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Quartzsite, Arizona

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

La Paz Co. Health Dept. offers Tdap vaccinations in Parker, AZ


NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK


La Paz County, AZ- La Paz County Health Department is pleased to announce National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW); an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases, April 26th-May 1st.  Whopping cough (pertussis) is a fast growing concern in the United States and Arizona where rates are at an all-time high since 1950. Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease that causes severe coughing in all ages, but it is more likely to kill infants. The Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine) is the best way to protect against pertussis but vaccination rates are staggering low among the group that spreads it the most: adults.

“56% of infant pertussis cases can be traced back to an adult spreader because only 14% of adults were vaccinated for pertussis in 2012 ,” said Diana Grazier, Director of Nursing for La Paz County Health Department. “In order to protect the youngest in our communities, adults should come in for a Tdap vaccination, especially if they are pregnant, live with an infant or care for an infant.”

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis takes deep breathes which result in a "whooping" sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age. Each year, 10,000 to 40,000 cases of pertussis are reported. Out of those cases, many lead to hospitalization. Infants are at greatest risk for getting pertussis and then having severe complications from it, including death. About half of infants younger than 1 year old who get pertussis are hospitalized, and 1 or 2 in 100 hospitalized infants die.


“Infants are especially vulnerable. That’s why we target the adults in order to create a cocoon of protection,” said Grazier. Adults need just one Tdap vaccination and La Paz County Health Department has it. Tdap is $40 at the health department or free to adults with no insurance but it is in limited supplies so please call ahead, 669-1100. Residents can also talk to their healthcare provider about the Tdap vaccine. For more information, visit www.lpchd.com.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Quartzsite Mayor offers settlement IF Council abolishes Police Dept.

By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear
Publisher Desert Messenger

Quartzsite, AZ - In a letter dated April 9, 2014, Mayor Ed Foster's attorney Julie A. LaBenz presented a "Settlement Offer" to the Town of Quartzsite, in an effort to resolve La Paz County case number CV2013-0115. Foster wants the Town Council to vote to abolish the Quartzsite Police Department, and have La Paz County Sheriff provide law enforcement services. 

Foster's case challenges a ruling which denied him the right to use his Mayor's Veto. Quartzsite Town Council approved Resolution 13-09 on December 10, 2013 regarding a USDA Sewer Loan to expand the sewer treatment plant. The council voted 5-1 to approve the resolution with an emergency clause, but that failed because 6 votes were required from the 7-member board. Council approved the resolution without the emergency clause.
Then on December 17th, the council approved the resolution with the emergency clause, with Foster voting nay. Foster later attempted to use his Mayoral Veto and stop the resolution. Mohave Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert ruled the execution of the contract as an "emergency". Foster is appealing that ruling, which has resulted in placing the sewer loan on hold.

During his campaign, Foster pledged to fire former Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. Gilbert was released from his contract in October 2013. Gilbert stated his ouster was orchestrated to cover up an inquiry he launched into Town Council members for allegedly releasing confidential police documents. Foster has advocated disbanding the police force and letting La Paz County Sheriff's Office handle the town's law enforcement. Earlier this year, the council refused Foster's idea, so now he's offering to "settle" his case.

The letter reads as follows: (see link at end of article for copy of the original letter)

In the settlement offer Re:       
Settlement Offer pursuant to Rule 408, Arizona Rules of Evidence
Dear Mrs. Schwab & Mrs. Ronan, In an effort to resolve La Paz County case number CV2013-0115, pursuant to Rule 408, Arizona Rules of Evidence, Plaintiff Mayor hereby conveys the following offer of settlement:That in exchange for Defendants' agreement to the following, Plaintiff Mayor will withdraw his veto and dismiss his appeal:
  • Vote to abolish the Quartzsite Police Department;
  • Enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the La Paz County Sheriff's Office to provide a Quartzsite Metro Squad to patrol Quartzsite, saving the Town approximately $500,000 per year;
  • Dedicate the funds saved by abolishing the Quartzsite Police Department to the HURF loan and the prospective USDA loan for a period of six (6) years;
  • Agree that the sewer rates be restructured to be based strictly on a volumetric rate based on water usage; and
  • Payment of Mayor Foster's legal fees and costs in full.
This offer will expire at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Today, Desert Messenger received the following opinion letter from a reader,

"It appears that Mayor Foster is "blackmailing" the rest of the Town council in exchange for dropping the law suit he has pending against his own Town! He is calling (soliciting) (demanding) for a vote to abolish the Quartzsite Police Department and to enter into an agreement with La Paz County!  Dictating the sewer rates to his terms! Demanding that his legal fees and cost are paid by the Town he is the mayor of! This must be exposed and reported to the Attorney General's office!

If this isn't BLACKMAILING or some type of violation of public office laws, then there is no hope for this Town! The Mayor is suppose to serve the people who elected him, NOT be SELF SERVING! This man will never get it! The council meeting is Tuesday (today) 4-22-14 at their first evening meeting at 7:00 pm. It is about time the Desert Messenger is responsible and it exposes the corruption of Foster and his dictatorship style of a public figure. Come on Ms Rain, get your butt down to the meeting and get the facts reported. You should be able to still up some real thunder with a name like that! This may mean nothing more for the rest of the county to laugh at, but for Quartzsite we take it very seriously because it is destroying everything good that we have."

The next meeting is tonight, Tuesday, April 22 at 7pm.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Fire Restrictions announced for BLM lands in Western AZ











Fire Restrictions Announced for Bureau of Land Management
In Western Arizona

To protect the public, natural resources, and reduce the risks of wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District has announced fire restrictions on 5.4 million acres of public lands in western Arizona and southeastern California along the Colorado River.

Effective at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014, fire and smoking restrictions will be enforced on all public lands within the BLM Kingman, Lake Havasu, and Yuma Field Office jurisdictions.  These restrictions are similar to those being implemented in other areas in Arizona. (Quartzsite is in BLM Yuma District.) 

The BLM is asking the public to use extreme caution when visiting public lands this summer.  Currently there are no plans to close any areas to public use.  The public is reminded that the following acts are prohibited until further notice:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove.  Campfires and charcoal are permitted in developed recreation sites or improved sites where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided.

  1. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, within a developed or improved recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

  1. Welding or the use of any torch or metal cutting or gridding implement.
“Due to the drought conditions throughout the State, we have very dry vegetation in the area that will become fuel for wildfires as temperatures continue to rise and humidity falls,” stated Fire Management Officer Michael Trent.  “The restrictions will continue until conditions warrant the lifting of the restrictions.”

Fireworks and incendiary devices are prohibited on Arizona public lands year-round.

Violations of these restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 12 months. 

For fire restriction information in Arizona and New Mexico:
Call Toll Free:  1-877-864-6985
Visit the website:  http://www.firerestrictions.us/

Quartzsite Police Dept. to participate in Drug Take-Back Day April 26


QUARTZSITE POLICE DEPT. SET TO PARTICIPATE IN PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY ON APRIL 26


Take-Back Day to help residents clean out their medicine cabinets of old, unwanted, potentially harm

On Saturday, April 26th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, Arizonans will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge; no questions asked. Drop off free of charge at Quartzsite Police Dept. 
These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired or unwanted prescription drugs.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined according to the2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) . Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Arizonans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s seven previous Take-Back Day events, disposing over 35,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in the past three years.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov , clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they can enter their zip code.
Inquiries can also be made at 1-800-882-9539.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quartzsite's The GRAND Gathering sets Guinness World Record!





Quartzsite, AZ -  It's official! 631 GRANDS set a new Guinness World Record Sunday, March 9th, 2014!  In an email sent Monday, April 7th to John Hendrix, of Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA), Guinness World Record stated,

"We are delighted to confirm that you have successfully achieved a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for ’Largest human letter’.

We would like to congratulate you on your record-breaking achievement.
You are OFFICIALLY AMAZING!"

The new record was the Finale event of The GRAND Gathering Sunday, March 9th, 2014. The GRAND Gathering was a new joint venture of the QIA and Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ).  The GRAND Gathering events were geared for GRAND Parents and Great GRANDS and their families to create memorable moments together.

Events during the four days included AVTT Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall; Concerts by Rex Allen Jr., Paul Winer, and Beyond the Ashes; a Senior/Craft Fair; Rock Art Auction; 50's Sock Hop Dance; a JAMboree; Town-Wide Yard Sales; a GRAND Bingo Marathon, Pancake Breakfasts and More! 

Quartzsite Stewards required by Guinness - Photo Desert Messenger
  Guinness World Records certification requires independent witnesses from the local community and extensive documentation. Horizon Community Bank’s new branch manager, Judi Clark and Quartzsite Council Member Mark Orgeron served as official witnesses along with 12 Stewards from the community. 

As The GRAND Gathering is now a committee under the QIA, the QIA now holds the oficial record through John Hendrix, the inspiration behind The GRAND Gathering. John, a QIA member, suggested the idea last year and from there it blossomed into a fantastic weekend with the culmination of the “Largest Human Letter Q” taking place.


WE DID IT! Photo - Starr BearCat - Desert Messenger
  For everyone who took part in the successful record attempt, Guinness offers the Certificate of Participation. All participants can purchase their own official Guinness World Records Certificates of Participation via the store online. Participants will need a special ID and code. To order, visit www.TheGrandGathering.com or www.qiaarizona.org

Staging area inside QIA - Photo Starr BearCat - Desert Messenger

Photo - Desert Flyers' Drone

Photo Desert Messenger
Photo Mark Goldberg - The GRAND Gathering

Also check out the Facebook Page for more photos and info on ordering: www.Facebook.com/TheGrandGathering.

Photo Desert Messenger
"Yes, We Can!" - Photo Desert Messenger






Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Temporary 12-hour ramp closures I-10 Exit 1 in Ehrenberg


Temporary 12-hour ramp closures at I-10 Ehrenberg (Exit 1)   
Motorists are advised to use adjacent ramps

As part of the ongoing improvements in Ehrenberg, the Arizona Department of Transportation will temporarily close the on-and-off ramps for approximately 12 hours between the midnight and noon Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11 at Interstate 10 Ehrenberg (Exit 1).

Ramps will be closed intermittently for milling and repaving each day. Motorists are advised to either exit in Quartzsite or Blythe to access Juneau Avenue/Poston Road.

For more information, please contact the Project Hotline at 1.855.712.8530, or email at Projects@azdot.gov. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov or call 511.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I-10 delays tonight and Friday between Ehrenberg & Quartzsite


Westbound I-10 to close briefly overnight for rock removal 
near Arizona-California state line
Motorists traveling between Quartzsite and Ehrenberg 
should allow extra travel time

The Arizona Department of Transportation is advising motorists traveling on Interstate 10 near the California-Arizona state line to allow extra travel time due to the start of a three-week project to remove large rocks alongside the highway between Ehrenberg and Quartzsite this week.

Drivers traveling late at night on westbound I-10 (mileposts 10-11) on Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28 need to be prepared for intermittent closures up to 20 minutes for blasting and rock removal. Work will take place between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Additionally, I-10 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction through the work zone until the project is completed in mid-April.

Message boards will be in place to inform motorists of lane restrictions and speed reductions. Law enforcement will be in place to monitor traffic and enforce the speed limit. Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time through the area.

For more information, please contact the Project Hotline at 1.855.712.8530, or email atProjects@azdot.gov.To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at az511.gov or call 5-1-1.

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