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Molly's House of Little Feet received a recommendation from P&Z and will go before the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Committee on Thursday.

A loaded agenda of proposed new businesses will great the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Committee at its Thursday meeting.

The committee will look at architectural elevations for a new daycare, restaurants, automotive center and self-storage building as well as expansion of the courthouse.

Amalia Clark has proposed a two-story daycare known as Molly’s House of Little Feet at 19909 N. Justin Drive. The facility would be more than 7,000 square feet.

At 20215 N. John Wayne Parkway, a retail center has been proposed in a lot north of the current Maricopa Self Storage. As proposed, it would include two drive-thru restaurants, 6,000 square feet of retail space, an automotive center and 94,000 square feet of self storage. The lot sold in October for $1.25 million to PH Maricopa LLC of Chandler.

A proposed project on John Wayne Parkway includes retail, storage and restaurants.

The courthouse at 19955 N. Wilson Ave. has plans to expand. The court serves as justice court for Western Pinal and magistrate court for the City.

The Heritage District Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

Maricopa High School’s varsity softball team thumped Paradise Valley 15-0 Monday to move its overall record to 3-2.

Sophomore Karyn Meier batted 4-for-4 in the game with a home run and two doubles, knocking in four runs. Senior Chantel Holguin had three hits and drove home two. Sophomore Evone Santiago and junior Kiana Miller-Gomez had two hits apiece.

Santiago no-hit the Trojans (0-7) to get the win on the mound by striking out seven through five innings.

Through five games, Santiago leads the team batting with an average of .667. Sophomore Maquela Pena is batting .611, and Miller-Gomez is at .600. Meier leads the Rams in runs batted in with 11. Holguin has hit five doubles and scored 14 runs. The Rams have outscored their opponents 70-23.

The girls next play Thursday in the Gopher Classic in Florence.

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Maricopa High School’s varsity baseball team is staying around .500 after a dramatic home win Monday was followed by a Tuesday tournament loss. Hosting Independence Monday, the Rams led most of the game, but had to break a tie in the bottom of the seventh for the 4-3 win.

Maricopa had 10 hits in the game, including doubles from senior Trey Keel and sophomore Jacob Keel. In six innings of work, senior Jose Leyva gave up just one earned run while striking out eight and walking four. He and senior Devin Fiala each had two hits in the game.

Tuesday, the Rams fell to 6A’s Red Mountain (6-3) in five innings, 20-4, during the Bob Everett Classic. That put Maricopa’s overall record at 5-5.

Through 10 games, junior Austin Rapp is batting .438, and sophomore Johnathan Leyva has a batting average of .310. Senior Nico Bandin leads the team with 12 hits, and Johnathan Leyva and Fiala each have nine.

Jose Leyva has the most time on the mound, with 16 innings pitched and leads the team in strikeouts with 20. Trey Keel has pitched 14 innings and has 17 strikeouts.

 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place March 18 at East Valley Cardiology, 20924 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite D4-B (next to Dickey’s BBQ). The event commences at 9 a.m. with networking and refreshments, followed by the ceremony at approximately 9:15 a.m.

Native Grill & Wings remains closed while restoration work continues after a January fire. It is expected to re-open in April. Gift certificates of $5 and $10 that expired in February will be honored for 30 days after the re-opening.

Maricopa City Manager Rick Horst floated the idea of building a “a starter hospital and associated health services” in Maricopa during a Top Ten Strategic Objectives PowerPoint presentation for city council members during their annual strategic plan retreat Feb. 7. Horst said it was just an idea for council members to consider and to determine if they wish to work toward that goal.

 Walmart is implementing a parking area for online pickup, requiring permits for exterior and interior remodeling for the parking canopy.

Apex Motor Sports applied for a permit to build a commercial shade structure for parked cars at its construction site at 22408 N. Ralston Road.

Red River Cattle Company received a conditional use permit for work at Sacate Pellet Mill, 38743 W. Cowtown Road.

At Signal Healthcare’s new building at 44555 W. Edison Road, Heartland Dental received a permit for interior construction.

A hair-styling salon received a commercial tenant improvement permit for 2,000 square feet of space at a building owned by Pinal County at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Circle K received a permit to work in the right-of-way during construction on its lot at 41433 W. Honeycutt Road. Lanes were temporarily blocked on Porter Road and Honeycutt.

Maricopa Shell continued improvement by getting a permit for two LED illuminated canopy signs and wall signs valued at $19,300. East Valley Cardiology and Brakes Plus, 44510 W. Edison Road, also received sign permits.


This item appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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After more than a dozen Maricopans complained of bad fuel or rainwater being pumped into their vehicles at a Circle K last weekend, the company is encouraging anyone who think they were affected to report the incidents to its claims department.

“At Circle K, we guarantee the quality of our fuels,” spokesperson Donna J. Humphrey told InMaricopa. “However, issues do occasionally arise, and customers should report them to Circle K for review by its claims department. Customers may either file a claim with the Store or call our Customer Service Hotline at 1-833-685-7318.”

Customers complained the fuel they acquired at the north Circle K had caused their vehicles to malfunction or stop altogether. Some claimed more than $1,000 in repairs were required.

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Jan. 21-27, 2019

Jan. 14-20,2019

Jan. 6 – 13, 2019

Dec. 30, 2018-Jan.5, 2019

Dec. 23-29,2018

Dec. 16-22, 2018

Dec. 9-15, 2018

Dec. 1-8, 2018

Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2018

Nov. 18-24, 2018

Nov. 11-17, 2018

Nov. 4-10, 2018

Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2018

Oct. 21-27, 2018

Oct. 14-20, 2018

Oct. 7-13, 2018

Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2018

Sept. 23-29, 2018

Sept. 2-8, 2018

Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2018

Aug. 19-25, 2018

Aug. 12-18, 2018

Aug. 5-11, 2018

July 29-Aug. 4, 2018

July 22-28, 2018

July 15-21, 2018

July 8-14, 2018

July 1-7, 2018

June 24-30, 2018

June 17-23, 2018

June 10-16, 2018

June 3-9, 2018

May 27-June 2, 2018

May 20-26, 2018

May 13-19, 2018

May 6-12, 2018

April 29-May 5, 2018

April 22-28, 2018

April 15-21, 2018

April 8-14, 2018

April 1-7, 2018

March 25-31, 2018

March 18-24, 2018

March 11-17, 2018

***

Jan. 15-21, 2018

Jan. 08-14, 2018

Jan. 01-07, 2018

Dec. 25-31, 2017

Dec. 18-24, 2017

Dec. 11-17, 2017

Dec. 04-10, 2017

Nov. 27- Dec. 03, 2017

Nov. 20-26, 2017

Nov. 13-19, 2017

Nov. 06-12, 2017

Oct. 30- Nov. 5, 2017

Oct. 23-29, 2017

Oct. 16-22, 2017

Oct. 09-15, 2017

Oct. 02 – 08, 2017

Sept. 24 – Oct. 01, 2017

Sept. 18-23, 2017

Sept. 11-17, 2017

Sept. 4-10, 2017 

Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2017 

Aug. 21-27, 2017 

Aug. 14-20, 2017

Aug. 7-13, 2017 

July 30-Aug. 6, 2017 

July 23-29, 2017

July 16-22, 2017

July 9-15, 2017

July 2-8, 2017

June 25-July 1, 2017

June 18-24, 2017

June 11-17, 2017

June 4-10, 2017

May 28-June 3, 2017

May 21-27, 2017

May 14-20, 2017

May 7-13, 2017

April 30-May 6, 2017

April 23-29, 2017

April 16-22, 2017

April 9-15, 2017

April 2-8, 2017

March 26-April 1, 2017

March 19-25, 2017

March 12-18, 2017

March 5-11, 2017

Feb. 26-March 4, 2017

Feb. 19-25, 2017

Feb. 12-18, 2017

Feb. 5-11, 2017

Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2017

Jan. 22-28, 2017

Jan. 15-22, 2017

Jan. 8-14, 2017

Jan. 1-7, 2-17

Dec. 25-31, 2016

Dec. 18-24, 2016

Dec. 11-17, 2016

Dec. 4-10, 2016

Nov. 27-Dec.3 , 2016

Nov. 20-26, 2016

Nov. 13-19, 2016

Nov. 6-12, 2016

Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2016

Oct. 23-29, 2016

Oct. 16-22, 2016

Oct. 9-15, 2016

Oct. 2-8, 2016

Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2016

Sept. 18-24, 2016

Sept. 11-17, 2016

Sept. 4-10, 2016

Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2016

Aug. 21-27, 2016

Aug. 14-20, 2016

Aug. 7-13, 2016

July 31-Aug. 6, 2016

July 24-30, 2016

July 17-23, 2016

July 10-16, 2016

July 3-9, 2016

June 26-July 2, 2016

June 19-25, 2016

June 12-18, 2016

June 5-11, 2016

May 29-June 4, 2016

May 22-28, 2016

May 15-21, 2016

May 8-14, 2016

May 1-7, 2016

April 24-30, 2016

April 17-23, 2016

April 10-16, 2016

April 3-9, 2016

March 27-April 2, 2016

March 20-26, 2016

March 13-19, 2016

March 6-12, 2016

Feb. 28-March 5, 2016

Feb. 21-27, 2016

Feb. 14-20, 2016

Feb. 7-13, 2016

Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2016

Jan. 24-30, 2016

Jan. 17-23, 2016

Jan. 10-16, 2016

Jan. 3-9, 2016

Dec. 27, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016

Dec. 20-26, 2015

Dec. 13-19, 2015

Dec. 6-12, 2015

Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015

Nov. 22-28, 2015

Nov. 15-21, 2015

Nov. 8-14, 2015

Nov. 1-7, 2015

Oct. 25-31, 2015

Oct. 18-24, 2015

Oct. 11-17, 2015

Oct. 4-10, 2015

Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2015

Sept. 20-26, 2015

Sept. 13-19, 2015

Sept. 6-12, 2015

Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2015

Aug. 23-29, 2015

Aug. 16-22, 2015

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Maricopa High School athletes made a mark in Arizona Interscholastic Association winter sports.

Senior Jayla Johnson was named First Team in 5A San Tan girls’ basketball. Her average of 12.7 points per game was third in the region. She totaled 279 points. Given honorable mention were seniors Italy Brookshire and Jene Brown, junior Tayler Coleman and sophomore Shakira Gillespie. The Rams reached the 5A quarterfinals.

Four Maricopa wrestlers qualified for the state’s Division 2 tournament, and senior Jonathan Childers came away with a fifth-place medal.

Childers, wrestling in the 126-pound group, won his first match but lost his second to eventually champion Bobby Tellez of Cienega to land in the opposite bracket. There, he had two victories before losing to Mountain View Marana’s Seth Legros, who went on to take third place. Childers defeated Omar Artaega of Centennial to take fifth.

Also performing at state and wrestling three matches each were freshman Gabriel Garcia and seniors Connor Paine and David Onquit.

In girls’ soccer, Bianca Olivares was named to the region’s First Team. She had 16 goals through 17 games. Saneya Cowing made Second Team. Receiving honorable mention were Mackenzie Ford, McKinley Hacker and Madison Tyler. The team reached the state playoff bracket.

In boys’ soccer, Jaime Hernandez was named to San Tan’s All-Region First Team. He had four goals and eight points. Dakotah Barchus and Kevin Vasquez made Second Team. Honorable mentions went to Mario Gastelum, Christobal Mendez, Asa Miller, Asher Miller and Taylor Russo.

For the boys’ basketball team, which posted a losing record, senior Walter Greer stood and was named Second Team in 5A San Tan voting.

 

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The Maricopa High School baseball and softball tournaments scheduled to open the season this week, have been canceled due to inclement weather.

The Rams baseball team did get in one game of the Pinon-Huffman tournament, a 13-1 loss to Tempe on Wednesday.

 

Previous…
_______________________________________________________________________________

The Maricopa High School baseball and softball teams start of their seasons by hosting home tournaments this week.

The Pinon-Huffman Baseball Tournament is Feb. 20-23 in Maricopa and Casa Grande.

Wednesday’s competition begins at 3:30 p.m. with McClintock playing Poston Butte, followed at 6 p.m. by Maricopa against Tempe. Meanwhile, Casa Grande is hosting Seton Catholic, Dobson and Apache Junction.

Play continues Thursday and Friday with the same game times. Maricopa plays Poston Butte at 6 p.m. Thursday and McClintock at 6 p.m. Friday. Saturday, the top four from the Maricopa and Casa Grande sites play.

The 12th annual Krystin Diehl Softball Tournament will take place Feb. 22-23 at Maricopa High School.

Teams playing in the tournament include Florence, Higley, Maricopa, Mountain Point, McClintock and Yuma Catholic.

Pool play games start on Friday at 4:00 PM. Bracket tournament action begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with the championship game slated to start at 3 p.m.

For both tournaments, admission for adults is $5, students $3, age 6 and under free. AIA Passes only are accepted.

For more information on the tournament call Maricopa High School at 520-568-8100, ext. 4008

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The former Rotary pool is being filled in. Photo by Jim Headley

The City of Maricopa has been filling in the pool at the former Rotary Park as part of the plans to re-use the space next to Maricopa Unified School District and Maricopa Veterans Center. The property is now the new home of the California Zephyr railcar, which sits on the highway side of the old pool.

The pool opened in 1958, thanks to donations of money, labor and time by members of the Rotary Club and other residents of the community. It closed in 2014 after the opening of Copper Sky. Last year, the realignment of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and creation of Plainview Street wiped out most of Rotary Park, leaving only the pool on the land that had been donated by the Smith family.

Landscaping and parking are already planned for the area around the Zephyr.

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File photo

Two big quarters in the middle of the game lifted the Maricopa Rams out of the 5A round of 16 Tuesday and into the state quarterfinals.

The Maricopa High School girls’ basketball team defeated Marana on the road, 58-48. That was despite a slow start and Marana’s attempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter. The Tigers were seeded eighth, just ahead of the Rams’ ninth-place ranking, but were without their standout, Anabella Muscoreil, who was injured a week ago.

Neither team could get an offense firing in the first quarter. Maricopa had only a 6-5 lead at the end. Then the Rams went on an intense offensive run while the defense stayed tight and left the Tigers little room to maneuver. Maricopa outscored Marana 20-8 in the third and 22-16 in the fourth to move ahead, 48-29.

The Rams held off a 19-10 surge by the Tigers for the victory.

Jayla Johnson led all scorers with 28 points. Jene Brown had 12 points, followed by Tayler Riley-Coleman with six, Brooke Smith with five, Destinee Chavis with three and Italy Brookshire and Shakira Gillespie with two apiece.

That sets up Maricopa (21-7) to face the powerhouse Millennium team (23-4) that is the top seed in the conference. They have not played each other this season. The quarterfinal game is Thursday at 7 p.m. at Millennium High School in Goodyear.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

Living up to their billing, the Sequoia Pathway girls’ basketball team won their play-in game easily Thursday in Canyon Athletic Association competition. The Pumas, ranked fifth in Division II, defeated South Ridge, 56-23, at home. That puts them in the quarterfinals to play No. 4 Jefferson Prep on Monday at Powerhouse Hoops in Phoenix. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

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Maricopa High School girls’ soccer pulled an upset Thursday night to qualify for the state playoffs.

The 18th-ranked Rams clobbered No. 15 Independence on the road in the play-in round, 6-1. Five Rams scored, and seven had shots on goal.

Senior Shannon Coutre scored two goals for Maricopa. Senior Bianca Olivares, junior Payson Hacker and sophomore Jezelle Magallanes each scored and had an assist. Freshman Lexy Rowe also kicked in a goal.

The results lifted Maricopa into the 5A state championship bracket for the first time. They will play No. 2 Casteel at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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Transportation planner David Maestas with a COMET van. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson.

When the City of Maricopa formally unveiled its bus-stop shelters in October, there was a jump in ridership within a couple of days.

“Attribute that to recognition that, yes, there is a transit system,” Transportation Planner David Maestas said.

In fact, City of Maricopa Express Transit (COMET) has been around in one form or another since 2008. That it continues to lie below the awareness level of many Maricopans is a source of frustration and repeated questions about the operation of at least one aspect of the service.

By the transportation department’s numbers, COMET had a ridership (individual boardings) of 7,344 during fiscal year 2017-18. That was an increase of 14.5 percent from the previous year.  The projection for 2018-19 is 8,665, a continuation of a four-year increase.

Those are budget numbers. The last time the city delivered a head count of “unique passengers” rather than boardings was FY 2015-16, when that number was 1,713.

On the ground, the regional demand-response service (dial-a-ride) averages 8.6 riders per trip to medical offices in Chandler or Casa Grande.

The 2018-19 budget for COMET is $354,000. The local share of that was $129,000 while federal grants pick up the bill for the rest. The projected number of trips to be taken during the same fiscal year is 8,665, making the per-trip cost to the City more than $14.84. Overall, the cost per-ride is $40.85.

For riders, the cost of local demand-response is $1 per one-way trip. For regional demand-response, it is $3 per round trip. For the local fixed route, which is the service that uses the new bus-stop shelters, the fare is 50 cents per boarding.

By comparison, in the tri-city area of Prescott a nonprofit operates the Yavapai Regional Transit that started as a municipal service in 2008. It is primarily comprised of three fixed routes. A one-way fare is $2 for adults and $1 for seniors, disabled and kids. The curb-to-curb, demand-response service is for seniors and individuals with mobility disabilities at a fare of $1; anyone else pays $5.

In Maricopa, the demand-response is “the least effective mode of transportation that we’ve got,” Maestas said. “It’s probably the worst of our services when it comes to availability.”

However, he said, an important reason the City continues to operate demand-response “is to make sure that we have viable transportation for seniors. It is [a Federal Transportation Administration] requirement that we have to continue operating a dial-a-ride to serve the complementary transit.”

Two statements Maestas has repeated frequently are “we are growing COMET slowly and carefully” and “COMET was never meant to be self-sustaining.”

For 2019-20, the requested budget is planned at $440,000, with the local amount due to be $169,000.

The route-deviation service (fixed route) runs empty loops through the city some days. Getting more Maricopans aware of the service is one challenge; making them aware they need the service is another.

“It takes people to change their habits,” said Chris Hager, director of TotalRide’s transit operations.

The City contracts with TotalRide to run the COMET system. Hager said it is “probably the smallest” system his company operates, but it is just as important as systems in Phoenix, Avondale and Tucson.

“We are very much in the process of increasing ridership primarily on the route-deviation service,” Maestas said. “That’s a careful process that’s best done slowly.

“What happens is when you start a brand-new service and choose to fund it very generously, you’ve got a huge amount of expense chasing new riders that in many cases don’t even know there’s a transit system in place,” he said. “When you’re just getting started up, you have no bus shelters, you have no bus-stop signs, you may not even have bus stops identified. It’s a process of the ridership recognizing that the transit system is in place and choosing to try it.”

Unlike the demand-response service, which picks up riders at a reserved time and place, the route-deviation service has 11 specific stops, some now with bus-stop shelters. The vehicles run from Fry’s to Bashas’, Pinal County Public Health Clinic and the Maricopa Public Library, Legacy Traditional School, Central Arizona College, Walmart, Harrah’s Ak-Chin and UltraStar, Copper Sky, Sun Life Health Center, Maricopa Meadows Park and Sun Life Women’s Center.

“It is our vision to provide route-deviation service full-time, seven days a week, with council approval, including shuttles to connect communities to the central routes,” Maestas said. As far as ridership-vs.-cost, “we’re still in the process of growing ridership to make sure we can sustain it.”

While TotalRide wants to connect more of the demand-response riders to the route-deviation system, dial-a-ride is still necessary, even if fares need to be adjusted in the future.

Hager said the purpose is to provide “a safe transit system people can depend on. You can’t put a cost on a transit system that gets people to medical appointments. If it’s my mother or grandmother, I don’t care if they charge $50 or $100, as long as she’s safe because she can’t drive.”

 


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

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Girls’ basketball and soccer teams from Maricopa High School will be competing in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s play-in tournaments Thursday.

After two losses to end the season, the basketball team was ranked ninth, one position away from automatically qualifying for the state bracket. The Rams (19-7) will host No. 24 Independence (9-9) at 7 p.m.

The top eight teams in the 5A bracket are Buena, Desert Mountain, Gilbert, Horizon, Marana, Millennium, Sunrise Mountain and Verrado.

By coincidence, the MHS girls’ soccer team will also play Independence on Thursday. Ranked 18th, the Rams (8-9-1) will be on the road to face the No. 15 Patriots (11-7-1). The game in Glendale starts at 6 p.m.

All 13 restaurants and eateries inspected by Pinal County Environmental Health from Dec. 16 to Jan. 15 received a clean bill of health.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
Barro’s Pizza
Culver’s of Maricopa
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Francisco’s Mexican Food
Gyro Grill
IHOP
Maricopa Head Start
The New HQ
Panda Express
Pizza Hut
Rosati’s Pizza
Tacos ‘n’ More

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


This item appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Dutch Bros. received a commercial permit for its 1,280-square-foot property at 20232 N. John Wayne Parkway, which includes a drive-thru and patio. Construction is expected to be under way in February.

Maricopa Shell at 19680 N. John Wayne Parkway received a permit to re-install four new fuel dispensers at a value of $12,000.

Sports & Cuts Barber Shop was permitted for a fire alarm system in newly constructed space at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, Building 14, Suite 2. In the same building, State Farm was given a city permit to use existing signs and move the signs from its old location.

Red River Cattle LTD received permits for grading and drainage at the new site of Sacate Pellet Mill, 38743 W. Cowtown Road.

Brakes Plus, being constructed at 20555 N. John Wayne Parkway next to IHOP, received an onsite-improvement permit.

Heritage Charter had a hydrant flow test for its construction at Adams Way and Conner Drive in Desert Passage.


This item appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Jim Headley

It is going to remain damp early in the week then become quite a bit cooler in Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service. Freezing or near freezing temperatures are forecast Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Today there is a 10-percent chance of showers before 11 a.m. Otherwise, mostly sunny with a high near 66 with wind 5 to 10 mph. Tonight expect a 10-percent chance of showers after 11 p.m. with partly cloudy skies and a low around 46.

Tuesday there is a 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 11 a.m. the day is likely to be partly sunny with a high near 65 and winds 10 to 15 mph gusting as high as 20 mph. Tuesday night a 30-percent chance of showers is forecast. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low around 43. Winds continue around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday is forecast to be mostly sunny, with a high near 56. Wednesday night expect mostly clear skies with a low around 33 and winds 5 to 10 mph becoming light after midnight.

Thursday sees sunny skies with a high near 57. Thursday night should be clear but cold with a low around 32.

Friday expect sunny skies, with a high near 65. Friday night will likely be partly cloudy with a low around 36.

At this point, the rest of the weekend looks to be mostly sunny with high temperatures in the 60s.

 

Robert Acuna (PCSO photo)

Robert Acuna, 43, was arrested by Maricopa Police Jan. 29 for possession of a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and on a warrant for shoplifting in 2018.

According to a MPD probable cause statement, officers investigated a vehicle parked near Sun Life Family Health Center, 44572 W. Bowlin Road, about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers identified Acuna as a passenger in the vehicle and discovered he was wanted on a Pinal County warrant from for shoplifting. The warrant had a cash bond of $2,500 specified.

While conducting a search officers stated, “Robert was found in possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Acuna was transferred to the Maricopa Police Department and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

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Rain is expected throughout the weekend in Maricopa. Photo by Jim Headley

It’s about to get a little wetter in Maricopa as showers are forecast the rest of this week, according to the National Weather Service. Up to a half-inch of rain may fall on Saturday.

Today is mostly sunny with a high near 74. Tonight expect a slight chance of showers, then a stronger chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11 p.m. The night will be mostly cloudy with a low around 49. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent overnight. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts are possible if thunderstorms develop.

Friday there is a 20 percent chance of showers before 11 a.m. then mostly sunny with a high near 71. Friday night should be mostly cloudy with a low around 49.

Saturday, a 30 percent chance of showers exists mainly after 11 a.m. The forecast is for partly sunny with a high near 71 and south southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. On Saturday night showers are very likely with a prediction of mostly cloudy skies and a low around 50. Winds will be 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunday, there is a 30 percent chance of showers before 11 a.m. The day will be mostly sunny with a high near 65. Sunday night should be mostly clear with a low around 44.

Next week starts with a temperate, mostly sunny day with breezes up to 10 mph.

 

After a possible threat against Maricopa Wells Middle School, parents are being cautioned by Maricopa Unified School District and Maricopa Police Department to talk with their kids about making social media threats.

The administration posted on its site: “Our district is committed to the safety and education of all our students, and we want to clearly communicate with parents about safety issues when they arise. Recently, a student reported a concerning social media message about a threat to Maricopa Wells Middle School to take place on January 30th.  School and District officials are working with the Maricopa Police Department to investigate and out of an abundance of caution, there will be an increased police presence while the investigation continues.”

School will be in session as usual on Wednesday.

MUSD asked parents to talk with their kids about the consequences of posting messages that could be interpreted as threatening.

MPD offered further tips on what to do if such a message is found on social media: “You need to notify authorities, but we ask that you please do not share or forward the threat until we have had a chance to investigate. This can spread misinformation and cause panic, and possibly expose you to legal consequences, depending on the situation.”

Emphasizing that a threat over social media, email or text is a federal crime, MPD reminded parents those making the threats can receive up to five years in prison.

“In addition to consequences for individuals who issue threats, there is also a significant societal cost. Law enforcement agencies have limited resources, and responding to hoax threats diverts officers and costs taxpayers,” the MPD post continues. “The threats can also cause severe emotional distress to students, school personnel, and parents.”

Fueling station shades are in place for the new Circle K. Photo by Kyle Norby

The last four months of 2018 saw five businesses receive commercial permits in Maricopa at a total value of over $3 million. IHOP completed its construction, and Dutch Bros. are ready to begin, and the following three are in the throes of construction.

Work is moving quickly at the future Circle K convenience store at 41433 W. Honeycutt Road. The property includes seven fueling stations to serve up to 14 vehicles. The store is to be 5,881 square feet. It received its commercial building permit in October and is being constructed by Alexander Building Company.

Brakes Plus’ framework went up quickly in Edison Pointe. Photo by Kyle Norby

Brakes Plus is building at 44510 W. Edison Road in the Edison Pointe Complex. Sitting on a little more than half an acre next to IHOP, the building is approximately 4,886 square feet. DG Fenn is in charge of the construction.

Signal Healthcare medical offices have made steady progress this winter. Photo by Kyle Norby

Directly across the street from Brakes Plus, Signal Healthcare’s future medical offices at 44565 W. Edison Road are also progressing steadily in Edison Place. The project, which is 9,000 square feet, is two buildings connected by a breezeway. The construction is west of Big O Tires.

 

Emergency personnel don hazmat suits to deal with a mercury spill at MHS. Photo by Kyle Norby

A dropped mercury thermometer caused a hazardous situation at Maricopa High School.

According to Maricopa Police Department, a student brought a traditional thermometer to a science lab, where it was dropped, spilling an amount of mercury. On campus, the container was described as a vial.

Students were evacuated from the affected building and taken to the football field while firefighters donned HazMat gear to clean up the affected area.

“Everyone started yelling, the teacher tried to quiet us down,” sophomore Robert Stewart said. “Mob panic, I guess. Seems a bit dramatic, but I get it. They rushed us out of the building like it was gonna explode. A little dramatic.”

“I was confused, wondering if a student threw it down to be an idiot,” freshman Eonna Mooney said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the health effects of mercury exposure can be “very severe, subtle or may not occur at all,” depending on the nature of the exposure. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can attack neurons in the nervous system.

Senior Emily Goncalves said she was in her Anatomy class when the building went into a teaching lockdown near the end of the class period. Students were then sent out of the building where “crime scene tape” was already up.

“I really wanna go home,” she said.

Zachary LeClair was lighter about the situation. “I was happy, because I got out of class.”


InMaricopa intern Francis Trast, an MHS student, contributed to this report.

Fire vehicles came into the campus. Photo by Francis Trast
Photo by Kyle Norby
Photo by Francis Trast
Students were taken to the football field during cleanup. Photo by Francis Trast

Warren Evans (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested Warren K. Evans on Friday on suspicion of possession of a pistol, which was illegal for him to have as he is on probation for a previous DUI charge, was convicted of dangerous drug possession and served time in prison.

Evans was charged with weapons misconduct/prohibited possessor, but during a search of his vehicle during a traffic stop at Smith-Enke and Porter roads around 2 a.m., officers allegedly found methamphetamine, an open container of alcohol and drug paraphernalia.

According to a MPD probable cause statement, “Upon contact with Warren I asked him if he had any weapons and he stated he had a pistol in the vehicle.”

When asked if he was supposed to be in possession of a firearm, he told officers it wasn’t his firearm but his brother’s, according to police documents. The officer made Evans exit the vehicle as he removed the firearm.

“As Warren stepped out of the vehicle he put a black case in the bed of the truck,” the probable cause document states.

“As I retrieved the firearm, I could smell the odor of intoxicating liquor in the vehicle. The odor was coming from a cup in the center console. Warren admitted it was a Hot Toddy, which is a hot whiskey drink,” the probable cause statement reads.

When the officer checked the black case that Evans put into the back, he reportedly found multiple syringes, a spoon, rubber tie-off and a small baggie, which tested positive as methamphetamine.

Boyd Monday (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police responded to domestic disturbance call Thursday and instead arrested Boyd W. Monday Jr. on suspicion of possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers were called to a residence on West Chambers Road about 2:05 p.m. Upon arriving officers were granted access to the home by a roommate. Police noted the strong odor of burnt marijuana and located Monday in the master bedroom with “numerous items of marijuana and methamphetamine related drug paraphernalia and usable quantities of marijuana.  All in plain view in the bedroom,” according to a MPD probable cause statement.

According to police documents, “Monday admitted to having a meth-pipe and marijuana on his person. Police recovered a smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue, a bag containing a usable quantity of marijuana (approx. 2.4 grams) and another bag containing a usable quantity of methamphetamine (approx. 0.7 gram) from Monday’s pockets of his shorts.”

Monday admitted ownership of the items and the drugs, according to police. Both the marijuana and methamphetamine field-tested positive as illicit drugs.

As far as the domestic call that triggered the police response, the statement reads, “The investigation revealed the domestic disturbance involved Monday and his pregnant live-in girlfriend that consisted of mutual arguing, yelling and pushing.”

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Maricopa temperatures are expected to cool this week. Photo by Jim Headley

Just when it was starting to remain a little warmer overnight, lows this week will again fall dangerously near the freezing mark, according to the National Weather Service. On the upside, highs will remain nicely in the 60s all week.

Today (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) is sunny with a high near 65. A south wind 5 to 10 mph will become west 15 to 20 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Tonight will be clear with a low around 36. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday is forecast to be sunny with a high near 62. At night, expect clear skies with a low around 34.

Wednesday is also expected to be sunny with a high near 63. Wednesday night will remain clear with a low around 34.

Thursday is likely to be sunny, with a high near 68. Thursday night will be mostly clear, with a low around 36.

Friday look for partly sunny skies, with a high near 69. Friday night will be partly cloudy with a low around 37.

 

A woman only identified as Terri by Maricopa Police was arrested and charged Jan. 13 for impaired driving, a blood alcohol level more than .08, extreme blood alcohol levels of more than .150 and aggravated DUI with children younger than 15 in the car.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, about 4:41 p.m. the woman was involved in a crash on Farrell Road, west of Porter Road.

Officers report she was driving east on Farrell with her three children and attempted to pass several cars on the dirt shoulder. She apparently lost control of her vehicle and hit other vehicles. She reportedly failed field sobriety tests. She again failed breath tests at the MPD offices, according to the report.

She was taken to the Pinal County Jail. She was also arrested on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in Casa Grande.

Her last name was not released by police to protect the identities of the children.

A small hood fire occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday at Native Grill in Maricopa.

“As of now the Maricopa location is closed,” said Adriana Espinosa, spokesperson for the Native Grill chain. “We are hoping to reopen in two to six weeks. It is still under investigation by insurance and whatnot. We are doing some renovations to fix what happened as a result of the fire.”

Espinosa said they hope to be open sooner but it could take up to six weeks to repair the damages even if it was a small fire.

Maricopa is in the middle of changing from business licensing to a business registry. Here are businesses that applied for a business license and/or registered with the city between Nov. 16 and Dec. 15.

Registered businesses: Ageless Cycles, Graybar Electric, InMaricopa, Jazzy on the Spot Mobile Grooming, Rosati’s Pizza, So EZ Mortgage, Sunbelt Home Watch. See more

Commercial license: Collins Comfort Masters, Foroudobus, Holistic Mental Health, Oasis Oral and Facial Surgery, Victoria Puckett

Home-based license: Adam Knutson, Ageless Cycles, Castle Sign Group, Elain Glasgow, Felix Home Repair, Get Up and Move Kids Fitness, The Sharp Solution, Small Town Treasures, Suzette Gilbreath, Las Tostaditas

Out-of-town license: Aeos Energy, Cholla Pavement Maintenance, Fatbeam, Seamless Flooring, Sledge Concrete Coatings, Universal Solar Direct, Waite Arizona

Special-use license: Redemption Tattoo

Nonprofit license: Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation