Originally published Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 12:50p.m.

Verde Valley Voices begin rehearsals for Spring concert in April

“This spring we’re singing a Broadway review of shows from the 1900s.”  Joy Simons is the director of the choir.  “It’s full of songs from shows the whole world loves!”

A list of shows includes; Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Les Miserables, Rent, West Side Story and Showboat.  More composers like Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, Sondheim and George Cohan are also on the bill.

“These are the greats who wrote the shows that are still being performed all over the world. I can’t wait to get started!” says Joy.

The Voices is a non-audition choir open to anyone who loves to sing. Rehearsals are every Tuesday evening from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the balcony of Immaculate Conception Church on SR 89A. An elevator is available for members to use.

Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays until Jan. 15. Semester dues are $45. Music and folders are provided. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Come take a journey with us through some of Broadway’s most memorable shows.

Friends of the Verde River Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary with Open House

Friends of the Verde River (Friends) celebrates ten years as a leader in river conservation work in the Verde Valley with an open house on Thursday, January 25th, 12pm noon to 7pm. The public is invited to visit the new office at 115 S. Main Street, #A, Cottonwood, AZ, 86326. The open house will kick off with a ribbon cutting ceremony provided by the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce at 12pm noon. Visitors can stop in throughout the day to meet the new staff and learn about volunteer opportunities and the Friends’ programs. An evening reception from 5:30 – 7pm will cap off the event with presentations by board members and program managers.

Friends collaborates with partners to provide solutions to critical water issues in the Valley and throughout the state. Over the past year, Friends has merged with two other local conservation organizations, bringing multiple programs and projects under the leadership of Friends. Along with this growth, Friends has moved to a new office, hired new staff and developed a cohesive website presence that incorporates content from multiple partnerships, establishing Friends as the “go to” source for Verde River conservation efforts.

The key programs of the Friends are Sustaining Flow, Restoring Habitat, and Promoting Community Stewardship.

What: Ten Year Anniversary Open House

When: Thursday, January 25th, 12pm noon – 7pm

Where: Friends of the Verde River Office: 115 S. Main St., Cottonwood, AZ 86326

About Friends of the Verde River:

Friends of the Verde River, (Friends), formerly known as Friends of Verde River Greenway, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that envisions a healthy, free-flowing Verde River and tributaries that support our unique environment, a vibrant economy, and quality of life for future generations.

Library and Adult Learn Center computer classes

Camp Verde Community Library is partnering with the Camp Verde Adult Reading Program and Learn Center (CVARP) to offer two levels of free computer classes. Level 1, or the Basic Computer Class, is for anyone with little to no computer experience. Level 2 classes are designed for computer users who want to learn new techniques, explore new software or upgrade their work skills.

The Basic Computer Class, taught by Library Specialist, Gerry Laurito, starts Wednesday January 17 and runs for three weeks at 2:00p in the CVARP Learn Center. Gerry covers topics from how to use the mouse and what you see on the screen to how to navigate the World Wide Web and setup an email account. With a limited number of computers, classes will be small to allow for personalized attention. If this sounds like the class for you, please call Gerry to sign-up at 928-554-8380.

Level 2 computer classes could range from learning how to write a letter, make a flyer or create a résumé to how to setup a budget, use social media, or create a Power Point slideshow to name a few. These classes may be custom designed to meet the needs of people interested in learning new skills for fun or work. We plan to run Level 2 classes in series of three on Fridays beginning January 26 at 9:30a. The first class is scheduled for January 26, February 2 and February 9. The topic of the first class will depend on the responses we get from those interested in learning new computer skills.

There are two ways that you can help us offer the Level 2 computer classes that you want. Go to the website, www.cvlibrary.org, click on the Computer Classes – Short Survey and answer ten general questions about the types of computer skills you would like to learn. Or, for a more detailed and specific options, stop by the library. Visit the PC Help Desk, fill out the paper survey and drop it in the survey collection box. Your response will make a difference as we decide where to focus our resources.

Camp Verde Community Library is located at 130 Black Bridge Road, Camp Verde AZ. For more information about computer classes coming to the CVARP Learn Center at the Library, stop by the PC Help Desk or call 928-554-8380.

Jan. 12 Verde Valley Parkinson Support Group meeting

Friday, January 12th, 3-4:30 p.m., at Verde Valley Medical Center Conference Room B, Bryana Merrell and Bree Branch, speech-language pathologists (SLP) at EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine at VVMC in Cottonwood, will share their expertise with those attending the Verde Valley Parkinson Support Group meeting.

Both Branch and Merrell possess Master of Science degrees and certificates of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Branch specializes in neurological disorders, dysphagia, and traumatic brain injury. Merrell specializes in adult stroke rehabilitation and treats adult swallowing and voice disorders.

With Parkinson disease, the voice may get softer, breathy, or hoarse, making it difficult for others to hear what is said. Speech may be slurred. Swallowing difficulties can occur at every stage of Parkinson disease and cause choking, aspiration of food and saliva into the lungs, and pneumonia. Special therapies can effectively address these symptoms and dramatic improvement in speech volume and clarity can be achieved.

Individuals with Parkinson disease, their family, care partners and friends meets the second Friday of every month, 3:00-4:30 PM, at the Verde Valley Medical Center, Conference Room B, 269 S. Candy Lane, Cottonwood, AZ. For more information, please contact group facilitator and Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance Program Director, Judy Talley at (928) 202-7952 or judy@pmdalliance.org.

Pat McMahon to address Jan. 11 meeting of Verde River Rockhounds

The Verde River Rockhounds will be hosting Pat McMahon as their featured speaker at their monthly meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the American Legion on Calvary Way in Cottonwood at 6:30 p.m.

Pat has been collecting agates since retiring 30 years ago. Today his collection has more than 8,000 polished agate specimens from over 550 locations. Most of these he has found in the field himself. He has collected in all 11 Western states in the U.S, Canada, and Alaska. He has spent considerable time digging on the Laguna and Coyamito Ranches in Chihuahua, Mexico and has dug “Condor Agate” at over a dozen localities in Argentina. His long years of intensive collecting have resulted in the best and most comprehensive collection of sagenite and plume agate in the world.

Recently, he completed the book “Agates, The Pat McMahan Collection”. What many agate collectors are saying is the most comprehensive and beautiful agate book ever produced. His book of 500 pages includes 1,250 beautiful color photos of agates from 300 deposits worldwide. The book relays personal collecting stories, prospecting techniques, and history telling about the early discoveries of well known deposits. Pat will have his book available for sale at the meeting.

He has displayed agates in rock shows in Europe and across the U.S. He has published articles in Rock and Gem Magazine and the German magazine Mineralien Welt and is the author of a chapter on agates with inclusions in the authoritative book “Agates II”.

In addition, the American Legion has dinner available beginning at 5 p.m.

American Legion invites Sedona high school students to compete in speech contest

High school students of Sedona are invited by Cornville American Legion Post No 135 to compete in the 2018 Annual American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program. The invitation to enter the competition was extended today by Post Oratorical Chairman, Jim Strande.

The subject in the prepared oration portion of the contest must be about some phase of the Constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the United States government. The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8-10 minutes in length.

Contestants will compete locally with the top contestants moving forward to the area contest held sometime late in Feb. 2018. At that contest, speakers will earn $300, $200, $100 respectively, for placing 1st through 3rd place.

The department contest which traditionally consists of six speakers from across Arizona will be held on March 3rd at the Ahwatukee American Legion Post 64 in Phoenix, AZ. Top speakers will walk away with $1,500, $1,000, and $750 respectively for 1st through 3rd place, all other speakers will receive $400, each.

In addition to the awards by winners of the various elimination rounds of competition, college scholarships of $18,000, $16,000, and $14,000 will be awarded to the first through third places in the national finals. Each state winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national final round will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The top three youth orators who have won all previous elimination rounds of the contest will vie for top honors in the national contest in April in Indianapolis.

The American Legion will pay the expenses of state winners and chaperone at the national contest.

High school students in Sedona who are interested in entering the competition will find complete rules and contest information by contacting Chairman Strande at 928-301-7273. Previous national winner of the contest may be viewed at www.legion.org/oratorical.

Archaeology presentation at Camp Verde Community Library

A special program entitled "Integrative Archaeology & Hidden Histories: Peru and Tiahuanaco in Bolivia" will be presented at the Camp Verde Community Library, in the Terra Cotta Room, 130 Black Bridge Road, Camp Verde, on Saturday, January 13, from 2 to 3 pm. Luminous Antonio, founder and C.E.O of the Integrative Archaeology Foundation, will explore new ways to discover hidden stories, customs, origins and deeper meanings beyond the material evidence of ancient civilizations and cultures. The talk is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted.

Discover and enjoy the mysteries and wonders of some of the most beautiful and breathtaking archaeological sites in the world – including Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Quillarumiyoq, Tipon, Qoricancha, Saqaywaman, Qenqo and Tiahuanaco and Puma Punku in Bolivia. A visual journey through Peru and Tiahuanaco in Bolivia highlights mammoth megalithic stones, temples, altars and ceremonial sites—the remaining representatives of ancient and prehistoric civilizations. How old are these sites and what can we learn from them and the Andean people who still reside in the area? From the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the Altiplano in Bolivia the beauty and of the earth and stones, sites and people will stimulate your senses and inform your life and future.

"If you have ever been even a casual visitor to an archaeological site, power place or sacred site and found yourself with feelings, questions or insights that traditional archaeology could not answer, this program will provide guidance and encouragement for deeper exploration," Luminous states. "I want to help you pursue an exploration of the wisdom, healing and hidden histories waiting to be revealed when we connect with ancient places, by opening, utilizing and trusting our senses and innate ability to connect with the past. Bring your friends, your questions and open your heart to the to the wonders of the Andes."

Luminous Antonio is an accomplished author, painter, world traveler, transformational travel facilitator and real estate broker. While these pursuits may appear unrelated, they all have a uniting thread running through them—the treasure hunt. Luminous has researched, visited, explored, painted and written about hundreds of archaeological sites, ancient, sacred and ceremonial over the last forty years. The Integrative Archaeology Foundation's mission is to continue research, produce educational materials and events and assist with the preservation of indigenous cultures. Please call (928) 592-3000 for more information.

Ironman Grandpa comes to Cottonwood Village

Al Slusser, nicknamed “Ironman Grandpa,” is well known for his cross-country walking. Al will be speaking about his journeys at Cottonwood Village on January 12th at 2 p.m. Al is being honored with a Patriot Guards performance of the Flag Ceremony and being presented with the Medal of Valor. The Celebration is open to the public.

Al Slusser started walking Arizona at age 69. He is considered to be “the oldest and only documented person to walk the width and length of America, as well as the width and length of Arizona.” His walks have covered more than 5,000 miles, spending over a year on the open road, dedicating his walks to worthy causes. He is starting a new adventure in Hawaii for his 79th birthday, beginning on February 7th. He is dedicating this walk to America’s First Responders: Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, Military, Emergency Medical and Emergency Services Personnel.

Fair association offers waste for gardening

The Verde Valley Fair Association has some barn animal waste that can be used for gardens, included is horse, cow, lamb, goat, hog, rabbit and chicken (all mixed into one pile) – free if you haul. Please call the fairgrounds at 928-634-3290 to set up a time to pick up. You load, you haul.

Christmas Tree Drop Off

The City of Cottonwood will be accepting Christmas Trees for disposal free of charge. Trees may be dropped off at the City’s reclaimed water fill station which is located adjacent to the Public Works yard at 1490 West Mingus Avenue. The drop off site is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Please follow signs to the site.

All lights and decorations must be removed from the trees before they are dropped off.

For any questions, please call the Public Works office at 928-634-8033.

Grasshopper Basketball needs coaches, registration extended to Jan. 5

Registration has been extended until Jan. 5 for Grasshopper Basketball but coaches are in desperate need. This popular program for 5th – 8th grade boys and girls needs volunteer coaches to function. Camp Verde Parks and Recreation hires game officials and scorekeepers but each team needs one or more volunteer coaches for the real heart of the program.

As a recreational league, teams practice one evening a week and games are on Saturday mornings, all at the Community Gym on Hollamon Street. Coaches don’t have to be basketball experts, just willing to commit their time to help the youth of Camp Verde have fun and learn some basketball.

Camp Verde takes care of the fees associated with the background check so if you are interested please contact Parks & Recreation.

This session is for boys and girls in 5th through 8th grade and is a fun way to learn basketball and teamwork. Co-ed teams of boys and girls are led by those volunteer coaches and grouped by grade level. Smaller sized basketballs are used to make the game more enjoyable and successful for the younger grades.

Registration is only $40 per child and $35 for each additional child from the same family and includes a uniform shirt. Partial scholarships may be available to help those in need courtesy of funding provided by the Kiwanis Club of Camp Verde. Sign-up forms are available through the schools or can be picked up at Parks & Recreation.

Return all registration forms to Parks & Recreation by Jan. 5. Games are scheduled to start Saturday, Jan. 20 and the Tournament will finish in early March.

For more information, to register or volunteer to coach come to Parks & Recreation at 395 S. Main St., call (928)554-0829 or email us at parks@campverde.az.gov.

Local art exhibit at Beaver Creek library through Jan. 6

Through Saturday, Jan. 6, the Beaver Creek Public/School Library will host a Holiday Arts Peace Show, a display of local artwork from the Rimrock community.

From homemade crafts to photography to art, come see – or purchase – the work of local artists Devon Artrip, Dena Crill, Mark Foltz, Tammie Gardner Williams, Jo Hufford, Eric Kaiser and Sunshower Rose.

Artrip, Crill, Williams, Hufford and Rose are also members of the Verde Valley Photographic Society.

The Beaver Creek Public/School Library is located at 4810 E. Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock.

Library hours are 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 928-567-4034 for more information.

Tuzigoot Health and Wellness Fair Jan. 6

Join us Saturday, Jan. 6 for the 2nd annual Tuzigoot Health and Wellness Fair. The fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature local healthcare professionals, wellness organizations, and natural remedy vendors from across the Verde Valley.

If you come by and visit all of the tables, you will have the opportunity to enter our raffle to win a bunch of cool prizes from our Western National Parks Association Park Store.

Start your new year in the right direction by discovering the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle. The Tuzigoot Health and Wellness Fair is in coordination with the National Park Service’s “Health Parks Healthy People” initiative. For more information about similar programs, visit https://www.nps.gov/public_health/hp/hphp.htm .

Over 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and monuments and create close-to-home recreational and cultural opportunities.

Tuzigoot National Monument is located at 25 W. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale, AZ. For further information, call 928-634-5564, visit www.nps.gov/tuzi or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cottonwood Community Band preseason sessions begin Jan. 8

The Cottonwood Community Band will offer its first ever preseason sessions beginning on Monday, Jan. 8, at Cottonwood Middle School, room 301 from 7-9 p.m. The Preseason is similar to baseball’s spring training. It’s a time for returning players to get back into shape after the holiday break, and an opportunity for new players interested in playing with the band to rediscover their instruments and ease back into making music. Prospective new members should have previous experience playing a wind or percussion instrument and be able to read music. The Preseason sessions will last for the initial 2 ½ weeks of the rehearsal schedule after which the band will begin working on new music for its spring concerts. Dr. Sy Brandon, the band’s new conductor, will direct the sessions using materials provided by the band. The Preseason sessions are free to members of the community. The community band is an all-volunteer band with members with a wide variety of musical experience and talent. We rehearse every Monday evening and perform several concerts during the year. Many of the musicians are people who played in high school or college but who had been away from their instruments for years or even decades before rediscovering the joy of making music with friends in a concert band. If that describes you, we’d like to invite you to give it a try. Email cottonwoodcommunityband@gmail.com for more information.

Movie Monday at the Library Jan. 8

The Cottonwood Public Library invites you to Movie Monday on the second Mondays of each month. This month’s movie is based on a book and is a wonderful story of unconditional love depicting the experiences of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family. For more information visit www.ctwpl.info. The movie will be shown on Monday, Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. in Library Meeting Room B, and free popcorn will be provided. The library is located at 100 S 6th St in Cottonwood.

Alpha course begins Jan. 9

Are you searching for meaning in life? You are cordially invited to join us as we explore life and faith. Over 69 million persons worldwide have experienced Alpha. There’s something in Alpha for everyone: The faithful, the questioning, those on the fringe of faith and even the person who is outside the faith but wants to learn more.

The Alpha course is interdenominational, relaxed, friendly, & fun. Sharing a meal at the beginning of each session provides an opportunity to get to know each other.

Then we watch a DVD presentation on topics such as “Is there more to life than this?” or “Who is Jesus.” After each talk we divide into small groups for discussion.

The philosophy of Alpha is listen, learn, discuss, discover. And ask anything. No question is too simple or too hostile. It is a respectful environment where your questions are valued and your opinions respected.

The course consists of 10 weekly sessions in the parish hall. There is no charge for the Alpha course and babysitting is provided free on-site.

The first 2018 Alpha course will be hosted by Immaculate Conception Catholic Church located on SR89A and Bill Gray Rd. beginning Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. with a free catered dinner and the Introductory Session.

For information and registration contact John at 254-8137, the parish office at 634-2933 or email Carol at caroldej@gmail.com.

EL Valley Artist Association meeting Jan. 11

The EL Valle Artists Association will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at 1 p.m. The meeting is held at the Pine Shadows Club House, 2050 W. State Route 89A in Cottonwood. Monthly meeting dates fall on the second Thursday of each month, from September through May.

Pastel artist Don Rantz will present the January 2018 art demonstration for the club meeting. Don has worked in many mediums throughout the years, but became obsessed with pastels in 2003. He perfected his pastel painting by focusing on landscapes near his home. His paintings have won awards and recognition, as well as being featured in well- known art publications. To learn more about Don and his artwork, please visit donrantz.com.

Please feel free to attend the meeting, and become acquainted with Don as he demonstrates his pastel process. His demonstration is a precursor to his workshop that will be held later in the month. For more information on the demonstration or the upcoming workshop, contact Irene Bauman at 928-646-0195 or email her at ibgrace6@msn.com.

The EL Valle Artists Association website, elvalleartists.org, provides information regarding membership, meetings, demonstrations, workshops and future art shows. You will want to check often to watch for news, updated info and events.

For more information in general, call 928-634-0076. We welcome new members.

Local musicians perform ‘Music in the Stacks’ Jan. 11

The next Music in the Stacks, a free monthly concert series, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Camp Verde Community Library's Fireside Room. Music in the Stacks is a showcase of local and national musicians who entertain regularly in Northern Arizona. There are 5-7 different performers during the show, with a rotating variety each month.

January’s concert features the following talented local musicians: Kris Baldwin, Jo Berger, Matt Fabritz, Sonja Whisman and Gary Simpkins. These free concerts will continue the second Thursday of every month at the same time and location.

Camp Verde Community Library is located at 130 Black Bridge Rd. in Camp Verde. For more information about this or any other program at the library, call 928-554-8380.

Jan. 13 workshop about Sexual Harassment and Assault: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

The Verde Valley Sanctuary will be hosting a free workshop to discuss the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Participants will receive practical advice on how to stay safe and handle a variety of scenarios where harassment and assault commonly occurs. The free two-hour workshop will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13 from 1-3 p.m. at the Sedona Public Library.

“The Me-Too Movement has brought the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault into the daily conversations of our nation and our community. Sixty-five percent of reported unwanted sexual encounters are perpetrated by someone the victim knows such as a current or former intimate partner, a family member, a person of authority or an acquaintance*,” states Jennifer Perry, Development Director for the Verde Valley Sanctuary. “It isn’t just happening on the news, it is happening here in Sedona and Verde Valley. The Verde Valley Sanctuary is dedicated to stopping family violence, exploitation and sexual assault in our community. We want to empower our residents with the knowledge and tools to handle these uncomfortable and often complex situations, so that they can stop before anyone gets hurt.”

The free workshop is open to men, women and teenagers. Participants will learn the following:

How to protect oneself from physical and psychological harassment. Practical tips for dealing with situations at school, work, and personal relationships.

The reality about the prevalence of sexual assault here in the Verde Valley.

What you need to know about the law, proper documentation, and when to get the police involved

Basic Self Defense

Presenters Include:

Lisa Davis, MAMFT, Outreach Director, Verde Valley Sanctuary

Johannah Rutschow, Victim Advocate, Cottonwood Police Department

Laura J. Hamblin, JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Employment Law & Human Resources Consulting

Master Steve Wills, Traveling Master

To Register: e-mail development@verdevalleysanctuary.org and type “Workshop” in the subject line.

The Verde Valley Sanctuary is a non-profit 501c3 organization that is dedicated to stopping family violence, exploitation and sexual assault in our community.

Free Community Services include:

Emergency shelter

24-hour crisis hotline

Transitional housing

Community and youth outreach

Legal advocacy

The Verde Valley Sanctuary is the only shelter and domestic violence service agency in the Verde Valley, all programs and services are provided completely free of charge. The Emergency Shelter has approximately 28 beds. Each month 25 people receive free legal advocacy services and assistance with transitional housing. In addition to the shelter, 24-hour hotline and counseling services, the Sanctuary has a robust education and prevention program with dedicated employees working in the schools through the Youth Empowerment Program.

Funding for the Verde Valley Sanctuary Services comes from public and private grants, revenue from the Twice Nice store on 89A in Sedona, the Twice Nice Thriftique in Cottonwood and the generosity of private donors and businesses.

To learn more about the workshop or how you can support the important work of the Verde Valley Sanctuary please contact, Jennifer Perry at development@verdevalleysanctuary.org or call 928-301-0166.

*Source: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2012

Join Camp Verde Parks and Recreation for trips to Phoenix area starting Jan. 13

Join Camp Verde Parks and Recreation for fun-filled trips on a 14 passenger shuttle bus. Trips leave from the Community Center Gym at 9 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. unless otherwise specified. Participants must be at least 16 years old or have an accompanying adult. Explore the secrets of Arizona and relax with plenty of opportunity for you to spend the day the way you want. Must pre-register for all trips

Saturday, Jan. 13: Barrett-Jackson Car Auction & Show in Scottsdale

Visit the World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction with luxury, antique, collectable and classic cars. Check out all the cars on display, watch items being auctioned, and enjoy seeing all of the auto related memorabilia. You can also catch a motorcycle drifting exhibition. Lunch is available from one of many vendors on site. Senior, Military & Student $26, Adult $31, Child (6-12) $26



Friday, Jan. 26: AZ Museum of Natural History & Mesa

Come tour the premier natural history museum in Arizona and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Southwest. Be amazed by Dinosaur Hall, explore ancient Seas, learn about Paleo-Indians and later Hohokam Native Americans. Explore the history of the Spanish Southwest and Territorial Arizona. Enjoy lunch at your choice of local restaurants, visit the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and local shops. Adult $22, Senior (65 +) $20, Student (13+) $18, Child (0-12) $15.

Friday, Feb. 9 Butterfly Wonderland & OdySea Aquarium (Mix & Match) in Scottsdale.

Trip leaves early at 8 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m. Your choice of one or both attractions. At Butterfly Wonderland, walk through America’s largest butterfly atrium surrounded by thousands of beautifully colored butterflies! Learn about the fascinating life of butterflies in the 3D movie “Flight of the Butterflies.” At OdySea Aquarium, see the Rivers of the World, Otter Banks, Penguin Point and walk through the Great Barrier Reef tunnel under the water! Check out two stories of restaurants and shops around the huge circular plaza.

Cost for Butterfly Wonderland: Adult $42, Senior $40, Student $40, Children 3-12: $33.

Cost for OdySea Aquarium: Adult $55, Senior $53, Student: $49, Children 3-12: $44

Cost for both attractions: Adult: $75, Seniors: $69, Student: $66, Children 3-12: $55.

Friday, Feb. 23 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Watch your choice of several horse competitions at this premier event. This is the 63rd annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, with over 2,400 horses, top owners, trainers, and breeders from around the world competing to be the best. Explore the vendor hall with 200 plus exhibitors and lots of food options. Adult $19, Senior (55 +) $16, Child (0-12) $15

Friday, March 9 Phoenix Art Museum

Enjoy the largest art museum in the southwest with art from around the world. Enjoy the permanent collections as well as temporary exhibits such as the current “Selections from the Schorr Collection” of Old World & 19th century masters. Bring a lunch or enjoy creations from Palette restaurant at the museum. Adult $28, Senior $25, Student $23, Child (6 – 17) $19.

Friday, March 23 Wrigley Mansion Lunch & Tour in Phoenix

Join us for this unusual opportunity. Enjoy a wonderful lunch with your choice of menu options and a great view. Then take a guided tour through the Wrigley Mansion. Built by the Wrigley gum magnate William Wrigley between 1929 and 1931. It has 24 rooms and 12 bathrooms, spanning 16,000 square feet. This tour includes your lunch. All ages - $45

Register at Camp Verde Parks and Recreation at 395 S. Main St. Or call (928)554-0829 for more information.

Volunteers needed for MLK Day of Service at Montezuma Well Jan. 15

Join park rangers at Montezuma Well on Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for Martin Luther King Day. To honor Dr. King, many organizations around the country are offering opportunities to serve others.

Rangers at Montezuma Well need help with:

Weeding & tilling the traditional use & pollinator gardens

Creating native seeds balls

Cleaning out irrigation ditches

Removing invasive plants (like pesky Johnson grass and Russian thistle)

Trail maintenance (raking mulch, clearing debris, trimming branches)

Participants will also learn about native plants and their cultural uses.

We will provide extra water and tools, but please bring a water bottle, wear sturdy shoes, work clothes, a hat, and gloves if you have them. We will be offering free lunch!

To sign up, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/montezuma-well-natural-resources-traditional-use-garden-work-day-tickets-41210943040

Please RSVP by Thursday, Jan. 11.

For more service opportunities near you, please visit https://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday

Montezuma Well is located at 5525 W Beaver Creek Rd., Rimrock, AZ 86335. For more information, please call 928-567-3322 x 0, or visit www.nps.gov/moca. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @MontezumaNPS.




































































Be smarter than your smartphone class Jan. 18

Did you get a new smartphone over the holidays and have no idea how to use it? Cottonwood Public Library staff is here to help. Do you have an iPhone? Pick up some iPhone tips and tricks with library staff member Rose on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. If you don’t have an iPhone then your smartphone is probably using some version of the Android operating system, and staff member Jeff will be on hand at 4:30 p.m. to guide you through the basics. Both classes will be held in Library Meeting Room B. Registration is required and seating is limited, please call 928-634-7559 to sign up. The library is located at 100 S 6th St in Cottonwood.

Verde Valley writers group forming, meetings begin Jan. 19

Are you a published author looking to join a Verde Valley writers group that will fully critique your next work of fiction, memoir or creative nonfiction essay? The focus of the group is to give honest critiques in a positive climate of professionalism.

Weekly Friday morning meetings will begin on Friday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon in the upper meeting room at Jerona Café, 677 E. Mingus Ave., Cottonwood. There is no charge for the meeting room with group food purchase, so please be prepared to order drinks and/or food.

Requirements to join: writing that has been traditionally published by trade publishers or literary magazines. For those writers who have self-published novels, memoirs or a collection of non-fiction essays, self-published work must have been professionally edited. Members accepted need to understand English fundamentals and the mechanics of final editing.

This is not a group for beginning writers or for those who write about religion, politics or science fiction. Attention during critique will be paid to stylistic techniques such as structure, flow, rhythm, voice, storyline, dialogue, metaphor and imagery; meetings will not focus on grammar.

Each writer should bring no more than 1,000 words to the weekly meetings with copies of the work to be supplied to the group of four to six writers.

Group leader is Geraldine Birch, a former newspaper reporter and editor for both small and metropolitan newspapers in the Los Angeles area, Birch moved to Sedona, Arizona in 1991 where she worked as a reporter and editor for a community newspaper and received a first place national award from the National Newspaper Association for her political column “Gerrymandering.”

She is the author of two novels, Sedona: City of Refugees and The Swastika Tattoo. Her work has been published in the Arizona Republic, Christian Science Monitor, Fiction Attic Press, Six Hens, and Opium. Her essay “Taking the Census in Rural Arizona,” received a finalist award in the 2016 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize competition and the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books writing competition.

“I’m hoping to form a group of published Verde Valley writers,” Birch said, “who are seeking valued critique for new work, emotional support for writing projects, and encouragement when the writing process seems like it is going nowhere.”

For more information, please email Geraldine Birch at talesbygeraldine@gmail.com.

Art of Marriage event Jan. 19-20

Jett Life Ministries founders, Jeff and Deanna Branaman are hosting The Art of Marriage event Friday, Jan. 19 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Join us at 49 Bell Rock Plaza in the Village of Oak Creek for this six session video event.

For more than three decades, FamilyLife has been helping couples understand God’s plan for relationships. In this setting we will weave together expert teaching, engaging stories, man-on-the-street interviews, humorous vignettes and much more to portray both the challenges and the beauty of God’s design.

We will explore God’s purpose and plan, overcoming isolation, fulfilling our responsibilities, communication and conflict, experiencing real intimacy and leaving a lasting legacy.

The cost of the event is $40 which included materials, snacks and beverages. Scholarships are available to couples who may need financial assistance to attend.

For more information or to register, call Phyllis at 928-300-1874 or send us an email at thehousechurchvoc@gmail.com

Sedona Women’s March Jan. 20

Organizers of last year’s Sedona Women’s March have announced an anniversary March for Jan. 20 starting at 10 a.m. Marchers will gather at Creative Gateways, 45 Birch Blvd. off SR89A (across from Whole Foods) in West Sedona and march to Vino di Sedona, 2575 SR89A, to rally there, on the back patio.

Following last year’s presidential election, 1500 people took part in Sedona’s Women’s March. Collectively, marches, rallies and events that took place around the country represented the largest protest in US history.

Since then, there has been a surge of activism that has resulted in new organizations being formed and in a record number of women and progressive candidates running for political office at every level - and winning.

In Virginia, women unseated a total of 11 Republican male incumbents in the House of Delegates. In Alabama, Doug Jones defeated Trump-backed Republican candidate Roy Moore.

Political and social activism has grown, notably the “Me Too” movement that has empowered women to speak out about sexual misconduct. As women increasingly recognize the power of their vote, attention is turning to the 2018 congressional mid-term elections, as well as to local and state elections. Every state office will be up for election in Arizona in 2018.

The march and rally will feature speakers from local organizations addressing a variety of issues and encouraging voter turnout. Voter registration information will be available. Box lunches can be pre-ordered by calling the restaurant. The march is open to everyone and signs will be available, although marchers are encouraged to bring their own, on issues that are important to them.

Sign up for ‘Looking Good Cottonwood,’ begins Feb. 21

Sign up now for Looking Good Cottonwood 2018. LGC is your step-by-step lifestyle transformation journey. Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 21 through Wednesday, May 16, 2018 we offer a 12-week body transformation program which includes extra group exercise classes, health seminars and weekly weigh-ins. Participants will receive an LGC t-shirt (upon completion), discounts on recreation center memberships (three months and longer) and 10 percent off the Brian Mickelsen Memorial Race in April. Come by the Cottonwood Recreation Center to sign up. Fees: $20 for CRC members, $40 for non-members.

For more information, contact Trevor Faust at tfaust@cottonwoodaz.gov or call 928-639-3200. Must be 18 years old to participate.

Griefshare Support Group runs through Jan. 25

Struggling with grief? GriefShare support groups are led by caring people who have experienced grief and successfully rebuilt their lives.

GriefShare seminars feature nationally recognized experts on grief recovery topics, such as “Is This Normal?” “The Challenges of Grief,” “Grief and Your Relationships,” “Why?”, “Guilt” and Anger.”

These session are open to both those who have had a recent loss of a loved one or an earlier loss.

We will also have a special “Surviving The Holidays” Session on Tuesday, Nov. 14. This GriefShare support group will meet at Calvary Chapel Camp Verde, Tuesdays through Jan. 25, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Calvary Chapel Camp Verde is located at 514 S. Main St.

For more information contact Julie Scott at 928-963-1085.

2018 Cottonwood Chamber annual dinner Jan. 26

The 2018 Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Board of Directors Installation Banquet/Dance will take place Jan. 26, 5-9 p.m., at the Verde Valley Moose Lodge #1449, 1051 S. Broadway, Clarkdale.

The evening begins with a 5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. live auction and 8 p.m. dance.

Admission is $35 per person.

For additional information, contact Kristine or Karen, 928-634-7593.

Clarkdale’s 2018 Concerts in the Park call for performers, lineup announced Jan. 29

The Town of Clarkdale is currently seeking professional musical acts to entertain diverse crowds for the 2018 Concerts in the Park season. Concerts are free to the public and are offered June through September Saturday evenings from 7-9 p.m. in the Clarkdale Town Park gazebo.

The requirements to be considered in the selection process are available on the Town of Clarkdale’s website (www.clarkdale.az.gov) under the Concerts in the Park link. Interested bands/performers must submit all required materials and information no later than 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

The 2018 Concerts in the Park band lineup will be announced on or before Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Community Services Department at 928-639-2460 or by email: community.services@clarkdale.az.gov.

University of Arizona Yavapai County Cooperative Extension offers Master Gardener Volunteer Training in Camp Verde starting Feb. 6

The Master Gardener Volunteer training course provides research-based horticulture information you will use as a Master Gardener volunteer educator for the Yavapai County Cooperative Extension.

Topics include basic botany, soils, fruit tree care, planting, staking, pruning, ornamental trees and shrubs, water/irrigation, wildlife in the garden, insects, integrated pest management, vegetables, weed management, natural resources, plant diseases and pesticide safety.

The 16-week course runs from Feb. 6, 2018 to May 22, 2018 and will be held on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Camp Verde Community Library.

The application and additional information is available on our website https://extension.arizona.edu/yavapai-county-master-gardener-volunteer-training-application or call Lydia at 928-445-6590 ext. 221.

Applications are required and must be postmarked by Dec. 1, 2017.

VVMC Caregiver Support Group meets each Friday

Join other caregivers each Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. at Verde Valley Medical Center located at 300 Willard St., Education Rooms in Cottonwood. Join us for sharing those difficult moments to celebrating precious memories while learning self-care from others that are living it.

Enjoy snacks and materials while gaining access to available supportive services and programs in your community.

For more information about the VVMC Caregiver Support Group or to inquire about other programs and services, call Area Agency on Aging NACOG toll-free at 1-877-521-3500.

Free bird walks at Montezuma Well, Tuzigoot National Monument through April

Continuing through April 2018, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot national monuments will host bird walks.

On the first and third Saturdays of each month, walks will take place from 9-11 am at Montezuma Well. Each walk will begin at the Montezuma Well Picnic area.

On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, walks will take place from 9-11 a.m. at Tuzigoot National Monument.

Each walk will begin at the Tuzigoot Visitor Center parking lot. Due to the holidays, there will be no bird walks on Nov. 25 or Dec. 23.

Participants are encouraged to bring water, binoculars, a hat, and to wear comfortable shoes for walking. The trails can be steep, rocky and uneven.

Montezuma Well is located at 5525 Beaver Creek Road, Rimrock, AZ 86335.

For more information, call 928-567-3322, extension zero, visit www.nps.gov/moca or follow us at www.facebook.com/MontezumaNPS.

Tuzigoot National Monument is located at 25 Tuzigoot Road in Clarkdale.

For more information, call 928-634-5564 or visit www.nps.gov/tuzi.

Verde Valley Special Needs Support Group meets every third Thursday

The Verde Valley Special Needs Support Group - a core group of people personally connected to the autism community – has been expanded to welcome and offer support to parents, family members, and caregivers of people with all special needs.

A support group is the lifeline that can bring emotional respite and assistance to those struggling. Those in the support group are walking the path too, some of them have for several years, and can offer empathy, insight, and suggestions for professional help and resources.

The Group meets every third Thursday of the month at the Camp Verde Library from 6-7:30 p.m. We welcome you to join us. No family should have to walk this path alone. Come to a meeting and share, learn, and connect with others who understand.

Family Movies at Cottonwood Library

On every third Saturday of the month the Cottonwood Public Library hosts family movies in the Youth Services Department. Family friendly movies begin at 10:30 a.m. and are free and open to parents and children of all ages. Please check the Library website at www.ctwpl.info for this Saturday’s family movie title. The Library is located at 100 S 6th St in Cottonwood.

Volunteers needed for upcoming tax season

Your local AARP Foundation Tax Aide sites are seeking volunteers for the upcoming tax season. We have sites in Camp Verde, Cottonwood, and Sedona.

We provide free, confidential tax service for seniors and low income families. Experience is not required as training is provided for counselors, client facilitators, and receptionists. This is a wonderful way to give back to your community.

Please call Pat at 928 567-9251 for more information.

Registration open for 2018 Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival will be back March 2-4, 2018 and registration is now open. This year, organizers say they are ready “to put on another amazing event with the same recipe of three days of bike demos, music, breweries, food trucks and shuttles. We are excited to continue our partnerships with Vida women’s skills clinic, as we are their first stop of the season, and with Hermosa Tours shuttle company.”

The festival is put on by real riders. We know what makes an event fun and what doesn’t. “Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is right in the middle of Sedona making it easy to access hundreds of miles of single track,” said organizers.

There are group rides going out all day every day, some lead by famous athletes. Those who want to ride alone can take advantage of the many trails.

Now until Feb. 2, three-day passes are $80. For the first 1,000 people, this price includes a free event t-shirt by TASCO MTB as the official soft goods sponsor, and pint glass. Sign up at www.sedonamtbfestival.com.

Survivors of Suicide support group

For every person who completes a suicide there are friends and family members intimately affected by the death. There is utter bewilderment that the loved one made such a decision.

The survivors experience a sense of isolation, shock, anger, guilt, depression and often alienation due to the stigma attached to suicide.

Survivors of Suicide is a local support program for those whose common bond is the loss of a loved one to suicide. Meetings are typically the last Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 25 Chapel Rd, Sedona (the corner of 179 & Chapel).

For additional information call Barbara Litrell at 928-649-0135 or email bprats@cableone.net.