Local Airman Returns Home
PRESCOTT- Over the past five years, Prescott’s Emily Walter has been serving her country in the Air Force in Afghanistan and South Carolina. Throughout the time, she kept up with her parents Pete and Sharon through social media.
“It was almost like she was right next door but she was in a cubicle in Afghanistan,” Sharon Walter said.
While Emily has seen her parents in person on trips to South Carolina , she hasn’t able to feel the love and joy from her four-legged friends since dropping them off before heading to Afghanistan.
On her first day back in town, Emily wanted to see her dogs for the first time in a special way-by waiting for her dogs to notice her in a box.
Boys Honored For Assisting Granduncle After Car Falls On Him
PRESCOTT- Don Mapes was busy restoring his 1952 MG TD with his two grandnephews Wyatt and Patrick Eyler on Friday, July 14th, when the jack slipped, trapping Mapes under the car with the frame across his chest. After Wyatt and Patrick’s mother Lalanie pointed out another jack, the boys quickly learned how to operate it and managed to lift the car off Mapes.
Mapes escaped with only bruised ribs and a few cuts.
“The first minute it fell on him, I was pretty terrified,” Wyatt Eyler said. “Then once we got the car off him, I was glad that he was alive and not unconscious when the car fell on top of him.”
Wyatt and Patrick then waved down the firefighters who helped Mapes get to the hospital.
“The thing that really got to me was how calm and collected the boys stayed during the whole situation,” Prescott Fire Department Engineer and Paramedic David Haskell said. “They didn’t seem stressed out at all.”
Healing Field Honors Victims of September 11th, 2001 Terror Attack
PRESCOTT VALLEY- 32-year-old New York City resident Doris Torres was just one of the heroes during the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Torres, who worked in foreign trade for Fiduciary Trust International at the World Trade Center, helped an emotional colleague down the stairs and returned to save more individuals during the attack. She died five days later due to burns.
Her story joins 2,995 others on cards attached to American flags at the Prescott Valley Civic Center Healing Field, honoring individuals lost from citizens to public safety on that fateful day in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.
Starting at 6:30 am Friday morning, September 8th, volunteers came to help place flags in the ground, attach a card to each flag and lay boots at the bottom for those lost in public safety.
Local Charitable Organization to Help Hurricane Harvey Relief
PRESCOTT- Ronald “Ron” Campbell’s wife Shirley Campbell used to knit items for grandkids and the idea came along to knit for kids in the community who are in need. However, carpal tunnel disease in both hands for Shirley put up a decision for the two whether they should continue the mission.
“I said there’s a need out here in the community, let’s go ahead and continue with it and let’s see how far we can go with it,” Ron Campbell said.
Nine years later, the 501(c)3 organization now named “Blankets for Kids” provides over 6,000 gifts made up of a blanket, a stuffed animal, a scarf and a hat for children in Yavapai County every year-all made up from donations.
Phoenix Suns Provide Mile High Middle School New Court
PRESCOTT- In honor of the Phoenix Suns’ 50th season, Suns’ Managing Partner Robert Sarver and Phoenix Suns Charities are spending one million dollars to build, refurbish or replace 50 courts across the state of Arizona so that future generations can enjoy the sport of basketball safely. Mile High Middle School was the only middle school to receive a new court from the Suns after contractor Floyd Shelton of Arizona Gym Floors recommended the school due to the previous court’s condition.
“(Mile High Middle School) really needed it,” Shelton said. “The court looks great, kids love it. It’s pretty cool for the kids to see the transition from the old to the new, and obviously, have a much safer and nicer floor to play on.
Prescott Public Library Hosts Its First Comic-Con
PRESCOTT- Books, audio tapes, DVDs, and magazines are the general thought when one thinks of what could be found at a library. However, what many don’t know is the Prescott Public Library has a collection of over 1500 graphic novels and comic books.
After bringing a collection to the library and knowing first-hand how great these pieces of work are, Prescott Public Library Librarian Russell Miller thought hosting a Comic-Con could showcase the library’s little-known treasures.
“We have a really stellar graphic novel and comic collection here at Prescott Public (Library) and not everybody knew that,” Miller said. “I thought this would be a great way to draw attention to the fact that we got a ton of them here and we got a huge display upstairs.”
Prescott High School Focusing On Broadcast Journalism, Virtual Reality
Together with Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona, Prescott High School Brings Students Into World of Broadcast Media
PRESCOTT- The classroom of Ms. Robyn Bryce at Prescott High School during the 9:00 am hour is not a typical environment. In fact, had one not walked through the doors of a school it would be hard to differentiate the classroom from a television newsroom.
“It’s crazy up in here,” Bryce said laughing.
Each morning, Bryce and her students produce a morning newscast where the teenagers curate the content, script the show and telecast it live on YouTube each day with anchors. The broadcast features everything one would see in a television newsroom in terms of jobs, such as a director and audio coordinator, along with utilizing professional equipment.
Camp Courage Serves As Yearly Family Reunion for Burn Survivors
PRESCOTT- After suffering burns during a trailer fire in 2001 while moving, the then ten-year-old Josie Correa attended her first Camp Courage; a week of fun and healing with fellow burn survivors.
“Camp Courage has been a huge difference in my life,” said Correa who attended multiple times during her childhood. “I grew up here at the camp so it’s kind of like a second family but it also let me see life in a different way and what’s really important.”
West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Unveils Crisis Stabilization Unit
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Surrounded by members of the community on a hot Thursday afternoon, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic CEO Larry D. Green opened the organization’s new 1.75 million dollar Crisis Stabilization Unit in Prescott Valley by sharing a story about his younger brother Casey.
During the speech, Green shared his brother’s accomplishments such as already being an accredited travel agent at thirteen-years-old and becoming a senior flight attendant serving mostly international flights in first class during adulthood. However, Green mentioned his brother’s issues with alcohol and how the damage done throughout the years ultimately cost him his life.
Willy Wonka Jr. A Chocolate Fountain of Fun at PV Performing Arts
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Upon hearing Willy Wonka Jr. would be coming to the Prescott Valley Performing Art’s children’s theatre, Abby Harris watched all the movies and fostered an obsession with the characters and songs from the classic tale. A simple idea popped in her head, can Willy Wonka be a girl?
The response from director Brooke Williams was sure it could.
“(Harris told Williams) I’m going for it and she’s like then I’ll see you at auditions,” Harris said. “I show up at auditions and I tried my hardest and I was awarded with the role, so that was fun.”
Prescott Valley Performing Arts Moving to Permanent Home
PRESCOTT VALLEY- It’s easy enough for one to miss at first hand, a simple sign on open land next to the Prescott Valley Event Center with the iconic tragedy and comedy masks beside the numbers 3235. This sign marks the accomplishment of a dream fourteen years in the making for Clyde Neville, Executive Producer of Prescott Valley Performing Arts, a place the community theatre can call home for good.
“We’ve been a gypsy theatre for thirteen, fourteen years,” said Neville who mentioned the theatre has moved to a variety of different locations since its start. “Some people have a hard time finding us from time to time but they find their way back to us. Once we are here, we’ll have a place we can actually call home.”
Humboldt Elementary Students Publish Their Own Books
DEWEY, Ariz.- Eleven-year-old Jesse Hudson, a fifth-grade student at Humboldt Elementary, didn’t exactly like hearing the news that he and the rest of his classmates would have to write their own book in Mrs. Jamy Myrmel’s class.
“My first response was I hate writing!” Hudson said.
Beginning in January, Hudson and his twenty-eight other classmates started the journey of becoming a published author. Each student had to create a superhero; thinking of their superpower, location and nemesis. Once the details were thought out, the students created their own artwork on the pages and cover. After a couple rounds of editing, the day finally came on Wednesday, April 12th when each student received the hard-cover book they wrote.
New Horizons Opens Disability Resource Center
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Thursday afternoon, April 6th, 2017, was a day of celebration and looking back as the New Horizons’ Disability Resource Center opened to the public after months of hard work.
New Horizons Executive Director Dave Seigler mentioned the organization was facing budget issues two years ago after a few funding sources dried up. When a anonymous donor decided to give a building to the organization, Siegler said others may have used the facility to sell and pick up some much-needed money. However, New Horizons decided to accept the building and create something for the community.
“Quite honestly, I would have never accepted it. It cost too much money, we were too strapped, but they did,” said Seigler who is about to celebrate his second year with the organization. “They wanted to use it to transform…we wanted to become more than we were, we wanted to become what our community needed.”
Students and Alumni Fulfill Bradshaw Mountain Teacher’s Dream
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Mr. George Ponte has spent twenty-five years of his nearly forty-year teaching career impacting the lives of many at Bradshaw Mountain High School. One of those students was Chris Ames who took Ponte’s class in the 2000-2001 school year when he was a senior.
“It didn’t really matter what he was teaching, he was so passionate about what he taught,” Ames said. “At the same time, you could pull him aside if you were having problems and he would drop what he was doing and listen.”
“Just a friend, a mentor and a great teacher,” Ames continued.
Humboldt Unified to Provide New Opportunities for Students with Impairments
PRESCOTT VALLEY-Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB) Superintendent Annette Reichman became deaf as an adult and partially blind in her left eye during childhood, eventually losing complete sight in her left eye later in life. She spoke with students at Coyote Springs Elementary School on Monday afternoon about individuals with impairments. Reichman also mentioned to the students that a couple of new friends would be joining their community next year.
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Coyote Springs Elementary School and Glassford Hill Middle School will begin hosting multiple individuals with visual or hearing impairments from across the quad city area and place the students in general education courses.
Three Firefighters Ready to Help Community Following Graduation From Academy
PRESCOTT VALLEY- In a room packed with family and friends on Wednesday night, three firefighters achieved a goal they worked toward for years-having their family pin on a badge signifying graduation from the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Firefighter Academy.
“Pretty awesome to finally get here,” said Embry Riddle graduate Russell Geier Smith whose sons had the honor of placing their dad’s badge. “Just to have my boys here and my wife here to be able to see this, it’s pretty cool.”
Prescott Valley Police Department Educates Public in Citizen’s Academy
PRESCOTT VALLEY- It was back to the days of school for Prescott Valley resident Elizabeth Shattuck, 70, and thirty others who brought their pencils and pens to the Prescott Valley Police Department on Tuesday night and began an eleven-week journey to learn about their hometown police department.
“It’s a whole lot of fun,” said Shattuck who mentioned she is participating in the program because of the impact from Sergeant Jason Kaufman during a block watch meeting in her community. “They put a whole lot of energy and time and thought into making something interesting for everybody.”
Governor Ducey’s Education Spending Good Start for Humboldt District but More Is Needed
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Arizona has long been a state where education dollars are tightly budgeted. In the recently released Pubic Education Finances report from the United States Census Bureau covering the fiscal years of 2009-2014, Arizona only spent more dollars per pupil than Idaho and Utah at $7,529 in 2014-nearly $3500 less than the United States average.
Even in these conditions, Humbolt Unified School district is exceeding the state in graduation rate as well as language arts and science standards according to the Arizona School district spending report.
Humboldt Elementary Teacher Wins $5,000 Grant For New Speaker System
DEWEY- Maureen Holt has taught for the Humboldt Unified School district for the last 25 years and is a huge football fan. Holt was scrolling on Facebook one day when she came across a chance to win free tickets for the Fiesta Bowl from the event’s official page. Having never gone to a bowl game before, she decided to give it a try and once Holt checked out the website, she saw a “Wishes for Teachers” link.
“I thought ‘oh I’ll click on that and see what it is,”’ Holt said.
Individuals Brave Cold Water in Annual Polar Bear Splash
PRESCOTT VALLEY- Flip Halstead is familiar with cold water, having lived in Michigan before moving out to Prescott Valley for the winter three years ago, but Halstead experienced something new when he hit the water along with other brave individuals participating in the 11th annual Polar Bear Splash at Mountain Valley Splash in Prescott Valley on Saturday.
“It was instant brain freeze,” Halstead said. “But I focused on a prize and went for it.”
It wasn’t exactly Halstead’s choice to brave the cold temperature of the water on Saturday.
How Turquoise Rodeo Finals Came to Prescott Valley Event Center
PRESCOTT- The death of a child is one of the most painful things a parent can go through. Bonnie and Floyd Waite went through this when their child, James, died six years ago at the age of 35 from addiction.
“It’s been six years to just deal with it,” said Bonnie.
“You never get over it,” Floyd added.
Bonnie and Floyd Waite are involved with Safe Launch, a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, whose goal is to inform both parents and children about addiction. The Safe Launch plane was on display at the AOPA event at the Ernest A. Love Prescott Municipal Airport.
Prescott Ready for the 6th Annual “Boot Drop”
PRESCOTT- Tracey Horn of Helken and Horn Advertising Agency Inc. moved to Prescott after attending college at the University of Arizona. She used to live out east and spent New Year’s Eve like millions of other people in that part of the county-at Times Square in New York City ringing in the New Year by watching the famous ball drop.
Horn noticed Prescott didn’t have much going on following the Christmas festivities and thought something new should be added. She worked on an interim basis with the City of Prescott Tourism Department at the time and was looking for new ideas, events and advertising opportunities.
Horn was known for taking chances and brought sponsors the idea of a “Boot-Drop”-which was originally pictured as a “horseshoe-drop” but decided a boot would better represent Prescott.
“They laughed and thought it was a fun idea and went forward and supported it,” Horn said in an interview. “By raising money through our client base, and then it kind of expanded out to other businesses, we were able to construct the boot and get the whole event going.”
Prescott Valley Boys and Girls Club to Expand in 2017
PRESCOTT VALLEY-The Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona has been serving the children of Prescott Valley since 2000 by providing a structured environment after-school where children grow through academic, athletic and lifestyle lessons.
The club’s importance to not only the children but also their parents in the community showed as the town of Prescott Valley awarded the club $640,000 thorough the 2016 Community Development Block Grant.
“We thought it was a good use of the funds because they do serve a critical component of the community,” said Prescott Valley Deputy Town Manager Ryan Judy in a phone interview. “If the kids didn’t have that facility, then they would be forced to go elsewhere which would be a hardship for a lot of the families in that area.”
Many Come Together to Help Community on Christmas Day
PRESCOTT-Local businesses, the Prescott and Prescott Valley Police Department and other volunteers in conjunction with Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church will be helping the community on Christmas Day in the annual “Don’t Spend Christmas Alone-St. Luke’s Gift to The Community”.
Entering it’s 36th year, nearly eight-hundred people are served a warm meal free of charge each Christmas Day from 11am to 2pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on 2000 Shepard’s Lane, which is one block north of the airport traffic light on Highway 89 in Prescott. Angeles Ramos Zarate, who is the chairwoman for the event, and her team, are looking to make an even bigger difference in the community this year.
“I know and I’m confident we’re going to have at least one-thousand meals that we are going to serve,” Zarate said in a phone interview.
Forty Graduate from Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy
PRESCOTT- Shayleen Elenz spent most of her life in Prescott Valley and wanted to become a police officer because of the positive experiences she had with law enforcement in the past.
That dream transpired into a moment Elenz shared with 39 other graduates of the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy on Thursday at Yavapai College as recruits officially became police officers in front of family, friends and fellow officers.
“It was a tough journey, it was a really tough time, but super proud,” said Elenz following the ceremony.
West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Celebrates 50 Years by Looking Ahead
PRESCOTT-West Yavapai Guidance Clinic recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of serving the community and helping those who suffer from a mental health crisis.
“We have been the safety net in terms of mental health and substance abuse issues,” said West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Chief Development and Communication Officer Laura Norman.“When people have a struggle, they know they can turn to West Yavapai Guidance Clinic”
Norman has seen the growth of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic first-hand in just her twenty years with the organization as she witnessed the installment of services in Prescott Valley and Chino Valley as well as the introduction of more staff, programming and facilities to make services convenient for the community.
Valley of Lights Continue to Bring Holiday Joy
PRESCOTT VALLEY-During the holiday season in Prescott Valley since 2000, people have witnessed a tall soldier light display on Highway 69 directing individuals on a journey to witness a Christmas light wonderland brighten the dark sky.
The idea behind the display was originally started by Lew Rees, who at the time was the Executive Director of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, after working on a similar project in Missouri.
“He looked at that opportunity of creating a holiday lighting display for Prescott Valley which would bring people here,” said Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Marnie Uhl. “Not only serve our local community and the communities around us, but actually make Prescott Valley a destination and so that was kind of the thought behind it.”
Kids Enjoy Shopping With A Cop
PRESCOTT VALLEY-Nine-year-old Austin Ferguson along with 90 other kids joyfully went through the aisles of the Walmart located on Glassford Hill Road in Prescott Valley on Saturday morning filling their cart up to the top with goodies for their family, friends and a little for themselves during the 19th annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
The day started bright and early as kids hopped into a police car for the ride over to Walmart. Ferguson described the experience as being in a helicopter.
“Felt like I was in a dream,” Ferguson said.