Lt. J.C. Ives and his Grand Canyon adventure

By Marshall Trimble Little was known about the navigability of the Colorado River above Fort Yuma until 1858 when Capt. George Johnson took his steamboat, a side-wheeler dubbed the General Jessup upstream from Fort Yuma. On his heels was, Lt. Joseph Christmas of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers and his iron-hulled, 54-foot-long military stern-wheeler, aptly named the Explorer. They both set out to ...

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Ditch the Dating Apps: Professional matchmaker helps singles find love

By Jordan Houston It’s February, the season of valentines, and love is in the air – unless it isn’t. Cue renowned professional matchmaker Erica McKay.  The Minnesota native helms her own boutique matchmaking company, Erica Suzanne Fultz, and has spent over 20 years connecting men and women nationwide with their forever someone. Despite the rise of digital dating apps, McKay has built a reputation for hersel ...

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Aiming for a Good Time: C2 Tactical offers couples’ packages

By Annika Tomlin Chocolates and flowers are a great gift for Valentine’s Day, but for someone looking for something outside the box, C2 Tactical’s date night package might be the way to go. “The date night package was something that we wanted to create for customers to say, ‘Hey, let’s go do something fun,’” C2 Tactical managing member Vincent Vasquez says. “‘Let’s get out of our normal routine. Let’s do so ...

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Little Gertie the Gold Dollar was a feisty entertainer

By Marshall Trimble The boom towns of the Old West had a severe shortage of eligible women, and that void for the lusty young men was filled by what were euphemistically referred to as good-time girls, shady ladies, soiled doves and ladies of the evening. A woman who was on a socially higher level might call herself a courtesan. An alternative was provided on a census report that one referred to herself as ...

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Carrying on a Legacy: Black Mountain Guitar strikes a chord

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Music has embraced Ed Heisler’s life. A Marine City, Michigan, native, Heisler traveled south to the Detroit area to perform in clubs throughout his teens and early 20s. He stepped away from music to start a family and, after six years with Chrysler, packed up and moved his family to the Valley. “I started playing seriously when I moved out here,” Heisler says about the relocat ...

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‘Extremely Desirable Location’: Realtor sees North Valley’s housing inventory improving

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski In 2022, North Valley buyers and sellers can expect to see more of what resulted from the pandemic-fueled housing market — skyrocketing home prices, increased competition between buyers, the speed of action necessary to snatch a property off the market, and the reasons people are moving to new cities and buying homes. Demand was high and supply was low, resulting in a hyper-com ...

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Hot HOMES: Trendsetters are moving to Desert Ridge

By Sherri Plotke, Broker at Arizona Golf & Sun Properties Real estate was the hot dinner party topic in 2021, as the Valley led the country in population growth and annual appreciation increases.  Desert Ridge soon became Arizona’s largest master-planned lifestyle community. This multifaceted community includes single-family homes, luxury multifamily communities, residential golf estates, schools, high- ...

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Artists at Work: Celebration of Fine Art returns with high ambitions

By Alex Gallagher After seeing record sales of art last year, the Celebration of Fine Art has returned for its 32nd year with high energy and hopes for continued success.  Located off of Loop 101 and Hayden Road, 40,000 square feet of tents comprise home to 100 artists who have covered just about every inch of wall space with art and converted their slice of the space into their own studios where guests and ...

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Eclectic Harmony: Renowned violinist brings genre-bending sounds to Phoenix

By Jordan Houston Lucia Micarelli is not the average violinist. The New York native, who has toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a featured violinist and concertmaster, is known to seamlessly blend genres, ranging from bluegrass to Led Zeppelin, all on one stage. A powerhouse performer, Micarelli has captivated audiences by guiding them on a dynamic journey through her vast musical tastes — and she’ ...

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Tooting His Own Horn: Kenny G prides himself on entertaining shows

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski It’s 10:30 a.m. and saxophonist Kenny G has just finished his daily three-hour practice session. He’s prepared and ready to entertain Arizona Musicfest patrons on Saturday, February 19, at Highlands Church in North Scottsdale. “We’re looking forward to playing any gigs these days,” he says with a laugh. “Seriously, Scottsdale’s always fun. “I think we put on a really great show ...

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One-Two Punch: Reba McEntire is excited about Fight Night’s new charge

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Celebrity Fight Night has witnessed a changing of the guard, merging with Gateway for Cancer Research. This one-two punch has the approval of longtime emcee/country star Reba McEntire. “We’re really excited,” she says. “They’re really creative and innovative. They come with lots of excitement and enthusiasm.” Celebrity Fight Night is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the JW ...

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A Fun Collection: Hat fundraiser benefits Desert Foothills Library

By Allison Brown Andrea Markowitz has a fun collection of vintage hats and a desire to help enrich the Carefree community. So, she’s combining the two by raffling off the hats to benefit the Desert Foothills Library. The raffle will be held at the English Rose Tea Room from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 27. Tickets are $35 and include five raffle tickets as well as tea and cakes courtesy of the tea room. The ...

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‘Embrace the Mystery’: Jackson Galaxy says cats are just misunderstood

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Cat behavior and wellness expert Jackson Galaxy says the success of his appearances stem from a “shared energy.” “There are a lot of people who expect me to just step up to a lectern and start talking about cats,” Galaxy says via Zoom. “There’s everything from puppets to music to audience interactions. If people aren’t careful, I’ll pull them onstage. A lot of the show is impro ...

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Happy Endings: North Valley eateries serve sweet treats for dessert challenge

By Alison Bailin Batz For six weeks each year, Girl Scouts in Arizona participate in the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world: The Girl Scout Cookie Program. This year, the cookie season for the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council runs through February 27. As in years’ past, all the Girl Scout Cookies’ proceeds stay local to help girls fund impactful projects to benefit the community; e ...

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Extraordinary Rides: Mercedes S-580 4Matic sedan is first class

By C.A. Haire Mercedes Benz is noted as a top-tier brand in the automotive industry, and S-class sedans are its lineup’s flagship. If the sharp styling and large pointed star emblem on the hood don’t convince you, the $128,000 price tag of our test car certainly will. When you pull up to the curb driving an S-class, people know you have arrived. So, what are we getting for this fee? Under the hood is a soph ...

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