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.

AJ Police Pursue Burglary Suspects

Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) said that two burglary suspects have been arrested and a third suspect shot himself after a chase. AJPD was responding to a complaint in the neighborhood west of Ironwood Rd. and south of 16th Ave. “On August 16, 2018, at about 9:15 p.m. two suspects entered a residence in the 1900 block of West Renaissance in Apache Junction. The suspects entered through an open garage door.”

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City Council Doubles Down on Waste Collection Event

At the Apache Junction City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 7, the council unanimously approved entering into an agreement with Advanced Chemical Transport, Inc. to conduct two annual collection events for household hazardous waste. The collection dates are scheduled for November 17, 2018 and March 2, 2019. Only one collection event a year was scheduled in the past.

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Cactus Canyon Attracts AVID Learners

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It’s an appropriate name for a program that unlocks potential by changing students’ perception of themselves from tacit acceptance of the status quo to belief that they can achieve whatever goals they set for themselves – not with the wave of a magic curricular wand, but with positive mindset, peer support, organizational skills, study skills, communication and self-advocacy.

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Mediacom Opens New AJ Facility

Mediacom Communications officially opened their new customer service center and retail store at 1435 E. Old West Hwy. in Apache Junction on Thursday, August 16 and the company continues to hire new employees to fill positions in a newly-created bilingual call center. Mediacom invested more than $600,000 to expand its Apache Junction presence by leasing and renovating a new office complex that adds more than 10,000 square feet of space.

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Prospectors’ California Road Trip a Success

After traveling 447 miles to play its football season opener, Apache Junction emerged victorious on Friday night, defeating the Royal Highlanders 28-7 at Simi Valley, Calif. The Prospectors (1-0) departed for California Thursday afternoon. “Coming in on Thursday was the best thing for us to do,” AJ Coach Vance Miller said.

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Roundabout Opens

The city of Apache Junction announced last week that the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) installed roundabout at State Route 88 (Apache Trail) and East Superstition Blvd. will officially open on Monday, August 20. The city will hold a brief photo opportunity on the site with the city’s mayor, council and others at 1:00 p.m. Public is welcome. Those who wish to attend are invited to park in the City Hall lot and walk to the event.

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Meet the Mayor, Council Candidates

The Apache Junction community had an opportunity to meet and hear candidates for Mayor and City Council last week at a forum held on Wednesday, August 8. Roadhaven Resort hosted the candidates in their impressive community center. Approximately 84 attended the forum in person, while another 1,300 people viewed it online.

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Mirror, Mirror...

Last week, we received word that Apache Junction’s own Lost Dutchman Marathon was named “Best Marathon” in Phoenix Magazine’s “Best of the Valley” 2018 edition. The week before that, AJ Parks & Recreation was presented with three awards at the annual Arizona Parks and Recreation Association awards event: Outstanding Program (Youth Enrichment Award for the TGIF program), Outstanding Facility Award (Flatiron Park) and the Outstanding Special Event Award (Earth Day Ladybug Release).

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Eagle Scout Project Restores Grasslands

Two dozen volunteers worked together to restore 3 acres of grassland in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, AZ, as a part of Bronson Williams-Shaw’s Eagle Scout Project. Williams-Shaw, a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 39 in Apache Junction, coordinated the effort, securing donated water, safety glasses and work gloves from Ace Hardware, Frontier Ace Hardware and Home Depot, as well as food from Toms BBQ to feed all the scouts.

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BOS Approves Immigration Resolution

On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors (BOS) unanimously approved an amended resolution concerning immigration policies as they affect Pinal County. When the BOS originally considered a similar resolution two months ago, the “Rios Resolution,” as it was called, was, in large part, a condemnation of ICE policies separating children from their parents at the border. By the time the resolution made its way to the agenda, however, immigration policies were already in flux, due to judicial and administrative decisions.

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Prospectors Scrimmage with Desert Mountain

Before Apache Junction embarks on its seven-hour, 446-mile season-opening road trip to California, the 4A Prospectors faced 5A Desert Mountain in an Aug. 9 scrimmage. Desert Mountain, which had dropped down to 5A from 6A, suited up 32 seniors. But AJHS Coach Vance Miller said the Prospectors competed favorably with the bigger opponent. “It’s one of the most loaded teams (Desert Mountain) has had in the last few years,” Miller said.

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County Recorder Addresses Ballot Issue

Pinal County Recorder Virginia Ross became aware of a ballot issue for the 2018 Election Primary. This problem affects voters not registered to a recognized party that are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL). Arizona law allows non-affiliated voters on the PEVL to select a ballot from a recognized party if they choose to vote in the Primary and receive a ballot by mail.

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Apache Junction Home Invader Killed

One of two home invaders were shot and killed in an Apache Junction home on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Officials at Pinal County Sheriffs Office (PCSO) said that two armed suspects forced their way into a residence in the 1400 block of East 29th Ave. around 11:00 a.m. The homeowner was home at the time and confronted the suspects.

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AJ Parks and Recreation Earns State Awards

The Apache Junction Parks and Recreation department on Wednesday received three honors from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association during its annual awards presentation. The Apache Junction Parks and Recreation department was given awards for Outstanding Program, the Outstanding Facility Award and the Outstanding Special Event award.

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Board of Supervisors Plan Work Session re: Housing

Pinal County Housing Operations Manager Rolanda Cephas delivered the department’s monthly report to the Board Of Supervisors (BOS). The practice was initiated earlier this year to keep Supervisors informed as the county works to raise the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) rating for the Pinal County Housing Department.

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Drowning Impact Awareness in August

The month of August in Arizona means back-to-school and long, hot days. Unfortunately, the hot weather and distraction of back-to-school also spells increased risk for child drownings. Water related incidents tend to peak in the month of August, and every year we work to educate the community so the message stays fresh in late summer.

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AJ Police Dept. Hosts Community Forum

On Saturday, July 28, 2018, the Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) hosted a workshop titled “Procedural Justice for Communities: A Dialogue to Change.” The goal of the workshop was to lay a foundation for increasing mutual trust, enhance the community’s perspective of police legitimacy and foster a cooperative attitude between law enforcement and our community.

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Becoming an Outdoors Woman Weekend

Over the weekend of September 7-9, Valley women will learn how to bait a hook and fire a pistol, paint landscapes, build cleaner campfires and stay safe in the desert and Rim country woods, among many other classes that are offered. This one is for ladies-only and has been described as a priceless value and an amazing time.

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Prospectors’ Quiroz Lands at Midland University

Evan Quiroz admitted he’d never heard of Midland University when he began searching for the next stop of his basketball career. But that’s where the Apache Junction High graduate is headed for the next four years. Quiroz recently signed his national letter of intent to play men’s basketball at the NAIA Division II school in eastern Nebraska.

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Hurricane Andrew’s Effect on Legion World Series

First, it was Harvey, then Irma, then Maria. Throughout that hurricane season, there was no shortage of maps posted online to show us the size of these devastating storms. One of them included a comparison in size between Irma and Hurricane Andrew. That’s noteworthy because Andrew was in full force in the last week of August in 1992, while Fargo, ND, was hosting the annual American Legion Baseball World Series.

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Officials Believe Man’s Death Heat Related

A man was found deceased in the desert south of Apache Junction last Tuesday, July 24. Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) responded to a call for an unconscious hiker about 1:30 p.m. According to SFMD officials, paramedics found the body of a man in his 40s in a desert area near Baseline and Goldfield Roads. The deceased was determined to be homeless and camping nearby.

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Interim Manager for Johnson Utilities

On Tuesday, July 24, the Arizona Corporation Commission called for new management to lead a troubled Arizona water utility. In a vote of four in favor with one absent, Chairman Tom Forese and Commissioners Boyd Dunn, Bob Burns, and Justin Olson voted to appoint an interim manager to assume operation of Johnson Utilities, LLC as soon as possible. Commissioner Andy Tobin was absent from the meeting.

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City Election Candidates

There are a total of six candidates running for Apache Junction City office in 2018. There are two candidates vying for the Mayor’s office (vote for one) and four candidates contesting for three open seats (you may vote for up to three) on the City Council.

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Signs of the Time

Tis the season... to watch the tangle of campaign signs sprout like multicolored weeds on the corners of every major intersection. They’re distracting, unattractive and, for the most part, illegible if you are driving anywhere close to the speed limit. Some have so much gibberish on them one has no idea who or what the issue/office or candidate is. Others lean over one way or another waving in the monsoon winds, threatening to escape the hard soil into which they have been drilled, pounded and forcibly inserted.

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“Down Under” Golf

Claire Hoffman, 2018 AJHS alumnus and most valuable player on the high school’s golf team for three of her four years of competition, took her golf game to Australia this July to play for the American team in the Down Under Sports Cup tournament. The United States team took second place in the international tournament, and Hoffman’s team finished third in the USA tournament.

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Angling on Roosevelt

The fishing at Roosevelt Lake is on fire, with over 20-pound bags of fish! With the temperatures in triple digits, the water is a warm 80 degrees. The fishing should be slow this time of year, however the Let’s Talk Fishin’ Night tournament anglers really stepped up on July 21.

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Hanging Starr Daley

The first time I ever heard the story about the lynching of Starr Daley, it was from George “Brownie” Holmes. Holmes was a pioneer Arizonian. His father was born at Fort Whipple and his grandfather traveled along the Gila Trail in the late 1840’s. “Brownie” Holmes was a good friend of Nancy McCollough and Clay Worst. I am sure both of them heard the “Brownie’s” version of the hanging of Starr Daley along the old Roosevelt Road.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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