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Any given day in the Verde Valley, dozens, if not hundreds, of dogs are walked off their leashes — and yet the city ordinance is clear: Dogs must be leashed at all times outside private property. The sole exception is when dogs are inside the Riverfront Dog Park.Rob and Yvonne Cole with their 2-year-old Rottweiler Cami at Riverfront Dog Park. The dog park is the only area within Cottonwood city limits, other than private property, where unleashed dogs are allowed.

Enforcing leash laws, however, is difficult. Many dog owners simply ignore the requirement — if they are aware of it at all.

A recent post in the Verde Santa Fe newsletter and then circulated to various city employees, highlights the risks for passersby and dog owners of failing to follow the letter of the law.

End of life matters are never comfortable, never tidy — a fact that isn’t lost on the staff and volunteers of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Valley View Care assisted living facility in Cottonwood.File image/Larson Newspapers

Opened in October 2014, the facility specializes in hospice care for individuals lacking the resources to stay in their own homes.

Prior to the opening of Camp Verde Community Library’s massive new facility, CVCL Director Kathy Hellman promised an increase in programs — many specifically designed to bring in students, families and individuals interested in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics subjects.File photo/Larson Newspapers

Leading up to election day, Laura J. Hamblin, a human resources and employment lawyer local to Prescott, wondered at the lack of information regarding Arizona Proposition 206.Roundtable participants at Camp Verde Community Library listen to an address by human resources and employment lawyer Laura J. Hamblin, top left. The event, hosted by the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, focused on the effects Proposition 206, passed by Arizona voters in November.

“I thought, ‘I can’t believe the business community is not educating voters as to the implications of this law,’” Hamblin said in a roundtable address hosted by the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 19. “All of the ads were for the proponents of [the proposition] .... Ignorance is not a defense. That’s where the chambers of commerce come in about educating employers.”

Yavapai Food Council has been helping those who are food insecure in a variety of ways and the numbers for 2016 are in.File photo/Larson Newspapers

Executive Director Amy Aossey sent out a report detailing the council’s accomplishments.

A total of 345,715 meals were distributed countywide. The nonprofit achieved this number working with volunteers in the community, faith-based organizations, schools and donors.

Though only six months into his tenure as interim superintendent of Mingus Union High School District, Eric Harmon is thinking seriously about the future of his students, teachers and staff.Eric Harmon, interim superintendent of Mingus Union High School District, said he is hoping to align instruction at the high school by implementing Beyond Textbooks, an online curriculum that can be modified by teachers.

“The school’s great, the teachers are great and the kids are great,” Harmon said, but offered an unambiguous critique of the way K-8 and high schools interact with each other in non-unified school districts throughout the Verde Valley and Sedona. “There’s no articulation for K-12 schools in the Verde Valley, as far as I can tell.”

In October, Sedona City Attorney Robert Pickels called Senate Bill 1487 one of the worst pieces of legislation he’d ever seen.Sylvia Allen Arizona State Senator

Two months later, his feelings haven’t changed.

On Dec. 14, more than 20 members of the city of Sedona staff and council members as well as council members from Cottonwood, Jerome, Camp Verde and Clarkdale met in Sedona City Hall. There, they talked on a variety of issues facing the 2017 state legislature with state Reps. Bob Thorpe [R] and Brenda Barton [R] as well as state Sen. Sylvia Allen [R]. All three represent the Verde Valley.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District will lose its superintendent, Barbara U’Ren, on Friday, June 30.Babrara U'ren

She recommended to the COCSD Governing Board that it appoint Assistant Superintendent Steve King to replace her.

U’Ren would not expand on her future plans beyond stating she would be pursuing other professional avenues, including consulting for the district.

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