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LOOKING BACK: A peek into InMaricopa archives

John Wayne and his partner Louis Johnson survey their more than 50,000-acre cattle-breeding operation. Submitted photo

By Michael K. Rich

John Smith, a Maricopa resident since 1951, sits in an old reclining chair by his living room window, looking out at the sea of rooftops that were once farms. He describes an event that helped transform Maricopa.

“Mike Ingram used to sneak out every night and hang that sign.”

The sign he refers to transforms state Route 347 into John Wayne Parkway as it runs through town, and many were opposed to that change, according to Smith. “The Indian communities didn’t want the change because John Wayne was known for killing Indians, and the old timers just wanted it to remain Maricopa Road.”

Ingram, the developer behind much of modern day Maricopa, insists the county was putting up the signs, and people taking them down were trying to have Duke memorabilia to hang on their walls.

Although he was able to get the sign approved, Ingram said he could understand the feelings of the early residents who didn’t want to change the road’s name. Although some of the Indian communities had issues with Wayne, the Ak-Chin did not, according to Ingram. “They worked and drank with the man.”

“I changed the name to honor a great man who made an incredible contribution to western Pinal County,” Ingram explained. “He (Ingram) loved John Wayne and thought it would be a great marketing ploy,” Smith said.

However, Wayne, a.k.a. The Duke, is more than just a marketing tool for the city. He has a history with the area that stretches back to the late ’50s when the Hollywood legend purchased 4,000 acres of farmland between Maricopa and Stanfield. He paid $4 million in borrowed money for the acreage because his tax attorney thought it would be a good investment.

Cotton farmer
Wayne financed a cotton crop through Anderson Clayton Company of Phoenix, one of the largest cotton brokers in the world.

Then, due to a lack of time and farming experience, Wayne paid the brokerage to farm the land for him.
It soon became clear to Wayne that the Anderson Clayton Company didn’t know how to farm cotton either.

During Wayne’s many visits to his farm he noticed the farm of his neighbor, Louis Johnson, was doing considerably better than his own, according to Johnson’s widow, Alice.

“The Duke’s farm was struggling, so he called his brokerage people and asked who the best cotton farmer in the area was. They told him Louis Johnson,” Alice said. “When everyone else was getting two and a half bales to the acre, Louie was getting four.”

Convinced that Johnson was the farmer Wayne needed to make his floundering property a success, he called him. Explaining he couldn’t come to Arizona because he was making a film, he offered to cover all expenses if Johnson would fly to California to talk with him.

Johnson agreed to meet Wayne, and the outcome of their discussion was that Johnson would manage Wayne’s crop for one year for $14,000. If the farm produced three bales per acre, he would receive an additional $50,000, and, if he produced four bales per acre, he would get an additional $100,000.

Johnson produced 4.22 bales to the acre that year, earning Wayne in excess of $1 million, but the success was not obstacle free.

During the harvest, agents from the bank showed up in the field to repossess 10 Clari cotton pickers. “Louie marched over to the bank and signed a nearly $800,000 note so that they wouldn’t take the equipment,” Alice said.

Partners for life
Wayne was impressed by the success of his newfound manager, and the two decided to merge Wayne’s 4,000-acre farm with Johnson’s 6,000-acre farm and become partners.

“They had a running bet that if Louie was able to produce more than four bales per acre a year, he (Wayne) would buy him a Cadillac,” Alice said. “Every year but one Duke bought Louie a new car.”

Johnson renovated a room for Wayne to stay in when he and his family made trips to the Johnson residence. Often Wayne would come to the house to have Alice help him shave weight for an upcoming movie role.

“I would follow a diet plan from a book called the Diet Watchers Guide,” Alice said. “It was a sort of an old-time Weight Watchers program.” According to Alice, the real key to his weight loss was a specially designed bathroom in which every surface was mirrored except the ceilings and floors. “He always said being able to see his body from every angle helped him to drop the weight.”

While the cotton business treated the two men well, federal government cutbacks on water allocations in the 1960s, aimed at preventing Southwestern cotton farmers from putting others in the nation out of business, pushed the partners toward cattle.

Johnson and Wayne built an 18,000-head feedlot and soon expanded into cattle breeding with an operation in Springerville, Ariz., that covered more than 50,000 acres. At the Springerville location the two focused on raising the highest quality bulls and then auctioning them off at the 26 Bar Ranch near Maricopa. These annual auctions attracted hundreds of potential buyers to the area from across the nation.

“They were a big event back in the day,” Alice recalled.

In addition to the Springerville ranch, the feedlot near Maricopa expanded to 85,000 head, becoming the largest privately owned feedlot in the United States.

However, in 1974 housewives across the nation, enraged by skyrocketing beef prices, staged a brief but powerful boycott, sending the duo’s operation into the red.

“We lost millions,” Alice lamented. “It was amazing that Louie could just come to bed every night, close the door and not worry about a thing.”

To counteract the failing industry, Wayne and Johnson reduced the number of cattle on their feedlot to 8,500, but the bankers were not going to let Johnson give up on the business.

“They insisted he begin buying cattle despite being low on credit,” Alice said. “They told him to keep buying until they told him to stop.” Johnson began buying in January 1975 and by June had expanded the operation tenfold from 8,500 to almost 85,000 head of cattle.

Death of a legend
The partnership between the two men ended later that year when Wayne died of cancer, but early residents like Smith still have fond memories of him.

During his many trips to the farm Wayne would often drive through Maricopa, stopping at local businesses. “No one rushed him for autographs when he stopped,” Smith said. “He loved the kids and would stand all day signing things for them.” Wayne would also often head out to his favorite drinking location, the Table Top Tavern in Stanfield, and spend time with local farmers.

When Wayne died, Johnson decided it would be best for him to exit the business also.

“The Wayne children were going to sell Duke’s portion, so we decided it would be a good time to get out rather than getting stuck with a partner we didn’t know,” Alice said.

When the children were auctioning off items from Wayne’s estate, they surprised the Johnsons by calling them out to their father’s California residence.

Alice had first visited there many years before, falling in love with an extravagant chandelier Wayne had purchased in Europe. “It was so weird seeing such a beautiful chandelier in his home; it just didn’t fit his personality,” Alice said.

When they arrived for the estate sale, the children said they were going to vote on gifting the imported chandelier to Alice, and all seven voted in favor. “I was so happy I did a dance on the kitchen floor,” Alice said. Louie died of cancer in 2001, and Alice, now in her 70s, remarried a few years later. To this day she and her new husband live on the property that hosted John Wayne in Maricopa.

This story was first published in 2009. It was republished in the Fall Edition of InMaricopa the Magazine.

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Originally from California, Leon Potter joined the Navy as a teenager.

Age: 44
Hometown: Upland, California
Residence: Villages at Rancho El Dorado
Family: Married with three children and one granddaughter
Pets: Three dogs, one cat
Hobbies: Coaching soccer
Greatest talent: Recognizing and correcting inefficiencies in business operations
Age at enlistment: 17
Years in military: 11
Branch of service: U.S. Navy
Highest rank: E-5

Why did you join the military? I wanted the training and to see more of the world after high school while earning a living.

Where did you serve? San Diego.

What brought you to Maricopa? Affordable homes.

What incident in your military experience has had the biggest impact on your life? I gained a greater appreciation for my family and friends the day I left for boot camp.

What were some challenges you faced entering civilian life? I don't believe I had anymore challenges than anyone that hadn't served. In fact, I believe I have been blessed with many opportunities due to my prior service.

What was the best advice you received during your time in the military? Arrive early with uniform ironed, ready for the day's work.

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As Maricopa changes the names of some streets to prevent confusion with similarly named roads elsewhere, we asked readers if the two versions of Honeycutt should be on the list for consideration.

Honeycutt Road stretches from John Wayne Parkway to Murphy Road. Honeycutt Avenue runs a much shorter east-west corridor south of the railroad tracks but includes Maricopa High School and two long-established churches.

Question: Should Maricopa change the name of Honeycutt Road or Honeycutt Avenue to prevent confusion?

Honeycutt Road should be changed 22%
Honeycutt Avenue should be changed 45%
Neither should be changed 33%

There were 261 total votes

Check out our current poll: Do you believe the city’s Complete Count Project will find more than 50,000 people in Maricopa? Visit our online poll on our home page to tell us what you think.

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All Maricopa eateries inspected in the recent quarter received an E rating for “excellent”

EXCELLENT
[No violations found.]
Aliberto’s Mexican Food
Arby’s
Barro’s Pizza
Bashas’
Bashas’ – Bakery
Bashas’ – Deli
Bashas’ – Starbucks
Brooklyn Boys Italian Restaurant & Pizza
Carl’s Jr.
Central Arizona College café
Children’s Learning Adventure Childcare Center
Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina
Crate Enterprises
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Deli
Fry’s Marketplace – Starbucks
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Good Donuts
Helen’s Kitchen
Honeycutt Coffee
Jersey Mike’s Subs
KFC
Maricopa High School
Maricopa Head Start
McDonald’s (20700 N. John Wayne Parkway)
McDonald’s (41710 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway)
O’Shays
Panda Express
Papa Murphy’s Pizza
Papago Cantina
Pima Butte Elementary School
Pizza Hut
Plaza Bonita
Province Community Association Clubhouse
Rob’s Convenience
Santa Rosa Elementary School
Shamrock Farms
Shell – Dairy Queen
Shell – Food Mart
Sonic Drive-In
Starbucks – Maricopa Station
Subway
Taco Bell
Walmart
Walmart – Deli

SATISFACTORY
[Violations corrected
during inspection.]
• None
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
[Critical item noted during
inspection cannot be corrected
immediately, requiring
follow-up inspection.]
• None
UNACCEPTABLE
[Gross, unsanitary conditions
necessitating the discontinuation
of operations.]
• None

Source: Pinal County Department of Health Services, March 10 – June 15
 

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A variety of activities is available this week, with the opportunity to learn about everything from wild animals to the Maricopa special census.

MONDAY
Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee
meets at 4 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. Agenda items include the Age-Friendly Network Implementation Plan, the Senior Info Expo, United Way Gap Assessment, the Community Action Team and the Maricopa General Plan.

Maricopa Job Club meets from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Have a career counselor get you prepared for your job search.

Vacation Bible School – Spark's Lab is Monday-Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. each morning at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave. Ages 4 to those entering fifth grade. Call or email for more info or to register. No cost.

Essential Oils Class is 7-9 p.m. at Fire Station 575 Community Hall, 45695 W. Edison Road, an ongoing continuing education for using essential oils to manage health and well being. Meets weekly on Monday evenings each month. Different topics discussed each meeting. (The City of Maricopa is not a sponsor of this event and does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of this event or of the venue users.)

Friends of the Library meet at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Learn about The Friends of the Maricopa Public Library's reading programs, fundraisers, book club, award scholarships, and book sales. New members are always welcome.

TUESDAY
Wildman Phil
comes to the Maricopa Public Library, 41600 West Smith-Enke Road, at 2 p.m. He will introduce students to their wildlife neighbors, animals that have survived for thousands of years. These entertaining yet informative live animal shows highlight the unique characteristics of wildlife, their homes, and the ways the lives of these vastly different animals are interwoven, creating a community where each has a purpose and a place.

WEDNESDAY
Maricopa Advocate Program
(MAP) Quarterly Event starts at 5 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall – Executive Conference Room, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.  MAPs will have the opportunity to learn more about how they can participate in the Complete Count Project for Maricopa Special Census 2015.

THURSDAY
Big Q Networking Lunch
of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce starts at 11:30 a.m. at Native Grill & Wings, 21164 W. John Wayne Pkwy. Explore the seven values of putting people before profit in your business or organization. Guest presenter is Dan Beach, executive director of Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship.

Medicine Cabinet Makeover–Finding Natural Solutions for Health is a class at 7 p.m. in Cobblestone Farms. This free class introduces the use of essential oils and other natural supplements as solutions to most health concerns including, digestive, stress, mood, respiratory, and various forms of bodily discomforts. Call/text 501-230-7419 for the address.

Coffee on the Porch with the Friends of the Maricopa Public Library starts at 9 a.m. at the library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.
 
FRIDAY
Therapeutic Loving Caballos
therapy horses will come to the Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, at 3 p.m. Meet the Clydesdale and pony of Equine Assisted Therapy and learn about Nancie Roahrig's program at Step Up into TLC.

SATURDAY
New Resident Greet and Meet
is at 9 a.m. at the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce, 44870 W. Hathaway Ave., Suite 5, in an informational meeting that will include helpful city information, meeting some of the amazing local business owners and present you with a welcome basket full of discount coupons & welcoming gifts.

Maricopa Pet Adoption Event is from 8 a.m. to noon at The Pet Club, 21145 N. John Wayne Pkwy. Pinal County Animal Care and Control will have a nice selection of adoptable animals, and all of these awesome pets will be looking for loving, "forever" homes. Adoption prices will vary; all animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

For more information on these and other events, or to add your own, visit our free calendar at InMaricopa.com/Calendar.
 

Shortly after the first anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively made it the law of the land.

We asked readers if they agree with the decsion, and 496 responded.

Question: Do you agree with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationally?

Yes – it advances civil rights 42%

No – but it was inevitable 16%

No – it should be reversed 28%

It doesn't affect me at all 14%

Check out our current poll on renaming confusing streets in Maricopa at InMaricopa.com.

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Pick up some new knowledge at classes and meeting this week.

MONDAY
Maricopa Historical Society
meets 5:30-7 p.m. in Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road to discuss current projects.

TUESDAY
Maricopa City Council Work Session
starts earlier than usual at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The agenda includes presentation on Aquatic Center rental fees a possible development at the Copper Sky commercial site by Chicanos por la Causa.

Maricopa City Council meets in regular session at 7 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The agenda includes an ordinance levying separate amounts to be raised for primary and secondary property tax levies and a hearing on street name changes.

WEDNESDAY
Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board
meets at 6:30 p.m. at the District Office Administration Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. The agenda includes a public hearing on and possible adoption of the fiscal year 2016 budget.

THURSDAY
Medicine Cabinet Makeove
r, a free class on finding natural health solutions, is at 7 p.m. in Cobblestone Farms and introduces the use of essential oils and other natural supplements.

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JULY 4
7:30 a.m.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club hosts a four-person scramble for a “Red, White and Blue Golf Outing.” Cost is $50 plus tax, which includes 18 holes with cart, post-golf buffet, complimentary bottles of water, on-course contests, and awards for best dressed and most patriotic golfer. 520-426-6830; AkChinSouthernDunes.com

4 p.m.
Ak-Chin Indian Community Milton P. Antone Park on Farrell Road will have a watermelon eating contest, hot dog eating contest and talent show, as well as jumping castles and water activities.

6 p.m.
Great American 4th is the city of Maricopa’s Independence Day celebration at Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. Entry is free. The day includes a Kids Water Zone with wet and dry inflatable water slides and bouncers. A wristband for entry to the Kids Water Zone is $5 ($4 in advance at Copper Sky). Maricopa Fire Department will spray children with water for 10 minutes on the hour every hour. Also look for food vendors, the game truck, community entertainment and a performance by the cover band Nine Ball.

Maricopa’s COMET transit service will provide free transportation to Copper Sky from seven locations: Santa Rosa Elementary School, Santa Cruz Elementary School, Maricopa Wells Middle School, Butterfield Elementary School, Maricopa Elementary School, Saddleback Elementary School and Ace Hardware.

6 p.m.
Taylor Hicks will perform in The Lounge at Harrah’s Ak-Chin in a free show of southern soul, R&B, country and blues.

8:30 p.m. (approximately)
Fireworks at Ak-Chin Community.

9 p.m.
Patriotic Ceremony at Copper Sky with Mayor Christian Price, the City Council, Maricopa Honor Guard and Miss City of Maricopa Jaime Buchholz during the Great American 4th.

A fire today added to a spate of blazes reported on the exterior of homes in the past couple of weeks.

At noon, Maricopa Fire Department was dispatched to the 43000 block of Magnolia Road, where the patio was burning. When crews arrived, they found residents and neighbors in the backyard fighting the fire with garden hoses.

MFD crews extinguished the fire quickly and made sure all occupants had been able to get out of the house.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Last week, MFD dealt with another patio fire, which residents tried to fight on their own. In that case, residents were treated for smoke inhalation.

Most of the damage was to the exterior.

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It’s a light week for events as Maricopans prepare for the big Fourth of July celebration on Saturday.

MONDAY
The LEGO club
meets at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. All ages welcome and all building materials provided.
    
TUESDAY
Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library
is from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Join the Friends or refreshments and conversation and get acquainted with the library.

FRIDAY
Micky Dolenz
will give a free concert at 8 p.m. in The Lounge at Harrah’s Ak-Chin, 15406 N. Maricopa Road. The lead singer and drummer for The Monkees performs favorites.

SATURDAY
Red, White & Blue Golf Outing
is at 7:30 a.m. at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, 48456 W. 238. The four-person scramble is $50, including 18 holes with cart, water, buffet and more.

Ak-Chin Community old-fashioned Fourth of July at Milton P. Antone Park on  Farrell Road starting at 4 p.m. There will be watermelon-eating contests, hot dog eating contest, talent show and more. Fireworks will start around 8:30 p.m.

Great American 4th gets started at 6 p.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It includes vendors, kids water zone, beer garden, local performances, live music and the fireworks at around 9:30 p.m.

American Idol Taylor Hicks will perform free at 6 p.m. in The Lounge at Harrah’s Ak-Chin, 15406 N. Maricopa Road. The singer/songwriter/musician brings blue-eyed soul honed by Las Vegas residencies.

Learn more about these and other events, or list your own, on our online calendar at InMaricopa.com/Calendar

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Following on the heels of a tax rate hike for Pinal County, the Pinal County Community College District best known as Central Arizona College followed suit. As the Board of Governors did two years ago, they increased the primary tax dramatically and then, after public outcry, reduced the amount of the increase.

The majority of readers who participated in our online poll thought the decision merited a recall election for four of the board members.

Do you agree with a citizens group that wants to recall Central Arizona College board members for raising the tax rate?

Yes – the increase was a bad decision 53%
No – the board did what it had to do 22%
No – it was a bad decision but does not warrant a recall 16%
I don't care about the college tax rate 8%

Maybe it’s the heat. Fighting has gotten two Maricopa men thrown in jail in separate arrests this week.

Adam Ray Huggins was arrested on a warrant for assault Wednesday.

Huggins, 26, is charged with disorderly conduct (fighting) and assault. He posted a $791 bond.  He was arrested near Warren and Val Vista roads.

Joseph Richetts, 31, was arrested Thursday in the 100000 block of Warren Road on a warrant that included two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of assault.

He had a cash-only bond of $500 for the disorderly conduct and $1,234 for the assault. His arraignment was Friday in Judge Lyle Riggs’ court in Maricopa.
 

Silent Witness is now offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the location of Michael and Tina Careccia.

The Hidden Valley couple reportedly were last seen at 5 a.m. Monday at their residence in the 50700 block of West Mayer Boulevard. They were headed to her work but never arrived. They also missed another appointment later in the day.

Their vehicle was found at 10 p.m. that night near Papago and Ralston roads, which is about a half mile from their house.

The Silent Witness award is on top of the $3,000 being offered by family members. Anyone with information can call in anonymously to provide a tip as to their whereabouts.

Call 480-948-6377 or toll free 800-343-TIPS or visit the website at SilentWitness.org.
 

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Several regular meetings and activities are on this week's calendar, plus a protest movement against the community college.

MONDAY
Citizens for Fair Taxation
meet at 6 p.m. in the Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., to provide information about their campaign to recall four members of the Central Arizona College Board of Governors after the approval of a 20-percent tax increase.

Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission meets at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The agenda includes a public hearing: Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 15-01, Black and Veatch on behalf of the City of Maricopa is requesting the review and approval of a 190-foot communication tower at 45695 W. Edison Road.

TUESDAY
Coffee with Friends Maricopa Librar
y starts at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Come join the Friends of the Maricopa Public Library for refreshments, conversation, and get acquainted with our Library.

WEDNESDAY
Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board
meets at 6:30 p.m. at the MUSD District Office Administration Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. New board member Rhonda Melvin will be sworn in at 6 p.m. the meeting agenda includes budget discussions, including a transfer of $467,000 from District Additional Assistance into the Maintenance & Operations budget.

Copa City Democrats and Pinal County Democrats converge at 6:30 p.m. at Bead and Berry Coffee House, 20800 N. John Wayne Pkwy.

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Perhaps it is not a surprise the City of Maricopa received highest marks from our readers for its budget. In lowering tax rates while other government bodies were raising theirs and then receiving the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, Maricopa received nearly half of all of the online votes.

Coming in second was the Arizona Legislature, ahead of other governing bodies that blamed the Legislature for stripping away funding and forcing them to increase tax rates.

Readers were asked: Which government body made the soundest decisions on the new budget?

Here are the results:

City of Maricopa 48%
Arizona Legislature 21%
Maricopa Unified School District 12%
Pinal County Board of Supervisors 10%
Central Arizona College Board of Governors 9%

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – See more at: http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/finance-administrativeservice-home/1586-city-receives-national-award-for-budget#sthash.Gw3ltRO5.dpuf

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – See more at: http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/finance-administrativeservice-home/1586-city-receives-national-award-for-budget#sthash.Gw3ltRO5.dpuf

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – See more at: http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/finance-administrativeservice-home/1586-city-receives-national-award-for-budget#sthash.Gw3ltRO5.dpuf
The City of Maricopa received the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for fiscal year 2014/15. The award reflects the commitment of City Council and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. – See more at: http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/finance-administrativeservice-home/1586-city-receives-national-award-for-budget#sthash.Gw3ltRO5.dpuf
The City of Maricopa received the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for fiscal year 2014/15. The award reflects the commitment of City Council and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. – See more at: http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/finance-administrativeservice-home/1586-city-receives-national-award-for-budget#sthash.Gw3ltRO5.dpuf

A Stanfield man with a history of arrests was picked up again early Wednesday morning on a warrant arrest.

Anatolio Scott Cano Jr., 34, was wanted on four charges of non-compliance and driving without a valid license. His total cash bond was $4,486.26.

In January 2014, he was charged with assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, driving without a license and drug possession. In December, he was charged with driving without a license and interfering in a judicial proceeding.

In 2007, Cano was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon when he was found to have a pipe bomb in his glove box. It was an incident that shut down Interstate 10 for several hours. He was also charged with driving on a suspended license. At that time he was found to have warrants for his arrest on charges of failure to pay child support and contempt of court for driving on a suspended license.

An autopsy has indicated a former Maricopa resident died of an accidental overdose while incarcerated at the Pinal County jail.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the autopsy from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office listed the cause of death as “morphine intoxication.”

Autopsy results showed Skyler Clem had 585 ng/ml which is nearly seven and a half times the maximum dosage prescribed by a medical professional, according to PCSO spokesman Mark Clark. The therapeutic range of morphine when prescribed by a medical professional is in the range of 10-80 ng/ml.

A Phoenix man accused of abandoning a body at a Stanfield farm was given a $25,000 bond and has a Tuesday court hearing in Florence.

As previously reported, Rolland Camargo, 39, was arrested Friday after allegedly admitting to abandoning the dead body of his girlfriend Nicole Rivas. That is a Class 5 felony. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the cause of death.

On Thursday, a Maricopa woman was arrested west of town on charges of abuse and illicit drugs. Jolene Ursula Miguel, 38, of Maricopa was arrested at 2:47 p.m. in the 22000 block of North Ellison Road.

She is accused of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia. She is also accused of intentionally putting a child in a harmful situation, a Class 4 felony. According to the report, a family member found Miguel's 2-year-old son with a meth pipe in his mouth while she slept. There was also a 1-year-old child in the home.

Ashley Nicole Banuelos, 24, of Maricopa was arrested Friday at the county Adult Detention Center. She is charged with second-degree burglary.

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Club meetings, events, public meetings and more activities bring plenty to do in Maricopa this week.

MONDAY
LEGO Club
meets at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. All ages welcome and all building materials provided.

TUESDAY
Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library
starts at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Get acquainted with the Library. All ages are welcome.

Maricopa City Council Work Session begins at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The Council will hear an update presentation by Dan Marum, consultant for the Area Transportation Plan (ATP) on various project subcomponents, and next steps toward completion of Phase I of the ATP.

Maricopa City Council meeting follows at 7 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The agenda includes the adoption of an agreement with Meritage Homes of Arizona, a design and construction agreement with ED3 for the Copper Sky Police Substation, the limited acceptance of credit card payments at City Hall with a surcharge up to 2.75 percent, a proposal for the COMET transit system to operate its Special Summer Shuttle between residential neighborhoods and Copper Sky and more.

WEDNESDAY
ADOSH
presents Fall Protection in Construction Webinar from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The Fall Protection class is designed to give a better understanding of OSHA’s Fall Protection standards for the Construction Industry. Students will be able to determine required fall protection actions based on working conditions. www.ezregister.com/promoters/1607

Maricopa 101 – Permitting starts at 5 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, Zephyr Conference Room, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. Register today to learn about the permitting process and how the City's new resource, SmartGov, will make the permitting application process paperless and allow for online payment.

THURSDAY
Coffee "On the Porch" at the Library
is from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W Smith-Enke Road. Sip coffee, eat cookies and meet your neighbors and Library Manager Erik Surber with Friends of the Maricopa Library.
 
Family Art Night starts at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Spend an evening creating a work of art with your child and learn the power of collaboration in enhancing family relationships.

MPD Civilian Advisory Committee meets at 6 p.m. at the Maricopa Police Department, 39675 W. Civic Center Plaza South. The monthly board meeting is set to discuss issues concerning the city as a whole. http://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/police

The Solar Decision – Purchase vs. Lease is a free presentation at 6 p.m. at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, 20800 N. John Wayne Pkwy, Suite 108. Paul Melnik of Advanced Energy Systems hosts an invigorating discussion on the advantages of using solar vs.conventional power sources. Also update attendees on the changes which Arizona utilities are implementing.

FRIDAY
Movies at the Park
starts at 6:30 p.m. on the Pool Deck at Copper Sky, 44345 W Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Come and enjoy the water and the free movie with your families.

Pre-School Dance Party is at 10:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Rhythm instruments, sing-along and action songs, dancing and movement to teach your children the love of music.

The boyfriend of a woman whose body was found in Stanfield has been arrested and booked at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Center.

Rolland Camargo, 39, is accused of unlawfully disposing of the body of Nicole Rivas, 37, of Phoenix. According to PCSO, he did not admit to having any part in her death but said he disposed of her body at the location in Stanfield.

PCSO is still investigating the cause of death, classified as being under suspicious circumstances. Investigators are still awaiting results of a forensic examination.

State Troopers and Vehicular Crimes Unit (VCU) Detectives of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) are investigating a head-on collision involving a wrong-way vehicle along Interstate 8, west of Stanfield. The collision occurred late Friday evening at approximately 11:16 p.m. near the farming community.

DPS began receiving 911 reports of a wrong-way vehicle at 11:02 p.m. According to a 911 caller, the wrong-way vehicle was eastbound within the westbound traffic lanes of I-8.

Before ADPS was able to locate the wrong-way vehicle, it collided with a passenger vehicle that was westbound. The male driver of the wrong-way vehicle, a pickup truck, was pronounced deceased on-scene.

The male driver of the passenger vehicle had to be extricated before being airlifted to Maricopa Medical Center (MMC) in Phoenix with serious injuries. A male juvenile, another passenger in the car, also had to be air-lifted from the scene to MMC with serious injuries. Another man in the passenger vehicle was not transported to a hospital.

A woman found dead near Stanfield has been identified as 37-year-old Nicole Rivas of Phoenix.

She was reported missing to the Phoenix Police Department on June 6. According to Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Clark, family members identified her this morning.

He said PCSO is continuing to investigate the cause of death. Rivas was found in the desert north of Stanfield Road and Highway 84 on Wednesday morning.

According to the initial report, a farm worker discovered the body late in the evening and reported it to the property owner. After checking for himself the next morning, the property owner called PCSO.

Anyone that may have information about this case, please notify the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at  520-866-5111.

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All Maricopa establishments inspected by Pinal County Public Health Services in May received “Excellent” marks.

 

Bashas’

Bashas’ Bakery

Bashas’ Deli

Bashas’ Starbucks

Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant

Dairy Queen

Fry’s Marketplace

Fry’s Bakery

Fry’s Deli

Fry’s Starbucks

Fry’s Sushi

Maricopa Shell Station Food Mart

Plaza  Bonita

Pizza Hut

Starbucks at Maricopa Station

Subway

Walmart

Walmart Deli

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Due to increased demand the City of Maricopa Express Transit (COMET) is expanding its service. The following services are now available at the following dates and times:

Local Demand Response within Maricopa

(Fare: $1 per one-way trip, 24-hour advanced reservation required)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Limited Fixed Route Service within Maricopa SEE THE MAP
(Fare: 50 cents per boarding)

Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

No reservation needed

Regional Shuttle

(Fare: $3 round trip, 24-hour advanced reservation required)

Tuesday from Maricopa to Chandler Regional Hospital 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday from Maricopa to Banner Hospital in Casa Grande 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To make a reservation call (520) 316-6959 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Maricopa-Az.gov/web/living/travel-transportation

InMaricopa News introduces you to the men and women who keep you safe.

Victor Perea Jr.

Department: Ak-Chin Police Department

Hobbies: Hunting, working out, cruising on motorcycles

Years on the job: 5 months

Rank: Officer

Favorite part of the job: Not knowing what challenges each day may bring.

Least favorite part of the job: Paperwork

Bravest act you’ve witnessed: All police officials and military members who put on the uniform everyday to help protect others in not only the communities but around the world.

What you wish all residents knew about your co-workers: We are all normal people like everyone else but choose to help make a difference for the better in the community.
 

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the death of an unidentified woman, who was found in the desert north of Stanfield Road and Highway 84 on Wednesday morning.

The cause and manner of death was not apparent to investigating officers and the victim had no identification. PCSO is calling the circumstances suspicious but is not releasing details.

Just after 7 a.m., PCSO was notified by a resident that a dead body was found on his property in Stanfield.

Deputies located the body in a desert area under low shrubs. The victim had apparently died days before discovery. Deputies were not immediately able to determine how the victim died. She was clothed but had no identification or signs of trauma. She appeared to be Native American or Hispanic, and possibly in her late 30s.

Juan Luis Negrete, 24, of Stanfield was arrested by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office June 8 on charges of possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia and DUI/drugs-metabolite.

Robert Waldell Brown Jr., 28, of Stanfield was arrested by PCSO June 9 on warrant for theft of means of transportation and failure to appear in the first degree. He was previously arrested in Maricopa County on May 10 on charges of drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, first degree criminal trespassing and second degree failure to appear.

Brown has separate bonds of $3,600 on the failure to appear charge and $5,000 for the auto theft charge, with a court date set June 19 in Judge John Ellsworth’s Justice Court.

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Evan Grace, an incoming freshman at Maricopa High School, is running a sock drive for military personnel June 7-30.

It is part of the Maricopa Blue Star Mothers’ efforts to send packages to deployed members of the armed forces.

Evan will put drop-off boxes at locations around Maricopa, including Ace Hardware, Headquarters Restaurant, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, Copa Craze and Copper Sky Multigenerational Center.

New socks, particularly black crew socks, are needed.

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This is the week to get public safety tips from local first responders, learn about local service groups and even get in some Zumba.

MONDAY
Maricopa’s Youth Internship Committee
meets at 5 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, Cotton Conference Room, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The Committee will discuss a plan on how to roll out the youth internship program, which could include a presentation to the Mayor and City Council.

Friends of the Maricopa Public Library meet at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Some of the projects are programs to encourage reading, reading to children, fundraisers, book club, scholarships, and book sales. New members are always welcome.

Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission meets at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza. The Commission will hear a summary analysis of the 2016 General Plan Update and 2014 Vision Strategic Plan.

TUESDAY
Coffee with Friends Maricopa Library
is at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Join the Friends for refreshments, conversation, and get acquainted with the Library.

Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board meets at 6:30 p.m. in the MUSD District Office Administration Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. The board breaks from its usually Wednesday schedule to meet Tuesday. New member Rhonda Melvin will be sworn in at 6 p.m. The agenda includes a base salary increase for certified employees, a two-year contract for the superintendent and the end of charter school sponsorship.
 
THURSDAY
Maricopa Chamber Breakfast
is at 7:15 a.m. at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino Ballroom, 15406 N. Maricopa Road. Get "Public Safety Tips" from an informative public safety presentation by the Maricopa and Ak-Chin Police and Fire Departments.

SATURDAY
Zumbathon with DJ Alex
is at 6 p.m. at Butterfield Elementary School Multipurpose Room, 43800 W. Honeycutt Road. Sponsored by Our Lady of Grace Youth Ministry, the Zumba party features three instructors, Lorena Ortega, Claudia Ceja and Josie.
 
To learn more about these and other events or post your own, see our free calendar at InMaricopa.com/Calendar.

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Art on the Veranda is expanding to two days this fall, and the organization is seeking more artists and craftsmen.
Art on the Veranda is a juried art show with artisans from all around Arizona and the Southwest showing their creations and making them available for sale. Each artisan must submit an application to participate in the Art on the Veranda. Applications are currently being accepted for artists and can be completed at VerandaArt.com.