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Quartzsite, Arizona

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Remains found near Quartzsite identified as Eric Stapleton

The Town of Quartzsite and Police Department issued the following press release today:

"January 29, 2015 In the morning hours of January 20, 2015, Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) received a call from a concerned citizen in the Scaddan Wash area located east to south-east from the Town of Quartzsite. The concerned citizen physically took QPD officers to the skeletal remains found while going on a morning walk in the desert. QPD officers arrived on scene and identified human skeletal remains located approximately one mile south of Interstate 10 in the desert area, east to south-east of the Town of Quartzsite.

"After a thorough investigation, the human skeletal remains were removed from the scene by the Parker Funeral Home and sent to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tucson, Arizona for a scientific medical examination and for identification purposes. This included dental, hair and DNA comparisons. In the evening hours of January 28, 2015, Quartzsite Police Department’s case officer was advised by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office that the human remains were positively identified as Eric Paul Stapleton. Identification was determined from comparison of his dental records.

Eric Paul Stapleton

"Quartzsite Police Department has made the next of kin notifications to his family. Mr. Eric Paul Stapleton has been a missing person since May 18, 2014 from his residence in Quartzsite, Arizona. Quartzsite Police Department is dedicated to working with the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office and others to determine his method of death. 

Ernie Renfro Chief of Police 
Town of Quartzsite Office: (928) 927-4644 "

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Skeleton remains found in desert near Quartzsite

The following is a press release issued by Town of Quartzsite this morning.

"In the morning hours of January 20, 2015, Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) received a call from a concerned citizen in the Scaddan Wash area located east to south-east from the Town of Quartzsite. 

The concerned citizen physically took QPD officers to the skeleton remains found while going on a morning walk in the desert. QPD officers arrived on scene and identified a human skeleton remains located approximately one mile south of Interstate 10 and east to south-east of the Town of Quartzsite. QPD officer immediately established a perimeter of the area and determined it was on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land but within the jurisdiction of QPD. 

Chief Ernie Renfro placed a call for assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to assist QPD with the processing of the scene. The FBI Agents and QPD officers process the scene into the evening hours of Tuesday, January 20, 2015. The human skeleton remains were removed from the scene by the Parker Funeral Home and eventually sent to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tucson, Arizona for a scientific medical examination and for identification purposes. This will include dental, hair and DNA comparisons. The Quartzsite Police Department is dedicated and will work very hard to determine the identification and method of death. Once a positive identification has been accomplished, we will make notification to the family and then release further information to the Town of Quartzsite and media.
Ernie Renfro Chief of Police Town of Quartzsite Office: (928) 927-4644"

Many suspect the remains are of local resident Eric Stapleton, who went missing on May 18th, 2014, where he was last seen at his residence off Riggles Rd. Eric failed to report to work on May 20th and has not been seen or heard from since. His cell phone and car was at the house with the front door open. 

Friends and local residents pulled together search parties during the summer, scouring the surrounding desert on ATVs, scooters, cars, trucks, and on foot. Eric's family posted a reward, but there has been no news on his whereabouts. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

BLM hosts Quartzsite Open House on proposed trail closures, WED. Jan. 21

La Posa Travel Management Plan
Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available

Yuma, Ariz. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Yuma Field Office has announced that the La Posa Travel Management Plan preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) will be available for review starting Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  There will be a 30-day public comment period and all comments must be received by close of business on February 19, 2015.  Beginning on January 21, 2015, the preliminary EA may be reviewed on the BLM internet website at

To coincide with the comment period and to update the public on the preliminary EA, 
the BLM will hold an open house on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  

The open house will be held at the Quartzsite Community Center 
located at 295 Chandler Street; Quartzsite, Arizona; from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Local BLM specialists and managers will be available so that residents and interested parties can ask questions and voice concerns.  Maps will be on display for review, as well as general EA and travel management information. 

Written comments about the preliminary EA for the La Posa TMP will be accepted through
February 19, 2015.  Comments postmarked by this date will be considered in making the final decision.  The comments should be specific to be most effective.  Comments should be mailed to BLM Yuma Field Office, Attention:  Ray Castro; 2555 E. Gila Ridge Road; Yuma, Arizona  85365; or through email to

The La Posa Travel Management Area surrounds Quartzsite, Arizona, and encompasses over 380,000 acres of public land in La Paz and Yuma Counties. For more information about the open house, please contact Ray Castro at 928-317-3251.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking for events in Quartzsite this winter? Local RV Parks & Craft Fair schedule

Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper, January 7, 2015

Quartzsite, Arizona- This week's edition of Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper, was so full of advertising there was not enough space for my prepared editorial nor all this fantastic information: 

Looking for more things to do in Quartzsite 

this winter? 

Check out events at local RV Parks and Craft Fairs. 

Arizona Oasis RV Resort located at: 50238 Ehrenberg Parker Hwy in Ehrenberg
Office:   928-923-8230
January 17 –Barefoot and Boots Dance- 7 PM. Wine and cheese event. Reserved seating- $7.00
January 24 - “The Dump Station Revue” Hilarious RV Comedy Show 7 PM. Reserved seating - $5.00
January 31- SkyHawk with a twist of entertainment – 6:30 PM Dessert Night. Reserved seating- $7.00
February 27 –”The Illusion of Elvis” with Danny Vernon- 7:00 PM. Reserved seating seats go fast- $8.00
Ice cream Sunday Social and Karaoke – 3 PM $
Reservations requested:  928-923-8230
Breakfast Tuesday – Saturday 7 AM- 10 AM $

The Quartzsite Quilters meet every Tuesday at the Senior Center on Moon Mountain Rd from 9am to 3pm. We meet with friendship to share our skills and improve our knowledge. We always have a fun time. On January 20th we will have a Trunk Show and class by two sisters and a friend from Yuma. This will be FOR MEMBERS only.

82 N. Central Blvd.
Every Monday 7pm dancing with Smoking Joe Lonsdale. $3.

skyhawk returns
After a year hiatus, the band Skyhawk returns to entertain with their wonderful blend of music. The band will be featured every Friday night at the Senior Center Dances at 7pm.
Sat. Jan. 10 - Show JR’s RV Park          
Fri. Jan. 16 Dance - Senior Center
Fri. Jan. 30 - Dance - Senior Center
Fri. Feb. 6 Dance - Senior Center
Fri. Feb. 13 - Dance - Senior Center
Sat. Feb. 14 - Show Holiday Palms
Fri. Feb. 20 Dance - Senior Center
Sat. Feb. 21 - Show JR’s RV Park
Fri. Feb. 27 Dance - Senior Center
Fri. Mar. 6 Dance - Senior Center
Fri. Mar. 13 Dance - Senior Center

desert rv park gold news
Desert Gold RV Park is located at 46628 Hwy 60 in Brenda. 
The public is cordially invited to the following events:
Tuesday Night Gospel Jam – Every Tues., 7:00pm
Saturday Country Western Jam – Every Sat., 1:00pm
Barefoot & Boots Dance - $4.00
January 7th, Wednesday, 7:00pm
Craft Show, Café & Yard Sale
January 8th, Thursday, 9:00am-1:00pm
Western Strings Dance - $4.00
January 9th, Friday, 9:00pm
*JACK JACKSON SHOW - $10.00 (Reserved Seating)
January 14th, Wednesday, 7:00pm
Melody Masters Dance - $4.00
January 16th, Friday, 7:00pm
Ardon Galley Show - $4.00
January 21st, Wednesday, 7:00pm
Notables Dance - $4.00
January 23rd, Friday, 7:00pm
Laughing Bird Show – $6.00
January 28th, Wednesday, 7:00pm
January 29th, Thursday, 6:00pm (Doors open 5:30 pm)
January 30th, Friday, 6:00pm, (Doors open 5:30pm)
*For Tickets or Info: 9-2, M-F,

gold star activities
• FREE Beginner Ballroom Dance Lessons 4th Tuesday of every Month at 1:30pm, December  9th. & 30th. 
• EVERY 2nd and 4th Thursday 7:00pm dance: Music by Westernaires Gill & Erma $2
• Jan. 13th Bost Family musical 7:00pm Kitty
• Jan. 17th Arden Gailey 7:00 pm. Kitty
• Jan. 20th World Renowned Dutton Family, Performing at Gold Star Clubhouse 3 programs, $10
• Jan. 24 - Lee Black and Friends 6:30 pm.
• Jan. 27th Lee Black and Friends 7:00pm
• Jan. 17th Arden Gailey 7:00pm
• Feb. 10th Al and Jean Ewell 7:00pm Kitty

Senior Center activities
3rd Wednesday. Free Crime Prevention Seminar after Lunch with Hoby Erickson and QPD. 928-662-8682
Skyhawk returns to Friday Night Dances! 7pm - 9:30pm $4 donation.

park place RV PARK activities
• Acoustic Music Jams every Saturday at 1:00pm
• Karaoke every Wednesday at 7 pm
• Beading by Eileen every Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 am
• Beading with Shirley every Wednesday 9:00 am  
Jan. 9  Craft & Indoor Yard Sale from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Jan. 15 “Barefoot & Boots”  7:00-9:00 pm   
Jan. 21  Sky-Med presentation & Pizza  5:00 pm
Craft Fair the 2nd Saturday of each month.  Contact 928-927-6699

gem & mineral CLUB now open
The Quartzsite Roadrunners Gem and Mineral Club is now open for its 2014/2015 season. Join the fun. Attend a general orientation any Thursday morning at 8am. Check out our field trips and class offerings at Or attend one of our meetings held at QIA Thursday at 2pm.

split rail rv park
Split Rail RV Park has Karaoke Monday nights at 6:30pm

GeekWeek begins Jan 12th at The Scenic Road RV Park.The Geeks on Tour will be presenting 90 min seminars daily on travel technology.  Seat reservation can be made with The Scenic Road’s office at 928-927-6443.  Fees apply for non-park guests.  Seating is limited.
January 24 7 pm Dance
February 14 7 pm Valentine’s Dance
March 14 7 pm St. Patrick’s Dance

 notables BAND schedule
Sat. Jan. 10- Holiday Palms, Qtz
Fri. Jan. 23- Desert Gold, Brenda
Fri. Feb. 6 - Desert Gold, Brenda Sock Hop
Fri. Feb. 13- Holiday Palms, Qtz.
Sat. Feb. 21 - Indian Hills Rec Centre Salome
Fri. Feb. 27 - Brenda RV Park, Brenda
Fri. March 6 - Holiday Palms, Qtz.

(Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Meeting on Tuesday mornings in the fellowshipHall next to the Alliance Church. Weigh in from 7AM to 7:45Am, meeting from 8AM to 9AM. For more information, please call Ruth at 928-927-8352.

CALLING ALL QUILTERS, the Quartzsite Quilters will hold their annual quilt show on February 6th & 7th, 2015. All quilters are welcome to hang their treasured work and show your talents. The show is held at the Senior Center at 40 Moon Mountain Rd. Call Louise at 425-210-7468 for more information and to enter your quilt. This year’s raffle quilt is a gorgeous appliqué quilt with lovely teapots. Chances will be sold at the QIA craft sale and at the quilt show.

bouse, az  booster club
Plomosa Road and Frame Ave. in Bouse, Arizona. 928-851-1819
Monday Pancake Breakfast 7 – 9 a.m.
Tuesday Game / Card Night 7 p.m.
Thursday Bingo 7 p.m.

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through SPRING – 2015
(check with RV Parks, subject to change)

Contact: Alice Lundy-Bowman (
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Quilt Show 12 – 5PM Saturday, February 14, 2015 Contact: Sherry McClure  (There will be hamburgers and root beer floats for sale at the Craft Shows the Quilt Show)

DESERT GOLD  Contact: Sheri Wittlake
Craft Show & Yard Sales 9AM-1PM - 2nd Thursday of the month from  November 2014 through March 2015  (Note new schedule for next year)

Craft Show 9 am-1 pm Saturday, February 7, 2015

BLACK ROCK  Contact: Kathy Baily
Craft Show & Yard Sales 9 AM to 1PM Friday, February 6, 2015

RAMBLIN ROADS Contact: Sally Egglaston
Craft Show 9 AM – 1PM Friday, February 6, 2015

Contact: Sharon Hillhouse
Craft Show 9AM-1PM Located in Salome
Saturday, February 28, 2015

SENIOR CENTER –Quartzsite – Contact: Donna Lucas
Craft Shows - 3rd Friday of each month, November to March - 9 am to 1 pm

QIA – Quartzsite Improvement Center. Contact 928-927-6325.
1st Saturday of each month, November - March - 9 am to 1 pm

Second Friday of every month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

BOUSE BOOSTER CLUB Contact: Julie Riffe
Art Show February 6-7            
Spring Fever Daze March 6-7


To read Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper Online, visit:

Monday, January 5, 2015

John Wayne Impersonator coming to Quartzsite

performs Tuesday, January 6th  at 7pm at 
Quartzsite Senior Center $5 at the door
40 Moon Mt., Quartzsite, Arizona

Ermal Walden Williamson, a man of the West, ex-stuntman for Universal Studios in Hollywood, California is also the John Wayne Look-alike and Impersonator doubling for the Duke in the Coors Light commercials He has been performing on Duke’s yacht, the Wild Goose”. ever since it has been rescued from almost going to Davy Jones’ Locker and continues to thrill people several times a month on board.  He has ridden in the Tournament of Roses Parade many times as John Wayne, and has performed many patriotic recitations at the Rose Bowl and other events preceding the parade. 
He travels the world, appearing at corporate events throughout the country as host, emcee and/or entertainer. 

As an entertainer, he is an after-dinner speaker and a key-note speaker, hosting conventions, performing at trade-shows, and emcees seminars. 

Ermal is the recipient of the 2003 IGCITA Best Male Impersonator of the Year Award in Las Vegas and is presently performing with Paula Erlene in the production, "An Evening with John Wayne and Patsy".  He is married to Paula Erlene who accompanies him in ;;the show.  She is a multi-national award winning female yodeler, perhaps the fastest in the world as America’s Yodeling Sweetheart and also a tribute artist to Patsy Cline; singing also to the tunes of many other female country-western stars.

They add all of their experiences in bringing to the audiences exciting anecdotes about Duke with Paula singing and yodeling, incorporating real Western history and folk lore while keeping their audience on the edge of their seats.  Their forte lies in performing for churches, RV parks, schools and theaters, as well as corporate and special events.  Together they have traveled far and wide.
He is an actor, author, entertainer, corporate host, emcee and motivational speaker, as well as a look-alike and impersonator.   

Ermal was raised in a “mercy home”, similar to an orphanage, in Birmingham, Alabama when his father deserted his mother and the rest of his family just after he was born.  During WWII, his mother remarried and sent for him in the Motor City, old Dearborn, Michigan.  Like a typical boy, he ran away from home and joined the Marine Corps.  When he came out, he got his first job in the hot melt shop of a steel mill for 3-1/2 years working for wages at $1.72 per hour.  He made rent payments by working double shifts as often as he could.  While hoofing it through his childhood years, mostly on his own, this inspired Ermal to become an actor with visions of becoming another John Wayne.  He put his writing on hold, wanting to experience first hand what he was to write later down the road. He married the former Miss Elizabeth Mary "Betty" Patterson, of Wyandotte, Michigan and then moved his wife and two children, Elizabeth Mary and Ermal “Bill” to Hollywood, California to break into motion pictures.  To become the professional actor as he should, he studied and performed Chekov, Shakespeare, Wilde, Williams, and more playwrights although his heart and soul  was in doing Western films. Then one day, he performed in the lead role in a one-act play at California State University at Los Angeles, The Purification, using actions established by the Duke as a cowboy.  “I suppose no one knew it but me.”  His third child Daniel Walden was born the year before, and he continued to work full time and attend school at night and take some classes during the day to earn his degree.  It was important to him, as no one in his family of three brothers and three sisters ever earned a degree, let alone his mother or dad.  This Motivational Force kept Ermal grounded as he pursued every facet of his professional life while "home on the ranch" where he and Betty worked hard on instilling the American Work Ethic into their Family of three children, Elizabeth Mary, Ermal “Bill” and Daniel. 

He took up more acting classes at Paramount Studios after graduating from college with a BS Degree in drama, and found himself with Jerry Paris, an acting coach who accepted the unbridled task of teaching him and who later, would become a close and devoted friend.. “Just before his passing away, Jerry told me that I would appear as a principle actor in his next film, a third sequel to "Police Academy".  Paris made for certain that Ermal was firmly planted on the set, constantly preparing him for his "Big Break”.  However, as Fate would have it, instead, Ermal was cast in the supporting role of Randolph Hearst in "The Patty Hearst" movie, playing opposite Natasha Richardson. 
Ermal has performed in many types of films and plays. He appeared with Tom Hanks as his butler in Bonfires of the Vanity and has appeared in dozens of sitcoms such as a regular principle character on “Samta Barbara. In “The Twilight Zone”, “General Hospital”, “Superior Court”, “The Judge”, “Evening Shade” with Burt Reynolds, “Delta”, “The Golden Girls”, as well as movies made for TV such as “Woman Against Odds”, “Lies Before Kisses” and “The Black Hole” as well as lesser roles in many others.

He also recently starred in Star Quest a Sci-Fi movie opposite Burt Ward from the Batman series..
He has appeared on stage with Jean Stapleton, and Marion Ross. On Hollywood and Vine Ermal starred in Medea at the Stardust Grill and won rave reviews.

He wrote, directed and produced his one-man show “Memories with John Wayne and Gary Cooper”. Ermal is the actor who is doing all those “COORS LIGHT commercials as the Duke.  Duke's face is digitized onto Ermal’s body.  Fully utilizing his writing and acting talents, Ermal’s one-man show as the Duke is a composition where he scored and produced the Life Story of John Wayne (from the cradle to the grave) in entertaining anecdotes and yarns.  As a raconteur, Ermal is a frequent speaker, host and emcee at corporate events, supper clubs, seminars and organizations.  He performs as a professional host and emcee, giving motivational speeches about the Duke’s life and movies that encapsulate between 15 minutes to two hours in pure entertainment. He is a well-diversified man of many talents, culminating in one character:  the Western Cowboy, beloved by people around the world.

His life has been devoted to John Wayne in that he covers all aspects of his impersonation of JOHN WAYNE.  He does the talk, the walk, and the nuances in all facets of his very being on the screen.  He performs as Duke in weekly half-hour cable TV segments as the Duke in first person talking about his life, his movies, and giving personal anecdotes.  Ermal started out performing and continues to do exceptionally well as and, as the professional impersonator, is ready at the drop of a “Stetson” to impersonate him. 

Ermal performed in Sonora, California on the location site of “High Noon” on location sites during the annual Sonora Film Festival, on Railroad Days in Jamestown at their famous Jamestown Railroad and High Noon sites along the rails of Oakdale.

He is an ordained minister with a Masters Degree from the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Strawberry Point, California and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Ermal has been the pastor of three churches in the course of pursuing his acting career.  Again, as Fate would have it, shortly after his return to acting, Hollywood asked him to perform as the Gary Cooper double, and then, the John Wayne look-alike.  Having established himself in this rare niche, he can honestly say that his life-long dream has come true. FIRST COWBOY MINISTER of all time.

With an undisputed track record consisting of four degrees, two-and-a-half years in law school, Marine Corp experience, a rough-and-tough steelworker stint, cowboy stuntman thrilling the tour trams at Universal Studios, expertise on the Wild West, and a John Wayne and Gary Cooper impersonator, he has put his daily life-long experiences to work for him in all that he does, while remaining an humble and pious man.   His creative writings reflect his no bars philosophies.  Ermal does not hold back.  Moreover, as an ordained minister, he still conducts weddings as the Duke in Western or military wardrobes on location, in a church, or aboard Duke’s famous yacht the “Wild Goose".  

Ermal has written patriotic poetry as: “John Wayne, American”, “Just a Piece of Cloth”, “America’s Kids Today”, and others that he recites on-stage and/or on horseback. Ermal has been told  throughout the years, (on more than a hundred occasions) that he is more of the Reincarnation  and Embodiment of the Great John Wayne than an impersonator, following in the footsteps of one of America's Great Heroes, inspiring those  around him by seeking his dreams in his own devout and dedicated way.

I tell you - his is the GREATEST PERFORMANCE OF AN IMPERSONATION THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. And, most of you already know that I have been in the motion picture business ever since I was ten years old. . . . His act is not good - IT IS GREAT.  IT IS EXCELLENT!”  Ned Shaheen – Hollywood Producer

“Saw your TV show – Great. " - A Fan. Burt Kennedy. 
The late Burt Kennedy was the writer and director of several of the best John Wayne movies.

To hone and perfect his writing ability, Ermal drew upon his rich life-time experiences and lessons learned by being a Marine, a steel man, a stuntman, and a man from the Deep South.  To date, he has authored seven Western novels with a single theme, BRAZOS.” “Across The Brazos", "The Man From the Brazos", "Call of the Brazos", "We Conquer or Die", "The Last Bullet", "The Ghost of Ginny McBride" and “Beyond the Brazos” are the seven books he has finished, respectively.

Ermal's goal is to carry the theme to new levels.   For those who are not fluent in Spanish or Basic Cowboy-ese, there is the River that runs some 870 miles through Texas.  It means, Arms of God" and is spelled out in his first novel, "Across the Brazos".  Legend has it that whenever a man and a woman enter the Brazos and the River churns up, it is a glowing Good Luck Omen that the Princess blesses the Couple with Love. Indeed, with this is the Life Story of a Man who has met and conquered his Glowing Brazos, inspiring and entertaining all those whom he meets and those that meet him.

For more information:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Temporary ramp closures on Interstate 10 at Salome Road (Exit 81) Monday

The Arizona Department of Transportation is working on a project to improve eastbound and westbound Interstate 10 (from mileposts 80-112) east of Quartzsite, Arizona. As the project progresses, the ramps at Salome Road (Exit 81) will be restricted intermittently as crews work on road repairs on the eastbound and westbound ramps on Monday, January 5.

The temporary ramp closures are scheduled to take place 
between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

I-10 will continue to be restricted to one lane eastbound and westbound within the work zone while the project is completed. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of January.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule.

Be prepared for the winter driving season. Learn what you should have in your vehicle and refresh your winter driving skills on ADOT’s “Know Snow” website at


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