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Former Camp Verde Mayor and resident Robert L. Burnside, 70, died Aug. 14, in Camp Verde.Former Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burnside

Burnside was born Sept. 11, 1945, in Bellefontaine, Ohio, to Glen and Rose Burnside.

From the age of 16, he spent his life as a plumber. He worked as a contracting manager and foreman for Darwin and Jeremy Rushton at Yavapai Mechanical for 22 years, opening a local branch in Camp Verde that remained open for over 10 years, employing 126 people through its duration. Prior to Yavapai Plumbing, Burnside worked for Marlin Mechanical for 10 years, Glendale Plumbing for 10 years and for his father’s company before that.

A house fire in the Verde Lakes area resulted in the death of one man, Aug. 8.The house at 3055 Clinton Lane in Camp Verde caught fire the evening of Aug. 8. Originally a two-story building, the structure was completely involved in fire by the time first responders arrived. A body of a deceased male was found inside the building and transported to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner Office.

At 7:44 p.m., Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority was dispatched to 3862 E. Clinton Lane to respond to a report of a house fire. CCFMA arrived with three fire engines, two water trucks, an ambulance and a battalion chief to the incident.

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.

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