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Cindy Barks

Stories by Cindy

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Community Restitution workers help clear weeds, trash and graffiti from public places

Program fosters a sense of pride among community service workers

Wielding rakes and trash bags, the crew of four orange-vested workers spread out in the wash along Virginia Street near downtown Prescott.

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Local firefighter hopes run for Ms. America title will help in mentoring young women

'Power Pose'

Chainsaws and evening gowns: They might seem an unlikely match for most people, but not for local wildland firefighter Cheyenne Warner.

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New parking lot serves as recreation crossroads at Thumb Butte

Trail of the Month

Sit in the new White Rock parking lot off Thumb Butte Road for a time, and you’re likely to see mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers all setting out on their individual forest adventures.

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Greater Prescott Trail System listed among 15 national priority areas for trail maintenance

Local partnerships, volunteerism propel local trails onto nationwide list

Prescott-area trails just made it onto the map of trail systems nationwide that deserve help with maintenance.

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Sober living homes: Prescott’s count is down 77%; Prescott Valley is up about 33%

Prescott wondering if legislature will undo local rules; PV welcomes state help

Since new regulations on sober living homes took effect in Prescott in early 2017, the number of the homes has dropped by about 77 percent.

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Prescott’s sales tax revenues up by 5.6 percent

Increase tax for PSPRS will add to overall growth

Even before the City of Prescott begins to see the results of a new 0.75-percent sales tax, revenues from its existing 2-percent sales tax continue to rise.

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Prescott council approves $30,000 for off-road race

One councilman terms city contribution a ‘subsidy’

For the $30,000 in cash and $28,000 in support services that the City of Prescott puts into the Whiskey Off-Road mountain bike race each year, officials say the community gains an economic impact of about $6 million.

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Talking trash: Who handles it depends on where you live

Some residents have more options than others

Depending on where one lives in the Quad Cities, garbage and recycling options vary, from “one size fits all” to two separate bins, to hauling it to the landfill yourself.

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City may renew funds for Whiskey Off-Road

Council to vote on $30,000 annual contribution; may loosen rules on how it’s used

The Whiskey Off-Road Mountain Bike event would continue to receive $30,000 annually from the city for the next three years under a contract amendment that the Prescott City Council will consider this week.

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Efforts continue for memorializing fallen Hotshots

As tragedy’s 5-year mark approaches, plans progress on courthouse monument, displays

Nearly five years after the loss of 19 of Prescott’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, the tragedy continues to resonate in the community through a variety of memorialization efforts.

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What says ‘sweetheart’ better than a flower?

Local florist gears up for Valentine’s Day rush

“What’s not to like?” For flower deliveryman David Smith, it’s not a rhetorical question.

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Prescott closes on $21.6M loan to centralize wastewater treatment

Elimination of odors at the Sundog Wastewater Treatment Plant along Highway 89 will be among the benefits expected from a $21.6 million loan that the City of Prescott received this week.

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12 daring escapades of Arizona

The central part of the state is full of opportunities to go higher, faster, farther

By virtue of Prescott’s location in the midst of 1.25 million acres of National Forest, adventure is, literally, all around.

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Citi Bus ends its run today

Yavapai Regional Transit won’t be able to add Prescott routes

Facing an annual loss of more than $50,000, Prescott Transit Authority is officially out of the Citi Bus business.

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Prescott closes escrow on Dells open space acquisition

Preserving the Granite Dells

Local outdoor enthusiasts just gained another artery into the heart of the Granite Dells.

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Sen. Fann's bill seeks $7.5M to pay off fallen Hotshot pensions

'They were fighting a fire on State Trust Land'

When 19 of Prescott’s Granite Mountain Hotshots died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013, they were defending state land.

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2018 marks 10 years since start of 2008 recession

In hindsight, it’s easy to see that the signs of impending economic upheaval were already apparent as 2007 ended and 2008 began.

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Prescott requires registration of security alarms

Changes to take effect in February

Come Feb. 23, users of security alarms in Prescott will have to register their alarm with the Prescott Police Department.

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Plan for moving homes to Lincoln Avenue lot gets city OK

A residential project that will combine recycled buildings with an existing rehabbed house got approval from the Prescott City Council this week.

Council Oks curbside hazardous-waste pick-up

Collection scheduled to start in March

A contract that is expected to save money for the city and increase convenience for trash-collection customers got unanimous support from the Prescott City Council this week.

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Prescott considers picking up your hazardous waste

City to vote on $80,000 contract this week

Home pick-up of hazardous household materials could begin in Prescott in March.

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Final campaign tally in 2017 city election: $308,319

Amount more than triples any previous Prescott election

With all of the campaign money from Prescott’s 2017 election season now recorded, the total collected for the August primary and November general election tops $300,000 — significantly exceeding any previous city election.

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Prescott has a long history of moving houses

Old building, new location

Long before “reduce, reuse, recycle” became a familiar slogan for conservation of resources, a quiet revolution of salvaging the old was already underway on the streets of Prescott.

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Festival for female playwrights takes to the stage at Prescott Public Library

It will be women’s stories, told in the voices of local women and men – all brought to you by a program that aims to get more female-authored plays to the stage.

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102 years of history comes tumbling down

City, school officials surprised by timing

While the list of “wins” in Prescott’s historic preservation is extensive, one long-time preservation advocate maintains that this week’s demolition of the old Miller Valley Elementary School counts among the “losses.”

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Got a drone for Christmas? Experts say new users should keep a few things in mind

Irritated? Shooting one down 'is not an option,' City Attorney says

If it’s not a bird, and it’s not a plane, that buzz you hear overhead could very well be a drone.

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Prescott is among Expedia’s ‘places to see’ in 2018

Once again, Prescott is having a moment on a national listing. This week, the Expedia Viewfinder travel blog chose Prescott as the only Arizona destination to be included in its “18 Cities That Must Be Seen in 2018.”

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Literary passions translate to national honors for local staffers

Two local librarians add to Prescott Library’s reading selections

Thanks to two long-time employees at the Prescott Public Library, patrons have a wide selection of sometimes hard-to-find reading categories: graphic novels, and audiobooks for young adults and children.

Prescott considers changing fees for false alarms

City unlikely to adopt ‘verified alarm response’

Mandatory free registration and an accelerated false-alarm fine schedule could be in store for users of security alarms in Prescott.

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Prescott moves ahead with second stage of dam repair at Watson Lake

Council approves $939,000 valve- rehab project

For 99 years, valves on the Granite Creek Dam have allowed water to be released from Watson Lake — originally for irrigation purposes, and more recently, for recharging the aquifer.

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New trailhead helps old favorite draw more folks

Constellation Trail quickest way to reach Granite Dells

It’s already the go-to trail for Prescott residents wanting to show off the area’s beauty to visiting family and friends.

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Highway 89 construction to continue

Current project more than half complete; next postponed until spring

With about 60 percent of the city’s $5.1 million Highway 89 widening project now behind it, the community can expect the conclusion by about May or June.

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Council to vote on Watson Lake dam repair

Project could cost city nearly $1 million

A nearly $1 million dam repair at Watson Lake, and a $21.6 million loan for the wastewater treatment system work will be among the issues that Prescott City Council members will deal with this week.

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Nearly 200 pedestrians, cyclists have been hit on Prescott streets since 2013

Watch where you walk and ride

Anyone who has walked or cycled the streets of Prescott probably has a close-call story: The time a right-turning vehicle nearly hit them in a crosswalk, or the time a vehicle turned left directly in front of an oncoming bicycle rider.

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Mechanic sues Prescott for city water to serve Overland Trail development

Proceeds from development would go to charity, he says

Typically, when local water advocate Howard Mechanic deals with the City of Prescott, his focus is on conserving the area’s water.

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City to businesses: Get licensed

First year of Prescott business licenses ends; now renewal process begins

Even as the New Year closes out the City of Prescott’s first year of business licenses, it also kicks off a new phase: Renewal for the thousands who have already signed up.

As of Monday, Prescott sales tax will grow to 2.75 percent

New PSPRS tax goes into effect Jan. 1

A new sales tax that is expected to generate more than $11 million per year is set to go into effect Monday, Jan. 1.

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Prescott to continue deploying high security measures

Police to propose more bollards to city leaders

The cost of expanding security for Prescott’s recent Christmas events: $9,128.

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Prescott Creeks works to pick up the pieces after fire destroys log-cabin office

For nearly 60 years, the rustic log cabin has stood as a landmark along Highway 89, blending pleasantly into the nearby Watson Woods.

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City looks to scale back street projects

City: ‘Right-sizing’ will allow more projects

Extensive underground drainage work, decorative colored concrete, and new trees could be among the components that will go away in coming City of Prescott street projects.

New council rules will reduce time for speakers

Rules will discourage public participation, say some residents

Residents planning to speak during a Prescott City Council meeting will have a few new rules to comply with in the New Year.

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PSPRS unfunded liability grows to $86.4M

Total does not reflect city’s recent payments from reserve fund

The good news: 2017 is perhaps the last year that the City of Prescott’s unfunded liability with the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) will grow. The bad news: The city’s level of debt in the public safety pension system now totals about $86.4 million — up nearly $8 million from the $78.5 million liability in the previous year.

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Trail of the Month: Willow Lake Loop gets premier designation

State recognizes 5.7 trail that is fully accessible for first time in months

It’s urban, yet secluded. Leafy and shady, yet rocky and scenic. While the Willow Lake Loop trail is sometimes overshadowed by the showier Watson Lake trail system nearby, its 5.7 miles are arguably more varied, more accessible, and just as picturesque.

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Council to discuss future airport improvements

‘Right-sizing’ city street projects also on city agenda

Direction on the future of the Prescott Airport’s runway and terminal will be among the topics the Prescott City Council will consider during a full day of meetings this week.

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‘The Last Jedi’ delivers for local crowd

Special screening of latest Star Wars movie treats Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters

The verdict is in on the new Star Wars movie — at least among local Little Brothers and Sisters and their “Bigs.”

Changes in floodplain maps coming; are you in or out?

Could bring new flood-insurance requirements for property owners

The dynamic course of Prescott’s creeks could mean floodplain changes this spring for area property owners – some that will be good news, and some that likely will not.

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#MeToo movement reaches the steps of county courthouse

For years, they felt their stories weren’t “bad enough” to mention.

Attorney cautions council members against ‘unwelcome conduct’

Council, staff get extra training to prevent harassment

With new sexual harassment claims coming to light nationally on a sometimes-daily basis, the City of Prescott has taken note.

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City liquor license fee goes away

Bars and restaurants will have $662 less in expenses in 2018

Maintaining that the fee amounted to double, if not triple, taxation, the Prescott City Council did away with its decades-old liquor-license fee this week.

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Liquor license fee up for elimination by new Prescott Council

Prevention of workplace harassment also on council agenda

An 84-year-old city liquor-license fee could go away this week, depending on the decision of the newly seated Prescott City Council.