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Unlike its neighbor Cottonwood, Clarkdale chose not to embrace the Tobacco 21 initiative, rejecting a resolution that would restrict the sale of tobacco and vapor products to those 21 and older.File photo/Larson Newspapers

A 3-2 vote during the Clarkdale Town Council meeting Dec. 13 defeated the resolution, with Mayor Doug Von Gausig, Vice Mayor Richard Dehnert and councilman Curtiss Bohall voting against and councilmen Scott Buckley and Bill Regner voting in favor.

After spending considerable time talking about moving Camp Verde Unified School District back to a five-day school week, Superintendent Dennis Goodwin is singing a new tune.Dennis Goodwin is the superintendent of the Camp Verde Unified School District. While originally opposing the four-day school week, seeking to revert to the classic  five-day model, Goodwin has since changed his mind.

“I’ve become a convert,” Goodwin joked Thursday, Dec. 15, adding that the perception that student outcomes will improve simply by way of an additional weekday in school is probably incorrect. More important is that students have more complete weeks of schooling during the year.

Rachel Hernandez and her son, Jaime Valenzuela, officially kicked off Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s 13th homebuild Dec. 13 in Cottonwood.Michael Niemann of HercuTech, general contractor Jim Lawler, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Tania Simms, homeowner Rachel Hernandez and her son Jaime turn dirt at the ground breaking of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity Home Build No. 13. The project broke ground on Dec. 13, and will begin construction early in 2017.

Hernandez began the laborious process of acquiring a mortgage and two-bedroom home construction approval through Habitat for Humanity mid-year and got final approval in October. As part of the qualification process, she and 19-year-old Valenzuela put in 300 to 400 sweat-equity hours and raised funds for Habitat for Humanity.

Camp Verde’s ranchers and farmers are about to receive a boon by way of the Town Council: An amendment to the tax code.New Camp Verde Town Council members Buck Buchanan, left, and Dee Jenkins listen to a presentation concerning the amendment of a tax code. The amendment allows for an exemption of sales tax for the purchase of seed and chemical spray, feed for animals and animals bought for slaughter.

The amendment, approved by a 6-1 vote of the Camp Verde Town Council Dec. 7 allows for an exemption of sale tax for the purchase of seed and chemical spray, feed for animals and animals bought for slaughter.

During his first appearance as mayor of Cottonwood, Timothy Elinski wondered aloud why anyone would seek public office.Mayor Tim Elinski

“After this election, I don’t know why anyone would run,” Elinski said during the Cottonwood City Council regular meeting Dec. 6. He called the campaign between President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton “ugly” and “vitriolic.”

The bill for a college education can be a major burden for families in the Verde Valley, but there are ways to reduce costs.Zack Garcia/Larson Newspapers

On Dec. 6, more than 150 high school students, returning college students, parents and school staff gathered at Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus for a scholarship awareness night hosted by the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona in partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County.

This season marks the second time the city of Cottonwood has supported the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition’s One Person, One Night program, which provides warm, safe beds for the homeless during cold winter nights.Ron Kidd stands outside a shopping center, hoping someone will offer some help. The Cottonwood City Council voted to donate $2,500 to the Old Town Mission, to implement the One Person, One Night program, that will provide homeless people with motel rooms to prevent exposure during the winter months.

“The One Person, One Night program provides a motel room to homeless individuals, for at least one night, to prevent someone from being exposed to frigid temperatures,” stated a document prepared for the Cottonwood City Council by city clerk Marianne Jiménez.

According to Mark Moorehead of Giving Angels Mission, this season has already presented its challenges.Zack Garcia/Larson Newspapers

“Donations are down significantly this year, our boxes are mostly empty and we’re in a bit of a panic,” Moorehead stated, adding that all of the items generated by the all-volunteer nonprofit are given directly to low-income seniors.

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