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Following a one-hour discussion, the Camp Verde Town Council approved a contract with Wendel Energy Services to perform an investment-grade audit of the town’s buildings, parks and wastewater treatment facilities.

The goal of the audit, according to Town Manager Russ Martin, is to “head in a greener direction and also save some money.” Wendel, a New York-based energy consulting firm, will determine the potential for energy conservation projects. It will also provide outlines of expected costs and probable payback schedules associated with said projects.

When Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Assistant Superintendent Steve King takes over the reigns from departing COCSD Superintendent Barbara U’Ren on July 1, he will inherit management of six schools — five brick-and-mortar facilities and one online educational program.

King admitted that filling U’Ren’s shoes will be a sizable task. “Barb U’Ren is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met,” he said, adding that U’Ren has worked diligently to foster a collaborative culture where the ability of teachers and staff to have a positive impact on children’s lives is maximized.

According to Chief Steve Gesell, Cottonwood Police Department is experiencing a major need for recruits — a situation, Gesell clarified, that is not singular to Cottonwood.Cottonwood police chief Steve Gesell stands in front of the Law Enforcement Heroes Statue at the Cottonwood police station. The department is emphasizing the quality of life here in trying to recruit officers.

The reason for the increased demand for personnel, Gesell said, is threefold:

  • An improving economy that discourages application to police departments due to other available jobs.
  • Continuing Great Recession cuts that have reduced police department budgets.
  • National anti-police rhetoric.

“It’s actually very concerning,” Gesell said of the situation, adding that the applicant pool was “shallow before this even happened.” According to Gesell, the factors outlined have made drawing from the applicant pool even more challenging.

Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Thomas Thurman knows how few people understand what a supervisor does.Tom Thurman, Yavapai County Supervisor District 2

“County supervisor is a pseudo-mayor to the unincorporated communities,” the recently reelected Thurman said, adding that his and other four supervisors’ duties include maintaining a multitude of roads, approving new subdivision development, managing liquor license applications, evaluating and adopting ordinances and overseeing the county’s criminal justice system, among others.

The Southwestern Winery is on Yavapai Campus, where manager Philip Brown and his students have won a gold medal for Best Sauvignon Blanc at the Arizona Republic’s Arizona Grand Wine Festival in Phoenix.

Philip Brown, manager of the Yavapai College Southwest Wine Center tasting room, refuses to take an ounce of credit for student successes — including a gold medal for Best Sauvignon Blanc at the Arizona Republic’s Arizona Grand Wine Festival in Phoenix on Jan. 6.

“It has nothing to do with me .... It’s all the students,” Brown said, adding that a major appeal of the college’s viticulture and enology programs is the emphasis on student achievement.

Residents of a trailer park in Rimrock received a shock when they woke Jan. 6: Notices, left on their cars and doors in the middle of the night alerted them that elevated levels of lead had been found in their drinking water system.

The trailer park, located at 2111 E. Beaver Creek Road, is serviced by a private water company, the Beaver Creek Store System No. 130351. According to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Public Information Officer Caroline Oppleman, the system provides drinking water to approximately 100 people.

Thursday, Jan. 5, marked Jacquelyn MacConnell’s last day as commander at the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office.Jaquelyn MacConnell

“She was here just short of a year,” CVMO Marshal Nancy Gardner said, but added that MacConnell made a significant impact on Camp Verde’s policing culture, building stronger bonds with the community and fostering an environment of collaboration between stakeholders.

Never let it be said that Mountain View Preparatory is a dull school.

Last week, students were greeted back to school after Christmas break by running a cheerful gauntlet of teachers and staff. To close out the week, students earned the right to see their teachers — and possibly their principal — get pied in the face.

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Verde Valley Weather

Cottonwood United States Sunny, 48 °F
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