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Just in time for the holidays, Cottonwood’s Benchmark Builders and Country Bank will be hosting a raffle that benefits two local nonprofits.

Raffle ticket proceeds will go to Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Wounded Warrior Project. Habitat for Humanity provides housing solutions, including home builds and improvements, to low-income families who experience difficulty gaining traditional loan approval.

Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin placed Camp Verde Marshal’s Office Marshal Nancy Gardner on administrative leave Oct. 23.

“It’s a process,” Martin said, Oct. 23, adding that he could not discuss specific details. “I talked to [Gardner] this morning and started it .... She handled it professionally, but it’s not a fun process.

Last week in The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde’s Louann Patterson said “[It] does no good to build a road if you don’t build anything around it.”

Patterson, co-owner of Copper Star Indoor Shooting Range along State Route 260, was referring to Arizona Department of Transportation’s SR 260 improvement project.

A 22-month-old Cottonwood boy has died after a from a third-story window.

Cottonwood Police, Fire & Ambulance personnel responded Friday, Oct. 27, to the 1700 block of East Elm Street during the early evening for a report of a toddler who fell from a window on the third floor.

There’s an interesting story behind this year’s Fall Carnival, which was scheduled for Halloween night.

Although the event was planned, it nearly didn’t happen. On Oct. 11, Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Administrative Assistant Robin Babbitt sent out a press release stating, “The annual Fall Carnival, presented by the city of Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Department, will not be held this year.

If Deb McCasland has her way, the Verde Valley will someday have a Yavapai College Career and Technical Education Center to match the facility in Prescott. McCasland, a Yavapai College District Governing Board member, represents communities in the Verde Valley including Beaver Creek, Camp Verde, Cornville, Middle Verde, Montezuma and Verde Lakes.

Following the resignation of board member Al Filardo in 2016, McCasland’s voice has been the most vocal in support of allocating a greater share of the college’s funds toward programs and facilities in the Verde Valley.

You likely notice a couple things while driving over the Interstate 17 bridges that span the Verde River: Noise and a bit of a wobble.

The two bridges are in need of repair. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Verde River has had deteriorating effects on the bridges’ supports, resulting in the need for repair.

Anticipated in fall 2018, ADOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, will undertake an estimated six-month federally funded construction project in order to “protect the bridges and maintain their structural integrity.”

The construction will stretch from mileposts 287 to 289. Traffic will be maintained in both directions along I-17 with no anticipated detours. “Interstate 17 Verde River Bridges Scour Retrofit” will include the following:

  •  The creation of temporary “dry work zones” within the river bottom near the supports.
  •  The construction of “armor protection” around each pier.
  •  The restoration of the river and temporary access points to pre-construction condition.
  •  The “staging and stockpiling [of] materials within the project limits and outside of the low-flow river channel.”
  •  The reseeding of land area disturbed by construction. 

The project will impact one of Camp Verde’s least-known parks, Parsons Riverfront Preserve. Camp Verde Town Council has previously voiced approval for further developing the 30-acre riverfront park, which sits alongside and under the I-17 bridges, as a wilderness preserve.

“Due to the need for access and staging and stockpiling of materials within the project limits, a future recreational resource ... will be temporarily used,” ADOT stated via press release.

"The development of this project is in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act [policy] ‘that special effort should be made to preserve the national beauty of the countryside and public park and recreation lands wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites.’”

Because construction will restrict access to the park, ADOT has made the project open to public comment. Comments must be submitted by Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Thanks to invested communities, the Verde Valley is never short on Halloween options.

The fun begins in Cottonwood: On Friday, Oct. 27, Saturday, Oct. 28 and Tuesday, Oct. 31 the Cottonwood Youth Advisory Commission and the city of Cottonwood host the second annual haunted house at the Cottonwood Youth Center from 6 to 10 p.m. $5 gets you in the door, with $1 off each can of non-perishable food donated up to $4.

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