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The community is invited to the city of Apache Junction’s annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31 at Prospector Park! Come help find over 9,000 prize-filled eggs! The free event is brought to Apache Junction each year by the Parks and Recreation Department and the egg hunt is open to all kids up to 17 years of age.
With a combined effort toward troubleshooting, resident education and continued vigilance – the kind of effort that truly defines “community” in terms of people rather than houses – Golden Vista Resort Community saw a 20% drop in water use in just three years, achieving a 5 million gallon reduction goal and then some.
Three Apache Junction residents were arrested after an apparent lovers’ quarrel turned violent and resulted in a stabbing and a shooting. According to Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) Jessie Wirries (29) is accused of unlawfully entering the home of his estranged wife, Heather Wirries (27) in the early hours of March 9.
John Chavez – the “JC” in JC & the Juke Rockers – had a desire to share his enthusiasm for the blues and bring a unique event to the Apache Junction community. A year ago, he started the Superstition Blues, Brews & Arts Festival to fulfill that goal. It went over so well, the event needed room to grow. “The name ‘blues’ can be something of a misnomer in many ways. Some people think it’s boring stuff,” Chavez said. “No! It’s fun and exciting, and it’s a good time!
Detective Steven Jeansonne was recognized as Police Officer of the Year for his dedication to the task of examining and recovering digital evidence from electronic devices used in criminal offenses. Jeansonne has received praise from peers and outside law enforcement agencies that he has assisted. Jeansonne has been a member of the Police Department since 2006.
Steven Fuller, a judge for the Pinal County Superior Court, has been reassigned to handle civil cases, pending allegations of sexually abusing a minor. According to a police report, the alleged victim stated that Fuller touched her genitals and buttocks and rubbed against her in almost weekly occurrences from the time she was age 13 until she reached adulthood. She also stated in the police report that Fuller showed her pornography. She is now 25.
The Mayor and City Council took time at their meeting on March 6 to thank individuals, organizations and agencies who have generously donated time and money over the past quarter to community projects administered by the city. Roger Hacker from the city’s Revenue Development Department introduced the donors and the donations with a qualification that it was not possible to list everyone.
A fatal crash in Apache Junction Saturday, March 3 left an Apache Junction woman dead and 11 others injured. The accident occured around 6:30 p.m. on the freeway near Ironwood Dr. and closed the westbound lanes at Idaho Rd. Superstition Fire and Medical District reported “There is one fatality, two critically injured patients and eight with delayed injuries.Ten ambulances are being utilized to transport the injured to local hospitals.“
Addressing the Feb. 28, 2018, regular meeting of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, County Manager Greg Stanley reported, “There was a press release that came out Monday from the Goldwater Institute that had what I would classify as misinformation. I think the current term is ‘fake news.’ There was no change to what the voters approved [in Proposition 417] in the resolution that the [Pinal] Regional Transportation Authority (PRTA) passed last Thursday."
Two Apache Junction Unified School District (AJUSD) buses collided in front of Desert Vista Elementary School last week resulting in minor injures. Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) was at the scene at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 and reported that both buses were full of children, some injured.
The Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board fit several additional pieces into the puzzle on Tuesday evening, February 27, as the Board and district leaders continued their work toward rebuilding the district. Components included a preliminary budget proposal that would commit an additional $600,000 to salary increases in 2018-19.
On Saturday, Feb. 24, two people were critically injured at the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo when the horse team pulling a Well Fargo stagecoach bolted out of the arena and hit several vehicles. One of the injured is Denny Walter, the chairman of the event, who was riding “shotgun” on the stage.
On Thursday, March 1, the city of Apache Junction named Anna McCray, an experienced member of the city manager’s office, as assistant to the city manager. As assistant to the city manager, McCray will now take a more prominent role in working with the city’s regional partners such as Central Arizona Governments, Maricopa Association of Governments and others, as well as represent the city manager’s office on the budget committee.
For those who love to bike, hike, walk and ride horses while taking in the beautiful views of our little piece of heaven on earth, there is reason to celebrate. At the last City Council meeting on Feb. 20, council members voted unanimously to approve a resolution establishing an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for the city’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The IGA comes with federal grant money.
On Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, the Arizona Bluegrass Festival is coming to Earth Heart Park, 625 N. Plaza Drive, in Apache Junction. Conceived and organized by the Arizona Bluegrass Association (ABA), the festival will spotlight more than a dozen Arizona bluegrass bands, food trucks, vendors and raffles. In addition, three operating model railroads will be on display inside the Horizon Health & Wellness lobby and in the Earth Heart Park garden.
Last summer, I joined Apache Junction Unified School District with a lot of excitement and intentions to take it slow, learn about the district, build relationships, and examine the different organizational systems. However, the best-laid plans rarely go as expected. Early in my stint as superintendent, it became clear that one of the issues that was going to be a hot topic in the district is the school calendar.
How did Superstition Mountain get its name? The best answer to this question centers on the early farmers of the Salt River Valley, according to most historians. The farmers grew and cut hay for the Army at Fort McDowell in the late 1860’s. These farmers constantly heard stories from the Pimas how they feared Superstition Mountain.
Sometimes described as “Jeopardy on steroids,” Brain Brawl is an academic competition that challenges cadets’ knowledge in Naval Sciences curriculum. The questions asked can come from topics that include history, science, Navy regulations, physical health, Navy ships and more.
The Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board voted 4-1 at the February 13, 2018, Board meeting, to move the district to a 5-day, modified schedule for the 2018-19 school year. The first day of school for the coming year will be July 24, 2018. Jodi Ehrlich, Dena Kimble, Mike Weaver and Cami Garcia voted in favor. Board member Christa Rizzi voted against the change.
Had Katy Cafaro, the 4A Black Canyon Region player of the year, stayed with dancing, her noteworthy soccer career might not have happened. “I started playing soccer when I was 7. But before that, I took dance lessons for a couple of years,” the Apache Junction sophomore recalled. “I knew that wasn’t for me! I needed something that was a little more aggressive when I was 7, and I’ve been playing ever since.”
After spending the night on Superstition Mountain with volunteers from Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association, three stranded hikers were picked up by a Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter last Wednesday morning. According to a Facebook post from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, their dispatch got a call for help Tuesday evening.
An investigation that began over a year ago by Apache Junction Police Department Animal Control Officer KC Sheahan was adjudicated on February 8, 2018. The investigation began when a dog belonging to a neighbor of Alysha M. Cox (24), 1445 S. Ironwood, was attacked by the Cox dogs while he was walking his dog.
The city of Apache Junction will be holding its annual free Household Hazardous Waste, White Goods, Electronic Recycling and Document Shredding collection event on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The event will be held at the city’s Public Works operations yard, 575 E. Baseline, from 8 a.m.-noon.
On a beautiful, cool, mid-winter’s night in Apache Junction, the city had an opportunity to show off many of the other reasons residents choose to live here. At the first “State of the City” program, Mayor Jeff Serdy welcomed the community to an evening with city staff, elected officials and dignitaries from the region.
Arizona Senator David Farnsworth and Representative Doug Coleman from Dist. 16 came before the Apache Junction City Council Feb. 6 to present some of their activities in the current legislative (53rd) session. Senator Farnsworth said that he had been “pondering” an extension of the Valley Metro bus route 30 from Sossaman east to Ironwood Dr.
It’s almost insane, the savings,” declared Steve Ross, co-owner of Flatiron Electric, Inc. He and partner Jim Shields, along with Phoenix Lighting Group (PLG), just completed a five-day lighting refit for Horne Ford at 3400 S. Tomahawk Rd. in Apache Junction. The project replaced the standard light fixtures throughout the business with energy efficient LED lighting.
The Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) has recognized Firefighter/Paramedic Ken Simkins as the 2018 Firefighter of the Year. Ken hails from Minnesota, where he worked as a paramedic on an ambulance and volunteered with a Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team. He was hired by SFMD in 2006 (then the Apache Junction Fire District) and has focused his career on excellence in paramedicine and teaching others.
The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) has released a sketch and description of a man wanted for questioning about a sexual assault.
According to a release, officials say that at 4:30 a.m. on January 28, AJPD officers responded to a sexual assault complaint from a victim living on E. Junction Ave. in Apache Junction.
Last week, the nationally recognized Apache Junction High School Navy Junior ROTC program claimed another kudos as cadets on the CyberPatriot team scored first place in the Silver Division for Arizona. The students are in their second year of competing in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which focuses on computer and internet security.
Dinosaurs are extinct. But after the Association for the Development of a Better Environment (A.D.O.B.E.) presentation at the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board meeting on January 24, 2018, it seems likely that the Board – and lawyers representing the school district, Pinal County and A.D.O.B.E. – will find a way to preserve Dinosaur Park from the same fate.
Imagine Prep-Superstition concluded its boys basketball regular season in winning fashion on Feb. 9, as the Panthers upended American Leadership Academy-Ironwood 83-47. The win gives IPS a 12-4 league record, trailing second place EVAC by a half-game in the CAA Division III, Region 1 standings. Canyon State Academy is in first place at 12-2.
The Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce announced on Jan. 25 that long-time local businessman Michael Eastwood has been named as the chamber’s new president and chief executive officer. “We are excited to add Michael Eastwood to our team and to our community,” said Larry LaPrise, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors.
The first recipient of this soon-to-be annual award is Cami Garcia, who received an engraved plaque in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday. Cami was born and raised in Apache Junction. She and her husband Joe Garcia have been married for nearly 25 years.
No. 3-seed Estrella Foothills maintained its undefeated status on Jan. 30, taking advantage of Apache Junction miscues to defeat the No. 14 Lady Prospectors 4-1 in the opening round of the 4A girls soccer playoffs. “Playing a good team like this, they exploited a couple of mistakes we made in the first half,” AJ Coach Norm Hoefer said.
No injuries were reported from a fire in the Palmas del Sol East community last Friday afternoon, January 19, 2018. The Superstition Fire and Medical District and crews from the City of Mesa Fire Department were dispatched to a mobile home fire in the 3400 block of S. Ironwood at about 5:00 p.m.
What does the word “ventilate” mean? To Nicholas McCracken, a fifth grader from Desert Vista Elementary School, “ventilate” spelled victory at the Apache Junction Unified School District Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Jan. 24 in the AJHS Performing Arts Center in Apache Junction.
The Apache Junction City Council met on January 16. At the meeting, there was a presentation of a proclamation designating January 2018 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Community Alliance Against Family Abuse Director Dorian Townsend accepted the proclamation and told the council that the average age of one who is trafficked is 14 and that the Valley is among the top 20 trafficking spots in the nation.
The court wasn’t the only place action could be found during Apache Junction’s girls basketball game against Scottsdale Coronado on Jan. 10. As the game wore on, the bleachers became more boisterous, and, in the perception of the referees, less than cordial. As a result, the Dons came from behind and won the 4A Black Canyon Region game 44-41 before what became a nearly empty AJHS gym.
The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) reported that it is investigating a fatal pedestrian-vehicle crash that occurred early January 11 at the intersection of Ironwood Drive and Southern Avenue in Apache Junction. AJPD responded to the accident on Thursday at about 1:00 a.m.
Mid Carlozzi, president of Genesis Project in Apache Junction, was excited to show off the kitchen’s new walk-in refrigerator/freezer. He was even more excited when he spoke of the generosity demonstrated by Andrews Refrigeration of Scottsdale, who, through a series of fortunate events, came to Genesis and installed the equipment free of charge. “4 or 5 guys from Andrews were here for about 7 days installing the walls, evaporators on the roof and the new equipment,” Carlozzi said.
With many of our winter residents returning to their Arizona homes, some are finding damage due to weather. As a result, residents are seeking out contractors to repair these damages. Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) would like to remind all of our residents to thoroughly research the contractors before you hire them or any money is exchanged. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) has created a list to guide and protect consumers from becoming a victim of unsavory business practices.
Apache Junction is home to more than 1500 veterans – the single largest concentration of vets in Pinal County. And that doesn’t count the influx of veterans among the city’s winter visitors. When veteran Mike Ferguson decided to cultivate his experience as a national councilman with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) into a service that would be a direct conduit to veterans in Pinal County, Apache Junction was the logical place to be.