Pinal County Public Works Director Louis Andersen received an email recently from a grateful winter visitor that alerted him to an employee who went out of his way to return his lost wallet. Finding and returning a wallet with $200 cash, identification and credit cards inside, is what most of us would do without hesitation.
A casual conversation between two veterans at a local watering hole has led to immeasurable help for one of those vets, who now has a service dog as his companion. Sophie, a trained pit bull canine rescue animal has moved to Apache Junction and now lives with Nick, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The murder of an Apache Junction widow on December 29, 1947, led to the first execution in Arizona’s new gas chamber at Florence, Arizona. This is a sad story of a pitiful man who was willing to take an innocent life to live a brief moment of success. The events leading up to the murder of Mrs. Katherine M. Gohn at her home on December 29, 1947, relives an early part of Apache Junction’s history.
Several community organizations, such as the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie and Ladies’ Auxiliary, Project Help, the American Legion, the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church and other individuals and companies are stepping up in a big way to help Apache Junction Unified School District’s Feed the Children Program. The program provides food to needy families in the District during school breaks.
The Association for the Development of a Better Environment (ADOBE) held a reception on December 10 to honor Genevieve Bricker, one of the association’s founding members and current president. Ms. Bricker will be stepping down from the office in January. She was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for her 22 years of service to the board of the organization and was credited with 15 major advancements in the Gold Canyon area.
It’s no doubt that food trucks have grown in popularity across the nation. You see them everywhere you go. From construction sites to NFL games, if there is a crowd, a food truck is more than likely to be there. Food trucks have also grown in sophistication as well. At one time, you could only find a standard fare from hot dogs to fries. Today, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to find a food truck serving fresh curry to just out of the oven pizza.
Tales can still be heard along the Apache Trail about the adventures of the legendary desperado called “Hacksaw Tom.” It was after the turn of the century this highwayman burned his name into the legends and lore of Superstition Mountain region. He preyed on the travelers of the Mesa-Roosevelt Road from his remote hiding place near Fish Creek Canyon.
The Apache Junction Food Bank is on track again this year to provide food to nearly 40,000 area residents, but it needs more volunteers to do so. Data shows that it takes 3 volunteer hours to help each person given food by the Food Bank, and so far this year, volunteers have donated 10,488 hours.
Many writers have been compelled to address the so-called unsolved mystery of a man’s death in the Superstition Mountains of central Arizona in the summer of 1931. These writers have placed the discovery of Adolph Ruth’s remains in several locations in the region from Needle Canyon to Peter’s Mesa. The Ruth story is one of the most compelling stories of 20th Century about the missing in the Superstition Mountains.
Community Veterans Center
By Dana Trumbull
Apache Junction is home to more than 1500 veterans – the single largest concentration of vets in Pinal County. And that doesn’t count the influx of veterans among the city’s winter visitors. When veteran Mike Ferguson decided to cultivate his experience as a national councilman with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) into a service that would be a direct conduit to veterans in Pinal County, Apache Junction was the logical place to be.
A donation of two rooms on the north side of the Desert Chapel United Methodist Church (462 N. Palo Verde Rd., Apache Junction) and generous support from the local veterans organizations made the Apache Junction Community Veterans Center a reality, and the center opened its doors on December 15, 2016.
Recognizing the varying needs of different generations of veterans, the center acts as a network hub, maintaining up-to-date information on benefits and helping veterans connect to and apply for a wide range of resources. Vets are also welcome to stop by to watch TV, read, use the computer, have some coffee and talk with other vets. “The services are whatever the veteran’s issue is,” offers Ferguson. “It could be anywhere from finding him a ride to helping her with the power bill. We had one veteran who had passed away in another area, and the family needed to ship his body to where he was going to be buried. So we got that set up and took care of the costs.” Often, older veterans come in, needing a copy of their DD214, knowing their family will need it to apply for benefits when they pass.
Want to learn more about your city? Have some questions about city programs, policies or procedures? Here is your chance to ask.
When the meetings are established, initial concerns and requested topics and speakers are solicited. City officials will provide a brief update and then field questions from residents in an interactive forum.
There is still time to apply for federal funds—received by the city of Apache Junction—as part of the owner occupied housing rehabilitation program. The program provides deferred payment loans from $1,000 to $55,000 for heating, air conditioning, plumbing, roofs, ADA accessibility, code violations and health and safety issues.
Last week, during routine mosquito surveillance, the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) detected the first West Nile Virus (WNV) positive mosquitoes in the county this season, more specifically in the San Tan Valley area. West Nile Virus (WNV), which is spread through the bite of certain mosquitoes, is now common in Arizona.