Dec 312014

By Francie Payne


National Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service Tony Hernandez was in Holbrook to make a presentation to Arizona’s Site Manager of the Year, Alexandria Attakai. She is site manager for Holbrook Court Apartments, and received the award based on positive feedback from the tenants and the multi-family staff of USDA Rural Development. Attakai has managed the complex since 2007.

The Joseph City Unified School District Governing Board approved a $6.3 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

Taylor Baca, a 2014 graduate of Winslow High School, was selected to the MaxPreps Medium High Schools All American Softball Team. Baca batted .505 and drove in 44 runs, as well as compiled an 18-1 record (1.54 ERA) for the 3A state champion Lady Bulldogs this past season.

The Holbrook Unified School District Governing Board passed a $22.9 million budget for the new fiscal year.

The Winslow Unified School District Governing Board approved an $11.7 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

Malcom Begay received a probationary appointment as a district court judge on the Navajo Nation. He is from Steamboat, and graduated from Holbrook High School and Western International University. In addition, he received a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. Begay is a Marine Corps veteran. He had been serving as a staff attorney with the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch since 2010, and had also worked with the Navajo Nation Prosecutor’s Office.

Members of the Holbrook City Council approved a $9.9 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15.


Abrianna Swanson-Burrows was crowned Miss Navajo County 2015 at the annual pageant, and Darcie Reidhead was first runner-up. The Miss Navajo County Outstanding Teen 2015 title went to Emily Eavenson, with Sophie Owen as first runner-up.

The Holbrook Bullets swim team, under the direction of Coach Christopher Olthouse, brought home a number of medals from the Grand Canyon State Games swimming competition held at Arizona State University in Tempe. Nina Harrison placed first in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. Andrew Dawson was first in the 100-yard breaststroke, and second in the 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, all with a sprained left foot. Johnathan Dawson placed second in the 200-yard individual medley, and third in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and butterfly. Skyla Williams was third in the 100-yard breaststroke. Amber Harrison placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke.

State Senator Chester Crandell of Heber died after being thrown from a horse while riding on the DeSpain Ranch near Heber.

Kelly Wood, a 2014 graduate of Winslow High School, was selected as a running back for the Northern Arizona University Lumberjack football team. He was a four-year letter winner, and a three-year captain and starter for Coach B.J. Little.

Despite some monsoon activity, drought conditions continued to worsen in Navajo County, with most of the region classified as experiencing severe drought. Statewide, the drought has lasted nearly 15 years, making it the worst in the 110 years that records for moisture have been kept.

The Holbrook City Council voted to eliminate the city’s primary property tax, while the Board of Supervisors approved a nearly 12 percent increase in Navajo County’s primary property tax, moving it from 69.96 cents to 81.85 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Holbrook Justice of the Peace Evelyn Marez was re-elected in the August primary, and B.J. Little was elected as Winslow’s justice of the peace. Neither would face opposition in the November general election.


District III Navajo County Supervisor Sylvia Allen of Snowflake was selected by the Republican precinct committeemen of legislative District 6 to fill the vacancy on the general election ballot left by the passing of State Senator Chester Crandell.

Arizona Public Service Co. officials announced that the closure of Unit 2 at Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City is slated for 2016. The closure will eliminate approximately 30 jobs, but those positions should be vacant by that time due to natural attrition. Fires were reported at the chapter houses in Dilcon and Teesto within an hour of each other early the morning of Sept. 6. Sheriff K.C. Clark and two deputies responded to assist in the investigation, as did agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Tres Cake and Arianna McKinley were crowned as Winslow High School’s Homecoming king and queen.

Winners in the junior livestock competition at the 2014 Navajo County Fair included Cutter Gouker, who entered the Grand Champion Market Steer; Levi Lewis, Reserve Champion Market Steer; Janessa Elkins, Grand Champion Market Lamb; TJ Malala, Reserve Champion Market Lamb; Keileigh Gose, Grand Champion Market Swine; Mason Vanzelf, Reserve Champion Market Swine; and Rebecca Scott, Grand Champion Market Goat and Reserve Champion Market Goat.

Dalon Reidhead was the Senior Showmanship Grand Champion for steers in the junior livestock competition at the 2014 Navajo County Fair, with Cutter Gouker as reserve champion. TJ Malala was the Senior Showmanship Grand Champion for lambs, with Kaden Wilkins as reserve champion. Keileigh Gose was the Senior Showmanship Grand Champion for swine, with KC Clay as reserve champion. Keileigh Gose was the Senior Showmanship Grand Champion for goats, with Kaitlynn Benally as reserve champion. Nilson Wilkins was the Junior Showmanship Grand Champion for steers, with Levi Lewis as reserve champion. Camaria Reidhead was the Junior Showmanship Grand Champion for lambs, with Connor Scott as reserve champion. Kordale DeSpain was the Junior Showmanship Grand Champion for swine, with Mason Vanzelf as reserve champion. Kensie Gose was the Junior Showmanship Grand Champion for goats, with Rebecca Scott as reserve champion. Levi Lewis was the Navajo County Bred and Fed Grand Champion for steers; Rebecca Scott, grand champion for lambs; and Jesse Lewis, grand champion for swine.

Students in Joseph City celebrated Homecoming, crowning Conner Neal and Shannon Mosier as king and queen.

Navajo County Junior Miss Pageant winners included Miss Tot Ryen Murray, Little Miss Alexa Cuestas, Junior Miss Chanlyr Sanchez and Miss Teen Brooke Whitten.

The Winslow City Council appointed C. Allen Rosenbaum as public works and facilities director.

Alice Crandell, widow of the late State Senator Chester Crandell, was appointed by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors to serve the remainder of his term. His successor would be elected in November.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed an historic $554 million trust settlement, the largest in U.S. history.

Navajo County Superior Court Judge John Lamb;s plans to retire from the bench effective Jan. 2 were announced by Governor Jan Brewer as she began accepting applications for the post.

Reigning over Holbrook High School’s Homecoming activities were King Theron Johns and Queen Shannon Justman.


Petrified National Park officials announced the discovery of two very similar ancient villages located less than a mile apart while surveying expansion lands recently acquired by the park. Each has about 50 to 70 pit houses that are slab lined, and each likely had from 100 to 150 inhabitants. It was estimated that they were built between 200 and 700 A.D.

Pat Wood of Snowflake, a former livestock officer, earned a barrel racing world championship at the Senior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.

Three young Winslow men were arrested and charged with burglary, criminal damage and arson of an unoccupied structure in connection with the early morning fires Oct. 10 at Clarke’s Cleaners, the Winslow Masonic Lodge and the former Winslow Woman’s Club building.

Blaine Hatch of Holbrook, vice president of Administrative Services for Northland Pioneer College, was one of three recipients of the Outstanding Chief Business Officer award presented by the Community College Business Officers during the organization’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Snowflake Vice Mayor Jason Whiting was selected to fill a vacancy on the Navajo County Board of Supervisors created by the resignation of District III Supervisor Sylvia Allen.

Northland Pioneer College Friends and Family program director Betsyann Wilson advised the Navajo County Community College District Board of Directors that the large commercial building located at First Avenue and West Hopi Drive in Holbrook was sold to Community Counseling Centers of Arizona. The $230,000 sales price was to be used to fund Friends and Family and its projects.


Ann Kirkpatrick reclaimed the District 1 Congressional seat she lost two years before in the Nov. 4 General Election. Also elected were Doug Ducey as governor, Michele Reagan as secretary of state, Mark Brnovich as attorney general, Diane M. Douglas as state superintendent of public instruction and Jeff DeWit as state treasurer. Former State Senator Sylvia Allen was elected to her old post, representing District 6. State Representatives Brenda Barton and Bob Thorpe were re-elected. Among those re-elected at the county level were Division I Superior Court Judge Ralph Hatch, Clerk of the Court Deanne Romo, Holbrook Justice of the Peace Evelyn Marez, Holbrook Constable Phyllis Romo and Winslow Constable Madeline “Pauline” Hernandez. Political newcomer B.J. Little was elected as Winslow justice of the peace.

The Winslow Unified School District budget override passed 917-889.

Navajo Nation presidential candidate Randall Begaye selected District I Navajo County Supervisor Jonathan Nez as his running mate.

Martha van der Wal Larsen of Joseph City unveiled her book Never Again, a collection of stories of her early years during World War II in Holland.

A transfer of the Northern Arizona Training Center from five government agencies to a single one was approved by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. The transfer would be to Northland Pioneer College should the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board approve it.

Mikenzie Alcott earned the title of Miss Winslow Native American during a pageant held at the Winslow High School Performing Arts Center. Kaelyn Bitsoi was first runner-up; Chelsea Wagner, second runner-up; and Ceyanne Benally, third runner-up.

Brothers Johnnie and Bobby Morris retired after dedicating more than 100 years of combined service to Petrified Forest National Park.

The family of the Late State Senator Chester Crandell accepted the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture award on his behalf at a ceremony held during the 93rd annual AFB Convention in Scottsdale. Also honored were The Tribune-News and the Silver Creek Herald for fair and timely reporting of agricultural issues.

Holbrook City Manager Ray Alley advised the city council that he had issued a building permit for $100,000 in upgrades at the former partition plant. The facility will serve as a medical marijuana cultivation site.

The Navajo County Drug Project’s Junior Leadership Academy was recognized by the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence as one of the three top out of school programs in the state.

Holbrook Mayor Jeff Hill announced that he would not seek re-election in the spring. He has served on the council for eight years.

Members of the 1964 Winslow High School football team were honored on the 50th anniversary of their winning the state championship during the 2014 championship game. The Bulldogs of 1964 included Bill Baca, Fred Basgabl, Curtis Bardsley, manager Jim Caldwell, Bill Cherry, Ricky Donnelly, Jerry Easley, Willie Fish, Steve Garner, Artie Griffith, Butch Hardy, Bill Heath, John Hysong, Thomas Kanuho, Florentino Lopez, Mike Lopez, Steven MacArthur, Mike Madeo, Johnny Martinez, Charles Mayberry, Rusty Meikle, Mike O’Haco, Earl Owens, Mike Peart, Keith Rhodes, David Riley, Robert Short, Jim Store, Mike Sullivan, Lloyd Taylor, Walter Van, George Welch and Gary Winans. The team was coached by Emil Nasser with the late Carl Weatherton as assistant coach. The late Herman MacArthur was the trainer.

The Hopi Village of Sichomovi won the Sweepstakes Award for its entry in the Winslow Christmas Parade.

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook Sedona and Flagstaff the night of Nov. 30, and was also felt in Winslow and Joseph City.


Governor Jan Brewer appointed Dale Nielson as a judge of the Navajo County Superior Court. Nielson, who served on the county bench from 2001-08, replaces John Lamb, who is retiring Jan. 2.

Holbrook Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Matthew Barger resigned from his post after serving on the commission for 18 years, including 15 as chairman.

Newly elected State Senator Sylvia Allen was named senate president pro tem for the coming session. In addition, she will chair the Commission on Rural Affairs & Environment, serve as vice chair of the Committee on Government, and the Committee on Water & Energy, and serve as a member of the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Education.

Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon will serve as president of the Arizona Association of Counties in 2015.

Holbrook’s annual Parade of Lights featured 34 entries, including a float by the Adrian and Marlene Sample family, which won the Tinsel Award for best float.

After more than seven years, funding to complete the final stage of the Winslow levee feasibility study was approved. Congress passed and President Obama signed an omnibus bill that included $670,000 for the study.

Also included in the omnibus bill was nearly $1.5 million in federal funding for Navajo County as payment in lieu of taxes on federal lands within the county.

The Arizona School Boards Association and the Arizona School Administrators Superintendents’ Division honored Ernest Hubbell of the Sanders Unified School District with one of five 2014 ASBA All-Arizona School Board Awards, the highest honor ASBA bestows on individual board members, during the 57th joint annual conference of the organizations in Phoenix. Dodie Montoya of the Winslow Unified School District was presented with the Master of Boardsmanship Fifth Cluster Award, which is awarded to members who have taken advantage of 400 or more professional development hours.



Editor’s note: We wish all of our readers a wonderful New Year!