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Another tool to solve the issue of congested parking in Jerome was passed during the Jerome Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 — at least residential parking.

Council approved Ordinance No. 432, which will issue parking permits for residents to park on city streets. The passage came after months of discussion and alterations. Each resident will get one permit and will be selected on a lottery system.

Jason Finger, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board vice president, has weighed in on consolidation.

On Dec. 5, the governing board voted unanimously to consolidate COCSD with Mingus Union High School District as a single school district, formally requesting Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter to put the measure to voters on the November 2018 ballot.

Federal agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Office located and apprehended Benjamin Fabian Pita in Tucson on Thursday, Dec. 14, according to a press release issued late Monday, Dec. 18.

Pita was arrested and booked on a federal parole violation warrant. Pita will remain in the Marshal's custody until the federal case is adjudicated.

After a wait of nearly a month and a half, Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin has released a statement about the investigation into why Camp Verde Marshal Nancy Gardner was placed in administrative leave.

Gardner was placed on leave Oct. 23 for undisclosed reasons. She remains on the payroll. In the interim, CVMO Cmdr. Brian Armstrong is acting as marshal.

“Understanding that this investigation involving Marshal Nancy Gardner has taken longer than I had initially believed it would, I would like to release the name of the organization doing the investigation in hope that it helps everyone involved understand why, as I do now, these things take time,” Martin stated Monday, Dec. 4.

“The Arizona Department of Public Safety agreed to take this on at a limited cost, based on expenses incurred, not charging for their personnel and have been working since the first day to complete this investigation,” Martin said. “I have been impressed with their professionalism and appreciate they understand the important nature of the work they are doing and the desire to get a thorough job done as soon as possible, not only in our situation but others that occur,” Martin said. “I have provided the following as an explanation at this point, and again ask for your patience as I understand this may take a few more weeks to complete, but that again is subject to change.

“In releasing this information it is my intent to explain the time it has taken and again ask that everyone refrain from speculation in this situation.” It is unclear what division of DPS is handling the investigation.

According to DPS, “The Investigations Bureau .... provides assistance to other agencies for case specific needs.”

"I contacted the director’s office and do not know what division handles these,” Martin said, adding that he was referred to “someone” from the director’s office.

“Beyond that I do not have division information.” Martin praised CVMO’s personnel for their professionalism while Gardner is on leave.


Because of the itinerant and mutable nature of homelessness, getting truly representative population figures are difficult. In January, the Arizona Department of Housing published a 2017 report that stated 167 homeless people had been identified in Yavapai County.

128 of the unsheltered were located in the Verde Valley. 128 people may seem like a small figure compared with the overall population, but it is still a population that experiences significant need, especially during cold winter nights.

As I showed up to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Camp Verde substation to begin my ride-along with Deputy Ashley Campbell, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no expectations for the day with the only intention of learning what it was like to be a sheriff’s deputy.

Little did I know, I was in for one of the most educational ride-alongs I have experienced to this day. I have to say, Campbell didn’t just provide an interesting ride-along; she also provided a very educational experience. She broke down everything she was doing into specific detail and the reasoning behind certain situations.'

A packed house of scholarship seekers participated in the third annual Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night at the Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The event, hosted by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona in partnership with Yavapai College, brought together 17 scholarship providers. Students from American Heritage Academy, Camp Verde High School, Mingus Union High School, Sedona Red Rock High School, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education, Verde Valley School and Yavapai College attended.

The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board voted unanimously to consolidate COCSD with Mingus Union High School District as a single school district Dec. 5.

“We respectfully request the [Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter] call an election to allow the collective district voters to determine the consolidation question at a November 2018 election,” Tuesday’s motion read.

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