Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Father to be charged with manslaughter in son's death

On Friday evening, at 6:20 pm, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call reporting a single vehicle serious injury rollover accident had occurred on Ralston Road north of Peters and Nall Road, outside of Maricopa.   

When deputies arrived on scene,  it was determined the 1991 Toyota truck had been traveling northbound on Ralston when it veered off the roadway  to the right.  When the driver attempted to steer the vehicle back onto the roadway, it flipped and rolled several times.   

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Opinion: Show your Ram Pride!

(Submitted by Merry Grace)

What's that in the air? Why it's Ram Pride of course! School spirit fever is spreading and it's awesome to see! Mayor Price has officially proclaimed the week of October 14th to be Paint The Town Red week in honor of Homecoming week. He didn't stop there! A proclamation was also made to name the day of October 18th as Ram Pride Day!

It is wonderful to see the city and community supporting school spirit. This is more than just supporting the football team. This is about supporting the band, the cheerleaders, the student council, all of the students, teachers and parents. It's about supporting our schools. In his proclamation Mayor Price mentioned that in showing pride in our schools, we are showing pride in our students and teachers and encouraging them to excel in their schools and in their communities. There are wonderful things happening in our schools and it's time to stop overlooking them and start highlighting them!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Two Maricopa men arraigned for drive-by shooting

(L-R: Steven Bless, Andre Curry Jr)

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles announced Andre O’Neil Curry, Jr. and Steven Michael Bless were arraigned today in Pinal County Superior Court on nine charges including two counts of drive by shooting. 

According to the probable cause statements, Bless and Curry were allegedly at a party in the 45000 block of West Lexington Avenue in Maricopa in the early morning hours of September 1st, 2013, when a fight ensued between them and other partygoers. The probable cause states that as Curry and Bless got into their vehicle, Curry is accused of firing several shots in the air as they pulled away from the residence. The report continues to allege Bless then made a U-turn, drove back to front of the house, and Curry fired at least two shots at the residence, where people were standing outside. 

"Twilight" star Stewart to appear at local Kids Day

Hollywood star Booboo Stewart, of the Twilight and X-Men movie series, will make a guest appearance at Kids Day Maricopa 2013, which runs tomorrow from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Players from the Arena Bowl champion Arizona Rattlers will also appear at the annual event which is dedicated to education of crime prevention, child safety, and environmental awareness.

City: Maricopa is feeling confident

(City of Maricopa News Release)

Maricopa homeowners are excited about the latest housing trends. Maricopa’s housing market is experiencing a resurgence – new homes are being built, vacancy is at an all-time low, and sales prices keep going up. According to the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU, the average sales price per square foot for a Maricopa home has increased 47 percent over the last 12 months. That is the largest increase among the 41 greater Phoenix communities included in a June 2013 Housing Report. 

This is great news for the Maricopa homeowners, but also for Maricopa’s business community. “Residents, developers and businesses are excited about the increase in home values,” said Mayor Christian Price. “The increases in home values and added population underscore the fact that Maricopa continues to be a community of choice for relocating families and that retailers will find a substantial customer base.” Jim Rounds, Senior Economist at Elliot D. Pollack & Company, states the economy overall is improving in Arizona. Rounds indicated that there was a 30 percent increase in home values since last year and hopes to see that normal out within the next year at 15 to 10 percent.

City names new Finance Director

City Manager Trisha Sorensen has announced the addition of Brian Ritschel to the City of Maricopa team. Ritschel will become the new Finance Director on September 30th.

Ritschel has more than 15 years of governmental finance experience serving as an auditor, accounting manager, finance and administration manager for a water and power utility and, most recently, as a consultant for local government clients. He is experienced in financial statement auditing, managing capital improvement projects and the annual budget process.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Same-day pursuits tied to drug smuggling

(L: Arturo Tellez - R: Jesus Arguellas-Esparza)

Early Thursday morning, a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy traveling eastbound on Interstate 8 attempted to stop a 2000 Cadillac Escalade after he had observed it speeding. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle began to pull over to the right, but then accelerated and a pursuit ensued.

The vehicle stopped a short time later and both the driver and front seat passenger ran from the vehicle. The deputy and another deputy who was now on-scene approached the vehicle and observed there were still two Hispanic males inside of it. Behind the men, the deputies could see packaged bundles of marijuana.

Friday, September 13, 2013

City announces interim leaders for two posts

On Thursday, Maricopa City Manager Trisha Sorensen announced the appointment of two interim leadership selections. Richard “Rick” Clore will serve as Interim Human Resources Director and Brady Leffler will fill the role of Interim Fire Chief. 

Clore joined the City of Maricopa in March of 2012 as a Commander for the police department. He is an Arizona native who has been in law enforcement since 1976, beginning his career with the Mesa Police Department. There, he served in a variety of assignments before being promoted to Sergeant in 1990. Shortly after his promotion, Clore was called to active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm where he served as a counterintelligence non-commissioned officer. Upon returning from active duty, Clore was assigned to supervise in a variety of assignments, including patrol, traffic, SWAT and investigations. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1994 and to Commander in 1999.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Babeu/Voyles: Remembering and honoring first responders on September 11th anniversary

(News Release) - This Wednesday, September 11, 2013, represents the twelfth anniversary since terrorists attacked the United States and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles want to honor and thank those men and women who serve our great nation as first responders.

In the moments following the terrorist attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people, first responders rushed into the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and to the fateful field in Pennsylvania to assist and save the lives of those in harm’s way.  Without regard for their own safety and lives, firefighters, port authority, police officers and paramedics all sacrificed their lives attempting to help others.  According to reports compiled following the events, a total of 405 first responders gave their lives as a result of the cowardly acts of a few on that September morning.

Wade: President Obama shows calm strength

The primary responsibility of the President of the United States is to protect U.S. citizens. In doing so, he runs the rick of making decisions not supported by all of our citizens yet impacts them in one form or another. In its role as the voice of the American people, Congress has the responsibility to speak up on behalf of its constituents ensuring the people’s voice is heard. The recent conversation on whether or not to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against its citizens is an example of why we are considered the best Democracy on earth. Although we are strong and may be considered by some to be the world’s only true superpower, our system does allow for checks and balances. When it comes to the use of force in any situation, cooler heads must prevail. However, on the other hand, showing restraint and a calm demeanor does not convey weakness or a lack of resolve.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rain closes area roads, floods basins

After a day of rain, a number of local roads are closed due to flooding.

The City of Maricopa has announced the following road closures: Hartman Road from Farrell Road to Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway; Murphy Road north from Honeycutt Road to the Gila River Indian Reservation boundary; Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway from White-Parker Road to Anderson Road; and Farrell Road from White-Parker Road to Hartman Road.

Theatre to stage first production at new facility

Maricopa Community Theatre cut the ribbon on their new facility this past weekend and will be staging their first production in the new quarters later this week.

The play will be Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling.

The action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are anybody come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (Ashley Lapp), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy (Alexandra Gray) dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser (Denise Earnest); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee (Slavica Kalnasy), who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M'Lynn (Kim Petreshock), whose daughter, Shelby (Brittany Ames), is about to marry a good ole boy.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pinal County libraries create social media buzz

The Pinal County Library District is garnering national buzz for a promotional campaign it created to celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month. The library district created a series of 30 graphics - one for each day of September - that evoke the look of vintage Penguin and Pelican paperback book covers.

"Vintage art is really popular now and we wanted to create 30 different 'editions' to share on our social media sites to encourage library card sign-ups," Ann Leonard, Emerging Technologies Librarian, explained. "The retro Penguin/Pelican style was a nice, clean, minimalist style that was perfect for this awareness campaign."

You can view all 30 book cover graphics at http://pinalbookclub.wordpress.com/benefits-of-library-cards/. Leonard was thrilled to see this morning that a popular young adult writer, Cory Doctorow, had posted a few of the graphics on the popular blog site BoingBoing (http://boingboing.net/2013/09/05/explaining-the-benefits-of-a-l.html).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New City Hall set to open

After nearly a decade of operating out of temporary buildings, commonly referred to as "the trailers", City of Maricopa staff are finally moving into their newly-constructed, permanent facilities.

Thursday, September 12th, will be the last day of operations in their current quarters.  City offices will be closed on Monday, September 16th to facilitate the move.  City Hall will open in its new location at 39700 West Civic Center Plaza, near White-Parker and Bowlin Roads, on Tuesday, September 17th.

The Maricopa Police Department will move into their new facility, adjacent to City Hall, at the same time.

The City is holding an open house on Thursday, September 19th.  There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Noon, followed by public tours throughout the day, until 8:00 pm.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Beauty and talent abound at Miss City of Maricopa competition

Dreams came true for three young women Saturday night at the third annual Miss City of Maricopa Scholarship Pageant!

Despite the holiday weekend, a sizable crowd was present at the Maricopa Performing Arts Center to witness the beach-themed event.  Maricopa Police Sergeant Hal Koozer and current Miss Arizona, Jennifer Smestad, co-hosted the event, with help from current Miss Arizona Outstanding Teen, Maddie Rose Holler.

Competition for three titles, Miss City of Maricopa, Miss City of Maricopa Outstanding Teen, and Miss Pinal County, was woven together into one seamless pageant.  This was the first year of competition for the Pinal County title.