Monday, Oct. 10, is the last day to register to vote for the 2016 general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The presidential election is a four-way race between Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein, just on the off-chance you haven’t picked up a newspaper, watched television, checked your smartphone, listened to the radio, visited neighbors or heard people screaming in the street over the last six months.

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On Aug. 6, most of the bills passed by the Arizona State Legislature this session became law. One notable exception is Senate Bill 1350, which prevents local governments from banning property owners turning their homes into short-term vacation rentals. SB 1350 will go into effect after Saturday, Dec. 31.

The bill nullifies vacation rental bans currently in effect in only three cities: Jerome, Sedona and Scottsdale. Homeowners associations can still ban or restrict short-term vacation rentals through provisions in their bylaws.

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The keynote speaker at last weekend’s Arizona Newspapers Association conference was Kevin Slimp, a consultant known in the industry as the News Guru.

Slimp’s notoriety outside the newspaper world was his creation of the Portable Document Format file. The innovative pdf made it possible for the newspapers Slimp worked for to electronically transfer documents from one site to another for color printing. Twenty years later, Slimp’s pdfs are a standard format throughout the world, used in thousands of different ways including court and legal documents, page proofs, graphic designs, architectural plans as well as still serving as the primary means by which newspapers transmit pages to their presses.

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This weekend, Cottonwood resident George Skoblin will be laid to rest in a service Saturday, Sept. 24, at Westcott Funeral Home.

On Feb. 10, we published in all three of our newspapers a letter to the editor Skoblin sent us about his life suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable progressive neurodegenerative disease in which the mind remains intact, but the body’s functions systematically begin to shut down. Given treatment like feeding tubes and breathing machines, ALS sufferers can survive for years before the body simply fails leading to death, most likely from asphyxiation.

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Last week, the Sedona-Oak Creek School District staved off what would have been one of the most unusual hires in the history of the district, had it not been struck down by the Governing Board.

Among the handful of new hires and extra duty contracts that are typically negotiated by administration, then rubber-stamped as consent agenda items by Governing Board was a hire that stood out like a red flag.

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The Yavapai College District Governing Board voted Monday, Sept. 12, to kill the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee, effective at the end of the month.

The committee was formed to represent our voice to the board, which is building new facilities in Prescott and Prescott Valley while promising less than

$5 million to the Verde Valley over the next 10 years even though it will reap over $12 million per year from us — $120 million — over those years. Outrage, threats of lawsuits and secession from the district prompted the committee’s creation. It was a tiny concession, but one that gave the board a list of local recommendations … which the board routinely ignored.

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