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Vyto Starinskas

Stories by Vyto

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The Tuzigoot National Monument in Clarkdale reopened Tavasci Marsh to the public on Monday, Feb. 5.

By Vyto Starinskas February 20, 2024
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It happens once a decade, and the topics affect everyone in the city. The Cottonwood City Council is reaching out to the public for input about an update to its Cottonwood General Plan, which the residents will vote on this year.

By Vyto Starinskas February 20, 2024
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The City of Cottonwood is exploring ways to encourage developers to build more housing in the city, which could include everything from reviewing the zoning regulations to offering builders financial incentives.

By Vyto Starinskas February 20, 2024
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The Cottonwood City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 20, will discuss former Police Chief Steve Gesell’s $620,000 notice of claim, a letter received from former City Manager Scotty Douglass regarding his severance provisions and a notice of charge filed by the Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office.

By Vyto Starinskas February 19, 2024
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The Verde Valley Senior Center is busy as a beehive with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers who are helping people do their tax returns free of charge in the building.

By Vyto Starinskas February 17, 2024
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Thunder Valley Rally is running out of gas, and it may be wine that’s the fuel for a future music festival in Cottonwood.

By Vyto Starinskas February 17, 2024
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Mingus book policy gets first reading
Board’s draft seeks to meet state law on sexually explicit material

The supporters in the audience of the Mingus Union Governing Board School meeting clapped and cheered as the board finished discussing the first reading of a draft policy regarding how students can look at books in the Mingus school library.

By Vyto Starinskas February 17, 2024
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Hiking-related accidents claimed two lives in Sedona during the past two weeks, including a man who fell 75 to 100 feet to his death after his ATV group stopped on the Merry-Go-Round Rock Area to take some pictures, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

By Vyto Starinskas February 13, 2024
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Patrick Schweiss deserves an Academy Award after his dramatic presentation at Tuesday’s Brown Bag Series at Yavapai College.

By Vyto Starinskas February 11, 2024
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Mathews, Kurot pick up packets to seek election
City council hopefuls have spring deadlines

It’s gearing up to be a lively local election season this summer.

By Vyto Starinskas February 10, 2024
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The fans of Clarkdale’s bandstand got some good news Tuesday night as the Council and Historic Preservation Commission voted to start the rehabilitation project to save the popular Main Street Park structure with the blessing from the State Historic Preservation Office.

By Vyto Starinskas February 10, 2024
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The Black Bear Diner is asking people to come celebrate the birthday of their waitress Heather Bahls by having lunch or dinner and helping the 45-year-old life-long local resident with her battle with Stage 4 cancer.

By Vyto Starinskas February 10, 2024
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The Arizona Game and Fish Department trapped and euthanized a mountain lion Friday, Feb. 2.

By Vyto Starinskas February 9, 2024
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Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Donna Michaels was not injured when her official county vehicle ended up “nose down in the ditch” on State Route 179 Wednesday, Feb. 7, while she was driving to a supervisors’ meeting in a pouring rainstorm.

By Vyto Starinskas February 8, 2024
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Despite a mud-drenched road and torrential rain, the clouds lifted just long enough for Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to declare the Rockin’ River Ranch State Park as the newest state park in Arizona.

By Vyto Starinskas February 8, 2024
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It may have been like watching someone pulling teeth, but the City Council agreed on an acting city manager and entered into a contract for legal services with a law firm Tuesday, after the permanent city manager and attorney quit in a controversy last month.

By Vyto Starinskas February 7, 2024
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The Cottonwood Fallen Heroes organization has been growing every year in its 12-year mission to help support the local community.

By Vyto Starinskas February 6, 2024
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Kimberly Chavez of Camp Verde is the new Ms. Wheelchair Southwestern USA and she will travel to Ohio to “bring home the crown.”

By Vyto Starinskas February 6, 2024
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Maybe it was the Beatles that crooned that “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it’s That Brewery that is offering a chance at love during its “Be My Valentine” Bachelor Auction on Monday, Feb. 12.

By Vyto Starinskas February 6, 2024
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he Clarkdale Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing for a proposed planned development with 139 single-family homes and an apartment complex with 144 units.

By Vyto Starinskas February 5, 2024
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Councilmembers Michael Mathews and Lisa DuVernay have requested an agenda item for Tuesday, Feb. 6, to interview interim City Manager Rudy Rodriquez, Director of Utilities Thomas Whitmer and Financial Services Manager Kirsten Lennon for the appointment of acting city manager.

By Vyto Starinskas February 5, 2024
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The Tuzigoot National Monument will reopen Tavasci Marsh to the public on Monday, Feb. 5.

By Vyto Starinskas February 3, 2024
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The Mingus School Union High School Governing Board narrowed down their choices to seven candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Mike Westcott.

By Vyto Starinskas February 3, 2024
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The Town of Clarkdale wants to connect its citizens with 47 miles of trails so people can travel safely in the community and increase their quality of life.

By Vyto Starinskas February 3, 2024
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The attorney for former Cottonwood Police Stephen Gesell said the city has not responded to his $625,000 notice of claim, and they have no recourse but to litigate. “The City has not responded to our Notice of Claims and yes, we plan to proceed with a lawsuit,” Kim Eckert, attorney for Gesell, stated in an email on Wednesday, Jan 24.

By Vyto Starinskas February 3, 2024
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Dr. Daniel Bright School Principal Jessica Vocca has been selected for the future position of Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent, and the District Governing Board will be entering into contract negotiations with her.

By Vyto Starinskas February 1, 2024
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Detective Megyn Felton, from Yavapai College Police Department, faced some tough questions on Wednesday during her crime-scene investigation class at the college.

By Vyto Starinskas January 30, 2024
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Everyone is going bow-wow over the restored lobby and shop at the Verde Valley Humane Society.

By Vyto Starinskas January 30, 2024
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Gov. Katie Hobbs will open Arizona’s newest state park near Camp Verde on Thursday, Feb. 8, a project begun a decade ago by the previous governor, but never completed.

By Vyto Starinskas January 30, 2024
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Tourism in Sedona is a $1 billion industry and it generates 77% of the city’s sales and bed tax revenues, which is $31 million in local tax dollars in FY23, said Michelle Conway Kostecki, president/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

By Paige Daniels, Vyto Starinskas January 30, 2024
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Former Cottonwood Police Chief Steve Gesell, a Republican, has joined the race for Yavapai County supervisor for District 3.

By Vyto Starinskas January 29, 2024
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Pastor Larry Jackson was asked to comfort a Nation when he stood in front of hundreds of people in a civic setting at Yavapai-Apache Elder Vincent Randall’s funeral in December.

By Vyto Starinskas January 27, 2024
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The air-quality monitoring equipment, which was promised during a community meeting between residents and the Arizona Department of Environment Quality, has been set up at two locations to measure dust from the slag pile processing operation in the city.

By Vyto Starinskas January 27, 2024
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In the Town of Camp Verde, residents and visitors can find plenty of empty store fronts along Main Street.

By Paige Daniels, Vyto Starinskas January 27, 2024
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The City of Sedona announced that Anette Spickard from McCall, Idaho, has been chosen as the new city manager to replace the current city manager Karen Osburn, who is set to retire in the spring. Spickard is planning to begin on April 8.

By Vyto Starinskas January 25, 2024
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Mingus Union High School Board Member Misty Cox said she would like four books with the word “queer” in the title be removed from the school’s library, but Superintendent Mike Westcott said books will remain in the library and will be reviewed for “sexually explicit material.”

By Vyto Starinskas January 25, 2024
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The Verde Valley Homeless Coalition in Cottonwood is partnering with the City of Sedona in supporting the Safe to Park Program, which allows local homeless workers and families with children enrolled in local schools to sleep in their cars in a safe parking area.

By Vyto Starinskas January 23, 2024
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At least two city council members requested that the mayor place an item on the agenda to start a search for a new acting city manager.

By Vyto Starinskas January 23, 2024
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In this three-part series, The Verde Independent looks at what what’s coming to town, how local leaders try to spur the economy and how a reliance on tourism has its pitfalls.

By Paige Daniels, Vyto Starinskas January 23, 2024
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A search by multiple law enforcement and rescue agencies as darkness fell resulted in the safe return of a 12-year-old boy with autism who was located hiding in a ravine, after he was sighted near Thousand Trails and State Route 260.

By Vyto Starinskas January 22, 2024
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The Cottonwood City Council unanimously approved signing an agreement to drill the new well for the Verde Santa Fe housing development, and also approved a construction agreement for the well with the owners of the Agave Highlands Golf Course at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan 16.

By Vyto Starinskas January 20, 2024
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Recall petitions hit the streets
Effort targets 2 city councilmembers and 1 school board member

Fed-up citizens showed up in Old Town on Saturday with home-made signs and recall petitions against City Councilmembers Derek Palosaari and Lisa DuVernay and Mingus School Board Member Misty Cox in hopes that they are waking a sleeping giant.

By Vyto Starinskas January 20, 2024
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Councilmember Derek Palosaari faced a raucous crowd in the packed Council Chambers Tuesday night and explained his actions on the night of a holiday party, which is the focus of a City of Cottonwood Human Resources report that states he put his hands on a female city employee and made an inappropriate comment about her breasts.

By Vyto Starinskas January 20, 2024
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For the 13th consecutive year, 18-year-old Camp Verde resident Chandler Plante hosted the Martin Luther King March on Main Street on Monday, Jan. 15. At the young age of 5, Plante’s interest in Martin Luther King, Jr. began.

By Vyto Starinskas January 17, 2024
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Talk of book removal packs Mingus meeting
Westcott: Modified policy does not ban books

A security guard stood at the door as about 100 people at the Mingus School Board Special Meeting waited in the school’s hallway as the school board discussed books in the school library during closed session Thursday, Jan. 11.

By Vyto Starinskas January 16, 2024
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The Cottonwood City Council is looking at signing an agreement to drill the new well for the Verde Santa Fe housing development and also approve a construction agreement for the well with the owners of the Agave Highlands Golf Course at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan 16.

By Vyto Starinskas January 15, 2024
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The next time you sip some Verde Valley wine, toast Tom Schumacher. That glass of local wine has had a long, strange trip.

By Vyto Starinskas January 13, 2024
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The Governing Board named the courts at the Clarkdale-Jerome School District gym after long-time basketball coach and Elder Vincent Randall on Tuesday night, Jan 9.

By Vyto Starinskas January 13, 2024
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Rocked by resignations, City Council recalculates
Embattled councilmember attends meeting on Zoom

Councilman Derek Palosaari attended Tuesday’s Special Council Meeting and Work Session by Zoom, but did not address the internal Human Resources report that included allegations of the councilman’s unwanted physical interaction with city employees.

By Vyto Starinskas January 13, 2024
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Pierce Coleman law firm ends Cottonwood ties after allegations
Letter comes 1 day after city attorney quits

The Cottonwood City Council directed staff to accept applications for a city attorney or a firm to replace the firm of Pierce Coleman to represent the city temporarily, after the City Attorney Jenny Winkler decided to leave her position immediately on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

By Vyto Starinskas January 13, 2024

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