The family of an international aid worker from Prescott who was killed while being held captive by the Islamic State group wants a playground built in her memory.

The Daily Courier in Prescott says Kayla Mueller's parents are hoping the local chapter of the Kiwanis service organization can raise $80,000 for the Kayla's Hands playground.

The project is one of the top 10 entries vying for $25,000 in a competition sponsored by Kiwanis International.

Cronkite News

A state representative is calling for a legislative hearing to restore a veteran pilot-training program at Yavapai College. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs halted G.I. Bill-funded enrollments in March.

Lee Allison/Arizona Geology

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has unanimously endorsed a Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment of a proposed volcanic rock mine near Prescott. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the move is a response to requests by concerned locals.

The Prescott City Council has approved a resolution opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes as national and local groups are attempting to place legalization on the ballot.

The Democratic Party now knows who will run against Republican Paul Gosar in November.

Otwell Associates Architects

City preservation officials in Prescott have approved a design to replace the Whiskey Row buildings destroyed by last May’s fire.

Zac Ziegler / KNAU

Scenes of wildfires are almost commonplace this time of year in the southwest

Photos of billowing smoke and threatening orange flames…

Firefighters weighted down with equipment…

Homeowners looking weary and frightened…

Behind the dramatic images though are sometimes hundreds of men and women putting in long hours in poor conditions, doing dangerous work.

Media reports about the Gladiator Fire, southeast of Prescott, routinely mentioned rough terrain slowing down fire fighters.

Here’s an idea of just how rough that terrain is.

The Gladiator Fire has topped 16,000 acres, but the blaze has slowed considerably this week.  

It grew by leaps and bounds in its early days. 

A major reason has been the Red Flag weather warnings that have plagued most of the 12 days the fire has been burning.

But proper planning and frequent reevaluation has helped keep the fire at bay.

Gerry Perry with the Gladiator Fire Incident Management Team said, "“Every day there’s a strategy that’s briefed, and the firefighters are deployed in accordance with that strategy.”

Kari Greer / US Forest Service

The Gladiator Fire grew only a small amount Wednesday despite weather conditions that had previously made the fire grow rapidly.  

The fire's damage now stands at 15,600 acres.  The fire made no significant gains on Wednesday. 

Containment levels have also stayed the same at 26%.

Large flames continue to burn on the interior of the fire, but fire lines and hot shot crews are containing the spread of the fire.

High winds and low humidity continue to keep a red flag warning in effect in the area.

Kari Greer / US Forest Service

The growth of the Gladiator Fire seems to have stalled despite high winds and dry conditions.  

The fire did not add any acreage overnight.  It stands at 15,600 acres.

The fire is 26% contained, and fire crews seem to have a good hold on the fire in crucial areas, such as the borders creeping towards Crown King and Towers Mountain.

Gerry Perry with the Gladiator Fire Incident Management Team describes how the line is holding near Tower Mountain.