Originally published Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 07:25p.m.

The Friday Catchall:

• CELL USE & TEXTING – The county supervisors are considering a cellphone and texting ban while driving. A public hearing is set for Wednesday, Sept. 19.

It is ironic.

State officials complain when the federal government does not act; thus, they work on legislation in the meantime. Yet, when municipalities or counties do so – in lieu of legislative action – the state is not too happy.

The first has happened with immigration, border control, and myriad other measures. The latter saw state lawmakers upset that Bisbee outlawed plastic bags, for instance, to control litter; in that case, someone complained and the attorney general had to step in. Bisbee rescinded its ordinance.

In the case of cellphone use and texting while driving, no one disputes the losses – except maybe industry lobbyists. Many people have become victims of other drivers being distracted behind the wheel. Some people have died.

Our own Sen. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, has worked for years on texting while driving bans. She was able to secure one, but only on new drivers. Others, such as for all ages or devices, failed for lack of support from her fellow legislators.

Its time has come, folks.

The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday will hold a hearing for the public, as to whether Yavapai County should regulate the use of portable communication devices and texting while operating a motor vehicle. Watch the Courier for more on this!

All but three states ban texting for all drivers, the only exceptions being Arizona, Montana, and Missouri.

Irony No. 2: While there is no ban specifically making texting or driving illegal in the state of Arizona, the state does have distracted driving laws. We all know texting and talking on the phone while you are driving puts you at higher risk for being involved in a car accident.

I don’t think those current laws go far enough … or are they enforced?

• GREAT MONTH – September is a great month around here, especially for nonagenarians (people between 90 and 99 years old).

I had a nice talk with an old rodeo friend this week, Jim Konecny, who was calling from the hospital.

Jim related that he will be 95 next week (he was in the hospital for a tune-up). He added that he is the fifth person in his family to attain nonagenarian status! He added that the month of September is exceptionally important in his family – births, wedding anniversaries, and such.

Then I learned that our venerable Living Legacy, Prescott’s “First Lady,” and all-around non-stop advocate, Elisabeth Ruffner, will celebrate her 99th birthday this month.

While Jim remains active (I would hope in rodeo – you must see his photos!), Elisabeth is the “Energizer Bunny;” her secret to a long and fruitful life – “She’s always working on something,” her daughter, Melissa Ruffner, said.

I am happy to say the success of this month has roots in my family too; it includes my wife’s birthday and the day when she said she’d marry me.

Congratulations, Mr. Konecny and Mrs. Ruffner!

• PICK(s) OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): So many to choose from, noting a certain lifestyle flair Saturday, Sept. 15 – the Western Extravaganza at Santori Ranch, 955 W. Road 2 North, Chino Valley, with proceeds going to Horses with Heart; Equifest at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, 840 Rodeo Drive, Prescott; and Cordes Lakes Day (parade starts at 11:20 a.m.) at the Cordes Lakes Community Center. Visit dCourier.com for details.


Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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