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Vyto Starinskas

Stories by Vyto

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Human skull found at Tuzigoot River Access Point in Clarkdale

CLARKDALE -- At about 5:35 p.m. June 4, Clarkdale Police Department responded to a report that a swimmer located a human skull in the Verde River at the Tuzigoot River Access Point, according to Clarkdale PD Sgt. Nicole Florisi.

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Trees best tell story of extreme drought conditions in Yavapai County

You may want to give your trees a drink of water. Especially if you have noticed dried dead branches.

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Clarkdale residential property soil cleanup work underway

Soil will be stored in temporary location

CLARKDALE -- Crews have begun digging up contaminated soil from some of the 500 properties in Clarkdale in the United Verde Soil program.

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New home for Old Town Frame Co.

The Old Town Frame Co. has moved out of its storefront in Old Town Cottonwood to a much roomier space at 107 S. Candy Lane.

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‘Bear’ of a hike: Breath-taking beauty offered on Bear Mountain Trail

Bear Mountain Trail in Sedona is a favorite among Verde Valley hiking enthusiasts.

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5 stars for Verde Valley Medical Center

Local hospital earns top marks in national study

The Verde Valley Medical Center has a new leader and five shiny new stars.

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Sound Off: Jerome’s Gulch Radio makes way for new transmitter site

Station to temporality go off air for a week in June during transition

Jerome Gulch Radio listeners have been wondering “what’s shakin’” with their local, independent music station.

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Lois’ Blueprints LLC opens in Cottonwood

COTTONWOOD -- Lois Malafa has opened Lois’ Blueprints LLC in Cottonwood and she says likes her location.

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Solar power brightens future for Bent River Machine 

Bent River Machine, built in the shadow of the former Clarkdale smelter, has taken its high-tech attitude to a new level – this time with energy.

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Cottonwood announces entertainment slate for Thunder Valley Rally

The City of Cottonwood has announced its bands for this September’s Thunder Valley Rally.

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Gold King Mine’s Big Bertha roars again (with video)

JEROME -- Don Robertson is smiling in his race car in the sky as Big Bertha is again roaring above the hills of Gold King Mine.

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Lisa Dahl: Restaurateur complements ‘mystique of Sedona’

“Business in Sedona has never been better,” explains Sedona restaurateur extraordinaire Lisa Dahl.

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Paving the road to progress

Motorist traveling along Mingus Avenue on Wednesday saw asphalt paving operations along Mingus Avenue and South Sixth Street.

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Bridging the Gap: County proposes new road, bridge across Verde River to help traffic flows

Yavapai County Supervisors Thomas Thurman and Randy Garrison patiently stood on Beaverhead Flats Road and Cornville Road last week as traffic backed up at the stop sign. They pointed to the traffic and said this is why something needed to be done in the Verde Valley.

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Online grocery service offered by Cottonwood Walmart

COTTONWOOD -- Go online, order your groceries, drive to Walmart, the employees put the groceries in your car, and you are headed home.

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Verde Independent receives city accolades

Publisher of Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc., Pam Miller, accepts a proclamation from Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski recognizing the Verde Independent’s “70 Years of Keeping the Verde Valley Informed” at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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Welcome Home Vietnam Vets

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors present a proclamation in recognition of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, during the supervisors meeting in Cottonwood Wednesday. Members of the VFW Post 7400 in Cottonwood accepted the proclamation.

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Sedona Fire, DPS Ranger Helicopter rescue hiker who fell from Cathedral Rock (with video)

SEDONA -- Sedona Fire and an Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter from Flagstaff, with the help of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, rescued a hiker that fell about 15 feet and tumbled another 15 feet on the backside of Cathedral Rock Tuesday afternoon.

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Temporary homeless shelter opens Sunday night

Y.E.S. The Arc will open doors on freezing nights

The overnight, cold-weather homeless shelter in Cottonwood will open Sunday night, after years of different attempts to help the homeless problem in the Verde Valley.

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Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Ryan Bigelow, the new Cottonwood Library Manager, reads a Dr. Seuss book during the library’s Dr. Seuss Birthday Party for small children Thursday morning.

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Cactuses thrive at Arizona Botanical Gardens

Ever drive by that cactus store on the road going to Jerome and feel a need to stop in?

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Humane Society of Sedona in need of puppy food

Liz Olson, shelter manager of the Humane Society of Sedona, said the shelter has 18 or 19 puppies in its care right now and has run out of puppy food.

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Habitat for Humanity plans to build 5 homes in the Verde Valley

The Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity is building their hopes high this year as they plan five homes in the Verde Valley.

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Details still to be ironed out on temporary homeless shelter in Cottonwood

COTTONWOOD -- The doors of a proposed homeless shelter in Cottonwood remained closed despite temperatures dipping into the 20s the past few nights in the Verde Valley.

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Lack of primary care doctors in Verde Valley has patients scrambling

Is there a doctor in the house?

The Association of American Medical Colleges reported that there will be a shortage of 100,000 doctors in the nation by 2030 and the trend in the Verde Valley is no different. Local patients are scrambling to get treated in traditional practices, clinics, instant care facilities and emergency rooms. Many are waiting to see doctors until they are severely ill.

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Expanded Tavern Hotel partners with local business for complete Verde Valley experience

Eric Jurisin has opened his expanded “upscale boutique” Tavern Hotel in Old Town Cottonwood with 45 “rustic retro” rooms.

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Open house for Friends of the Verde River

To celebrate 10 years as the leader in Verde River conversation work, the Friends of the Verde River held an open house and ribbon cutting at their new offices in Cottonwood on South Main Street.

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United Verde Soil Program work could start in March

Townspeople in Clarkdale could see contaminated soil removed from their yards and public property as soon as March in the United Verde Soil Program, now that the Department of Environmental Quality has approved a plan and location to take the contaminated soil.

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Out of Africa welcomes new tiger

Sunrise is the newest member of the Out of Africa family in Camp Verde.

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Friends of the Verde River appoints first executive director

Organization’s open house set for Jan. 25

The Verde River is the historic and vital pulse that created the Verde Valley.

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Glamping: Luxury camping comes to Sedona/VOC

The amenities of a full-service hotel with the adventure of a camping experience

Karen Abbott and Mark Boyko are as excited as children planning an overnight campout as they show off their backyard “glamping” business behind their home in Sedona.

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Fire destroys Camp Verde home two days before Christmas

At least one dog was lost in the fire, as well as all the people’s belongings, he said.

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US Marine Corps Reserve distributes toys to tots

The US Marine Corps Reserve distributes toys to children at the Cottonwood Recreation Center on Friday during the Cottonwood Toys for Tots.

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Cleaning up Balboa Wash

A crew of about a dozen people on probation/deferral through the Cottonwood Municipal Court use plastic bags and pick-up sticks to clean Balboa Wash in Old Town Cottonwood early Thursday morning.

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New city well site looks ‘promising’ for recharging groundwater supply

COTTONWOOD -- An injection well at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds to pump reclaimed water from the new Riverfront Park treatment plant looks “promising,” according to Tom Whitmer, Cottonwood’s Director of Natural Resources. The injection well is

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Love could be in the air at Out of Africa as young mountain lions get to know each other

CAMP VERDE -- Will a tom cat from Cornville fall in love with a kitten from Camp Verde?

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Celebration of Christmas set in Old England

EF Productions presents the 23rd annual Celebration of Christmas this year: “Set in old England, it is a cross between Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life."

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Retiring the American flag

Fort Verde State Historic Park and American Legion Post #135, along with the help of Camp Verde Post 93, Camp Verde VFW Post 6739, and the Camp Verde Boy Scouts, hosted their annual flag retirement ceremony Saturday.

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Police receive false alarm about gunman at local charter school

COTTONWOOD – Police received a phone call from whom they believed to be a concerned mother reporting a gunman at the American Heritage Academy Wednesday, but when police responded they determine it was only a lockdown drill by the school.

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Local Toy Run kicks off Christmas season

The 33rd annual Verde Valley Toy Run, sponsored by the Moose Lodge, makes a stop at the Main Stage in Cottonwood on one of its stops during the ride.

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New Maverik opens

People line up for the party at the Maverik store on SR 89A and Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood on Thursday to check out the new building.

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Cottonwood Village honors veterans

The Cottonwood Village honored the 35 veterans (25 from World War II), who reside at the Cottonwood Village, in a Veterans Day ceremony Saturday.

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Veterans gather at Verde Valley Flyers Veterans Day event

Veterans with the Verde Valley Flyers, who were at a Veterans Day event at the Cottonwood Airport Saturday morning, line up for a photo in front of Terry Andrew’s 1944 attack trainer airplane.

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Renovations underway at Civic Center

The City of Cottonwood is getting a new performance venue – kind of.

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Diesel tanker collision turns fatal

A man died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a diesel tanker truck exiting Interstate 17 in Camp Verde.

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Abandoned baby mountain lion on road to recovery in Cornville

CORNVILLE -- A 6-week-old orphaned mountain lion is rehabilitating in the safe hands of Billy Harvey at the Runnin’ W Wildlife Center in Cornville after being abandoned by its mother near the Verde River.

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Camp Verde man arrested following two vehicle thefts in Sedona

SEDONA -- A man in Sedona reportedly stole a water company truck at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village Friday afternoon, abandoned it and then allegedly stole a Honda in the school district parking lot before he was arrested at gunpoint by Sedona Police on SR179 and Schnebly Hill Road, according to Sedona Police.

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New roof for Hotel Jerome

JEROME -- The Town of Jerome is replacing the roof of the old Hotel Jerome, hoping to plug a nagging problem.

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East Prairie Lane's problem: Littering

The road is covered with trash, mainly fast-food bags, cups, ash tray dumps, plastic bags, and even a tray of rice from a buffet.

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McDonalds reopens big-time after Cottonwood renovations

It was a big-time reopening at the Cottonwood McDonalds Restaurant on State Route 260 on Saturday with Ronald McDonald, giveaways, face painting, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and bungee trampolines.