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Tue, Apr

We may be closer to finding extraterrestrial life than previously thought — and it might not be that far away.

On Thursday, April 13, NASA held a press conference on the subject, “Oceans Beyond Earth.” Prior to the event, the organization hinted at discoveries that would impact the “broader search for life beyond Earth.” The conference coincided with findings presented in papers published by researchers with NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn and the Hubble Space Telescope.

The stars are within reach for one Yavapai College student.

Lori McDonald, a massage therapist and hairstylist with offices in Jerome and Sedona, has been invited to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Project, the aim of which is to attract and retain students in the science, technology, math and engineering fields critical to NASA’s future success.

Mingus Union High School District has filed a a claim with Valley Academy for Career and Technology for nearly $394,000.

On March 10, MUHSD sent a letter via its attorney, Susan P. Segal of Gust Rosenfeld. In it, MUHSD alleges that beginning in 2012 VACTE repeatedly failed to adequately reimburse funds generated through enrollment in VACTE’s career and technical programs.

Prior to the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board voting on March 13 to extend the four-day school week to the 2022-23 school year, board member Helen Freeman said, “I think it’s irresponsible leadership to say we’ll do this for three years, no matter what — if it doesn’t work, we need to change it.”

Board member Kitty McDowell asked whether the board felt responsible to those families who hadn’t spoken out against altering the existing four-day school week — those whom McDowell had spoken with and expressed their children’s need for increased time in school.

What might have been a minor point about speaking with one voice raised questions about board member conduct during the Yavapai College District Governing Board meeting March 7 at the school’s Verde Valley Campus.

Following an exchange between board member Deb McCasland and college President Penny Wills, Wills said it took an inordinate amount of time for her and other staff to address the media after board members spoke with the media rather than referring questions to board chairman and spokesman Ray Sigafoos.

Following the establishment of two central programs last year, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education has fully taken over management of its Certified Nursing Assistant and Fire Science Programs.

According to VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir, the move to complete administrative independence from the associated satellite schools has resulted in substantial benefit: This year, Mingus Union High School saved over $75,000 for the CNA program and Camp Verde Unified School District saved $25,000 for the Fire Science program.

In Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus Executive Dean James Perey’s view, the college has “turned a corner” when it comes to perceptions about its performance among Verde Valley residents.

“Not that we weren’t making a good effort before,” Perey said, but added that he and his staff have gone a long way to communicate with the communities of the region to establish consensus about what’s needed in a community college.

“The question is, what makes sense for the Verde Valley?” Perey asked.

During a public forum on Jan. 31, community members voiced support for keeping a four-day school week at Camp Verde Unified School District — a viewpoint sustained by a 3-to-2 vote by the CVUSD Governing Board Tuesday, Feb. 14.

CVUSD Governing Board members Eric Lawton, Christine Schneider and Tim Roth voted for the measure, while President Helen Freeman and member Kitty McDowell voted against it.

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