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Bill Helm

Stories by Bill

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Yavapai-Apache Nation commemorates Exodus with spirit run, blessings, cultural performances

CAMP VERDE – At about 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, a two-day 188-mile run from San Carlos will conclude as members of the Yavapai-Apache Nation will walk from Veterans Memorial Park below Cliff Castle Casino Hotel to the Yavapai-Apache Cultural Center on Middle Verde Road.

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Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Eva Ancira

CAMP VERDE – Eva Ancira has been with Montessori Children’s House in Camp Verde since its inception in 1998. According to the school’s director, Ancira’s love of children and passion for teaching have “not diluted throughout the years.”

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Should Bible studies be part of public school curriculum?

Issue being studied for Camp Verde schools; request also sent to Mingus Union

CAMP VERDE – In January, Cottonwood residents Barry Jones and Tony Isola asked the Camp Verde School Board to “teach the Bible for credit.”

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Site Steward program seeks volunteers

Archaeology Center regional coordinator for Sedona/Verde Valley sites

CAMP VERDE – After a lifetime in Southern California, Tom Burris moved to the Verde Valley in 2013.

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Westcott begins superintendent internship at Mingus

COTTONWOOD – In 2016, Mike Westcott was named Yavapai County Teacher of the Year. Now working with Mingus Union under an administrative consulting contract, Westcott is working on his superintendent’s certificate through Brandman University, an online program.

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Mingus attorney goes ‘beyond the basics’ of Open Meeting Law

COTTONWOOD – New to the Mingus Union School Board, Chip Currie admitted to the district’s attorney that he’d like to “define my role as a board member – and define my role as a citizen.”

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Water rights: anxieties, legalities, difficulties … and shortages?

VERDE VALLEY – As Natural Resource Advisor to the Camp Verde Town Council, Tony Gioia has been tasked with organizing the town’s water portfolio.

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An ironclad understanding of water rights

VERDE VALLEY – Ask anyone in the know about water rights and water use agreements and they will admit they don’t know it all.

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Camp Verde Economic Development Director Steve Ayers talks water rights, allocation, adjudication

VERDE VALLEY – Whether or not the Camp Verde’s town government acquires the Camp Verde Water System, Economic Development Director Steve Ayers “think[s] it’s in everybody’s best interests to get an understanding of the process, history and what proof exists of historic water rights, with the understanding that the inventory of surface water rights is limited.”

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Education committee to hear SB 1073 Feb. 19

Monday, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter announced that the amended version of SB1074 is “not yet ready for the committee.”

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Open Meeting Law, auditor general on Mingus Union agenda

COTTONWOOD – At Mingus Union’s January meeting, the district governing board discussed plans for its annual retreat, as well as an Open Meeting Law training.

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Fort Verde to hold 13th Buffalo Soldiers event

CAMP VERDE – With living history presenters, ceremonies and presentations, and 1860-era base ball, Fort Verde State Historic Park will hold its 13th annual Buffalo Soldiers event Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Fort Verde parade grounds.

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Camp Verde’s Kaylee Barker ‘my best person when I’m riding’

CVHS junior is school’s representative to Arizona High School Rodeo Association

One day, Kaylee Barker hopes to be an equine kinesiologist.

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NEW BUSINESS: Kirsti Baiamonte opens Magnolia Beauty Bar in Rimrock

RIMROCK – Ask Kirsti Baiamonte what beauty means. To her, it’s about “self-love and self-respect.”

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Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Natalie Rice

COTTONWOOD – Quality teachers are “dedicated, caring, and talented.” According to Ben Russel, lead administrator at Verde Christian Academy in Cottonwood, Natalie Rice is a quality teacher.

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WHOSE WATER IS IT? Salt River Project explains historic rights, questionable rights, water certainty

The website is a veritable treasure trove of information that breaks down water rights in the most layman of terms.

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Q&A with Salt River Project’s Lucas Shaw

VERDE VALLEY – Because irrigated property is generally more valuable than non-irrigated property, having historic water use should be important to many landowners, said Lucas Shaw, water rights analyst for the Salt River Project.

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Education is key to water rights

VERDE VALLEY – More than 20 years ago, Carmen Howard relocated from California and bought land in Cottonwood.

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Simonton discusses plans for Homestead Parkway business park

CAMP VERDE – In 2015, Simonton Ranch owner G. Scott Simonton officially donated a 9.28-acre parcel and agreed to sell another six-acre parcel to the Verde Valley Archaeology Center.

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‘Urgent need’ for platelets, type O blood

Give blood Feb. 14 in Camp Verde

CAMP VERDE – The next Camp Verde Community Blood Drive will be from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 in the Community Room at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.

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New maintenance, transportation plan on Beaver Creek agenda

RIMROCK – With longtime Maintenance and Transportation Director Diane Iverson retiring at the end of the school year, Beaver Creek School District’s governing board will consider splitting the two duties into two separate jobs, District Superintendent Karin Ward said Thursday.

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Marshal’s volunteers serve ‘important role’ in Camp Verde

Duties include foot patrolling events, traffic control, office work

Tim Wiggle will never forget a piece of advice his training officer gave him when he was a rookie volunteer with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office.

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Consolidation: Three districts, three ballots

Sen. Allen says she’ll leave voting process in current form

Despite requests from the Committee for Better Upper Verde Valley Schools, SB 1073 will not combine the Cottonwood-Oak Creek, Mingus Union and Clarkdale-Jerome districts into one ballot should the consolidation question come before voters this year.

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Orrico trial set for Sept. 11

Former masseur charged with inappropriately touching women during massage sessions

CAMP VERDE – A former masseur will go to trial Sept. 11 after rejecting a plea Monday in Yavapai County Superior Court.

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Stockwell sentencing rescheduled for March 18

CAMP VERDE – The new attorney for a man charged with arson and burglary in 2013 asked Judge Michael R. Bluff for a four-week continuance so he can “understand what’s going on.”

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Phase I of sports complex should go to bid by end of February

Phase I of the new Camp Verde Sports Complex should go to bid by the end of February, Parks and Recreation Division Manager Mike Marshall said Monday.

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Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Jill Maynard

Seventeen years as an educator, the past 13 teaching kindergarten at Camp Verde’s United Christian School. Jill Maynard said she has been teaching kindergarten for so long that she’s now able to attend her previous kindergarteners’ high school graduations.

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Copper Canyon, Verde Valley districts respond to weather-related crash

VERDE VALLEY – At approximately 11:05 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, Verde Valley Fire and Copper Canyon Fire and Medical districts responded to a single-vehicle accident on I-17 NB at milepost 278.

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Multiple or single consolidation ballot issue stalls hearing on SB 1073

Sen. Allen considers whether consolidation election should be three ballots, or one

PHOENIX – Whether the consolidation of Cottonwood-Oak Creek and the Mingus Union school districts should be resolved with three ballots or with one ballot, Sen. Sylvia Allen decided to not bring SB 1073 to Arizona State Senate’s Committee on Education on Tuesday.

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TEACHER CRISIS? ‘A piece of paper does not make a teacher’

Finding qualified teachers more about care, compassion, connection than certification

A December 2018 study by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association said that 75.2 percent of the state’s teaching positions are either unfilled or filled by teachers who are inexperienced, working on their credentialing, or teaching a subject they are not credentialed to teach.

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Consolidation: Three ballots? Or just one?

Sylvia Allen to present amended SB 1073 Tuesday to Senate Education Committee

Three ballots? Or one? That’s what Sen. Sylvia Allen needs to decide before she brings an amended SB 1073 at 2 p.m. Tuesday to Arizona State Senate’s Committee on Education.

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Camp Verde council to choose Marshal’s committee members

CAMP VERDE – When Camp Verde Marshal Corey Rowley uses the word transparency, he really means it.

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Help Cottonwood man walk for heroes

COTTONWOOD – Cottonwood resident Al Slusser is walking for heroes, again.

Oak Creek School awarded $5k playground grant

CORNVILLE – Thanks to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the University of Phoenix, Oak Creek School in Cornville is now $5,000 richer.

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2019-2020 school calendar on Cottonwood-Oak Creek agenda

COTTONWOOD – For the past seven years, Cottonwood-Oak Creek has endeavored to schedule its calendar of days in school – and days out of school – with the Clarkdale-Jerome and Mingus Union school districts.

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A-to-F school report cards and a whole lot more

VERDE VALLEY – The Arizona Department of Education recently decided that posting its A-to-F accountability grades was not enough.

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Verde Connect? Or another Camp Verde bypass?

Middle Verde neighborhood advocate predicts connector road will lead to ‘slow death’ of town

Yavapai County is considering a new north-south connector route from Cornville Road to SR 260 east of SR 89A and west of I-17.

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Camp Verde Business Alliance considers becoming new Chamber

CAMP VERDE – Late last year, the Camp Verde Business Alliance acquired ownership of the na

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Q&A: Camp Verde reading teacher Laura Norman captures kids hearts

CAMP VERDE – Laura Norman is a true “Capturing Kids’ Hearts teacher.”

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Verde Christian nets 5-star rating for preschool program

COTTONWOOD – A few years back, Verde Christian Academy resolved itself to create what Ben Russel called a “better product for our kids.”

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Verde Christian Academy to become K-8 school – in three years

COTTONWOOD – Verde Christian Academy has decided to take a page from Cottonwood-Oak Creek’s playbook.

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Get ready for Super blood wolf moon

Five-hour lunar eclipse on horizon Sunday night

VERDE VALLEY – A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is positioned behind the Earth – and into its shadow.

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Cottonwood man gets 12 years for child exploitation

CAMP VERDE – On Jan. 11, JJ Austin Angel Amack McFarland was sentenced to 12 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the sexual exploitation of a minor.

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BeneVet sets $13K goal for comfort of wheelchair-bound veterans

Two weeks to go, and Nikki Miller said that “around 100 bowlers” have signed up for the annual BeneVet fundraiser.

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Harshman, Bateman to lead Beaver Creek School Board

Monday, the Beaver Creek School Board unanimously elected Jackie Harshman as board president and Brandi Bateman as board clerk.

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Camp Verde could fill openings on P&Z, Adjustments, Appeals boards

Wednesday, the Camp Verde Town Council could fill three openings on its Planning and Zoning Commission, and two of four openings on its Board of Adjustments and Appeals

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Q&A with Beaver Creek School Office Manager Sharon Brooks

Brooks spent more than 25 years in retail as an assistant manager for Kmart and Walgreens before she transitioned to education. It was there that Brooks learned “don’t take work home.”

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Camp Verde council talks future of community events

CAMP VERDE – With this year’s Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival scheduled for March 16-17, the folks at Camp Verde Promotions are preparing to coordinate their final major event.

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Supervisor Tom Thurman to attend Beaver Creek Community Association meeting

As District 2 Supervisor for Yavapai County, Tom Thurman views his role as a “public servant with a great sense of gratitude.”

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Beaver Creek artist brings parents, children together with school murals

During the winter break, Conn oversaw a special project as parents and students painted murals with positive messages on the bathroom walls at the school’s 600 building.