The Coconino Community College system is in need of a helping hand. It’s now up to the voters as to whether or not they will be the ones to provide it.

The college is seeking voter approval on Tuesday, Nov. 8 to enact a property tax override for a period of seven years beginning in 2019. If approved, an additional property tax of $3 million per year for seven years will be levied to support the college.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, CCC President Colleen Smith appeared before the Sedona City Council to explain why the college is in need of this tax override. The college now has the highest tuition of any community college in the state. However, CCC’s district has the lowest tax rate in the state and thus, less money is generated.

Sedona Literacy is in its 29th year of existence, and this could be its biggest year yet — that is, if the program gets the volunteers it needs.

“I want people to come see us in action,” Sedona Literacy Director Carolyn Fisher said. “It’s a great program, and it’s all one-on-one.”

Focusing on second- and third-graders at West Sedona School and Big Park Community School, Sedona Literacy trains tutors to intervene in the literacy education of children so that they can move from “learning to read to reading to learn,” according to Fisher. Volunteers need not come from an education background; instead, they must have only a passion for helping children.

Sedona Parks and Recreation’s popular Pumpkin Splash has been one of the town’s signature fall events for the past eight years. But like almost anything, change is often needed.

“We’re just trying to keep the event fresh,” Recreation Coordinator Ali Baxter said. “This year is going to be more of a harvest theme, which will include all-new decorations and games that we’re excited about. We felt like it was time for a change.”

Despite a few growing pains at its new location last year, organizers of the fourth annual Red Rocks Oktoberfest are confident things will get back on course this year.

The Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks is again hosting the event, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Posse Grounds Park. Gates open at 4 p.m. This traditional German celebration of the harvest season features more than 10 local brewers showcasing their finest beers. Tickets to attend will be $30 at the door or $25 per if bought in advance online. All proceeds will support the club’s Red Rock High School scholarship program and its mission of supporting programs for local children’s charities.

It’s a form of modern-day slavery and it could be happening in your town and you wouldn’t even know it.

That was the message shared during a child trafficking forum hosted by the Verde Valley Coalition Against Human Trafficking at the Sedona Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 29.

“As they say, it’s going to take a village — the entire county — in order to work on this together,” VVCAHT member Lynette Jennings said. “That’s what the coalition is all about, gathering all the stakeholders to work together and share ideas. It’s happening in plain sight. It’s happening in this community. We’re not talking New York, L.A. or Phoenix. We’re talking about the Verde Valley. I’m just angry this is happening in my backyard”

In less than a week, representatives from the city of Sedona, local bike community and the project’s contractor met twice to iron out some ongoing wrinkles while preparing for the second phase of the Sedona Bike Skills Park.

“The purpose of the meetings was to get the volunteers and the city on the same page,” Parks and Recreation Manager Rachel Murdoch said. “We discussed what we do with what we currently have and how we move forward. We still have some stuff to work out but everyone agreed that things have been more positive than negative so far.”

This weekend, staff from Larson Newspapers attended the annual Arizona Newspapers Association Fall Convention and Annual Meeting.

This year, 50 newspapers and seven high schools entered in the Better Newspapers Contest for a total of 1,631 entries while 38 newspapers entered 512 entries in 12 categories in the Excellence in Advertising competition.

Larson Newspapers was the only news outlet in the Verde Valley to win multiple awards for both advertising and editorial excellence.

Over a dozen volunteer dog walkers have left the Humane Society of Sedona over what they see as a lack of communication and respect from management and the board.

The volunteers left the society through voluntary or involuntary means during previous executive directors and said they’d like to see the relationship change going forward so that what they allege to be a dwindling core of volunteers is bolstered once more.

Suzanne Fuqua was director from April 2013 to May 2015, followed by Mark Thompson from June 2015 to May 2016.

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