By Zachary Mack

Third Annual Spooky Fiction Contest Winner

“Don’t forget, a minimum of one hour volunteering at Shady Hill Retirement Community before the end of the month, ladies!”

I was overwhelmed with these requirements. Volunteering was necessary to boost my chances for university. I signed up for five o’clock, the 30th of October. I set a reminder on my phone before heading home to catch up on my AP science.

By Patricia Watson

Third Annual Spooky Fiction Contest Second Place Winner

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night .... Well not really. This is Arizona; it was actually a balmy late afternoon, but it was Halloween, and I was on my way to Paul’s house for a Halloween party.

By Gordon J. Twa

Third Annual Spooky Fiction Contest Third Place

When I was 14, we lived in a very small town in central British Columbia, Canada.

There was no sewer system in the town so everyone had outhouses. These were usually situated on the alley behind the house. Of course, these were favorite targets for us young hoodlums. Those, and wood piles.

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”

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