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Bill Van Nimwegen - page 3

Bill Van Nimwegen has 917 articles published.

Advanced Science Students Study Plates

Cactus Canyon Junior High Advanced Science 7th grade students in Mrs. McQuilkin’s class created a shifting plates project with craft, color and research. The creative approach could be models, maps, short stories, slideshows, posters, newspaper articles, board games, and more. Topics included volcanoes, earthquakes or the layers of the earth. Once again, CCJH is making learning exciting through student research.

Menu for Success

AJHS culinary students shine

By Sally Marks

Some may consider Daniel Vergos the Top Chef in AJHS’ Culinary Foundations Program, but the heat in the kitchen will be cranked up several notches as the sophomore competes in the SkillsUSA Region 3 competition at the EVIT main campus, 1601 W. Main St. in Mesa on Saturday, Feb 16th.

Daniel is the first culinary student from Apache Junction High School to compete, pitting his skills against other students from SkillsUSA Arizona Region 3 as they battle to attain a medal. The contest is judged on areas of professionalism, technique and cooking skills and is timed. A panel of industry judges evaluates each contestant, awarding scores in each area.

“Daniel loves the culinary arts and is very excited to participate in this competition,” said John Diana, who oversees the culinary program. “The art of creating food is an exciting and growing profession, and we are very excited to offer it at the high school.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors annually. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 14,500 instructors and administrators are professional members of SkillsUSA.

For more information about AJUSD, call 480-982-1110 x5317.

Gary Sprague Takes the Stage at SMM

What presentation better to usher in Lost Dutchman Days than cowboy music and poetry, comedy and history as performed by Western performer Gary Sprague on Thursday, Feb. 21, at Superstition Mountain Museum?

Gary and his trusty horse, Dusty, will take the stage as part of the free lecture series presented each winter on Thursday afternoons at 2 p.m. at the museum, located at 4087 N. Apache Trail, just east of Apache Junction.

Gary has been entertaining audiences for many years, following a childhood dream to become a singing cowboy. He and his current equine sidekick, Dusty, use lighthearted fun to entertain and educate folks of all ages about the Sonoran desert and historic characters such as Tom Mix. After the performance, visitors are invited to interact with this duo for conversation and photos.

This program will be in the amphitheater on the museum grounds. Attendees are requested to bring a lawn chair or a blanket for seating. Seating is first-come, first-served.

For more information on this presentation, go to or call 480-983-4888.

WWII Navajo Code Talkers Presentation

Japanese cryptographers were never able to solve the code that the 432 Navajo Code Talkers developed and used in World War II to send radio messages during the Pacific campaign.

In a free lecture on Thursday, Feb. 14, Laura Tohe (right), a well know Navajo (Diné) author, poet and professor, and the daughter of Navajo Code Talker, Benson Tohe,  will discuss World War II, who the Code Talkers were, where they came from, what they did and how it contributed to the Allied victory.

All 14 of the Superstition Mountain Museum’s free lectures are held on Thursday afternoons in the outdoor amphitheater on the grounds of the museum at 4087 N. Apache Trail (SR-88) and begin at 2 p.m., lasting about one hour.

Ariz. Lecture Series: “Four Corner States”

Jim Turner returns Feb. 18, 7p.m.

Monday, February 18, at 7 p.m., the Arizona Lecture series, presented by the Apache Junction Unified School District Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood, offers “The Four Corner States,” by Jim Turner.

Jim Turner

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for $5 and may be purchased at the door, at the AJUSD District Office, or online at, by clicking on the ‘Community’ tab, then ‘PAC Tickets.’ Advance tickets are suggested for this popular series. For more information, contact Zach Lundquest at 480-982-1110 x.2250.

The Four Corners is a common name for the region within 150 miles of the marker where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. The Four Corners reflects a wide array of customs of both ancient and contemporary cultures, spiritual beliefs and histories.

This presentation describes the landscape’s extensive geological and cultural transformation, influenced by prehistoric civilization advancements, Native American customs and centuries of conflict and cooperation. Learn how the Navajo Long Walk, Mormon settlement, American farming and ranching and the World War II Code Talkers  impacted the area, along with the cultural and economic effects of Southwestern tourism created by the Santa Fe Railway, The Fred Harvey Company and movie making at Monument Valley. The rich history of the Four Corners has inspired and influenced how the world has imagined the American West.

Jim Turner earned his master’s degree in U.S. history from the University of Arizona in 1999. He has written two books and has another one coming out in September.

21st Annual AJHS NJROTC Car & Motorcycle Show Seeks Participants and Sponsors

March 2, AJHS South Parking Lot

The Anchor Club, parent organization for the Apache Junction High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (NJROTC), is seeking participants and donations for the 21st Annual Benefit Car and Motorcycle show. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Registration for participants is from 8-10 a.m. on the day of the show ($25 fee), or CLICK HERE for a registration form. You may also call one of the contacts listed below. The first 100 pre-registered participants will receive a free t-shirt, goodie bag and dash plaque! Show time is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Live auctions, Most Patriotic Vehicle prize, 50/50 raffle, door prizes, music and more will add to a great day in support of the youth of our community.

This local event, held in the south parking lot at the Apache Junction High School, attracts quality participants from car clubs, as well as individual car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Typically, the NJROTC Car and Motorcycle Show attracts more than 100 participants and 2,000 – 3,000 spectators. Admission is free for all spectators.

Organizers are also accepting donations for the raffle and auction. All donations are tax deductible. The names of all donating or sponsoring companies will be displayed on a billboard during the show for public viewing. In addition, all companies are invited to supply company SWAG and literature for registered show participant goodie bags.

All proceeds benefit the NJROTC program for their educational trips, training and local, state and national championship competitions throughout the year.

This unit has been recognized as a “Nationally Distinguished Unit” for 13 consecutive years. The program benefits students from Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, San Tan Valley and Queen Valley. The AJHS NJROTC also includes students from J.O. Combs High School.

This program needs community support to continue its winning formula. Please contact Lisa Schroeder at 928-460-0331 or Daniele Darnell at 602-418-6633, or email to sponsor or donate.

Heat Relief Network Seeks Water Bottles

United Way sets 50 pallets goal

As we embark into 2019, we begin to think about the upcoming community impact projects — one of the largest being our annual community hydration drive. In the spring of 2018, united together, we launched the Pinal County Heat Relief Network.

Networked together with over 70 community partners ranging from local government, faith-based communities, local businesses and community members, we flooded Pinal County with 38 pallets of water. That is over 80,000 individual water bottles! We also put over 3,000 lbs of electrolyte packets into the community.

This year, we want to make the 2018 flood look like nothing more than a mere puddle. Our goal is to distribute 50 pallets of water. Through donations of water pallets with 60 cases of 36 individual bottles per case, we can distribute 108,000 water bottles this summer.

It is our goal to obtain and begin distributing pallets to our various Hydration Stations by April 1st, 2019. To be able to ensure that we are prepared to turn on the waterworks, we ask that you visit our registration page to sign up as a Hydration Station, Drop Off Location, Heat Refuge or Emergency Hydration Station.

Hydration Station: Place to give out water

Drop Off Location: Donation drop off only

Heat Refuge: Place to step inside and sit down with A/C and water

Emergency Hydration Station: Opened during a heat warning issued by the National Weather Service

You can sign up today at

Make a monetary donation today to help kick off the 2019 Hydration Network:

We will be crafting flyers and marketing material to distribute county-wide to receive donations of snacks, sun protection aids like hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, lightweight clothing and bottled water. Once we have those, we will blast them out for distribution.

If you have any questions, please contact our Community Programs Manager, Braden Biggs at

520-233-8272, or email:

Waldron Appointed to CAC Board

David Waldron

Mr. David Waldron, Apache Junction, has been appointed to the Central Arizona Community College Board of Governors, representing District 5. The position became open by the resignation of Jack Yarrington.  Mr. Waldron was selected by Pinal County Superintendent of Schools, Jill Broussard and panel. Mr. Waldron will be seated until  December 31, 2020.

AJ Man Arrested for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Apache Junction Police Department detectives, working in partnership with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest of an Apache Junction man on Monday, January 28.

Gabriel Ray Dennis

28-year-old Gabriel Ray Dennis was booked into the Pinal County Jail and charged with one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, two counts of child exploitation and three counts furnishing harmful materials to a minor.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Council Fills P&Z Commission Seat

On Tuesday, February 5, the Apache Junction City Council appointed volunteer Dave Hantzsche to fill the one vacancy on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. There were eight applicants for the seat, and Mr. Hantzsche was selected by a vote of 5-2 with councilmembers Gail Evans and Christa Rizzi dissenting.

Dave Hantzsche

Among the applicants, Mr. Hantzsche is a relative newcomer to Apache Junction, having moved to the community in 2016. He is a Navy veteran from Ohio and a 2017 graduate of the city’s Citizen Leadership Institute (CLI). He has a construction background and said that his attendance at CLI’s P&Z workshop kindled his interest in serving on the commission. “You do what’s best for the community, as well as businesses… you’ve got to find the balance that is there,” he told the council.

Also approved at the February 5 City Council meeting was an assignment of vending machine services to West Valley Vending, Inc. The agreement will be in effect for one year, with automatic renewals not to exceed eight years.

City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at

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