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Staff Reports

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Mike Cruz

Maricopa resident Michael “Mike” Cruz has officially announced his candidacy for the August primary election for Pinal County assessor.

Cruz was born and raised in Phoenix and has a bachelor’s degree in business education from Arizona State University and an MBA from Everest University-Tampa. A former tax professional and now working in education, he is challenging Assessor Douglas Wolf in the Republican Primary.

He said his campaign will focus on being a voice for every resident he understands “the uniqueness and the issues that many are facing throughout all parts of the county.”

In a press release, Cruz said he “will work with county officials to create sustainable solutions that aim to lower property taxes and promote growth” and “provide new transparent leadership that is focused on fair property assessments, jobs and the economy, and senior citizens.”

“People in the community are receiving Mike with open arms as a fresh voice and someone who can relate and advocate for them,” Steve Miller, Pinal County supervisor, stated.

The primary election is Aug. 4.

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Senior Aleina Estrada smiles as a game ends in another victory for the Pumas. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Sequoia Pathway girls’ basketball team is undefeated at the halfway point of the season, 8-0. The Pumas are outscoring their opponents an average of 56-24. Last week, they defeated Imagine-Surprise in a comeback, 68-52, and East Valley Athletes for Christ, 43-39, their closest game of the season. They next play Tuesday at Glenview Adventist Academy.

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Rep. Bret Roberts. Submitted photo

State Rep. Bret Roberts (R-11) of Maricopa introduced legislation to strengthen the law against sanctuary cities in Arizona.

If enacted, House Bill 2598 would find any city, town or county that adopted sanctuary-city policies liable for damages against victims of crimes committed by immigrants living in the country illegally. The legislation would allow the state to bill the municipality for the cost of incarceration.

In November, voters defeated an initiative to officially designate Tucson as a sanctuary city and prohibit city law enforcement from checking immigration status. Had the initiative succeeded it would have been in defiance of a controversial provision of SB 1070, which requires authorities to contact federal immigration officers if they have a “reasonable suspicion” an arrested person is in the country illegally.

“Thankfully, voters in Tucson rejected last November’s radical attempt officially allow their city to become a sanctuary city and ignore state law,” Roberts said. “Although these efforts failed in Tucson, it is only a matter of time before liberal activists in other parts of Arizona attempt to replicate this effort. For this reason, I have introduced this bill to strengthen the law and hold cities, towns and counties who ignore our state laws civilly liable for releasing illegal immigrants into our communities.

“The protections being granted to those here illegally is more protection than what we afford our own citizens; it’s time we level the playing field.”

Sanctuary cities are illegal in Arizona, and the current penalty for violating the law can range between $1,000 and $5,000 for every day a city violates the law. In 2016, lawmakers passed legislation that withholds state monies from municipalities that violate state law.

Sanctuary cities were a bullet point in Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address. Ducey said a ballot issue is in the works for November asking voters to go further than adding to revised state statutes and amend the Arizona Constitution.

“Now it’s time for all Arizonans to make their voices heard, and enshrine it in our Constitution,” Ducey said. “T.J. Shope has the ballot referral. This November, let’s give all Arizona voters the opportunity to say yes to the rule of law and No to sanctuary cities.”


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Mid-January looks like autumn at Villages entry. Photo by Dennis McCormac

A mostly sunny weekend is the lead into a cloudy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday has a forecast of a sunny day with a high near 66 degrees F followed by a mostly clear night with a low around 39.

Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 69. The nighttime low will be around 41 under partly cloudy skies.

Sunday, too, is likely to be mostly sunny with a high reaching up to 72. Clouds are expected to roll in heavily overnight as the low lingers around 47.

Monday, Martin Luther King Day, is forecast to be mostly cloudy but with a balmy high of 74. The low will be around 49.

The rest of next week is expected to be partly cloudy but with no threat of precipitation.

Copa Craze. Photo by Anita McLeod

The 13 food establishments inspected by Pinal County Environmental Health between Nov. 18 and Dec. 17 received squeaky-clean reports.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
Children’s Learning Adventure
Copa Craze
Culver’s of Maricopa
Dickie’s Barbecue Pit
Firehouse Subs
Francisco’s Mexican Food
The New HQ
Panda Express
Raceway Bar & Grill
Sunrise Café
Sunrise Preschool
Tacos ‘n’ More

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspections]

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Dec. 1-31, 2019

Nov. 1-30, 2019

Oct. 1-31, 2019

Sept. 1-30, 2019

Aug. 1-31, 2019

July 1-31, 2019

June 1-30, 2019

May 1-31, 2019

April 1-30, 2019

March 1-31, 2019

Feb. 1-28, 2019

Jan. 1-31, 2019

Dec. 1-31, 2018

Nov. 1-30, 2018

Oct. 1-31, 2018

Sept. 1-30, 2018

August 1-31, 2018

July 1-31, 2018

June 1-30, 2018

May 1-31, 2018

April 1-30, 2018

March 1-31, 2018

Feb. 1-28, 2018

Jan. 1-31, 2018

Dec. 1-31, 2017

Nov. 1-30, 2017

Oct. 1-31, 2017

Sept. 1-30, 2017

Aug. 1-31, 2017

July 1-31, 2017

June 1-30, 2017

May 1-31, 2017

April 1-30, 2017

March 1-31, 2017

Feb. 1-28, 2017

Jan. 1-31, 2017

Dec. 1-31, 2016

Nov. 1-30, 2016

Sept. 16-Oct. 15, 2016

Aug. 16-Sept. 15, 2016

June 16-July 16, 2016

May 16-June 15, 2016

April 16-May 15, 2016

Feb. 1-29, 2016

Photo by Kyle Norby

One person was reported injured in a two-vehicle collision on the State Route 347 overpass Monday after 3 p.m.

The vehicles collided in the northbound lanes, and one car flipped on its side. Lanes were closed to traffic while first responders worked the scene.

Photo by Kyle Norby

According to Maricopa Fire/Medical Department, a 25-year-old man was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center with “minor extremity injuries.”

Maricopa Police Department is investigating the incident.

Photo by Kyle Norby

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa Nov. 16-Dec. 15 is a two-story, five-bedroom home with a private pool and a putting green. On the market several times since 2006, it sold for 48% above its previous selling price in 2015. On market for three months, it sold for its asking price.

  1. 44557 W. Granite Drive, Cobblestone Farms

Sold: Dec. 13
Purchase price: $369,900
Square footage: 3,721
Price per square foot: $99.41
Days on market: 94
Builder: Fulton Homes
Year built: 2005
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
Community: Cobblestone Farms
Features: Granite countertops, soaking tub, three-car garage plus three-car parking slab, heated pool, extended patio
Listing Agent: Lauren Rosin, West USA Realty
Selling Agent: Davee Jacobs, Long Realty Uptown

  1. 22693 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms ……………………………. $345,000
  2. 21550 N. Backus Drive, Rancho El Dorado ………………………………. $335,000
  3. 40615 W. Dennis Lane, Smith Farms ………………………………………. $324,000
  4. 41941 W. Monteverde Court, Glennwilde ……………………………….. $322,000

Angela Mattson of Buff City Soap. Photo by Kyle Norby

Business and development activity in Maricopa Nov. 16-Dec. 15.

Wade Jurney Homes received administrative design review of five plans for 53 lots in the Alterra subdivision.

Volkswagen, continuing to construct its charging station at its facility at 17169 N. Murphy Road, received commercial permits for a small office and a bathroom.

Pinal County’s project to expand its court and administrative complex at 19955 N. Wilson Ave. was allowed right of way for potholing to determine future utilities.

Buff City Soap opened its doors Dec. 14 at 21101 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Forestar Real Estate Group received subdivision improvement permits for three parcels in Rancho Mirage Estates.

The former Pet Club at 21145 N. John Wayne Parkway received a commercial tenant improvement permit to expand as a boarding facility and 24/7 pet hospital as Exceptional Pets Maricopa.

AAMCO Total Car Care, being constructed at 20215 N. John Wayne Parkway, and the new fire department administration building at 45695 W. Edison Road check out on automatic fire sprinkler systems. Sacate Pellet Mill’s northside hay company installed a sprinkler system in its office, 38743 W. Cowtown Road.

Global Water Resources received a permit for “minor interior alterations” at its office, 22590 N. Powers Parkway, a project valued in city paperwork at $680,000.

This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department
Chief Brady Leffler
Administration Office
45654 W. Edison Road
Mail: 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza

Fire Station 571 (Homestead)
20945 N. Porter Road

Fire Station 572 (Sorrento)
36930 W. Bowlin Road

Fire Station 574 (Alterra)
44925 W. Alterra Parkway

Fire Station 575 (Acacia Crossings)
45695 W. Edison Road

Ak-Chin Fire Department
Chief Cecil Peters
45401 W. Farrell Road

North Hidden Valley Fire Department
53510 W. McDavid Road

Thunderbird Fire District
12365 N. Ralston Road

Maricopa Police Department
Chief Steve Stahl
Emergency: 911
Dispatch: 520-568-3673
Administration: 520-316-6800

Main Station
39675 W. Civic Center Plaza South

Copper Sky Substation
17985 N. Greythorne Drive

Ak-Chin Police Department
Chief Manuel W. Garcia
45525 W. Farrell Road

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Mark Lamb

Adult Detention Center
971 Jason Lopez Circle, Florence

PCSO Search & Rescue
971 Jason Lopez Circle, Florence

PCSO Stanfield Substation
36697 W. Papago Drive

Banner Casa Grande Medical Center – Emergency Room
1800 E. Florence Blvd, Casa Grande

Chandler Regional Medical Center – Emergency Room
1955 W. Frye Road, Chandler


Firefighters check out a smoky fire Thursday. Photo by Kyle Norby

Smoke was reported at Edwards Circle Thursday afternoon in a public housing complex.

“When crews arrived on scene they found smoke coming from the top of the structure coming out from the eaves,” Maricopa Fire/Medical Department spokesman Brad Pitassi said. “They went inside and they couldn’t initially see to find the fire yet.”

Crews contained the fire quickly, but the origin was not pinpointed.

“It appeared it may have been in the attic or could be the wall,” Pitassi said.

The building was next door to Pinal County Head Start.


Photo by Kyle Norby

Temperatures in Maricopa will return to the 60s during a sunny weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is sunny with an expected high of 61 degrees F. Tonight is also expected to be clear, with a low around 36.

Friday, the forecast calls for sunny skies and a high near 62. Overnight, the low will be around 36 under mostly clear skies.

Saturday is again predicted to have sunny skies as the high climbs to about 66. The nighttime low will be around 38.

Sunday will likely be the warmest day of the weekend with a predicted high of 68 and the overnight low around 39.

From this distance, the early days of next week look like more of the same, with no precipitation.

Maricopa City Hall


City of Maricopa Departments
39700 W. Civic Center Plaza

Administrative Services
Jennifer Brown, director

City Clerk’s Office
Vanessa Bueras

City Manager’s Office
Rick A. Horst

Adam Wolfe, public information officer

Community Services (parks, recreation, libraries)
Nathan Ullyot, director

Development Services (planning, zoning, building safety)
Kazi Haque, director

Financial Services
Brenda Hasler, director

Fire Department
Brady Leffler, chief

Intergovernmental Affairs
Dale Wiebusch, director

Police Department
Steve Stahl, chief


Public Services
Mike Riggs, director

Sasha Verma (PCSO)

The apparent killing of a dog led Maricopa Police to a Desert Cedars home, where they allegedly uncovered child porn.

Sasha Verma, 50, had a bail hearing Friday in Superior Court and remains behind bars on a $400,000 bond, as records describe him as a flight risk. He was arrested Dec. 19 after an incident in which nearby residents came home to find a pool of blood in their backyard but not their young dog.

Determining a projectile had struck and likely killed the dog, police tracked its trajectory to a home on Yucca Lane.

Verma was contacted at the home, where police served two warrants. They allegedly found more than 100 weapons and ammunition. Police also allege Verma had multiple passports and other international documents and was carrying $70,000.

In a folder in the home, investigators allegedly found pornographic photographs of underage children. They also reported finding 13 pornographic magazines involving children.

Police have not said if the dog was ever found on the property, saying they are not able to release details on an ongoing investigation.

A grand jury indicted Verma on 11 counts of exploitation of a minor. He is also charged with animal cruelty.

According to county records, Sasha S.M. Verma of California and Dr. Sheo P. Verma of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, listed as unmarried men, purchased the home at 44385 W. Yucca Lane in 2010. Sasha Verma then acquired the home from Sheo Verma in 2017 on a quit claim deed.

First responders check on a pedestrian injured in a parking lot. Photo by Kyle Norby

Be careful out there. An odd assortment of traffic accidents have occurred around Maricopa today, from an insecticide spill to parking collisions.

A small trailer being towed by a pickup truck owned by a pesticide company lost a tire on Honeycutt Road west of the Plainview Street intersection. The tire bounded to the curb while a large container on the trailer spilled its contents across the westbound lanes. There were no injuries.

Just before noon, a pedestrian was reported injured in the parking lot of Fry’s Marketplace. Vehicles were also colliding with each other, including a parked truck that rolled into another vehicle.

In an effort to understand the needs of its audience, InMaricopa published a reader survey.

InMaricopa Advertising Director Vincent Manfredi said the questionnaire is an opportunity for readers to create a better news product for themselves.

“You’re going to give us the ability to provide exactly what you want to see and tell us what you like and don’t like,” Manfredi said.

At the end of the survey, readers have the opportunity to register for the chance to win gift cards to Maricopa Ace Hardware and Native Grill & Wings.

“Toward the middle of January we’re going to pull one winner and then February 15th, we are going to pull another,” Manfredi said.  Only one entry per-person is allowed.

To be eligible, readers must complete the survey and provide their name, email and cell phone number by February 15th.

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President Trump is facing impeachment in the House of Representatives.
Tom O’Halleran

Arizona’s nine representatives have indicated how they will vote on the impeachment articles against President Donald J. Trump in Congress today. Reflecting the rest of the country, they split along party lines. The five Democrat representatives are in favor, while the four Republican representatives are against.

Here is the split:

For impeachment                                               
Tom O’Halleran (D-District 1)
       Represents Maricopa – his full statement
Ann Kirkpatrick (D-District 2)
Raul Grijalva (D-District 3)
Ruben Gallego (D-District 7)
Greg Stanton (D-District 9)

Against impeachment
Paul Gosar (R-District 4)
Andy Biggs (R-District 5)
David Schweikert (R-District 6)
Debbie Lesko (R-District 8)

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The weekend weather in Maricopa is looking sun-filled and mild, according to the National Weather Service.

Today, the high is expected to be 68 degrees F under sunny skies, and the evening will be mostly clear with a low around 42.

Friday, the forecast is for sunny skies, 5 mph breezes and a high near 70. The overnight low will be around 45.

Saturday also has expectations of sunny skies and a high temperature hitting 72. The evening will likely be mostly clear with a low around 46.

Sunday, the skies look to be mostly sunny with a low of 66. Winds of 5-10 mph may gust as high as 20 mph before calming in the evening as the low drops to around 38.

Next week will likely start with lots of sun with days in the low 60s and evenings in the high 30s.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The least expensive home sold in the city of Maricopa Oct. 16-Nov. 15 was a three-bedroom home in Sorrento. Previously a rental, it was on the market just over a month before selling for its historically highest price, though that was still the city’s most affordable.

  1. 37137 W. Amalfi Ave., Sorrento

Sold: Nov. 15
Purchase price: $169,000
Square footage: 1,370
Price per square foot: $123.35
Days on market: 39
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2008
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Sorrento
Features: New paint and carpet, gravel landscaping, two-car garage

  1. 36781 W. Mondragone Lane, Sorrento ………………………… $170,000
  2. 46024 W. Long Way, Maricopa Meadows ……………….. $175,000
  3. 46054 W. Starlight Drive, Maricopa Meadows ………… $175,000
  4. 21826 N. Braden Road, Rancho El Dorado ………………. $177,000

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The most expensive home sold in the city of Maricopa Oct. 16-Nov. 15 was a four-bedroom hacienda overlooking the fourth hole of The Duke at Rancho El Dorado. The property, which is on a 10,000-square-foot lot, had only one owner since it was built in 2003. It took only a month to sell at $10,000 under its initial asking price.

  1. 43376 W. Desert Fairways Drive, Rancho El Dorado

Sold: Nov. 8
Purchase price: $340,000
Square footage: 2,851
Price per square foot: $119.26
Days on market: 30
Builder: Hacienda
Year built: 2003
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Community: Rancho El Dorado
Features: 3-car garage, backyard spa, Xeriscaping, game room, RV gate, citrus trees

  1. 42488 W. Venture Road, Rancho El Dorado ………………………….. $319,000
  2. 42793 W. Whispering Wind Lane, Province ………………………….. $315,000
  3. 21774 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms ………………………….. $305,000
  4. 21688 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms ………………………….. $295,000

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

A collision on John Wayne Parkway caused traffic disruption. Photo by Kyle Norby

A collision between two sedans blocked traffic lanes at a busy midtown intersection Friday afternoon.

First responders reported no injuries, but both vehicles were disabled by the impact in the middle of Edison Road at John Wayne Parkway. Air bags deployed in at least one of the cars.

Maricopa Police Department engaged two tow-truck companies to remove the Ford and Cadillac while Maricopa Fire/Medical helped block traffic.

Despite mild temperatures, there is a 20% chance of showers. Photo by Kyle Norby

A cloudy weekend of mild temperatures could bring rain again to Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is mostly sunny with a high near 69 degrees F, and tonight is expected to be partly cloudy with a low around 46.

Friday is likely to be partly sunny with clouds increasing throughout the day, which will have a high near 71. The night is forecast to be mostly cloudy with a low around 46.

Saturday, the high is expected to be 72 under mostly sunny skies. But clouds return overnight and there is a 20% chance of rain after midnight. The low is predicted to be around 52.

Sunday, the 20% chance of rain lingers in the forecast of cloudy skies and a high near 70. The overnight low is around 48.

Next week sees a lot of sunny to partly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s.

Shamrock Farms was among food facilities getting an excellent health inspection.

All Maricopa food facilities inspected by Pinal County health inspectors from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 were given excellent scores.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
Domino’s Pizza
Bashas’ – AFC Sushi
Bashas’ – Bakery
Bashas’ – Starbucks
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Bakery
Fry’s Marketplace – Deli
Fry’s Marketplace – Starbucks
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Jack in the Box
JB Farmer’s Convenience Store
Maricopa Head Start
Province Community Association Clubhouse
Shamrock Farms
Walmart – Deli

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspections]

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

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Rain and possible flash flooding is Maricopa's Thanksgiving forecast. Photo by Kyle Norby

Whether staying home or driving to a Thanksgiving destination this week, the weather might be adventurous, according to the National Weather Service. Maricopa is expecting rain and even frost while the high country prepares for a winter storm.

Wednesday starts out well enough in Maricopa with a partly sunny day and a high around 70 degrees F. However, there is a 30% chance of rain after 11 p.m. while the low slides to 48 overnight.

Thanksgiving Day, there is a 70%-80% chance of rain all day while winds are 10-15 mph and gusting up to 25 mph. Up to a quarter of an inch of rain is expected during the day. The chance of rain increases to 90% overnight, with three-quarters of an inch possible. The low temperature is expected to be around 45.

A flash-flood watch is in effect from Thursday morning through Friday afternoon. A flash-flood watch means that flooding of washes, creeks and other drainage areas is possible within the watch area. Be prepared to take immediate action should heavy rain and flooding occur or a flash-flood warning be issued.

Meanwhile a winter-storm watch is in effect in Arizona’s high country, including Payson, Prescott and Flagstaff. If traveling in these areas this weekend, stay alert to weather and traffic conditions. If you must drive, make preparations for snow and winds. “Travel will be very difficult to impossible” in many areas, according to NWS.

Snow forecast from 3 p.m. Thursday to midnight Saturday:
Flagstaff 15 to 21 inches
Forest Lakes 19 to 25 inches
Fredonia 1 to 3 inches
Grand Canyon 8 to 12 inches
Heber-Overgaard 7 to 11 inches
Jacob Lake 9 to 13 inches
Paulden 1 to 3 inches
Prescott 4 to 8 inches
Sedona 3 to 5 inches
Seligman 3 to 5 inches
Williams 14 to 20 inches

Friday in Maricopa, there is a 50% chance of rain on a partly sunny day as the high reaches only 58 and winds continue at 10-15 mph. Chances of precipitation lessen to 20 percent at night as the low dips to 36. Frost is possible.

Saturday will also be nippy as skies begin to clear up, with a daytime high near 59 and an overnight low of 35.

Sunday is forecast to warm slightly to 64 on a mostly sunny day. The night is expected to be partly cloudy with a low near 64.

Before driving in questionable conditions, check

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The City of Maricopa made election packets available Oct. 16 for those wishing to run for city council and mayor. By the end of October, six candidates had pulled packets indicating their interest.

The mayor’s seat is coming due as are the council seats occupied by Nancy Smith, Julia Gusse and Marvin Brown.

First in line to pull a packet was Mayor Christian Price. So far, he is the only mayoral candidate to pull a packet.

Gusse and former council member Leon Potter have also taken out candidate packets. Previous candidate Bob Marsh is throwing his hat in the ring again, too.

Newcomers are Marlene Pearce, a long-time resident and currently assistant to Pinal County Supervisor Anthony smith, and Realtor Michael Salgado. Nov. 7, school counselor Amber Liermann pulled a packet, as well.

Nomination packets are available at City Hall, 29700 W. Civic Center Plaza. Candidates can collect signatures now, and nomination paperwork must be turned in between March 9 and April 6.


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Maricopa weather will be in the 80s through the weekend, but rain could move in next week. Photo by Kyle Norby

Maricopa can expect a balmy weekend, according to the National Weather Service, but rain may move into the picture next week.

Today is sunny with an expected high of 84 degrees F. The low temperature tonight will likely be around 50.

Friday, the forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high near 83. The overnight low will be around 49 as the clouds gradually clear.

Saturday, look for a sunny day, gentle breezes and a high near 85. The nighttime low will be around 49.

Sunday, NWS predicts another sunny day and a high near 84. The nighttime low will be around 47.

Next week will be more of the same until Wednesday, which, from this distance is setting up for precipitation and gusting winds. The likelihood of rain is at 40 percent.

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    Machelle Hobson (PCSO)

    Machelle Hobson, a Maricopa resident being prosecuted for child abuse, has died at the age of 49.

    Maricopa Police Department confirmed the death of the woman who had become known as the “YouTube Mom.” She was indicted on several charges this year after her adopted children accused her of abusing and maltreating them to force them to appear in a series for her YouTube channel.

    However, Hobson, also known as Hackney, had medical issues that prevented her appearance in any court proceedings. Prosecutors had expressed doubt early on that she would ever be able to be tried on the charges because of her physical and psychological condition.

    She was at a Scottsdale hospital at the time of her death. A specific cause of death has not been released.

    When Hobson was arrested in March, her two oldest sons, who are her biological children and are in their 20s, were also arraigned. Pinal County Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against the men, but MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said other charges may be pending.

    The successful YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures,” which had more than 250 million views, was suspended after the arrests.

    Hobson’s daughter, who was not living at the house in The Villages, told police March 13 she learned of the alleged abuse from her adopted sister. Hobson was initially charged with 30 counts of abuse and kidnapping. Ultimately, the state was prosecuting her for 22 of those charges.

    Alvarado said a county detective informed MPD of Hobson’s death.

    Olivia Byers and Connor Schrader are headed to state competition this week. Photo by Victor Moreno

    Two Maricopa High School swimmers have qualified for the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II State Championship Meet.

    Sophomore Connor Schrader is ranked 11th in the 100-meter backstroke and 18th in the 100-meter freestyle. Junior Olivia Byers was placed 33rd in the 100 free, making her first alternate.

    The top 32 compete.

    Preliminaries start Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa. Finals are Friday.

    Schrader and Byers are school record-holders for the Rams’ 2-year-old swimming program.

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    Halloween night could get chilly this week. Photo by Kyle Norby

    A sunny weekend lies ahead for Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service, but trick-or-treating tonight could be downright cold.

    Halloween today is sunny and is expected to reach a high temperature of 77 degrees F. It will also be “breezy” with wind of 10-15 mph gusting up to 20 mph. The overnight low will drop to around 40 degrees, though the wind will die down after midnight.

    Friday’s forecast is for a sunny day with a high around 81 followed by a mostly clear evening with a low near 46.

    Saturday is predicted to be sunny, too, with a high near 85 and breezes up to 10 mph. The nighttime low will likely be around 49.

    Sunday may have a high near 84 under sunny skies. The night will reach a low around 48.

    Next week’s forecast looks much the same with sunny days and daytime temperatures in the low 80s and nighttime lows in the upper 40s without a hint of precipitation.


    Photo by Kyle Norby

    At least one person was injured in a collision this morning at the intersection of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and White and Parker Road.

    Maricopa Police spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said it appeared a car ran into the back of a box truck. A piece of the two-door Hyundai Accent was still attached to the truck when first responders arrived.

    Maricopa Fire/Medical Department personnel extracted a person from the car.

    The road was closed in all direction as the patient was treated and police investigated.