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A unanimous vote by the Cottonwood City Council, Tuesday, May 3, has made Cottonwood the first city in Arizona to adopt the Tobacco 21 initiative, restricting the sale and consumption of tobacco and vapor products to those 21 and older.
The new law goes into effect Thursday, June 2.Brandon Willden puffs on a cigarette. Cottonwood recently passé an ordinance upping the age of sale of tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21.

Thanks to the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, those looking to make a positive impact on the health of our waterways had the opportunity Saturday, April 30.Sierra Club-Grand Canyon chapter member Jennifer Martin, left, is the Arizona Water Sentinels Program Coordinator. Martin ran a training session for monitoring six locations along the middle Verde River. The river was 15.2 degrees Celsius, with a pH of 7.89. Pat Kelly waited until measurements were complete before collecting samples of the water.

For two to three hours, participants joined the Arizona Water Sentinels in their efforts to help monitor water quality and quantity on the Verde River. Experts discussed issues on the Verde, as well as the Sierra Club’s efforts to help manage high desert riparian systems.

Amid all the talk about budgetary constraints and performance rankings, it’s easy to forget that Arizona’s schools have the power to surprise and innovate.Filmmaker Bruce Fraser, left, and Michael Dubrow set up to present a new smart phone app to Mingus Union High School’s digital filmmaking class. Dubrow is one of the creators of Doozie, while Fraser is a filmmaker who recorded the presentation.

In a Mingus Union High School classroom are an array of high-powered iMac computers, each loaded with software designed to help digital media teacher Jeff Wood inspire his students to new heights of cinematic creativity.

Each year’s holiday season is soon forgotten — yet, occasionally, the holiday spirit keeps giving well into the busy days of the new year.Home Depot donated $5,000 worth of paint and labor to repaint the inside of the Old Town Mission. The  volunteers in orange pose with the mission staff, who were also wielding paint brushes and rollers.

And indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a busier place than the Old Town Mission, laboring harder to sustain the effort of giving.

A half dozen people stood outside the Cottonwood City Council Chambers at 6 p.m. April 18, as the Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting reached capacity.Brookfield Homes’ 89 & Vine project would include a commercial district. The project allows 2,050 residential units, 117.6 acres for commercial space, 188 acres for mixed use, 2 acres for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility and 176 acres of open space. Homes are expected to be in the $220,000 range.

The meeting presented an overview of the proposed design review program for Brookfield Homes’ 89 & Vine project, including the project design aspects such as building architecture, landscaping and site features.

Another case is solved, thanks this time to the help of future dispatcher Jessica Casas.Jessica Casas, 9, got to work with Communications Specialist and Dispatch Trainer Chelsey Shepherd of the Public Safety Communications Center in Cottonwood, becoming a dispatcher for a day. The event came about after Casas wrote a letter to the Cottonwood Police Department as part of a class assignment, inquiring about aspects of dispatching and showing interest in the career.

The 9-year-old got to see what life was like as a dispatch officer Friday, April 22, at the Cottonwood Police Department.

One of the most pressing concerns of Arizona voters is education funding — specifically, will it be possible for students to compete when their schools are among the nation’s most underfunded?File photo/Larson Newspapers

What kind of man should you trust to take you into space?Tom Yager discusses the innovative technologies developed by Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. Yager appeared as part of Yavapai College Osher Lifelong Learning program’s Brown Bag Brain Buzz lecture series.

According to Tom Yager, a former physics professor with over three decades in the technology industry, the best man for the job may be Elon Musk. Standing before a packed room of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute students at Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus Thursday, April 14, Yager made a compelling argument for including Musk among the century’s most influential people.

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