The Arizona Department of Transportation is making good on a promise to help prevent suicides off Midgley Bridge.

On Friday, Dec. 2, ADOT announced that in partnership with Sedona, the U.S. Forest Service and Coconino County, it will add protective fencing over the next few weeks to the bridge, located north of Sedona on State Route 89A.

Over the last few years, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has been at the forefront of the battle against criminalizing mental health conditions — and now, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, YCSO is getting a helping hand.

With the funds, the YCSO Mental Health Collaboration Program enters its planning and implementation stage. The ultimate goal of the program is to support law enforcement responses such as mental health courts, pre-trial services, diversion and alternative prosecution and sentencing programs, treatment accountability services, training for officers and reentry services to address mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

One man was killed in a three-car collision on Cornville Road near Verde Santa Fe at about 4 p.m. Nov. 23.

Justin Allen Goemaere, 31, of Cottonwood, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. He was riding in the front seat and not wearing a seat belt. Officials are conducting an autopsy.

While the nation was taking in the results of a hotly-contested presidential election, the Village of Oakcreek Association was dealing with one of its own.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the VOCA board met to discuss and announce the results of a ballot sent to each of its members regarding short-term vacation rentals. Until this summer, short-term rentals were banned in Yavapai County [similar to the ban in Sedona]. However, Senate Bill 1350 was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, which overrode any county or city law. However, HOAs were not included in the legislation and remain in a position to regulate themselves, one way or the other.

County loosens the rules to serve more locally-grown foods

The Verde Valley Agricultural Coalition has a lot to celebrate. By working with the Yavapai County Community Health Department to develop “Guidance for Certified Kitchen Use of Whole Vegetables, Fruits and Nuts Grown in Yavapai County,” it significantly loosened restrictions that kept area chefs from using locally-grown produce in their restaurants.

Less than half an hour into the Yavapai College District Governing Board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Yavapai College’s Sedona Center, board member Al Filardo exited the building — but not before laying out a long list of criticisms.

“I’d like to share with you an analysis of what I have learned during my tenure,” Filardo began. “While I’ve had a feeling this day would come, I had hoped to complete my term. That is no longer possible. To put it simply, I am resigning effective Dec. 1 because the actions taken by the majority of the YCDGB don’t align with either my guiding principles or my sense of what is right.”

Yavapai College District Governing Board member Al Filardo has announced his resignation, effective Thursday, Dec. 1, ending his tenure on the board two years before the expiration of his term.

Filardo announced his resignation at the YCDGB meeting Oct. 11, referencing the board’s 3-2 vote in favor of suspending the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee as the reason for his departure. Filardo was a charter member of the committee, having been instrumental in its creation.

According to Filardo, the VVBAC had represented the post-secondary education concerns of the Verde Valley region ably for a year and a half, only to be effectively disbanded without a discussion of whether or not the committee had fulfilled its mission.

Do an Internet search under “creepy clowns” and you may be surprised with what you find.

There is everything from numerous articles of reported sightings and incidents involving creepy clowns from across the country. There are also articles about how Target has pulled its creepy clown Halloween masks from its shelves. And there’s a story about the Clown Lives Matter march in Tucson being canceled last weekend after the organizer received numerous deaths threats over the event.

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