Last year, the Old Town Mission held its inaugural Operation: Back to School event at Clemenceau Museum, donating a much-needed resource to local families.

In a single day, the mission gave away over 500 backpacks filled with school supplies. It was an undeniable success, but for this year’s event on Saturday, July 30, General Manager Kellie Wilson and Assistant General Manager Jill Sweet have upped the ante considerably.

According to Yavapai College Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee Chairman Paul Chevalier, Verde Valley Campus Dean James Perey is looking to make a potentially career-defining move at Yavapai College Sedona Center.

“Perey is committed to this — he’s on the line for it,” Chevalier said of the upcoming two-year remodeling of Sedona Center. He added that the Yavapai College District Governing Board has allocated $3.8 million to the project and hired an architect to evaluate how best to use the available space.

A year ago, Scott Jablow had a lofty goal — one that is now coming to fruition.

That goal was to raise the nearly $80,000 necessary to build a 9/11 memorial at Sedona Fire District Station 6 prior to the 15th anniversary of that fateful day. It was announced this week that the goal had been met and that no further fundraising is needed.

Of the money raised, nearly half came from 45 donations of $911 each.

Rural communities face their own particular challenges, among them a difficulty in keeping businesses open.

One reason it’s diffiuclt to stay open — or even get started — is sub-par access to loans. According to Mary A. Chicoine, former chairwoman and board member of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization and current administrator and Revolving Loan Fund director, many banks are shy about lending to small businesses due to the perceived risks.

Former Cottonwood City Council member Randy Garrison is running as one of two Republican candidates for Yavapai County Supervisor District 3. Recently, he answered three questions pertaining to his family’s history of public service and his current bid with the county.

“We all know the issues we face,” Garrison stated in introduction. “They include water, transportation, growth and an aging demographic, overloaded infrastructure, high levels of poverty and threatened natural resources. We face them with the challenges of limited resources, a slowly rebounding economy, rising costs and a state legislature that diverts relied upon funding while steadily removing local control.

“Add to all of that the necessity of working with four other county supervisors in a cooperative and effective manner.”

By the morning of Friday, June 24, the Cedar Wildfire, located southwest of Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside, east of Highway 60 on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, was 42 percent contained.

Among the nearly 1,000 personnel attending to the fire, two members of the Verde Valley Fire District were hard at work, making sure the 15,000-gallon capacity helicopter had enough water to continue dousing the approximately 46,000-acre blaze.

After a nationwide search, St. Joseph’s Catholic School has named its new principal: Jackie Kirkham.

Kirkham replaces her husband, Greg Kirkham, who will be retiring as of the start of the 2016-17 school year. Greg Kirkham acted as principal for the previous eight years, overseeing numerous changes including the school’s move in the fall of 2015 to the property adjacent to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Even small towns are not immune to this national election season’s partisan politics.

On Tuesday, June 14, three Republican legislators representing Arizona’s Legislative District 6 addressed members of the Mingus Mountain Republican Club, offering pointed criticisms of Democratic party officials and policy.

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