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.

Road Work on SR 88

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for delays while crews apply chip seal on State Route 88 beginning near Tortilla Flat and continuing for 7 miles east toward Roosevelt Lake. SR 88 will be narrowed to one alternating lane of travel while pavement preservation work is underway.

continue reading...

Hitching Post CUP Approved by Council

The Hitching Post establishment was granted a conditional use permit (CUP) to expand its attractions and hold various outdoor activities if it complies with 27 recommendations made by the city’s planning staff. On May 15, 2018, the Apache Junction City Council held a public hearing of an appeal by Evan Bolick, who represents neighbors of the Hitching Post

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

DeLoera Confirmed as CCJH Assistant Principal

At the May 17, 2018, Apache Junction Unified School District special Board meeting, Kenny DeLoera was confirmed as the new Assistant Principal at Cactus Canyon Junior High School. DeLoera was one of the three finalists for Apache Junction High School Principal, a position that went to  Chaparral High School Principal Dr. Angela Chomokos.

continue reading...

May 16 Supervisors Special Session

On May 16, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors (BOS) met in special session. The agenda included a tourism video and discussions of pavement damage restoration fees and penalties, progress on the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority and FY 18/19 budget development. Supervisors also met in executive session for legal advice related to the ACC hearings regarding Johnson Utilities.

continue reading...

Rx Take-Back Day Yields 514 Pounds

The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD), in a partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), collected 514 pounds of surrendered unused and unwanted prescription medication during the National Drug Take-Back Day held on April 28, 2018.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.”

continue reading...

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

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

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.

continue reading...

Lady Prospectors 2-2 at 4A State

Apache Junction’s successful softball season ended Tuesday at the Rose Mofford Softball Complex, where Bullhead City Mohave eliminated the Lady Prospectors from the 4A playoffs with a 7-1 victory. The No. 6-seed Lady Thunderbirds (21-12) advanced in Pool B, but lost 4-3 on May 10 to No. 3-seed Glendale Cactus.

continue reading...

Lost School Days

In an emergency meeting held on Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board addressed two major issues arising from the five-day #RedForEd educator walk-out: approving a policy allowing the district to schedule instructional hours to compensate for school closures and striking an obsolete policy banning any kind of “work stoppage.”

continue reading...

Chamber Board Members

The Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, a dynamic business organization that provides opportunities for personal growth, business success and community leadership, is announcing the appointment of three new Board members and two Executive Council Board Members.

continue reading...

Lady Prospectors Playoffs

Glendale Cactus resided at the top of the 4A softball power poll for most of the season. The No. 3-seed Cobras demonstrated why on May 3 with a 14-3 six-inning defeat of No. 2 Apache Junction in the state tournament Pool B semifinals at Rose Mofford Softball Complex.

continue reading...

LDM Donates $60,000

The Lost Dutchman Marathon Inc., a volunteer-led organization, raised $60,000 to be given to youth agencies in the community. Funds were raised at this year’s marathon. Among the recipients this year were Apache Junction Parks & Recreation ($20,000) and the Girls on the Run youth running program ($1,250).

continue reading...

AJ Teachers Joined Statewide Walk-Out

Many Apache Junction schools were closed on Thursday, April 26 when local educators and school support staff walked off the job to protest continued statewide cuts to public education. The coordinated effort was a signal to legislators that the education community is a formidable voting block.

continue reading...

Business District Boundaries Discussion

Apache Junction is considering new boundaries for the city’s Single Central Business District (SCBD) that would follow the north side of Apache Trail and extend east to Tomahawk Rd. and west to Ironwood Rd.

continue reading...

Farber Named as 11th SFMD Fire Chief

Mike Farber has been named the 11th fire chief in the 63 year history of the Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) after serving in the interim fire chief position for the past 10 months. In Chief Farber’s short time as the interim fire chief, he has added a second engine company to respond out of Fire Station 263.

continue reading...

New Fry’s Hitching Post

On Saturday, April 14 Superstition Horsemen’s Association (SHA) and the P&M Trail Riders teamed up and went to work putting in a hitching post at the new Fry’s grocery store. The hitching post is located on the east side of the parking lot near Wendy’s.

continue reading...

Leo Club Legacy Project

The Apache Junction High School Leo Club dedicated their Legacy Project at the Apache Junction Learning Center (TLC) on Thursday, April 19. The students created original artwork, painting a child-friendly mural on the outside walls of the previously drab and uninviting administrative office, which serves as the entry point to the campus. “I noticed, as I was driving by on the highway, that there was nothing interesting about this building...”

continue reading...

AJ Educators to Walk-Out April 26

The grassroots group Arizona Educators United (AEU) and the Arizona Education Association (AEA: teachers’ union) conducted a joint press conference at approximately 9 p.m., Thursday, April 19, 2018, to announce the results of the statewide vote. With 57,000 educators responding, 78% voted in favor of a walk-out.

continue reading...

SUV Strikes Building

A Dodge SUV drove through a building last Friday afternoon taking out the front wall of a business at 1075 S. Idaho Rd. in Apache Junction. The vehicle was driven by one person who was treated at the scene for minor injuries by paramedics from the Superstition Fire & Medical District.

continue reading...

Term Lengths & Limits Choice Not Going to Voters

At their April 17 meeting, the Apache Junction City Council chose not to take action on limiting the terms of council members and mayor or changing the length of the mayor’s term.

continue reading...

AJUSD Discusses #RedForEd Walk-Out

In anticipation of a potential educator walk-out, the Apache Junction Unified School District prepared this FAQ. Further questions should be directed to Sally Marks, public relations director, at smarks@goaj.org.

continue reading...

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

On Thursday, April 12, Dr. Andy Baldwin and a gathering of family and friends released a rescued Harris hawk back into his home environment. Andy and Jana Baldwin and their Gold Canyon friends love their Harris hawks.

continue reading...

Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, May 12

Every day, U.S. Postal Services workers and letter carriers see families in need. Every second Saturday in May, you and they get to do something about it. On Saturday, May 12, the postal service will conduct its Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive.

continue reading...

Free Dump Week

Residents of Apache Junction can junk a load of trash during “Free Dump Week,” on May 7-12. During that week, the landfill offers Apache Junction residents a drop off opportunity at no cost in partnership with Republic Services, which owns and operates the landfill. City residents can take one free load to the landfill during the week.

continue reading...

Pinal County Updates

Action was taken on wedding venue zoning, San Tan utilities, JP courts on March 28. County Manager Greg Stanley reported to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors (BOS) the ruling of the court denying the Goldwater Institute’s request for a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt the collection of the half-cent transportation excise tax (Proposition 417).

continue reading...

Imagine Prep Wraps Up First Softball Season

After Imagine Prep-Superstition’s youthful softball team concluded an 11-1 loss to American Leadership Academy-Gilbert on April 18, eighth-grade second baseman Abby Otteman was trying to work the kinks out of a sore shoulder – the residue of a long season of learning a new sport. “It hurts, but I’m OK,” Otteman said.

continue reading...

AJ Claims Region Softball Crown

For 48 hours, Apache Junction enjoyed the status of being ranked No. 1 on the AIA 4A softball power poll. It was fun while it lasted. But the Lady Prospectors are still sitting pretty at No. 2 with the playoffs coming up on Saturday. “It’s been a ride,” AJ shortstop Denae Preuhs said. “It’s been rough some days and really good some days.

continue reading...

AJUSD FAQs

There are several misconceptions circulating about the change from the four-day to five-day school calendar. In an effort to correct any confusion, a simple fact sheet has been created. The public is also invited to review documents regarding school attendance, transportation costs, cohort enrollment data, school budgets, student achievement, calendar survey results and other data.

continue reading...

Marching for Our Lives

Apache Junction was well represented by silver-haired seniors among the 20,000 taking part in the Phoenix March for Our Lives Rally Sunday. It was part of a 1.2 million-person protest across the US organized by teen-aged survivors of the Parkland school massacre. I am sure Apache Junction High School students and their parents and siblings were also marching.

continue reading...

Cantrell Confirmed as FPES Principal

At the March 27, 2018, Apache Junction Unified School District Board meeting, Four Peaks Elementary School Interim Principal Chad Cantrell was approved as the new Four Peaks principal for the 2018-19 school year. The unanimous vote was met with cheers and loud applause by a sizable contingent of Four Peaks teachers and staff who were in attendance.

continue reading...

Roads Tax Suit Has No Merit

Responding to the Goldwater Institute’s recent lawsuit challenging the voter-approved transportation sales tax (Proposition 417), Pinal County and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) filed a motion on Monday, March 19, 2018, asserting that the lawsuit is “untimely and without merit.” The transportation excise (sales) tax approved by voters is intended to fund the transportation plan (Proposition 416), which also passed in the November election.

continue reading...

Love Triangle Violence

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.

continue reading...

Gold Canyon Says ‘Leave Us Alone’

Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy addressed residents of Gold Canyon at a community meeting on March 22, 2018 at the Gold Canyon Community Church (the former Gold Canyon Elementary School) on Kings Ranch Rd. His message was that there would be an advantage to the Superstition Mountain region if both Apache Junction and Gold Canyon joined together and formed a representative government.

continue reading...

Police Officer of the Year

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.

continue reading...

Superstition Wilderness Area FAQs

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.

continue reading...