At the 42nd annual Arizona Association of Career Technical Educators’ Conference, ACTE AZ awarded Maricopa High School’s marketing teacher, Bernadette Russoniello, Teacher of the Year.
Russoniello was honored for her contributions in the classroom, in the student career technical organization DECA, and for her considerable involvement in Career Technical Education Leadership across the state of Arizona.
Her list of accomplishments includes growing a state/nationally recognized marketing program with more than 150 members, increasing recruitment and retention in the marketing program, producing more than 100 regional medalists and more than 30 international competitors, establishing community activities and partnerships and standing out as a leader across her field.
Russoniello currently serves as the president of the Arizona Marketing Education Association, is a sophomore fellow for ACTE AZ concentrating in counseling and leadership, and is a National DECA certified trainer. Russoniello represents Maricopa Unified presenting at multiple state and national conferences on topics including project-based learning in the business and marketing classroom as well as sharing innovative ideas for program growth and retention.
An interesting mix of activities, from a trip to OdySea to a Shark Tank-style business-pitch competition, are in store this week. Below, members of the Maricopa High School varsity football team invite the community out to the home opener. For details on these and other listings, or to add your own, visit http://www.InMaricopa.com/Calendar/
A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.
Trip to OdySea Aquarium leaves at 9 a.m. from Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library is at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.
Celebrate Recovery Coffee & Karaoke is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.
City Council Work Session starts at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.
City Council Regular Session is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.
Lapsit for ages 0-12 is at 9 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.
Harrah’s Club 777 Toastmasters meet at 3 p.m. at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 Maricopa Road.
Maricopa Police Explorer Post Meeting is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
Movers & Shakers for ages 1-2 years is at 9 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.
Li’l Explorers for ages 2-3 years is at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.
A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Ak-Chin Social Services, 48227 W. Farrell Road.
Maricopa Entrepreneur Pitch Pre-Competition Q&A Session is at 6 p.m. at Elements Event Center at Ak Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.
Strength & Hope Al-Anon Meeting is at 7 p.m. at Community of Hope Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.
Maricopa Rams Football Home Opener is at 7 p.m. at Ram Stadium – Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
Maricopa Entrepreneur Pitch Competition is at 11:30 a.m. at Elements Event Center at Ak-Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.
A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.
Christine Todd of Maricopa has been promoted to business process improvement (BPI) site leader at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. The BPI program works to eliminate waste and variability within everyday processes.
Todd brings more than a decade of casino operations experience. Prior to her promotion, she worked and demonstrated strong leadership as the Harrah’s Development System (HDS) associate, a program designed to provide employment opportunities for members of the Ak-Chin Indian Community into key areas of the casino entertainment industry.
“Christine has been an invaluable asset to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, demonstrating her devotion to better our workplace that extends well past her job description,” said Robert Livingston, regional president and general manager. “In addition to her successes with the HDS program, Christine led the property to back-to-back first place finishes within Caesars’ companywide Breast Cancer Awareness Challenge and a record-breaking United Way campaign in 2016.”
Todd recently received a Caesars Award of Excellence.
This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.
The following businesses applied for licenses in the city June 16-July 15.
Commercial: Robert Robertson
Home-based: Bug-A-Boo Baby Blankets and More, DA Pools, Licensed Mobile Massage Therapist, Romero Day Care, Unwind Massage Therapy, Veteran Owned Credit Repair, You Are More LLC
Out of town: Adobe Fire Equipment Inc., Better Built Builders Inc., BH Skating Parks LLC, DeBaise Holdings dba PDS, Freedom Fire Protection Company LLC, HardCopy Fingerprinting Services, Kona Ice of Casa Grande, Kuhl’s Electric & Service, Q&D Electric, Renewal by Andersen, Rural Arizona Maintenance Spec, Southlands Engineering, Tactical Turd Removal, Terra Medela LLC, Waste Management of Arizona
This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.
Arizona Department of Transportation will accommodate graduation ceremonies planned for next week by delaying nightly night work on John Wayne Parkway and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.
The road work had been planned Monday-Thursday, causing lane closures 8 p.m.-5 a.m. However, the eighth grade Unification/Graduation Ceremony for Desert Wind and Maricopa Wells middle schools is planned for Tuesday night, and the Maricopa High School Graduation is Thursday. Both are set at Ram Stadium south of the railroad tracks, and the resulting heavy traffic would not have been able to travel north on State Route 347 after the events.
Maricopa Police Detective Daniel Rauch sent out a press release Friday stating MPD had been working with ADOT on the potential problems, and ADOT agreed to begin the road closures after 9 p.m. instead.
“This means northbound traffic on SR 347 will still be available,” he stated.
MPD officers and police volunteers will be at intersections to help guide the flow of traffic. Congestion should still be expected after both events
As announced by the City of Maricopa, the northbound lanes of 347 from Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to Honeycutt Road will be closed because of construction beginning at 8 p.m. through May 25.
The Maricopa Unified School District eighth grade unification/graduation ceremony will be held on May 23 at Ram Stadium and the event will dismiss after 8 p.m. The high school graduation is May 25.
People attending graduation who need to go north of the train tracks afterward are advised to go south on State Route 347, east on Farrell Road, and north on Porter Road to cross the tracks.
Maricopans made their Ace Hardware the state leader in the company’s April “Round Up for Kids” campaign for Children’s Miracle Network.
Ace customers opted to have their bills rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra cents going to a local CMN hospital.
In Maricopa, 34.7 percent of customers participated, raising $3,870.69 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, according to store owner Mike Richey. That was 13th out of about 850 participating stores in the country and the best in Arizona. (Frontier Ace Hardware in Apache Junction was next closest in 25th place with $3,112.29.)
“We’re just fortunate enough to be in a community that supports us and supports these types of programs,” Richey said. “The community of Maricopa cares, and so we’re simply involved in the community, and it all works out just great.”
Richey said the Round Up was important from the beginning. In 2014 there were more than 340 children in the Maricopa area who were treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
“It’s just too big of an impact on the local community not to support it,” he said.
Ace’s paint manager, Andrea Roccio, was among those who had to use the services of PCH. When her daughter was a year old, she became very ill, and the staff at Chandler Regional Medical Center could not come up with a diagnosis. She was airlifted to PCH, where they determined she had been stung by a scorpion. Back at work, Roccio was full of praise for the staff and treatment.
“It’s something that happens hundreds of times a year for Maricopa kids,” Richey said.
PCH is a nonprofit organization with six centers. Nationwide the Round Up Campaign brought in $775,000 to hospitals in the CMN, an increase of 86 percent from last April.
This month, Maricopa Ace has another Round Up in place to raise money for Maricopa Little League.
Maricopa Police Department has confirmed the names of the couple found dead in a Sorrento home Sunday.
Glenn Gabriel, 69, and Sasha Gabriel, 67, died of gunshot wounds it what is being called a murder-suicide.
Detective Daniel Rauch said Glenn Gabriel called MPD Sunday afternoon to say he had shot his wife. Sasha Gabriel reportedly was suffering from a terminal illness. When police responded and entered the house, they found both husband and wife deceased.
Glenn Gabriel left behind a note, Rauch said.
A Maricopa couple were found deceased today, and Maricopa Police Department suspects it may be a murder-suicide.
The identities are not yet released. The man is 69 years old and the woman 67. She was apparently suffering from terminal cancer.
MPD was called to the 37000 block of Giallo Lane on a report of shots fired at around 1 p.m. On scene, officers set up a perimeter and tried to make contact, with no response. At 3 p.m., MPD entered the house and found both dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
There are no reports of anyone else being involved.
Deputies allegedly found 53 marijuana plants in a house east of Maricopa.
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on a house in Saddleback Farms. Besides the plants, deputies uncovered “equipment connected to a growing operation,” according to spokesperson Navideh Forghani.
The location is between the Ak-Chin Airport and the Casa Grande city limits. No other information is available at this time.
The founders of Maricopa’s The Streets Don’t Love You Back program will be among the honorees at an annual Philadelphia award ceremony.
Rob and Lucinda Boyd were informed last week they will receive a 2017 Hon. Lucien E. Blackwell “Guiding Light in the Community” award. The Streets Don’t Love You Back is an intervention program to keep at-risk individuals out of a life of crime and gangs.
Blackwell, who died in 2003, was a longtime city councilman in Philadelphia and was also a congressman.
The Boyds were told of the unexpected award by Malik Aziz, a former inmate who runs an intervention program in Philadelphia and was impressed by The Streets Don’t Love You Back.
Rob Boyd said they were both proud and humbled by the award, which will be presented in June.
“We have prayed that our works will touch the lives of many in a positive way,” he stated. “We are watching those blessings, our hard work and dedication come to fruition day by day throughout the country.”
In 5A Metro voting this week, eight Maricopa High School baseball and softball players were named to All-Region teams.
Junior Carter Paine and senior Jackson Stensgard were voted First Team in baseball. Junior Taylor Belcher and sophomore Devin Fiala were Second Team, and junior Tyler Belcher and sophomore Malachi Hogg received honorable mention.
Maricopa High School placed the following athletes on the All-Region Teams:
In softball, senior Juliette Hawthorn was named First Team, and sophomore Chantel Holquin was Second Team as a pitcher.
Paine batted .408, and 12 runs batted in and scored 29 runs. He hit six doubles and a team-leading three triples. He drew 19 walks and had the team’s best on-base percentage of .536. He led the team in steals with nine. He was a workhorse on the mound, pitching 46.1 innings for a 2-5 record. He struck out 40 and walked 28.
Stensgard played in just 18 of the team’s 26 games and batted .476. He hit seven doubles and three of the Rams’ five home runs. He batted in 15 runs and scored another 10. He pitched in six games and 1-5. He struck out 20 and walked 16.
Taylor Belcher hit .325 while playing third base. He had a home run and five doubles and drove in 23 runs. He pitched in nine games and was 0-1. He struck out 11 and walked nine.
Fiala batted .347 and drove in 11 runs. He stole five bases. He turned 12 double plays.
Tyler Belcher hit .288 and scored 15 runs. As a pitcher, he had the Rams’ only winning record, with four wins and two losses in 31.1 innings. He struck out 25 and walked 24.
New to the team, Hogg batted .349, with six doubles and 14 RBI in 24 games.
For the softball Rams, Hawthorn led the team with a .494 average in 26 games. Among her 40 hits were five triples and seven doubles. She also had one of the team’s two home runs this season.
Holquin batted .339. She had 21 hits, including eight doubles, and scored 15 runs. She was error-free in the field. On the mound, Holquin was 3-14, pitching 92.2 innings. She struck out 23 and walked six.
The City of Maricopa has delayed the plan closure of Farrell Road a month.
Farrell Road and a portion of Porter Road will be closed for reconstruction June 5-23. This road segment begins just east of Palo Rojo Road, in the Palo Brea subdivision, and terminates just south of Iron Pointe Drive, in the Santa Rosa Springs subdivision.
The work was originally planned for May, but Mayor Christian Price asked Public Works to delay until after school is out.
Drivers using this route should consider using SR 347 and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway or Peters and Nall, and White and Parker Roads as alternate routes.
The architecture firm designing the planned Burger King in Maricopa will be in front of the city’s Board of Adjustment on Tuesday to discuss a variance request.
The board, which meets on an as-needed basis, will have a public hearing followed by a discussion and decision. The meeting is at 4 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.
Burger King is among the companies signed to populate Edison Pointe, which is next to Fry’s at the corner of John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road. The drive-through restaurant will be situated just south of Fry’s gas station on the west side of the lot.
Nathan Bisch, director of operations for One Architecture, is asking for the variance on the planned area development. Edison Pointe is being developed by Vintage Partners.
Other business tenants expected to come into the location are Ross, PetCo, Dunkin Donuts, Brakes Plus and Planet Fitness.
The deadline for the latest photo contest hosted by Pinal Partnership Open Space & Trails Committee is Sunday. The theme is “Water.”
Photos must be taken in Pinal County. Photographers of any age are welcome.
There are currently 24 photos vying for prizes. Winners will be announced by May 31.
Learn more about Open Space & Trails.
Steve Chestnut, superintendent of Maricopa Unified School District, is one of two finalists to be the next superintendent of Deer Valley Unified School District.
Chestnut informed staff of the situation this week. He has interviews and public reception May 5-6 and is competing for the post with Curtis Finch from Big Rapids, Michigan.
Hired at MUSD in 2012, Chestnut said his decision to apply for the Deer Valley post was not an indication of unhappiness in his current job.
“My wife and I greatly enjoy living in Maricopa,” he stated. “This is an exciting time for MUSD with the passage of the override as we add 50 additional certified staff for 2017-18 and provide additional instructional technology to our students. However, I have had a long term professional goal of being a superintendent in a large school district.”
DVUSD has 33,927 students in 38 schools in Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Anthem, New River, Cave Creek and unincorporated areas. That school is seeking a replacement for James R. Veitenheimer, who was also hired in 2012.
At tonight’s governing board meeting, the MUSD board is scheduled to go into executive session to discuss the superintendent’s contract.
Maricopa Little League hosted Major League Baseball’s youth skills competition Pitch, Hit & Run at Pacana Park Monday. Baseball and softball players competed in four age groups.
7/8 Age Group
Run – Tyson Duncan
Hit – Mason Rogers
Pitch – Wade Cox
All-Around Champion- Mason Rogers
9/10 Age Group
Run- Connor Jackson
Hit- Connor Jackson
Pitch- Patrick Pettis
All-Around Champion- Connor Jackson
11/12 Age Group
Run- Cole Carmichael
Hit- Cole Carmichael
Pitch- Nate Doyle
All-Around Champion- Cole Carmichael
13/14 Age Group
Run- Blaine Stapleton
Hit- Blaine Stapleton
Pitch- Blaine Stapleton
All-Around Champion- Blaine Stapleton
7/8 Age Group
Run- Marleigh McDonald
Hit- None determined
Pitch- Tatum Waters
All-Around Champion- Marleigh McDonald
9/10 Age Group
Run- Grace Hamrick
Hit- Danica Gutierrez & Leah Montes
Pitch- Kylie Dagan
All-Around Champion- Danica Gutierrez
11/12 Age Group
Run- Madison Brandon
Hit- Madison Brandon
Pitch- Madison Brandon
All-Around Champion- Madison Brandon
13/14 Age Group
Run- Astraya Ellyson
Hit- Astraya Ellyson
Pitch- Astraya Ellyson
All-Around Champion- Astraya Ellyson
A Red Flag Warning is in place in Maricopa and northwest Pinal County. Strong winds and low relative humidity have created high fire danger across the area.
The warning is effective until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
According the National Weather Service, winds from the northwest at 20 to 25 mph may gust up to 40 mph. Conditions are expected to peak Tuesday afternoon around 2 p.m.
Fuels are dry, and small sparks like lighted cigarettes can cause brush fires, which then spread quickly in the high winds.
Do you want lanes added to State Route 347?
The event is an addition to other open houses planned by Central Arizona Governments (CAG) and Pinal County to get public feedback. County officials have been working for months to get the RTA on a ballot. It is now set for a November election.
The Pinal RTA would seek a half-cent sales tax to improve transportation options for drivers in Pinal County.
The proposed plan focuses on roadway development, public transportation improvements, and local transportation project funding for the towns of Kearny, Mammoth and Superior, and the city of Eloy. Some of the proposed roadway improvements include widening State Route 347 north of the city of Maricopa to the Pinal-Maricopa County boundary, constructing the North-South Corridor that would ultimately connect U.S. 60 with Interstate 10, and extending State Route 24 into Pinal County.
Projections over 20 years predict the RTA could bring in $650 million in revenue targeted directly for Pinal County roads.
A multi-agency effort led by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office handed out speeding tickets to scores of drivers on State Route 347 Tuesday.
“The department is focusing on this area at the request of DPS and Gila River Police Department. There have been numerous fatal collisions on that roadway this year,” PCSO spokesperson Navideh Forghani said in a statement.
According to PCSO, 129 people were stopped for speeding violations and one was stopped for running a red light. There were also three misdemeanor arrests.
The speed detail is the fourth organized by PCSO in the county. It came on the heels of DPS-led traffic detail last week that cited 88 drivers for speeding.
Agencies involved in Tuesday’s effort were PCSO, DPS, Maricopa Police Department and Casa Grande Police Department.
UPDATE: The missing girl was located around 1 p.m. Friday
A 14-year-old girl has been reported missing from Rancho El Dorado.
Kaitlyn Gilmore was last seen the Thursday evening.
The family reports she took her bicycle and they suspect she is still in the Maricopa area. Maricopa Police Department has been notified as has Legacy Traditional School, where she is a student.
She is described as 5-foot-8, 130 pounds. Anyone who knows her whereabouts is asked contact MPD at 520-568-3673 so they can contact the family.
Maricopa has again made the Top 5 list of Arizona’s safest cities, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
The city’s violent crime rate is measured at 1.72 per 1,000 people while the property crime rate is 12.45 per 1,000. That places Maricopa fifth on the list. The state’s average is 6.0 and 40.0, respectively.
For the nation, the violent crime rate is 3.0 and property crime rate is 28.0.
Florence, the Pinal County seat with its high law-enforcement presence, was ranked the safest city in Arizona. It is followed by Sahuarita, Gilbert and Oro Valley. Alarms.org uses the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics to compile its data.
After a resident reported neglected and dead dogs on a Hidden Valley property, the county is investigating.
A passerby reported the situation Sunday, describing two dead dogs, one of which was decapitated. Pinal County Animal Care and Control responded Monday morning.
“This is a heartbreaking sight,” said Animal Care and Control Director Audra Michael. “The deceased dogs were in such an advanced state of decay that we wouldn’t be able to determine a cause of death. We also did not have a search warrant so we could not enter the property. But what we saw from our vantage point, the other dogs appeared to have no obvious signs of distress.”
But the person who reported the situation said one dog was limping and a pregnant dog was being attacked by the others. Neighbors warned her away from the Stonebluff Road property, calling it a dangerous situation.
PCACC reported several dogs within the fenced property. The owner of the property was not present at the time officers arrived to the scene.
The reporting party described the house door being propped open so the dogs could go in and out. Neighbors told her the owner and breeder of the dogs did not live there but came by to feed them.
Michael said her officers are working with the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office to determine what the next steps will be in this situation.
State Route 347 southbound is closed at Riggs Road for a crash, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The closure extends to Casa Blanca Road where the crash occurred. There is no estimate on when the road will reopen. Traffic is being diverted on to Riggs Road.
Northbound SR 347 is unaffected by the closure.
Maricopa Unified School District Superintendent Steve Chestnut sent out the following statement regarding an incident at Butterfield Elementary School:
“Today at Butterfield Elementary administrators were informed that three girls had created a ‘hit list’ that named three boys. Administrators investigated the situation and found that such a list had been created by the girls but they did not have the capability of following through on the threat. The parents of all of the children involved in this situation have been contacted. The girls who created the list are receiving disciplinary consequences as outlined in the MUSD Student Handbook.”
After a student at Desert Wind Middle School told his parents about a threat against the school, Maricopa Police Department was informed and notified the school’s administration.
That automatically put the campus into a teaching lockdown at 9:15 a.m.
MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said no basis for the story was found, and the person named as the instigator of the threat did not exist at the school.
“MPD and DWMS administrators talked to several students and determined that these threats were only rumors,” Maricopa Unified School District Superintendent Steve Chestnut stated in a release. “The teaching lockdown ended a 11:50 a.m. We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Maricopa Police Department in resolving this situation.”
Maricopa Police Department apprehended a suspect in a burglary this morning after closing down an area of Glennwilde.
The police tracked the suspect vehicle from Tortosa to Glennwilde after a resident reported finding a burglar in his home with his gun. The fleeing vehicle briefly eluded MPD, but an officer in an unmarked car found it at a home in Glennwilde, where the suspect allegedly was trying to switch out license plates.
The suspect picked up a woman and a child and tried to leave the subdivision but was contained before reaching Honeycutt Road. More information is pending.
Maricopa Police Department is looking for a burglar in Glennwilde and shut down an area.
A homeowner in Tortosa came home this morning to see a strange vehicle out front and then found a burglar in his home, according to Maricopa Police Department.
The homeownerleft the house and called 911. MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said the burglar may have had the homeowner’s gun when he left the area.
MPD tracked the car to the Glennwilde subdivision, where officers created a perimeter and are now searching for the suspect.