Adam Curtis

School board shields employees from insurance hike



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SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista school board voted unanimously Tuesday to continue to hold district employees harmless from an 11.6 percent health insurance rate hike on Tuesday.

The rate increase, tied to the district’s basic health insurance option, actually occurred last year and results in an added cost of $1,425.48 per employee, which is estimated to cost about $682,805 for next fiscal year. After Tuesday’s vote, the district will again use its pre-pay insurance account held with the Valley Schools Benefits Trust to cover the added expense, meaning it does not impact the district’s budget for next year.




Finalists for county administrator announced

Douglas city manager among contenders


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA— Cochise County has announced the five finalists that emerged from a nationwide search to replace County Administrator Mike Ortega, who will begin duties as Tucson city manager in June or July.

Announced in a release Thursday afternoon, the finalists selected out of a pool of over 50 applicants include Douglas City Manager Carlos De La Torre. The other finalists are: Vince Pastue, current city manager of Farmington, Michigan; Robert Lawton, current County Manager of Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Ed Beasley, current independent consultant for Colliers International in Seattle, Washington; and Brian Bosshardt, current deputy county manager of Los Alamos, New Mexico.




(Enterprise) Switching careers, not communities


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA— When I first arrived at the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review as an intern in June 2009, I had trouble imagining what I’d be reporting on.

Despite being an Arizona native — I grew up in Sedona, before attending the University of Arizona — I barely knew Sierra Vista was on the map. The only impression I had of the community was from when I was driving between Tombstone and Bisbee at night, while on assignment for the Tombstone Epitaph, and saw a surprisingly vast glow on the southwest horizon.

I remember wondering who lived out there and what could possibly be going on in this quiet part of the state that would support a community that big.




Finalists announced for Cochise County administrator job


Adam Curtis

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SIERRA VISTA— Cochise County has announced the five finalists that emerged from a nationwide search to replace County Administrator Mike Ortega, who will begin duties as Tucson city manager in June or July.

Announced in a release Thursday afternoon, the finalists selected out of a pool of more than 50 applicants include Douglas City Manager Carlos De La Torre. The other finalists are: Vince Pastue, current city manager of Farmington, Michigan; Robert Lawton, current County Manager of Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Ed Beasley, current independent consultant for Colliers International in Seattle, Washington; and Brian Bosshardt, current deputy county manager of Los Alamos, New Mexico.




Students dig into farm life

New ranch and farm shares sustainable model


Adam Curtis
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ELFRIDA — Turning away from two baby goats at Ocotillo Hills Farm and Ranch on Monday, 7-year-old Lillian Talbot ran up to her mom and beamed.

“Momma, one sneezed on somebody’s finger. It sounded like they were blowing raspberries,” she said, before heading back to Peg and Jane, the fledgling goats.

Lillian was one of more than a dozen students from the Fort Huachuca Homeschool Group to get a tour of the newly-started sustainable ranch, which is located just south of Gleeson Road. With just about an acre of her property’s 55 acres developed so far, farm co-founder Alisa Cook said she hopes to offer more workshops, tours and school visits moving forward.




New youth health group kicks butts


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA — Sticking it out through a sudden afternoon downpour, members of the newly-formed Cochise County Youth Health Coalition in Sierra Vista hosted a local event at Tompkins Park as part of national Kick Butts Day on Wednesday.

In its 20th year, Kick Butts Day inspired over 1,000 events nationwide where kids encouraged their peers to steer clear of tobacco and nicotine-based products. The sponsor, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has focused this year’s effort on how tobacco companies continue to spend big bucks to get their products in the hands of children.




It's good news, bad news for school budget

Board will hear options on April 7


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA — Cuts to capital and questions regarding how much funding will be sustained in the future make the state’s recently adopted budget less than great news for the Sierra Vista Unified School District.

Yet, for a district that’s seen its capital funding reduced by roughly 85 percent in the last several years, in addition to other state cuts and deferments, the budget is not terrible news either. By altering the governor’s requirement for more classroom dollars — asking for annual increases, instead of an immediate 5 percent bump — the budget poses relatively little trouble for next fiscal year. It’s after that when the way forward could get rocky for school district finances.




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Rotherys honored for 72 years

Facility named to honor SVUSD educators Don and Terry


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA— Don and Terry Rothery began their careers with the Sierra Vista Unified School District in 1970, the same year Human Resources Director Kelly Segal started fourth grade at Village Meadows Elementary School.

Many of the over 100 people in attendance at the former site of Apache Middle School on Tuesday were former students or coworkers of the Rotherys. Segal happens to be both. Offering the opening remarks at a dedication ceremony for the Rothery Educational Services Center, Segal recalled one of her fondest memories of Don Rothery, who spent time as a teacher, administrator and school board president before dying in early 2013.




Hispanic chamber offers community grants


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA— A new partnership between the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the HS Lopez Family Foundation presents an opportunity for nonprofits in local communities served by the chamber’s recently established affiliates.




Science project finds new use for newspapers

YES Fair set for next week


Adam Curtis
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SIERRA VISTA — Aside from being a staple source of news, newspapers have served countless other purposes in households all over the world.

Whether it’s washing windows, lining bird cages, or swatting flies, an old newspaper often proves to be the most available and efficient tool for the job at hand.




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