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Sedona Fire District Assistant Fire Chief Terry Keller will bid farewell to the SFD this month as he prepares for his new role of fire chief for the Montezuma-Rimrock Fire District.

Terry Keller, who served as interim fire chief in Sedona until the hiring of SFD Fire Chief Kris Kazian, will begin his duties with the Montezuma-Rimrock Fire District on Monday,  Feb. 4. Keller, who served as interim fire chief in Sedona until the hiring of SFD Fire Chief Kris Kazian, will begin his duties with the MRFD Monday, Feb. 4. Keller will replace retiring fire chief Mike Van Dyke.

Keller’s new position was announced in the first week of July. He applied for the position last March. Keller worked in Sedona for the last 24 years. He’s served as assistant fire chief since 2007. Prior to that, he worked as an SFD battalion chief. Keller began his career as a volunteer for the district and worked his way to assistant chief of operations.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 23, edition of The Camp Verde Journal.

Soil expert Neal Kinsey will be in the Verde Valley later this month to lead an intensive three-day soil fertility workshop.

Neal Kinsey will teach a three-day soil workshop to help local growers increase their yield by improving their soil fertility.The workshop will run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 28 through Jan. 30, at Red Rock State Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Kinsey, who is an agricultural consultant and author of the book “Hands on Agronomy” has worked with growers around the world at increasing their yields and improving their soil by increasing fertility. Kinsey has worked with a variety of growers from certified organic farmers and gardeners to large-scale farms, ranches, landscapes and forests.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 16, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

The Camp Verde Town Council voted at its Jan. 16 meeting to consider increasing the salary for elected members of the body from $50 to $250 a month.

Councilwoman Carol German cast the lone “no” vote against the pay raise.The increase could not take effect until the next elected council is seated or possibly longer, depending on how the increase ultimately takes shape. Councilwoman Carol German cast the lone “no” vote against the proposal.

“It would not take shape until the next council,” Town Manager Russ Martin said. “You cannot give yourself a raise, so to speak, that’s state law.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 23, edition of The Camp Verde Journal.

The Mingus Union High School District Governing Board has begun the process to replace retiring Superintendent Tim Foist.

Mingus_LogoAt its meeting on Jan. 17, the board approved a contract with Aylstock Consulting to lead the board in the superintendent search.

Mike Aylstock, a former superintendent of the Sedona-Oak Creek School District, proposed a tentative timeline for the search that would culminate with the board making the selection for the new superintendent in early April.

In an effort to provide the community input into the selection process, Aylstock will conduct meetings to receive suggestions from the community with respect to expectations of the new superintendent.

This information will be compiled and presented to the Governing Board as the stated qualifications and characteristics of applicants for the position are developed.

These meetings have been scheduled in the Mingus cafeteria on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Mingus Union High School students will have the chance to share their ideas with Aylstock beginning at 3 p.m.

MUHSD employees can meet with the consultant beginning at 4 p.m.

Interested parents and community members are invited to provide their input on the position starting at 7 p.m.

The Cottonwood Police Department is working to identify a man who was killed in a fire the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 9, at a medical practice on Candy Lane.

A Cottonwood Police Department officer looks over his notes while investigating an early morning fire Jan. 9 at a medical office off of Candy Lane in Cottonwood. Cottonwood Fire Department responded around 5 a.m. to battle the fire, which was contained to a utility space attached to the building. After the fire was extinguished, a body was discovered in the room and  investigators are still trying to identify the man. Damage was limited to the attached building.Police received a 911 call just before 5 a.m. that a fire was in progress at a medical office. The police notified the Cottonwood Fire Department crews, who responded and began battling the blaze.

After the fire was extinguished, the police discovered a burned body in an attached storage building that was also caught in the fire.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 16, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

Cottonwood Area Transit will be operating regular service on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21.

Cottonwood Area Transit will be operating regular service on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21. All Americans with Disabilities Act and Fixed Route Services will be running for the Red Line, Blue Line, Paratransit and Verde Lynx.

The CAT administrative offices will be closed on Rev. Martin Luther King Day Jr., as will the call center.

Any ADA riders who want a ride on Monday or Tuesday are encouraged to call the CAT office no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. The CAT office will open at its usual time of 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

CAT offices may be contacted at 634-2287.

CAT provides two fixed routes and ADA Paratransit serving Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Verde Villages and Verde Lynx commuter service between Cottonwood and Sedona.

??Medical marijuana patients got an early Christmas gift from Arizona’s Court of Appeals.

On Dec. 20, the three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals for Division I declined an expedited appeal filed by Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery aimed at preventing medical marijuana dispensaries from opening their doors.On Dec. 20, the three-judge panel declined an expedited appeal filed by Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery aimed at preventing medical marijuana dispensaries from opening their doors. The court’s action lets stand a lower court’s ruling on Dec. 3 that effectively allowed the first dispensaries to open around Arizona.

Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judges Michael J. Brown and Diane M. Johnsen heard oral arguments from Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Thomas P. Liddy and plaintiff’s attorney Kelly J. Flood on Dec. 20 and declined to overturn Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Gordon’s ruling against Montgomery and in favor of a planned dispensary in Sun City.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 9, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

In 2006, the town of Clarkdale created an overlay district for State Route 89A, a district designed to help commercial development along the important highway link between Clarkdale and Cottonwood.

Questions about parcels of land at the intersection of State Route 89A and Lisa Street in Clarkdale have brought to light problems with the way the overlay district is supposed to do its job. Town planners once envisioned a series of controlled four-way intersections with traffic lights, but instead the Arizona Department of Transportaion decided to construct roundabouts restricting access to other sections off the highway.In September of this year, questions about a parcel of land at the intersection of SR 89A and Lisa Street brought to light a few problems with the way the overlay district is supposed to do its job.

It’s because when the town first came up with the overlay district, town planners envisioned a series of controlled four-way intersections with traffic lights, according to a December report given to the Town Council from staff.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 9, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

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