National Bank of Arizona Robber


Bill Keller The Standard

GOLDEN VALLEY – San Bernardino County California Sheriff’s Deputies recognized an All Points Bulletin (APB) photo of John Harris Graham Jr., 52, of Golden Valley, as the wanted person for a recent robbery of the National Bank of Arizona in Golden Valley, and in turn informed Mohave County Sheriff’s Department. THE STANDARD published a photo of the robbery suspect entering the bank, in its Wednesday, July 15, edition. According to Mohave County Sheriff spokesperson Trish Carter, on Thursday, July 16 San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office contacted Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, identifying Graham as the man in photos taken by a surveillance camera during the robbery. It turns out Graham is the same man the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating for burglaries of two Automated Teller Machines in the Big River, California area. Mohave County Sheriff Detectives immediately went to a residence in the 4400 Block of Cibola Drive, a house Graham shared with his girlfriend. During a conversation with Graham, he confessed to the National Bank robbery. Detectives placed Graham under arrest without incident, then transported and booked him into the Mohave County jail.

River Medical ambulance service will continue

GOLDEN VALLEY – The question of who will be providing ground transport ambulance service in Golden Valley going forward has been answered. River Medical will continue serving the community as it has for more than 30 years. The Golden Valley Fire District (GVFD) mounted a strong challenge of that monopoly through its five yearlong effort to earn state certification to initiate an ambulance enterprise as well. This officially ended July 16 when the fire district governing board voted not to pursue the matter any further. The decision came roughly one month after the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services rejected the fire district’s certification application. The fire district board voted against taking the matter to court. Fire Chief Thomas O’Donohue said a final tabulation has not been calculated, but he said district expenditures associated with the ambulance pursuit should be in the vicinity of $600,000. Board Chairman Paul Gorham said the calculation is a difficult exercise since expenses stretched over such a long period, but that his best estimate is $768,000 in ambulance enterprise related district expenditures.

Pedestrian was struck by semi

LAKE HAVASU CITY – The Lake Havasu City police department has concluded its investigation of the death of a pedestrian. The probe began after police were notified of the discovery of a deceased person lying along the roadway of Highway 95 just south of the Mulberry Avenue intersection at 3:45 a.m. on June 2. The victim who was dead at the scene was identified as Christopher Berg, 22, Lake Havasu City. Police sergeant Kirk Cesena said witnesses told officers they saw Berg walking along the highway about 3:00 a.m. “The investigation revealed that Mr. Berg’s death was a result of being struck by a semi-truck and trailer,” Cesena said. “The Crash Investigation Team also determined through its investigation that Mr. Berg’s death was accidental and that no criminal charges would be brought against the driver of the semi-truck.”

95 Realignment cancelled

BULLHEAD CITY – A project intending to provide a new link between Interstate 40 and SR 68 in northwest Arizona is dead. Manager Toby Cotter has informed the Bullhead City Council that the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has pulled the plug on the study for the planned realignment of SR 95. “That was a project that begun about ten years ago, it never gained traction and now it’s being cancelled,” Cotter said. While a mix of city, Mohave County and ADOT funds were pooled for the study; he said it has been halted due to a lack of money to build the proposed highway. Cotter told Council members that Bullhead City should recoup a portion of the money it put into the study.

Camacho excited about transition

MOHAVE COUNTY – A veteran prosecutor has begun his new judicial career. Former Deputy Mohave County attorney Doug Camacho on Monday started his new job as Mohave County Court Commissioner. Camacho succeeds newly retired Commissioner Julie Roth. He’ll handle mostly child custody and domestic relations cases from his post in Lake Havasu City. Camacho said he’s excited about his transition to the bench. “I think the biggest challenge is trying to make sure that I make the right decisions for the people,” Camacho said. Camacho said he is interested in the possibility of someday climbing the next rung of the judicial ladder to Superior Court Judge.

Ruiz pilfered more than $1,000

LAKE HAVASU CITY – A Lake Havasu City teenager faces multiple theft charges for stealing money from the grocery store that employed her. Monique Ruiz, 19, was initially charged with seven counts of theft. Police reports indicate a loss prevention specialist contacted police after conducting an investigation of register cash counts coming up short. The specialist had already obtained a confession from Ruiz when police were contacted and displayed accounting and surveillance video evidence when they arrived. Ruiz, who worked part time in the deli department, allegedly took small increments on multiple occasions, pocketing more than $1,000 from April into June.

Sheriff to visit area


MOHAVE COUNTY- Sheriff Jim McCabe is taking a pro-active stance against crime by traveling throughout Mohave County conducting face-to-face talks with community leaders, business owners, and citizens. According to Sheriff spokesperson Trish Carter, Sheriff McCabe usually schedules his trips for Fridays, the purpose being to reach out to the community at large seeking their input concerning crime, or other problems in their specific area, and personally assuring the people of Mohave County, he will do what is necessary to keep their respective areas safe.

Teenager drowns while cliff diving

A North Las Vegas teenager apparently drowned while cliff diving and swimming with friends on Lake Mohave. The victim of the late afternoon June 30 incident is identified as Troynell Jermone Johnson, Jr., 17. The National Park Service said witnesses reported that Johnson began struggling while attempting to swim across Morning Star Cove. Two friends tried to assist him to safety, but they could not hold on and Johnson slipped under the water, according to NPS spokeswoman Christie Vanover. Divers using sonar equipment located and recovered Johnson’s body the day after he disappeared.

Palmer running for state senate

KINGMAN – A transgendered Kingman resident is running for the state senate. Janice Palmer has announced she has filed necessary paperwork to campaign as an Independent in District 5, which covers all of Mohave County. Palmer previously conducted unsuccessful campaigns for Mohave County Supervisor (2012) and the Kingman City Council (2011 and 2014). Palmer said she thinks District 5 senate incumbent Kelli Ward will challenge for John McCain’s U.S. senate seat in the August, 2016 primary election. One of Ward’s aides said that the Lake Havasu City republican will make he campaign decision before the end of July.

Oakleaf gets three years probation

Foster children have been removed from her home

BULLHEAD CITY – Bullhead City woman arrested in April for using her vehicle in an alleged attempt to strike her adopted 13-year-old son has been placed on probation. Mohave County Court Commissioner Billy Sipe declined to impose jail time for Margaret Oakleaf, 62. Judge Sipe placed Oakleaf on probation for three years. She was convicted of endangerment through a plea agreement. Oakleaf’s son, Michael Oakleaf, 43, is serving a 20-year prison term for molesting six of his young adopted brothers. At her June 25 sentencing, Mrs. Oakleaf told the Court the foster children have been removed from her home.

Ward to make decision on Senate Seat

It was in early February when state senator Kelli Ward confirmed she was exploring a possible bid to challenge John McCain for his U.S. senate seat in next year’s elections. Ward in recent months has criticized McCain in a number of news releases that have also solicited campaign contributions. An aide to Ward said on June 26 that the Lake Havasu City republican will be making a determination regarding her potential campaign for federal office sometime in the next 30 days.

Historical Preservation Commission delivers report

KINGMAN – Members of Kingman’s Historical Preservation Commission recently delivered an enthusiastic report to the Kingman City Council. Commission Chairman D’Arcy Wagner and member Angele Florisi told council members they greatly benefited by attending an annual historic preservation conference held in Flagstaff in May. Florisi said she was very impressed to learn how many other Arizona communities have successfully blended preservation efforts to benefit the economy. She said downtown Kingman is ripe for the same. “We have a downtown that is choc-full of beautiful old buildings that need local ownership and local business tenants to help revitalize Kingman’s economy,” Florisi said. She said locally owned businesses are more likely to spend locally than outside big box corporate entities. Florisi and Wagner said the local commission is energized and eager to work with the city for the benefit of all.

Singer takes the oath of office

KINGMAN – Retiring Kingman City Magistrate Kathy McCoy issued the oath of office to her successor during the June 16 city council meeting. Jeffrey Singer, a special district judge in Oklahoma, told Council and audience members he’s well aware he’s following the footsteps of an accomplished jurist and community servant. “I know she’s done a wonderful job for the city of Kingman for the past 29 years,” Singer said. “I just hope that I live up to the very high standard that she’s set.” A two-year contract approved by the Council provides an annual salary of just under $112,000. Singer said he’s eager to take the bench July 1. “I feel very fortunate, very lucky, very blessed to get this position,” Singer said. “I hope to make you all proud. I can assure you that you are going to have a Court and a Court system that will be fair, that will be impartial, that will be prompt and will keep cases moving.” Also attending the Council meeting for the swearing ceremony were Singer’s wife, daughter and parents.

Mayor wants to consolidate loans

KINGMAN – The Kingman City Council has approved Mayor Richard Anderson’s suggestion that staff research options involving the possible consolidations of two large loans. The loans for sewer plant upgrades total roughly $48-million. “I’d like to kind of get a sense to see what kind of flexibility the city may have,” Anderson said during the June 16 Council meeting. Council member Jen Miles said she would be concerned if restructuring the loans would increase the debt or associated interest.

Temporary sales tax may not be temporary

KINGMAN – Whether a “temporary” sales tax increase might enjoy a longer life was discussed before it was adopted and implemented two years ago by the Kingman City Council. The current council is now wrestling with the question of whether the one-half percent sales tax increase of 2013 should be allowed to expire next summer, or if it should be extended. Finance Administrator Tina Moline told council members during their June 16 meeting that the tax increase generates about $2.8-million a year that the city will lose if it sunsets. Council member Larry Carver noted that the previous council adopted the temporary increase on the premise that a replacement revenue stream would be defined and tapped. Carver said he could not support an extension since the city failed to facilitate or secure a new revenue source. Council member Mark Abram’s motion to further consider extending the tax increase passed with Carver dissenting in the 6-1. Moline said the Council can take action on a possible extension of the sales tax increase after conducting a public hearing during its July 21 meeting.

Race Track in the works

YUCCA - The Mohave County planning and zoning commission is recommending Board of Supervisor approvals of plan amendments and zoning sought for a race complex proposed for the rural community of Yucca, south of Kingman. Project components include a one-eighth-mile-long drag strip and a one-mile oval racetrack. Applicant Randy Lyles said the $1-million development has been endorsed by Yucca area residents. The project includes a theater for stand up comedy, music and other activity. County supervisors will consider the Commission recommendations during a July 6 board meeting. They’ll also consider recommended approval of rezoning to repurpose a structure for use as a motel near the Hualapai Mountain Lodge.

Head to return to law enforcement

MOHAVE COUNTY - The stage is set for Rodney Head’s return to law enforcement administration. The retired Bullhead City Police Chief will become Chief Deputy Mohave County Sheriff on July 1. Sheriff Jim McCabe selected Head for appointment to the position being vacated by the June 30 retirement of Greg Smith. County Supervisors, during Monday’s Board meeting in Kingman, approved McCabe’s annual salary recommendation of roughly $113,000. The vote came after Bullhead City resident Barbara Pape made a glowing recommendation for Head serving as Chief Deputy Sheriff.

Power restored after outage

KINGMAN - A central part of Kingman lost electric service early Wednesday, June 10. UniSource Energy said a pole -nesting bird and storm activity produced an arc in the line that caused the power interruption. About 1,800 customers centered around the Walleck Ranch subdivision reportedly lost power about 2:00 a.m. All customers had their service restored within 2 1/2 hours.

Water District board election

CHLORIDE - Each of the three Governing Board seats for the Chloride Domestic Water Improvement District are up for grabs in the next election to take place in Mohave County. Elections Director Allen Tempert said that’s the only matter that will be scheduled for a vote this summer. Tempert said the August 25 election will be conducted by mail. He said less than 100 people are expected to participate, so they’ll be processing the vote by hand rather than programming and employing ballot-counting machines. Each of three incumbents: Mac Graham, Bob Fess and Ron Hall are seeking re-election and new four-year terms of office. The challengers are Damon Grosz and Kelly Fielder. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters residing in the rural water district on July 31.

Magistrate selected

KINGMAN – A Special District Judge for the State of Oklahoma has been selected for the Kingman City Magistrate’s position. Human Resources Director Jackie Walker said the City Council voted unanimously June 5 to offer employment to Jeffrey Singer. “An appointed Council subcommittee will work with Mr. Singer to develop an employment contract and start date,” Walker said in a news release. “Time permitting, the committee hopes to bring an acceptable contract for ratification before the full Council at its regular meeting on June 16th.” Singer would succeed retiring City Magistrate Kathy McCoy. McCoy leaves the bench at the end of June. Singer has reportedly served five years as District Judge in Oklahoma, preceded by stints as an Assistant District Attorney, a private practice attorney and as judge for several Oklahoma municipalities.

Camacho to succeed Roth

MOHAVE COUNTY – A prosecutor in the Mohave County Attorney’s Office has been selected to succeed retiring Mohave County Court Commissioner Julie Roth. Presiding Judge Charles W. Gurtler said Doug Camacho will take the bench on July 13. Camacho received his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago. He was engaged in private practice in Missouri before he was admitted to practice law in Arizona 14 years ago. “Doug brings an extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system with him to the bench and is a very knowledgeable, dedicated and able attorney. The numerous letters of public support the Court received overwhelmingly highlighted Doug’s impeccable character, professionalism, strong work ethic and community involvement,” Jude Gurtler said. “This was not an easy decision as all the candidates have excellent skills and abilities, however, the consensus among the judicial leadership was Doug Camacho is the best fit.”

                 Celebrating 25 Years!


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