Authors Articles byKyle Norby

Kyle Norby

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Kelli Shaver (PCSO)

A Maricopa woman was arrested in Rancho El Dorado around 5 p.m. Monday on suspicion of aggravated harassment.

A Maricopa Police officer made contact with Kelli Shaver, 52, on North Braden Drive after receiving a call about a disturbance. According to the report, Shaver explained to the officer she was arguing with her husband. She allegedly left numerous voicemails for a woman with whom Shaver believed her husband was having an affair. Shaver told police the woman already had a restraining order against her.

According to the officer’s report, Shaver was well aware of the restraining order, and said, “I went after her again because I feel like that’s the source of my threat even though I’ve been told not to, I know better.”

While speaking to Shaver, MPD received a call from the woman who had received Shaver’s voicemails. The woman described the several voicemails as “threatening,” with one of them beginning with Shaver identifying herself and telling the woman once she found out where she was, “you’re done.”

Shaver was arrested and booked for suspected charges of aggravated harassment. By law, an aggravation factor is added when a restraining order violation is involved.

Kenneth Ragan (PCSO)

A Maricopa man was arrested late Thursday night on suspicion of criminal damage, disorderly conduct, and domestic assault.

Police were called to a Senita residence around 12:30 a.m. A woman reported her husband, Kenneth Ragan, pushed her out of their bed onto the floor. She also claimed Kenneth created a hole in the wall after hitting it and blocked her from leaving the house with their child.

Ragan also threw her phone across the room, according to the police report. She was able to make it to her vehicle. Officers reported that while she was driving away, Kenneth “struck the hood of the vehicle causing damage.”

Maricopa Police subsequently booked Ragan in Pinal County Jail.

Yonatan Vasquez Vides (PCSO){

Yonatan Vasquez Vides, 25, was arrested Friday night after an altercation at McDonald’s was videoed.

A local woman who was at McDonald’s on John Wayne Parkway with her friends posted a video on a local Facebook group that allegedly showed Vasquez Vides trying to touch her friend. They reportedly didn’t know who he was. The woman began recording on her cellphone when another man, identified as Kieran Gallagher, attempted to get Vasquez Vides away from the table of girls.

The video supports the police report and shows a man purported to be Vasquez Vides begin to swing his fist at Gallagher. He allegedly hit Gallagher in the arm. After the initial contact, McDonald’s staff intervened. The suspect is then seen fleeing the scene through an exit door by the children’s play area. Police observed redness on Gallagher’s right forearm, but no further injuries.

According to the police report, Police were called and made contact with Vasquez Vides across the street at Fry’s Marketplace. Vasquez Vides requested to be seen by Maricopa Fire/Medical Department for a knee injury. While MFD Capt. Nathan Maxcy was evaluating the suspect’s knee, Vasquez Vides allegedly proceeded to kick him in the shin, leaving a red mark.

Vasquez Vides was placed under arrest and booked in Pinal County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault on fire/EMT personnel and assault.

 

Ex-boyfriend of 'Real Housewives' star charged

Matthew Jordan (PCSO)

A man best known as the ex-boyfriend of a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member was arrested early Saturday morning after an incident that took place at Denny’s.

Maricopa Police arrived on the scene at the parking lot, where they were told Matthew Jordan, 32, punched his recent girlfriend Valerie Bell in the face. Police observed redness, swelling and bruising on the side of Bell’s nose. Jordan had already left the scene before police arrived.

Officers then spoke with a restaurant employee, who was a witness to the incident. The server stated the whole ordeal occurred right in front of her, and was approached by Jordan in extremely close proximity after he allegedly hit Bell. She said she felt like she was about to be hit as well.

The server said Jordan “snatched” her pack of cigarettes, even the one in her mouth, and proceeded to try to throw them on the roof. After Jordan fled, the server noticed blood from Valerie’s face all over her and her dress.

Officers attempted to locate Jordan with no luck until hours later when Bell called MPD to report Jordan had come to her home and was walking west on Thornberry Lane in Glennwilde.

Officers located and arrested Jordan on suspicion of aggravated assault, theft and threatening/intimidating along with pre-existing warrants.

Jordan, who has previous arrests in Georgia, is the ex-boyfriend of 1993 Miss USA Kenya Moore, a cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

He is described as 6-foot-7, 260 pounds. He remains behind bars on a $1,250 bond. He was arraigned Monday in Maricopa Municipal Court and faces a second arraignment Friday on new charges.

 

Baseball is not just a sport but a lifestyle for Maricopa eighth grader Brody Matcuk.

Brody Matcuk. Photo by Kyle Norby

July 15, Brody saw his name on the 13U southwest regional team roster for the USA baseball team. With only 34 kids being chosen to compete, it is a major achievement. The next step will be attending the USA Baseball camp in Cary, North Carolina, starting Aug. 7.

Brody has played baseball ever since he was 5 years old. He recalls simply picking up a bat and wanting to play. He also attributes much of his athletic success to the support of his mother and father.

“Thanks to my parents, they looked into it and it seemed cool. I wanted to try out and see what it was like, and I really loved it. I had fun and I met new people, so I really liked it,” Brody said.

Between practicing with his club team two to three days a week in Mesa and working with a local coach, Brody is a busy kid. When asked what he does in the small amounts of free time he has, he said, “If I can, hang out with friends. But I’ll usually play games or swing a bat around the house.”

Receiving a spot on the USA National Baseball team is no easy task, and Brody has put in the time and effort to play with the best. The process consisted of two major tryouts that he participated in down in California.

“For the first try-out, we did infield, outfield, and hitting. For the second tryout we had primary positions and hitting,” Brody said.

By the second tryout, he was able to connect with other kids and made a few friends, with some making it on the team as well.

Brody’s father, Steve Matcuk, who played professionally for teams like the Portland Rockies, has been by his son’s side offering first-hand experience and unwavering support.

“First is dedication. A lot of time and dedication,” Steve said, “I know what it entails, the dedication it takes. I talk to him all the time about, you know, the things that he does now is not so much for this moment in time; it’s more for when you get older.”

With so much going on, Brody’s mother Nikki has been endlessly proud of her son.

“It’s just pretty much the coolest thing ever. It makes my heart smile to see everything that’s now started to fall into place,” Nikki said. “I know how much he’s wanted this and how hard he’s worked. Since he was little, he was always working to be the best Brody; to be the best that he could be. He really inspires me.”

Nikki said Brody keeps her motivated, and they often go to the gym together.

With the baseball camp coming up in only two weeks, Brody will be playing as an outfielder and is eager to get started. Steve said this part of the USA baseball division is known as the “identification series,” which involves not just competing in games, but on-field evaluations and skill testing. The long-term goal is to earn spots in the 14U development series team and climb up to the 15U team, which travels the world and competes against teams from other countries.

When asked if he was nervous to be leaving for North Carolina, Brody said, “Not nervous, just excited.”

Nathan Billings (PCSO)

A Maricopa man is facing potential charges of assault after being arrested Thursday night.

Maricopa Police responded to a call on West Venture Road and were met by a woman named Kimberly Billings. She told police her husband, Nathan Billings, returned home from work that night and they began to argue about responsibilities around the house.

Kimberly claimed that while she was getting in her car to get food for dinner, Billings allegedly grabbed her by her hair and pulled her out of the car.

In the officer’s report, Kimberly displayed scrapes and blood on her elbow from being pulled onto the concrete driveway.

Police spoke to Kimberly’s sons, who reportedly witnessed the altercation and saw their mother being pulled from the vehicle by her hair by their stepfather and trying to defend herself while on the ground. The boys said that Billings then went into the house and went into his bedroom and slammed the door.

Police contacted Billings and were told that after a 15-hour workday, Billings kissed Kimberly and told her he would be going to bed. He stated that she became angry about him not helping feed the kids and getting them to bed.

Billings allegedly admitted to pulling Kimberly by her hair and tossing her to the ground because he felt very disrespected and “just lost it.”

Nathan Billings was placed under arrest for assault and booked into Pinal County Jail.

Maricopa Unified School District emailed Butterfield Elementary parents July 25 informing them the Maricopa Police Department inadvertently left narcotics at the elementary school after a July 3 K-9 unit exercise.

Superintendent Tracey Lopeman released a follow-up statement:

“Maricopa Police officers informed an overnight security guard late Wednesday night that there was a concern regarding a training exercise that took place on July 3.  Thursday morning, the security guard alerted District officials who contacted the Police Department. The District immediately began working with the Maricopa Police Department to conduct a search. We asked students and staff to shelter in place. After interviewing teachers, officers determined a search was not necessary.

Our relationship with the Maricopa Police Department is important and the District will continue its partnership with all City agencies. However, this incident necessitates a reevaluation of our agreement to include modifications that ensure human error never puts any of our students or staff at risk.

Student and staff safety is always our first priority. We are very grateful that the students were never exposed to the package.”

“I can’t get into how it happened because the K-9 officer is currently under investigation,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said. “From a department standpoint, we are going to evaluate our policies and procedures to make sure that they are up to standards with other agencies that have K-9 programs.”

Alvarado said MPD will not be training in any public locations for the time being.

“Any building or facility that the public may have access to, we’re going to suspend that until we have an opportunity to look at our policies and procedures,” Alvarado said.

The following road closures that will begin Friday night

The Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers of the following road closures that will be in place overnight from 9 p.m. Friday, July 26, to noon Saturday, July 27, for storm-drain work in the intersection of Honeycutt Avenue and Maricopa Road (old State Route 347 alignment):

  • Eastbound Honeycutt Avenue will be closed at Maricopa Road (old SR 347 alignment).
  • Southbound Maricopa Road (old SR 347 alignment) will be closed at Edwards Avenue.

ADOT recommends the following detours:

Detour for Eastbound Honeycutt Avenue traffic: Drive west to Hogenes Boulevard. Travel south on Hogenes Boulevard to Bowlin Road, and then proceed eastbound on Bowlin Road to access SR 347.

Detour for southbound Maricopa Road (old SR 347 alignment) traffic: Drive west on Edwards Avenue to Hogenes Boulevard. Travel south on Hogenes Boulevard to Bowlin Road, and then proceed eastbound on Bowlin Road to access SR 347.

The storm-drain work is occurring in conjunction with the SR 347 overpass project.

David A. Turner (PCSO)

A Tortosa man was arrested Sunday afternoon after a family fight.

Maricopa Police received a call about a fight at a home on West Bilbao Street and were met by Turner upon their arrival. David Turner, 25, claimed that during a verbal argument regarding video games, his wife Naomi began to throw items around the house at him.

Turner claimed he grabbed his wife to prevent her from throwing anything because their young child was almost hit by one of the items. According to the report from officers, upon hearing the couple yelling at each other, Naomi’s father, David Hope, came out of his room to observe Turner allegedly having placed Naomi in a headlock hold.

Naomi told police that she had difficulty breathing, and officers reportedly observed redness on the left side of her neck. Hope stated he placed Turner in a “rear-naked chokehold” to get him away from Naomi.

MPD took David Turner into custody and booked him in Pinal County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.

Maricopa Police made an arrest Saturday evening after Miguel Figueroa Jr. allegedly pushed his grandmother and possessed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Maricopa Police were dispatched to a reported assault at a home on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Upon arrival, police contacted Maria Figueroa, Miguel’s grandmother. Maria stated she got into an argument with Figueroa over her money being stolen by him.

Figueroa reportedly pushed his grandmother, causing her to fall and injure her left hand. This occurred the day prior, and police were able to observe Maria’s hand to be severely swollen.

Officers proceeded to locate Figueroa in a bathroom. After conducting a search of his person, police allegedly discovered a small plastic bag with a gram of methamphetamine as well as a smoking pipe containing meth residue.

Figueroa admitted to smoking the meth earlier in the day, according to the police report. While confirming he spoke with his grandmother about missing money, Figueroa denied the claim he stole her money or pushed her.

Miguel was placed under arrest on suspicion of possessing dangerous drugs and paraphernalia, as well as assault and vulnerable adult abuse. His father, Miguel Figueroa Sr., was sentenced to life in prison in 2018 for the stabbing death of wife Olivia.

Make sure to bring your resumes and dress for success, because the Maricopa Job Fair is here again. The event will take place on July 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veterans can enter beginning at 10 a.m.

The workforce agency Arizona@Work Pinal County plans to bring at least 50 employers to this summer’s job fair and expects hundreds of job seekers to be in attendance.

“The first Maricopa Job Fair was at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in 2016,” said Jason Robert of Arizona@Work Pinal County. “It came about because most job fairs are in metro areas, like Phoenix or Tucson. There was a definite need for job fairs here in Pinal County.”

Although partners with Arizona@Work, Harrah’s was not able to host the most recent job fair due to construction on the property. Now that the expansion is complete, the event will be held in the casino’s new ballroom.

If you do not feel ready for the Job Fair, Arizona@Work can help with that.

“We have a workshop prep for job fairs, so when you come to a job fair, you feel prepared, you’re dressed for success, and you know what to ask the employer when you’re going around each table,” Robert said.


This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Jermaine Walker (PCSO)

Jermaine Walker, 38, was arrested Saturday by Maricopa Police for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.

Around 8 p.m., officers observed Walker driving a vehicle in Desert Passage. According to a Maricopa Police probable cause report, officers were aware Walker’s Arizona driving privileges were suspended for a prior DUI conviction as well as outstanding warrants by the Kyrene Justice Court.

After confirming warrants with police dispatch, officers contacted Walker in his driveway while he was still in the vehicle. Upon arresting Walker, police officers discovered a plastic bag that contained a “useable quantity” of marijuana in the vehicle’s center console, according to the police report.

Jermaine Walker received the additional charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and was booked into Pinal County jail.

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Partly sunny days are looking to be present throughout the week. Photo by Kyle Norby

Following a sunny weekend, we can expect to see the temperatures slowly climb all week, according to the National Weather Service.

Today is sunny, with a high near 104 degrees and winds 5-10 mph in the afternoon with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tonight is looking clear, with a low around 68 with the wind becoming light and variable in the evening.

Tuesday will be sunny, with the high being near 106. At night, it will be calm and clear, with a low around 73.

Wednesday will heat up, with a high near 110. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy, with a low around 78.

Thursday maintains the heat, with a high near 112 and partly sunny. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Thursday night is expected to be partly cloudy, with a low around 81.

Friday will stay sunny and hot, with a high near 113. In the evening, we will see partly cloudy, with a low around 80 and calm winds.

The weekend is expected to remain sunny and hot, with temperatures to remain in the 110s.

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The sun sets on another hot day in Maricopa. Photo by Kyle Norby

High temperatures are continuing throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Today will be a sunny Independence Day with a high near 107 degrees F. The overnight low is expected to be around 72 with light winds expected.

Friday is sunny with the high again near 107 with a slight wind in the morning. The night is clear with the low around 74.

Saturday, the forecast will be sunny and a bit hotter, with a high near 108 and calm winds. Partial clouds will be present at night with the low dropping to around 76.

Sunday will be partly sunny with a high near 106 and more calm wind in the afternoon. The night brings a low of around 71 and will be mostly cloudy.

The next week sees more of the same weather with the temperature slowly climbing back up by Wednesday.

A Maricopa man was cited June 24 on suspicion of aggravated assault and child abuse.

It began around 10 p.m. when Nathaniel Clark had called the police and claimed his stepdaughter was kicked out of the home for taking his keys to the house without permission.

“While clearing from the scene MPD was approached by several juveniles,” according to the police report. They reported Clark possibly assaulted his stepson. The juveniles stated the stepson was FaceTiming a friend, and his face was actively bleeding.

Police made contact with the boy and were able to see a red mark on his upper lip. According to the stepson, Clark assaulted him with the bottom half of a pool cue and proceeded to hit him multiple times. Several more marks were shown to the MPD officers on the stepson’s chest and back. Officers concluded the marks, as well as actively bleeding spots on the boy’s left calf, were consistent with assault.

Nathaniel Clark’s stepdaughter, whom he initially called the police on, arrived to the scene in search of her brother. According to the officer’s report, the girl, “appeared to have a distinct limp on her left leg indicating an injury.”

She stated she was in the same altercation with Clark and the pool cue, showing officers an inch-wide red mark on her left leg, which had become swollen. The stepson added that his sister was then thrown outside by Clark after they were both assaulted with the pool cue.

Clark denied assaulting either of his stepchildren, and stated he only gestured with the pool cue for them to find his missing keys.

MPD suggested two counts of aggravated assault and child abuse for Clark.

Rams carry in items collected earlier this year for the Family Advocacy Center. Photo by Kyle Norby

The Maricopa High School football team delivered items collected during a May 18 Soap Scrimmage to the Maricopa Family Advocacy Center on Thursday. Several players and head coach Brandon Harris carried in toiletry and food items, which were the admission fee to the scrimmage, and then received a tour of the facility. Maricopa FAC is a new facility for victims of assault, abuse and domestic violence to receive initial treatment and speak to law enforcement in a safe environment.

“Jungle Jill” McLaughlin brought her collection of live animals to the Maricopa Public Library Thursday for an educational presentation. The event drew dozens of children and overflowed into the next room. It was part of the library’s annual summer reading program.

Marc Garcia (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man is accused of assaulting his girlfriend while she was driving. Marc Garcia, 36, was arrested June 12 on suspicion of an assault around 7 p.m. Garcia’s girlfriend stated that while she was driving, he became upset and angry during an argument and shoved her head against the B pillar of the car.

“While Marc had her head pinned, he bit her right hand,” the report states.

The girlfriend then pulled into a nearby parking lot on Edison Road, where Garcia proceeded to get out of the vehicle and left.

According to the police report, Garcia’s girlfriend delayed in calling the police until around 9 p.m. the same night due to her fear of him returning to their home where her six children live. Police reportedly observed the bruises and bite marks on the victim’s arm and hand respectively.

Garcia was then interviewed and later arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m.

He was also allegedly found to be on parole as of mid-April and was taken to Pinal County Jail.

 

You should never leave your pet unattended in a hot car. In the case of Luis O. Perez, especially not when you have outstanding warrants.

Maricopa Police responded to a call Saturday around 4:25 p.m. from a concerned citizen who reported a dog left in a car in the Walmart parking lot. When police arrived, Perez and his wife came out of Walmart and confirmed the vehicle and the dog were theirs.

According to the police report, Perez’s wife allegedly provided his name and date of birth to police. After a wants-and-warrants check was performed, officers discovered outstanding warrants from West Mesa Justice Precinct, with a bond of $500.

The report stated, “Dispatch confirmed the warrant was valid. Luis’ identity was confirmed using descriptors on the warrant.”

Perez was booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Warren Evans and Robin Fuller were arrested together. PCSO

A K-9 led to the arrest of two people Monday in Cobblestone Farms.

Warren Evans, 52, and Robin Fuller, 45, were booked on possession of meth, drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, and misconduct involving weapons.

Maricopa police conducted a traffic stop at the corner of Cobblestone Farms and Greenland Park Drive at around 2 a.m. According to a police probable cause statement, the officer stopped a ‘97 Toyota Camry with the driver being identified as Evans, who claimed his first name was “James.” Fuller was identified as the front seat passenger.

The officer wrote that “the driver of the vehicle continued to look away from me as I spoke with him and was acting uneasy.”

Based on this behavior, the officer deployed a K-9 officer, who gave a positive alert. Evans then allegedly informed officers meth was located in the glove compartment. Upon further investigation, officers also found a zippered pouch with 2 grams of meth, a glass pipe, syringes, alcohol wipes and a spoon with a cotton ball stuck to it, according to the report.

Fuller allegedly admitted to stuffing empty baggies under the front passenger seat in an effort to conceal it from officers. Police also discovered a revolver-style firearm along with a radio scanner, binoculars and five cellphones with a bag of SIM cards.

Police learned of Evans’ real first name and found him possessing felony warrants in Pinal County and Graham County. Warren and Fuller were both placed under arrest on charges for being a prohibited possessor of the firearm and possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia. Both were later booked in Pinal County Jail.

Budgeting and funds were a key theme during the MUSD Governing Boarding meeting Wednesday.

Superintendent Tracey Lopeman went into the district’s “Administrative Budget Recommendation.” That helped develop the district’s strategic plan that had begun approximately a year ago and has been the focal point of business practices carried out in the school district. The goal presented had an emphasis on customer service, well-kept facilities and effective communication.

Business Director Jacob Harmon explained projections for the 2019-20 fiscal year, saying funding fees will be based on next year’s ADM through the 100th day of instruction. ADM, meaning Average Daily Membership (number of students in public education), in Harmon’s presentation was cited as being based on “estimated and projected assumptions.”

Harmon presented data from the 2018-19 fiscal year when ADM was at 6,832. For the coming school year, the number of children is expected to be calculated at 7,213, an increase of about 400. This calculation is achieved by a base-level amount that is provided with data from the Arizona Legislature.

As all factors for budgeting are applied, Harmon presented approximately $50 million estimated for the 2019-20 general budget, which has increased from the $47 million budget last fiscal year. The slideshow brought up specific mandatory increases for next year, including minimum wage increase, election costs and an increase to state retirement.

More recent expenses in the upcoming school year bring the cost of new portable classrooms at the overcrowded high school into play. The next half of mobilization plus the first year of a three-year lease comes out to around $870,000, not including the almost $80,000 worth of furniture and technology added to them.

“I am so happy to see that we’re investing in our staff as far as making sure that they have computers that are up to date,” Board Member Torri Anderson stated when talking about transparency in the budgets and purchasing new computers for all staff on a lease basis.

“I’d like to see us lease school buses so that we’re constantly updating our fleet,” she said.

Anderson requested a list for a future meeting of more avenues to begin leasing more up-to-date equipment, appliances, electronics and vehicles. This would also save money in these large, commercial purchases, she said.

The topic of grant money and the transfer to a new fiscal year was also discussed, all board members requesting documentation of where the money specifically is being allocated, leading into more talk of leased items as opposed to large, hefty purchases. Overall, the budgeting and recommendations follow tight calculations for the Governing Board to deliberate and illuminate exactly where tax money and grants are being spent transparently.