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Drug use can be cyclical among the population, with different substances becoming more or less common over time.Ivan Anderson, a paramedic/EMT with the Verde Valley Fire District, speaks at a MATForce Lunch and Learn, sharing the point of view of someone who deals with drugs in the field. Anderson has given talks at schools on the effects of drugs, as many users start in their teens.

A group of professionals gathered Thursday, April 23, to talk about trends they’ve been seeing in Yavapai County at a meeting of MATForce, a regional group that works with issues concerning substance abuse and recovery.

Plans are in the works for a special park to honor those men and women who have served in this nation’s armed forces.Cottonwood’s Garrison Park gets used by families on a regular basis. Micah, right, and Connor Oxendale play soccer with physical therapist Angel Vera. The city is considering allocating part of the area for use as a military service park.

The idea was approved last week by the Cottonwood City Council.

This past Saturday was a little cloudy in Cottonwood, but it didn’t keep the birds away.The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival took place over the weekend at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. Esther, left, and Ruth Harrington got to build birdhouses with the help of festival volunteer Bruce Maurer.

Crowds of people turned out April 25 at Dead Horse Ranch State Park for the Family Nature Fair, a showcase of sorts to mark the 15th annual Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival.

Last year, the city of Cottonwood tried to come up with a new logo to help identify the town on everything from letterhead to business cards.The Cottonwood City Logo, as seen on the sign to Garrison Park and many other places around town, is again on the chopping block. Last year, a new design was proposed featuring a wine glass, but the community rejected the design.

The council had been working on possible designs for a new logo for months, bringing in a branding consultant to help with creating new designs.

Beau Nobles had been in Cottonwood for about a week last Wednesday afternoon.Beau Nobles could call the American road his home. Nobles hitchhiked to the Sedona area from Missouri, where he’s from, and then to Cottonwood. Once it gets warmer, Nobles said he wants to go to Colorado and then perhaps Oregon.

His home isn’t here, however. Or perhaps it is since you could argue that Nobles could call the American road his home.

Nobles is actually from Missouri and while he often calls the Show Me State home, he said he felt the need to hit the road once again.

They built it and, at first, nobody came.Communications Specialist Michelle Eteitty works at her station in the new command center. The center is looking to fill seven full-time positions, requirements of which include a high school diploma, being 18 years of age and passing a rigorous background check.

When the new Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center opened last year on 2.7 acres off of Sixth Street, the city had been counting on attracting other agencies throughout the Verde Valley to take advantage and use the center for their own communications needs.

Josiah Gamble found himself drawn to the Verde Valley.Josiah Gamble calls Cottonwood home, having discovered the area during some rather extensive traveling around the country. Gamble spent around six years just traveling from New England to the Southwest, including some forays into Canada and Mexico.

Today he calls Cottonwood home.

It’s quite a distance from his hometown of of Salisbury, N.C., which among other things is the home of Cheerwine, one of the more famous beverages to come out of the Tar Heel State besides moonshine and Pepsi-Cola.

A new state law against panhandling in Arizona has been signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, placing restrictions on where people can ask for money.Despite the hard times, some panhandlers remain in high spirits. Some residents have complained to Mayor Diane Joens about the homeless, but begging in public, done non-aggressively, is legal.

The law is aimed at preventing people from feeling uncomfortable or threatened by people asking for money on the street or in other public areas.

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