Take a trip to Tombstone and it’s easy to forget what millennium you’re in.
The town’s streets are lined with cowboys dressed thematically from the Wild West and horses drawing carriages roam the streets. It’s rare to find information about the town online and almost everyone knows the mayor on a first-name basis.
But there’s one area in which Tombstone is breaking the stereotype of an Old West town and making adaptions when it needs to: handicapped accessibility.
Two women knelt in front of pictures from their childhoods and keepsakes. They began meditating in front of a personal altar: the first step of their “energy healing” class, led by shamanic practitioner Cheri Melton.
“It’s geared for people who are highly sensitive or empathetic,” Melton said.
Shamanism is the practice of helping people access their own inner healer. Melton said it is the oldest medicine out there and every culture has its own version of shamans.
Those in need now have to register with the Tombstone Community Food Bank to pick up food for Thanksgiving.
With donations running low due to the poor economy, the food bank had to implement the new rule to ensure food is going to those with the most need. Customers wishing to pick up food for Thanksgiving must be registered in the food bank’s database.
J.B. Drummett used to have the U.S. Border Patrol on speed dial.
The Southern Arizona rancher gives horseback-riding tours with his wife, Whitney, in what is part of an area known as “Cocaine Alley.” The area came under scrutiny after a Border Patrol agent was shot and killed in a friendly fire incident near Naco on Oct. 2.
He and his wife could spend hours in the desert on any given day, so it made sense to be able to contact the agency immediately, if something were to go awry. But after 10 years in Gleeson, J.B. Drummett sees a problem with the “Cocaine Alley” nickname — as do several other ranchers in the area.
The Tombstone Community Food Bank has issued a recall of its peanut butter after learning of a salmonella outbreak linked to food from Sunland Incorporated, according to the Director of the Tombstone Community Food Bank Sharon Edquist.
“I have notified a majority of my clients and we’ve had probably around 75 calls this week alone and I’ve gotten nine jars back” Edquist said. “Fortunately, nobody has gotten sick.”
Fed up with Minnesota winters and persuaded by a colleague, John Nicolais packed up his ’78 Nissan Datsun in the summer of 1984 and drove across the country to Sierra Vista.
He eventually migrated his pharmaceutical career to Tombstone, becoming the city’s staple pharmacist and go-to medical professional for the last 17 years.
His tenure officially came to an end last month when he announced his retirement and the Tombstone Health Mart Pharmacy’s change in ownership to Tony Roether. Nicolais also sold Roether the Tombstone General Store and his independent pharmacy in Sierra Vista.
When Nicolais first met Roether, he had a feeling Roether would be the person to take over his three businesses.
When Sherry Edquist became the director of the Tombstone Community Food Bank in February, she walked in to find a roll of Jimmy Dean Sausage and a pack of salami in the freezer. The food bank fed only 221 mouths that month.
Today, Edquist’s freezer is full of various meats and produce, with an additional cooler outside. There are aisles of non-perishables, and a steady flow of donated food each month. The food bank fed 823 people in July.
Another milestone for the Tombstone Community Food Bank happened on Friday, when it became an independent nonprofit after its three-year contract under Tucson’s Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona expired, Edquist said.
Is the town “Too Tough to Die,” also too tough to progress?
The Smoke-Free Arizona Act, which was signed into law in 2007, prohibits smoking in most enclosed places and places of employment. Under the ordinance smoking is also prohibited within 20 feet of all business entrances, open windows or ventilation systems.
Though the law has been in effect for five years, Tombstone has not fully complied.