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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:33 PM Sun, Oct. 21st

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Nanci Hutson

Stories by Nanci

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Chino Valley volunteer group works to feed Hungry Kids

In less than an hour on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 11, 15 energetic Chino Valley volunteers — retirees to high school and college students — emptied and organized more than 175 reusable green grocery bags filled with non-perishables such as juice boxes, soups, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter.

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Local youth give thanks for their good fortune by collecting food to thwart local hunger

Siblings making change

Alex and Addie Daniels of Chino Valley have never worried about when they might be able to eat again.

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‘Walk to School Days’ offers local children a chance to get exercise while learning road safety

Fourth-grader Charly Dunn was one of the first Lincoln Elementary “Lions” to arrive on the south side of the Prescott courthouse plaza Wednesday morning for “Walk to School Day.”

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Prescott master swimmer, disabled veteran accomplishes one-of-a-kind feat

The Big Swim

On a cool, dark night a week ago, Prescott swimmer and disabled former United States Navy SEAL Dave Loeffler waded into the Pacific Ocean from the shore of San Clemente Island in southern California for a 15.5 hour trek to the rough terrain, not-public coast of Catalina Island.

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Feeding Hungry Kids

Chino Valley group’s food drive hailed as success

In less than an hour on Thursday morning, 15 energetic Chino Valley volunteers — retirees to high school and college students — emptied and organized more than 175 reusable green grocery bags filled with non-perishables such as juice boxes, soups, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter.

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Prescott homeless advocate closer to goal of buying home

Mattson ‘grateful’ to those donating to help him continue his mission

In between answering calls from folks in distress, Prescott homeless advocate Daniel Mattson on Monday morning was seeking a mortgage lender so he can buy the house he has rented for 10 years.

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Embry-Riddle Air Force ROTC cadet shines bright

A trip to a Seattle air show air at age seven planted a yearning in Austin Fischer to one day be a jet pilot.

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What grade did your school receive?

State letter grades for area districts, charters a ‘snapshot’ of student achievement

Like a parent reviewing their own student’s report cards, area district and charter school leaders’ reaction to the state’s A-F ratings of all state schools have generated enthusiasm and disappointment.

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New fight vs. old enemy: Local families called on to battle pornography

Time was when perusing “Playboy” magazine was seen as a rite of passage for teenage boys. Teenage girls were likely hiding copies of “GQ” or other such magazines, featuring half-nude males.

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Surgeon: Be vigilant about your body

In the fight against breast cancer, Yavapai Regional Medical Center surgeon Dr. Michael Macon is a warrior: his weapon beyond the scalpel is empathy, knowledge and technology that enable him to treat his patients based on their own biology, genealogy, even personality.

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Prescott school board delays decision on half-day student schedule for Whiskey Off-Road race

The Whiskey Off-Road mountain bike race is a Prescott downtown tradition — the inaugural event was 15 years ago.

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Stand Down event hailed and lamented

Effort to find solutions to veteran homelessness continues in earnest

U.S. VETS Prescott Executive Director Carole Benedict was thrilled to see so much love heaped on hundreds of homeless veterans at the 2018 Yavapai County Stand Down event at Frontier Village.

Federal grant award to U.S. VETS means more transitional housing for homeless veterans

As of Oct. 1, U.S. VETS Prescott will receive two federal Veteran Affairs grants totaling $580,000 that will enable the agency to expand its current 56-bed transitional living facilities to 20 more beds as well as add 15 units of transition-in-place housing opportunities.

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Prescott High School adds eSports to its athletic lineup

High school athletics is more than muscles; it’s a matter of mind, motivation, and manners.

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Friendly Pines Camp home to annual teachers’ event

Salute to educators

Granite Mountain math and science teacher Emma Gifford is one of those teachers willing to earn an income elsewhere so she can be in the classroom.

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United Way kicks off annual fundraising campaign

The United Way of Yavapai County hosted its annual kick-off fundraising campaign on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Holiday Courtyard.

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A safe haven: Prescott Area Shelter Services ‘saved my life,’ woman says

Cynthia Lawrence considers herself of hearty stock, a self-reliant woman able to take whatever comes. After retiring from sales management, she worked part-time as a housekeeper. She never expected she would run out of funds.

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Prescott Masters Swim Team coach ‘swims to live, lives to swim’

Brigid Bunch may not be a mermaid, but she admits her favorite place to be is in the water.

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‘Angel’ to those in need calling on community to help him keep his home

Homeless advocate homeless?

Daniel Mattson is a well-known figure in Prescott’s hidden world of the homeless and vulnerable.

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VA slowly unfolding no-smoking policy on its Prescott campus

At a time when smoking in public places has become more and more taboo, the local VA is instituting a no-smoking policy, beginning at its Domiciliary program, a short-term, in-patient rehabilitation program for those coping with substance abuse disorders, mental health issues and homelessness.

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VA gives progress report to veterans

Town hall updates staff, program changes

Only about a handful of veterans attended a Prescott VA Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, but the medical facility’s officials shared updates on everything from construction to campus hires.

Cable access channel to update vets on VA, community events

With a goal of keeping area veterans informed of all things at the VA and in the community available to them, be it a new brand of medical technology, home care resources or a concert or art show, local leaders have collaborated to offer them a new public access channel.

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Remembering local WWI fallen soldiers

Veterans memorial advocate honored with national DAR Excellence in Community Service Award

Anyone who meets Betty Bourgault is likely to describe her as friendly, kind, creative and busy. What they might not catch immediately is that this 76-year-old Yavapai County Daughters of the American Revolution chapter member is a relentless fighter for patriotic and other community causes that garner her passion.

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9/11 ceremony: Prescott High students commemorate 'very, very sad day in history'

A postcard pretty day reminiscent of the same day 17 years earlier was the setting for Prescott High School’s Tuesday commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that congealed a nation to thwart evil.

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Reflections from 9/11: Memories serve as Arizona pastor’s call to love and compassion

An uncommon stop at a deli in the lower concourse of the World Trade Center’s North Tower on Sept. 11, 2001, likely spared the life of the now-Granite Mountain Unitarian Universalist interim pastor.

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‘Hannah’s Heart’ performances to benefit CCJ and PUSD Family Resource Center

“Hannah’s Heart” is a heart-felt, historic story set in Depression-era Prescott penned by a local author and illustrator who hopes her tale will inspire children to see they can be a force of good in their community.

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Family business owner turned hospice chaplain finds purpose in faith-inspired service

From a family with roots in the region, Dan Olsen’s life journey is one with twists and turns he sees as evidence of a divine force that filled his soul to go in directions he would never have gone on his own.

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PUSD completes sale of former school district offices: $1.15M

Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard did not perform a cartwheel on South Granite Street Friday afternoon, but he sure was happy to close the sale of the former district office there.

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Steady funding for education or funding for now?

InvestinEd movement still a must in order to infuse schools with needed dollars for the future

The elementary-grade wisdom of the storybook, “The Little Engine that Could,” is one area educators suggest needs to prevail when it comes to revamping the InvestinEd movement — optimism driving the pro-education train over a mountain of naysayers to find a permanent source of funding public schools.

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PUSD Foundation poised to grow with decision to hire executive director

In three years, the Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation has become a staple in the school system.

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PUSD board OKs partnerships intended to benefit students

The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) Governing Board focused much of its attention on Tuesday night to programs aimed at enhancing the school experiences for a diverse number of students.

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Prescott High School ‘Dome’ a treasured educational landmark

If she stands in the middle of the Prescott High School’s gymnasium floor, Athletic Director Missy Townsend can hear her voice echo as if she is in a faraway canyon, the effect connected to the dome above she and other administrators admit is both a blessing and a curse.

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Former Prescott resident launches charity to help orphans and mothers in Tanzania

A heart for Africa

At 19, Tri-City College Prep student Angie Gwaspika opted to adventure on her own to Tanzania.

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Prescott High student’s gunshot death double tragedy

The Prescott High School junior who died of a gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 26 is described by a close family friend as a teenage boy with a “big heart who was always loved by everybody.”

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What does $20 buy at the market?

Prescott Farmers Market offers a little fresh something for everybody

A stroll through the Prescott Farmers Market is an adventure in scents, textures, tastes and chat.

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Bradshaw student arrested for threats; students praised for reporting incident

Humboldt Unified School District Superintendent Dan Streeter is hailing the rapport built between Bradshaw Mountain High School students, principals, and Prescott Valley police for why there was a prompt arrest Wednesday of a 16-year-old boy who threatened to harm his fellow students.

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Prescott absenteeism program attracts limited audience; student attenders pledge to be ambassadors

Prescott Mile High Middle School seventh-grader Bruce Reynolds has a near perfect attendance record across his entire school career, a source of pride for he and his father who see it as a key to success.

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Area veterans pay tribute to Sen. John McCain

The historic Senator Drive-In sign on Senator Highway is regularly outfitted with special messages for holidays, remembrances, and special occasions — all thanks to a couple Prescott High School alums who maintain the sign post as a town landmark.

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Authorities investigating shooting death of PHS student

Three weeks after the first day of school, the Prescott High School community was in mourning over the shooting death of a male student this past weekend.

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AZMerit categories, scores for Abia Judd and BASIS

The Daily Courier is providing the listing of categories and scores on the 2017-2018 AZMerit test between the top scoring district school — Abia Judd Elementary School in Prescott — and the top scoring charter school — BASIS of Prescott — for grades 3 and 4 in English language arts and math.

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Educational leaders explain AZMerit scores

District and charter schools implore public to see big picture behind test scores

With time to analyze the AZMerit data since the state’s release of the standardized language arts and math scores earlier this month, area district educators, parents and school advocates say they are proud to see students performing competitively against the area’s top scoring charter schools.

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Retirement nears for longtime Yavapai College president

Dr. Wills has spent nearly a half-century in higher education

Unlike most of her teenage peers, Yavapai College President Penny Wills did not hang posters of rock stars on her bedroom walls.

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Attendance program to be offered at Mile High Middle School auditorium

“Just showing up is half the battle.”

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Prescott Valley resident never fears asking for donations to improve the lives of others

Fred Pamer lives to give

Fred Pamer retired his custodial business in the Phoenix Valley in 2002, and then moved to Prescott Valley.

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VA leader promised improvement, rating goes up

In two months, the local VA has earned a one-star elevation for its 85-bed capacity nursing home on the main campus, a promised improvement the medical director says speaks to the staff’s determination to provide the very best care to the most vulnerable veterans in northern Arizona.

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Prescott High School students taking a second year Japanese language course

About 20 learning to speak Japanese

With a blend of poise and humor, Prescott High School sophomore Teagan McPherson this week shared with a lively class of some 20 students a video presentation about what she did over the summer break —

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Sydney Seeley becomes PUSD’s Student Council board representative

Student rep’s connection to new leadership role is in the genes

Sydney Seeley is no stranger to Prescott Unified School District Governing Board meetings.

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#RedForEd success requires finding long-term education funding stream

Out of the #RedForEd grassroots coalition has come a resolve to generate more than platitudes for teachers.

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#RedForEd a sleeping giant — the movement now focused on long-term funding solutions

The bright red T-shirts are now folded in a chest of drawers. The banners are hidden inside garages. Bumpers stickers still adorn hundreds of cars, but sightings tend to be more sporadic.

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Do I want to live my best life? How will I achieve it?

A year ago, Faith opted to enroll in a diabetes prevention program at the Prescott YMCA.