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Prior to the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 8, Camp Verde Unified School District Superintendent Dennis Goodwin took the time to pen a lengthy letter to parents and approximately 1,600 students, providing information and announcing developments.Camp Verde Middle School science teacher Brian Tankesley greets incoming eighth-grader Lili Anzar, 12, shaking her hand Monday, Aug. 8.

Those who deal regularly with Goodwin were not surprised by his candor: “As we all know, there are many challenges with each new school year. Unfunded state and federal mandates, new state and federal mandates and the search for resources to continue our technology upgrades are just a number of issues that we will face during the coming year.

The adolescent population of the Verde Valley — particularly those at risk, such as homeless or exploited youth — have gained a powerful advocate in Yavapai County Community Health Services Pediatrics Program Manager Dr. Cody Conklin-Aguilera.Dr. Conklin Aguilera

As Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan quipped to a small audience at Camp Verde Community Library Wednesday, Aug. 3, “$20,350 is nothing to sneeze at.”Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan visited the Camp Verde Community Library last week to award a grant in the amount of $20,350 for the library to grow its early literacy programs for the Spanish-speaking community.

The amount represents a Library Service and Technology Act grant given to the library to grow its early literacy programs for the Spanish-speaking community. With the funds, CVCL plans to expand library services by incorporating music, movement, culture and technology into programming, as well as update the library’s Spanish and bilingual collection of materials for children up to 5 years of age.

Any description of the new 17,000-square-foot Camp Verde Community Library will likely fall short, especially before it’s completed, but the attempt is worthwhile if it gets locals excited about visiting — which is exactly what Library Director Kathy Hellman wants.The backside of the new Camp Verde Community Library building has access to three levels. The ground floor entrance goes to a conference room that can be used after normal library hours for meetings. The second floor features a balcony that mirrors the building’s front, and the top level will be used for astronomy workshops.

One of the area’s most invasive species has a rather misleading name: Tree of heaven calls to mind a plant of ethereal — and even elusive — beauty.Doug Fasteen, left, and his wife Christie work to remove a tree of heaven with Tony Gioia, standing, holding branches out of the way. The Camp Verde Tree Advisory Council was removing invasive species from Main Street.

But while few would call trees of heaven ugly, they are anything but elusive. Their broad-leaved limbs can be found drooping everywhere in the Verde Valley. Even with one’s eyes closed, trees of heaven can’t be avoided: The smell they exude has been variously described, falling somewhere between sweaty gym socks and rancid peanuts.

During the past two years, Sebra Choe has worked for Camp Verde Community Library as its programs and outreach coordinator, moving into that position after her initial hire as teen programs manager.Sebra Choe is the new economic development specialist for the Town of Camp Verde. Choe formerly worked at the Camp Verde Community Library.

On July 18, Choe took on her new role as economic development specialist, working under Economic Development Director Steve Ayers. There, she will assist Ayers in assisting businesses looking to locate or expand into the Camp Verde.

One can’t help but notice the skyline is undergoing a major change adjacent to Cliff Castle Casino: The casino’s new hotel, a six-story structure, is the Verde Valley’s first of its size and scope.Cranes can be seen from miles around in Camp Verde, with their long arms piercing the sky. Situated next to Cliff Castle Casino, the construction equipment is responsible for helping to erect what will become the casino’s new hotel.

Tim Hnedak, senior vice president of marketing and business development for co-developer DreamCatcher Hotels, said that he expects to have the parking garage completed by the new year, allowing for increased capacity for events and guests. The hotel itself, he added, is scheduled to open spring of 2017.

Armed suspects robbed Camp Verde’s Maverik convenience store at 541 W. Finnie Flat Road, Friday, July 29, at approximately 12:02 a.m.A shot of the suspects who robbed the Camp Verde Maverik.

According to Camp Verde Marshal’s Office Cmdr. Jacquelyn MacConnell, “Three subjects entered the store with white shirts wrapped around their heads, two of whom had knives. After threatening the store clerk, the suspects made off with over $150.”

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