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Working outside should be limited during this week's excessive heat warning. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

An excessive heat warning is in place for Maricopa today through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, but there is a chance of rain by week’s end.

An warning means a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards, will occur, with temperatures ranging 110-118 degrees F. Actions should be taken to lessen the impact of the extreme heat.

Suggested precautions for excessive heat: Stay indoors and seek air-conditioned buildings. Drink more water than usual and avoid dehydrating alcoholic, sugary or caffeinated drinks. Dress for the heat – lightweight and light-colored clothing. Eat small meals and eat more often. Monitor those with a higher vulnerability to heat, including small children. Check in on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. If engaging in outdoor activity, take longer and more frequent breaks and avoid the hottest parts of the day. Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.

Today will be sunny and hot, with a high near 112. The overnight low will be around 85 under mostly clear skies.

Tuesday is expected to soar to 117, which is 11 degrees above average for the day, with very little breeze under sunny skies. The night will be partly cloudy with a low around 87.

Wednesday‘s forecast is for mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 114. Winds of 5-15 mph could gust up to 20 mph. The night is expected to be partly cloudy with a low around 87 and continuing winds.

Thursday may be mostly sunny, hot and breezy, with a high of 110. The overnight low will be around 83.

Friday, expect a partly sunny day with a high of 106, followed by a night with 10 percent chance of showers before 11 p.m. The low will be around 83.

That leads into a weekend of slightly cooler temperatures and slightly higher chance of rain.

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Occasional clouds aren't expected to have much impact as temperatures climb upward this weekend. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa weather will be warm with a slight chance for rain this weekend before heading into extremely hot days, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is expected to top out at 106 degrees F but with heat index values as high as 111. The day will be mostly sunny and breezy. Winds of 10-15 mph may gust up to 20 mph. The night has a 10-percent chance of rain and a predicted low of 83.

Friday is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 107. A 10-percent chance for rain returns in the afternoon, and the nighttime low will be around 83.

Saturday will be mostly sunny, though the 10-percent chance of precipitation continues until 11 p.m. The high may reach 106. Overnight, the low will be around 83 with winds gusting as high as 20 mph.

Sunday is likely to be mostly sunny and hot, with the temperature rising to 110. The night will be mostly clear, and the low will be around 84.

That starts off a week that already has an “excessive heat watch” issued by NWS from Monday through Wednesday and no predicted rain early in the week.

Martin Catha (PCSO photo)

A man was already in criminal traffic trouble before he was dramatically taken into custody in Maricopa last week.

Martin Catha, 31, is accused of auto theft and driving with his license suspended after the midtown arrest Friday.

Catha was allegedly driving a Toyota Camary that had been reported stolen out of Tempe. The car was reportedly a rental car. A Maricopa Police officer saw the vehicle traveling west on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway at 5:45 p.m. and ran the license plate.

The report came back indicating the vehicle was stolen and had last been tracked by Chandler Police Department on Thursday. The MPD officer followed the Camary as it turned north on Pershing and began to turn west onto Honeycutt Road.

The officer initiated a “high-risk” traffic stop, blocking lanes of traffic as other officers responded. Catha was reportedly the only person in the vehicle.

He allegedly told police a woman named Rhianna gave him the vehicle at Wild Horse Pass Casino three days earlier and “told him the vehicle was OK to drive,” according to the MPD report. Officers noted Catha’s license was suspended and arrested him on suspicion of driving on a suspended license as well as theft of means of transportation.

He was booked at Pinal County Jail.

Alejandro Maldonado. (PCSO photo)


Police have made an arrest in a December carjacking that involved an armed man wearing a Halloween mask.

Alejandro Maldonado, 39, was arrested July 10 at a Florence parole office after law enforcement allegedly discovered evidence linking him to the vehicle.

The silver Kia Soul was reported stolen Dec. 5 by the owner of the vehicle in the Tacos ‘N More Mexican Grill parking lot. The victim told police a man pointed a black handgun at her head while she was seated in the vehicle.

“(The woman) said an unknown male dressed in all black, wearing a Halloween mask told (her) to ‘give me the (expletive) keys’ multiple times,” according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The vehicle was last seen northbound on John Wayne Parkway.

Three days after the alleged carjacking, a Phoenix PD officer located the stolen vehicle in an alleyway near Polk Street and 13th Avenue, which led police on a short pursuit.

The driver eventually fled on foot after abandoning the vehicle near Taylor Street.

Phoenix PD did not make contact with the driver but observed his physical characteristics and made note of his black clothing.

Officers later took latent prints from the driver’s side door and door handles. DNA swabs were also taken from the steering wheel and shifter.

A latent print analysis later hit on Maldonado, who was reportedly on parole with Pinal County Probation for armed robbery.

In a recent interview with an MPD officer in Florence, Maldonado denied knowing the victim and being involved in the armed robbery

His DNA and prints were in the vehicle, he allegedly told police, because he washed cars at his Aunt’s residence, according to the report. The victim denied having her vehicle washed there.

Maldonado is being held on a $50,000 secured bond in Pinal County Jail on recommended charges of armed robbery, a class 2 felony; two counts of unlawful means of transportation, class 5 and 6 felonies; and violating the terms of his parole.

LaShawn Johnson is accused of murdering Angela Russo two years ago.

The Phoenix man accused of murdering a Maricopa woman two years ago is set to go to trial.

Angela Russo, 24, went missing April 19, 2016, after going on a date. More than a month later, her remains were found buried in Tonopah.

LaShawn Johnson, now 28, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, auto theft, arson and concealing a body. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

The two apparently met on a dating website. The case received worldwide attention two years ago during the five-week search for Russo.

Johnson’s roommate allegedly provided investigators information that led them to Russo’s remains. Also found was her burned car.

Jury selection is scheduled to being Wednesday in Judge David O. Cunanan courtroom. The trial itself is set to last through Aug. 14.

Russo’s mother Diana Schalow and family continue to operate an Angela Alert on Facebook to help find missing people.

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Clouds linger over Maricopa with slight chance of rain. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

A slight chance of rain continues every day this week while temperatures remain in triple digits, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is expected to be the coolest day of the week with a high of 103 degrees F. There is a 20-percent chance of rain. The overnight low will be around 81.

Tuesday also has a 20 percent chance of rain during the day and into the evening. There is an expected high of 105. The nighttime low may be around 81 with winds of 5-10 mph.

Wednesday, the possibility of rain drops to 10 percent as skies remain mostly sunny with a high of 104. The low at night will be around 80.

Thursday is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 106 and a 10-percent chance for precipitation. The day will be breezy with winds of 5-15 mph. The overnight low is expected to be around 81.

Friday may be mostly sunny all day with a high near 107. At night, a 10-percent chance of rain develops with partly cloudy skies and a low around 82.

The weekend is expected to grow increasingly hot as the possibility for rain lessens.

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Monsoon like weather patterns continue over Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Continued warm temperatures and high humidity are expected this weekend as the monsoon pattern continues through Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is partly sunny with a high near 99 and 30-percent chance of rain before noon. Tonight, the likelihood of rain drops to 10 percent. The low temperature will be around 79.

Friday, the forecast sees partly sunny skies and high near 105 and a 10-percent chance of showers all day. The night will be mostly cloudy with a low around 80.

Saturday, the chance of rain increases slightly to 20 percent. The day is expected to be partly sunny with a high near 102. The overnight low will be around 78.

Sunday comes with a 30-percent chance of showers and will be mostly cloudy all day. The daytime high is expected to be near 101 and the nighttime low around 77.

The possibility for thunderstorms continues into next week with triple-digit highs and partly to mostly cloudy skies.

Tanner Rogers. (PCSO photo)

Tanner Rogers, 31, was arrested July 9 within the Maricopa High School drug-free school zone area.

Initially cited for a traffic violation, he was soon accused of possession of dangerous drugs among other drug-related crimes. Rogers was observed to be riding a bicycle, heading north of Taft Avenue. He was detained by officers after allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign posted on McDavid Road.

According to the police report, during the traffic stop, police observed signs of Rogers being under the influence of stimulants. This observation allegedly led Rogers to confess his possession of marijuana without a medical card. Rogers reportedly handed the officer a small container of the drug.

After the alleged admission, police informed Rogers they would conduct a search of his person, allegedly prompting Rogers to admit to possessing “an ounce of meth” in his pocket. Rogers was arrested and officers allegedly recovered additional marijuana and 18.5 grams of methamphetamine, according to a reported field test.

The total amount of marijuana alleged to be found weighed approximately 11.2 grams. According to reports, police also recovered a digital scale and $263 in cash from Rogers’ pockets. Rogers allegedly admitted to purchasing the methamphetamine to trade the drug for tools in place of another person he knew.

Rogers was booked on possession of dangerous drugs for sale in a drug-free school zone, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession/use of marijuana, possession/use of drug paraphernalia.

His bond has been set at $5,000. His next hearing is July 17.

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More storms are on the horizon. ADOT photo

Maricopa is under a flash-flood watch today until 2 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon and evening, potentially lasting into the overnight hours. Any storms that form will be capable of producing heavy rain and flash flooding, particularly over areas that have already received heavy rainfall over the past few days.

The area affected includes northwest Pinal County.

This afternoon, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. New rainfall is expected to have amounts of less than a 10th of an inch, except higher amounts are possible during thunderstorms.

Flooding of normally dry washes, low water crossings, and poorly drained intersections is likely. Be especially cautious at night when flash flood hazards are harder to see.

Clouds are expected to visit Maricopa daily this week. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

There is a chance of rain every day this week as the “Arizona monsoon” kicks in, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will be cooler than last week but still in triple digits.

Today, there is a 30 percent chance of showers after 11 a.m. with increasing clouds throughout the day and a high near 106. Tonight, the chance of rain increases to 50 percent before 11 p.m. The low will be around 80. The Pinal County Department of Air Quality has issued an airborne coarse particle high pollution advisory for the day.

Tuesday is expected to partly sunny with a 30-percent chance of rain in the afternoon and a high near 103. The overnight low will be around 81 as the likelihood of rain stays at 30 percent, mostly before 11 p.m.

Wednesday, the forecast sees a 40-percent chance of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon. The day will be mostly cloudy with a high near 102. The nighttime low will be around 80 as the chance of rain increases to 40 percent.

Thursday may be partly sunny with a high near 101. The chance of rain will be 20 percent between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. The overnight low will be around 80.

Friday, the chance of showers decreases to 10 percent as the day will be partly sunny and the high near 104. The nighttime low will be around 80 as the likelihood of rain increases to 20 percent

The weekend, from this far out, looks much the same, with triple-digit high temperatures and noticeable humidity.

One of the vehicles involved in a multi-car collision. Photos by Amelia and Daisy Guzman

No serious injuries were reported in a five-vehicle collision on northbound State Route 347.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said five people reported very minor injuries and no one was transported to a hospital. Vehicles, however, were transported from the scene.

The incident occurred at 10:28 a.m. at milepost 185 where blowing dust obscured visibility. Traffic was slowed as state troopers and other law enforcement responded to the scene, but the road was not closed.

Blowing dust continues to be an issue between the gravel pit road and Riggs Road, and motorists are urged to drive with caution.

A vacant lot owned by Signal Healthcare may become medical offices.

Medical offices may be coming to a busy corner in Maricopa.

The city’s Planning & Zoning Commission will look at a proposal for a major development review permit on the property on the southeast corner of Edison Road and John Wayne Parkway. The property is owned by Signal Healthcare LLC of Paradise Valley.

The lot is directly west of Big O Tires and north of Aaron’s, with paved parking mostly already in place. The plaza also includes the 99 Cents Only store.

Signal purchased the parcel in 2017.

The commission will look at the proposed site plan, landscape and elevations for 44565 W. Edison Road. The meeting is Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Take precautions against excessive heat and what could be record temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning from 10 a.m. Thursday to 9 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to reach 113 Thursday and 114 on Friday.

Impacts include an increased potential for heat related illness. Those working or participating in outdoor activities during the afternoon hours or those without access to adequate air conditioning will be most at risk.

Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars. Drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. When outdoors, wear light colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head and body cooler. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps. Serious symptoms include weakness, skin that is cool to the touch, fast but weak pulse, nausea, and fainting. Severe symptoms include hot and red dry skin, fast and strong Pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness. Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.

Photo by Michelle Chance


All 11 food establishments in Maricopa inspected by Pinal County’s health department from May 16 to June 15 received excellent scores.

Excellent [No violations found] Bashas’
Bashas’ – Deli
Circle K at 21212 N. John Wayne Parkway
Dollar Tree
Gyro Grill
Helen’s at Copper Sky
Helen’s at Pacana Park
McDonalds at 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
QuikTrip – kitchen

Satisfactory [ Violations corrected during inspection] None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection] None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service] None

Pioneer Title Agency was among businesses gaining business licenses in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The following businesses received business licenses from the City of Maricopa May 16 through June 15:

Commercial: Go Wireless Inc., Pioneer Title Agency, Wingstop

Home-based: 5X Gusse Properties, Choice Vending, Clearly Designed, Desert Ice, Fashion and Beauty Guide, Gorilla Joe’s Pest Control, Lifted High Garage Door Repair, Landscape Illumination & Irrigation, Maricopa Solar Window Screens & Home Power Washing, North Suburban Office Services, Patricia Sierra Home Daycare, PCS by D’Vine, Sonora Hot Dogs, T&R Roadside Services, Taylor Loren Decorating, Trail Blazer Marketing, Vango 4 Kids

Out of town: Associated Sign Company, B&J Glass and Store Front Inc., Cookson Door Sales of Arizona, Forrest Anderson Plumbing and Air Conditioning, Four Peaks Pump and Compressor Service, GE Home Services, Henry & Horne LLP, JLC Enterprises, Mattson Construction, Nergy Solutions, One Stop Asphalt, R&B Roofing, Renewal by Andersen, Romp and Roam Pet and Home Sitting, RS Client Services, Sun Eagle Corporation, Trinity Building Services, Unique Management

Nonprofit: Keep the Beat, Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation

This item appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Construction continues on Jiffy Lube west of Walmart.


Sunrise Pre-School received a new commercial permit for its property at 19287 N. Porter Road. The school, which is directly east of Sequoia Pathway, is more than 10,000 square feet, including canopies, and valued at $1.4 million.

Little Charmers Preschool and Daycare at 22314 N. O’Sullivan Drive received its annual residential fire inspection and earned its permit June 4. It also received a permit for a flow test of the hydrant on June 18.

Dutch Bros. Coffee indicated its interest in building a drive thru in Maricopa with a presentation to the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Board June 14. The proposal for a store north of Fast & Friendly Car Wash on John Wayne Parkway is in the early review process.

A proposed Circle K on the southeast corner of Honeycutt and Porter roads has onsite improvement plans under review by the City of Maricopa.

Construction continued on Burger King in Edison Pointe at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway and at Jiffy Lube at 42100 W. Maricopa Casa-Grande Hwy.

Yale Management Services at 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway received its permit for a fire alarm and detection system on June 6. Dunkin’ Donuts, which opened in Edison Pointe June 8, received its fire alarm permit June 13.

Pioneer Title Agency opened its doors June 29 at 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 101.

Crossfit Stand & Battle announced to its clients it was restructuring the business and would be moving out of its location at 21476 N. John Wayne Parkway after July 1. Owners opted to move training into residential garage gyms because the state of commercial real estate in Maricopa made continued leasing unworkable.

Walmart received a permit May 16 to sell fireworks at its store at 41650 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. Fireworks Productions of Arizona received a permit June 13 to produce the fireworks display at Maricopa’s annual Great American 4th.

KB Home received a permit June 11 to convert the garage of a model home on Laurel Road into a construction office for Homestead. KB Home also received a permit for two wood signs at the location.

Maricopa Auto Outlet received a permit to replace the sign faces for the business at 19864 N. John Wayne Parkway. Super Smiles at 21116 N. John Wayne Parkway received a permit for an LED aluminum sign.

After its opening, Dollar Tree received a temporary sign permit May 31 for its grand opening.

Mobile food vendor Zonia Fuentes of Sonora Hot Dogs LLC received a zoning permit to sell at 44301 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.

Four Directions received a zoning permit June 6 for an adult group home at 41545 W. Anne Lane.

After time ran out on previous permits, the City of Maricopa’s Heritage District project received four new permits June 4 to demolish blighted properties. Two were on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, one was on Pershing Street and one was on Burkett Avenue. The work was carried out by Breinholt Contracting and valued at $22,500 per property.

This item appears in part in the July issue of InMaricopa.

A fire destroys a house in Alterra. Photo by Michelle Chance

A house caught on fire in the 44900 block of West Buckhorn Trail in Alterra Monday afternoon. There are no reports of injuries.

Workers were load testing a new air conditioning unit being installed at the house when the fire broke out, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

The fire spread to the roof, where flames were visible. Up to four people were evacuated from the house. Firefighters with Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded to the scene around 3:45 p.m. Units were also dispatched from Chandler, Sun Lakes and Casa Grande.

With increased winds, firefighters went into defensive mode to protect surrounding homes as the roof fell in.

The weather for this July 4 will be typical for Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Enjoy it while you can. The relatively mild temperatures that start off the week and lead into the Fourth of July will turn to blistering hot by week’s end, according to the National Weather Service.

Today will be sunny with a high near 108 degrees F and only mild breezes. Tonight will be clear with a low around 76.

Tuesday is forecast to be identical, with sunny skies and high near 108 during the day and a low of 76 at night.

Independence Day, Wednesday, again is expected to have a high temperature of 108. The night will be clear for those watching fireworks, and the low is expected to be 78. The average high on the Fourth of July is 107.

Thursday is set on sizzle, with lots of sun and a high of 113. The night should be mostly clear with the low temperature dipping only as low as 87.

Friday, prepare for sunny and hot and a high of 114. Overnight, the forecast sees a 10-percent chance of showers before 11 p.m. and a low around 86.

From this distance, the weekend forecast hints at a slight chance of rain and mostly just hot days.

Three vehicles were involved in a collision Friday afternoon that closed lanes of State Route 347 south of Interstate 10 and sent at least one woman to the hospital.

The accidents occurred around 2:43 p.m. in the southbound lanes when a Ford passenger vehicle “was traveling at a high rate of speed on the shoulder and then spun out striking several other vehicles,” said Bart Graves, Department of Public Safety Spokesman.

One vehicle reportedly rolled over. DPS said at least two people are injured.

A lane in each direction were open as of 3:35 p.m. Southbound lanes opened at 3:47 p.m.

Courtesy photo

Oral arguments in a lawsuit against the City of Maricopa are set to be heard by the Arizona Court of Appeals in July.

Bonita Burks sued the City in May 2017 after it granted a conditional-use permit to Apex Motor Club, owned by Private Motorsports Group, for development of land west of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course for a private track and clubhouse. Burks’ initial complaint was about the possibility of noise and traffic problems.

The Division 2 appeals court in Tucson will hear from both sides July 11 at 2 p.m. Burks’ attorney, Timothy La Sota, requested the oral arguments. La Sota said his client was fighting to make city officials follow the law.

The court is deciding whether Burks, whose Rancho El Dorado home was five miles from the proposed site, has standing to sue or whether the standing requirement should be waived so the courts can look at the validity of her case against the City.

Last September, Superior Court Judge Robert Carter Olson ruled Burks did not have standing. Attorney Michael Riikola appealed that decision, and La Sota took over Burks’ case five months after the Court of Appeals took it up. La Sota previously represented Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers, a political action committee that had tried to force the city to put the Apex permit on a ballot.

Apex has claimed collusion by the two parties, alleging the legal actions were part of a delaying tactic by owners of Attesa, a planned motorsports facility in Casa Grande. That suspicion led to Apex representatives filing a complaint against MCPT over its political financing.

In the case before the Court of Appeals, the city is represented by Denis Fitzgibbons. Private Motorsports Group is represented by the Coppersmith Brockelman firm and Rose Law Group.

Gary L. Vasquez is the presiding judge.

Wellington Pyne (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man is accused of aggravated assault and child abuse after allegedly hitting a child with a hanger.

Wellington Pyne, 38, was arrested Monday at home on Starlight Drive in Maricopa Meadows after Maricopa Police Department received a domestic-violence call around 1 p.m. A witness described as a stepchild accused Pyne of “always beating the children with broken hangers,” according to the police report.

In Monday’s incident, the reporting party claimed Pyne had beaten his biological child with a hanger for “peeing on the floor inside the house.” Though the witness did not see the interaction between Pyne and the child, the witness alleged to have heard about 10 strikes and the sound of crying.

An investigating officer reported seeing “multiple injuries” to the child’s bottom and back. The injuries were described as fresh and raised on the skin surface. “The injuries appeared consistent with the shape of the hanger that was found,” the report states.

A witness told police Pyne hit the child with a “pink stick” several times, a stick later identified as the hanger.

Pyne told police he was upset about the peeing incident and spanked the child on the bottom with an open hand two or three times while the child was wearing jean shorts. He denied ever using a hanger for discipline and said the child’s injuries came from rough-housing with the other children.

The hanger was photographed and taken as evidence. Pyne was taken into custody and booked at the Pinal County Jail in Florence.


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Blue skies reign over Harrah's Ak-Chin hotel, which opened its new lobby this week. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

A warm weekend with sturdy breezes is in store for Maricopa. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a pattern of sunny mornings and a few afternoon clouds.

Today, the high is expected to reach 109 degrees F, high enough for a continued heat warning. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 75 and breezes of 10-15 mph gusting to 20 mph.

Friday, the heat will ease to a high of 106 with continued breezes of 5-15 mph under sunny skies. Expect some evening clouds and a low around 73.

Saturday‘s forecast sees sunny skies during the day and a high near 105. The overnight low will be around 73 with just a few clouds.

Sunday is expected to be sunny with a high near 106 and a calm wind of just 5 mph. The night will be mostly clear with a low around 75 and winds increasing to 10 mph.

Next week will be back to hot temperatures with possible heat warnings, including a predicted high of 109 for Independence Day.

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Hidden Valley shows elevated levels

Pinal County Department of Air Quality issued an ozone high-pollution advisory for Pinal County on Wednesday.

Forecast weather conditions (sunny and 112 in Maricopa) combined with existing ozone levels are expected to result in ozone concentrations that pose a health risk.

Ozone is an air contaminant that can cause breathing difficulties for children and people with respiratory problems. A decrease in physical activity is recommended.

Particulate matter (PM10) in and around Hidden Valley was elevated again Tuesday morning, according to the air-quality department.

“While the Hidden Valley PM10 daily average isn’t expected to exceed the health standard today, these elevated early morning hours show that there still is the possibility on any given day, and it’s all dependent on local dust generating activities, local dust controls and Mother Nature,” forecaster Scott DiBiasi stated.

By Thursday, increased winds may bring in some clouds. At this point, however, no rain is in the weekend forecast.

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Clear skies over Cobblestone Farms. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

High temperatures this week will alternate between plain hot and excessively hot in Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service.

Today will be sunny with the high topping out around 107 degrees F. Skies will remain clear overnight as the low bottoms out around 73.

Tuesday, the forecast is sunny with heat entering the heat-warning zone with a high of 111. The nighttime low will be around 75.

Wednesday is expected to the hottest day of the week, despite increasing winds. The high may reach 112 during the day, while the overnight low is 75. Breezes from the west may grow to 15 mph.

Thursday, the heat will still be dangerous under sunny skies, but the high is expected to be only 109. Overnight, the low will be around 75 with winds gust up to 25 mph.

Friday, look for highs near 107 again with sunny skies and continued breezes. The night will be mostly clear with a low around 74 and gusting winds.

That leads to a weekend of normal hot temperatures and decreasing breezes.

Rosati's Pizza

Rosati’s Pizza will be opening a 1,050-square-foot pizza restaurant in Maricopa Station in the space formerly occupied by Zoyo Yogurt.

Maricopa Station is located just north of the CVS on the NEC of John Wayne Parkway and Smith-Enke Road. Rosati’s will be at 21423 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 102. It will be carry-out and delivery.

The first Rosati’s Pizza in the Chicago area opened in 1964, with the Rosati family picking up where their father Sam Rosati left off, with old-style Italian flavors.

Dena Zell of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord on the lease.

Nothing but blue skies and heat in store this weekend in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Thursday and into Friday morning. In parts of Pinal County, an air-quality alert is in place, as well.

Today will be sunny and hot, with a high near 110 degrees F. Skies will remain clear overnight as the low will be around 77.

Friday is expected to be more of the same, with a high temperature near 111. The nighttime low will be around 77.

Saturday will remain sunny but the high will drop to around 107. The overnight low will be about 73 degrees under clear skies.

Sunday‘s forecast includes sun and a high near 104. The overnight low will be around 72.

Temperatures are expected to climb back into the danger zone of 110 and higher at the start of next week.

During a heat warning, there is increased potential for heat-related illness. Those active outside during afternoon hours or those without access to air conditioning are most at risk.

Pinal County Department of Air Quality issued an ozone high-pollution advisory, indicating ozone levels can lead to respiratory problems.

Maryroefina Catha (PCSO photo)

Police say the manager of a local grocery chain was the victim of assault at the hands of an alleged shoplifter Friday.

Maryroefina Catha, 40, was arrested the morning of June 15 at the Bashas’ grocery store for allegedly attempting to steal a six-pack of beer, a box of wine and margarita mix.

Prior to her arrest, Catha attempted to exit the building with the stolen items. The store manager reportedly confronted her and attempted to “secure” the woman’s purse.

That’s when Catha “grabbed (the manager’s) neck and arms from behind” and claimed she had a gun in her purse, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

A responding officer noted abrasions on the manager’s shoulder and side. Catha denied stealing the alcohol and allegedly admitted to physically grabbing the store manager.

MPD forwarded charges of class 1 misdemeanor shoplifting and assault, also a class 1 misdemeanor.

Catha has one prior shoplifting charge out of Maricopa County in April.

Roary Howard Jr. (PCSO photo)

Conversations between family members prompted a disturbing call to police last week.

Officers with the Maricopa Police Department received reports June 14 that a Maricopa man living in Senita had sexually abused “several” minors.

Howard Roary Jr., 58, was arrested later that day on two counts of sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor and child molestation. The offenses allegedly occurred in his Maricopa home on Toya Street and in California.

Roary is not a registered sex offender. He’s had prior arrests in Maricopa County for disorderly conduct, fighting and threatening.

Before being transported to the Pinal County Jail, police reports state Roary denied sexually abusing and molesting children.

Roary will be in Pinal County Superior Court June 22 for a bail bond hearing. He’s in custody on a $50,000 secured bond.

Miguel Figueroa. PCSO photo

After pleading guilty to stabbing his wife to death, Miguel Figueroa, 47, of Maricopa was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of “earning” parole after 25 years.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White called Figueora’s actions in 2016 a “horrific offense” and said the harm done was “palpable in the courtroom.”

A family member of Olivia Figueroa made an emotional plea to the judge asking him to sentence her cousin’s killer to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“We all miss her. I’ll never ever forgive him. Nobody will,” she said.

Deputy County Attorney Kristen Sharifi said Olivia Figueroa suffered around 35 stab wounds, with the weapon penetrating her skull and her heart.

“There was massive destruction to this woman’s body,” Sharifi said.

Figueroa told White he was sorry for what he had done and was willing to pay the price. “Lord have mercy on my soul,” he said.

But Figueroa’s life sentence does not begin until after he has served time for attempted aggravated assault on his son and for a parole violation. White sentenced Figueroa to six years for the assault and 2.5 for the parole violation, to be served consecutively. He is credited with 554 days already served behind bars.

A mitigating factor for the judge was the fact that Figueroa pleaded guilty and took responsibility for the crime, sparing his children a trial.

Figueroa’s two adult children’s absence during sentencing Monday afternoon was much discussed by prosecution and the defense.

“At this point they don’t ever want to speak to him again,” Sharifi said.

The events leading up to the Dec. 10 murder of Olivia Figueroa in 2016 were detailed by defense attorney Mark Benson.

Olivia and her son were living separately from Miguel in a family member’s home.

After a family shopping trip concluded in Phoenix, Miguel allegedly became angry with Olivia when she reportedly refused to return with Miguel to his home.

The son, also a witness, allegedly told prosecution this “infuriated” his father, Sharifi said.

The Maricopa Police Department soon began receiving emergency calls from residents in a neighborhood hearing a woman being beaten in a truck.

Olivia was later found stabbed to death in a desert area of the Heritage District.

“This was a man who was married to this woman for over 20 years. He should’ve been her protector. He should’ve taken care of her. He had a chance while he was on probation to turn his life around to receive the help to better his life, to better Olivia’s life, but instead he let his anger overcome him and he took her out of this world,” Sharifi said.

Benson said had the case gone to trial, he would have likely used a “crime of passion” defense.

A report from a clinical psychologist in February of this year did not include reports of anger management issues. However, the report stated Figueroa said he’s suffered from depression all his life and has “always entertained thoughts of suicide” since a young age.

The report also stated Figueroa had a history of experiencing auditory hallucinations and narcotic drug use.

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With clouds moving in, high temperatures are expected to drop into the 90s this weekend. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The National Weather Service is still predicting a chance of showers as part of Maricopa’s weekend weather.

Today‘s weather continues an excessive heat warning as the high temperature is expected to be 108 with mostly sunny skies. The nighttime low will be around 82.

Friday, however, comes in with lots of clouds and a 20-percent chance of showers. The high will likely only be 95. During the night, the likelihood of rain jumps to 40 percent and low will be around 71.

Saturday, there is a 30-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 a.m. Afterward, the day will be mostly sunny with a high near 97. Breezes will increase to 10-15 mph with gusts of 20 mph. By nighttime, the chance for rain will decrease to 10 percent, and the low will be around 69.

Sunday is expected to be sunny with a high of 100. The overnight low will be around 67.

That leads to a week of steady triple digits and clear skies.