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Photos by Victor Moreno

Practice opened for the Maricopa High School swim team this week, with around 45 students showing up for the Rams. Varsity’s swim season beings Sept. 5 in Apache Junction. Copper Sky is scheduled to host four meets.

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The American Legion’s standards of eligibility have changed, opening arms to more military veterans.

Under the new law, any honorably discharged veteran who has served since Dec. 7, 1941, may join the American Legion, meaning military veterans who served what were previously considered periods of peacetime between wars are now eligible for membership.

Before the change, members of the congressionally chartered organization had to have served on active duty during wartime in one of seven combat periods: World War I, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lebanon and Granada, Panama and Gulf War/War on Terror. The Senate Bill 504, the LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act) was sponsored by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and became law July 30.

Sinema said many troops served in “lesser” conflicts between the accepted periods, including 1,600 troops killed. She said there are at least 12 eras that resulted in military casualties that have not been recognized as “periods of war” by the U.S. government.

“Expanding Legion membership improves services for veterans across Arizona and honors our brave service members killed or injured during periods of unrecognized war,” Sinema said in a statement. “Our bill shows what’s possible when we stay focused on getting things done that matter.”

Larry Crane, Honor Guard commander of Legion Post 133 in Maricopa, said he hoped the change would bring more members. The post currently has about 135 members while Maricopa’s veterans comprise about 10 percent of its population.

Membership in traditional veterans service organizations has declined over the past several decades as members age and pass away, and veterans of recent conflicts have sought out other gropus or social organizations. This year, however, Veterans of Foreign Wars reversed that trend, adding nearly 25,000 new members, according to VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. While the VFW has different origins and different membership requirements from the American Legion, the changes to the American Legion’s eligibility may bolster its ranks as well.

American Legion Post 133 invites all eligible veterans to join the post to help in the many activities it supports locally. Those interested may do so online or by contacting Haven Hull, the adjutant, at 520-208-6434. The post meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Maricopa Veterans Center on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

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Brian Petersheim

By Brian Petersheim

In July 2019 real estate was starting to cool down. Many of the buyers in the Maricopa market have purchased their homes and moved in before school started. The market is still great for buying and selling. Even though demand is slowing, supply is also dropping. Experts agree that upward price trends will continue but slow.

 

July’s median list price in Maricopa was $239,500  (- $400 from last month)

 

July-Average price per sqft was $113 (-$3 per sqft from last month)

July-Average home days on the market was 66 (which is a 9 day increase from last month)

Homes under $200,000 averaged 56 days on the market, while more expensive homes over $300,000 averaged 82 days on the market

297  Homes currently available for sale, not under contract, looking for offers
271  Homes currently under contract (should close escrow within 45 days pending inspection, appraisal, etc.)
203 homes total sold in July 2019 (+19 over June)
34 of the sold homes had a built in private pool
$169,900  Least expensive home sold- Notes: 4 bed/2 bath  1,706sqft in Rancho El Dorado (multiple offers) 43682 W. Elm St.
$425,000 Most expensive home sold- Notes: 3 bed/3.5 bath  3,074 sqft single story in Province w/pool, casita, 2 masters and 3 car garage  42521 W. Mallard
17 Homes sold in Province (active adult community)
34 Of the sold homes were brand new/spec homes

Number of bedrooms of 203 sold homes
2 bed – 15
3 bed – 90
4 bed – 82
5 bed – 11
6 bed – 3
7+ bed – 2

Garage parking of 203 sold
2 car – 165
3 car – 38
4 car- 0

Price ranges of the 203 sold:
$150,001-175,000—- 10
$175,001-200,000—- 54
$200,001-225,000—- 49
$225,001-250,000—- 38
$251,001-275,000—- 24
$275,001-300,000—-15
$300,001-350,000—-11
$350,001-400,000—-1
$400,001+               —-1

The biggest news in Maricopa real estate in July was the opening of the model homes in the subdivision of Maricopa Meadows. The Meadows hasn’t seen construction of new homes in approximately 10 years, until last month when K.Hovnanian homes opened up their models on Miller Way, featuring six different single story floor plans and optional three- and four-car garages.

Earlier this year was the regrand opening of the Alterra subdivision with Lennar Homes and their new models and a “roll out” of several new floorplans in Palo Brea (diagonal from Ultrastar) that will feature the upgrade of an attached RV garage.

Final thoughts: The past few weeks the RE market has stayed relatively stable in terms of Sales to Inventory, however, inventory is low enough to keep us in a slight seller’s market.

Any questions about value or the market, please reach out to me.

Brian Petersheim- Realtor
Call/Text 602-206-9644

 

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Nara Lesperance won her age group's putting contest in Tucson. Submitted photo

Despite rainy conditions in Tucson, Maricopa’s Nara Lesperance won the girls’ 10-11 age bracket in the sub-regional Drive, Chip & Putt competition.

The win qualifies her for the regional at Torrey Pines in San Diego Sept. 21.

Nara, the daughter of Jonathan Lesperance and Shianne Holman, won the putting portion of the competition and was third in driving to earn the overall victory. She is a student at Sequoia Pathway Academy. The family has a GoFundMe account to help pay Nara’s travel expenses.

Winners of the regional competitions advance to the national finals at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before next year’s Masters Tournament. Drive, Chip & Putt is a free development competition sponsored by the PGA of America, Unites States Golf Association and Masters Tournament.

 

 

 

ADOT – The southbound lanes of State Route 347 are closed due to a crash at milepost 188, the junction of Maricopa Road west of Interstate 10, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Traffic is getting around in the right turn lane.

There is a heavy backup between Maricopa Road and I-10. Drivers should consider an alternate route, such as Riggs Road. There is no estimated time to reopen the southbound lanes. The northbound lanes are unaffected.

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County Supervisor Anthony Smith (District 4) in his Maricopa office. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith announced he will not run for re-election representing District 4.

“In 2008 when I was elected into my first public office, I had no idea I would have the pleasure of serving the people for 12 years,” he said. “As I examine where I am in my life and what opportunities I might have waiting behind the next door, I know it is time for me to head in a different direction. That said, I announce today that l will not run for re-election as county supervisor.”

Smith was previously a mayor of Maricopa, where he and his wife Nancy Smith, a city councilmember, reside.

Reflecting on the progress Pinal County has made in the last few years, he said, “The County is very different from when I started my county service in 2013. In 2013, we were still feeling the impact of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate had soared to 13 percent with hundreds of jobs lost in the housing, agriculture and retail businesses. Sadly, families were being disrupted, and economic growth was basically non-existent.

“Today, Pinal County’s unemployment rate is around 4 percent. In fact, Pinal County was the first Arizona County to regain all jobs lost to the recession. New job opportunities abound. Our economy is being diversified with thousands of new high-tech jobs in industries such as green energy, automotive, aerospace, tourism and many others.”

Forbes recently listed Pinal County government as one of America’s Best-in-State Employers for 2019. Smith said that is something Pinal County can be proud of.

When asked what he considered his biggest accomplishment as supervisor, Smith said, “In 2014 as chairman of the board I led the effort to re-think the county’s Strategic Plan. I believe much of the success we’re having today is a result of driving to a road map that’s focused on growing jobs, improving of transportation network, increasing our quality of life and achieving financial stability.”

Smith is thankful for the support he received during his time as a public servant.

“I especially want to thank Nancy, my loving wife, and my family for their sacrifice and sharing time to allow me to be a public servant,” he said. “In addition, many thanks to Marlene Pearce, our district administrator, for her professionalism and loyal service, too.”

 

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Boys Championship Division: (from left) Ethan Klose, Brayden Bozak, Alan Quezada. Submitted photo

Alan Quezada of Phoenix finished the first round in a three-way tie for first place at 1-over 73 before following up with a blistering 6-under-par 66 to win by six strokes (5-under par) in the Boys Championship division at the Maricopa Junior Championship held Aug. 1-2 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. Ethan Klose (75-70) of Phoenix and Brayden Bozak (74-71) of Gilbert finished tied for second place at 1-over-par 145.

Ashley Menne of Surprise also shot 5-under par for the tournament with rounds of 69 and 70 to finish in first place in the Girls Championship division. Talia Gutman of Scottsdale shot 4-over-par 148 (77-71) to come in second place, and Kailani Deedon of Mesa shot rounds of 77 and 72 to finish in third place at 5-over-par 149.
Zachary Frye of Buckeye won in the Boys 15-18 Division at 8-over-par 152 (78-74). Carlos Astiazaran of Tucson won the Boys 13-14 Division at 1-under par (72-71—143). Oliver Uribe of Scottsdale shot even-par (35-37–72) to win the Boys 11-12 Division.

Julie Huggins of Anthem won in the Girls 15-18 division at 15-over par (81-78—159). Kate Hauptman of Scottsdale won the Girls 13-14 division at 11-over par (72-83—155). Natalia Lamadrid of Phoenix won in the Girls 11-12 division at 4-over-par 76 (38-38). And Ashley Shaw of Litchfield Park won in the Girls 10 and Under division at even-par 72 (37-35).

The Junior Golf Association of Arizona hosted the event. JGAA is a nonprofit that develops programs for local schools, assists golf courses with their junior programs, conducts college prep seminars and etiquette clinics.

 

Girls Championship Division: (from left) Kailani Deedon, Ashley Menne, Talia Gutman. Submitted photo

Notah Begay III
Notah Begay III

Notah Begay III, current NBC Sports and Golf Channel commentator and a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, will host two, free one-hour golf clinics  Aug. 10 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.

Begay, the most decorated Native American golfer in history, will host a kids clinic for ages 16 and under at 8 a.m. and a complimentary golf clinic for adults-only at 10 a.m. In addition, Begay will be the special guest at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Bogle Vineyards Wine Dinner at 5 p.m. that evening in the club’s Arroyo Grille.

“Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club and Troon create a world-class golf experience that challenges golfers of all skill levels and provides a unique opportunity to grow the game in Native American communities,” Begay said. “I’m excited to participate in a day of activities that highlights the successes and attractions of the Ak-Chin Indian Community and gives me an opportunity to teach the game to community youth.”

During the golf clinics, Begay and the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes PGA professional staff will help attendees with the fundamentals of golf and sharpening the swings. Registration is required and space is limited for the golf clinics. Priority registration is available for Ak-Chin Indian Community Members. Register for the golf clinics by emailing Devin Lowe at dlowe@troon.com or by calling 520-426-6830.

“We are excited and deeply honored to be hosting Notah Begay, the most successful Native American golfer in history of the PGA Tour, at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. Notah has always been very philanthropic with growing the game in Native lands and his appearance on the 10th will be a special memory for all in attendance,” said Brady Wilson, PGA, general manager, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.

Begay will be the special guest at the Bogle Vineyards Wine Dinner. For $65 per person (plus tax and gratuity), the Wine Dinner includes a five course meal with each course paired with a different Bogle Vineyards wine. Bogle Vineyards wines will be available for discounted purchase, with a two bottle minimum purchase per person required. Reservations are required and attendees must be 21 years or older. Wine Dinner reservations can be made by calling 520-426-6832.

Begay, the only full-blooded Native American to have played on the PGA Tour, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Begay secured a scholarship to Stanford University, where he earned a degree in economics in addition to earning All-American honors three times and leading the golf team to a National Championship in 1994. In addition to winning four PGA Tour tournaments, Begay became only the third player in the history of professional golf to shoot 59 in a professional event. He partnered with good friend Tiger Woods in the 2000 President’s Cup.

When Begay is not on the golf course, he dedicates his time to positively impacting the Native American community. In 2005, Begay launched The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation. The Foundation works to battle obesity and diabetes in the Native American youth. In addition, Begay owns a golf course development firm and works exclusively with Native communities to develop world-class golf properties.

“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is excited and honored to have one of the more visible Native Americans throughout the United States provide a clinic at our Southern Dunes Golf Club, which is rated among the top golf courses in Arizona by Golfweek magazine,” said Ak-Chin Tribal Chairman Robert Miguel. “Notah Begay will not only provide a wonderful clinic for our children and members, but his presence will inspire and motivate all in attendance, in particular Native Americans, that their dreams can become a reality through hard work, desire, motivation and support.”

Golf Landscape: Southern Dunes Golf Club. Credit: Allan Henry / ahenry.com

Still having trouble accessing some of your favorite Maricopa businesses in the shadow of the overpass? Arizona Department of Transportation has released a new map on the current traffic detours as work continues on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The at-grade railroad track crossing has been eliminated. The former State Route 347 that connects with businesses from Hathaway Avenue to the Amtrak station (north of the tracks) and from A1 Pawn to Honeycutt Avenue (south of the tracks) is the new Maricopa Road.

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Clouds move over mid-town Maricopa in a week that could see raindrops.

Clouds are rolling in, bringing the best chance for rain Maricopa has seen in weeks, according to the National Weather Service, with high likelihood of showers Tuesday.

Tonight, there is a 20-percent chance of rain after 11 p.m. and patchy blowing dust between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. The low temperature will be around 85 degrees F.

Tuesday the chance of precipitation increases to 30 percent between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. There is also a chance for showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Overall the day will be mostly sunny with a high near 104 and blowing dust before 9 p.m. The night brings a 50 percent chance of rain with accumulation of less than a 10th of an inch.

Wednesday there is also a 50-percent chance of rain before 11 a.m. and possibility of showers and thunderstorms afterward. The day is forecast to be partly sunny with a high near 96. During the night, the chance of rain slips to 30 percent while the low temperature will be around 79.

Thursday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 100. The overnight low will be around 81.

Friday also has a partly sunny forecast with a high near 105 and a nighttime low around 82.

From this distance, the weekend looks to be increasingly hot and dry.