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Rich and Cyndee Kane of Province say a long-lasting relationship requires friendship and work. Photo by Jim Headley

“If you can be with somebody in a motorhome for three or four months and not kill each other, there has to be love there somehow.” – Rich Kane

Love means different things to different people.

The root of the word “love” as a noun is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection” or “a great interest and pleasure in something.”

Synonyms include deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment, liking, weakness, partiality, bent, leaning, proclivity, inclination and disposition. If used as a verb its definition becomes “feeling a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone or something.”

Some people really know how to make love work.

Cyndee and Rich Kane of Province celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary July 6.

“We met in high school in 1966,” Cyndee said. “We were in high school four years, and I don’t know why it took us until our senior year to connect, but we did, in geography. We have been high school sweethearts and just kept it going. We ended up getting married.”

They admit the strength of their relationship is being best friends.

“He’s the gears of the clock, and I’m the hands,” she said. “We are kind of inseparable. If he’s doing some work, he will call me to help him out, even if it is in the garage.”

Cyndee said she is an artsy person while Rich is mechanical.

“We work well together,” Rich said. “She thinks of it and I get the project of … cutting it, building it and putting her ideas together.”

When asked what love is, Cyndee replied, “friendship and working well together.” She said as a couple, they are always looking out for each other in sickness and in health.

“We can trust each other,” Rich said while Cyndee Kane responded, “Yeah, but I won’t say that we don’t have little tiffs once in a while.”

As a couple, they take long trips together in their motorhome, often for months at a time. They have traveled all 50 states and taken 34 cruises together.

“If you can be with somebody in a motorhome for three or four months and not kill each other, there has to be love there somehow,” Rich said. Cyndee replies, “Yeah, that has to be love in a 38-foot motorhome.”

Rich said young couples who are falling in love “need to make sure before they get married that’s the person they really want to spend the rest of their life with. You have to realize that you’re making a commitment to that person to be with that person. It is fine to have friends but there is one person that your life is committed to and that is the person you want to marry. If you’re more interested in being out every Friday night with the guys while your wife and children are sitting home, it isn’t going to work.”

Counselors Julie and Rick Westby have been married 14 years and are also best friends. Photo by Jim Headley

Rick and Julie Westby are counselors at Maricopa Behavioral Health Services in Maricopa. They’ve been married 14 years and offer a more scientific look at love.

Julie Westby said as counselors they like to say humans are “just love in molecules. We are molecules that are hovering, and the glue that holds us together is love.”

She said love works for some people and not for others “because they just choose not to” make it work.

“When people choose not to love, usually it is wrapped up in something in their psyche that is saying that they are not lovable, or they have been brought up in a belief system that says other people aren’t lovable,” Julie said.

Being best friends is also a key component to the Westbys’ relationship.

“A long time ago, I had a pastor say that love should be spelled T-I-M-E,” Rick Westby said. “I like to think of it as unconditional, positive regard. The ability to look past small stuff and to engage regardless.”

Julie added she is very likeminded with her husband. She warns not to rush a moment when you are “resonating” with another person.

Julie Westby said sometimes Internet dating can lay the groundwork for a relationship, and a couple can often know each other well before meeting in person.

Rick Westby said if people try online dating sites, they should be honest about what they like and don’t like to do.

“If you go on one of those websites right now there are probably 3,000 available people within 50 miles. It’s almost choice overload,” he said. “If there is one thing that seems off, next, next, next. That can really be a beautiful thing because after the romance, how are we friends? What do we have in common and what do we want to do?”

This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Pierre Deck had some frights as a child in Mobile. Photo by Michelle Chance

By Michelle Chance

Have you experienced paranormal activity in Maricopa? Tell us about it at Facebook.com/InMaricopa.

Maricopa’s history is chronicled well into the mid-19th century, when much of the American Southwest was still frontier land.

Most structures and relics from that period have been lost – whether from disaster, vandalism or purposeful destruction in the name of progress with new construction. The romanticized wild west, and the ghost stories that accompany it, however, live on.

Woman in white mourns in the wash

A summer storm lingered above Maricopa as a group of teenagers returned from church camp one evening in 1974.

Brent Murphree, who would later grow up to become vice mayor, was 14 at the time when his mother stopped at Headquarters Café to drop off campers. Inside, Murphree reunited with two friends from school. He waved his mother on for a chance to hang out with buddies.

After dinner, a slow drizzle met the teenagers outside; low-hanging clouds kept the air damp and the August evening cool.

“It’s a perfect setup for a scary story,” Murphree recalled. “It was a dark and stormy night.”

The friends piled in a vehicle and headed east on Honeycutt Road. The unpaved path, illuminated only by headlight beams, was crowded with outstretched branches belonging to pecan groves lining each side.

There was no bridge back then preventing Santa Rosa Wash from carving into the rural road. To continue to the other side, the geography forced motorists down a narrow, steep dip through the wash.

This monsoon, different from the usual, quick-moving, violent storms of its kind, produced a steady stream of runoff water that night.

“The wash was running so we took it really slow and as we got closer to the top, there was a lady standing there and she was all in white,” Murphree said.

An unfamiliar face tends to stick out in rural towns. This fair-haired stranger shook the psyches of the passengers who discovered her standing near the bank, drenched in water from her feet to her thighs.

Murphree thought she must be stranded, lost or even hurt. His attempt to open the door to assist her was met with immediate resistance from the driver, his friend, whose instinct was to place foot to accelerator at the ghostly sight.

“Her face was blank. She didn’t wave. There was no reaction whatsoever,” Murphree said.

The teens had heard the legend of La Llorona before, a woman in white who haunts the river where she killed her children and then herself. But the Mexican folktale and others like it never phased a skeptic like Murphree – until that night.

“That’s how I got really interested in the legend and doing a little bit of research on La Llorona and the white lady,” Murphree said.

The mystery of the woman in white hasn’t been solved, but Murphree said classmates claimed witness to other sightings of La Llorona in other areas where washes run.


Mobile’s ‘Ghost House’ spooks neighbors

Spirits reportedly haunt many parts of the Maricopa area beyond the banks of its running waters.

Longtime Maricopa resident Pierre Deck spent most of his childhood living in Mobile, a neighboring community 14 miles west of Maricopa. In the early 1960s, he and his brother entertained themselves by hunting rabbits and exploring the desert.

One day, the teenaged siblings took on a new expedition, one that took them into the bowels of a grand, abandoned house made of wood in their neighborhood. Inside, a grand staircase arched upward to a second story, the ceiling polished with a dusty but still-glistening chandelier.

“We went upstairs and all of a sudden that door shut, and the chandelier started going around,” Deck said.

The boys quickly left the home on their bicycles and later told the experience to a friend down the street. Come sundown, it was time for the Deck brothers to return home.

“We started riding, and all of a sudden the lights come on in the house,” Deck said, adding there was no electric service running to the estate. “Boy, you should have seen us tear them bikes up; we burned rubber.”

The ‘ghost house,’ as residents called it, was later demolished.

The late Suzie Smith at her home, which was south of the railroad tracks. (Maricopa Historical Society)

Haunted homestead south of the tracks

The 1950s in Maricopa were a simpler time, according to Maricopa historian Patricia Brock in her book “Reflections of a Desert Town.” However, it wasn’t without some aspect of paranormal terror.

Many of Brock’s notes are archived by the Maricopa Historical Society. One describes an old adobe home that provided a thrill for many school children.

The “Old Perry Williams and Dallas Smith House,” built in 1884, was a large, 10-room home that once stood south of where the business barn is today. Cactuses, shrubs and trees protected otherwise unobstructed views of the homestead. However, curious kids did get a glimpse from time to time.

“As we approached the house, we would gradually ease out toward the road so we did not disturb anyone or anything that might be beyond the sentinels. We knew it would be death before dawn if we did. One dare devil could not leave well enough alone and just had to push the button. He took a quick peek through the bushes, jumped back and screamed all the way to school. We never did find out what he saw,” Brock’s note alleged.

The home was occupied by Maricopa pioneer Susie Smith until the mid-1950s.

Brock’s book said Maricopa lost its ‘haunted house’ in 1960 when two boys playing with matches near the property accidentally set a blaze that brought the home down.

This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

Financial Secretary Cindee Ross-Beecroft and President Vero Sanchez lead a meeting of the Blue Star Mothers. Photo by Mason Callejas


Looking for something meaningful to do this summer?

Maricopans are often accused of good-deed-doing, so it probably comes as no surprise that nearly 100 nonprofit organizations call the small town home. And that doesn’t even count the churches and parent-teacher organizations that also qualify as tax exempt.

Some nonprofits are focused on community service while others are focused on specific events. Some raise money for a charitable cause; others raise money for kids’ sports programs.

Blue Star Mothers provide military support from home front

Currently in good standing in the Internal Revenue Service Files are these organizations, minus churches and PTOs. (Note: Some organizations are inactive but maintain their nonprofit status. This list is not intended as an endorsement.)

Aid 4 Greys
EIN: 20-2574239     Web: Aid4Grays.com
Raises funds for greyhound rescue groups.

American Legion
EIN: 27-2110284     Web: ALPost133Az.org
Creates programs for military veterans.

American Legion Auxiliary
EIN: 27-3655841     Web: ALPost133Az.org
Creates programs for spouses of military veterans.

Arizona Foundation for Social Justice Children and Youth Service
EIN: 80-0491866     Web: AFSJ-CYS.org
Provides family services.

Arizona Greyhound Association Inc.
EIN: 86-6053033     Web: none
Raises awareness of greyhounds and greyhound rescues.

Arizona National Guard Historical Society
EIN: 71-2468937     Web: bit.ly/AzMilMuseum
Operates Arizona Military Museum.

Arizona Poodle Rescue
EIN: 87-0799983     Web: ArizonaPoodleRescue.org
Rescues and re-homes standard poodles.

Assist You With Inc.
EIN: 27-2704971     Web: Facebook.com/AssistYouWith
Provides property and personal information protection.

Association of Rehabilitation Programs in Computer Technology
EIN: 75-3003211     Web: ARPCT.org
Provides professional development for support of people with disabilities.

Atlas Pet Rescue
EIN: 81-5281750     Web: AtlasAnimalRescue.org
Provides rescue and adoptions of all breeds.

Az Knights Inc.
EIN: 39-1722440     Web: ArizonaKnights.com
Provides fundamentals in youth sports.

Baby Fox Foundation
EIN: 82-2796191     Web: BabyFoxAcademy.com
Provides in-home preschool daycare.

Be Empowered to Be Inc.
EIN: 36-4699294     Web: BeMPoweredInc.com
Provides educational services to women and girls 12 and older.

Blue Star Mothers of America Inc.
EIN: 36-4774227     Web: BlueStarMothersofMaricopa.org
Provides auxiliary support of military personnel.

Boy Scout Troop 993
EIN: 20-8803738     Web: Troop993.net
Creates achievement environment for Scouts 11-18.

Chains of Brotherhood S.C.
EIN: 81-4194470     Web: Coboaz.com
Raises awareness of charitable events.

Copa Grande Rattlers Soccer Club
EIN: 46-4602217     Web: Facebook.com/CGRSC
Teaches soccer skills to youth players.

Copa Shorts Film Fest Inc.
EIN: 81-0902509     Web: CopaShortsFilmFest.org
Presents short films and educational programs.

Desert Dogz Safe Haven
EIN: 47-3596008     Web: none
Provides animal rescue.

Dream Catchers Youth Academy
EIN: 81-3976638     Web: DreamCathcersYouthAcademy.com
Develops youth character through sports.

EIN: 80-0469117     Web: Facebook.com/DSPAGems
Creates events and provides training in performing arts.

Dwarf Car Museum Inc.
EIN: 45-3761173     Web: DwarfCarMuseum.com
Provides funding for ongoing museum display.

E5 Life Strategies
EIN: 82-2933527     Web: E5LifeStrategies.com
Engages in spiritual, supernatural empowerment.

F.O.R. Maricopa Inc.
EIN: 26-0527262     Web: ForMaricopa.org
Provides food and essentials to families in need.

Families United Inc.
EIN: 51-0578429     Web: Care.com/b/l/Families-United-Inc/Maricopa-AZ
Provides assisted living options.

For the Love of Pete
EIN: 45-1610424     Web: none
Provides animal-rescue opportunities.

Fraternal Order of Police (Lodge 78)
EIN: 27-1685692     Web: AZFOP.com
Provides resources and legal access for law enforcement officers.

Goodwill Offering Inc.
EIN: 51-0552645     Web: none
Undefined cause.

Graysmark Schools Corporation
EIN: 27-0575484     Web: GraysmarkAcademy.com
Provides private education for preschool-kindergarten.

Helping Orphaned Hounds Rescue
EIN: 27-1868373     Web: HelpingOrphanedHounds.org
Finds homes for dogs and promotes spaying/neutering.

International Association of Railway Operating Officers
EIN: 06-1034133     Web: IAROO.org
Provides operating/technical information for railroad management.

International Association of Safety Environmental Professionals
EIN: 47-1938317     Web: IASHEP.org
Helps businesses create safe workplaces.

Keep the Beat Inc.
EIN: 81-3575032     Web: KeepTheBeatDJs.com
Offers music training and community service opportunities.

Knights of Columbus
EIN: 45-5089097     Web: KofcKnights.org/CouncilSite/index.asp?CNO=13895
Performs volunteer service in parish and community.

Little League Baseball Inc.
EIN: 20-0616188     Web: MaricopaLittleLeague.com
Provides youth sports opportunities.

Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Inc.
EIN: 45-5489047     Web: none
Cultivates a love of learning science and math. 

Maricopa Amateur Radio Association
EIN: 46-2297818     Web: CopaHams.org
Presents activities and testing in amateur radio operations.

Maricopa Arts Council
EIN: 46-3796208     Web: Facebook.com/Maricopa-Arts-Council-607730355925627
Creates opportunities to showcase community arts and entertainment.

Maricopa Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse
EIN: 86-0731529     Web: MCAASA.org
Creates positive, empowering activities and learning experiences for youth.

Maricopa Community Theatre
EIN: 27-3193374     Web: MaricopaCommunityTheatre.com
Presents live theater productions and youth performances.

Maricopa Cultural Activity Center Inc. (Friends of the Maricopa Public Library)
EIN: 94-2933340     Web: Maricopafriends.yolasite.com
Supports and enhances the public library.

Maricopa Dukes
EIN: 47-1468853     Web: LeagueLineup.com/welcome.asp?url=MaricopaDukes
Provides training and games for youth baseball.

Maricopa Economic Development Alliance
EIN: 27-0924554     Web: MaricopaEDA.com
Seeks strategies and solutions for economic growth.

Maricopa Education Foundation Inc.
EIN: 260273602      Web: MaricopaEducationFoundation.org
Provides academic and cultural enrichment for students.

Maricopa Football Boosters
EIN: 81-4514608     Web: MaricopaRamsFootball.com
Provides opportunities and resources for Maricopa High School football.

Maricopa Golf Classic Incorporated
EIN: 47-5276824     Web: Holes4HeroesAZ.com
Raises money for American Service Animal Society and 100 Club of Arizona.

Maricopa Historical Society
EIN: 27-3047891     Web: MHS50.com
Preserves historical materials and educates through special programs.

Maricopa Lions Club
EIN: 47-3132480     Web: E-Clubhouse.org/sites/Maricopa
Provides community service and fundraising.

Maricopa Multi Cultural Consortium
EIN: 81-2253575     Web: Facebook.com/MMCCvenue
Seeks resources for construction of senior/community center.

Maricopa Pantry
EIN: 81-3081927     Web: Facebook.com/MaricopaPantry
Provides food bank services.

Maricopa Police Foundation Inc.
EIN: 80-0540115     Web: MPFinc.org
Provides support and resources for Maricopa Police Department.

4-H Clubs & Affiliated 4-H Organizations
EIN: 20-8837543     Web: none
Advances youth development.

Maricopa Sandlot
EIN: 82-1774844     Web: MaricopaSandlot.com
Provides competition opportunities for girls fastpitch softball.

Maricopa Seniors Inc.
EIN: 90-0502807     Web: MaricopaSeniors.org
Provides resources for senior safety.

Maricopa United Soccer Club
EIN: 81-3559665     Web: MaricopaUnitedsc.com
Provides competition for year-round soccer.

Maricopa Youth Football
EIN: 01-0832741     Web: Facebook.com/MaricopaYouthFootball
Provides recreation and instruction for youth.

Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA
EIN: 32-0316136     Web: mophaz.org
Provides resources to combat-wounded veterans.

Moms Club
EIN: 55-0889732     Web: Facebook.com/MOMSClubofMaricopa
Provides mutual support for mothers.

Nelson C. Lathan Counseling Center
EIN: 46-1079110     Web: NelsonCLathanCounseling.com
Provides youth programs for emotional health and education.

North Hidden Valley Fire Department
EIN: 45-2628478     Web: none
Provides fire protection in unincorporated area.

Parent Information Distribution Center Inc.
EIN: 35-2019678     Web: none
Improves lives of children by assisting families.

Pet Social Worker Tails of Hope
EIN: 26-1974172     Web: PetSocialWorker.org
Offers information on lost/found and adoptable pets.

Powerpack Copa Inc.
EIN: 47-5488722     Web: PowerPackCopa.org
Provides weekend meals for school children.

Pride & Joy Learning & Development Center Inc.
EIN: 41-2205048     Web: none
Provides reduced-rate daycare services for qualifying families.

Rocking 4dFoundation Inc.
EIN: 81-0864768     Web: Rocking4dFoundation.org
Provides community service.

Rotary International
EIN: 86-6038197     Web: Portal.ClubRunner.ca/2896
Provides community service.

Sassy S Sisters Happy Haven Animal Sanctuary
EIN: 891-4382642   Web: none
Provides animal rescue.

Silent Heroes
EIN: 81-4088924     Web: none
Hosts golf tournament to benefit first responders.

The Streets Don’t Love You Back
EIN: 47-3208272     Web: TheStreetsDontLoveYouBack.com
Provides education and resources to prevent youth crime and recidivism.

Support Team for Education and Learning Associations Inc.
EIN: 26-2352793     Web: STELASonline.org
Supports higher learning for children in developing countries.

Toastmasters International (Club 00003256)
EIN: 86-0988503     Web: Toastmasters.org
Develops communication and leadership skills.

Vetit Inc.
EIN: 47-3420223     Web: Facebook.com/VetitUSA
Helps veterans transition to civilian life.

Vietnam Aviation Veterans of Arizona
EIN: 86-1003308     Web: none
Hosts a museum of military aviation history.

Viper Club of America – Arizona Region Inc.
EIN: 80-0010718     Web: AZVipersClub.com
Offers automotive activities for Viper owners.

Blue Star Mothers of Maricopa will turn 5 years old Aug. 5, five years of looking out for military servicemembers whose mothers call Maricopa home.

A private nonprofit, it was designated Chapter AZ7 by the national organization, which was created during World War II. Started locally by Tracy Davis and Lisa Durst and now led by Air Force mom Vero Sanchez, Blue Star Mothers offers support for moms who have children on active duty in the armed forces or are veterans. They send “Packages from Home” to those serving, celebrate homecomings and find resources for troops and their families.

Navy mom and club Treasurer Gail DeLair said Blue Star Mothers made her feel at home quickly. “I had someone I could talk to instantly.”

The group includes mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians. They want to reach out not only to those whose children are deployed but also those whose kids are entering basic training. Mothers of servicemembers who have already been discharged have remained members of Blue Star Mothers to offer support to moms still working through the process of having a child in harm’s way.

A highly patriotic club, Blue Star Mothers is a visible presence at many community events, such as the Great American 4th and the Veterans Day Parade. They meet the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.  at Maricopa Veterans Center, 44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.

Blue Star Mothers plans a fund-raiser at Freddy’s, 21467 N. John Wayne Parkway, on July 12, 5-9 p.m.

BlueStarMothersOfMaricopa.org, MaricopaAz7@gmail.com

Boy Scout Troop 993 creates adventures

In 2007, Boy Scout Troop 993 started with five boys. Today, there are more than 40 enrolled with a solid 22-25 active any given week.

Gerry Hahn started the troop after discovering Maricopa had no community troop of Boy Scouts of American, only those associated with churches. He said he wanted to give boys unaffiliated with other organizations a chance to learn new skills and be part of something.

“We go camping about 10 times a year, a weekend almost every month,” Hahn said. “We have competitions within the county. We plan six months ahead of time.”

Whether its tug-o-war or cooking competitions, the Scouts have an opportunity to show their stuff in a wide range of activities at camporees. Scouts range in age from 11 to 18. The troop’s success relies on consistent leadership and fundraising.

As a tax-exempt organization, how does Boy Scout Troop 993 spend money it raises with popcorn sales, face-painting booths at city events and other efforts?

Along with campouts and miscellaneous adventures, the troop uses donations for supplies and program expenses.

“We went to the Bahamas, and the next year we went whitewater rafting,” said Mark Yonts, advisor for Venture Crew 2993, a coed program within Scouting that existed before the national organization announced it would admit girls and change its name to BSA. They are in their fifth summer as part of Troop 993.

“Last year we went kayaking in Canada,” Yonts said.

Troop 993 Scout Master Sean Handwerk said he’s enjoyed watching his son grow from a Tiger Scout to an Eagle candidate. His son Michael, a former troop member, joined the U.S. Army while his younger son Cody has risen to leadership position in the troop. Gerry Hahn’s brother Damon Hahn is also a leader.

Cody Handwerk, a senior patrol leader, said he was “forced” to join Boy Scouts four years ago, but set his sights on being the troop’s youngest Eagle Scout at 14.

“It really helps in your future career options, and in job interviews it boosts your resume,” Cody said.

His Eagle project was creating an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walkway to the ramada at Maricopa Veterans Center. He said scouting has helped him hone is leadership skills.

“It got me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I never used my voice that loud before.”

Raul Rivera, 17, joined Troop 993 because of the lure of adventure. He has stuck like glue. Even though he and his family moved away three years ago, he continues to travel to Maricopa to be with 993.

“It looked like a lot of fun, with campouts, and I’ve always been a big outdoors guy,” Rivera said. “That really appealed to me.”

This year, his Eagle Scout project was reflooring part of his church, Foothills Baptist in Ahwatukee. Eagle candidates are required not just to work but also to organize several volunteers and raise funds and resources.

Scouts can be members of Troop 993 and Crew 2993 simultaneously. Both emphasize empowering kids to take responsibility.

“We usually have a big summer adventure, and then we have our regular meetings throughout the year, learning skills to whatever the kids decide to do,” Yonts said. “They come with all their ideas, they discuss them, they plan the calendar out and decide what they want to do.

“We have five active troop members right now. We had more, but one left to go to the Coast Guard, one left to go to the Army, and two went to college.”



Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation cool with science

Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Inc. was founded in 2012 to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in school-age children.

From rockets and robots to LEGOs and microscopes, the nonprofit engages programs and students in learning activities. Executive Director Dan Miller is planning a big STEAM event Nov. 5-9 during National STEAM Week, including hands-on demonstrations.

The foundation is organizing companies, government entities and industry specialists for presentations that enhance ongoing STEAM-themed programs at local schools.



Lions Club has clear vision of community service

Maricopa Lions Club is a fairly new chapter but has been very busy since its inception. The Lions have adopted a highway and picked up trash. They have contributed resources and labor for the local Against Abuse shelter. They have helped at F.O.R. Maricopa food bank and at Relay for Life. They have chipped in at the Maricopa Police Foundation’s Shop with a Cop holiday program.

Lions International was founded in 1917. Its Lions Eye programs gained renown for the organization by organizing vision screenings, raising awareness of eye diseases and collecting used eyeglasses. The Maricopa Lions, founded in 2015 by Dave and Berta Bock, continue that mission while engaging in other ways to help the community.

Fundraisers have included an annual golf scramble and golf ball drop raffle. Club president is Marc Tremblay, who can be reached at 520-350-2908.


PowerPack Copa feeds kids for the weekend

PowerPack Copa was formed out of noticing a need in Maricopa. While children participating in the free/reduced lunch programs at their school could eat breakfast and lunch, there was a gap for the weekend.

Launched by Church of Celebration in 2013, the nonprofit collects food items, packs them into food bags and takes the packs to eight Maricopa schools for distribution to the children who need them. With the early start to the school year for most Maricopa children (July 23), PowerPack Copa is also getting started early.

The next PowerPack Copa Packing Party is July 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Villages clubhouse. The packs will then be taken to the schools on Friday, July 27, in time to be distributed for the weekend.


This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.


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We stopped Maricopans to ask them their thoughts on how outdoor recreation might be improved. Here’s what they said:

Gordon Nanton
“I’d like more tennis tournaments and things. And around the [outdoor] track if they could get those pull-up bars so when you’re running you can stop and do pull-ups, that would be great. Because when I run I have to come inside just to do pull-ups.”

 Dan Thomas
“A permanent outdoor pickleball court… that [tennis] net you can’t lower it to 34 inches, you can’t make it a real pickleball court. But [otherwise], the skate park is good, and the dog parks are amazing, so.”

Kevin Behnke
“I’d like to see more parent involvement, with regards to sports, and not so many unsupervised kids. You don’t see any parents here [at Copper Sky], so I’d like to see something that keeps both the kids and the parents together and accountable.”

C.J. Rufo
“Outdoor basketball. I know they have one here, but something a little more cost-efficient and outdoors. I [also] have kids, and I know they have something [the M.O.R.E.E. program], but something here and cheaper, instead of costing $100-plus to go to Red Rock or something like that.”

Sara Allison
“It’s all pretty nice. There is a ton of stuff to do every weekend like the farmer’s market, all the special walks, the dog park, so yeah I like it.”

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Photo credits: 1 Raquel Hendrickson; 2 submitted; 3 submitted; 4 file; 5 file; 6 Joycelyn Cabrera; 7 Dean Crandall; 8 Michelle Chance; 9 Michelle Chance; 10 Mason Callejas

InMaricopa’s most-read stories related to community issues:


  1. ‘Blighted’ properties cleared from Heritage District

City Council approved the demolition of three Heritage District properties in July considered to be in “blighted condition.” Demolition began in August and was paid for by a Community Development Block Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


  1. Maricopan drops 110 pounds in 5 months

With exercise, a nutrition plan and encouragement from his wife Stephanie, Kelly Antone lost 110 pounds in five months last year. Antone has lost an additional 64 pounds since June, inching him closer to his 200-pound weight loss goal.


  1. Stage Coach Days Carnival pops up at Copper Sky

A surprise carnival by Frazier Shows set up at Copper Sky during Stage Coach Days in October – a two-week celebration of Maricopa’s heritage – intriguing residents looking for something to do. The carnival had received a last-minute approval from City Hall.


  1. City seeks dramatic budget cuts at Copper Sky

The aquatic center could see a cut in hours of operation and members could experiences a rise in fees at Copper Sky. These considerations and more are part of a continuing discussion between City Council and the Budget, Finance and Operations subcommittee, which began in August as part of an effort to mitigate costs associated with the recreation center.


  1. Maricopa food bank finds new location

2017 was a year of adaptation for a local food bank. F.O.R. Maricopa food bank relocated three times due to a move forced by ADOT in preparation for construction of the overpass. The food bank plans to construct a new building adjacent to the Maricopa Business Barn, which it purchased in July. Currently, the food bank operates out of a temporary space inside Santa Cruz Elementary.


  1. Maricopa schools get grim new letter grades

The majority of local schools received lowered A-F letter grades this year since the scores were last released by the state in 2014. Sequoia Pathway Academy, which received “C” ratings in both its K-8 and high school, is the only school in Maricopa to appeal its scores. Its status is “under review” by the Arizona Department of Education.


  1. MHS principal on leave, assistant in charge

Administration shakeups between Maricopa High School and Maricopa Wells Middle School left parents and community members with many questions. After reassignments and resignations from principals and vice principals, Thad Miller and Rick Abel are acting principals until the end of the school year. District officials have not specified the reasons behind the sudden resignations of former MHS Principal Renita Meyers and former MWMS Assistant Principal Mallory Miller.


  1. City Council considers restricting left turns at Smith-Enke intersection

Even though only one accident had occurred in a year at a residential intersection on Smith-Enke Road near the Maricopa Public Library, city officials planned to restrict left turns from Desert Greens Drive in July. The proposal was due to safety concerns of drivers turning east on Smith-Enke, officials said. The plans were postponed, however, amid backlash from residents.


  1. John Wayne at 110: Man meets myth in Maricopa

Actor John Wayne would have turned 110 in May. His presence in Maricopa began more than 60 years ago when he bought nearby farmland, and the impact he left in the community is still displayed throughout the city.


  1. Amtrak starts shuttle service in Maricopa

Amtrak began shuttling passengers in Tempe and Phoenix to and from Maricopa in May. The Thruway bus connects passengers who travel on the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle service. The stops include Terminal 2 at Sky Harbor Airport.

This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Maricopans were asked the tough question: What was your favorite gift every received during the holidays?

Marie Costner

Marie Costner:
“Being with my family; to me, that’s the best gift in the world. I don’t care about gifts, they don’t care about gifts, just being with family and having a nice dinner together; that’s our love.”

Mark Claus

Mark Claus:
“My wife bought me a telescope for Christmas. I’m a retired science teacher, so it was especially right.”

Tonna Coffey:

Tonna Coffey

“My stuffed horse named ‘Star.’ He’s been everywhere with me. My mom’s barrel horse was named Star and she was like our babysitter, so I relate her to my horse. She’s been to Vegas; I went to the National Finals Rodeo and I took her with me and she stayed with me in the hotel. She’s been to Illinois, Texas and New Mexico. She sleeps with me at night.”

Paul Gorney

Paul Gorney:
“Probably the greatest Christmas gift was the birth announcement of my first granddaughter in 2005. Her name is Cecelia Alicia.”

Aaron Hopewell:

Aaron Hopewell

“I’d have to say probably the set of Callaway golf clubs my wife got me last year for Christmas. I have got a lot of good use out of them, you can bet on that.”

— Michelle Chance and Joycelyn Cabrera

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.