The News print version

The current and back issues of the Apache Junction & Gold Canyon News are available to read online or for download in PDF form. Click on the button below to see the entire publication, including the business directory, advertisements, coupons, classified ads and crossword puzzle.

Police Investigate Animal Cruelty Case in AJ Home

Apache Junction Police have filed criminal charges against a city resident for Animal Cruelty/Neglect. According to an official news release, Vyle Raven-Greyv (69) kept 4 dogs, 7 tortoises, a pot-bellied pig, 8 ducks, 8 chickens, a pigeon, 2 snakes and a lizard at her residence.

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Registration Deadline

Apache Junction, along with other municipalities across the state, are holding primary elections on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. There will also be a general election on November 6, 2018, for Arizona state and possible local runoff elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the primary is Monday, July 30, 2018.

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Los Gringos Locos Near 2 Million Served

Debra Nine, one of the five owners of Los Gringos Locos, is excited about the countdown to celebrating the popular restaurant’s two millionth customer – and even more excited that the landmark event will happen sometime very soon.

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Vehicle Burglaries

Overnight Monday into Tuesday morning, July 17, several residents in the southern part of Apache Junction discovered their unlocked vehicles had been burglarized. Officials at Apache Junction Police Department say that many of these vehicles were parked on the street.

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Homework Required

I have been wondering for a while now why candidates running for certain county offices make a point of clearly affiliating with their political party, even though the office has no basis or influence in party politics. “Aren’t these offices non-partisan?” NO!

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New Funding for PCUW

The United Way of Pinal County’s Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Program was recently awarded a grant of $700,000 per year for four years from the First Things First Pinal Regional Partnership Council.

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Wellness Program Saves Money, Earns Gold

The Pinal County Wellness Program for county employees has really paid off with a net value of approximately $1.1 million saved through the reduction of sick hours.

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Punishing Storm July 9

The summer monsoon season hit the communities of Gold Canyon and Apache Junction like Thor’s hammer on Monday, July 9. High winds uprooted trees and stripped roofs of their shingles and flashings when the storm entered the region around 3 p.m.

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AJUSD to Get New Buses

Apache Junction Unified School District could receive funding for up to five new school buses through a settlement between the US Department of Justice and Volkswagen.

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AJ Library is Always ‘Open’

The Apache Junction Public Library has always been the best place to find an escape from the summer heat. Endless entertainment can be accessed with a library card—even on Sundays.

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Mound Success at Scottsdale CC

As a junior at Apache Junction High School, Justin Anderson was a key player in the Prospectors’ state Division IV baseball championship run in 2016.

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First Day of School

Apache Junction Unified School District wants to remind parents that the first day of school for the 2018-2019 school year is July 24. This is a change from the previous year. The district returns to a five-day school week, but with a modified calendar that includes an earlier start date, longer breaks in October, December/January and March, plus a shorter summer vacation.

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Mining, we reckon...

Yep, let’s agree that we need minerals and that mining employment is good for Arizona and the Apache Junction – Gold Canyon area: the industry generates a $1.25 billion payroll across the state each year.And, we reckon, there’s no denying mining’s picturesque historic appeal, with its genial props – burros, pickaxes, bonanzas gone bust, ghost towns.

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William Barkley: Cowman

A legendary newspaperwoman named Mitzi Zipf wrote the obituary and a story about William A. Barkley, cowman. She started the story with, “Another chapter in the saga of Superstition Mountain ended yesterday with the death of William Augustus Barkley… Tex to his host of friends.”

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‘61 All-Star Balk

With 41 years to develop, the legend of Stu Miller’s appearance in the first of two 1961 All-Star Games continues to take on a life of its own. The San Francisco Giants’ right-handed relief ace was merely trying to close out the American League stars when one of Candlestick Park’s trademark gusts of wind created the most famous balk in baseball history, thanks, in part, to headline writers of the day and ongoing embellishment.

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Monsoon Season is Here

Monsoon season officially started on June 15, but powerful and dangerous storms can develop at any time. Some areas within the city and surrounding region are prone to flooding, including washes and neighborhoods that are located in low lying zones. “The predominant natural desert landscape within our community and close proximity to the mountains make the area especially dangerous for flash floods and strong flood currents,” said Shane Kiesow

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Making a Difference

I am 78, and I don’t want to be a couch potato. I can still do something to make a difference in the world.” Harold Cheeks, Navy veteran and Queen Creek resident, stopped by the office at The AJ/GC News last week, hoping that someone in the office would purchase his book, “Just A Few Smiles To Let You Know That We Care.” and take part in his project that aims to alleviate the loneliness and boredom that many active duty service men and women experience when stationed far from home.

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Training for the Worst

While many law enforcement and fire/medical personnel train each month, the Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) partnered with Superstition Fire and Medical Department (SFMD) in June to prepare for a day that we all hope we never see. Active shooter exercises were drilled by all of the officers and paramedics as they spent a day at Apache Junction High School.

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Supervisors Reject ‘Rios Resolution’

When the Pinal County Board of Supervisors had worked their way through to “Item J” on the June 27, 2018, Board meeting agenda, a dozen individuals stepped up to speak for a collective total of nearly 30 minutes in support of the item dubbed the, “Rios Resolution.” Named for District 1 Supervisor Pete Rios who directed the crafting of the statement, it comprised a strong call to Homeland Security, ICE and Border Control to “discontinue” the practice of separating children from their parents at the border.

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‘71 Comeback

One winter’s day in 1970, Jack Gold of Columbia’s A&R department, rang up Mark Lindsay with an idea for his next solo single. At least that was the initial intent. “Jack called me up to his office there at CBS and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a new single for you Mark. It’s a wonderful follow-up to ‘Arizona’ and it would be great,” Lindsay recalled. “I said, Okay, what is it?’ He played me ‘Indian Reservation.’” Marvin Rainwater. recorded the first version of “Indian Reservation (Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” in 1959.

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Roundabout Work Closing Intersection

The intersection of State Route 88 (Apache Trail) and Superstition Boulevard in Apache Junction will close for 30 days starting Monday, July 9, as the Arizona Department of Transportation constructs a modern roundabout that will enhance safety and increase traffic capacity. Detour signs will direct drivers around the closure.

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C.A.R.E. Provides Medical Assistance to Shelter Pets

Everyone knows that strawberries are sweet, and this loving little 2-year-old pit bull is no exception. Strawberry came to the Paws & Claws Animal Shelter in Apache Junction on June 9 as a stray, picked up by Animal Control. Senior Kennel Tech Jenny Flood immediately knew something was wrong with her front left paw; it was very flat and turned inward.

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Softball Championship

Apache Junction won the Tempe Varsity Prep Softball League championship by defeating Scottsdale Saguaro 9-8 in the title game, played on June 27 in Tempe. In the semifinal round, AJ defeated the Mesa Mountain View Toros 8-6. Overall, AJ finished its Tempe League play with a record of 10-1-1.

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2nd Chance at HS Diploma

The Sacramento County Board of Education inaugurated a novel program called Operation Recognition, which awarded belated – and legit – high school diplomas to veterans of World War II and the Korean War who dropped out to serve in the military. The program also included Japanese Americans who were interned in relocation camps and did not finish high school

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Undeveloped Path Closed

The city of Apache Junction and Pinal County —with guidance from the Arizona State Land Department—is closing an undeveloped dirt path in the northeastern corner of the city. The trail, labeled as “Mountain View Road,” has been determined to be unsafe for travel and will be accessible only on foot or by horseback after June 25 as fencing will be installed in the area.

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AJ Man Sentenced

Johnny Ray Bollinger, of Apache Junction, has been sentenced to 160 years on 37 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and five counts of involving or using a minor in drug offenses. In March 2017, Apache Junction officers responded to a domestic violence call in the 2000 block of West Greenlee Avenue.

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Local Non-Profits Receive $78,000 in City Support

By a vote of 6-1, with Councilman Jeff Struble voting no, council members approved awarding funding contracts between the city of Apache Junction and Apache Junction Food Bank ($33,000); the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, Superstition Mountain Branch ($29,000); and Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) ($16,000).

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AJ Budget Adopted

The Apache Junction City Council has given formal approval to the city budget for the fiscal year of 2018-19. The budget reflects a general fund increase of about 3 percent over last year, a reflection of some overall economic growth, an increase in costs associated with the public safety personnel retirement system, the re-plastering of the pool deck at Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center and the addition of a second Household Hazardous Waste collection day.

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Lights, Camera, Action

It was oppressively hot sitting in the Apache Junction High School parking lot at mid-day, but Cristi Harris was full of fresh excitement. She is one of several producers of The Unhealer, an independent feature movie that is being created in and around Apache Junction. Harris and her family live in Phoenix and she is a co-founder of Phoenix-based Shared Card Films.

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Half Truths and Inuendo

John R. Acton, Justice of the Peace? The term “oxymoron” comes to mind. I assume Mr. Acton decided to run for Apache Junction JP after realizing that his recent 60-day suspension from his elected position as Constable wouldn’t play well in a run to continue his current job.

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Community Service Crews

People make mistakes in life. You shouldn’t have to live with that for the rest of your life. I believe in redemption.” This quote from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe reminds us that fortune and misfortune can turn on a dime.

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‘Bitcoin Baron’ Sentenced

In an Arizona court last week, U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes sentenced Randall Charles Tucker (22) to 20 months in prison and ordered him to pay $69,331 in restitution for one count of intentional damage to a protected computer. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Tucker pleaded guilty to the charge last April.

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AJ Youths in Wreck

A collision with a wrong-way driver on I-40 outside of Holbrook last weekend has left 2 dead and 5 injured. A van carrying members of New Season Christian Fellowship church in Apache Junction was returning from a youth camp when they were struck at around 4 p.m.

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Driver Arrested in Fatal Accident

Police have arrested a driver who is charged with causing a fatal accident in Apache Junction last December. In a statement from the Apache Junction Police Department, officials say that Cindy Fite (47) was arrested on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at her home in the 8500 East block of Southern Ave. in Mesa.

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Retirees Recognized

With 466 collective years of service to our community between them, a story that can be told in many ways by the 17 long-term employees who are retiring from the school district this year.

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First Responders Resuscitate Child

An Apache Junction 2-year-old was saved last Thursday, thanks to the quick response of first responders. On June 14, 2018, at approximately 8:30 a.m., the Apache Junction Police Department responded to a residence in the 900 block of West 21st Avenue, Apache Junction.

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Hole-in-One!

In 40 years of playing golf, Helen Haines of Gold Canyon never sank a hole-in-one - until June 12. Haines, 71, earned the first ace of her life playing in the Gold Canyon Women’s League on the Sidewinder Course at Gold Canyon Golf Resort. She aced the par-3, 123-yard No. 10 hole, using a 7-iron.

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McIntyre's Journey to A’s Camp

Aiden McIntyre got the baseball bug at age 8, and with it the dream of many young players – getting to The Show. “We lived in Pennsylvania before and baseball wasn’t really that big.

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Sons of the American Legion Fund Playground

The Sons of the American Legion Post #27 came to the rescue of Desert Vista Elementary School, 3701 E. Broadway in Apache Junction, by donating the $4,267.18 needed to complete the inclusive playground equipment on the west side of the campus.

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Roundabout Progress

Those who have recently taken a drive up Apache Trail on their way to the lakes, restaurants, roadside attractions or parks, have seen the extensive construction underway at the road’s intersection with Superstition Boulevard. Passing through the construction zone without delays has been relatively smooth, but soon that will change.

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Mare Saved by SFMD

On May 22, I received a call for help from Velma, who is a friend and neighbor in our Gold Canyon neighborhood.Her horse, Lucy, had been down for more than 6 hours and couldn’t get up. Velma and her husband, Curtis, had tried everything they could think of, and even though she struggled to rise, she still could not stand.

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Donors Thanked

The Mayor and City Council spent time at their meeting on June 5 to thank individuals, organizations and agencies who have generously donated time and money over the past quarter to community projects administered by the city.

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6/5 City Council Meeting

At the Apache Junction City Council Meeting on June 5, 2018, Jan Mason, Deputy City Clerk, was presented with a 25-year Service Award and thanked by City Manager Bryant Powell on behalf of city staff.

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Overdose Reversed

An apparent drug overdose was reversed when local first responders were able to administer Narcan to a victim in time. In a statement from Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD), officials said: “On Friday, June 8, 2018, at approximately 3:24 a.m., AJPD was dispatched.

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Youth Matter Session

The Youth Empowerment Partners will be hosting their next event on Saturday, June 16, at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and is for high school and middle school age students and an additional track for parents/ guardians and adults.

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Kachina Greets AJ

Local artist Merrill Orr presided over the installation of his ‘Kachina’ sculpture in downtown Apache Junction on May 31, 2018. The 23 ft. tall steel sculpture stands like a sentinel in the center of downtown, facing the setting sun.

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City Election Candidates

Two candidates for Apache Junction mayor and four city council hopefuls have turned in the required paperwork to the Apache Junction city clerk’s office. The deadline was at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30. The election will be held August 28, 2018.

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Brilliant Students Shine

Students in Apache Junction Unified District’s Gifted/Talented program recently showcased an array of amazing student projects before taking off for summer break. Linda Gering and Robyn Gonzales from the Educational Services Department visited the gifted/talented students at Desert Vista Elementary School to view and evaluate the projects. Both women said the student work was amazing.

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House's Priorities

As Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Todd House has verbally dragged his heels, providing rationalizations for Johnson Utilities’ actions even as the BOS voted to approve a resolution supporting the ACC investigation into complaints.

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Persistence Pays Off

Proving there’s something to be said for perseverance, Aiden McIntyre’s late-blooming baseball career will continue. McIntyre, a 2014 graduate of Apache Junction High, was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 6.

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Seabiscuit’s Jockey

This Saturday, Justify will try to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 2015 when he attempts to win the Belmont Stakes. Retired jockey Frank Sorci never rode a Triple Crown winner, but he did work with a racing legend. Sorci was a most successful jockey in the 1940s, and one of his side gigs was working out the famous Seabiscuit.

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Judge Fuller Won’t Be Charged

Steven Fuller, a judge for the Pinal County Superior Court will not be charged on allegations of sexually abusing a minor. According to Alan Goodwin, who leads the special victims bureau at the Pima County prosecutor’s office, prosecutors do not have the level of evidence needed to win a conviction.

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Mobile Home Fire

Nobody was hurt in a mobile home fire last Tuesday, May 22. The fire occured in the 900 block of North Acacia Road in Apache Junction. Firefighters from the Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) arrived on the scene around 1:00 p.m. to find smoke showing from the home.

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Community Contributors Honored

The Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce held their 2018 Fry’s Food Community Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 24 at Roadhaven Golf & Tennis Resort in Apache Junction. The annual formal banquet honors outstanding small, medium, large businesses, non-profit, volunteer, teachers, firefighter, police officer and professors for their dedication and outstanding contributions to the community.

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Junior Bull Riding Champ

Logan Reichwald, a seventh grader at Cactus Canyon Junior High School, 801 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction, AZ, was named 2018 Arizona Jr. High School Rodeo Association Bull Riding State Champion. Logan has been riding bulls for two years. Before the end of 2017, Logan had won nine championship buckles and was invited to major rodeo and bull riding events for 2018.

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DVES Students Take Top Honors in DAR Contest

Several Desert Vista Elementary School students were recently recognized for winning local, state and national awards in the Junior American Citizens creative arts contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The students designed posters, wrote essays and did other work intended to allow students to express their patriotism through the visual and written arts.

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AJHS History Teacher Receives Award

Instead of merely teaching history, Alec McDaniel is making some history of his own. The Apache Junction High School History teacher was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Mr. McDaniel was nominated by a student for showing outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the profession.

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19 Tons of Hazardous Waste Collected

Hundreds of area residents deposited more than 19 tons of hazardous waste during the city of Apache Junction’s most recent Household Hazardous Waste collection day. A recently completed final tally of the event showed that 38,145 pounds of hazardous waste was collected from Apache Junction and Pinal County residents.

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Couple Wounded in Domestic Dispute

Last week, two Apache Junction residents were wounded by a single bullet fired by another person. On May 16, 2018, at about 9:20 p.m., Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) officers were called to a shooting at a residence in the 2200 block of W. Greasewood in Apache Junction.

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AJHS Regional Championship Squad

For the second consecutive year, Apache Junction senior Mikayla Gilgert was selected as 4A Black Canyon Region player of the year in a vote of the region coaches. As a pitcher, the right-handed Gilgert was dominant, fashioning a 17-5 record with a 2.71 earned run average, 12 complete games, 11 shutouts, and a no-hitter. She struck out 205, walked 35 and held opponents to a .233 batting average.

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City Talks Trash

The city of Apache Junction is one of the few municipalities in the state without mandatory residential solid waste collection. Homeowners make their own arrangements to hire a service, gather and dispose of solid waste at the local landfill or burn their waste when local and county restrictions are not in effect.

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13th Win for AJHS NJROTC

The Apache Junction High School’s Navy JROTC program received a letter from the Secretary of the Navy that the school’s program was, once again, awarded as a Navy Distinguished Unit. The honor acknowledges the AJHS NJROTC program as one of the best in the nation.

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National Police Week

Every year, the Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) joins communities across the country that come together during National Police Week—May 13-19. Citizens and law enforcement agencies reserve this time to recognize, honor and remember those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.

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New Principal at AJHS

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, The Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved Dr. Angela Chomokos as the new Apache Junction High School principal for the 2018-19 school year. Chomokos is currently principal at Chaparrel High School in the Scottdale Unified School District. Board Member Mike Weaver stated: “I think we’re darn lucky and I’m really appreciative that Dr. Chomokos has opted to come here.”

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Stansberry Leaving AJHS for Mesa Job

Scott Stansberry discovered recently that on the coaching carousel, not only can one door open after one closes, a preferred opportunity can be found at that same door. Stansberry had unsuccessfully applied for the head boys basketball position at Mesa High School, where he previously served as an assistant to Shane Burcar. Next thing he knew, he was the next man up

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Teaching Excellence Award

Jaclyn Chappel, band director and music teacher at Apache Junction High School, is one of four music teachers in the state of Arizona to receive Lead Guitar’s Teaching Excellence Award. Lead Guitar is an organization that establishes permanent classical guitar classes in public schools with low access to the arts.

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Flatiron Park Celebrates 1st Anniversary

The little gem known as Flatiron Community Park was bought out to sparkle last week when Liz Langenbach, director of Apache Junction Parks and Recreation, highlighted its first year. “We have a rough estimate of 10,000 visitors,” she said.

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AJ's 2018-19 Budget

At their work session on Monday, April 30, the Apache Junction City Council began discussions on the proposed 2018-2019 balanced budget submitted by City Manager Bryant Powell. The annual effort by the city’s staff and the professional manner in which the budget is prepared rarely results in controversy of any kind.

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