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.

It was one of the last things Bruce and Rita Bond expected to see while leaving their house for the gym.

On Thursday, June 9, the retired couple backed out of the garage of the Village of Oak Creek home to see the word “STOP” spray painted in black letters on either side of the garage.

A Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputy on June 9 attempted a traffic stop for an equipment violation involving a silver 2003 Jaguar sedan.

The deputy initially spotted the vehicle on Western Drive in Cottonwood. Instead of stopping, the vehicle accelerated and fled.

Mother Nature can often be a fickle lady, as the U.S. Forest Service recently found out.

About 80 people turned out at the Yavapai College campus in Sedona on Wednesday, June 8, for a meeting hosted by the USFS to discuss the recent smoke impacts from nearby fires.

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