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Bill Helm

Stories by Bill

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Danny Howe changes Camp Verde Unified School District’s leadership

In his first few months as administrator-in-charge, Camp Verde Unified’s Danny Howe isn’t afraid to make changes to his district’s administrative leadership.

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Tankesley named principal at South Verde

Three years ago, Steve King left his position as principal at South Verde High School to assist – then succeed – Barb U’Ren as superintendent at Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

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Mingus Union Operation Graduation celebrates 30 years

A community effort if there ever was one, Mingus Union High School’s Operation Graduation is getting ready to celebrate 30 years of helping high school graduates celebrate their accomplishments in a drug- and alcohol-free environment.

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Camp Verde schools to walk out Thursday, return to class on Monday

Much like the state’s other teachers, Camp Verde Unified’s educators will not be in class on Thursday.

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American Heritage to close Cottonwood campus Thursday, Camp Verde campus to remain open

Thursday, American Heritage Academy will close its K-12 Cottonwood campus as teachers will walk out of class with the rest of the state’s public school teachers.

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VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Calliandra Brooks

Calliandra Brooks says that as a third-grade teacher at Camp Verde Elementary School, she encourages her students “to build a growth mindset which allows them to take risks and work as hard as possible.” VVN/Bill Helm

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Mingus board debates merits of closing school

COTTONWOOD – Mingus Union School District Superintendent Penny Hargrove gave the district’s governing board two options to consider as it considered Thursday’s scheduled walkout of the state’s educators over inadequate funding in the classroom and inadequate pay for teachers, administrators and support staff.

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Mingus to close Thursday, reopen Friday (with video)

Seniors to make up four lost hours of instruction May 20-25

Teacher Craig Mai’s virtual promise that Mingus Union teachers would walk out of the classroom for just one day only paved the way for the Mingus Union School Board to suspend classes at the high school Thursday

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Mingus Union drama troupe to perform Gershwin’s ‘Crazy for You’

Written by Ken Ludwig as a book, “Crazy for You” is the story of love, the love of a man on Wall Street and a woman on Main Street as they fall madly in love, put on a show, and dance their way to happiness.

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Valley Academy ‘monitoring the lead of our high schools’ on school closure

COTTONWOOD – When Arizona’s teachers don’t show up for work on Thursday, Cottonwood’s Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education may or may not be in session, District Superintendent Bob Weir said.

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Beaver Creek School will be closed Thursday

School’s food distribution available during strike

RIMROCK – Although the state-wide walkout of Arizona school teachers is scheduled to start on Thursday, neither educators nor school officials know how long the strike will last.

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Superintendent, principal given 3-year contracts at Mingus

School board also approves one-year deals for business manager, assistant principal

Wednesday, the Mingus Union school board officially approved a three-year contract extension with District Superintendent Penny Hargrove.

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Yavapai College offers a night of discovery with Explore YC

This year, the college is bringing back the event, says Heather Mulcaire, associate dean of student success for the school.

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Sedona-Oak Creek considers models to keep schools open, or close either Big Park or West Sedona

Save the building? Or save the teachers?

SEDONA – Still two weeks away from a decision on the fate of its two elementary schools, members of the Sedona-Oak Creek School Board debated how an expected $1.4 million loss of revenue could be turned into a positive.

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Camp Verde library remembers ‘a quiet leader’

His impact in the Verde Valley was huge – as volunteers go – as he started the Camp Verde Library Endowment.

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Independence, pride part of Cliff Castle’s new hotel manager

CAMP VERDE – Renee Tafoya says that working at Cliff Castle Casino’s new hotel is like working with family.

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SR 260 construction gets new bike path, walkway

CAMP VERDE – The original project plans for Arizona Department of Transportation’s $60-plus million SR 260 road improvement project included a multi-use pathway from Cherry Creek Road to Wilshire Road on the south side of the highway.

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Sedona considers closing one of its schools

Declining enrollment, current-year funding cited as reasons to close either Big Park or West Sedona School

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Sedona-Red Rock High School gymnasium, the school district’s governing board will hold its second of three meetings to consider a consolidated K-6 curriculum and the closure of either Big Park Community School or West Sedona School.

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VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Selyna Pringle

With 11 years of teaching under her belt, Pringle is in her first year at American Heritage. She says she was a small child when she first wanted to be a teacher – and an Avon lady.

Consolidation committee cancels April 17 meeting

COTTONWOOD – Monday, the Advisory Committee for Consolidation cancelled its April 17 meeting when four of its members informed Committee Chairman Dan Mabery that they would not be able to attend.

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VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Deb Goepfrich

First grade teacher Beaver Creek School, Rimrock

Before the current school year began, Deb Goepfrich wrote out a postcard to each of her students. That is when Beaver Creek School Principal Katrina Sacco knew that her first grade teacher was special.

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Cottonwood Elementary School recognized as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School

COTTONWOOD – If you have a child’s heart, you have a child’s mind.

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Evaluating pros, cons of school district consolidation

Members compiling list of topics could be close to answers

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee for Consolidation, David Gray asked Groseta how a district would operate with a roughly $800,000 per-year increase in teacher salaries in a consolidated district.

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Could Beaver Creek School go K-12?

District superintendent says curriculum could be expanded in a ‘couple of years’

RIMROCK – In November, the Beaver Creek School District’s governing board began to explore ways to offer high school programming to its community’s students.

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C-OC board offers Steve King $98K one-year contract to continue as superintendent

Tuesday, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board voted 4-to-1 to give Steve King a one-year $98,000 contract to remain as the district’s superintendent through the 2018-2019 school year.

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DDB prinicpal demotes herself ‘for the team’

C-OC superintendent: 'One of the most admirable things I’ve ever seen'

For Dr. Daniel Bright, clarity came Monday when the district announced that Nancy Erickson had “volunteered to step down” to become the school’s assistant principal for the upcoming school year.

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Camp Verde, Wischmeyer may have found ‘useable solution’

Town Council could approve amendments to construction plans for promised 100-foot buffer

In March, John and Cheri Wischmeyer were advised in court that rather to move forward with litigation, it might be best to find a “useable solution” with the Town of Camp Verde over the agreed-upon 100-foot buffer between their property and the proposed 110-acre Camp Verde Sports Complex.

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5 facts about Fort Verde’s annual ‘History of the Soldier’ even

Saturday will showcase an artillery demo at 1000 hours by the 1st Texas Artillery and 3rd US Artillery-Battery A.

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Fort Verde honors veterans with annual ‘History of the Soldier’

From the American Revolution to today, Fort Verde’s annual History of the Soldier event is an opportunity to experience a military timeline of history.

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Camp Verde may purchase old Circle K property

Would allow town to demolish building, improve traffic flow

The day that Camp Verdeans finally celebrated their new 5,811-square-foot Circle K, the longtime Circle K at the Main Street Y closed its doors for the last time.

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Youth group shares faith, sustainable living

Members spend spring break in jungle

Seven members of Verde Christian Church’s youth group spent their spring break in a jungle in Belize, with a plan to help jungle communities better understand sustainable living, as well as to spread the word of God.

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VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Mary Frewin

If there’s anything Mary Frewin doesn’t like about being a teacher, it’s when one of her fifth-grade students proves her wrong.

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MVP student wins Future Chefs Challenge

Creating specialty dishes such as Melissa’s Amazing Salad, Mango Coconut Curry and Asian Mex Salsa, the eighth annual Future Chefs Challenge was an opportunity for five Cottonwood-Oak Creek students to compete for prizes and bragging rights. Wednesday, five C-OC students prepared their Asian-inspired meals at Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School in Cottonwood.

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Improving life with Scouting

16-year-old Bruce Turner collects personal necessities for Eagle Scout project

Going from Tiger Scout to Eagle Scout is Bruce Turner’s goal, the young man from Camp Verde whose been scouting since the tender age of 6.

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Camp Verde United Christian School teaches students how to help others

Each year, Camp Verde’s United Christian School finds ways to teach its students the difference between giving and receiving.

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Movement underway to amend Arizona school district consolidation law

House Appropriations Committee votes 8-to-5 to allow for common district to be consolidated into larger district

COTTONWOOD – Wednesday, Arizona’s House Appropriations Committee voted 8-to-5 to allow for a common district to be consolidated into a union or unified school district, and to remove school board veto power over voter decisions on consolidation.

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C-OC School Board considers contract renewal for superintendent

COTTONWOOD – On March 22, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek school board voted 3-to-2 that the administrative team at the district’s two realigned schools – Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School and Cottonwood Middle School – should have a combined two principals, two assistant principals and four secretaries.

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Armstrong could be Camp Verde’s next marshal

Commander has served as interim since October

Much of Monday’s Coffee with a Cop focused on the Town of Camp Verde’s handling of Nancy Gardner’s departure as marshal.

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Circle K closes Y-intersection store

Town of Camp Verde could explore purchasing the site of old Circle K

Friday, Circle K opened its new 5,811-square-foot location at 752 Finnie Flat Road in Camp Verde.

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VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Erin Leckington

Second-grade teacher, Verde Christian Academy, Cottonwood

COTTONWOOD – Erin Leckington is charged each day with shaping the destiny of her classroom at Cottonwood’s Verde Christian Academy.

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Hazing at Mingus Union leads to 180-day suspensions for baseball players

Hazing is a matter of zero tolerance, the Mingus Union School Board said Monday in a 3-to-0 public vote to suspend one of its senior student-athletes for 180 days.

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Consolidation Committee agrees, disagrees

COTTONWOOD – About half of the Advisory Committee for Consolidation say that things are going nowhere. For the others, meetings are helping uncover vital information for the public to eventually decide whether Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts should merge into one.

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Clarkdale-Jerome students prepare for Odyssey of the Mind tournament in Tucson

CLARKDALE – Clarkdale-Jerome School District Superintendent Danny Brown says it’s “big news” that the school’s Odyssey of the Mind team finished first in the March 3 Regional Tournament.

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2 principals + 2 assistant principals + 4 secretaries = realignment

C-OC school board approves staffing structure at Thursday meeting

Ever since the C-OC school board agreed in February to approve Superintendent Steve King’s plan for realigning three of its schools into two K-8 schools, both the superintendent and the board’s five members have held additional meetings to not just decide how to merge the schools, but also to decide how to save money.

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‘Acceptance, gratitude and honor’

Fort Verde to host sixth annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event

For the first time since 2014, Fort Verde State Historic Park will host the annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event. This year’s event is at 1 p.m. March 31 at the historic fort’s parade grounds.

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Annual Easter egg hunt returns to Camp Verde’s The Haven

Heather Daniels says she’s excited about the annual Easter egg hunt this Saturday at Camp Verde’s The Haven.

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United Christian School celebrates Night of the Arts

On May 11, United Christian School will celebrate a Night of the Arts, which will include an art show by the school’s art students, followed by an adaptation for the stage of The Pilgrim’s Progress and its sequel, Pilgrim’s Progress 2.

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Annual Easter egg hunt returns to Camp Verde’s The Haven

At Saturday's Easter egg hunt at Camp Verde’s The Haven, more than 1,200 eggs will be ripe for the picking, so to speak, and the Easter Bunny is expected to make his triumphant return to Camp Verde. A myriad of other games, as well as popcorn and drinks will be available for anyone in attendance.

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Verde Valley marches against ‘preventable fatalities’

Ask Mackenzie King why she’s participating in Saturday’s March For Our Lives event in Sedona, the 18-year-old Camp Verde resident says she’s observing her constitutional rights.

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Restore Deer Run Springs with revegetation projects

In partnership with the Beaver Creek Trails Coalition, the work, led by Amina Sena of the Coconino National Forest Red Rock District, involved about 30 volunteers who constructed one-rock dams and Zuni Bowls in drainages that surround the spring. 

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