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Nanci Hutson

Stories by Nanci

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BASIS Prescott math students learn lesson in market research

If you want to be the smartest shopper around, there are some fourth graders you ought to meet.

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25th annual VA Creative Arts Festival a must-see

A nurses’ uniform — crafted out of slices of colorful pieces of fabric scraps with a bright pink stethoscope — is one of the first pieces one will see when touring the 25th annual Creative Arts Festival at the Northern Arizona Veteran Affairs Health Care System theater on the campus off Highway 89.

District leaders offer teachers financial counseling

Board agrees to obtain appraisal for possible sale of district office

Leaders in Prescott Unified School District were busy this week entertaining a team of seven educational professionals from across the country and state who are examining how PUSD schools operate.

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Couple reconnects 40 years after they first married

Finding love on Facebook

On this Valentine’s Day, Mary Richards is like a teenager in love — all thanks to Facebook.

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Prescott High senior finds time for church, nursing home job and fun as graduation approaches

Balancing school, work and church

Elena Aragon is a Prescott High School senior who thrives on a crowded schedule.

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An enduring passion for Prescott's only drive-in theater

In the Senator Drive-In theater’s heyday, it was on the outskirts of town and suitable for pajama-clad children in their parents’ station wagon, as well as all things teen — first cars, first jobs, first dates and first kisses.

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Woman shares tragic tale to impress on Prescott teens the importance of making good choices

Cara Filler is a statuesque Canadian with an exuberant laugh, comedic timing and a tragic tale to tell.

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15 locals and their favorite romantic movies

Romantic choices of Prescott-area leaders range from gritty, war-torn adventure to a cartoon love story

With Valentine’s Day four days away, I asked 15 area professionals and civic leaders — men and women — to name their favorite romantic movies and characters.

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Athlete looks ahead to a promising future

Cherishing final moments

Chat with Prescott High senior Kody Jones, and you come away with the sense he is reveling in the moment – in no rush to see his last year in this school district come to a close.

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Prescott Unified remodels leadership to propel broader vision

Shuffling principals

With a new vision for kindergarten through grade 12, Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard announced this week an administrative “remodel” that will move three principals and two assistant principals into new positions for the 2018-2019 school year.

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Cheerleader laments end of high school

Senior has high expectations for next chapter

From the time she started cheerleading as a toddler, Prescott High School senior Kirsten Hillig dreamed of one day becoming a college cheerleader/athlete.

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Oldest school in Arizona gets a major makeover

Prescott’s Washington School gets touch of the new, while respecting its past

More than a century after the Washington School opened its doors to pioneer children ready to learn how to read, write and perform arithmetic, the two-story downtown brick structure has a new look.

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First Things First study reveals child poverty and need for early intervention resources

In Yavapai County, 31 percent of children from infancy to age 5 live in poverty, two percent more than the state average, posing serious risks to children’s academic performance in later years, according to a study by First Things First.

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Prescott senior to join Air Force after high school graduation

On Jan. 10, Bradley Stalnaker was inducted into the U.S. Air Force.

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Building a healthy community of new men

Boys to Men Mentoring Program seeks to help teen boys find their path with guidance and support

In a hurricane three years ago, Charles Matheus was leading a Mogollon Rim camping trip for teenage boys.

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McNarie Field used for popular downtown events

‘Pop’ McNarie — the architect and designer of popular city gathering spot and middle school athletic field

In the late 1940s, the now Mile High Middle School was the city’s high school and the adjoining field that extends from just beyond the parking lot to Goodwin Street was nothing but a plat of dirt.

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School districts adjust to promote lifetime of fitness

Tennis is one of a variety of sports that elementary-aged children get a chance to explore through the district’s physical education curriculum, which looks quite a bit different than gym classes of yesteryear.

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Northpoint to expand with a middle school next year

Change in ownership of building means expansion is possible

For 12 years, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy has offered an alternative, experiential brand of high school education to about 160 high school-aged students each year.

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Yavapai College helps stave off nursing shortage

Defying the Trend

The United States has about 3 million nurses, but demand for nurses is quickly outpacing supply, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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New vision and leadership for Prescott school board

PUSD’s new leader eager to propel district forward to benefit students, community

Humble and analytical, John Mackin is known as someone who likes to give everyone an ear, including children and teenagers, as he works toward making decisions intended to improve the lives of others.

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Chance encounter helps homeless man find a place to live

Former sparring partner to Rocky Marciano was sleeping in car at Wendy’s

A chance encounter last year with an 84-year-old, homeless man at a Wendy’s restaurant in Prescott Valley has led to an expansion of housing options for local elderly with limited, or no, financial means.

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Demolition of Miller Valley prompts tears

The reality of a demolished Miller Valley Elementary School on Tuesday prompted tears in many of those who either attended, taught or administered that school over the course of 99 years.

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MLK Day ‘Peace and Justice’ March began day-long celebration of peace, love and freedom

Ten-year-old Byron Hobson tucked a rainbow-colored “PEACE” flag into the back of his neon-green hoodie as he marched in the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace and Justice March.

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King’s legacy refreshed with stories of his “dream” to build a better world for all

Prescott resident and retired clergyman from Chicago Lou Burrell told a sanctuary-full of Martin Luther King Day Jr. observers how his soul was stirred by two distant encounters with the civil rights leader.

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Making a ‘Big’ difference: Youth mentoring month honors priceless gift of friendship to children, teens

Christopher Wendt is a Prescott High School freshman learning how to build an archery range and shoot a bow and arrow.

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PUSD to undergo district-wide accreditation process next month

Prescott Unified School District will have some special guests touring its schools next month.

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Flu cases up more than 700 percent in Arizona

Arizona’s flu epidemic is “everywhere” this winter

Feeling congested, achy, feverish, or just out-and-out crappy? You’re far from alone.

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Once homeless, Miller credits US VETS for getting life ‘back on track’

Steve Miller is a one-time homeless veteran who soon expects to have keys to his own home.

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Scottish world traveler awes family in Prescott

Penchant for adventure, culture and humanitarian experience

He slept on the edge of a volcanic crater in Ecuador.

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Charter advocates hail need of educational choice

Officials assure financial and academic transparency

Some recent state and national criticism of charter schools is deemed by charter leaders and advocates to be an unfair portrayal of an educational choice many families are eager to obtain.

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District school leaders claim they are the top choice

Administrators say they would put their best vs. charter schools’ best anytime

School choice has long been debated not only in Arizona, but nationwide.

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Findings of the financial analysis on charter schools in Arizona

A Grand Canyon Institute’s report specifies that its reform recommendations relate more to transparency and consistency than charges of fraud or illegal activities.

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New reports criticize Arizona’s charter schools

Parents have more choice, but there’s friction over finances

From the start of Arizona’s school choice movement in 1994, district school leaders have bristled over what they see as a lack of transparency over how charter school operators spend money, how they select students and over payment of teachers and administrators.

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30-inches of snow 50 years ago shut down Prescott for weeks

‘It was a disaster, but it was fun’

Snow boots, ski jackets and wool scarves are safe in the closets of most Arizonans this Christmas season.

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Facing their final year inspires poetry

Seniors share wisdom and wit about final year of school through personal poetry

The senior year of high school is for most a bundle of emotions: exhilaration and exhaustion; stressful and sensational; fantasy and frustration; relaxed and revved up.

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Documentary convinces silent veteran to speak

Pilot was part of the Christmas bombings in Vietnam

For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, retired United States Air Force colonel and Vietnam War fighter pilot Duncan Wilmore and his wife, Lisa, will travel to California to savor seasonal joy with their family.

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School district gets the holiday spirit

Family Resource Center provides gifts to 90 children

For Lucy Hernandez and her three children, the Family Resource Center of the Prescott Unified School District is enabling them to have a true holiday celebration thanks to a gift distribution that will benefit some 90 children.

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Prescott’s top homeless advocate leaving area

CCJ leader departs for new venture in Michigan

In his three years as executive director for the Coalition of Compassion and Justice, Paul Mitchell has proved to be a “change agent.”

Construction at VA uncovers old bones

Anthropologist examining two olds bones excavated during construction at Prescott VA

Contractors doing some cleanup work near the former officer quarters at the local VA campus halted work last week when they excavated an area that contained a couple of ancient bones.

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Annual Shop With a Cop event delivers holiday spirit

Balancing a “Soggy Doggy” game in one hand and doll accessories in another, Prescott Police Chief Debora Black dodged shopping carts and darting children Saturday on a Christmas shopping spree up and down the aisles of the Walmart on Gail Gardner Way.

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Granite Mountain principal’s reading of ‘The Polar Express’ viewed as a ‘cool’ school holiday tradition

Wearing red flannel Santa Claus pajamas and slippers, Granite Mountain School Principal Teresa Bruso delighted a group of sixth-graders with what has become annual holiday tradition: the reading of a holiday story prior to the winter break.

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Code Talker Teddy Draper Sr. dies at 96; was former Prescott Veterans Day Parade grand marshal

A World War II and Iwo Jima surviving Navajo Code Talker, known as a “great storyteller” who in November was a grand marshal in the Prescott Veterans Day Parade, died Thursday at the age of 96.

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Gifts from nonprofits: Try some new shopping venues, save money and support local groups

A Billy the Kid cookbook. A cat-face, hooked rug holiday pillow. An old-fashioned tin Jell-O mold.

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Fiction becomes reality with the selling of Hannah’s Hearts

CCJ to sell hand-crafted gifts to raise funds for the charity

Open the cover of Diane Iverson’s 21st illustrated story, “Hannah’s Heart,” and you are traveling back in time to Prescott’s Christmas City, circa 1935.

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Education advocates create “Progress Meter”

Arizona is known as a state with plenty of hurdles when it comes to prioritizing public education, with teacher pay and per pupil spending deemed to be close to the lowest in the nation.

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After busy life, it’s time to help others

International financier spends retirement helping nonprofit

In his career as an international financier and business executive, Bill Towne spent a lot of time flying from place to place with limited flexibility to give back to the communities where his family resided.

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Intrigue behind the faces of Hotel St. Michael

No one knows who they were, but some suspect it was political revenge

Just below the front and side roof lines of the historic, dark brick Hotel St. Michael is a row of ornamental stone circles some historians and long-time residents suggest is sculptured satire.

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Holiday giving a blessing as much to the givers as the receivers

The Giving Season

Taylor Hicks Elementary School has its very own Elf: Her name is Carla Cornelison.

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