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