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There are a lot of myths and mysteries that pertain to the Southwest, in particular Arizona. None greater than the story of Jacob Waltz, the Lost Dutchman… in reality he was a German from Deutschland born around 1862. The story or legend goes on that the prospector (Waltz) would go into the Superstition Mountains and come out with saddle bags filled with gold. He would, with donkey in tow, mosey into Phoenix and sell his find, the same city where he breathed his last breath in 1891 and is buried in. The myth and the mystery continues into the 21st century and still no sign of a gold mine.
SUPERIOR, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has signed off on a provision in the defense bill to clear the way for the creation of North America's largest copper mine in southeastern Arizona.
Each year as part of its nationally recognized and highly successful program to manage and conserve bald eagles in the state, the Arizona Game and Fish Department asks outdoor recreationists and aircraft pilots to help protect important eagle breeding areas by honoring the closure of 23 areas across the state.
Mashups are easy to come by these days, but you’ll be hard-put to find a collision of the Middle Ages and Motown quite like Diane Paulus’ revival of “Pippin,” winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The production, on stage at ASU Gammage through Dec. 7, tells the story of Pippin — the son of Charlemagne and a young man in search of meaning and purpose.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A northern Arizona highway that was clouded in smoke from a wildfire has reopened.
A five-mile stretch of US 180 north of Flagstaff was closed to traffic Sunday due to smoke and firefighting activity. It reopened Monday afternoon after smoke diminished and firefighting efforts moved away from the highway.
The highway is the primary route between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
The fire has burned more than 500 acres and was 50 percent contained Monday. Coconino National Forest officials say the majority of heavy fuels have been consumed. It's expected to be fully contained Tuesday.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but forest officials say it was human-caused.
SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson woman who fell 8 feet while hiking on steep rock formations outside Sedona has died.
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office says 61-year-old Barbara Phillips suffered head trauma in the Nov. 27 fall and later was pronounced dead.
Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn says Phillips was hiking with her husband and son near Devil's Bridge in the Coconino National Forest.
The husband told authorities that his wife decided against crossing the natural sandstone arch and began hiking back toward rocks that form a steep staircase. Her family discovered she had fallen not long after.
D'Evelyn says two people who identified themselves as doctors performed CPR until fire crews arrived.
Phillips' body was taken down the mountain and handed over to the medical examiner.
Gov. Jan Brewer has officially lit the Capitol Christmas tree for the final time as the Arizona's chief executive.
PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer has lit the Capitol Christmas tree for the final time as Arizona's chief executive.
Brewer called Monday's lighting of the 21-foot blue spruce from the Coconino National Forest a "cherished tradition" at the state Capitol.
Brewer says the ceremony marks the official start of the holiday season in Arizona, and a time for good will and gratitude, family, friends and faith.
She also asked Arizonans to be thankful for the gift of peace and security, and to remember the men and women in the armed forces who are serving to protect those freedoms.
The tree lighting ceremony in the Executive Tower lobby included music from a choir of junior high school students from the Herrera School of Fine Arts & Dual Language in Phoenix.
PHOENIX (AP) — A moderate earthquake jostled residents of northern Arizona — a region where quakes are frequent but usually don't produce much damage or alarm.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-4.7 temblor that hit Sunday night was centered 7 miles north of Sedona and 6 miles underground. There were no immediate reports of injury or major damage, though workers had to clear some rocks and debris from a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff.
"Business as usual," said David Brumbaugh, director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center at Northern Arizona University. "It's nothing unusual to have earthquakes in this part of the state. Most of them are too small to be felt."
Still, more than 1,200 people used the U.S. Geological Survey's website to report that they'd felt the quake.
"I think what I heard was the house kind of rattling," said Donna Kearney Lomeo, a Sedona real estate agent. "It sounded like a bunch of balls rolling around on the roof."
Deana Irvine, a Flagstaff-area midwife, said the temblor had her thinking a plane might have crashed in her usually quiet neighborhood.
"I was surprised that it made noise," Irvine said. "It was really loud. It was rumbling and I was thinking it sounded like an explosion or a sonic boom."
Here are things to know about earthquakes in Arizona.
WHERE THEY'RE FELT
Earthquakes shake all corners of the state, but they're far more prevalent in northern Arizona and relatively infrequent in the desert cities where the vast majority of Arizonans live.
"You ask a lot of people around the state whether we have earthquakes and they can't believe we do — and we certainly do," said Jeri Young, a research geologist in Phoenix for the Arizona Geological Survey, a state agency.
While the U.S. Geological Survey lists a 5.6-magnitude quake on the Arizona-Utah border in 1959 as Arizona's strongest, Brumbaugh and Young said the largest quakes on record were three in northern Arizona that ranged in the 6.0-6.2-magnitude and occurred between 1906 and 1912.
TOLL FROM ARIZONA EARTHQUAKES
Unlike California, Arizona has had no earthquake in recorded history that caused deaths or injuries, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
However, the 1906-1912 quakes caused boulders to roll down from nearby mountains onto a Coconino National Forest construction crew's camp, ripped a 50-mile crack in the earth north of the San Francisco Peaks and damaged houses in Williams.
Recent data recorded 10-15 mostly small earthquakes monthly in Arizona, but northwestern Arizona has faults capable of generating a 7.0 quake, Young said.
That was the magnitude of the 2010 quake that killed more than 300,000 people in Haiti.
Northern Arizona is at the southern end of a seismic belt that extends northward into Canada, Brumbaugh said.
Young said scientists will analyze sensor data from the Sunday night quake "to find out where the stresses are."
Unknown for now is whether it is a precursor to a larger one yet to come, Young said. "As time goes on the probability that was the main event becomes greater."
AP writer Alina Hartounian contributed to this report.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Transportation officials say a brush fire has caused a closure on a highway that is the primary route between the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said Sunday a 5-mile stretch of U.S. 180 was closed to traffic in both directions due to a fire north of Flagstaff.
The agency advised motorists traveling south from the Grand Canyon to take State Route 64 to Interstate 40 in the Williams area. From there, drivers going to Flagstaff or Interstate 17 should head east.
How long the closure will remain is uncertain.
KTVK-TV reports the U.S. Forest Service says no structures are being threatened by the wildfire that has burned 75 acres near Kendrick Mountain.
The agency says the cause is still under investigation.
I can hear the music playing in my head now and I’m singing along: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
WILLIAMS, Ariz. (AP) — Christmas tree permits for the Kaibab National Forest will be available later this month.
Forest officials say they will sell tree over-the-counter tags for the Kaibab Forest's three ranger districts starting Nov. 20.
The permit will allow its holder to cut down a certain species of tree within a designated area until Christmas Eve.
Tags for the North Kaibab Ranger District will go on sale first, followed by tags for the Williams and Tusayan districts on Nov. 21.
About 1,500 permits are available with 800 of them being for the North Kaibab area.
The tags cost $15 each and are non-refundable.
Permit holders will also get a map that shows them where their designated cutting area is.
Environmental groups filed suit Wednesday to block efforts by a Canadian mining firm from looking for copper in the Patagonia Mountains.
Explore the polar regions, oceans, rain forests, mountains and caves without even leaving Phoenix at the Arizona Science Center’s National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers exhibit, open until Jan. 4.
In a universe that leaned heavily toward Collin Dean’s favor, the 9-year-old would ask two simple questions before accepting a role on a TV show or film: How much does it pay and what kind of food is offered?
PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — Archaeologists at the Petrified Forest National Park have discovered an ancient village that is unique for its size.
Park officials say 50 to 70 pit houses are organized in rings on about 66 acres. One village found last summer spanned about 14 acres.
Archaeologists say the pit houses were built more than 1,000 years ago in the Basketmaker period. They say that's when groups of people started settling together in villages.
The pit houses made of stone slabs were found in sand dunes. Traces of stone tools and early ceramics also were found nearby.
The discoveries are part of three-year, grant-funded project to survey 45,000 acres of land that has been added to the park since 2004. The villages were found on the eastern portion of that land.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Gates are now unlocked and tape has been taken down in much of northern Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon with the reopening of many areas that were closed nearly three months because of a major wildfire.
That's good news for visitors and businesses alike, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.
The threat of flooding prompted the Forest Service to close its land within the canyon in July, but most developed recreation sites, vehicle pullouts, swimming holes and hiking trails reopened last week.
The heaviest monsoon rains skirted the area during late summer, so there was little flooding.
Operators of businesses serving visitors are pleased to have the canyon reopened.
"It's starting to feel like a normal fall," said Frank Garrison, owner of The Butterfly Garden Inn and a critic of the closure.
Much of the canyon located between Sedona and Flagstaff wasn't scarred by the nearly 33-square-mile Slide Fire, but thousands of acres inside the canyon and above its rims were.
"There was a time when a lot of us in Sedona were weeping thinking it was lost," said Web Middleton, a Sedona photographer.
Middleton recently prowled a trail in the canyon to capture the forest as it starts to regrow. Ferns and grasses are springing up around blackened tree trunks, while other frees appear untouched by fire.
"It's remarkable how intact it is," Middleton said.
Recovery efforts included targeted seeding in mulching in severely burned areas.
It'll take about three areas for grass and shrubs in areas that weren't mulched and seeded to begin functioning like a normal ecosystem, said Rory Steinke, assistant team leader for the response effort.
It'll take decades longer for the trees to start to recover, Steinke said.
While the popular West Fork trail was relatively unharmed, the A.B. Young trail will be closed for two or three years for completion of repairs, Steinke said.
Twenty years ago this month, when the first drops of Colorado River water poured into the retention basins at the Granite Reef Underground Storage Basin (GRUSP) near Mesa, it was predicted that storing water underground would be the wave of the future.
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>> This information is provided in community partnership with Harkins Theatres. For showtimes, theater locations and tickets, go to HarkinsTheatres.com.
“Oh, What a Night” was had Wednesday, July 23, by the enthusiastic ASU Gammage audience reveling in the musical magic of “Jersey Boys” — the Tony Award-winning story of four blue-collar kids who became the 1960s chart-topping The Four Seasons. In just two and a half hours (including a 15-minute intermission), the talented 21-member cast transforms Klara Zieglerova’s simple, fluid, multilayered set into the sinister back streets of New Jersey townships, the smoky interiors of no-name bars, and the brilliant television stage of “The Ed Sullivan Show.”