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Finding common ground between faith and reason can be a tricky task, but Religion and Science Lecture Series co-organizer Ed Womack said he embraced realms of thought — even while serving as a Methodist pastor for 60 years.Pastor Mari Larson, right, preaches at the Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Clarkdale, which will be hosting a series of religion and science lectures. The lectures, now in their ninth year, are spearheaded by Ed Womack, who has organized four different lecturers, with the goal of showing that science and religion do not need to be enemies.

“Can you imagine? Having no one to talk to?” Laurie Lee asked.While neither are deaf, Patricia and Laurent Lagueux both know American Sign Language, and are part of Cottonwood Public Library’s Signing Circle. The group meets the second Wednesday of each month at the library, with the goal of making the deaf in the community feel more accepted.

Deafness is a difficult subject — an affliction that fewer than two or three children per 1,000 are born with, but which many more suffer from throughout their lives. Hearing loss, if not full deafness, often results in social isolation, particularly in smaller rural communities such as those found in the Verde Valley.

A Cottonwood man was among those arrested by Oregon State Police Tuesday, Jan. 26, in connection to the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge buildings.Joseph O'Shaughnessy is third from left on the top row.

Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, was arrested without incident at 5:50 p.m. near Bend, Ore.

Before opening for business Wednesday, Jan. 27, one or more individuals entered Cottonwood Bank of America through the rear door of the building and removed approximately $350,000 from the bank.The Cottonwood Bank of AMERICA was robbed on Jan. 27. The heist took place early in the morning, before the bank opened for business, and $350,000 was stolen.

The event occurred less than two weeks after an armed robbery occurred at Chase Bank in Camp Verde.

During Thanksgiving the Old Town Mission delivered more than 600 turkeys — an impressive number, certainly, but one that pales in comparison to the monthly tally of meals served to locals in need of a hearty lunch.The Old Town Mission works to help alleviate hunger in the Verde Valley, serving as many as 100 meals per week. From left is Grocery Rescue Agent William Woodruff, General Manager Kellie Wilson, Assistant Manager Jill Sweet and Director of Maintenance Billy Rodriguez.

“The high day this last week was 102,” General Manager Kellie Wilson said, adding that the mission averages somewhere around 75 lunches per day, Monday through Friday.

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 27, prior to the Cottonwood Bank of America opening for business, an individual or individuals entered the bank through the rear door of the building. The suspect or suspects removed a large sum of money from the bank.Cottonwood Police Department

It may strike you as odd, walking into a library and seeing a child reading to a dog — and not just any dog: A very attentive dog.Photo courtesy of Joyce Read-Cottonwood Public Library

No, it’s not the opening scene of a children’s movie or the plot of a Dr. Seuss book. It’s real life, and it makes perfect sense to Cottonwood Public Library Youth Services Coordinator Joyce Read.

Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters would like the public to know how deeply it’s invested in the Verde Valley.Angel Lewis is one of many children registered with Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, which matches adult mentors with children in Yavapai County. YBBBS Verde Valley and Sedona Director Maggie Fega encouraged locals to get involved in the organization and make a difference in a child’s life.

Situated in the heart of Cottonwood — sharing a complex with the Cottonwood Journal Extra office, in fact — the Verde Valley branch of YBBBS suffered a bit of blow-back when the Cottonwood Boys and Girls Club shut its doors last year.