Jan 042012

By Francie Payne–


The Wallow fire, Arizona’s largest on record at 522,642 acres, plus 15,407 acres in New Mexico, was 95 percent controlled as of July 1.

The Holbrook City Council commissioned a flow study to analyze the capacity of the city’s existing sewer system as part of its evaluation of infrastructure to see how it will bear the weight of new development. City engineer GHD Inc. was slated to complete the study within two months at a cost of $28,600.

Robert Sumatzkuku was appointed as Hopi tribal treasurer.

LaSalle, the firm proposing to build a private prison in Winslow, was approved as one of four finalists in the state bidding process.

Winslow businessman Allen Affeldt addressed the Winslow School Board regarding the possibility of acquiring Old Main for use as an art complex. He and Dee Rodriguez asked that the non-profit group International Sonoran Desert Alliance be allowed to inspect the school building and make a proposal.

Northland Pioneer College Vice President of Administrative Services Blaine Hatch was appointed to the Financial Panel of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The panel reviews those schools or colleges whose annual financial data demonstrate concern about their fiscal health.

Ann-Mary J. Lutzick, director of the Old Trails Museum in Winslow, was elected to the Museum Association of Arizona Board of Directors as the Northern Region representative.

The 2011-12 Navajo County budget of $113 million was approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Summit Healthcare CEO Ron McArthur advised the Holbrook City Council of his company’s desire to purchase a parcel of city-owned land on Navajo Blvd. to build a $1.6 million medical facility, with plans to expand in the future.

The Winslow City Council approved a $22.3 million budget for the coming year.


The Holbrook City Council approved a $9.6 million budget for 2011-12.

A pre-1950s building standing vacant next to the Roxy Theater in Holbrook collapsed without warning Aug. 4, crushing one vehicle, falling onto power lines, and sending bricks and debris into the adjacent street and alley. The Building formerly housed Ivah’s, a wedding boutique.

North Country Healthcare opened its new $2.4 million, 11,000-square foot facility on the mesa in Holbrook.

Algae Biosciences Inc. began a $5 million expansion at its Adamana facility that was expected to be completed in January or February.

Formation of the Little Colorado Conservation District was approved by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors, completing the next step in Aztec Land and Cattle Company’s process to prepare its lands for potential industrial and residential growth.

Austen Fowler was crowned Miss Navajo County and Makenzie Solomon was named Miss White Mountains at the annual pageant.

Holbrook Police Department Eric Zimmerman and Officer Everett Olson received the department’s Life Saving Award after saving the life of a man attempting suicide.

The nearly 350 people attending a public hearing regarding a proposed 1,000-bed private prison in Winslow were overwhelmingly supportive of the project. Department of Corrections Director Charles “Chuck” Ryan, former warden of the DOC’s Winslow Complex, was in attendance, as was District 5 State Senator Sylvia Allen of Snowflake, who championed the proposal.

Snowflake Town Manager Paul Watson was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer to the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism.

The Snowflake Town Council approved a $7.6 million budget for the coming year.

Through a partnership with Prescott College, Northland Pioneer College students were offered the opportunity to pursue Bachelor of Arts degrees in elementary education and early childhood education without having to move out of the area to attend a state university.

Joe Clark, a prosecutor in the Navajo County Attorney’s Office, was honored as the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council 2011 Misdemeanor Prosecutor of the Year.

Passport Potash signed a letter of intent with the Fitzgerald Family Trust to acquire the 41,000-acre Fitzgerald Ranch outside of Holbrook, which would bring its total holdings intended for potash exploration in the Holbrook Basin to 121,000 acres.

Holbrook Finance Director Randy Sullivan was promoted to assistant city manager.

Aurora Solar’s request for a special use permit for a photovoltaic facility was approved by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. The project, Dry Lake II Solar Facility, will be located approximately three miles north of Snowflake on 399 acres. Aurora Solar is a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, and the solar project will be located adjacent to the company’s wind farm, Dry Lake II Wind Power Project. The solar facility is expected to produce up to 50 megawatts of renewable energy.

The Holbrook City Council approved a $120,000 contract with Summit Healthcare for the purchase of a 1.6-acre parcel of city owned land on Navajo Blvd. adjacent to the new North Country Healthcare facility. Summit was the only bidder on the property, and plans to build a medical clinic on it.

Eric Miller, a teacher at Joseph City Junior/Senior High School, was one of four Arizonans honored with the John J. Ross Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Related Education. The award was presented by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.


With the purchase of the 26,000-acre Hatch Ranch, Petrified Forest National Park was one-third of the way toward filling its expanded boundary, which was authorized by Congress in 2004.

The Republican National Committee preliminarily granted Arizona a presidential debate among Republican candidates in the run up to the 2012 general election.

Members of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance toured the old Winslow High School building referred to as Old Main to determine if they would like to acquire it for use as art studios and other areas for artists’ use.

Park Elementary School in Holbrook received a $1,000 McDonald’s Go Active grant for creative educational programs that enhance physical fitness, nutrition awareness and/or health education.

Governor Jan Brewer set Feb. 28, 2012, as the state’s presidential primary date.

Christopher Garrett and Haley Hancock were crowned as Winslow High School’s Homecoming king and queen. The Bulldogs easily handled the visiting Ganado Hornets in the Homecoming football game, 52-12.

The Grand Champion Market Steer was entered in the 2011 Navajo County Fair by Cutter Gouker, the Reserve Champion Market Steer by Zane Gouker, the Grand Champion Market Swine by Levi Lewis, the Reserve Champion Market Swine by Gunner Caldwell, the Grand Champion Market Lamb by Natalie Elkins and the Reserve Champion Market Lamb by Camaria Reidhead.


Cierra Shumway, a member of Holbrook High School Swing Thing, was selected as one of 20 students in the state to make up the 2011 All-State Jazz Choir.

Navajo County Superior Court Judge Carolyn C. Holliday announced her retirement from the bench, effective Dec. 31.

Taylor Cook, a student at Winslow High School, was named the 2011 Miss Winslow Native American.

Joseph City High School seniors Dallin Baldwin and Annelie Hansen were honored as the school’s Homecoming king and queen during halftime festivities of the homecoming football game with Orme. The Wildcats defeated the visiting Warriors, 98-14.

The Dawgs traveling baseball team won the 14 and under AA U.S. Specialty Sports Association Fall Arizona State Championship. The team included Rey Velez, C.J. Chacon, Kuster Kinlicheenie, Matthew Ramos and Brandon Sedillo, all of Winslow, Julian Garcia of Holbrook, and Taran Sarnowski, Tristan Stockman, Ruben Estrada, Austin Gibson and David Evans, all of Payson. They are coached by Nate Velez, Joe Monsegur and Noah Sarnowski.

Sean Dillon and Tamika Baldwin were crowned as Holbrook High School’s Homecoming king and queen.

Hopi tribal member Thomas Nahsonhoya was one of four men selected to receive the 2010-11 Arizona Indian Living Treasures Award. He was honored for upholding Hopi traditions, including textile weaving. Also honored were Chester Kahn of the Navajo Nation, Herbert R. Stevens of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Joseph Joaquin of the Tohono O’Odham Nation.


Dale Rogers of Snowflake and Leah Thomas of Holbrook were elected to the Navajo County Fair Board of Directors, filling vacancies created by the resignations of Angela Keene and Kameron Edwards.

Concerns over the accuracy of a recent flow study on Holbrook’s sewer system prompted City Manager Ray Alley to ask engineering firm GHD Inc. to redo the study.

Three redistricting maps were forwarded to the Navajo County Board of Supervisors for consideration. Members of the board were to review the maps, select one and forward it to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval.

The Joseph City Wildcats won their third straight football crown with a 38-6 victory over previously unbeaten Joy Christian in the Division VI title game.

The Arizona Republican Presidential Debate was rescheduled to Feb. 22, and will be televised on CNN. The Arizona Presidential Preference Election is slated six days later.

The Navajo County Board of Supervisors approved a redistricting map to be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice after reaching a compromise that would keep the city of Winslow in one district, minus the prison population.

Arizona Department of Corrections officials asked the four contenders vying to build facilities to house all or part of the 5,000 new prison beds in the state to give the agency another month to evaluate the proposals.

Gabie Gallegos, who is celebrating her 100th birthday with the state of Arizona, was selected as grand marshal for the Holbrook Parade of Lights.

Shannon Newman of Holbrook received the Rescuer of the Year Award for her many years of service to the Bread of Life Mission.

Derek Begay, a Winslow High School graduate, and his partner Cesar de la Cruz were ranked No. 1 in the Team Roping Division going into the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. When the dust settled in December, the pair finished 13th with an average time of 46.0.


State Senator Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, announced her plans to advance legislation in the next session that would allow municipalities and counties to regulate liquor sales and enforce a mandatory 72-hour hold of intoxicated individuals. Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon drafted the legislation, which is an outgrowth of an ad hoc committee assembled by Allen including, among others, Holbrook Mayor Jeff Hill, Page Mayor Bill Diak and Navajo County Sheriff K.C. Clark, who represent communities greatly affected by public intoxication.

Winslow High School speech and debate team members earning first place at the 1A-3A Winter Trophy Tournament included Josh Cirre in poetry, Emmett Foster in prose, and Brittany Fischer and Foster in duo interpretation.

Valerie Slade was elected to the Navajo County Fair Board of Directors, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Albert Peshlakai.

The Arizona Public Service Co. float won the Tinsel Award for the best overall entry in the Holbrook Parade of Lights, which drew 37 entries.

The Navajo County Board of Supervisors approved the Disgen Marcou Mesa Project, a 390-megawatt wind energy facility to be located approximately six miles north of Joseph City, south of the Navajo Nation border. The multi-phase endeavor would entail the construction of 130 to 189 wind generating towers on 33,709 acres of privately owned and state owned property currently used primarily for grazing.

Cheryl Harris, office manager of the Navajo County Attorney’s Office, received the inaugural Support Staff of the Year Award from the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council.

Passport Potash cancelled a letter of intent to purchase land holdings in the Holbrook Basin from NZ Potash after failing to reach favorable terms. In addition, the firm announced it had secured $7 million to cover its 2012 operations.

Holbrook School District Governing Board President Linda Yazzie and Vice President Olivia Jaquez were re-elected to those posts for the coming year.

Ross Black was appointed to the Winslow Planning and Zoning Commission.

Prospect Global Resources Inc., parent company of American West Potash of Denver, filed a preliminary report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that suggests it could count on its proposed Holbrook Basin project being competitive in the global potash mining industry.

Proposals submitted by four private prison operators to supply 5,000 new private prison beds in Arizona were tossed, as the Department of Corrections decided it doesn’t need all those beds after all. DOC officials noted that growth in inmate population in 2010 and 2011 was not as high as anticipated.

The tentative final redistricting maps were unveiled by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The tentative final Congressional map splits the state into nine districts, with all of Navajo, Apache, Graham and Greenlee counties, and portions of Coconino, Gila and Pinal counties, included in District 1. The tentative final legislative map splits the state into 30 districts. All of Apache County is in District 7, as are portions of Navajo, Graham, Gila and Coconino counties. The communities of Winslow, Joseph City, Holbrook, Snowflake, Taylor, Heber-Overgaard, White Mountain Lake, Pinedale and Clay Springs are in District 6, along with portions of Coconino, Yavapai, Gila and Graham counties.

Navajo County Finance Director James Menlove advised the Board of Supervisors that the county would be in a position after the first of the year to restore the 2.5 percent salary decrease imposed on many employees in July 2009.

J.R. DeSpain was elected chairman of the Navajo County Board of Supervisors for 2012 and Jerry Brownlow was elected vice chairman.

Assistant Navajo County Manager Eugene “Dusty” Parsons retired.


Editor’s note: The first half of this annual review was published in the Dec. 30 edition of the newspaper.