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Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) has reported that four juveniles have been arrested and booked into Pinal County Juvenile Detention on multiple counts of Burglary, Aggravated Criminal Damage, Theft of Means of Transportation and Criminal Trespass. According to an official release: “During the evening hours of January 14, 2019, and into the early morning of hours of January 15, 2019, the Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) responded to the 800 block of W. Southern Ave, on reports of criminal damage to property at the Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center and Cactus Canyon Junior High School.
During the last several months, August through December 2018, the Apache Junction Police Department’s (AJPD) Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and Community Resource Enforcement Unit (CREU) have made numerous narcotic as well as other criminal arrests in this recent roundup.
At the Apache Junction City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, outgoing Councilman Dave Waldron was recognized for his years of service to the city of Apache Junction. Attendees were treated to some slides of Mr. Waldron in action over the years, and he was honored with a standing ovation by the council and audience.
A retired Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) fire captain and paramedic jumped into action and helped save the life of an Apache Junction woman last week. On Jan. 14, 2019, retired Fire Captain and Paramedic Mike Gregorie witnessed a woman driving erratically in Apache Junction.
The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) has arrested and charged an Apache Junction man in connection with eight different incidents involving counterfeit bills. On January 9, 2019, Toby Tyler Heidebrink, age 44, was arrested in the 1600 block of S. Idaho Road.
Apache Junction Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson received word on Friday, January 4, that the district had been awarded funding for five school buses through the Volkswagen lawsuit settlement. With $110,000 per bus allocated, the district will receive $550,000 for the purchase.
On February 11, The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon News will NOT be in your driveway or news stand – until two days later! Wednesday deliveries, beginning February 13, will allow your locally owned, locally reported and locally supported Hometown News Team to expand opportunities with advertisers…
They say everyone loves a parade, and Savannah Hancock, a fourth-grader at Four Peaks Elementary School, 1785 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction, loves it even more since she won an art contest and was selected to be one of 10 Junior Grand Marshalls in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on Dec. 29.
Greater Phoenix is fortunate to have a modern and vibrant multi-modal transportation system that helps safeguard our region’s economic vitality and long-term sustainability. Airports are a critical component of that system and create jobs, facilitate commerce and provide access to the global marketplace for the communities they serve.
An average of 5,000 people attend this event each year, and exhibitors call it the best one day festival in the region. The juried art show features the work of 90 artists in a wide variety of genres and styles from the East Valley and throughout the state. Programs will be available listing the artists, their specialties and booth locations.
Enjoy a totally “eclectic” Home and Building Tour. Unlike others, Superior has old, new and everything in between. You’ll see amazing renovations of homes & buildings that most people would bulldoze. Not in Superior. We can renovate just about anything, often using recycled and repurposed materials.
Cactus Canyon Junior High Principal, Courtney Castelhano will receive the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) Outstanding Administrator Award at the Mesa Convention Center, 200 N. Centennial Way, during the Hall of Fame luncheon in the Arizona ballroom at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 1.
The city of Apache Junction Active Transportation Plan is the first active transportation plan developed by the city. The plan will serve as the primary tool for deployment and integration of connected, comfortable facilities for bicyclists, pedestrians, equestrians and other non-motorized modes within Apache Junction.
Board members at the December 11 Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board meeting addressed the topic of updating and diversifying course curriculum throughout the district. The presentation documented efforts to improve the quality of education available to Apache Junction/Gold Canyon area students.
Firefighters from the Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) and the Mesa Fire & Medical Department were dispatched at 10:03 a.m. on Tuesday, January 1 to an apartment fire in the 5800 block of East Estrella Road in Gold Canyon. The first fire truck arrived in six minutes to find smoke showing from a second floor apartment.
If you have the experience and want to share your time and talents, this is a good time to renew your commitment to your community in the spirit of volunteerism. Apache Junction Police Department has one of the finest volunteer programs in the country, but we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve.
I hope we’re all ready for the surprises the state has for us this year. First of all, when you register your vehicle this year, you will see a “public safety fee” (not a tax) added to the final total. The “fee”is set by the ADOT director annually to cover the cost of the state Highway Patrol. This will purportedly free up funds to repair roads and help fund the teacher raises the governor promised.
From the struggles of getting everyone ready to the bows after the show, it was all worth it for eighth grader Lauren Coburn. Coburn, the student director, was very relieved that she and her classmates got through the Cactus Canyon Junior High advanced drama class’ performance of Santa’s Sugar on Dec. 6.
Today, we still have many prospectors and treasure hunters pursuing the legendary Dutchman’s lost mine in the Superstition Mountain region. This search for gold or treasure in the mountains continues each and every year. Each year there are new searchers claiming to have found the legendary mine. Each year a new film company tells the story of the Dutchman’s lost mine.
A long-term ecological restoration project is happening on the Lower Salt River of the Tonto National Forest’s Mesa Ranger District in the area of the 2017 Cactus Fire. The Lower Salt River Restoration project will restore 70 acres of riparian habitat along an 11-mile stretch of the river by removing exotic plant species and planting over 500,000 native plants.
A live or freshly cut holiday tree is a wonderful way to spruce up the holiday season, and it doesn’t have to be detrimental to the environment. Instead of sending a live tree to a landfill, think “treecycle,” and give a gift back by recycling the freshly cut holiday tree. The city of Apache Junction is participating in this tree recycling effort by providing two free drop-off points in the city.
The Apache Junction Elks Lodge #2349 is excited to announce the winners of the annual Hoop Shoot Contest, which was held on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center. The free throw contest was open to boys and girls, ages 8 to 13 years old and was free to all contestants. In the Boys 8-9 Division, Tanner Chaney finished in first place, Nickolas Acosta in second place and Preston Sorenson in third place.
The increase in our population means that there are more people out and about enjoying the beautiful weather and the plethora of activities available to us here in AJ. Be it walking, jogging or biking, the opportunity for accidents increases. Since we have several months of good weather in front of us, here are some safety tips to help you get the most out of the winter season.
At their work session on Dec. 17, the Apache Junction City Council opened a discussion of the ethical behaviors of board and commission members. The Council appoints almost 50 volunteers who serve on ten different boards with varying responsibilities. “It seems to me that when we appoint board members, we just sort of turn them loose,” said Councilwoman Robin Barker.
Apache Junction has more than its fair share of wonderfully unique events, and the East Valley RZR Club’s Annual Christmas Cruise is on track to make that roster. On Friday, Dec. 14, a festive motorcade of brightly decorated off-road vehicles staged in the parking lot of the Apache Junction High School before thundering through the streets of Apache Junction, visiting several 55+ communities and spreading holiday cheer.
Inspired by the British movie, “Calendar Girls,” twenty 55+ women from Gold Canyon have created their own “nearly nude” 13-month calendar for 2019. The project has already sold out of the first run of 250 calendars – but more are on the way! All funds raised will be donated to Banner/MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is the first agency in the nation to participate in the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program, helping military service members trasition into civilian jobs. The SkillBridge initiative helps link military occupations to civilian jobs and promotes employment training, apprenticeships and internships.
The Apache Junction Police Department announced that the police firing range has added concrete lanes to aid police personnel in properly qualifying with their duty firearms, which is a Departmental requirement in addition to Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training requirement. This project was completed at no cost to the Apache Junction Police Department or the City.
In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia O’Hanlon (1889–1971), whether Santa Claus really existed. Dr. O’Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”
As a precaution, Apache Junction High School was locked down on Friday, December 14 at around 1:45 p.m. The campus was about to let out for the week when the Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) received a call saying there was an active shooter at the school.
The award-winning Apache Junction High School Navy Junior ROTC is under new “management” this year. Stepping into the big boots are LCDR Gary Lock and Senior Chief Kendra Welchert, who have already marched the young cadets to a new level with an unprecedented early win in the annual Brain Brawl last September, earning an automatic qualification for the Western Regional competition in California.
Sheryl Anderson’s senior government students at Apache Junction High School take their studies seriously. In a recent competition sponsored by VFW Post 7968, 250 S. Phelps Drive in Apache Junction, the Prospectors took first, second and third place in the essay contest, “Why My Vote Matters.”
The foundation of a strong community is a strong education system. Think about it. Whenever a society has lacked educational structure, crime and poverty are more widespread, people lack skills and knowledge to succeed and change the direction of their lives, and general health suffers.
Arizona is in the twenty-first year of a long-term drought, according to the Arizona State Climate Office, and at least one Apache Junction couple has decided to do something about it. In late November 2018, Elizabeth Butler and Bill Gorrell hosted a party of sorts – a rainwater harvesting party.
Apache Junction drivers are doing an “about face” since the closure of a popular shortcut from North Plaza Drive into and out of the Patterns of the Past Antique Mall parking lot. The private driveway was frequently used as an unofficial extension of N. Plaza by patrons of several businesses that line the west and southwest corner of the parcel.
Madeline “Maddie” Drake is conducting a holiday donation drive for Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) to support the children of families uprooted by domestic violence. She started planning where she would want to place collection boxes last summer, organized the effort and began meeting with store managers and city officials in September to gain necessary permissions.
At their meeting on Tuesday, December 4, the Apache Junction City Council approved 6-0 an ordinance amending Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 9, Health and Sanitation. The code amendments include stricter rules for garbage containment, inoperable vehicles, debris, trash accumulation and structural conditions.
Operation Home Safe is under way! The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) has partnered with the Apache Junction Walmart and the Superstition Circle K in Operation Home Safe. This partnership, along with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), asks all community members and guests to travel the roadways safely this holiday season.
The Arizona Lecture Series is proud to present its 2019 season lineup. The first lecture is on Monday, January 7, 2019. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the lecture starting at 7 p.m. All presentations are held at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of the Apache Junction High School. Tickets are $5 per show (available one week prior to event). Season tickets for the 12 lecture series are $50.
According to a press release from Giving USA, American individuals gave an estimated $287 billion in 2017 to charitable causes. The amount represents an increase of 5.0% over 2016. The outpouring of goodwill, however, seems to be slowing to a comparative trickle in 2018. Economists are pointing to new tax laws, which nearly doubled the standard deduction on 2018 federal income tax.
There is no better time to experience life in the desert than during these mild-weather months in Apache Junction. “As the temperatures cool down, we see many of our winter residents returning,” said Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) Chief Thomas E. Kelly.
Jaren Hemphill, a Central Arizona College Graphic Design student was recently notified that the poster he designed and submitted for the Amazon Prime Original Series Jack Ryan was selected as the winning entry. Through the art networking site Talenthouse, Hemphill reviews creative invites and briefs from major US companies for various graphic design contests.
Due to nearly $10,000 in contributions, the Apache Junction Unified School District’s football program received enough donations to acquire 41 football helmets for next season and continue the tackle football program at Cactus Canyon Junior High in Apache Junction. The purchase amount was $11,662.74.
The Superstition Mountains are awash with amazing geology, history, legend and intrigue. They were officially designated as the Superstition Wilderness Area in 1964 and are thus preserved. But the Superstition Foothills, an area of primarily State Trust lands adjacent to its southern border, are unprotected and required by law to be auctioned if and when they are sold.
An ongoing theme around our fair city is the negative perception that seems to stick to our town like stink on skunk, despite numerous awards for livability – for both retirees and families. For this week’s editorial, we offer up some historical perspective on the topic – from none other than the founder and mentor of the crew at The News, Ed Barker.
The nautical history of Canyon Lake has been an interesting one. When Canyon Lake was first filled in 1925, several valley entrepreneurs were convinced they could operate a profitable business enterprise by transporting visitors by bus up the Apache Trail and then place them on a tour boat for a cruise up Canyon Lake.
San Tan Valley residents have been twice thwarted in their efforts to bring the option of incorporation to a vote; however, they now have a participative comprehensive plan to help guide future growth. On October 31, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, in regular session adopted the San Tan Valley Special Area Plan – a major amendment to the 2009 Pinal County Comprehensive Plan.
Nov. 19 Work Session: The Apache Junction City Council discussed a bid award for Superstition Shadows Park Aquatics Facility Pool Re-Surfacing, for a maximum cost of $276,387.10. The project includes replacement of lighting and hand rails. The pools were last resurfaced in 2002. This item was approved with the Nov. 20 consent agenda. There was a discussion on proposed amendments to Apache Junction City Code, Property Maintenance Standards.
With a project to resurface the roadway and construct improvements along a 17-mile stretch of State Route 88 (Apache Trail) complete, east of the Valley, the keys to safety on this historic, winding roadway remain obeying the speed limit, staying alert and not driving impaired. The Arizona Department of Transportation has finished $6.5 million worth of improvements that include paved vehicle pullouts, adjustments to several curves and replacement of some existing sections of old guardrail.
We all have heard that a caravan made up of peasants and, among other people, thugs, drug dealers, terrorists and MS13 members, is headed north to our border with Mexico. These people are, we are cautioned, armed to the teeth, just like the soldiers in Pancho Villa’s or Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s armies once were. Again, we hear, an invasion is approaching. Fear reigned then, and again, fear reigns in our country.
This Holiday season, the Arizona Big Train Operators Club Members will be hosting their annual Christmas Open Houses. On the second and third weekends of December, there will be displays at 17 locations. Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Superstition Mountain Museum have G-Scale Garden Railroad layouts that will be open for “kids of all ages.”
TCC, one of the nation’s largest Verizon Authorized Retailers, selected Sgt. Mark Schrand of Apache Junction, AZ., as the recipient of its “Veterans Big Impact” experience on Nov. 10 and 11 in Indianapolis. Schrand, a wounded veteran, and his wife were flown to Indianapolis for an all expenses paid trip that included dinner at St. Elmo Steak House, tickets to the Colts vs. Jaguars game with sideline passes and more.
The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have a problem. From that standpoint, San Tan Valley residents, whose complaints about Johnson Utilities’ subpar service had been ignored for many years, are finally seeing progress toward a working solution to their water and waste utility woes.
Users of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) will find improved access and parking as the Desert Wells Multi-Use Area has reopened after three months of reconstruction, State Land Commissioner Lisa A. Atkins announced. The estimated final cost of reconstruction of the entryway, driveway and parking area is $130,000 – about $70,000 under budget.
Allison Baumann’s 8th grade art class at Cactus Canyon Junior High, 801 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction, hosted the Artist in Residence program and was recently treated to five days of free art instruction. For five days, Vanessa Ortiz shared her knowledge and enthusiasm of drawing and painting with the creative teenagers.
Chief Thomas E. Kelly and Lieutenant Thom Parker attended an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Command Meeting where they presented DPS Communications Officers Anthony Ashley and Dannette Lehman, along with Aviation Troopers Darrell Detty, Edgar Bissonnette and Daniel Millon Jr. with the Chief’s Letter of Appreciation.
Possibly the biggest surprise of the 2018 General Election in Apache Junction, Pinal County and statewide was the exceptional turnout of the electorate. Voters were unusually energized by the mid-term races, taking the opportunity to vote early by mail or show up at polling places in numbers that compared to a Presidential election.
From the two citizens who spoke passionately during the Call to the Public about voting and the state’s ESSA proposition, to the San Tan Valley resident appealing property code compliance fines; from the deceptively dry minutia of the purchasing division report and consent agenda to decisions clearing the way for construction of the Nikola Motors and Lucid Motors manufacturing facilities, this was a typical non-eventful, yet highly impactful slice of the American pie.
Gerald “Jerry” Becker, 84, a Korean War Air Force veteran, has been named the grand marshal of the parade. Mr. Becker enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 17 and was promoted to PFC in 1951 on his completion of basic training at Sheppard AFB in Wichita County, Texas.
The Apache Junction Parks & Recreation department will be hosting a free Movie in the Park event on Saturday, November 3rd! This free event will be held at Flatiron Community Park in downtown Apache Junction! The November movie features the family Thanksgiving film, Free Birds.
It wasn’t just the kids who enjoyed Apache Junction’s stunning 53-52 4A Black Canyon Region football victory on Oct. 19 in Glendale against the No. 3-ranked Cardinals. Three of the Prospector assistant coaches are also AJHS alumni, who played at a time when Black and Gold football fortunes weren’t so golden.
The Apache Junction High School Marching Band strutted to success, walking away with 2nd Place in the 1A Division at the Arizona Marching Band Association (AzMBA) competition at Williams Field High School, 2076 S. Higley Road in Gilbert on Saturday, Oct. 20. The percussion section earned an “Outstanding” designation.
We recently received notice from the State Department of Education regarding letter grades for each of our schools for the 2017-2018 school year. The state bases its score on an A to F letter grade. A is the highest (excellent) and F is the lowest (failing).
An Apache Junction woman who was arrested in 2017, has been sentenced for her part in sexual exploitation and giving drugs to minors. Her husband was also arrested in 2017 and sentenced last June. Paula Ann Bollinger, 40, of Apache Junction, has been sentenced to two consecutive 10-year prison terms.
Nikola. Lucid. Severtson. Attesa. Green Gas Partners. Different companies. One location: Pinal County. In the past month, Pinal County has landed a very impressive list of firms; some making their plans known ahead of time and others announcing after keeping their intentions quiet.
We can’t turn on the television or the radio or even Facebook without being barraged by election ads. But, have faith, the mail-in ballots are out this week, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The ads and the signs will disappear, and jolly old St. Nick will take over.
After building a 42-point halftime lead, Apache Junction cruised to a 63-0 4A Black Canyon Region win over Phoenix Cortez at Davis Field on Oct. 12. Junior quarterback Gibson Limongello completed 6-of-9 passes for 145 yards and four touchdowns, and William Lohman ran 10 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns (plus a scoring pass reception) playing in the first half, as the Prospectors used mostly younger reserves in the third and fourth quarters.
Construction of roadway improvements for Delaware Drive between Apache Trail and Superstition Boulevard is set to begin on Monday, Oct. 22. Construction is scheduled for Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., through next spring. The roadwork is not expected on weekends or holidays during the construction period.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.” This is a public notification regarding two recent scams. A local woman was contacted by telephone and told by a male caller that they represented the United States Grant Department. The victim was told that she was being awarded several thousand dollars because her credit score was very high.
Resolution Copper is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to develop one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper near Superior. Yield is calculated to meet 25 percent of US demand each year. The planned mine, on which well over a billion dollars has already been spent, will be the largest or one of the very largest investments in Arizona’s history.
With all city positions decided in the primary election on August 28, the lone event remaining in the local race is between the four candidates vying for two open seats on the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board. One candidate is an incumbent: Dena Kimble. The other three candidates are: Braden Biggs, Chelsea Connelly and Gilbert Cancio.
Five propositions will appear on statewide election ballots for the November 6 general election. Voters will have an opportunity to vote on three State Constitution amendments, one State Statute and whether to allow or overturn a contested legislative bill.
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced that a third suspect has been arrested in an Apache Junction murder investigation from 2016. PCSO deputies arrested a member of the Loose Cannons motorcycle gang for his involvement in a double homicide.
In just 48 hours time, regional residents, businesses and civic groups valley wide donated over $3,500 to the Apache Junction Food Bank to repair its 16-foot, refrigerated truck. By Friday, that total surged to just over $6,000. The vehicle’s drive shaft dropped out on University Drive in Mesa with food in it on Tuesday morning.
Apache Junction, led by running back William Lohman, won its second consecutive 4A Black Canyon Region football contest on Oct. 5, outlasting Dysart 55-34 at El Mirage. Lohman ran for 265 yards and scored five touchdowns – four rushing and one on a pass from Gibson Limongello.
The Apache Junction & Gold Canyon News staff received five awards at the Arizona Newspapers Association-Associated Press Media Editors (ANA-APME) 2018 Better Newspapers Contest and Excellence in Advertising competition, including one first place, one second place and three third place nods.
Our community’s local historian and real-deal cowboy, Tom Kollenborn, passed away on Thursday, September 27 at age 80. Tom was the author of the weekly column, “Kollenborn’s Chronicles” in this newspaper and has been a friend to all who have gathered in wonder of the majesty and mystery of the Superstition Mountains.
The Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board work session on Sept. 25 included extensive information concerning the strategies to improve academic scores, stabilize the academic calendar, address enrollment issues and create consensus on norms and expectations for Board conduct.
The story of Samson and Delilah mattered little to previously shaggy Apache Junction running back William Lohman. He was determined to get a new quaff for homecoming week. “It’s a lot cleaner, and I was looking like a rag, so that’s when I decided to cut it!” the senior explained after running for 215 yards and four touchdowns in the Prospectors’ 41-14 Black Canyon Region victory over Phoenix Washington on Sept. 28 at Davis Field.
It is unfortunate that various levels of crime come with growth in a community, and in the late 1980s, it became apparent that reports of domestic violence (DV) seemed to be on the increase. There were no services or resources for the victims anywhere near Apache Junction at that time. In fact, they had to travel as far as Mesa or Casa Grande, but most had no transportation or the finances to do so.
On Saturday, September 22, Apache Junction High School hosted the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Prospector Brain Brawl. Out of 16 teams participating in the event, Apache Junction took the first place win, which earned them an automatic qualification for the Western Regional competition in California.
The Apache Junction Water District (AJWD) is committed to providing safe and reliable drinking water to our customers. With this commitment comes the responsibility to ensure that infrastructure improvements are made, and that the water system remains financially sustainable.
A fatal accident involving a motorcycle rider and a school bus occurred at about 6:30 a.m. on Friday, September 21 in the 400 Block of S. Phelps Dr. in Apache Junction. According to officials from Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD), Clinton Pennington (36)collided with an Apache Junction Unified School District (AJUSD) bus that was making a left turn on its regular morning route.
The Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to rename the Chamber, “Superstition Region Chamber of Commerce.” The new name will become effective November 10, 2018, when the Chamber unveils its new logo and branding elements. “The Chamber’s reach has always extended beyond Apache Junction,” said Steve Byfield.
There are those who believe there is an unlimited supply of water. But in the 1890s prospectors, miners and cattlemen fought over small seeps and springs in the desert around Superstition Mountain. The Cottonwood Springs water feud was between a cattleman and a stable owner in the Goldfield mining camp around 1894. The story goes something like this. When the first Mormon gold miners arrived here from Mesa City in 1881, there wasn’t much water in the area.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Apache Junction Police Department encourages everyone to join with us in recognizing the on-going societal issue of domestic abuse in our country. On Tuesday, October 2, Chief of Police Thomas E. Kelly will receive a City Council proclamation at the City Council meeting at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. Please wear purple to show support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
Mitch Basefsky, CAP’s External Communications Representative for Pima and Pinal Counties and an Arizona water guru for more than 25 years, will discuss the above questions and much more at the October 2nd kickoff of the SALT Speakers Series for the 2018/19 season.
The Apache Junction City Council met last Tuesday, September 18, 2018, in Chambers. Mayor Jeff Serdy read a proclamation designating the week of September 23, 2018, through September 29, 2018, as Child Passenger Safety Week, which was accepted by AJPD Lieutenant Thomas Parker. Mayor Serdy also read a proclamation designating September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week.
On September 19, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the issuance by the Industrial Development Authority of revenue bonds not to exceed $60 million. The bond revenue will finance sewage and solid waste facilities to be constructed near Stanfield.
When speaking with Dr. Eva DeCozio, DVM, Medical Director at VCA Animal Hospital, 17 N. Mountain Rd., Apache Junction, the conversation moves fluidly between animals and humans. It can be difficult to track which she is talking about until eventually one realizes – it doesn’t really matter.
No sooner did Apache Junction score its second touchdown on Sept. 21, the decision to attempt a go-ahead 2-point conversion was made in the Prospectors non-region football game at Davis Field against Phoenix Shadow Mountain. After AJ quarterback Gibson Limongello scored on an 18-yard touchdown run with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter, there was no hesitation on the part of the Prospector coaching staff in going for two.
The Apache Junction Planning & Zoning Commission met on Tuesday, September 11 and unanimously approved a proposed amendment to the city’s land use map to redesignate a 38 acre property at the southwest corner of E. Old West Highway and S. Goldfield Road from Community Commercial to Medium Density Residential. Plans for the site include a community development of 178 single-family houses.
The Board of Directors for the Superstition Mountain Historical Society has announced that Annie Vaugier has been named the new Executive Director for Superstition Mountain Museum, replacing Liz Nicklus who is retiring. Board President Vicki McLaughlin said, “We are excited to welcome her, and we are anticipating great possibilities ahead in this next chapter in the history of Superstition Mountain Museum with Annie in the leadership position.
Two Apache Junction residents with family ties to coastal North Carolina have taken up the challenge to help with relief to victims of Hurricane Florence. Danielle Greene, VFW Post 7968 Auxiliary president, and her husband Daniel, who is the Post’s Commander, are organizing a delivery of non-perishable items and willing hands to help with disaster relief. The couple are calling on the community to pitch in with donations of goods and traveling funds.
The agenda for the September 11, 2018, Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board meeting was short, but critical. The one key action item was approved unanimously by the Board: IT infrastructure replacement and improvement, at a cost of $107,660. The new system will be a “hyperconverged solution” – an all-in-one system with all components converged into one unit.
The term “injury-plagued” is an understatement for Apache Junction runner Faith Rutkowski. Following her first-place finish in the Prospector girls’ first cross country meet of the season at Prospector Park, Faith said, “I’m feeling a lot better” after battling a variety of injuries over her sophomore and junior years. Faith explained, “In my sophomore soccer season, I hurt my hip and went into track and didn’t run a great track season."
The Twentieth Century was the most inventive century in recorded history. The age of technology wrought inventions that rapidly changed our world and made it infinitely smaller and, unfortunately, infinitely more complicated. Until the early 1900’s, inventions plodded along, comparatively, at a snail’s pace. Nothing much happened for many, many centuries after the invention of the wheel. Frankly, there are places in the world where technology still plods along.
The Pinal County Board of Supervisors (BOS) met on September 5, 2018, to approve the canvass of results from the August 28 Primary Election, accounting for every ballot cast on Election Day, including the on-time absentee/early ballots and accepted provisional ballots. As reported last week, the District 6 Justice of the Peace race between Doug Coleman and Kevin Cavanaugh was very close.
The past five or six decades have produced a variety of missing person reports within the contemporary boundaries of the Superstition Wilderness Area. Many of these missing persons show up at home or in another state claiming they didn’t think anyone would miss them. A majority of these missing person reports are resolved with telephone calls between relatives of the missing person. However, there are those reports that defy explanation, and no clues have ever been found.
Congratulations are in order to Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy on being elected to a second term of office, as well as to the winners of the Council race: Gail Evans (incumbent), Christa Rizzi (incumbent) and Robert Schroeder. Throughout the race, it was apparent that every candidate running for municipal office was highly motivated to serve our community. We appreciate each one, win or lose.
You can’t imagine the surprising and unbelievable stories I have heard over the past many scores of years. The tales of gold and treasure lost among the deep canyons and towering spires within the wilderness of Superstition Mountain are numerous. These tales stir the souls of men both young and old. The search for adventure has filled the hearts of many who have followed in the footsteps of “Coronado’s Children” as told by Frank J. Dobie.
The Prospectors had to come from behind twice to do it, but Apache Junction outlasted Vista Grande 39-33 in a non-region 4A football contest Friday at Casa Grande, snapping a two-game losing streak. AJ’s defense forced four Spartan turnovers, including a fumble recovery on a kickoff return late in the game. An interception by Talon Izbicki with time running out sealed the win for the Prospectors (2-2). The loss evened Vista Grande’s slate at 2-2.
Grab your friends and family, along with a blanket or lawn chair, to enjoy a nice afternoon outside with some great music! The Fall Series of Concerts in the Park will be bringing you the musical sounds of three different bands! The first concert will take place on Saturday, September 15 and will feature The Delusionists. They will be playing a lot of hit songs from the 1970s through the 2000s!
Voters approved Proposition 423, the Permanent Base Adjustment, by a margin of about 72 to 28 percent, according to unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election. The Permanent Base Adjustment provides flexibility to the locally elected City Council to set its budget each year based on local needs instead of state imposed numbers.
Mayor Jeff Serdy won a second term in the race for mayor, besting Councilman Dave Waldron by more than 800 votes. According to early unofficial vote counts posted at 11 a.m. on August 30, with all 102 precincts reporting, Serdy had 2,667 votes to Waldron’s 1,805.
The Apache Junction and Gold Canyon community was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Marta Saint-James last week. Marta is remembered as a loving friend to two- and four-legged creatures alike and will be missed for her easy laugh, passionate advocacy and ready-to-help presence.
Unofficial results in one of the Pinal County races for Justice of the Peace in District 6 remains too close to call. As of August 30 at 11:00 a.m., Pinal County was reporting Doug Coleman in the lead with 2,493 votes. Kevin Cavanaugh follows with 2,480 votes, and Glenn Walp is in third place with 1,638 votes.
Horizon Health and Wellness invites the community to join us for our annual Day of Planting at the Earth Heart Park (EHP) located at 625 N Plaza Drive in Apache Junction. On Saturday, September 8, community members are invited to assist with preparing the raised beds and planting vegetables and herbs for the fall/winter season.
On August 15, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors (BOS) met in Special Session to consider a number of items, including the adoption of a 157 page San Tan Valley (STV) Comprehensive Plan. Presented by Pinal County Planning Manager Steve Abraham, the plan covers 70 miles, and is the result of more than 18 months of study and public input, examining the unique needs and issues of San Tan Valley that are “the result of unprecedented growth and development for the last 25 years.”
After a wild and competitive season-opening defeat, Imagine Prep-Superstition kept its momentum going on Aug. 28 with a three-game volleyball sweep over Sequoia Pathways Academy. Two days later, the Lady Panthers swept Imagine Prep-Coolidge 25-14, 25-15, 25-13, improving to 2-1 on the season. The 25-16, 25-8, 25-8 win over Sequoia provided Charlyne Long with her first head coaching win. “Every game means a lot, whether we win or not,” Long said.
The Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) Community Response Enforcement Unit (CREU) arrested Edward Meyer of Chandler last week after a foot chase and a standoff at an Apache Junction residence. On August 14, 2018, CREU detectives attempted to stop Meyer, who was riding a bicycle at 4th Avenue and Smythe in Apache Junction.
Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board member Mike Weaver will resign his position effective September 5, as he and his wife, Bonnie, are moving out of district to a new home in southeast Mesa. The public is invited to participate in a farewell reception at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the District Office, 1575 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction, preceding Mr. Weaver’s last Board meeting.
The Apache Junction Police Department was awarded a $500 grant to be used for the DNA Doe Project for genealogy comparison. Tony Cusinato of Aftermath, presented the award to Crime Scene Technician Stephanie Bourgeois. Bourgeois’ submittal focused on the “Why We Serve” grant program. Stephanie championed this cause after submitting the request for a Jane Doe victim from 1992.
Last week, a report from the Arizona Office of the Auditor General found that some RICO monies collected by former Pinal County Attorney and former Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu were misspent. RICO is shorthand for anti-racketeering laws. They currently give authorities wide latitude to seize assets in criminal cases, whether or not a suspect has been charged or convicted of a crime.
The August 14 AJUSD Board meeting included an update from the new Director of Transportation Lori Jioras. Jioras reported for duty with just days to spare before school started on July 24. The first week of school is arguably the most challenging every year; however, the new job held some very special surprises to test the mettle of the 13 year school transportation veteran from Springfield, MO.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
We love promoting Apache Junction, Arizona's gem city at the base of the Superstition Mountains. For those who live and work here, this is home. For many that visit, it's a second home where it's always sunny and friendly with so much to do. Take the time to look around, discover the people, businesses, groups and families that make The New Apache Junction what it is today and the AJ of the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.