A significant amount of unexpected legal expenses has occurred in extra billing hours for district attorney Bill Whittington and outside lawyers who’ve handled unanticipated chores with respect to personnel and finance administration matters. Chief O’Donohue led board members through a preliminary budget presentation, stating staff was working hard to trim expenditures wherever possible.

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