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Staff Reports

Staff Reports
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Photo courtesy of Maricopa Historical Society

Decades before Maricopa incorporated, the center point of the community was the school. Some of these fresh faces may still be familiar to long-time residents.

Front row: Frances Brown, Trini Sanchez, Linda Miller, Roberta Tow, Alice Fay Suiter, Edna Farrell, Rosemary Peters, Kathy Conner. Middle row: Goldie Mullins, Jean Thornhill, Norma Ruth Blackwood, Mollie Norris, Dean Green, Jimmy Matheny, Ray Hernandez, Vern Rhoton. Back row: Harry Goodman, Dorothy Reed, Gerlene Sadler, Carrol Hamon, Billy Tow, Marvin Enos, Craig Cooper, Henry Bandin, Johnny White.

Anyone working outside today should take precautions against extreme heat. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Temperatures will be sizzling to start the week, but wind and rain may return midweek, according to the National Weather Service.

Today, Maricopa is under an excessive heat warning from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The high temperature is expected to be 113 degrees F under sunny skies. An Excessive Heat Warning means that a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards, will occur. Actions should be taken to lessen the impact. See below for details. The evening will be mostly clear with a low around 86.

Tuesday, the forecast sees a mostly sunny day with a high near 111. Overnight, the low will be around 85 and a 10-percent chance of rain will develop.

Wednesday, expect the temperature to drop, with a possible high of only 105. There is a 10-percent chance of showers, and breezes will be up to 15 mph. There is a 30-percent chance of rain before 11 p.m., when the low will be around 81. Breezes of 5-15 mph will have gusts as high as 20 mph.

Thursday may be the coolest day of the week, with an expected high of 103 under partly sunny skies. Overnight, there may be a 20-percent chance of rain and a low around 80 with winds of 10-15 mph.

Friday comes with a 10 percent chance of rain after 11 a.m. that increases to 30 percent before 11 p.m. The high is expected to be near 104 while the wind gusts up to 20 mph. The nighttime low will be around 80 with continuing wind.

That leads to a weekend that, from this distance, looks to stay below 105 degrees and bring with it possibilities for rain.

Excessive Heat Warning Advice from NWS:

Stay indoors and seek air-conditioned buildings. Drink water, more 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 ore frequent breaks and avoid the hottest parts of the day. Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. Early signs include thirst and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion may include: cool, moist, pale skin; headache; dizziness; weakness or exhaustion; nausea. The most serious illness is heat stroke, which may include: vomiting; confusion; throbbing headache; decreased alertness or loss of consciousness; high body temperature (above 105 F); hot, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; seizures.

A home caught fire early Saturday morning in the Villages, but no injuries were reported.

Three adults and two children were at home in the 43600 block of West McClelland Court. according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. Maricopa Fire/Medical Department received the call at 3:26 a.m.

“The house was fully engulfed from the garage area,” Alvarado said. Six Maricopa engine companies responded along with units from Phoenix and Chandler.

The cause is under investigation.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Butterfield Parkway continued to show the impact of a broken water main. Thursday, the roadway was flooded north of Butterfield Elementary School and eventually had to be closed to traffic along with Duncan Drive.

Global Water customers briefly experienced brown water until crews reconfigured the supply flow. The reason for the breakage is still unknown.

“The water main cracked, but there was no obvious cause of the crack when we excavated down to the pipe,” Global Water General Manager Jon Corwin said.

The situation was exacerbated by a monsoon-type storm that dumped more water in the work area.

Work crews temporarily had the road reopen Friday, but closed Duncan again for continued street repair Saturday.

A monsoon-like storm hit the Maricopa area Thursday with blowing dust and more than an inch of rain, according to local Weather Underground locations.

The storm damaged and knocked over trees all over the community. Electrical power was knocked out in small pockets of Electrical District No. 3’s service area. Water also covered portions of several roadways.

The City of Maricopa announced the availability of a free 24-hour drop-off location for trees that were knocked down during the storm. Residents can haul their trees to 45145 W. Madison Ave., the former City Hall location  through Aug. 16. Call 520-316-6946 for more information.

 

 

Sunny and hot is the forecast for Maricopa's weekend, with some air pollution expected Friday. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

An air pollution warning is part of a hot and dry weekend forecast for Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service. A 40-percent chance of rain tonight with patchy blowing dust will settle into mostly sunny days.

Tonight, expect showers before midnight and strong breezes gusting up to 25 mph. The low will be around 85 degrees F.

Friday, there will be a 10-percent chance of showers before noon while a high pollution advisory is in place. Pinal County Department of Air Quality is expecting conditions to cause unhealthy ozone concentrations. The day is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 107. The overnight low will be around 83.

Saturday, the temperature may climb back to 110 for a sunny and hot day. The night will be mostly clearn with a low around 84.

Sunday looks to be sunny with a high near 109 and a nighttime low around 83.

That leads into a familiar week of triple-digit daytime temperatures and only slight possibilities for rain.

A Maricopa firefighter works a hydrant, though water was not necessary to shut down the situation. Photo by Michelle Chance

An estimated 1,000 Maricopa High School students were evacuated from the two-story 100 building Thursday morning after a report of smoke.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department officials said a power surge caused light valances on the top floor to burn. MFMD had six vehicles on location.

Students were initially taken to the football field, but school officials soon began the process of moving them to a cooler location. Maricopa Unified School District spokesman Tom Beckett said the students would be taken to the gymnasium before first lunch.

No injuries were reported, according to MFMD Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez. The school sent out messages to parents indicating there was no need to pick up their children and the building was expected to be inhabitable as soon as it is cleared by Electrical District No. 3.

Firefighters shut down electrical power and checked for hot spots. The smoke was first reported by students.

Leslee Martin (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa woman is accused of stabbing her husband with a kitchen knife in front of their two children in the Meadows last weekend.

The Maricopa Police Department arrested Leslee Martin, 40, at a residence on Belle Avenue July 28. She faces charges of aggravated assault, two counts of endangerment and two counts of disorderly conduct.

The incident reportedly began as a verbal argument between Martin and her husband at approximately 8:26 p.m.

“(The husband) was talking to a subject through text messages who his wife was planning on moving in with,” an MPD report alleged.

The subject later blocked Martin’s cell phone contact. The report alleges Martin became angry and began yelling at her husband. Martin’s husband then attempted to leave the home with the children.

As he exited the front door, the report states Martin’s husband set the children down next to him.

“(Martin) came running at (the victim) with a kitchen knife in her right hand and stabbed (the victim) in the left shoulder while slamming the door shut,” according to the report.

Martin’s husband was left with a three-quarters of an inch-wide stab wound to his shoulder. The report states he and the children then ran across the street.

Martin was arrested and transported to the Pinal County Jail, where she remains on a $10,000 secured bond. She’ll be in court Aug. 7 for a bond hearing.

In 2011, Martin pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

ADOT

Drivers on John Wayne Parkway should allow extra travel time this weekend while pavement repairs are made. Arizona Department of Transportation will be making repairs that require narrowing the roadway to one lane in each direction.

The following restrictions are in place between Edison and Smith-Enke roads this weekend:

  • SR 347 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction from at 9 p.m. Aug. 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5.
  • Work will occur in the right lane from 9 p.m. Aug. 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 4.
  • Work will occur in the left lane from 7 p.m. Aug. 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5.

Crews are scheduled to mill out and replace the pavement in the 2-mile work zone. Schedules are subject to change based on weather and unforeseen factors. ADOT will maintain access to businesses while work is underway.

Aaron Vasquez (MCSO photo 2014)

 

Residents left their Homestead neighborhood early Friday morning to discover numerous agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation swarming a nearby home.

The investigation at a residence on Mac Neil Street July 27 was linked to the arrest of an armed robbery suspect the same day, the FBI confirmed Tuesday.

Aaron Vasquez, 23, was arrested in connection with an armed robbery of a fast food restaurant on Alma School Road in Chandler on May 28.

A series of ongoing armed robberies in May across the valley caught the FBI’s attention and led the agency to believe Vasquez was engaged in “at least 15 armed robberies of various fast food restaurants between September 13, 2017 and July 19, 2018,” according to an FBI press release published Tuesday.

The alleged robberies took place in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe.

Details in the press release allege search warrants executed by the FBI and partner law enforcement agencies last Friday recovered items and clothing similar to items used in various robberies.

“In each robbery, the individual utilized a similar handgun and was described with similar physical characteristics,” the release stated.

The FBI charged Vasquez in a complaint filed in federal court that formally accuses him of the Chandler armed robbery in May but reported possible additional charges may follow in connection to the others.

The Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe police departments contributed resources to the investigation, according to the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.

“This is another example of Arizona law enforcement agencies working together to protect our communities from violent crime,” said Michael DeLeon, special agent in charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office.

The Maricopa Police Department said Friday the FBI notified the department of their presence at the address in Homestead. MPD was not on scene July 27, according to MPD Sgt. Hal Koozer.

Vasquez has a previous weapons misconduct conviction out of Maricopa County Superior Court in 2014.

Mostly sunny skies linger over columns for a coming overpass. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

There is a slight chance of showers all week for Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service, but also an air-quality alert in place Tuesday.

Today, a mostly sunny day is in place with a 10-percent chance of rain this afternoon and evening. The high is expected to hit 108 with a heat index as high as 111. Breezes may gust up to 20 mph. The overnight low will be around 84.

Tuesday will be much the same but with calmer winds. The day is forecast to be sunny with a high of 108 and a 10-percent chance of precipitation. The forecast weather conditions combined with existing ozone levels are expected to result in maximum eight-hour ozone concentrations that pose a health risk, according to the Pinal County Department of Air Quality. Adverse health effects increase as air quality deteriorates. The nighttime low will be around 83.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny and hot, the hottest day of the week with a predicted high of 110. During the evening, however, there is a 20-percent chance of rain and a low of 84.

Thursday‘s forecast sees mostly sunny skies, mostly sunny skies, a 10-percent chance of rain and a high near 109. Overnight the chance of rain increases to 20 percent and the low will be around 83.

Friday will likely be mostly sunny with a high near 108. There is a 10-percent chance of rain in the afternoon and a predicted overnight low of 82.

That leads to a mostly sunny weekend with lingering chances of thunderstorms.

The weekend forecast carries daily chances of rain. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

There is a chance for showers this weekend and a slight alleviation of the week’s scorching temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

After Wednesday’s record-matching 113 degrees F, today will be mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 110 and breezes gusting up to 20 mph. Tonight, there is a 10-percent chance of rain after 11 p.m. and a low around 84.

Friday, the forecast again sees mostly sunny and hot contiditions, with a high of 111. The overnight low will likely be around 84 with a 10-percent chance of showers.

Saturday, the high is expected to be near 107, with a 10-percent chance of rain increasing to 30 percent before 11 p.m. The nighttime low will be around 82.

Sunday, the possibility of rain continues and 10 percent during the day while the high reaches about 105. Overnight a 20-percent chance of rain is forecast with a low around 83.

The slight prediction of rain continues into next week for a warm and humid forecast.

Sidney J. Cowger (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man has been accused of sexually abusing a young child for three years.

Sidney J. Cowger, 36, was arrested July 16 after the 10-year-old child described details of interactions. The child’s mother had contacted police July 15 with information she had learned from the child.

The child was taken to ChildHelp in Phoenix for a forensic interview and examination. A Maricopa Police detective attended the interview.

The child identified several places in Pinal County where sexual abuse allegedly occurred.

……………

Cowger was arrested July 16 at his place of work in Stanfield. He is held on $100,000 bond at Pinal County Jail and has an arraignment scheduled today in Superior Court.

MPD is suggesting charges of sexual abuse (a class 3 felony), sexual assault (class 2 felony), sexual conduct with a minor (class 2 felony), molestation of a child (class 2 felony) and continuous sex abuse of a child (class 2 felony).

Guillerma Perez (PCSO photo)

Meth and marijuana were reportedly seized from a woman’s vehicle last week after the Maricopa Police Department pulled her over for cancelled insurance.

Guillerma Perez, 40, was arrested July 18 around 2:15 p.m. near Roosevelt Avenue and Jackrabbit Trail in Alterra after an officer smelled marijuana and performed a search, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

Perez allegedly admitted to having three bags of cocaine, which later tested positive for 13 grams of methamphetamines, in her vehicle. A pipe and a scale were also reportedly discovered.

The officer later located 14.5 grams of marijuana hidden behind a plastic panel of the car’s center console near the floor board, according to the report.

“(Perez) stated the methamphetamines belonged to someone else and (she) was on her way to drop off (sic.) the methamphetamines and scale to an unknown person residing near Maricopa High School,” the report states.

The marijuana belonged to Perez’s neighbor who had been recently borrowed her car, she allegedly told police. Perez denied knowing the marijuana was in her vehicle nor where it was located.

Police booked Perez into Pinal County Jail on suggested charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony; possession of marijuana for sale, a class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Progress is being made toward the completion of a new oil-change business. HRW Builders of Scottsdale is building a four-bay Jiffy Lube near the corner of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Stonegate Road.

The property, addressed as 42100 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy., is in the Maricopa Power Center development known as The Wells. It will employee eight people, according to a Jiffy Lube representative.

The building is 2,612 square feet and valued at $182,000. The lot is about 3,200 square feet.

HRW builds an array of commercial buildings across Arizona. The project received its building permit in November.

The opening date has been set for Sept. 1.

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
Denny’s
Dollar Tree
Gyro Grill
Helen’s at Copper Sky
Helen’s at Pacana Park
McDonalds at 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
QuikTrip
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.