Singer takes the oath of office

KINGMAN – Retiring Kingman City Magistrate Kathy McCoy issued the oath of office to her successor during the June 16 city council meeting. Jeffrey Singer, a special district judge in Oklahoma, told Council and audience members he’s well aware he’s following the footsteps of an accomplished jurist and community servant. “I know she’s done a wonderful job for the city of Kingman for the past 29 years,” Singer said. “I just hope that I live up to the very high standard that she’s set.” A two-year contract approved by the Council provides an annual salary of just under $112,000. Singer said he’s eager to take the bench July 1. “I feel very fortunate, very lucky, very blessed to get this position,” Singer said. “I hope to make you all proud. I can assure you that you are going to have a Court and a Court system that will be fair, that will be impartial, that will be prompt and will keep cases moving.” Also attending the Council meeting for the swearing ceremony were Singer’s wife, daughter and parents.

Mayor wants to consolidate loans

KINGMAN – The Kingman City Council has approved Mayor Richard Anderson’s suggestion that staff research options involving the possible consolidations of two large loans. The loans for sewer plant upgrades total roughly $48-million. “I’d like to kind of get a sense to see what kind of flexibility the city may have,” Anderson said during the June 16 Council meeting. Council member Jen Miles said she would be concerned if restructuring the loans would increase the debt or associated interest.

Temporary sales tax may not be temporary

KINGMAN – Whether a “temporary” sales tax increase might enjoy a longer life was discussed before it was adopted and implemented two years ago by the Kingman City Council. The current council is now wrestling with the question of whether the one-half percent sales tax increase of 2013 should be allowed to expire next summer, or if it should be extended. Finance Administrator Tina Moline told council members during their June 16 meeting that the tax increase generates about $2.8-million a year that the city will lose if it sunsets. Council member Larry Carver noted that the previous council adopted the temporary increase on the premise that a replacement revenue stream would be defined and tapped. Carver said he could not support an extension since the city failed to facilitate or secure a new revenue source. Council member Mark Abram’s motion to further consider extending the tax increase passed with Carver dissenting in the 6-1. Moline said the Council can take action on a possible extension of the sales tax increase after conducting a public hearing during its July 21 meeting.

Race Track in the works

YUCCA - The Mohave County planning and zoning commission is recommending Board of Supervisor approvals of plan amendments and zoning sought for a race complex proposed for the rural community of Yucca, south of Kingman. Project components include a one-eighth-mile-long drag strip and a one-mile oval racetrack. Applicant Randy Lyles said the $1-million development has been endorsed by Yucca area residents. The project includes a theater for stand up comedy, music and other activity. County supervisors will consider the Commission recommendations during a July 6 board meeting. They’ll also consider recommended approval of rezoning to repurpose a structure for use as a motel near the Hualapai Mountain Lodge.

Head to return to law enforcement

MOHAVE COUNTY - The stage is set for Rodney Head’s return to law enforcement administration. The retired Bullhead City Police Chief will become Chief Deputy Mohave County Sheriff on July 1. Sheriff Jim McCabe selected Head for appointment to the position being vacated by the June 30 retirement of Greg Smith. County Supervisors, during Monday’s Board meeting in Kingman, approved McCabe’s annual salary recommendation of roughly $113,000. The vote came after Bullhead City resident Barbara Pape made a glowing recommendation for Head serving as Chief Deputy Sheriff.

Power restored after outage

KINGMAN - A central part of Kingman lost electric service early Wednesday, June 10. UniSource Energy said a pole -nesting bird and storm activity produced an arc in the line that caused the power interruption. About 1,800 customers centered around the Walleck Ranch subdivision reportedly lost power about 2:00 a.m. All customers had their service restored within 2 1/2 hours.

Water District board election

CHLORIDE - Each of the three Governing Board seats for the Chloride Domestic Water Improvement District are up for grabs in the next election to take place in Mohave County. Elections Director Allen Tempert said that’s the only matter that will be scheduled for a vote this summer. Tempert said the August 25 election will be conducted by mail. He said less than 100 people are expected to participate, so they’ll be processing the vote by hand rather than programming and employing ballot-counting machines. Each of three incumbents: Mac Graham, Bob Fess and Ron Hall are seeking re-election and new four-year terms of office. The challengers are Damon Grosz and Kelly Fielder. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters residing in the rural water district on July 31.

Magistrate selected

KINGMAN – A Special District Judge for the State of Oklahoma has been selected for the Kingman City Magistrate’s position. Human Resources Director Jackie Walker said the City Council voted unanimously June 5 to offer employment to Jeffrey Singer. “An appointed Council subcommittee will work with Mr. Singer to develop an employment contract and start date,” Walker said in a news release. “Time permitting, the committee hopes to bring an acceptable contract for ratification before the full Council at its regular meeting on June 16th.” Singer would succeed retiring City Magistrate Kathy McCoy. McCoy leaves the bench at the end of June. Singer has reportedly served five years as District Judge in Oklahoma, preceded by stints as an Assistant District Attorney, a private practice attorney and as judge for several Oklahoma municipalities.

Camacho to succeed Roth

MOHAVE COUNTY – A prosecutor in the Mohave County Attorney’s Office has been selected to succeed retiring Mohave County Court Commissioner Julie Roth. Presiding Judge Charles W. Gurtler said Doug Camacho will take the bench on July 13. Camacho received his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago. He was engaged in private practice in Missouri before he was admitted to practice law in Arizona 14 years ago. “Doug brings an extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system with him to the bench and is a very knowledgeable, dedicated and able attorney. The numerous letters of public support the Court received overwhelmingly highlighted Doug’s impeccable character, professionalism, strong work ethic and community involvement,” Jude Gurtler said. “This was not an easy decision as all the candidates have excellent skills and abilities, however, the consensus among the judicial leadership was Doug Camacho is the best fit.”

Brooks voted out

Mahar elected to board

GOLDEN VALLEY – The tribe has spoken! Voters have recalled Rhonda Brooks from her seat on the Golden Valley Fire District board. Challenger Earlene Mahar was elected in place of Brooks in the May 20 recall election conducted by mail. Mahar defeated Brooks handily (795-414) in a race that drew 20% voter participation. Mahar said she is thankful for the support and confidence of the electorate. She said she will be her own person and not a tool of any individual or clique. At the same time, Mahar said she supports Chief Thomas O’Donohue, the fire district administration and its support of the ambulance service venture. She said that’s what set her apart from Brooks in the eye of the voters. Mahar said she recognizes there will be ongoing controversy and challenges in the contentious fire district but that she intends to serve the taxpayers to the best of her ability.

Tote placer I.D.’d

KINGMAN – The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said detectives have identified the person that left a suspicious plastic tote container at the employee access point to the sheriff’s office in downtown Kingman last month. The area was cleared and the Kingman Police Department bomb squad was brought in as a precaution during the April 20 event. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Trish Carter said the tote contained notes and papers, cassette tapes, a cell phone and Oreo cookies. “Nothing inside the tote indicated anything dangerous or any threats,” Carter said. Carter said the responsible party is a female with mental health issues. She will not be publicly identified or prosecuted.

Magistrate search about to end

KINGMAN – The Kingman City Council has narrowed its search for their new City Magistrate to three finalists. They include: Douglas Camacho of Kingman. Camacho currently serves as Deputy County Attorney for Mohave County; James Schoppmann of Kingman. Schoppmann currently serves as Deputy County Attorney for Mohave County; and Jeffrey Singer of Poteau, OK. Singer currently serves Special District Judge for LeFlore, Haskell, and Latimer Counties. Camacho is also a finalist under consideration for the position of Mohave County Court Commissioner. The Mayor and Council will conduct interviews with the three finalists on June 4 and 5. The goal is to select a candidate to succeed Judge Kathy McCoy who will be retiring on June 30, 2015 after 29 years of service.

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.

                 Celebrating 25 Years!


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