Small Town News


A new start in Arizona

Cottonwood Journal Extra of Cottonwood, Arizona

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Tina Haines is a relative newcomer to the Verde Valley, though she's traveled to the region before.

Haines moved to Cottonwood in May after living out what has become an all too common American story recently.

"I lost my job, and like millions of other Americans I lost my house," Haines said.

Haines had been working as the manager of six departments for a hospital on the Oregon Coast, one of the biggest employers in the area.

Haines chose to come to Arizona. She already had family in the state — some in Tucson, some in Bullhead City.

The central location of the Verde Valley appealed to Haines.

"I've always come to Sedona," Haines said. "I know the area and love it."

Though she came here from Oregon, Haines said she was born in Washington D.C., where her mother worked and her father served in the U.S. Army.

After that, Haines spent part of her childhood in Florida before moving clear across the country to Southern California before turning 10 years old.

Haines said she considered California to be her "base of operations" until eventually she found her way to Oregon.

"When I got out of college, I figured with my degree I could either pump gas or teach," Haines said.

Haines had earned a degree in theater arts. Working in live theater has always been an interest for Haines.

Though her degree may not be entirely practical to join the workforce at-large, Haines said she took an entry-level position working for a hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

From there she worked her way up until eventually becoming a manager at the hospital in Oregon.

While she was already familiar with the area, Haines said she has particularly enjoyed living in Cottonwood.

"I love it. I've been very pleasantly surprised," Haines said. "There's a lot that goes on here, particularly for a town this size."

Haines said she loves all the festivals and events in the area and the fact that if she wanted to, she could probably find live music somewhere every night of the week.

There are also other little touches Haines appreciates, like the Cottonwood Recreation Center, where she currently works part time at the front desk.

Haines said she was impressed by the facility and what if had to offer. "I mean, who would have thought you'd find this kind of thing here?" Haines asked.

Haines said she's still looking for other work to supplement her part time income.

Eventually, Haines said she hopes to get another house where she will have room to return to another one of her favorite hobbies, painting.

"I have a love-hate relationship with watercolors," Haines said. "I painted a whole series dragons in watercolor. I also work with oils, painting different types of landscapes."

Haines said that she feels the surrounding area will provide her with no shortage of landscapes for inspiration.

"I just have to get my stuff out of storage," Haines said.

How 'At Random'


Through experience, reporters learn every person has a story. To prove it; each week The Camp Verde Journal reporter hits the streets in the Verde Valley to intercept unsuspecting members of the public as they go about their daily business.

With brief introductions and the chance to flee, the interview begins with the fated question, "If your story was in the newspaper, what would it be?"

Copyright 2013 Cottonwood Journal Extra, Cottonwood, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 30, 2013

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