Teens perish in plane crash

MOHAVE COUNTY – Two teenage brothers from Utah were killed when a small plane crashed Sunday in northwest Arizona. The victims of the crash near Interstate 15 south of the Virgin River Gorge are identified as the pilot, Daulton Rey Whatcott, 19, and Jason McKee Whatcott, 16, Clinton City.
Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Trish Carter said deputies responded to the crash scene at 6:29 p.m. “Deputies confirmed two people did not survive the crash and no other occupants were onboard,” Carter said. Carter said the Whatcotts were flying from Bountiful, Utah to Mesquite, Nevada. She had no information regarding who owned the 1969 Cessna 172k fixed wing single engine aircraft.
The bodies of the victims have been recovered. Federal authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

Ft. Mohave homicide under investigation

FT. MOHAVE – A homicide in the northwest Arizona community of Fort Mohave is under investigation by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Tom Sheahan said Joseph Raymond Farmer, 37, Mohave Valley, died of a gunshot to the chest Saturday, July 19.
Agency spokeswoman Trish Carter said Farmer was driving when he stopped to address the driver of a white Ford F-150 pickup truck in the 5100 block of Pasadena. Hospital officials notified the sheriff’s office after Farmer was transported to Valley View Medical Center at 2:48 p.m.
Homicide detectives are withholding other details as they continue their investigation.

Female bank robber asks for $100,000

LAKE HAVASU CITY – A woman robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch in Lake Havasu City on Tuesday, July 8. The robbery at the bank located in the 1600 block of McCulloch Boulevard was reported at 5:29 p.m.
Sergeant Troy Stirling said investigation revealed that the female wearing an ankle length skin tight black dress entered the bank and asked if the manager was present. The suspect who spoke with a slight accent who is of possible Middle Eastern descent presented a demand note when the manager was not immediately available.
“The female suspect handed an employee a note stating that she had a bomb, wanted $100,000 and that five guys were making her do it,” Stirling said. “The female suspect also told bank employees that she had a bomb on her leg and that she did not want to do it but people were making her do it, although nobody was seen with her.”
The suspect who wore sunglasses, black strap open toe sandals, and a green and brown flower print scarf covering her head fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. She was last seen walking eastbound on McCulloch Boulevard before she disappeared.Police have distributed a surveillance video image of the suspect.

Ongoing aftershocks in the wake of eastern Arizona’s M5.2 earthquake

Earthquake aftershocks of about magnitude (M) 3 continue to lightly rattle Duncan, Arizona and environs. The latest event, a M3.6 temblor, was felt 30 miles north in Morenci, Arizona. Aftershocks stem from the M5.2 earthquake that struck near Duncan, Arizona, (approximately 40 miles east of Safford) on the evening of June 28.
Since the M5.2 event, 14 felt aftershocks (from M2.8 to M3.9) have rattled the area around Duncan in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Like the main shock, these were shallow events occurring about 3 miles deep. The largest aftershock, at M3.9, occurred at 3:56 p.m. on July 3. Since yesterday, July 10, five felt earthquakes have been reported. The largest were M3.6 temblors at 2:59 p.m. on July 10, and 10:33 a.m. on July 11. Hundreds of smaller magnitude aftershocks - less than ~ M3.0 - have occurred since the onset of activity, and most went largely unfelt.
People in southeastern Arizona should be prepared for ongoing M3.0 to M4.0 earthquakes over the next weeks or even months. In the event of strong ground shaking, follow the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” convention used in earthquake-prone areas. For more information on what to do in the event of an earthquake, please visit the Great Arizona ShakeOut website at
Over the past week, “the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) deployed a temporary array of five portable seismometers around the location of the M5.2 main shock in hopes of learning more about the behavior of the earthquakes and faulting in the region,” said Jeri Young, AZGS geophysicist. These five devices complement existing seismometers of the Arizona Integrated Seismic Network and form a seismic net for monitoring earthquake activity.
According to Jon Spencer, Senior Geologist at the Arizona Geological Survey, “The recent Duncan earthquake occurred because Earth’s crust in southern Arizona and northern Sonora is gradually extending in an east-west direction.” Historical earthquake activity for Arizona is available at

Holiday weekend marred by fatalities

Coyote Pass crash leaves one dead, four others hurt

GOLDEN VALLEY – One person was killed and four others were injured when two vehicles collided during a Sunday thunderstorm in Golden Valley. The crash on State Route 68 occurred July 6 at 1:17 p.m. The Department of Public Safety said a westbound Chrysler PT Cruiser went out of control, crossed the center line and struck a GMC Terrain head-on. Dead at the scene of the accident was the passenger in the GMC, Mary McCloskey, 80, Golden Valley. The most seriously injured accident survivor, a passenger in the Chrysler was flown to Sunrise Medical Center. A spokeswoman at the Las Vegas hospital said that Michael Harryman, 22, Kingman, was in critical condition early Monday afternoon.

Man dies after falling from boat

LAKE MEAD – A Las Vegas man died after falling from a boat into the water at Lake Mead July 2. National Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover said witnesses said the man had been drinking and was not wearing a life jacket when he disappeared underwater at the Callville Bay Marina just before 9:00 p.m. Divers located the body of Schayne Baker, 36, in about 15 feet of water just before 12:30 p.m. on July 3. An autopsy was to be conducted by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office.

U.S. Marine killed in LHC jet ski collision

LAKE HAVASU CITY – An active member of the United States Marine Corps was fatally injured in a holiday weekend boating accident at Lake Havasu. Mohave County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Trish Carter identified the deceased as Chad Brammer, 23, Lambertville, Michigan. Carter said the Lance Cpl. who was stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine Base in California was operating a Jet Ski that crossed the bow of a 31-foot Advantage boat when the watercraft collided on the Arizona side of Copper Canyon at about 3:00 p.m. Friday, July 4. She said a civilian pulled Brammer from the water and that he died following transport to Havasu Regional Medical Center. Carter said none of the six people aboard the boat was injured. She said an accident investigation continues.


Seligman icon to become museum

SELIGMAN – An historically significant structure in Seligman is getting a makeover for future use as a museum of sorts while adding to the charm and appeal of the town to tourists. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has awarded a $25,000 grant to remove asbestos and lead paint from the Cottage Hotel. The building on W. Schoeny Road was constructed in 1912 and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. ADEQ media relations director Mark Shaffer said abatement of the hazardous health materials is part of the plan to renovate the property to display historic artifacts involving the community and its relationship with Route 66 and the Santa Fe Railroad. Future plans include transforming the building into a full-time visitor center and museum with “theme” rooms including a cowboy room, Harvey House room, birthing room and a school room, a news release stated. “The Cottage Hotel was a key part of Seligman’s Route 66 history and this project will help provide an additional boost to tourism while improving the environmental quality of the community,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin.

Men’s Health Fair to offer screenings, information

KINGMAN – Tuesday, July 15, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Kingman Regional Medical Center will host a Men’s Health and Nutrition fair. This event will be held on the hospital campus in the Medical Professional Center of Kingman in the Hualapai and Cerbat conference rooms. Over 20 organizations will be participating in the event, offering screenings and information to enhance the health and well-being of men in the community. Attendees will be offered nutrition tips, health screenings, information on daily living and other ways to help keep an active lifestyle. As a part of this year’s Men’s Health Fair, KRMC is sponsoring the 100 Day’s of Summer with Murphy Broadcasting. Stop by the Murphy Broadcasting table to receive a special bonus code giving you an extra chance to qualify for one of two custom jet ski’s to be given away during the Murphy Broadcasting “Labor Day End of Summer Party.” The bonus code will be drawn from only those entered from the Men’s Fair; so if you haven’t qualified yet your odds will be greatly increased! The event is free and open to the public with food and prizes - so mark your calendars and don’t miss out! For more Information, contact Scott Kern at 928-681-8656.

Recall initiated at Golden Valley FD

GOLDEN VALLEY – A long festering feud between two members of the Golden Valley Fire District has led to a recall campaign. Board member Steve Robinson personally initiated the ouster effort targeting fellow Board member Rhonda Brooks on Friday, June 20. Allegations Robinson has previously leveled against Brooks are the premise for the proposed recall. Among other things Robinson alleged that Brooks is trying to end the employment of Fire Chief Thomas O’Donohue. Robinson alleged that Brooks is costing the district money by filing frivolous open meeting law violation complaints. Further, that Brooks has disclosed confidential information but failed to comply with a Board directive for her to surrender her emails for public scrutiny.County elections officials said that Robinson has until October 20 to collect the 483 valid petitions signatures necessary to force a recall election.

Missing swimmer’s body located

LAKE HAVASU CITY – The body of a Temple City, California man was recovered two days after he went missing on the south end of Lake Havasu near Parker Dam. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office identified the presumed drowning victim as Antonio Juan-Ramos Lopez, 62. Agency spokeswoman Trish Carter said Lopez was boating with his wife and a friend when he jumped into the water to cool off at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 16. She said Lopez was not wearing a life vest and that he disappeared under the water after strong winds kept him separated from the boat. Carter said the incident occurred near Havasu Springs. Use of sonar equipment reportedly helped locate Lopez’s body at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 18, about 500 yards east of the location where he slipped under the lake surface. Carter said an autopsy was scheduled but that alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.

California man dies in freak accident

BULLHEAD CITY – An Upland, California man died in a freak accident on the Colorado River in Bullhead City. Police spokeswoman Emily Fromelt identified the victim of the Thursday, June 19 incident as Charles Alan Knutson, 53. Fromelt said Knutson was jet skiing with friends near Rotary Park when the tragedy unfolded about 7:00 p.m. She said Knutson tried to use his jet ski to gain control of another unmanned jet ski that was circling with a stuck throttle. Fromelt said Knutson was knocked off his jet ski when it was struck by the wayward watercraft. She said it didn’t appear that the jet ski struck Knutson and he swam back to shore where he was unresponsive when he reached the dock. “His friends pulled him out of the water,” Fromelt said. “Paramedics transported Knutson to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.” The specific cause of Knutson’s death is initially unknown.

Blaze threatened Cerbat golf course

KINGMAN – A highly visible brush fire blackened about 20 acres in Kingman Wednesday, June 11. Kingman Fire Department personnel responded at 4:15 p.m. to the fire along the western edge of Interstate 40 and east of the Cerbat golf course. “The first arriving units observed a fast moving fire rapidly burning up and around the rock bluffs and canyons along the westbound lanes of I-40,” said Battalion Chief Bill Johnston. “Incident Command recognized the fire was complex and had the potential of threatening structures at which time multiple agencies and resources were mobilized.”Johnston said crews worked to protect structures and keep the fire from running. No property loss or injuries occurred. Johnston said it appeared there were multiple ignition points along the interstate, but that arson was not suspected. He said it is possible that a vehicle sparked the fire while passing by on the interstate.

Illegals detained

KINGMAN – A routine traffic stop led to the detention of five illegal immigrants about 20 miles east of Kingman on Thursday, June 12. Mohave County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Trish Carter said deputies spotted a vehicle speeding northbound on U.S. 93, near the Interstate 40 Junction. Carter said the 10:59 a.m. traffic stop on Interstate 40 led to a determination that the driver and all four passengers were illegal immigrants. They were booked into the Mohave County jail and picked up by Border Patrol for deportation proceedings.

NTSB releases information on chopper fatality

GRAND CANYON – A Henderson, Nevada resident had exited the helicopter he was piloting when the aircraft rolled and fatally injured him in northwest Arizona last month. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has posted a preliminary report regarding the May 18 accident that claimed the life of Michel Poppen. Poppen was flying an AS350 Eurocopter owned by the Las Vegas-based Papillon tour company when he landed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon near the Grand Canyon West tourism destination on the Hualapai Reservation. The NTSB report indicated that the helicopter was positioned about 380 feet west of the Colorado River when the accident occurred about 4:00 p.m. The report stated that Poppen exited the running helicopter to perform a fluid level check when it somehow became airborne. “The helicopter subsequently impacted the ground and rolled over,’’ the report stated. “The pilot was struck by one or more of the main rotor blades and was fatally injured.” The NTSB report said no abnormalities with the helicopter’s airframe or engine systems were noted by on the on scene investigative team. The aircraft was removed as part of a continuing investigation. Papillon issued a statement supporting the pilot and his family after th accident but would provide no information regarding the flight and whether or no passengers had been dropped off or were being picked up.

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