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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.

Over the course of 24 hours, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter announced that five candidates had applied for appointment to the Yavapai College District Governing Board by deadline and reopened the search for more candidates.File photo/Larson Newspapers

The deadline for submission to take over Al Filardo’s seat representing Yavapai College District 3 — comprising Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek — passed Friday, Nov. 25. The five candidates were announced Nov. 29.

During its last meeting of the calendar year, the Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education Governing Board swore in two new members and a re-elected member.Mingus Union High School student Jacob Schwison receives his Student of the Month certificate from Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education Superintendant Bob Weir, center. Schwison was nominated by teachers Eric Banuelos, left, and Steve Darby, right.

Frank Vander Horst and Jeff Wassell took the oath of office, while Steve Pike was welcomed for another term. Vander Horst and Wassell replace four-year-term elected board member Charlene Day and 18-month appointed member Dan Brown.

Over the last few years, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has been at the forefront of the battle against criminalizing mental health conditions — and now, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, YCSO is getting a helping hand.File photo/Larson Newspapers

With the funds, the YCSO Mental Health Collaboration Program enters its planning and implementation stage. The ultimate goal of the program is to support law enforcement responses such as mental health courts, pre-trial services, diversion and alternative prosecution and sentencing programs, treatment accountability services, training for officers and reentry services to address mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

A vote in December could spell a major victory for science-minded students at Mountain View Preparatory.Mountain View Prep students Kayla Stewert, left, and Marco Castrita complete a quiz on chemical mixtures, solutions and what will dissolve, before moving onto the conservation of mass in Kelli Rhoda’s eighth-grade science class. In November the school was named one of the 25 school semifinalists in the second annual Northrop Grumman Foundation Fab School Labs contest, aimed at promoting STEM education by awarding five grants of up to $100,000 each.

Following a competitive grant proposal process, in November the school was named one of the 25 school semifinalists in the second annual Northrop Grumman Foundation Fab School Labs contest. Aimed at promoting STEM education by awarding five grants of up to $100,000 each, the contest requires schools to argue their case with an online video — a video that is then evaluated by the public and voted on.

One man was killed in a three-car collision on Cornville Road near Verde Santa Fe at about 4 p.m. Nov. 23.A 31-year-old Cottonwood man was killed in a  three-car collision around 4 p.m. Nov. 23. The driver of a Ford Escort in which the man was killed has been charged with manslaughter, aggravated DUI, extreme DUI, four counts of endangerment, four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal damage. A rear passenger suffered minor injuries. The driver of a Mercury van was airlifted to Flagstaff Medical center.

Justin Allen Goemaere, 31, of Cottonwood, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. He was riding in the front seat and not wearing a seat belt. Officials are conducting an autopsy.

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