Mon, Jan

Cottonwood police are looking for a suspect in an alleged stabbing on Friday, Dec. 8. 
Benjamin Fabian Pita is a 23-year-old Native American man, described as 6 feet tall, weighing 165 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos. Pita was last seen wearing a black-and-yellow shirt.

Pita is currently on supervised federal parole and the FBI has been notified of probable cause exists to arrest Pita, according to Cottonwood police Sgt. Monica Kuhlt.

According to Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin, Town Council’s approval of the largest expenditure in the town’s history will come at no additional cost to residents. On Nov. 16, Town Council unanimously approved up to $7 million in bond funding for construction of the Camp Verde Sports Complex.

The motion did not require a vote from the public, as the funding did not stipulate raising and pledging property tax. Instead, the funding is a pledge of future excise [sales] tax.

If you’re traveling to and from Cottonwood to Interstate 17 along State Route 260 this month, be aware: The Camp Verde Marshal’s Office is sending a clear message to slow down or pay the price.

According to Darby Martin, CVMO’s chief administrative assistant, CVMO deputies will ticket “all drivers caught speeding and committing other moving traffic violations along State Route 260.”

Following a longer-than-anticipated drilling process, the city of Cottonwood’s test injection well adjacent to Verde Valley Fairgrounds is complete. “Late last night, we finally finished drilling the well,” Natural Resources Director Tom Whitmer said Wednesday, Nov. 29 “We elected to go down to 800 feet rather than 1,000.”

The injection well is intended as a solution to a problem discovered in June, when Glendale-based Pineview Consulting determined that direct underground injection at the yet-to-be-completed Riverfront Water Reclamation Facility would not be possible.

After winning a gold medal for Best Sauvignon Blanc at the Arizona Republic’s Arizona Grand Wine Festival in January, students enrolled in the enology program at the Yavapai College Southwest Wine Center in Clarkdale closed out the year by earning top marks at the Jefferson Cup Invitational competition in Kansas, Mo., Nov. 16 and 17.

“The latest student-crafted wines to be trumpeted [are] a 2016 Mourvedre and a 2015 Viognier,” Yavapai College Marketing and Communications Coordinator Jennifer McCormack said. “The Mourvedre earned a coveted Jefferson Cup in its category...The Viognier won a bronze medal in the same competition.”

Camp Verde-based HVAC and plumbing company Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical is donating a complete heating and air conditioning system to two veterans. Though Goettl’s developed the idea and will provide the equipment and installation, Adam Moore of Tucson-based Veterans News Network is handling the applications. 
To that end, he has appointed a selection committee with the intent of choosing one veteran local to the Verde Valley and one veteran local to the Prescott quad-city area. Not including installation, the commercial equipment is valued between $10,000 and $15,000.

What do Camp Verde Unified School District, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Sedona-Oak Creek School District all agree on? Endorsing the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which uses eight indicators to measure how close Arizona is stacking up against the goal of reaching a 60 percent post-secondary education rate by 2030.
The Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2016. In addition to the local school districts named, Coconino and Yavapai counties have endorsed the Arizona Progress Meter.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King said he is unwilling to endorse a realignment of district schools until all of the information is in.

King, who entered his first year as superintendent for the 2017-18 school year following the departure of longtime COCSD Superintendent Barbara U’Ren, has been tasked by the COCSD Governing Board with exploring the possibility of realigning three of the district’s five schools into two kindergarten-to-eighth-grade schools — a move that would likely result in the closure of one of the three schools.

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