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Staff Reports

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Photo by Mason Callejas

A cold snap should dissipate come Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service, making for a likely mild and enjoyable Christmas Day. A freeze warning will be in effect from 11 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday, when lows start to creep back up above freezing, while the expected high on Christmas could be in the 70s.

According to NWS, freezing or sub-freezing temperatures may cause damage to sensitive plants and ornamental vegetation. Poorly insulated pipes may burst. The extreme cold is also dangerous for any pets left outdoors overnight.

Today looks to be sunny, mostly clear and a bit breezy with winds gusting up to 25 mph, a high of around 57 and a low near 28.

Friday will likely be sunny, clear and calm with a high around 58 and a low near 31.

Saturday should be sunny, mostly clear and calm with a high around 62 and a low near 37.

Sunday (Christmas Eve) looks to be partly cloudy and calm with a high around 67 and a low near 40.

Monday (Christmas Day) will likely be sunny, calm and mostly clear with a high around 71 and a low near 41.

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Anthony Wyant faces several charges and Monique Quiroz is accused of attempted forgery in an incident at Wells Fargo. PCSO photos

A man was arrested Saturday at Wells Fargo in Maricopa for multiple charges stemming from an alleged forgery attempt in an incident that sent a police officer to the hospital.

Anthony Wyant, 51, of Mesa was arrested Dec. 16 at approximately 10:53 a.m. when he reportedly attempted to flee questioning by police regarding an attempted check forgery by an accomplice, 35-year-old Monique Quiroz of Casa Grande.

According to Maricopa Police Department records, Wyant first became “passively resistant” when police responding to investigate a check forgery in progress inside the bank asked him to exit the front passenger seat of the vehicle he was waiting in.

A warrant search was conducted for Wyant, revealing an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, the MPD report says. After further requests to exit the vehicle, he continued to refuse to comply at which point, the report alleges, Wyant put the vehicle in drive from the passenger seat and drove over a walkway, colliding with signage in front of the bank.

As a result of the incident, one MPD officer was injured. The officer was treated and later released from Chandler Regional Medical Center.

During further investigation, the MPD report says, the owner of the vehicle, a Scottsdale woman, stated neither Wyant nor Quiroz had permission to use the vehicle. Furthermore, the report alleges, Wyant provided an alias in an attempt to interfere with an investigation.

In all, Wyant was charged with nine separate offenses, including three counts of criminal damage, two counts of endangerment, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, false reporting to law enforcement and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Pinal County Jail in Florence on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, Wyant faces more than 20 years in prison.

Quiroz was also arrested and charged with two counts of forgery. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.  She, too, is being held at the Pinal County Jail on a lesser $5,525 bond.

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Photo by Mason Callejas

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 is a 12-year-old Fulton house in a Cobblestone Farms cul-de-sac. Its price increased 36 percent since it last sold in May. It sold for $900 under its list price. One of its six bedrooms is downstairs, and all upstairs bedrooms have walk-in closets. Its pièce de résistance is a pool and spa with a grotto, slide and diving board.

  1. 43967 W. Scenic Drive

Sold: Nov. 4

Purchase Price: $369,000

Price per square foot: $94.47

Days on market: 98

Builder: Fulton

Year built: 2005

Bedrooms: 6

Bathrooms: 3

Community: Cobblestone Farms

Features: Two stories, new carpeting, luxury pool with waterfall, covered patio, granite countertops, stainless appliances

Lister’s agent: Anthony Schumacher, The Maricopa Real Estate Company

Seller’s agent: Kristine Devine, Realty ONE Group

  1. 42251 W. Bravo Drive, Rancho El Dorado, $360,000
  2. 42158 W. Baccarat Drive, Province, $360,000
  3. 22468 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms, $360,000
  4. 41011 W. Walker Way, Homestead North, $350,000

    This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Mason Callejas

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 is described as a great starter home in Maricopa Meadows. The low-key house sold for 14.3 percent above its last sale nearly four years ago and $5,000 under its asking price.

  1. 46109 W. Windmill Drive

Sold: Nov. 1

Purchase Price: $120,000

Price per square foot: $115.27

Days on market: 21

Builder: Elite Homes

Year built: 2005

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Community: Maricopa Meadows

Features: Full bath with master bedroom, appliances included, formal dining room

Lister’s agent: Johnaz O. Cortez, Realty ONE Group

Seller’s agent: Lori B. Hodgen, AZ Lane Realty


  1. 43711 W. Sagebrush Trail, Rancho El Dorado, $121,000
  2. 42562 W. Michaels Drive, Rancho El Dorado, $132,500
  3. 44038 W. McCord Drive, The Villages at Rancho El Dorado, $134,000
  4. 39975 W. Tamara Lane, Smith Farms, $138,000

    This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa has been ranked the third-safest city in Arizona by a national home-security organization. ranked Maricopa behind Oro Valley and Gilbert. Its “safety score” of 85.68 equaled Gilbert’s.

The biggest deciding factor in the rankings is the FBI’s latest report (2015) of the number and types of crimes reported in each city. SafeHome considers the population-to-officers ratio and current crime trends. Playing much less of role in the rankings are population density, unemployment and other demographic metrics. ranked the top 25 safest cities with a population of at least 38,000. Murder, robbery and assault have the biggest weight factor in scoring cities. Maricopa had 600 property crimes during the reporting period. It ranks in the top 100 in the country.

Longevity Athletics owner Aaron Gilbert (center) works in his new space on John Wayne Parkway. Photo by Mason Callejas

A personal fitness center has found a larger location. Longevity Athletics moved from Maricopa Business Center on Honeycutt Road to 20924 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite D-2A, behind Auto Zone.

Owner and lead trainer Aaron Gilbert said the move was sparked out of necessity for space, and the new space will better help Longevity reach their goal of making Maricopa healthy and strong. Gilbert said finding the right space with the right price point can be difficult in Maricopa. The process took him 16 months.

“I had to get creative with the space to maximize the footprint,” Gilbert said. “We did some things to maintain the same level of functional space, so in a practical sense we ended up doubling our usable space.”

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Ronald Bragonier. PCSO photo

A man accused of sex crimes involving a minor was arrested Nov. 28 after the teen and multiple witnesses reported the alleged inappropriate contact.

Ronald Bragonier, 54, was arrested around 5 p.m. Tuesday after an investigation into allegations were reportedly substantiated by witnesses, who noted his odd behavior during the time of the alleged contact. That took place in multiple cities and multiple states between May and October, according to MPD reports.

Nov. 25, police were first notified by family of the 14-year-old victim, who had recently disclosed being molested by Bragonier in Orlando, Florida, Chandler and Maricopa.

A woman police describe as Bragonier’s “significant other,” who is a cheerleading coach at Rock Star Cheer, further substantiated the claim after she, too, reported to authorities the “inappropriate relationship” she believed he was having with the child, who attended the gym.

According to the police report, Bragonier was considered a close friend of the victim’s family, who had a “trusting relationship” with him. The victim spent the night with Bragonier and the coach’s family on multiple occasions.

During that time the significant other noticed Bragonier had been paying an odd amount of attention to the victim, “spoiling” the victim with “thousands” of dollars in gifts.

Nov. 18, the report stated Rock Star Cheer owner Elizabeth Mundell witnessed an argument at the facility between Bragonier and the victim, which, she said, “looked as if two people who were dating were having an argument.”

The report further stated Mundell witnessed Bragonier show up to multiple practices and ask to speak with the victim outside. Bragonier was not an employee of the gym.

“I’m cooperating in anyway possible that I can,” Mundell said in separate phone interview with InMaricopa. “We are covered by two restraining orders [against Bragonier].”

To the best of her knowledge none of the alleged incidents occurred at the gym, she said.

“We have such strong policies to support our business so that something like this doesn’t happen, with mandated reporting, with green-light clearances, with staff members never being left alone with anyone,” Mundell said.

The gym has a policy of conducting background checks on all gym employees, including employees who work the front desk and clean the facility, she said.

To be clear, she said, he was a parent who would help out from time to time.

Prior to the incident mentioned in the police report, Mundell said, she never witnessed or was made aware of any questionable conduct from Bragonier. And that incident, she added, was reported to the child’s father immediately.

During a forensic interview, the victim stated Bragonier’s escalating sexual contact caused the victim to try to keep him at a distance, which made him angry, resulting in the Nov. 18 fight witnessed by Mundell and others, the report says.

Bragonier’s significant other additionally reported he was acting unstable and irrational to the point where she feared for her and her family’s safety, the report says. She and her family were granted an Order of Protection against Bragonier Nov. 27.

During his Nov. 28 arrest, according to the report, Bragonier unlocked his cellphone to obtain contact information of a family member. At that time, “detectives observed the password entered to access the cellphone happened to be [the victim’s] birthday.”

Bragonier was arrested on a total of three charges including molestation of a child, dangerous crimes against children and sexual conduct with a minor.

Considering the nature of the alleged crimes, his reported irrational behavior and a request from Florida law enforcement that he have a high bond, Bragonier is being held on a $500,000 bond at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence.

If convicted, in Arizona alone, Bragonier could face life in prison.

This story has been updated from a previous version.

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Coach Tony Fuller talks about this year's team.

With a team that is shorter in stature than last year, MHS boys’ basketball will face a difficult schedule, head coach Tony Fuller said.

“Twin Towers” Terrell and Darrell Johnson graduated in May, after the team made the state playoffs for the first time in six years.

Despite the challenges, Fuller said, “we’re quick, we’re athletic and we’re scrappy – and that’s the way we want to play.”

The Rams basketball team scrimmaged on Thursday and goes into competition Monday in the Give Thanks Classic at Notre Dame. The Rams’ first home game is Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. against Campo Verde.


Nov. 20-25 Give Thanks Classic, Notre Dame
Nov. 28 at Vista Grande
Nov. 30 at Queen Creek
Dec. 1 v. Campo Verde
Dec. 5 v. Poston Butte
Dec. 8 v. Mountain View Marana
Dec. 14 at Casa Grande
Dec. 15 v. Ironwood
Dec. 27-30 Holiday Tournament, Casa Grande
Jan. 9 v. Sunnyslope
Jan. 12 v. Kellis
Jan. 16 at McClintock
Jan. 18 at Ironwood
Jan. 19 v. Apollo
Jan. 23 at Sunnyslope
Jan. 26 at Kellis
Jan. 30 v McClintock (senior night)
Feb. 1 at Williams Field
Feb. 6 at Apollo

Varsity games start at 7 p.m.

Breon Stephens is accused of helping in an armed robbery at the Shell station Monday.

Police say the “lookout” in an armed robbery at a Maricopa gas station earlier this week has been identified and arrested.

According to the Maricopa Police Department, 30-year-old Breon Stephens is an alleged accomplice to Monday’s hold-up at the Shell Food Mart and Dairy Queen on John Wayne Parkway and Garvey Avenue.

Stephens was arrested Tuesday when a warrant was executed by MPD at a residence on Edwards Circle, near Maricopa High School. The arrest activity caused the school to go into lockdown.

Stephens has been charged with robbery, aggravated robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted, he could face up to 23 years in prison.

A second suspect who allegedly brandished a gun during the robbery remains at large. MPD is “pursuing all leads” to bring that individual into custody.

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Maricopa High School teacher Bernadette Russoniello (center) received the ACTE Teacher of the Year award. Submitted photo

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.

A fishy daytrip, a business competition and the start of high school football are part of this week in Maricopa.

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


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

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.

Best routes out of Maricopa High School after graduation.

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.

Mike Richey, owner of Maricopa ACE Hardware. Photo by William Lange

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.

See update

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.

Lucinda and Rob Boyd

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.”

From left, Juliette Hawthorn, Carter Paine and Jackson Stensgard were named All-Region First Team. Photos by Raquel Hendrickson

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.

Photos are to be submitted to the contest’s Facebook group. See rules here. The photos will be judged on number of Facebook likes they receive and by content.

There are currently 24 photos vying for prizes. Winners will be announced by May 31.

Learn more about Open Space & Trails.

MUSD Superintendent Steve Chestnut. Photo by Devin Carson

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.

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

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.

Baseball Winners:
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

Softball Winners:
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.


Click photo for larger image

Do you want lanes added to State Route 347?

An open house on Pinal County’s Regional Transportation Authority is set for Maricopa City Hall on May 2. The open house will show participants what roads are slated to be built with the RTA funding, if approved by Pinal County voters this fall.

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.

The open house in Maricopa is from 4 to 6 p.m. in the lobby at City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.
Those unable to attend can review information on the proposed regional plan and tax at CAG’s website at:  To participate in the on-line survey regarding the proposed regional plan and tax, you may visit Pinal County’s website.
For additional information on the proposed plan you can contact:
Andy Smith at, (520) 509-3555,
Kathy Borquez at, (520) 509-3555 or
Andrea Robles, Interim Executive Director, Central Arizona Governments at, (480) 474-9300.

Law enforcement officers were watching for speedy drivers on SR 347 Tuesday.

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.