Verde Valley Forum for Public Affairs President Dick Dahl was ready to announce the 2016 Educational Forum a success by 4 p.m, Saturday, Sept. 10.

“It’s been really awesome,” Dahl said, apologizing for summing up the event in such a manner but standing by the sentiment. He praised participants for staying out the course of the entire nine-hour day and the evening prior, engaging with approximately 90 of their peers in order to address the topic, “The Role of Post-Secondary Education in the Future of the Verde Valley Region.”

It’s been just about four years since the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office approved the permanent placement of deputies and a sergeant in the Village of Oak Creek. Since then, the crime rate has gone down while the department’s visibility has been on the rise.

Sgt. Brandon Rumpf took over command of the VOC sector less than two months ago but said things have gone better than he had expected.

“It’s going great,” he said. “People are really nice to us. One of the positive things is that the citizens are really connected to this area. There’s a really good relationship between the sheriff’s office and the businesses and the people who live here.”

Yavapai College Verde Valley Advisory Board President Paul Chevalier provided a list Aug. 31 of four items the VVBAC plans to present at the next Yavapai College District Governing Board meeting at Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m.

First, Chevalier stated that the VVBAC wishes to be on record in favor of a motion at the governing board’s March meeting.

The scam artists are at it again.

Due to a recent influx of reported Internal Revenue Service tax scam calls, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is reissuing updated informational warnings shared late last year. Almost daily, YCSO employees are receiving the scam calls, spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said.

The most common complaint involves scam artists acting as IRS agents and calling to demand money or indicate a tax refund is due as a means to obtain personal information. When the scammer claims an overdue tax payment, they will demand the taxpayer send cash via prepaid debit cards or iTunes gift cards. The calls are intimidating because many times the scammers are able to share specific knowledge they have regarding taxpayer identification in order to appear more convincing.

A voter proposition to regulate and tax the use and sale of recreational marijuana will be on the November ballot despite attempts by opponents to derail the effort in the courts.

On Aug. 19, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissed a 50-page lawsuit filed July 11 by 13 plaintiffs including Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, MATForce Chairwoman Merilee Fowler, Verde Valley Fire District firefighter Ivan Anderson, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who alleged the propositions’ organizers deceived voters by not providing enough information on petitions about the law’s effect on other state laws.

The temptation can be strong to minimize the impact of government energy- and water-saving efforts, assuming the costly changes are merely cosmetic — but as Mary Conner, administrative assistant for Yavapai County District 4 Supervisor Craig L. Brown, reveals, alterations to county facilities can lead to measurable savings for Verde Valley residents.

“Improvements made in 2013 to the Camp Verde Superior Court HVAC system alone reduced our energy costs by an average of 28 percent,” Conner stated. “Over the past three years, facilities employees have replaced over 133 tons of HVAC units that were inefficient and beyond their life cycle with new energy-efficient units at the Cottonwood Verde Valley Services building and Camp Verde Detention Center.”

As part of its 2016 rate review proposal, APS plans to increase the funding to help offset power costs for eligible low-income individuals and families throughout the state.

In addition, APS officials said the plan is to make it easier for eligible customers to enroll in the program.

“Currently about 85,000 customers receive assistance but we know more people qualify for discounts, and we want to ensure those who meet the requirements are aware of the help they can get,” said Stacy Derstine, APS’ vice president of customer service.

Around 9 p.m. on Aug. 2, 76 year old Homer "Mac" McClure picked up donated blood from the United Blood Services in Flagstaff, AZ. He left Pulliam Airport around 9:14 pm.

Shortly thereafter, residents in Kachina Village and Forest Highlands reported hearing erratic airplane engine sounds followed by a large crash. Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Department of Public Saferty, Flagstaff Police, Highlands Fire and AZ DOT responded to the scene of his crashed Twin Engine Piper Seneca approximately 5 miles southwest of the airport and approximately 50 yards east of State Route 89A.

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