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Latest News in Cave Creek, AZ

These Kentucky Attractions Are Millions of Years Old…With One Exception [VIDEOS]

The Commonwealth of Kentucky celebrated its 230th birthday in 2022. When I was a kid, I always took great pride that we made it into the "top 15." I was also a little disappointed that we DIDN'T make it into the original 13 colonies, but Mom explained that we WERE; it's just that Kentucky was part of Virginia.But 1792? That's INFANCY compared to how old Kentucky REALLY is. Statehood and borders are political distinctions, not indications of how geographically old we really are.Multiple attractions in Kentucky are actu...

The Commonwealth of Kentucky celebrated its 230th birthday in 2022. When I was a kid, I always took great pride that we made it into the "top 15." I was also a little disappointed that we DIDN'T make it into the original 13 colonies, but Mom explained that we WERE; it's just that Kentucky was part of Virginia.

But 1792? That's INFANCY compared to how old Kentucky REALLY is. Statehood and borders are political distinctions, not indications of how geographically old we really are.

Multiple attractions in Kentucky are actually MILLIONS of years old, and if any of them have visitor centers, you'll likely get their histories.

That's most definitely the case with regards to Mammoth Cave, a world heritage site and a product of erosion that began around 10 million years ago...LONG before the gift shop opened.

The world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave stretches some 400-plus miles under central Kentucky and is one of the nation's most popular attractions. By the way, I've had family members out West ask me if there are any unguided tours, and the answer is a firm "no". They do a lot of spelunking out there, so I can understand the question.

Have you gone boating on the Ohio River, lately? Are you wear that your big old watercraft my be a bit heavy on the "back" of something that's between 2.5 and 3 million years old? I jest, of course, but that IS impressive. Let's take a journey WAY back in time to the last Ice Age.

And yes, when the opportunity presents itself, I WILL incorporate drone footage into a story. And the beautiful Ohio River Valley PROVIDES such an opportunity:

Have you ever gone camping at Lake Cumberland State Park? You probably know that the lake is just a wide spot in the Cumberland River, but did you know that that river is ANCIENT? According to the National Park Service, erosion began with the Cumberland Plateau, and--lo and behold--the beginning of the Cumberland River, most of which is Tennessee, by the way.

If you're wondering how lakes develop within river systems, this description of the formation of Lake Cumberland from the Cumberland River might serve as a blanket explanation.

One of Bowling Green's most popular attractions--and getting more popular by the year--is Lost River Cave.

Some friends of mine and I spent New Year's Day of 1993 exploring the cave before it became a commercial property. It was a blast untouched, but I'm glad the city recognized its value and poured money into it to maintain it. Here's a description from VisitBGKY.com:

So the next time you visit any of Kentucky's natural beauty, take a carbon-dating kit with you. (I know, I know. It's not like you can grab one at WAL-MART, but you know what I mean.)

You never know just how long ago the ground on which you trod was formed.

Rare Earth Gallery–A Gem in the Desert

It has been said that there are two things you must see when you come to Arizona, The Grand Canyon and Rare Earth Gallery in the rustic Town of Cave Creek, Arizona.The moment you walk through the doors at Rare Earth Gallery in Cave Creek, one finds themself awestruck, you can’t help but take in the rainbow of dynamic colors and textures. The showroom sits on over 1.25 acres, which host spacious grounds for outside landscape art while hosting an indoor gallery of 9,000-square feet of dedicated be...

It has been said that there are two things you must see when you come to Arizona, The Grand Canyon and Rare Earth Gallery in the rustic Town of Cave Creek, Arizona.

The moment you walk through the doors at Rare Earth Gallery in Cave Creek, one finds themself awestruck, you can’t help but take in the rainbow of dynamic colors and textures. The showroom sits on over 1.25 acres, which host spacious grounds for outside landscape art while hosting an indoor gallery of 9,000-square feet of dedicated beauty to art of the earth. All speckled with hand-selected treasures of the earth.

“Rare Earth Gallery prides itself on housing one of the largest private mineral collections in the world under one roof. Not only do we have breadth, but we have depth,” says Chad Brandfass, vice president of the gallery. “There are thousands of different minerals in Rare Earth Gallery and each one of them is hand-picked. There is nothing bought in masses. Every single item in the gallery was individually hand-chosen one-at-a-time for its beauty, quality, and presence.”

So, how does Rare Earth Gallery find these wonders, especially amid a pandemic? Well, the search and passion to find unique treasures never really stopped for Wayne Helfand, president of Rare Earth Gallery. Helfand and Brandfass have traveled the globe to bring their unique finds back to Cave Creek.

It’s no wonder the showroom is filled with spellbinding natural stones, glass art, jewelry, and décor, and has something for everyone. For more than 40 years Hefland has been discovering rare and unusual gems and minerals. You can’t help but relate and feel his enthusiasm for the gifts of the earth. It's his passion to share these treasures with everyone he meets.

“There is no one-size-fits-all for minerals and home décor. Every item is a piece of art. We call it ‘art of the earth,’” explains Brandfass. “It is hard to say what is going to move someone as everybody has such unique differences in the types of art that they like. When procuring these items Wayne absolutely looks for things that catch his eye but also takes into consideration the quality of specimens and diversity.”

What’s on the horizon in 2022 for the must-visit gallery?

The co-owners just launched a new fountain company—bringing the most incredible stone fountains in the world to rock enthusiasts.

“These fountains are constructed out of the natural materials that you see in Rare Earth Gallery, and we have our own coring and installation facility. Somebody can come in and choose any item in the gallery and have it made into a fountain,” says Brandfass. “It is really going to be an exciting incorporation.”

They will also have a multitude of fountains premade for customers to choose from.

Helfand and Brandfass also have plans to open a sound healing center—incorporating the gallery’s wide selection of sound bowls made of genuine quartz crystals and infused with natural gemstones like amethyst, citrine, and tourmaline. They plan to offer a multitude of classes, lessons, demonstrations, and more.

In addition to all this, “We have our own custom metal fabrication studio here in Cave Creek. All of the stands that our minerals come on within the gallery are made in house by our metal artisan,” adds Brandfass. “Our metal shop is growing leaps and bounds, the quality that we’re producing is incredible and second to none.”

It’s clear that despite a “rocky” year across the country with the pandemic, it hasn’t slowed this “eighth wonder of the world” down. Rare Earth Gallery keeps on growing and it’s no wonder why.

A selection of Rare Earth Gallery’s treasures can be seen online (www.rareearthgallerycc.com) but the gallery’s vast array of one-of-a-kind pieces is something you really must see in person. The showroom is located at 6401 E. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek. For more information, call 480.575.4360 or visit www.rareearthgallerycc.com.

Multiple people hurt in fire near Cave Creek Road and Sweetwater Avenue

--> Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department says multiple people were injured after a house fire Friday morning.Crews were called to the area of Cave Creek Road and Sweetwater Avenue around 9 a.m. for a house fire.Video from the scene showed flames billowing from a home in the area with the fire extending to multiple vehicles and another home.Crews were reportedly met with dangerous conditions, includ...

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Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department says multiple people were injured after a house fire Friday morning.

Crews were called to the area of Cave Creek Road and Sweetwater Avenue around 9 a.m. for a house fire.

Video from the scene showed flames billowing from a home in the area with the fire extending to multiple vehicles and another home.

Crews were reportedly met with dangerous conditions, including multiple surrounding structures on fire, downed power lines, and exploding propane tanks.

Fire crews say a man in his 30s suffered third-degree burns while attempting to get back into the burning home to save a lost animal.

“It’s gone…gone. Completely demolished,” said Rey Quinones when talking about his home.

Rey and his dad, Dave Quinones are heartbroken. While they were able to get out, four out of their five dogs didn’t make it.

“Those dogs were my everything, and now that I’ve lost them, I don’t know what to do,” said Rey in tears.

Rey says he and his dad were sleeping when their dogs started barking.

“My son said get out there’s a fire,” said Dave.

Dave, a former firefighter, immediately sprang into action.

“I grabbed the hose and started putting water on the fence to try to keep the flames from coming over,” Dave told ABC15.

Rey was just trying to get the dogs out, but he just couldn't do it.

“The heat was so overwhelming,” said Rey’s dad.

“What I’m wearing right now is what I have to my name,” said Rey.

“Was anything saved?” asked ABC15.

“Nothing, besides this little girl,” he answered.

Lucy was the only dog that made it out, and the barking is the reason they did, too.

“You owe them your life,” said ABC15 to Rey.

“And I tried to save theirs. I tried to save theirs, but I couldn’t,” he responded in tears.

While Dave is okay, Rey was taken to the hospital.

ABC15 was there when he walked out of the emergency room.

“Second and third-degree burns from my knuckles to my arm,” said Rey.

Another family living on the property also lost two dogs. A woman in that household was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

“I’m thankful that I have my dad, and our health, but like I said my dogs are everything to me. It’s just hard,” said Rey.

The father and son have started an online fundraiser to get them back on their feet.

They say they have a long road ahead but are confident the community will help them as they start over.

Hizain Camacho lives across the street and did his best to help when he saw the flames.

"I started to put water on it and knocked on the window,” said Camacho. "We were hosing down the home when we heard children.”

Camacho says he rushed behind the burning home and hopped a fence.

"I started breaking the glass [windows] and started hearing the screams,” added Camacho.

He then jumped inside the mobile home and saw the family trying to escape through the front door.

"And the fire was there. I said 'hey, come over here,” added Camacho. "They told me, 'Can you help me?' I said, 'Yes, I will. I'm here to help you. Let's go,’” added Camacho.

The American Red Cross told ABC15 they are helping the families, and that volunteers will come out to any fire to offer services, if they are called.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Councilman Bob Morris to run for Cave Creek mayor

Councilman and long-time Cave Creek resident, Bob Morris, is running for mayor to continue his mission of improving the town.“The town has had a wonderful year this year,” Morris said. “I think every aspect of town government is working, but now we’ve got to fund the fire department, finish the water renaissance, finish fixing equipment and deal with a drought. Those are the kind of things that I like doing, and that I’m good at. I’ve done it all my life and I’m just looking forward to the cha...

Councilman and long-time Cave Creek resident, Bob Morris, is running for mayor to continue his mission of improving the town.

“The town has had a wonderful year this year,” Morris said. “I think every aspect of town government is working, but now we’ve got to fund the fire department, finish the water renaissance, finish fixing equipment and deal with a drought. Those are the kind of things that I like doing, and that I’m good at. I’ve done it all my life and I’m just looking forward to the challenge. It’s not work, it’s fun.”

Morris announced his campaign in a statement sent on Jan. 13. In it, he described he was born and raised in Arizona, and has called Cave Creek home for 20 years. He has worked as a chemical engineer, business strategist, financial analyst and executive manager.

In 2012, Morris joined the town’s Water Advisory Committee. Morris said he got involved because he saw an issue with the water quality and companies and wanted to help remedy it. He was later appointed to the town council and has served in that capacity for three years. Morris said during that time, especially in the past year, the council has accomplished a lot of good for Cave Creek.

“This has been an absolutely smashing council for the town,” he said. “Long-term problems have been taken care of, like the general plan, and it’s all been through engaging. We had dozens of meetings on fire. We had many meetings on the general plan. That spirit of openness and bringing people in is paying off for the town. I think the willingness to listen to ideas is what distinguishes success and failure.”

Morris said he wants to continue that open dialog by sitting down with residents to share information. The town council’s last few years haven’t been smooth. Residents frequently made their opposition and opinions known, but Morris said this ensures the right decision is being made.

Shortly after Morris released his statement, Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch said he would not run again.

“I’ve been talking with him and friends about stepping out of the middle seat for about six months. I’m not going to be running (for mayor), but I am going to step down and run for council instead,” Bunch said. “I mean, I’ve served three terms and we’ve done a lot of good. A lot. My prayer is that it will continue.”

Morris said he plans to continue Bunch’s work. Morris also offered kudos to Daisy Mountain, Scottsdale and Phoenix, who have helped Cave Creek move forward. He also made sure to praise Town Manager Carrie Dyrek, Town Attorney Bill Sims and Vice Mayor David Smith for their behind-the-scenes work.

“I’m really proud to be part of an organization that’s clicking and doing good. Whether it’s staff or council, I think we hit the ball out of the park.”

Cave Creek council OKs plan for indoor golf club

The Cave Creek Town Council unanimously approved the Tee Box Indoor Golf Club site plan for recreation and entertainment at its March 21 regular meeting.The facility is set for south of Blue Ridge Drive and east of Cave Creek Road.The proposal was submitted by Rick Pennell from Deutsch Architecture Group on behalf of Jim Bucklin. Bucklin worked with town staff during the process to ensure the plan meets the necessary requirements. The site plan is in full compliance with the town’s zoning ordinance and no exceptions were ...

The Cave Creek Town Council unanimously approved the Tee Box Indoor Golf Club site plan for recreation and entertainment at its March 21 regular meeting.

The facility is set for south of Blue Ridge Drive and east of Cave Creek Road.

The proposal was submitted by Rick Pennell from Deutsch Architecture Group on behalf of Jim Bucklin. Bucklin worked with town staff during the process to ensure the plan meets the necessary requirements. The site plan is in full compliance with the town’s zoning ordinance and no exceptions were requested. The Cave Creek Planning Commission discussed and then recommended the proposal for approval in a 5 to 1 vote at a Feb. 17 meeting.

“I think this application has undergone intense scrutiny by both the planning commission and this council,” said Councilwoman Kathryn Royer. “I wish the applicant the best of luck and the most successful business that this town has seen in a long time. They have done their due diligence in this economy.”

At the planning commission hearing, Bucklin offered the proposal of an indoor golf club.

“Indoor golf is dependent on a technology that basically allows you to hit a golf ball into an impact screen with a launch monitor placed behind you to measure the travel distance of the ball and depict it onto the screen, as if you were in a golfing environment,” Bucklin said.

“The technology is advanced to the point where you can have a realistic indoor golf experience to have game improvement capabilities, so you’re getting better at playing basically practice mode. Or, you can actually play simulated golf courses from around the world.”

Bucklin said an indoor golf facility would allow fans to enjoy the sport during Arizona’s hot summers, as well as the winter when there is decreased daylight and increased costs.

The building would have 12 hitting bays, each with partition walls that can make it more private and immersive experience. It will also include a lobby, kitchen, bar and patio. Bucklin emphasized that the business is not a bar; the food and beverages are supplemental.

The one-story building would be a little over 10,150 square feet, and comply with height, color scheme, landscaping and other requirements.

The applicant proposed the modification of an alley to create a second access point and discussions with the town engineer began.

The surrounding land is zoned as commercial on three sides of the site, with the east side being a residential zone. Because of this, the applicant is required to install a 6-foot-high solid fence between the alley way and adjacent residential properties.

At the planning commission hearing, noise was cited as a concern. The applicants said they are taking measures to ensure it isn’t a problem.

“I don’t see any situation where you’re hearing anything outside the building,” Bucklin said. “We’re significantly doing things to minimize it, even inside, because otherwise it would not be a very good user experience.”

Councilman Ron Sova questioned if 34 parking spaces are sufficient if the facility is successful. The proposal assumes several guests will carpool, but Sova said this seems unlikely. He added that with 12 bays and four people at each bay, that’s 48 people, and even if a few of them drive together, there will also be staff who need to park.

However, Planning Director Luke Kautzman said that while this was a valid concern, based on the zoning ordinance, the proposal meets the criteria for the minimum number of parking spaces required.

Financially, the indoor golf club would generate additional sales tax revenue and an additional sewer customer.

Planning commission and town council members were impressed by the Tee Box’s technology. Mayor Ernie Bunch said he thought it would be a great addition to Cave Creek and a place he would frequent.

“I just want to say best of luck to you. All the time, people are coming up to me and saying we need more things for families and kids to do in town, and I see this as an opportunity for kids to take up the sport of golf,” Bunch said. “And there are four people in this room right now who were on the tee box at 500 Club this morning, and we wish that we’d been playing inside because it was cold and windy.”

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