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VOLUME 44 JUNE 7-21 2012

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Babeu, Voyles announce joint campaign By Chase Kamp

Today Publications inal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and County Attorney candidate Lando Voyles announced they would be running as a team on May 29, 2012, as the two submitted the required signatures to be on the ballot. The Babeu re-election campaign and the Voyles County Attorney campaign will share the cost of expenses such as signs, literature and advertisements. In the announcement sent by the dual campaign, Lando Voyles took swipes at Nov. opponent and current County Attorney James P. Walsh. “First, there are dramatically too many cases that the County Attorney's Office just refuses to prosecute,” Voyles wrote. “Second, if the current County Attorney's Office accepts a case, there are far too many instances that the case will be pled out and this sends the wrong message to both criminals and victims.” Voyles continued, “I've joined forces with Sheriff Paul to fight crime, seek justice and protect our Pinal families. Clearly, we need a prosecutor – not a politician - as our county attorney.” In the letter, Babeu also made a subtle jab at the standing County Attorney. “Imagine what we can accomplish with a real prosecutor leading our County Attorney's Office,” he postured. In a reaction letter, Walsh compared the Babeu-Voyles team


Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and County Attorney candidate Lando Voyles have joined forces. to the de facto Maricopa County team of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Attorney Andrew Thomas, who have been mired by investigations. Walsh said Maricopa County saw “millions of dollars squandered on political persecutions instead of prosecutions, humiliating investigations, large legal settlements and the disbarment of several prosecutors whose actions were found to be a misuse of their powers.” Marty Hermanson, chair of the Babeu campaign, said each campaign must raise their own money to fund their half of the expenses. By joining forces with Babeu, Voyles gets tied with both the Sheriff’s star power and his office’s recent controversy. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is under examination by three differ-

ent investigations from federal and county entities regarding a number of accusations. The first is an investigation of abuse-of-power allegations against the Sheriff, conducted by Arizona Solicitor General David Cole, which was requested by Babeu himself. He is accused of threatening Jose Orozco, his Mexican ex-boyfriend, with deportation, a scandal that emerged in Jan., which Babeu denies. Cole is also investigating whether or not Orozco hacked Babeu’s campaign websites, a contention of the Sheriff’s. The second is an investigation into possible Hatch Act violations being conducted by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. The law makes (continued on pg 15)

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JUNE 2012

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JUNE 2012

Florence town manager, Queen Creek councilman step down By Chase Kamp

Today Publications Town Manager Himanshu Patel notified the Florence Town Council on Monday, May 7 that he is stepping down as Town Manager, effective Friday, December 14, 2012. Patel is leaving the Town of Florence after 11 years of dedicated service to the Town and the community of Florence. In a statement, Patel thanked his colleagues and the residents of Florence. “I am deeply grateful for the incredible journey the council, staff, and residents have provided to me. We have traveled a long road together, never failing to ascend to any challenge or solve any difficult problem. I thank everyone for the

opportunity to represent a wonderful community.” In the upcoming months, the Florence Town Council will determine the hiring process for a new Town Manager. Patel plans on a continued career in public service, but is not seeking alternate employment at this time. Florence assistance manager Jess Knudsen said there would still be some time before the replacement process for the vacancy begins. “The council will make the determination of how the recruitment process with proceed. It is expected that the process will be identified probably around the September timeframe. Queen Creek Town Council

member John Alston recently announced his resignation from the Council because of a move out of Queen Creek due to work obligations, leaving two years remaining on his four-year term. During its May 16 meeting, the Council recognized his service to the community and presented him with a token of the Town's appreciation. In a statement, Alston recognized the efforts of his colleagues on the Council as well as Town staff during his service. “It has been an honor to serve as a representative of the town of Queen Creek,” Alston said. “I have very much enjoyed these past two years on the council. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside the

mayor, fellow council members and staff.” “The Queen Creek community is fortunate to have a large number of residents who believe in our Town and want to take an active role in its future,” said Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. “We are happy to have received so many applications for the open seat on the Council. I think that shows the interest residents have in the decisions that are made on their behalf.” Nearly 20 applicants have thrown in their names for the Council vacancy. The schedule for interviews will be determined by the Town Council in June.

STV girl advances in MLB skills competition By Chase Kamp

Today Publications San Tan Valley 10-year-old Emily Saults won the national semi-finals of Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run Competition at Chase Field on May 27, 2012 and is now one of 30 girls in the United States remaining in the competition. Major League Baseball sponsors the Pitch, Hit & Run Competition every year. Participants begin at the local level and advance according to their overall scores in the competition. Emily won the local competition in Queen Creek and was chosen to advance to the Sectionals based upon her score. The sectionals she competed in included the top girls from Arizona and New Mexico. Emily won her Sectional in Chandler and her score was among the top three, advancing to the national semi-finals. Thanks to her May 27 win, Emily is now the official representative of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the All-Star Game, however the rest of the country’s competitors were awaiting scores at press time. If her score is in the top three, she will participate in the National Finals at the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City. Emily’s father Scott said she started playing baseball when she was four and transitioned to softball three years ago. “She plays a lot of ball with her brother, Nick, who has taught her a lot,” he said. Emily’s family is big on sports. Scott Saults said he played baseball his entire life at a high level and once had some professional interest. He coaches high school Softball at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert and has coached Emily throughout her young career. Her 14-year-old brother Nick has played baseball for nine years and excels as a pitcher, also playing basketball, football and soccer. Darlene, Emily’s step-mom, was an accomplished gymnast. Scott said the Saults family likes to play basketball, wiffle ball, football and soccer. “Needless to say, we like sports,” Scott said. Emily is a big fan of Yankee’s shortstop Derek Jeter and her favorite sports teams are the Chicago Cubs, Dallas Cowboys and the University of

Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run Competition semifinal’s winner Emily Saults at Chase Field in Phoenix. Illinois Illini. Scott said Emily enjoys going to D-Backs spring training games and has always had a ball in her hand. “She’s typically playing with Nick and I outside in some sport,” he said. Emily also enjoys looking at her baseball cards and playing video games. She has three dogs and a cat at home she loves to play with. Scott said Emily has talked about playing softball at the University of Arizona, but he hopes she will aim higher. “Hopefully I can talk her into a better school,” he said. If sports don’t work out, Scott said Emily would like to work with animals someday. For more on Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run Competition visit

JUNE 2012


Town of Queen Creek saw decrease in crime in 2011


By Zach Richter

Today Publications At the May 16 Queen Creek Town Council Meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Joe LaFortune led a presentation detailing the Town’s crime statistics for 2011. According to the report, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) currently has 31 sworn deputies assigned to the Town, including patrol deputies, a school resource officer, detectives and a crime prevention deputy; additionally, the Sheriff's Volunteer Posse provides crime prevention patrols and back-up support to patrol deputies. Per the MCSO there were a total of 14,939 incidents involving MCSO officers in 2011, nearly 1,000 less than 2010. Overall, violent crimes declined by 16 percent, property crimes also saw a decline, with auto theft experiencing the largest decline at 50 percent. While the report was largely positive, it did note that shoplifting had increased by 78 percent (from 94 to 167) as had runaway juveniles, reports of which had increased 48 percent (from 88 to 130). Vehicle accidents were also up 25 percent for 2011 (from 411 to 519). Today Publications spoke with LaFortune about the 2011 statistics after the meeting to find out what is being done to combat the increases. “We’ve assigned the detectives to work with the loss control personnel at the larger big box type stores,” LaFortune explained. “We’re looking to get an idea of what is causing the shoplifting increase.” LaFortune was quick to point out that the increase isn’t limited to the Town, citing similar activities in Chandler and other parts of Maricopa County. “The County Attorney has a website for retailers to share information about incidents,” he said. “It’s definitely happening on a larger scale.” When it comes to vehicle accidents, LaFortune noted that the Town’s reserve deputies are on the case. “We’ll go through the reports to see the high accident times and locations,” he said. “We’ll put the reserve deputies in those areas to get a handle on the speeding and red light running that’s the cause of these accidents.” While shoplifting and vehicle accidents are fairly straightforward, LaFortune admitted that he’s not quite sure where the increase in runaway juveniles came from or what can be done to curb the tide, though he said it is being discussed. “That’s an odd one, we’re not quite sure where it’s coming from,” he said. Despite the few increases, LaFortune was proud of the Town’s low crime levels. “We’re a pretty safe community,” he said with pride. “Just by not having a homicide in 2011 drops the rate pretty far.” LaFortune credits part of the Town’s low overall crime rates to a crime free multi-housing program introduced to local apartment buildings in 2011. “It empowers management by strengthening agreements with residents so they can take action when crimes occurring,” he explained. “It strengthens their ability to remove residents if the residents or their guests engage in criminal activity.” Moving forward, LaFortune hopes that the multi-housing communities will become more involved in the program as time goes on. “As they get deeper into the program hopefully they’ll start to host annual crime free and safety days,” he said. “We’re not at that point yet but eventually.” For more information about the Town's public safety program, visit

Emergency Management Coordinator Joe LaFortune discusses the Town of Queen Creek’s 2011 crime statistics.




JUNE 2012

Poston Butte girls hit gridiron for powder puff football By Chase Kamp

Today Publications In a refreshing switch of roles, members the Poston Butte High School football team recently stood on the sidelines and handed the pigskin over to the girls. On May 18, 2012, the school held its first Powder Puff football match, pitting teams of senior and junior girls in a game of flag football. Junior Natalie Fernandez, who serves as student council committee chair, said the female students were excited for the role-reversal. “It’s kind of cool to people, because usually its guys playing and girls cheerleading,” she said. The Powder Puff game was seven-on-seven and followed the basic rules of flag football. Some of the Bronco football players served as cheerleaders and others were coaches for the senior and junior teams. Ryan Rodriguez, school psychologist and advisor for the student council, said the match had some serious bragging rights at stake. At an assembly earlier that morning, the school had a competition to see which class was more spirited, Rodriguez said, and the departing senior class won. “It was the last assembly and the seniors won, so this was an opportunity for the juniors to see which class is better,” he added. Senior Livia Forlemu, who primarily played wide receiver on her team, said she felt confident in her senior squad even though the competition would be fierce. “The juniors brought their A-game,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure. We have to win, or we’ll be embarrassed.” Formelu said the senior team

practiced in the school gym and had group meetings at Pizza Hut to cohere the team. “We’ve been making up new plays, but it was kind of a fail,” she laughed. “Let’s be honest, we’re about 50 percent winging it.” Chris Carlino, Poston Butte varsity player and coach of senior squad, said the team practiced almost daily, running drills and practicing formations. “Me and our other coaches stayed up late and drew up some plays, he said. “ [The girls] actually took to it pretty well. We got our own plays from our coach, and we’re implementing it here.” Carlino said clothing was a unique issue to address, but that it was mostly similar to varsity Bronco football practice. “They have to have their hair clips and bedazzled things,” he said. “But in the end, they’re pretty tough; there’s some hard hits out there.” All that practice paid off: on the first possession, the senior girls ran complex gadget plays, double laterals and flea-flickers. However, the junior girls had their abilities on display as well, pulling down an interception just as the senior got into the red zone. It was a windy day out on the field, but the spirits of the players and attendees were not hampered. Dozens of the girls’ classmates, as well as some proud parents, cheered on the sidelines as the drama unfolded. The game ultimately ended in a 12-12 tie, which Rodriguez said leaves a good impression for both the departing seniors and the facesaving juniors. “The best part is that they are all winners,” he said.

Players from the junior team at the first Poston Butte Powder Puff football match.

Registration available now for Barney sports camps By Zach Richter

Today Publications Summer is here and the Barney Family Sports Complex (the Barn) is offering a wide variety of opportunities for students looking to keep busy during their time off including basketball, soccer and volleyball camps for athletes of all ages and skill levels. Taking place July 10-12, 2012, the Barn’s basketball camp is available for grades K-8 and is split into beginner (K-5) and intermediate (6-8) groups. The beginner camp introduces players to the game and reviews practical basketball skills while promoting a love of the game. The intermediate camp is designed to give older players a competitive edge by focusing on drills and skill instructions. Sessions will cover passing, shooting, defense and dribbling, players will be grouped by skill for games. Each court will have a coach or experienced player on hand to demonstrate techniques and provide individualized instruction. Registration is $65 and includes a camp T-shit. The beginner camp will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and the Intermediate camp will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Barn will also be hosting two separate soccer camps this summer, Challenger British Soccer and their own Soccer Camp. The Challenger British Soccer camp is the largest and most popular soccer camp in the country and from July 9-14, athletes ages 3-16 will have the opportunity to learn tips and tricks from U.K. coaches. Each day includes individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games, coached scrimmages and a daily World Cup tournament. Registration includes a ball, T-shirt, individual evaluation and end of camp gift. Cost varies by age from $95-235. The Barn’s soccer camp will run for two sessions this summer from June 12-14 and again from July 17-19. Athletes ages 5 to 12 will learn in(continued on pg 8)

JUNE 2012


STV track and field teams excel at state meet By Chase Kamp

Today Publications Both the Combs High and Poston Butte High track and field teams had fantastic performances at the state championship meet on May 12, 2012. Combs track coach Jesse Hart said the Coyote squad had a tremendous showing with 11 athletes qualifying for the state championship meet. Three years ago, only one student-athlete qualified for the state competition. Senior Desmond Powell was the first state placer in Combs track and field history, taking ninth place in the shot put. Hart said Powell’s achievement was very dramatic. Powell just barely qualified for the final round by only one-fourth of an inch. “It’s great for him to finish his senior year like that,” Hart said. Senior Tyler Fairbanks was a jack-of-all-trades, qualifying for four different events at state. He competed in the 400 meters, long jump, fourby-one relay and the four-by-four relay. “He’s a senior who worked really hard and improved throughout the year,” Hart said. The Combs squad also has a number of promising underclassmen coming back next year to compete. Junior Katie Rohrer competed in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the four-by-one relay team for Combs. She qualified for the 100-meter hurdles and was an alternate for the 300-meter hurdles at the state competition. Sophomore Elijah Throckmorton competed in four different events at the state meet: 100-meter, 200-meter, 300-meter and the four-by-four


relay. “We’re expecting huge things from him in these next couple years,” Hart said, “I’m really excited to see where’s he’s at when he’s a senior.” Poston Butte track coach Gordon McKee, who has been heading the program since the beginning of the school three years ago, said the Bronco track and field squad had a banner year. “We had four athletes who made it to state this year, one of which was senior Desiree Gabriel,” McKee said. For the previous two years, Gabriel was the only Poston Butte track athlete to make it to state. Gabriel competed in shot put and discus, and managed to place sixth in the discus. Other Poston Butte making the state competition were junior Tiana Conner who competed in the high jump and triple jump, junior Kristopher Davis in the 400 meter race (placing fourth), and senior Jalece Burnett in the long jump. This year, Poston Butte sported 68 participants, its largest number yet. “It definitely shows that our program has come a long way in three years,” McKee said. The majority of the team were freshman, sophomores and juniors. “They’re definitely looking forward to next year and doing better than they did before,” he continued. “We had a great coaching staff and finally established a core of coaches.” McKee said having four athletes qualify for state is great for the program because it draws more athletes and helps the program grow year to year. “Our times improved from beginning to end, we got faster, we jumped farther, threw farther,” he said. “It’s a great improvement for us.”

Gold Canyon Arts Council looking for artists Gold Canyon, Ariz.--The Gold Canyon Arts Council is currently seeking artwork submittals to be used for posters promoting the 2012-2013 Canyon Sounds Series and the 2013 Canyon Arts Festival. The winning piece will reflect some aspect of the Sonoran desert or the diversity, sights and activity of the Canyon Sounds program or the Canyon Arts Festival. The art featured in the poster may be a drawing, painting, photograph or a combination of the forms or a photograph of another art form such as sculpture, pottery, weaving or basketry. Artists working on three-dimensional pieces must include photographs of the piece in the setting and enhanced background in which it will appear in the final poster. Previous entries have found inspiration in the bright colors and the movement of the performances surrounded by the artist’s booths at the Canyon Festival and the musicians and dancers who perform

at the various concerts of Canyon Sounds. The tone of all submissions is left to the artist's discretion. Artists may reference a website as a sample of their work, but are encouraged to not direct the committee there to view a particular piece. Deadline for submission is Sept. 15 and a winner will be announced Sept. 29. The committee may wish to view the actual artwork as part of the judging process. The selected artist is expected to contribute the rights to use the representation for advertising and fundraising and be available at selected times during the festival and at Canyon Sounds concerts for poster signing. The poster may be titled at the discretion of the artist. The festival will provide prominent visibility for other works the artist desires to display at the 2012 Canyon Arts Festival to be held early next year. Selection of an artist’s work for the poster conveys widespread visibility for the work and name recogni-

tion for the artist. Those interested in participating may send a representation of their artwork (at least 8” x 10”) to Canyon Rose Storage Attn: Festival Poster Committee 6405 S. Kings Ranch Rd. Gold Canyon, AZ 85118. Artists are expected to prepare their own submission copy for presentation to the committee. For contact purposes, include a name, address, phone and email. Individual artists may send three proposals. Upon request, submitted art and photographs will be placed at Canyon Rose Storage for return. For further inquiries, contact C. Lindemann at Formed in 1998, the Gold Canyon Arts Council presents a fine arts concert series, Canyon Sounds, from Nov. to March. Designed to affordably meet the needs of the far-east end of the Valley of the Sun, the programs vary from traditional classical chamber music to ethnic and folk performances with indigenous instruments. Past sea-

sons featured blues, jazz and theater as well. The Gold Canyon Arts Council sponsors and promotes performing, visual and other related arts activities in the greater Gold Canyon area through a series of culturally diverse public performances, festivals, educational residency programs, artistic awards and the encouragement of the arts in area schools. The Gold Canyon Arts Council is an IRS Sec. 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. For more information, visit the Gold Canyon Arts Council website at




JUNE 2012

Snider discusses Phoenix Mart at Regional Chamber By Chase Kamp

to create 3,000 full-time jobs upon its initial phase, Today Publications with further opportunities for growth in the future. About 60 percent of the vendor space will be The San Tan Regional Chamber recently weldedicated to domestic vendors, with the rest gocomed District 3 County Supervisor David Snider ing to international manufacturing firms that have to the Windmill in Florence to discuss the imalready begun bidding for leases. “It will be as pact of Phoenix Mart, the 1.5 million square-foot impactful as you want it to be,” Snider said. wholesale marketplace coming to Casa Grande that The project is utilizing a funding mechanism will house international and local vendors alike. tied to an immigration measure called EB-5, a Snider said the Phoenix Mart concept is a bit Congressional act passed in 1990 design to incenlike IKEA crossed with a farmer’s market, where tivize foreign investment in areas of high unembuyers examine price points, product quality and a ployment in the U.S. fruitful relationship with a vendor. “When you put For making the investment, the investor that on steroids, it’s Phoenix Mart,” he said. “It’s receives access to permanent green cards for designed to showcase manufactured products for a their immediate family under the provision. In number of different wholesale vendors.” exchange, the investor must create 10 permanent Phoenix Mart will be the third of its kind in full-time U.S. jobs for every investor. the world with two other similar wholesale marketThe EB-5 district created for the project covplaces in China and Dubai. Snider said the name ers areas of Casa Grande and Eloy, which have Phoenix Mart was chosen, even though it will more than 1.5 times the unemployment than the reside in Pinal County, because of the significance national average. of the mythological phoenix in Chinese culture. Pinal County is on display for the droves of The first phase of the mammoth commercial foreign investors and companies involved in the center will be 1.5 million square feet of building all Snider discusses Phoenix Mart with Phoenix Mart project, Snider said. “It’s a very under one roof. “By way of reference, the PromRegional Chamber members. exciting prospect,” he said. enade Mall in Casa Grande, with all of the parking The Phoenix Mart project has an estimated lots, is a million square feet,” Snider said. opening date of October 2013. In regard to the economic impact Phoenix Mart will have, Snider said it will “dramatically change Pinal County.” The project is anticipated

Register now for Barney camps

(continued from pg 6) dividual technical skills including dribbling, passing, receiving, finishing and small-sided play. The cost to register is $65 per session and registration includes a camp T-shirt and ball. Volleyball camps for athletes in grades K-8, position specific camps, boys’ volleyball for ages 12-18 and junior high tryout camps are all available this summer. Sessions for each are available in June and July. Much like the basketball camp, the beginner volleyball camp will introduce players to the game and highlight individual volleyball skills while the intermediate camp is designed to give players a competitive edge through drills and skill instruction. Position camps provide an emphasis on specific skills including setting, hitting, defense and blocking. The camps provide intensive training and allow athletes to specialize in areas that may need improvement. The 12-18 boys’ volleyball camp will include work on the basics of passing, hitting, digging, blocking, serving and attack approach. The second session will include an integration of team play. Beginner and intermediate camps are $80 per athlete, position/team training is $100 per athlete and the 12-18 boys’ camp is $80 for one week or $120 for both. Team trainings are twice a week for one month and each session is an hour and a half. For more information on any of the programs available at the Barney Family Sports Complex this summer, visit

JUNE 2012

Candidates start getting official Starting with County Attorney Jim Walsh on April 30 and continuing in a rush leading up to the filing deadline, candidates across the County are officially submitting their nominating petitions to appear on the primary election ballot this Aug. The primary election will be held on August 28, 2012 and the general election will be held Nov. 6 While candidates have been forming exploratory committees and discussing the issues for the better part of a year, in order to be officially qualified to run in the election, they are required to submit nomination forms and petitions with a varying number of signatures to the Pinal County Elections Department. In order to appear on the Aug. 28, primary ballot, candidates were required to file their paperwork by May 30. James P. Walsh Pinal County Attorney James P. Walsh filed more than twice the required nominating signatures for his reelection on Mon., April 30. If reelected, Walsh plans to expand services to crime victims by training volunteer victim advocates to supplement the work done by his office. "We also need to focus on white collar and economic crime like the scams which arose during the housing crisis. Senior citizens are often the targets of these rip off criminals and need education and protection," Walsh said. Barbara Kelly County Recorder hopeful Barbara Kelly formally filed nearly 1,000 signatures with the Pinal County Elections Department on May 15. Kelly spent over 30 years working in the Recorder’s Office and is a current Certified Elections Officer certified by the Arizona Secretary of States’ office; a Certified Public Manager graduating from Arizona State University’s Bob Ramsey Executive Education Program and has received certification from the Eller College of Management Southwest Leadership Program at the University Of Arizona. Carol Springer Carol Springer of San Tan Valley officially submitted her petitions to the Pinal County Elections office on May 25. “Getting signatures was a great opportunity to talk face to face with folks here in District 2,” said Springer. “I just knocked on doors and introduced myself. There’s no question that improving Hunt Highway is a major concern. It’s imperative we make the funding available to improve our main corridor, not only for our growing traffic issues, but for safety as well,” added Springer Cheryl Chase Former Arizona State Representative and District 2 Supervisor Candidate Cheryl Chase submitted over 326 valid signatures to the Pinal County Elections Department May 29. If elected, Chase hopes to bring new leadership to the Board of Supervisors. “I am the only candidate in our race that has the experience and proven track record of getting results for our community,” Chase said. “There will be no stronger advocate for business, public safety, health care and rural issues than me.” Paul Babeu Sheriff Paul Babeu announced his filings on May 30 with an announcement that he was running on a joint ticket with County Attorney hopeful Lando Voyles. Sheriff Babeu said, "Arresting criminals does NOT ensure that victims will receive justice. When prosecutors favor plea deals and refuse to take criminals to trial, justice is compromised and criminals are empowered to repeat their crimes. Lando Voyles is a prosecutor, who sends



Candidates from around Pinal County have submitted their paperwork required to appear on the Aug. 28 primary ballot. murderers, gang members, drug dealers and sexual offenders to prison. No one can argue that our Sheriff's Office isn't better off than four years ago. Imagine what we can accomplish with a real prosecutor leading our County Attorney's Office." Lando Voyles Lando Voyles said, "Sheriff Paul's work is only partially effective and he needs the help of a trained prosecutor who agrees with strict enforcement of all the laws. I will not allow criminals to go free and to avoid the stiffest penalty allowed under law. Right now, there are two major problems with the current County Attorney's handling of cases. First, there are dramatically too many cases that the County Attorney's Office just refuses to prosecute.” Kevin Taylor On May 30, Pinal County Sheriff candidate Kevin Taylor, a Democrat submitted 700 signatures to the Pinal County Elections office. “I found it important to collect most of these signatures myself; and, I am both humbled and honored to have the support of the people in Pinal County who signed my petitions,” Taylor said. He added, “I have traveled the county and listened to the people who live here because as a law enforcement official it is important to develop a strong relationship with all the communities and neighborhoods across the county.” Jack McClaren Pinal County Constable Jack McClaren officially filed his candidacy for Pinal County Sheriff, on May 30, filing more than three times the required candidate nomination signatures needed. “The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office continues to be in the media spotlight…Paul Babeu has used the office for a now failed Congressional run and brought embarrassment upon himself, tarnishing the good name of the many law enforcement professionals who are Pinal County deputies and detention officers.” McClaren said.” Tisha Castillo San Tan Valley business owner and former Democrat Tisha Castillo filed for a slot on the Republican ballot in the Pinal County Supervisor race on May 30. “One of the biggest challenges the voters will face this election season is weeding out which candidates have actually worked for this community in the past, not because it was their job and not just because it’s now election time," Castillo said.



JUNE 2012

Tom Hollenbach aims for District 3 Supervisor seat By Chase Kamp

Today Publications Casa Grande resident Tom Hollenbach is running for District 3 Supervisor and says he plans to bring an outsiders vision to the position if elected. Hollenbach said he has lived in the community for 42 years and has done 28 years of private practice land surveying with his own company. “I bring an outside view into the Board,” he said. “I’m not a professional politician. I’m a businessman looking at the whole scenario as a business.” He said he was inspired to run because of what he called a lack of leadership on the Board both recently and in the past. “It’s time to rededicate ourselves and become a county with a good reputation,” he said. “I believe I can be a part of that.”

Hollenbach spent 20 years on the Casa Grande Elementary Education Board, seven of which were spent as Board President. “The experience that I garnered on the board will transition me into being an effective Supervisor,” he theorized. Holenbach said the elementary board was a microcosm of the relationship between the County Supervisors and the County Manager. “In the education community, you have a board that sets policy and a superintendent that implements policy,” he said. “We have checks and balances.” Hollenbach said there is a need for the five new districts to work together and formulate a team mentality to overcome the County’s need for jobs. “We need to attract industry and commercial business into Pinal

County to provide jobs for our stakeholders,” he said. Hollenbach also said the County should stand up to federal air quality violation warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency. “I think that we have a board that is subservient to the federal government as far as the EPA and FEMA goes,” he said. “I think we need to stand up on our own and say we’re a farming community, we’re going to have dust in the air and move on.” In regard to the budget, Hollenbach said the County needs better representation at the state capitol to pass along concerns. “We have representative that go up to the legislature and I often wonder what they’re doing up there,” he said. County staff should also be cut, Hollenbach said. “They needed

the staff because of the boom that we had, but we’re not in a boom right now,” he said. “We need to reevaluate what we have and what we don’t need, we need to get rid of.” In regard to the budget issues with the Sheriff’s office, Hollenbach said County leadership has to be on the same team. “That’s a matter of working with the Sheriff instead of throwing him under the bus,” Hollenbach said. “I think he’s doing a good job.” Still, he said the PCSO budget issue should have been addressed openly several months ago. “As a supervisor, I would have admonished somebody about why this happened and not allow it to get to the point that it got.” For more information, visit or email Tom Hollenbach at

Pinal County dust problem among worst in country By Chase Kamp

winds and dust storms that have caused exceedances of EPA’s healthToday Publications based standards,” Schafer said. “The current drought conditions in Arizona have also played a big role.” Pinal County has been ordered to bolster its declining air quality to Shaffer said ADEQ and EPA both used similar criteria in developfederal standards by the Environmental Protection Agency, which said in ing the proposed nonattainment boundaries, which aim to frame the areas a study released on May 23, 2012 that the County’s excessive dust must most impacting the air quality. be driven down to allowed levels by the end of 2018. “While EPA’s final boundary is larger than the area ADEQ deterThe EPA study said areas of western Pinal County, primarily San Tan Valley, Maricopa, Casa Grande and Coolidge, are violating its dust stan- mined was necessary, EPA did take into account several of ADEQ’s comments on the EPA’s original proposal and that resulted in a smaller nonatdard. The study said County air has an excess of PM-10 dust, particles tainment area,” he said. 10 micrometers or less in diameter, and communities cannot exceed the Shaffer said the control strategy for bringing Pinal County into atallowed standard more than three times in three years. tainment with the EPA health-based standards hasn’t been developed, but The EPA standard for acceptable PM-10 emissions is 150 microthat the department and County will start finding ways to gain compligrams per cubic meter over a 24-hour period. ance. “The first step is to identify the emissions sources in the county. The EPA study said Pinal County has some of the worst PM-10 Once that emissions inventory has been developed, ADEQ will lead a emission levels in the country. According to the announcement, County stakeholder process to identify the appropriate controls for the significant air quality evaluations have shown "widespread, frequent and, in some emission sources.” instances, severe" violations of the PM-10 standard since 2002. Mark Shaffer, communication director for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, said ADEQ is not aware of any other counties in Arizona that have the same set of dust generating sources and meteorological conditions as Pinal County. “While Pinal County has prominent agricultural operations, many factors contribute to the dust issues in Pinal County,” Shaffer said. State and county air-quality departments now have 18 months to identify where the particulates are coming from and outline what measures will be taken to ensure the levels meet federal standards. ADEQ is currently working on identifying those sources of emission that contribute to the dust problems and will then lead a stakeholder process to develop a strategy to control the dust. “Pinal County, like other areas of Arizona, is also subject to high

JUNE 2012




At Home Solutions graduates from QC Biz Incubator By Zach Richter

Today Publications In May 2011, At Home Solutions owner Kim McCreery spoke with Today Publications as the company was just expanding into the Town of Queen Creek as part of the Queen Creek Business Incubator (QC Inc.). Now one year later, At Home Solutions has expanded once again, this time into a standalone building located in the Queen Creek town center at 22209 S. Ellsworth Road. They celebrated with a QC Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting held May 31, 2012 and in an interview with Today Publications Kim McCreery made it clear that QC Inc. was crucial to their success. “The incubator was one of the sole reasons I was able to expand into Queen Creek,” McCreery explained. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford the space without the incubator; utilities can be cost prohibitive for businesses looking to expand.” McCreery went on to note that while QC Inc. allowed the Queen Creek branch of At Home Solutions to get started, she feels the busiAt Home Solutions celebrates their new offices with a Queen ness has helped the Town as well. “When we first moved in we had two Creek Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. people, in six months we had hired over 20,” she enthused. At Home Solutions Caregivers are given an extensive training proAt Home Solutions provides non-medical and personal care to seniors and people with disabilities. A caregiver’s duties vary based on need gram that includes classes, videos, reading materials and hands-on demonstrations. An in-house training team takes new caregivers systematibut may include meal preparation, transportation and help with personal cally through the skills they will need to provide quality care in a client’s grooming. Respit Care is also available to allow families who provide (continued on pg 25) care for a loved one to have some personal time.

Pinal County businesses offer local summer savings Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business; roughly, $42 remains right here in Arizona, while for the same $100 spent in a national chain store, only $13 remains here. What’s more, studies have shown that locally owned companies with a vested interest in the community in fact do create a greater economic impact, indirectly supporting more jobs, payroll and output locally. They also create a greater revenue impact in that more of the taxes they pay, and their employees pay, stay in Arizona. With that in mind, Today Publications has compiled a list of great deals going on at local businesses throughout Pinal County. Power Postal at Jonson Ranch is offering to supply one bag of pellets a month for 12 months free of charge for each Green Mountain Grill (retail value 200+) sold. Rules and regulations

apply. Visit them at 270 E. Hunt Highway, Ste. 16 in San Tan Valley or call 480-882-2892 for details. Cash Back Brokerage AZ is offering a discount listing special on home listings in Queen Creek and San Tan Valley throughout the months of June, July and Aug. They are also offering a two percent discount on Realtor fees on all sales. Contact Stephanie Sandoval, Designated Broker / Owner at 480-9859055 or CashBackBrokerageAZ. com for details. The Insurance Team is offering to donate 10 cans of food to a local food bank for every quote they give out and for every policy they write, they will donate $10 to the food bank. For more information call 480-626-1860 or visit them online at Waterworks On Wheels is offering $10 off a single swim lesson session to all new clients who use the code SanTanSwim at time

of sign up. They have locations in Chandler and Gilbert, and offer weekday or Sat. classes. They also offer in-home lessons. Visit or call 480461-3888 for more information. Mountain Brew Coffee House is offering happy hour drinks from 2:30 p.m. to close every day. This means that small or medium single flavor lattes will be available for just $2.50, additional flavors, shots and soymilk extra. Visit them at 6832 S Kings Ranch Rd., Ste. 5 in Gold Canyon or call 480-982-9088 for details. Let’s Pose Photo Booths is offering clients who book a corporate holiday party this summer $200 off the price of a photo booth rental. Visit LetsPosePhotoBooths. com. for details. Sherry Butler with San Tan Valley Real Estate is offering to put $250 towards the closing costs of any home sold. Visit Butler- or call 480-7892209 for details. Scrubs & More is offering 25 percent off select brand name scrubs and accessories and 20 percent off on purses, wallets and jewelry all summer long. They also have clearance items marked down between 30 and 50 percent. Visit them at 85 Combs St Ste. 102 in San Tan Valley, call 480-987-9747, or visit them online at for details. Holiday Inn Express located at 240 W. Hwy #287 in Florence is offering a room special of $59.99 for a four-person room with access to the swimming pool, spa and complimentary hot breakfast. Rate is based on availability. For more information, call 520-868-8951 or visit for details.



Traditional sales on the rise

JUNE 2012

By Karen Berg, Realtor, SFR these 69 homes is $220,000 and the 19180 E Lark Dr - $185,900 Special to Today Publications Things are hot in Queen Creek in more ways than one. Sales of homes are rising as fast as the temperature. For the month of May, we had a small increase in listings over April. Total active listings are 89. In addition to these, there are 87 short sales waiting to close, 104 homes pendingand 69 that closed in Town. Of the ones that closed, 28 are short sales, 12 bank owned, and the remaining 29 regular, traditional sales. Did you ever think that you would see the day that traditional sales had the highest number again? The beautiful thing is that our property values are also increasing. The average sale price over

18738 E Celtic Manor Dr $267,239 average price per square foot about 21895 S 195Th St - $391,000 18481 E Superstition Dr - $170,000 20117 E Chestnut Dr - $162,350 $84. How does this look for you? 19132 E Macaw Dr - $225,000 Here is a list of the sold prices 19107 E Pelican Dr - $140,000 7320 S Brighton Ln - $575,000 21264 E Pummelos Rd - $335,000 of your neighbor’s homes, listings 18843 E Via Del Oro -- - $185,000 courtesy of the MLS and sold by 20521 E Orchard Ln - $267,000 20837 E Pickett St - $80,000 22356 E Calle De Flores -- various brokers: 21340 E Via Del Rancho -- $127,000 $213,500 21282 E Puesta Del Sol -- 26718 S 198Th St - $213,000 $178,500 24224 S Cloud Creek Trl 21163 E Saddle Way - $134,000 17927 E Palm Beach Dr - $88,900 22357 E Via Del Palo -- - $132,000 $375,000 18630 E Seagull Dr - $165,000 20306 E Calle De Flores - $400,000 18661 E Cattle Dr - $175,000 18877 E Pelican Dr - $130,000 22119 E Via Del Palo -- - $127,500 19035 E Pelican Dr - $150,000 23103 S 212Th Pl - $108,000 2629 W Canyon Way - $90,000 21334 E Via Del Rancho -- 22242 S 211Th St - $100,000 $173,000 21374 S 194Th St - $260,046 20271 E Appaloosa Dr - $230,000 19912 E Raven Dr - $176,000 19316 E Oriole Way - $213,000 25140 S 191St St - $320,000 19635 E Sonoqui Cir - $395,000 19347 E Carriage Way - $149,000 For a free evaluation of your 21265 E Via Del Rancho -- 26327 S 202Nd Pl - $229,255 18625 E Kingbird Dr - $170,000 home’s value, call Karen Berg, $147,900 Realtor, SFR United Brokers Group 20955 E Via Del Palo St - $126,500 21167 E Lords Way - $117,500 480-545-7662 21936 S 214Th St - $150,000 19702 E Thornton Rd - $225,000

Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts coming to Queen Creek By Chase Kamp

Today Publications The newest Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts store has arrived at 21283 S. Ellsworth Loop in Queen Creek, offering a bevy of sewing and craft supplies for every skill level. Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts has 770 nationwide locations, with the Queen Creek location being location number 17 in Arizona. Jo-Ann District Team Leader Shelley Beseler said the company put on a big party for the grand opening. During the grand opening festivities, which took place from May 31, 2012 through Jun. 2, Beseler said Jo-Ann gave away a $10 gift card to the first 100 guests in the store each day. She also said there was a free re-usable tote bag for customers spending $25 or more, and all day Sat. they hosted a Teacher Appreciation Day chock full of creative demonstrations and open houses for teacher-oriented craft classes. Jo-Ann offers a large assortment of crafting items, floral items, seasonal accessories, custom framing at some locations finished home décor items, fabrics and apparel. Beseler said they are the only national retailer to offer all of that merchandise under one roof. “That’s what distinguishes us and makes us different,” she said. Jo-Ann also offers creative classes to teach a variety of sewing and crafting techniques, many of which will be offered at the Queen Creek location. The classes include sewing, crocheting, knitting, jewelry making, as well as kids classes and special courses like cake-decorating. Each individual store publishes a calendar over multiple months that shows the classes they have available, Beseler said. “You can walk into each location and right at the front they will have a calendar of classes to register for,” she said. She said scrapbooking is huge these days, as is jewelry making. “Everyone likes to change their style on a regular basis and it’s much more economic to make it than to continually purchase items,” Besler explained. The store aims to help everyone with a creative itch, be they new or

seasoned at the arts of sewing and crafting. “We make sure that we have everything from very entry level up to expert advice,” she said. “We do what we can to accommodate all levels.” Beseler said Jo-Ann chose an elementary school in Queen Creek that was presented with a $2,000 check at the store’s grand opening to promote an educational project. The store also offers a teacher discount program. Teachers can save 20 percent on their purchases year-round, either public, private or home school teaching professionals. “The stores also offer teacher promotions and discounts, usually at the beginning of semester changes,” Beseler said. For more information, visit

JUNE 2012





JUNE 2012

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Lavelle’s offers a reprieve from burgers and fries By Kaye Loraine

Special to Today Publications The moment that Lavelle’s Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe opened their doors for business, April 27, 2012 they were mobbed, and with good reason. Word quickly spread as to their quality and folks have been lining up for a taste ever since. Prior to giving Lavelle’s a try, my thoughts had been, I’m not interested in a deli because of the high salts in the meats and the sugar. Oh how wrong I was. I ordered the Arizona sandwich in honor of our esteemed state. It had Hickory smoked black forest turkey, avocado, tomato, lettuce, provolone cheese, on pumpernickel bread. The sandwich was huge and the first bite was full of delectable fresh flavors. In true deli fashion, every sandwich purchase comes with free

chips, spear pickle and a cookie. I talked to Dan, the owner, fresh in from Illinois, who told me of his quest to get the healthiest foods for the deli. I was impressed. He features Boar’s Head meats and cheeses a brand, which is generally lean, low salt, no fillers, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or trans fat. They have taken the initiative on their own to cut the salt. Dan is presently looking for gluten free bread as an option. He considers the vegetarians with three meatless sandwiches: Cheese trio, the veggie and the cactus. All sandwiches are served with chips, a delicious dill pickle and a fresh cookie. I also tried the Hawaiian sandwich, which is sweet and includes sliced ham, pineapple, sweet and sour BBQ sauce and mild Swiss cheese on Hawaiian bread.

Buy 2 adult dinners and get a FREE appetizer Not valid with other offers valid until 7/15/12

Free single scoop of ice cream with any kids meal! Not valid with other offers valid until 7/15/12

Lavelle’s Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe beefeater sandwich. I also tried the Italian Stallion, sandwich is thick with the delicious which had Genoa salami, black for- meats and would make two meals est ham, pepperoni, tomato, onion, for most of us. lettuce, hot giardinara, provolone To add to the menu, they also cheese on Italian bread. Every (continued on pg 21)

JUNE 2012


Rediscover Boyce Thompson Arboretum Pinal County, Ariz. - While the onset of the summer’s heat means sticking as near as close to an air-conditioned room as possible for most people, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is offering up plenty of reasons to spend mornings outdoors this summer. The Arboretum is located at Highway 60 Milepost #223 near the Town of Superior and during May, June, July and August the Arboretum is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults and $4.50 for children ages 5-12. For more information, visit 6/2/12 Dragonfly Walk: at 8:30 a.m. (repeats July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1 and Oct. 6) Roger Racut and his family guide the second dragonfly walk of the season, seeking Flame Skimmers and Blue Dashers at Ayer Lake and at water features around the gardens. Learn more about the legends, lore and biology of dragonflies from Arboretum annual member and retired physics professor Jim Walks who will help separate the fact from the fiction in regards to these fascinating creatures. 6/3/12 Gourd Art Class: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. These popular fourhour workshops are a chance to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from Mesa artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Preregistration is required, and this class is limited to 15 students. Enrollment is $39 (or $30 to Arboretum annual members) includes a gourd and full morning of coaching and artistic inspiration. Tools, paints and paintbrushes are provided during the workshop as well. Call 520-6892723 to enroll. 6/9/12 Fine Art Photographer Michael Madsen's Switching to


Manual Photo Classes: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. will lunch in between. Featured Arboretum Visitor Center Gallery artist Michael Madsen will coach beginner-to-intermediate photographers who are ready to harness the horsepower of their digital cameras by choosing to ignore the 'auto' settings in favor of controlling their own aperture, shutter speeds, ISO and white balance. After classroom instruction students will head outdoors into the Arboretum to apply techniques they’ve learned, and experiment with camera settings together, and one-on-one. Enrollment is $39 (or $30 to Arboretum annual members) call 520-689-2723 to enroll. 6/9/12 Learn Your Lizards - Guided Walk 8:00 a.m. (repeats July 14) Casa Grande reptile enthusiast Wild Man Phil Rakociis will lead the walk where he invites kids and adults who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles to learn more. There is no pre-registration required; the tour is included with daily admission. 6/10/12 Bird Walk: 6:30 a.m. Kathe Anderson leads summertime bird walks June 10 and July 8. What birds have been reported lately? Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Great Blue Heron and Summer Tanager. Come see what all the fuss is about. There is no pre-registration required; the tour is included with daily admission. 6/22/12 Earth Journal Writing Workshop with Kathleen O'Dwyer:7:30 a.m. What does it take to be a better writer? Gold Canyon author and Reiki Master Kathleen O'Dwyer knows and will lead a group of eight enrollees through exercises designed to hone, focus and add depth to their writing. Participants need to bring a pen and notebook (or laptop or tablet if you're an E-writer); sun protection and walking shoes. Cost to enroll is $20 for Arboretum annual members, $29 for nonmembers. 7/28 Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Classes: 10:30 a.m. (repeats Aug. 18 and Sept. 3) Apache Junction author Jean Groen teaches participants to harvest these juicy, seasonal fruits of the Sonoran Desert in a class that repeats four times this summer at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. The class teaches participants how to pick, de-spine and prepare the forbidding fruits - and provides plenty of opportunities for sampling.

Babeu, Voyles join forces

(continued from pg 1) it illegal for certain government workers to participate in certain kinds of political activity, such as using County resources or paid time for campaigning or managing campaigns for paid partisan positions. Babeu is included in the investigation as well as four of his aides, spokesperson Tim Gaffney, public information officer Elias Johnson, community relations director Cheryl Chase and Chief Steve Henry. Babeu suspended his bid for Congress after the Hatch Act investigation indicated PCSO Chief Steve Henry could not keep his current position and run for Sheriff. The third investigation is looking into whether Babeu's office illegally deleted over 5,000 electronic records in the midst of a public records request by the Arizona Republic, conducted by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.



JUNE 2012

JUNE 2012




Combs High School celebrates first graduating class By Zach Richter

Today Publications After opening its doors in Aug. 2009, Combs High School, part of the J.O. Combs Unified School District, held its first graduation ceremony May 24, 2012. All told, 135 seniors accepted their diplomas while the righteous crowd cheered them on. Despite tracing its roots back to the 1950s, in an interview with Today Publications, Combs Superintendent Gayle Blanchard explained that it wasn’t until 2006 that the district residents voted to expand the district from K-8 to K-12. “Before that students stayed with us through eighth grade then they said farewell to us and went a little bit of everywhere,” she said. “The K-12 voter initiative was approved in 2006 but when you stop and think about all the planning and the support from the community it took to get to this point it feels like forever.” “This past weekend I attended the baccalaureate and the band concert with high school, middle school and elementary students,” Blanchard continued, “Honestly, to be able to interact with all the families and students at once like that really provided a visual connection to where the district was and where we are today. We’re just so proud to be able to offer K-12 for our students so they can receive the quality continuous education they deserve all in one place.” Blanchard put much of the praise for the Combs’ current success on previous superintendent Jan Langer who was with the district for 13 years before Blanchard took over in 2009.

“She [Langer] was instrumental in the unification of the district and the construction of the high school,” Blanchard enthused, “She really planted the seed and got us moving forward.” Langer was in attendance at the May 24 graduation as were members of the school governing board and the district administration. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was also on hand to congratulate the students (continued on pg 19)

By Shirley Lind


Despite being in existence for over 50 years, on May 24, 2012 the J.O. Combs Unified School District celebrated their first high school graduation.

Poston Butte High School celebrates first graduating class Special to Today Publications On May 30, 2012, a very special event took place on the football field at Poston Butte High School. In fact, history was made that night as the very first class graduated from the school that opened its doors three years ago.

There were just 269 students in the graduating class because when the high school opened in 2009, only freshmen and sophomores were allowed to enroll. For all the students who came to Poston Butte as sophomores that first year, the three years moving forward have been an exciting and defining jour-

Senior Jacob Jansen remembers having just moved from Missouri for his sophomore year. “It was nice, coming into a school where everybody was new,” Jansen said. Now, three years later, Jansen believes the time at PBHS has prepared him for the future. “I am going to U of A to get my degree in nursing, and then to train with the Army as a Ranger. I will be a 68Whiskey, or 68W.” (Code for a combat medic) he continued. When asked if he plans to make that a career, Jansen replied,” Yes, Ma’am, I do. At least 20 years is the plan.” Meanwhile, fellow student Sarah McDonald shared a different story on how she came to Poston Butte. She had attended Queen Poston Butte High School’s inaugural graduating class. Photo cour- Creek High her freshman year, tesy of Shirley Lind. and was just a few weeks into her

sophomore year when Poston Butte opened. “I was happy for the change to a new school,” she enthused. “I thought it would be exciting.” McDonald will head to college to earn a degree in Radiology and Ultrasound. She said she would always remember her final days at PBHS as the most melancholy. “The last assembly, that made it real. Everybody was all decked out in orange and blue, and totally psyched, spirited and pumped for the future.” Another classmate at PBHS from the start, Evelyn Luna, reiterated the feeling; “I loved the unity of our class these three years together, and I am going to miss that so much,” she said. Luna is headed for ASA on a Leadership Scholarship, and plans to become a Veterinarian. (continued on pg 19)



JUNE 2012

Central Arizona College unveils STV campus San Tan Valley, Ariz. – In an area of more than 80,000 people living in a mostly unincorporated area known as the San Tan Valley, Central Arizona College is fast-becoming a major catalyst in building community. That effort ratcheted up on Tues., May 15, when the college unveiled its first phase of the new San Tan Campus at the monthly Pinal County Community College District Governing Board Meeting at the Signal Peak Campus. The inaugural phase will consist of facilities totaling 74,250 square feet spread over four buildings and a central plant located on the north side of Bella Vista Road roughly two miles east of Hunt Highway. Schnepf Road will border

CAC’s newest campus to the east, while the Union Pacific Railroad straddles the western edge. The new campus will sprout from an area currently used for agriculture that is part of the future development known as Bella Vista Farms. Aside from the 3,750-square foot central plant, the four buildings comprising the educational space will feature 10 classrooms - including two computer labs - and four science laboratories for biology (2 rooms), chemistry and physics. “The campus environment will focus on creating a community of active learners in laboratory spaces since the new learning paradigm emphasizes practicing curriculum content,” Dr. Doris Helmich, the in-

terim president of Central Arizona College, said. Building D will be the largest of the four structures at 26,300 square feet. The facility will house art and dance studios, classrooms, labs and offices. Building C is set at 25,800 square feet and will be the location for CAC’s library, student center, learning resource center and classrooms. At 9,700 square feet, Building B will house Student Services and the administration, while Building A will consist of community and multi-purpose spaces covering 8,700 square feet. Over the course of 25 years, the campus has a total build-out possibility of between 680,000-

720,000 square feet. The entrance will meander northward from Bella Vista taking visitors deep into the property where the campus will begin its growth. The architect’s rendering from above the property is reminiscent of a tree with the entrance road serving as the trunk and the loop road acting as the outline of the branches. While the campus will offer a myriad of education programs, CAC is looking to house several signature opportunities at the San Tan Campus. Health careers, including the Certified Nursing Assistant program, are strong candidates. CAC is looking at a possible groundbreaking ceremony before the end of 2012.

Legacy Traditional School – 2012-2013 expansion Queen Creek, Ariz.-Legacy Traditional School recently began construction to expand the Queen Creek campus to allow for the 2012-13 expansion. The K-8, public, charter school located in Ironwood Crossings at Fulton Homes will be adding 12,500 square feet of classroom space to allow 350 additional students to attend, giving the school a total occupancy of over 1,100 students at the 10-acre campus. Legacy Traditional Academy – Queen Creek, which is part of the Legacy Traditional School District, has three of its six schools within the county: Casa Grande, Maricopa, and Queen Creek. The district was recently notified that it will be honored at the Arizona Department of Education’s 2012 Leading Change Conference for its outstanding leadership and exemplary performance in attaining academic excellence. The “A” Ranked District is one of only 19 districts statewide to earn this elite honor, making the accelerated district in the top 3 percent of all Arizona’s districts, of which there are 624 statewide. With the school year coming to an end, enrollment requests have been high and in response, more than $11,000,000 has been invested district wide to prepare for the needed classroom space. Many classes are already filled to capacity but several spots are still available. “Legacy Queen Creek has become a model for schools to follow by their commitment to a quality education program that is implemented in the classroom daily and the wonderful community participation from our families,” said Legacy Queen Creek Principal Dr. Greg Fowler. “I believe this growth and our student success rate is a true testament to the mission of our school to provide motivated students with the opportunity to achieve academic excellence in an accelerated back-to-basics learning environment that actively promotes rigorous academics and empowers students in cooperation with supportive involved parents to live responsible, successful lives,” Fowler continued. Legacy Traditional students found success outside the classroom this

Legacy Traditional school in Queen Creek. school year as well. The Patriots recently earned multiple championship titles for the relatively new school. Girls Volleyball, Girls Basketball and Boys Basketball all brought home first place conference trophies. In addition, several students were selected for the Junior High All State Orchestra. The Boys ‘A’ Basketball Team went 15-0 for the season, took first in conference and fifth in state. The Girls ‘A’ Basketball Team went 10-2, finished first in their conference and fifth in state. Earlier in the school year the Girls ‘A’ Volleyball Team had a 13-1 record, brought home the conference champion trophy, and earned a second place at the state level. The Boys Football Team was 8-3 on the season, finished second in conference and sixth in state. “Our school continues to experience success not only in academics but in the athletic arena as well,” Fowler said. “We are so proud of our students this year.” The district will expand from 4300 students this school year to 7200 students by the fall. In preparation for the expansion, there will be a new school built in Laveen and expansions at several other campuses. For more information on the Legacy Traditional School program visit

JUNE 2012


QCUSD supports Summer Food Service Program


By Zach Richter

Today Publications In order to help combat child hunger, the Queen Creek Unified School District (QCUSD) will be taking part in the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Summer Food Service Program for summer 2012. During the school year, thousands of children receive breakfast and lunch courtesy of the USDA, when school's out the summer program picks up the slack. According to, hunger during the summer can lead to problems that last past the summer months. "Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues." The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need. The program will be available to students throughout the area at Queen Creek High School (22149 E Ocotillo Rd.), Frances Brandon Pickett Elementary School (22076 E Village Loop Rd.), Queen Creek Community Center (22407 E Ellsworth Rd.) and Newell Barney Junior High School (24937 S Sossaman) The Summer Food Service program will be available May 29 through July 13 except at Newell Barney Junior High School where it will be available from June 4 to June 21. All sites other than Newell Barney Junior High will serve Mon. through Fri. Newell Barney Junior High will serve Mon. through Thurs. Breakfast will be served from 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch will be served from 10:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the community center will only offer sack lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Today Publications spoke with QCUSD Director of Food Services Carol Weekly who explained that while the program isn’t free, the District applies for funding from the program, it is free to students. “It’s good for families with students who might not be able to otherwise afford a good meal,” she said. According to Weekly, this will be QCUSD’s third year in the pro-

Thanks to the Summer Food Service Program, children like these across the country have something to eat during the summer months. Photo courtesy of gram and last year they served 12,000 lunches in June of 2011 and half again as many breakfasts. “We have a lot of programs going on in June,” she said. “July’s numbers [3,500 lunches] better represent the students who really need the program. All children 18 years and younger are invited to participate in the program. Adults may purchase breakfast for $1.50 and lunch for $2.50. There is no need to qualify or sign up. For more information, visit The number of sites where children can receive the summer lunch services across the United States is approximately 35,000. Despite this number, only approximately 10 percent of students who receive assistance during the school year are able to take advantage of the summer service. Volunteers can help with basics like transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site, and helping children with educational or recreational activities. Volunteer opportunities are available at

Poston Butte first graduating class Combs High celebrates first (continued from pg 17) on their hard work. Superintendent Blanchard was quick to note that the 2012 senior class was instrumental in creating a culture of success at the school, including earning 2.2 million dollars worth of scholarships. “They really have set the traditions and laid the foundation for the school,” she said. Paving the way for future classes was a continuing theme throughout the graduation ceremony touched on by the student speakers as well as Principal Brenda Mayberry who listed off the names of students who were the first to achieve success in sports, music and performance. “You’ve been preparing for life after high school,” she said, “We’ve been preparing for high school life after you.” Mayberry encouraged her now former students to rise to each new challenge that life would surely bring and meet the world head on. “Our wish is that your future is not one marked by boundaries,” she said.

(continued from pg 17) Luna also had nice things to say about the teachers and staff, and said “Miss Ahmann was awesome.” It’s clear these kids have become very close at Poston Butte, not only with each other, but also with their teachers, coaches and mentors. The students did all of the planning for the ceremony themselves. A giant orange and blue arch hung above the football field, as the first graduating class walked under it, and to their seats. A bright orange and blue ‘Poston Butte Mustangs’ sign covered the podium, and on each side of the stage, a slide show ran photo’s of the graduating students,

while the underclassmen played in the orchestra. The Commencement Ceremony Program was an admirable keepsake, and the artwork cover was done by senior Hallie Hillner. Florence School District Superintendent, Dr. Gary Nine stepped up to the podium and announced, “I take great pleasure in saying, that now, the first class of Poston Butte High School can graduate!” With that, the Commencement Ceremony of the Class of 2012 began. This very small and very first class to graduate Poston Butte High School has a lot of very big dreams, and the future is calling them. Well done, class of 2012, the world awaits you!



JUNE 2012


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Open Merchants Market at Ocotillo Trails: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 40975 N. Ironwood Dr. Mondays Clip 'n' Swap - The Villages: Bring your coupons, sales circulars, a pair EVENTS 6/9/12 Pinal County Democratic Meeting: 7:00 p.m. 350 N. Main, of scissors, your binder and anything else you need to join us for coffee, snacks and conversation location varies visit for more Florence 6/11/12 American Legion Post 97/Women's Auxiliary: 6:00 p.m. potinfo luck followed by guest speaker Christ the Victor Lutheran Community Tuesdays San Tan Toastmasters: 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at the SRP Service Center Church 6/11/12 Sizzling Senior Breakfast Club: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Johnat 3735 E. Combs Rd. Queen Creek Women in Business: 8:00 a.m. M&I Bank (Ellsworth and son Ranch Terrace $6.00 Buffet, Speakers 480-888-8017 RSVP 6/12/12 San Tan Triad: 2:00 p.m. Copper Basin YMCA Ocotillo) 480-882-3017 Hand and Foot: 8:00 a.m. Denny's on Hunt Hwy. breakfast with cards to 6/12/12 San Tan Lions Club: 7:00 p.m. Copper Basin Fire Station 480882-2710 follow call Margaret 480-310-8706 Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek: 6:15 PM to 7:30 PM 1st & 3rd Tuesday 6/13/12 San Tan Archeology Society: 7:00 p.m. until9:00 p.m. Historic Rittenhouse at the corner of Queen Creek Road and Rittenhouse Road" at Canyon State Academy cafeteria Rittenhouse and Hawes road. call Jerry at 480-209-7699 6/13/12 WOAMTEC Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. $15 May attend Wednesdays twice before membership is required Cantina Laredo 2150 E Williams Bingo at Caliente Casa de Sol: card sales begin at 6:00 p.m. 3502 N. Field Rd. Gilbert Pinal Parkway 6/13/12 Queen Creek Chamber: 12:00 p.m. monthly luncheon www. Celebrate Recovery: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. step study group call Ron and Lisa Davis 602-391-3292 6/15/12 Harmony for Lunch Brunch: 12:00 p.m. Dema's Italian Bistro Rummy Cub: 8:00 a.m. breakfast with games to follow call Margaret 18256 E. Williams Field Rd. 480-921-2237 480-310-8706 6/15/12 San Tan Regional Chamber: 12:00 p.m. www.SanTanShopper. Thursdays com Super Market: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. indoor farmers market hayrides 6/15/12 Epic Food Mission: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Distributions from and petting zoo Superstition Farm west of San Tan Freeway north on El- Walker Butte Elementary Bring proof of residency and photo ID 480liot 882-9530 Cookin N' Corks at The Windmill Winery: Dinner menu changes 6/16/12 Pinal County Republican Committee: 9:00 a.m. at Sun City every week visit for info reservations are Anthem Union Center, Florence, AZ. 520-494-7265 necessary. Call by Wednesday 12:00 p.m. 520-858-6050 6/19/12 Coolidge Youth Coalition: 4:00 p.m. City Council Chambers Fridays 6/19/12 Florence Chamber: 12:00 p.m. monthly luncheon www.florFlorence Gardens Mobile Home Association Bingo: 7:00 p.m. 3815 Florence Blvd 520-868-5136. 6/20/12 Coolidge Chamber: 12:00 p.m. monthly luncheon www. Happy Hour at The Windmill Winery: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. $2 Beer and Wine Appetizer Plates $7 reservations are not required www.thewind- 6/21/12 San Tan Republican Club: 6:00 p.m. at Sheriff's Sub-station 95 Combs Rd call 480-358-4046 for additional info Celebrate Recovery: 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. San Tan Christian Center 6/26/12 GCBA Mixer/Meetings: 5:30 p.m. 7377 W. Hunt Hwy. 6/29/12 San Tan Lions Club: 7:00 p.m. Copper Basin Fire Station 480Saturdays 882-2710 FOR MORE EVENTS VISIT: TODAYPUBLICATIONS.COM! Crafts, Food, Vendors: corner of Ironwood and Ocotillo next to M&I bank Open Merchants Market at Ocotillo Trails: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 40975 N. Ironwood Dr. Freedom Fest: Artisan, Crafters & Farmers Market: 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 39731 N Kennedy Dr. Gilbert Farmers Market: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. San Tan Valley Co-Ed Golf League: 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Golf Club (continued from pg 14) (sweetened with Splenda) and low at Johnson Ranch carry soups and sliced-to-order fat. Queen Creek Olive Mill Farmer's Market: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lo- meats and cheeses to take home. Lavelle’s is located at 2510 E. cal seasonal produce from Green Bee Produce, olive oil popped popcorn, For the penny-pinchers, Dan has a Hunt Highway in the Copper Basin fresh bread, fresh fish from Davey Jones Seafood, local beef, chicken and line of value sandwiches. shopping mall. They are open from pork from Red Mountain Cattle, fresh eggs. Held under the large white They also have ice cream 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day. canopy west of the Olive Mill Building. Cash only in cones, sundaes or shakes. For Delivery is also available, call 480weight watchers, he has sugar free 888-0722 for more information. Sundays

Lavelle’s offers a reprieve




JUNE 2012

Get moving to manage osteoarthritis By Theresa Weeding, At Home Solutions

Check out some of these arthritis-specific exercise classes from Special to Today Publications the Centers for Disease Control and Regular, moderate exercise Prevention and Arthritis Foundation offers numerous benefits to people and get moving to manage osteoarwith arthritis. Exercise reduces thritis. joint pain and stiffness, builds Arthritis Foundation Exercise strong muscle around the joints, Program (AFEP): AFEP (formerly and increases flexibility and endur- People with Arthritis Can Exercise, ance. It reduces inflammation from or PACE) is a community-based arthritis and related conditions and recreational exercise program lowers the risk of other chronic developed by the Arthritis Founconditions. dation. Trained AFEP instructors Exercise also promotes overcover a variety of range-of-motion all health and fitness by increasing and endurance-building activities, energy levels, helping one sleep relaxation techniques and health edbetter, controlling weight, decreas- ucation topics. All of the exercises ing depression and boosting selfcan be modified to meet participant esteem. Furthermore, exercise can needs. help stave off other health problems The program’s demonstrated such as osteoporosis and heart benefits include improved funcdisease. tional ability, decreased depression

A senior practicing landing from a horizontal bar in a fitness gym. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Shustov.

and increased confidence in one’s ability to exercise. Classes typically meet two or three times per week. To find out about availability, check with the Arthritis Foundation ( Active Living Everyday (ALED): ALED is a group-based program developed at the Cooper Institute focused on helping sedentary people become and stay physically active. Participants learn behavioral skills (identifying and overcoming barriers, setting goals, creating an action plan) needed to become more physically active. Visit to find where the classroom courses are held or to sign up for an online course. Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP): AFAP is a water exercise program created by the Arthritis Foundation for people with arthritis and related conditions. The classes are conducted by a trained instructor and are designed to improve flexibility, joint range of motion, endurance, strength and daily function and to decrease pain. The aquatics classes include joint range of motion, stretching, breathing and light aerobic activities. The classes typically meet two or three times per week for one hour. To find out about availability,

check with the Arthritis Foundation ( Enhance Fitness (EF): Enhance Fitness is an evidence-based, community-delivered exercise program proven to increase strength, boost activity levels and elevate mood. Certified EF instructors offer a program that focuses on stretching, flexibility, balance, low impact aerobics and strength training exercises. Typically, classes meet three times a week for one hour. To find out about locations and availability, visit html. Exercise online: Visit Arthritis Today to view expert-approved systematic photo and video demonstrations for exercises that are designed to be safe and effective for people with arthritis. Demonstrated exercises include stretching, tai chi, yoga, sitting exercises and surgery prep exercises. fitness/exercise-videos-and-photos/ index.php As part of our in-home care giving services, At Home Solutions can assist in implementing an appropriate exercise regime for someone with arthritis. To schedule a free care assessment, call 1-888496-3983.

JUNE 2012



Resource Guide for families with kids 5 and younger Pinal County, Ariz. – Families with young children will now have information at their fingertips about the resources available to help them promote their child’s health and school success. First Things First (FTF) in Pinal County has designed a resource guide, which includes a comprehensive list of service providers and referral agencies for use by parents, families and community agencies. Initial distribution has begun to social service agencies, libraries, pediatricians, hospitals, WIC offices, DES offices and childcare centers throughout the county. “A child’s most important developmental years are those leading up to kindergarten,” said Program Coordination Specialist Katrina DeVinny, who created to guide. “First Things First partners with Arizona parents and communities to help kids five and younger receive the early education, quality healthcare and family support they need to start school healthy and ready to succeed,” she continued,” This guide gives parents information so that they can make the best choices for their kids.” Agencies and services listed include childcare, health, housing, libraries, nutrition and recreation, among others. Copies are available at the locations mentioned above, or contact Katrina DeVinny at 520-836-5838 or Research has shown a child’s early experiences lay the foundation

for a lifetime of success in school and beyond. First Things First works to expand and enhance education and health services for children from birth through age five so they arrive at school prepared to succeed. The 31 Regional Partnership Councils of First Things First represent and serve diverse children, families and communities throughout Arizona. Regional Councils are committed to working in partnership with families, caregivers, and the community as a whole to establish a community ethic that embraces its youngest children. Regional Partnership Councils have been hard at work since being appointed in the late spring of 2008, assessing the needs of their communities and putting together plans for funding to improve the lives of their area’s young children. Services and supports for children and their families will begin mid-summer 2009. Serving each community’s distinct needs is a major goal of First Things First—reaching out to children and families in ways that will best offer support so that all Arizona children can start school ready to learn, be successful and reach their full potential. To learn more about the Pinal County branch of FTF and the early childhood services funded by FTF in the Pinal region, please visit:

Banner warns of heat-related illnesses

maximum protection. Mesa, AZ--With summer officially here, When exerting yourself in the heat, pay atand temperatures remaining above 110 degrees tention to your body. The warning signs of heat for the foreseeable future, Banner Baywood exhaustion and heat stress are easy to spot; they Medical Center is urging Valley residents to include dizziness, cramping, heavy sweating, take precautions when dealing with intense headache and nausea or vomiting. heat. If you have one or more of these sympIn Arizona, where the dry, summer temtoms, head to an air-conditioned location, prefperatures reach above the 110-degree mark erably an air conditioning vent, or find some regularly, it’s easier for outdoor enthusiasts to shade and drink plenty of water. Cool showers develop heat stroke, as the body has no breeze or baths also help. or precipitation from humidity to help it keep If left untreated, heat exhaustion may escacool. late into heatstroke, which can be fatal. When venturing outdoors, be sure to stay The most severe form of heat illness, heathydrated. Drink plenty of water to replenstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. ish what the body loses through perspiration. The body loses its ability to regulate its own Sports drinks are an excellent way to replenish temperature. Body temperature can soar to electrolytes and minerals lost to perspiration 106° F or even higher, leading to brain damage but water, and lots of it, is extremely important. or even death if it isn't quickly treated. Prompt Remember, if you feel thirsty, you are already medical treatment is required to bring the body dehydrated. temperature under control. Avoid outside activity at during the hotFactors that increase the risk for heatstroke test part of the day whenever possible. If you include overdressing and extreme physical exercise outside, do so in the early morning exertion in hot weather with inadequate fluid (before 7:00 a.m.) or just before sundown when the sun’s rays aren’t directly above you. Stay safe in the heat by keeping a few simple intake. Symptoms include flushed, hot, dry skin with no sweating, temperature of 105° F While outside, always wear plenty of sunideas in mind. or higher, severe, throbbing headache, weakscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology ness, dizziness, or confusion, sluggishness or fatigue, seizure, decreased (AAD) recommends a SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen about 15 to responsiveness, loss of consciousness. 30 minutes before you go outside so that a good layer of protection can form. The AAD recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours for



JUNE 2012


The Bubbly Hostess has been making fresh pasta By Heather Sneed

Special to Today Publications Welcome back! I recently took a cooking class offered by Sur La Table (called Fresh Pasta and Sauces) with a girlfriend – we had so much fun and learned a lot. I have a couple of posts on my blog about our experience. I hope you’ll check them out! Neither one of us had ever taken a cooking class like this before, it was very hands on, and we were given tips and tricks along the way by the chef and his assistants in the kitchen. Since then, I’ve dusted off my pasta roller and cutter and made one of the dishes we learned in class, but this time in my own kitchen – Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus and Shaved Parmesan. We made it as a family for dinner on Mother’s Day; it was a lot of fun and tasted great. I plan to make this an annual Mother’s Day tradition. I hope to try out another one of the recipes at home that we made in class in the next week or so, this time making fettuccini instead of spaghetti. You can read more about it and check out the recipe on my blog. Recipe credits go to Sur La Table. I continue to work on two parties that I am planning for the month of June – a corporate sunset/dinner cruise and a birthday party for my little one. As I mentioned in my last column, we have finalized the menu for the dinner cruise and I am in the process of getting the final counts of attendees back. Once I know how many to expect, I can work on what we will be providing as party favors based on the budget. I have been working with someone within the company who will be sending some corporate based goodies and I also plan to include something that will go along with the theme of the party. Perhaps something with water, boats, Arizona – not quite sure yet on that! If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Please visit my blog and send me a message. The train ticket invitations have been mailed for the choo choo train

Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus and Shaved Parmesan. Photo courtesy of Heather Sneed/The Bubbly Hostess

birthday party as well. I was very pleased with the outcome of them. I have an idea on favors for this party, but can’t share that information just yet! The blog will definitely be updated after the party sharing photos. I certainly don’t want to spoil anything for guests who may be attending and also reading this article. I plan to share more about these upcoming events when we meet again. In the meantime, you can find me at www.thebubblyhostess. You can also “like” my page on Facebook at to see the latest entries as they are posted. I hope that you enjoy my column, visit my site, give my ideas a whirl and leave feedback. Lastly, always remember to make the most out of your planning, so you have time to enjoy your champagne!

STV American Legion baseball kicks off June 4 By Zach Richter

In an interview with Today Publications, Tom Kusek, Arizona American Legion State Baseball The Pinal County Attorney’s Director explained that the AmeriOffice recently donated $4,500 to can Legion started their baseball American Legion Post 97 to bring program in1919 and it has a history Legion baseball to San Tan Valley of producing major league players and games start June 4, 2012, at including Arizona Diamondbacks San Tan Foothills High School. Louis Gonzalez and Lyle Overbay. County Attorney James P. “Legion baseball is considered Walsh said the donation was pulled the cornerstone baseball league for from RICO funds, money that is players 19 and younger,” Kusek seized by law enforcement from enthused. “Players can play from criminals and illegal operations. ages 15 to 19 and have the opportu“The funds can be used for programs that keep young people away nity to build life skills while having from drugs and gangs,” Walsh said, fun.” “This is such a good thing for “And what’s better than baseball?” Today Publications

the community,” Kusek continued. “It gets people together to play ball and learn what the Legion does for youth across the country.” Paul Lorenzen, American Legion Post 97 Baseball Committee Chair, explained that the San Tan Valley team consists of an 18-player roster primarily including students from Poston Butte, Combs and San Tan Foothills High School as well as a few students from Queen Creek High School and Florence High School. This may cause some difficulty for the league Lorenzen pointed out, as the Legion baseball program

has what is referred to as the 5,000 rule that states that a team may not have more than 5,000 students in the schools it pulls from. “The three schools didn’t have enough kids to fill the roster,” Lorenzen explained. “We’ve got about 2,500 with Poston Butte, Combs and San Tan Foothills; we’re looking into the numbers for Queen Creek and Florence.” While confidant that things will be straightened out by the big day, Lorenzen explained that the team has had some problems getting started including finding power (continued on next pg)

JUNE 2012


Round for Drew registration going on now By Zach Richter

Today Publications On March 27, 2012, nine-yearold San Tan Valley resident Andrew Ackert was in a car accident on Ironwood Rd. with his mother and brother. Andrew was paralyzed during the accident and is currently in a specialized recovery facility. Andrew is known for his love of sports and for being a star athlete on both the football field and the basketball court. He is a member of the San Tan Swish basketball team in the Rise Athletics league and the league members and their parents have been doing what they can to help with his medical expenses. There latest effort will take place on Sat. June 9 when they will be holding a golf tournament at the Apache Creek Golf Club, located at 3401 S Ironwood Dr. with all proceeds going directly to the Ackert family. Dubbed Round for Drew, the event is currently accepting registration for players and sponsorships from local businesses. Today Publications spoke with

event organizer and San Tan Swish Mom Mary Crowder about the upcoming event and what the team has been doing to help their teammate. “We wanted to do something that was affordable so that we could raise as much as possible,” Crowder said, “My son is playing with his own money, I think if he can afford everyone can.” Crowser explained that registration is $55 per person or $200 for a foursome, which includes lunch. The event will also include a silent auction, a 505/50 raffle and they will be selling mulligans as wells as actively taking donations wherever they can find them. “We want to generate as much money as we can,” she enthused. Crowder made sure to mention the effort put forth by San Tan Swish mothers Stacie Perry, Amy Pendleton, Monica Wilson and Tara Larson before noting that it’s the San Tan Swish team members who have gone above and beyond for their friend.

At Home Solutions leaves incubator

(continued from pg 11) home. While her business’ needs at QC Inc. have come to a close, McCreery believes the program is undoubtedly an asset to the Town. “Startup costs can equal tens of thousands of dollars,” she said. “By entering the market without having those costs we were able to immediately hire more people.” The Queen Creek Town Council has a vision for downtown Queen Creek, and McCreery believes that At Home Solutions fits that vision. “I feel the type of business we have really helps support the long term goals of the area,” she enthused. “In the last week we’ve had more than a dozen people call us, the population is aging, the numbers speak for themselves.” Kim Moyers, Economic Development Specialist for the Town of Queen Creek explained in an email conversation with Today Publications that as the first graduate of QC Inc., the Town’s Economic Development Department is excited to see At Home Solutions locate in the town center. “During the short time they spent in the incubator, they hired more than 40 employees, many of which are residents,” she wrote. “Having a strong, viable business like this in our community is an asset to all of our residents. We wish Kim and her team all the success they deserve.” The Queen Creek Branch of At Home Solutions is currently hiring, visit for more information. For more details on available services or for general questions about at home care call 480-289-4900 or visit


The San Tan Swish has come together to do what they can after a tragic car accident left one of their own paralyzed. “We knew we had good kids,” she said, “But they’re just a bunch of nine and ten-year-olds and they’ve really stepped up to help, they have taught all of us the true value of friendship during this horrible time.” According to Crowder, the San Tan Swish has participated in the Chick-fil-A fundraiser for Andrew, the Rise Athletics Shoot-a-thon and also Donuts for Drew, which has seen generous community support. What’s more, the team rallied together on the court and took down

an undefeated opponent so they could present the championship trophy to their injured friend. “If you talk to anyone on the team, nobody doubts for one second that Drew’s going to defy any type of expectations,” Crowder said. “There’s a long road ahead but we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to keep helping.” For more information on Round for Drew or to register, donate or volunteer contact Mary Crowder at 602-486-6693 or

American Legion baseball

(continued from previous pg) for the lights San Tan Foothills High School installed for night games and losing their coach to a promotion. “Gordon Ray was going to coach for us then he was promoted to Athletic Director of Poston Butte and now he says he’s too busy,” Lorenzen said with a laugh. “Things are getting a little hairy right now, but it will all work out even if I have to draft someone into the position.” Ultimately, two coaches from the Poston Butte High School staff, John Giove and Gordon McKee, were found to fill the position. Once the season starts, Lorenzen explained that the San Tan Valley team will compete against six to eight teams in the area from Casa Grande, Eloy, Coolidge and Apache Junction. From there, the top two winning teams along with the top two teams from Phoenix area will participate in the American Legion State Tournament against the top four teams from Tucson in July at Surprise Sports Complex in Surprise, Arizona. The state champions will go to California for the regional tournament, and regional champions advance to Shelby, North Carolina for the American Legion World Series. For more information, contact American Legion Post 97 Baseball Committee Chair Paul Lorenzen at 480-987-7658 or visit



JUNE 2012

JUNE 2012

The dove or the birdbrain



By Kally Reynolds, CPCC, PCC

Today Publications Now that most of the snowbirds have gone home, other species of birds have captured my attention. Have you ever heard a curious and reoccurring sound that filled you with foreboding? The first time I heard it I was in bed, still foggy with fading dreams, only half-ready to face the dawn. Thud…thud…thud. The sound came from the living room. A few more thuds and then it vanished. Two hours later the sound started again so I went down to investigate. No luck until I saw a red-faced little sparrow fling itself against one of the cathedral windows in the living room. On my side of the glass, a ceiling-high Ficus tree stood proudly at attention. It was apparently luring the little fellow to fly over for a visit. Thud. To make its next assault, the bird hopped to the edge of the tall saguaro cactus on which it perched, getting as close to the glass as possible. Then came its leap of faith. Thud. Persevering still, the wily bird selected a higher vantage point, and flew toward the Ficus like a fighter pilot coming in for the kill. Thud…. And yet the plucky sparrow was still undeterred. Time after time, the creature chose a new tactic to realize its cherished goal -- its deadly dream. Meanwhile nearby, a grayish dove perched, alert and peaceful. Glancing at the sparrow, it seemed to take in the whole sorry mess, before soaring into the bright blue sky of the sun-drenched morning. Poor sparrow. Just because it could not see the glass, the little creature believed that the barrier should not, could not and, therefore, did not exist -- despite all the painful evidence to the contrary. The little bird wanted only what it could not have, and thus could not enjoy what God had given it: wings to fly and a song to sing. I thought again of the dove and it was hard not to compare. While the sparrow used its wings to whip itself into the window, the dove used its gift of flying to soar into the sky. The Ficus in my living room is 12 feet high and gleams with bushy green leaves that never go out of season. It is tall and beautiful. It is also a fake. Wish I could explain that to the sparrow. Since I can’t, I brought in a fake owl to “guard” the Ficus tree – and, low and behold, the sparrow hasn’t returned. If only it were that easy to stop us from mistaking fool’s gold for the real thing? What fake Ficus promises to make us happy, yet never really does, despite how hard we work or how long we try? Unlike birds though, we humans do have a choice; and what we choose determines who we will become. Hmmm…What will it be: the dove…or the birdbrain?

Are you a dove or a birdbrain? Photo courtesy of davidgsteadman.



JUNE 2012

6_5_12 Today Publications  

P inal County Sheriff Paul JUNE 7-21 2012 LIFESTYLE PAGE 24 DINING & ENT PAGE 14 EDUCATION PAGE 17 By Chase Kamp GOVERNMENT PAGE 8 www.T...