Spray-painting, boats sinking and fake skeletons: there’s no place like Parker, Arizona, and nobody covers it the way Parker Live does!
Dear readers: The Parker community is huge, and includes a ton of people who come and go from our shores all year long. Most of you don’t live here on a permanent, year-round basis, but consider yourselves river people nonetheless. You’re always interested in what’s going on here, whether you’re reading from hundreds of miles away or from right here in town. That’s why we do what we do! So thanks for another great year at Parker Live: Numbers are up by leaps and bounds yet again, as more and more people share Parker stories with their friends.
Here are the top ten stories of 2015, with highlighted links to the original articles. Happy New Year!
10. Spanky’s begins move to main drag
Popular boat and RV store Spanky’s announced a move to Riverside Drive on the much-discussed Alewine Property back in April. Since then, the new store has been taking shape, and Beachcombers has announced a new store beside it.
9. Homicide suspect shot after chase ends in Arizona
Police chased two murder suspects in a vehicle – a husband and wife duo – into La Paz County, AZ in February. The high-speed chase ended when a spike strip stopped the vehicle, after which cops shot Stephanie Hill as she allegedly grabbed a firearm. Her accomplice Victor Silva was then charged with her death, and a murder trial began in Parker in early December. A week before Christmas he was convicted of first-degree murder by a La Paz County jury.
8. Ways to master the Tube Float
Our guide to the massive Parker Tube Float, held each year in June, was a top hit this year on our site and comes in at number 8. Read it HERE.
7. Woman files for unemployment from school she defrauded
Jacque Nelson pleaded guilty to multiple counts of defrauding the Bouse Elementary School District and was sentenced at the start of the year to prison and probation. But she really provoked ire when she filed for comp pay from the school she stole from, after she was released on parole in October.
6. Fire destroys home on Lakeside
A fire, apparently started by some children, destroyed property in Lakeside 2, also known as Beanpot Hill. (Radio segment on the fire HERE.) A few days later, Parker Live featured the reaction of the owner of a home destroyed in the fire, a Texas lady who had been coming to the Parker Strip for decades.
5. Woman dies in custody, investigation started
A Parker resident was taken into custody on a warrant and booked into the La Paz County Jail, where she died several hours later while in a holding cell. Parker Live followed up by speaking at length with Lieutenant Epps at the Sheriff’s Office, who said that the incident was being handed to the Arizona Department of Public Safety for an independent investigation. We await the results from DPS.
4. Interstate crumbles, traffic diverted through Parker
A bridge over a wash collapsed near Desert Center, leaving the main artery between Southern California and Phoenix unusable for days. Traffic was diverted for a time through Parker, leading to miles of tailbacks. Parker Live’s suggested detours were shared tens of thousands of times.
3. Boat sinks, then gets stolen, later found in desert
After a video of a boat sinking on the river is watched almost a quarter of a million times, the boat’s owner got in touch with Parker Live to say that it had been stolen a few hours after the video was captured. And it wasn’t insured! A week later we reported that it had been found in the desert, stripped and dumped. The theft is still being actively investigated by law enforcement.
2. Man spray-paints landmark rock, pisses community off
By far the angriest reaction of the year was provoked by Bob Garland, a man who was photographed spray-painting a well-known river landmark, a photo which he then posted to his public Facebook page. At first he cooperated with law enforcement but, according to the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, Garland is still outstanding in his responsibility to answer for the graffiti. However, he did speak up to apologize on Parker Live.
1. Skeleton Tea Party discovered, story goes viral
It was the oddest story we’ve ever covered: a tea party with two skeletons that became famous after their discovery by a random snorkeler captured the imagination of news editors around the world. After 3 days of intensive media attention, two diver buddies responded to Parker Live’s appeal for anonymous information, telling us exclusively how they had put them down there for their own enjoyment. Months later, the snorkeler who spotted them swiped them from the bottom of the river and put them on his deck for Halloween. They were later returned. (Podcast episode on the story HERE. Top internet comments HERE.)
Parker Live delivers original and aggregated news and other content from the Parker Strip, the stretch of the Colorado River that joins the states of California and Arizona south of Lake Havasu. Join our Facebook page HERE!