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Tyson A. Davis D.D.S

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Expires 8/31/15

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2028 N. Trekell Rd #107 Casa Grande, AZ 85122



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You deserve more business. Casa Grande means business. It always has. With a diverse mix of manufacturers, retail trade, agriculture, mining and tourism, Casa Grande’s business community has been providing growth and opportunities for the past 100 years. For over 60 years, Vantage West has been working with business communities across southern Arizona and is ready to help support Casa Grande businesses with products and services that are tailored to meet even the most demanding financial needs. Happy 100th Casa Grande! Let’s work together to grow more business for another 100 years. You deserve more.


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Special Medical Section


Better hearing begins here.

What exactly does hearing healthcare consist of? Isn’t it just hearing aids?

That is the same way hearing healthcare is most effectively addressed as well.

It’s your brain that hears. does someone get started in addressing their Not yourHow ears. hearing loss?

Terri–That is the common misconception the general public has about hearing healthcare. It is assumed that you can properly address your hearing loss in the same fashion as buying a cell phone, tablet or any other consumer electronic device. When hearing is properly addressed, it is more than anything a rehabilitative process and that process is not directed at the ear, but the brain where hearing actually takes place. The technology is important but it has to know its place in the process. People would be much better served if they did not address their hearing the same way they shop for a cell phone. Instead, treat the issue more like you would if you had a bad knee and needed a knee replacement. In that case, most patients do not concern themselves with which knee replacement parts are going to be used. They search for the professional they trust to address that part of their healthcare.

Terri–It’s simple, just call our office at (520) 494-3886 and set up an appointment for a complimentary evaluation and consultation. Or, if you are not sure whether you have a hearing issue or not, call and let us know that and we can get you set up on an annual hearing screening schedule as a part of an overall health and wellness program. This service is also complimentary. Our practice is the place to go for hearing healthcare. We are a locally owned and operated, independent practice centered around proper rehabilitative care providing the best value and services to our patients.

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A Note from the Publisher

A Sense of Community; A Secret to a Great Life Found Right Here

A Elaine Earle

s we worked on this monumental 100 Year Anniversary of Casa Grande Issue, many conversations developed in the office as to why we all love Casa Grande. I grew up in Tucson and never knew much about Casa Grande. I drove by it on my way to Phoenix and eventually came shopping here when the outlets opened but never ventured off the freeway and into the city. After many journeys in my life which took me all over the United States and world, I have now landed as a resident of Casa Grande. The secret beauty that I have discovered in Casa Grande is its inner beauty; a beauty inside of the people who live here and a strong sense of “Community”. I haven’t seen this characteristic in a larger city. Casa Grande is big enough to not be too small yet small enough to not be too big! I have small children and the offerings for us here are limitless. I often bump into the same people everywhere that I go; whether it is the gym where they have a fantastic kids club, or their “A” rated elementary school, or the library where they have an outstanding selection of programs in the summer, or the city pool where we receive great swim lessons, or cub scouts at the church or the baseball fields that come alive on the weekends with little league. This sense of “community” is what first drew my

COVER PHOTO CREDITS Front Page - Keith LaVoo Page 3 - Doug Owens Page 5 - Keith LaVoo Page 7 - John McGuire




family here. We lost a loved one in the police force here in Casa Grande; Sergeant Tate Lynch. When he died, the community supported our family tremendously. That led me to move my home permanently to this city. One reason that I never would have considered Casa Grande to be a place to live is employment opportunities. However, I found that to be a surprise also. There is another secret! The growth in the city provides many opportunities as does its proximity to Phoenix. Just as I accidentally found myself as a resident of Casa Grande, I have also accidentally fallen in love with it here. And now I know, it is a secret between the residents here that it is a fantastic place to be! On behalf of the staff at Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine, we sincerely hope you pick up this keepsake issue and see what all the residents see – a beautiful Gem in the desert that make life worth living here in Casa Grande. Yours Truly,


Elaine Earle, CPA Publisher Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine


Why list your home with Coldwell Banker ROX Realty? Experienced agents who live in our community. Extensive internet marketing to hundreds of websites including:

Extensive LOCAL print marketing including: •

Casa Grande Smart Shopper •

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine •

Pinal County Real Estate Buyers Guide

You’ll also find us on Facebook!

Casa Grande Dispatch • TV Round-up

Stop by our office for area maps & free lists of homes for sale or rent in Arizona’s Golden Corridor! OUR OFFICE IS OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK! Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm Saturday & Sunday 9am - 3pm Agents available after-hours by appointment

List your home with us by the 10th of the month to be included in the next edition of Smart Shopper or Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine*

*Listing must be active as of the 10th of the month to qualify. ©2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY 1919 N Trekell Rd Casa Grande, AZ 85122

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Summer 2015




1891 Courthouse by Joe Pyritz . . . . . . 32 25 Year of Prevention in Casa Grande by Breanna Boland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

100 Years of Mayors. . . . . . . . . . . . 59

From the “End of the Line” to the “Heart of Arizona” by Roxy Helman. . 42

Santa Cruz Valley Historical Museum. . . 55

From the Beginning by Brett Eisele. . 161

A Century’s Worth of Secrets Unveiled by DeeDee Davis . . . . . . . . 48

Gene Yang Gang: Celebrating the Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

A Note from the Publisher - Elaine Earle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Guarantors Lose Anti-Deficiency Protection On Arizona Residential Loans by David McCarville. . . . . . . . 124

Academy Mortgage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Arizona Water Company . . . . . . . . . 166 CAC - The First NJCAA Women’s Basketball Championship by Lin Laursen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Casa Grand or Casa Grand-ay? by Jim Dinkle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


Origins & Founding of Town. . . . . 18 Growth & Incorporation . . . . . . . . 18 Housing Shortage of 1940s . . . . . 19 Rebecca Dallis School House. . . . 21 The Barony of Arizola . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Alley Main Street Mural . . . . 45 Casa Grande’s First Airport. . . . . . 47

Harold Kitching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Harold Kitching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Hexcel Celebrates 50 Years. . . . . . . 104 History of Central Arizona College by Angela Askey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

The Early City Plats. . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Heritage Hall Stone CHurch. . . . . 96 Shonessy House. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Is It Top or Bottom?. . . . . . . . . . . . 164 Two Old Buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165

Sgt. Tate Lynch Memorial. . . . . . . . . 114 Silent Witness - Celebrating 10 Years by Wendy Lloyd. . . . . . . . . . 147 The Barony of Arizola by Harold Kitching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Heart of the Hike by Janelle Horsley, DDS. . . . . . . . . . . 159 The History of ROX Group by Rock Earle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 The History of the Library by David Snider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Interview - Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . 144

CG Chat - Why I Love Casa Grande. . . 122

Hospitals Through the Years by David Lozano. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

City Speak by Robert Jackson, Mayor of Casa Grande. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

I was born in 1950s Casa Grande by Rick O’Neil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Exploring the Garden by Michael Jackson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90

Improvement Comes With Age by Lisa Atkinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

The Small Business Development Center - History & Future by Jim Rhodes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Fitzgibbons Law Office. . . . . . . . . . . . 116

J Warren Funeral Services - Four Generations in Casa Grande . . . . . . 108

Tom McCarville Memorial . . . . . . . . . 125

The Jolly Tamale by Paula Leslie. . . . 101 The Mahoney Group: The John McEvoy Years by Nancy McEvoy. . . 141

Five Generations in Casa Grande by Fred Tucker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Letter from the Editor - Bea Lueck. . . 13

Travel Over the Past 100 Years by Jon Nees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Frito -Lay Casa Grande - Near Net Zero. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

On Life Making Other Lives Better, One Day at a Time: Bob Brutinel. . . 154

What’s Up Downtown by Rina Rien . . 24

From Humble Beginnings to Largest Provider by Lindsey Gemme. . . . . . . 84

Reflection in Time by Helen Neuharth, Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

From Pee-Chee’s to Laptops: The Artifacts of Education by Doug Brown . . . . . . . . . 60

Retire Like You Mean It At Mission Royale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168


Where Hope Began by Terri Durham. . . 80 Who’s Your Neighbor by Jose Chacon. . . 41 Your Community Garden Specialists by Phil Bond . . . . . . . . . . . 70


Happy Birthday Casa Grande!

T Bea Lueck

he City of Casa Grande is celebrating 100 years as an incorporated city in the State of Arizona this year. Huh? Didn’t we have a big 125th party a few years back? Well yes we did! That was the quasquicentennial celebration of the founding in 1879. In any case, we thought it was a great reason for the theme of this edition of Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine. You don’t get many opportunities for 100 years of anything! This edition focuses on the rich history of our community; the people, the organizations and businesses that helped Casa Grande to what it is today. We barely made a dent in sharing the history of these great members of the community. Most newcomers to the area don’t realize many of names of the streets in town belong to the farmers and early pioneering families. While many Casa Grande residents now work in the valley and commute daily, can you imagine traveling to Phoenix at a time when the interstate didn’t exist, roads were scarce and air-conditioning… what is that strange word? The early residents were a hardy and resilient group. Here is a bit of our own history – the prototype for cgROX Magazine. It proudly hangs on my bulletin board in my office. The early comments are what drove us to create the highest quality product, worthy of being read by more than just a handful of friends and family. Thank you to the early naysayers who said we couldn’t do this – you encouraged us in more ways than you know. Reading and proofing the articles brought it home that so many people and businesses are intertwined over the years. The concept of Six Degrees of Separation doesn’t exist in Casa Grande. It’s more like 2.5 Degrees before you are back to a point of commonality. It’s this feeling of HOME that gives Casa Grande the small town feel in spite of a population exceeding 50,000 year-round residents. Facebook is the new corner coffee shop, where gossip and news travel at the speed of a keyboard. It is also where lost dogs are reunited with their owners, money is donated to help someone down on their luck and people come together with a common goal of making our community a place to be proud of. One of the editorial features this edition is direct from CG Chat – a Facebook group page for Casa Grande residents. We asked people to post why they love Casa


Grande, and we printed it. Facebook is also where we asked for photos for our covers. There were so many entries! It was a difficult choice which images would be featured. We had the popular vote – by Facebook Likes. And we had the graphics department vote based on image composition and how the layout would be placed. And we had the most important deciding factor: was the image high enough resolution for commercial printing on a cover? I’m sad to say that many of the images that looked great on Facebook could not be used. Cell phone photos look great on a computer monitor or when printed small. But blowing it up to cover an 8.5 x 11 magazine cover just did not work. Look for many of the submitted photos used inside the edition. You are ALL winners to us! Our next edition is our LEADERSHIP edition. We encourage you to think, “What makes a leader?” Leaders come in many shapes and sizes; from the leader of the kindergarten line to the playground to the CEO of a major company, from the leader of faith within a congregation to a political leader shaping the future. Each has an important role in the community. We want you to share your thoughts on the leaders that touch and impact your life; and how you are a leader impacting others in the community. A special thanks to Harold Kitching for his eloquent love of history and his many articles on the early years. (And thank you Judy for lending him to us on occasion.) Thank you to Berlin Loa and her volunteers at the Casa Grande Historical Society for their research assistance and digging up last minute photos. And a heartfelt THANK YOU to my staff in putting this all together. Each time we go to press, I sit back and think, “WOW, this is the best edition – EVER!” Guess what? Each time it IS better than the last.





VOICES of the Community Bob Jackson

Born in Whitefish, Montana, Mayor Robert Jackson has lived in Casa Grande since 1991. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, holding a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He retired from the City of Casa Grande as Public Works Director in 2002 and is now serving his fourth term as mayor ending in 2015.

Helen Neuharth

Helen was hired as the President/CEO of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce in August 1991 and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management from Boulder, Colorado. Helen is an active member of the Arizona Chamber Executives


Harold Kitching

Harold has worked for newspapers across the country. He was city government reporter for the Casa Grande Dispatch for 11 years until he resigned after the newspaper began downplaying local news.

COMMENTS & IDEAS CALENDAR INQUIRES (520) 426-2074 3151 N Piper Ave., Suite B117,

Jim Dinkle

Jim is currently the director of the Access Arizona, the area’s regional economic development foundation. He came to Arizona as a 24 year veteran of economic development from Indiana.

Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Jim Rhodes Golden Corridor LIVING is published by RAXX Media. Editorial content is provided by affiliates of RAXX Media, community members and local organizations. The publishers of Golden Corridor LIVING assume no responsibility for errors or omissions of any advertisement beyond the actual cost of the advertisement. In no event shall the publishers be liable for any consequential damages in excess of the cost of the advertisement. Golden Corridor LIVING shall not be liable for inaccuracies, errors, omissions, or damages from the use of information contained herein. Submitted articles do not reflect the opinions of the owners or management of Golden Corridor LIVING Information contained within submitted articles had not been verified for accuracy and readers are responsible for forming their own opinions. Real estate information is as of 7-15-15 and is subject to current availability and pricing.

Jim is the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Central Arizona College and has a diversified work background in public administration; business administration; sales management; and new business development. Jim has taught leadership and senior management courses at several colleges and universities.

Advertiser Index Academy Mortgage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 Access Arizona. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Adrenaline Motorsports. . . . . . . . . . . 173 Agave Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Collette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Cottonwood Medical Center. . . . . . . 44 Desert Sky Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

American Family Insurance - Jan Hobbs Agency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Dick & Mitchell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

Annie Mac Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Distinctic Earthscapes Inc. & The Avocado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Arizona Milk Producers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Prime Time DJ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 RE/MAX Yost Realty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 ROX Expeditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 ROX Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 ROX Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 ROX Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 ROX Store. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171

DM Family Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

ROX Travel - Recruiting. . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Ed Whitehead’s Tire Pro’s. . . . . . . . . . 56

Santa Cruz Valley Historical Museum. . . 55

Edward Jones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Seeds of Hope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Farmer’s Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Service Masters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

First American Credit Union . . . . . . . 161

Silent Witness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

Branhams Exterminating . . . . . . . . . 136

Fitzgibbon’s Law Office. . . . . . . . . . . . 117

Snap Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Brighton Collision. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

Five Star Carpet Cleaning. . . . . . . . . 159

Sommer’s Jewelry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Brutinel Plumbing & Electrical. . . . . 157

Foothills Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Capital R Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

Frito Lay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

St. Anthony’s of Padua Church & School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Arizona Water Company . . . . . . . . . 166 AZ New Horizons Realty . . . . . . . . . . 40 Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. . . 73 BeDillon’s Cactus Garden Restaurant & Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

Casa Grande Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Casa Grande Chiropractic. . . . . . . . . . 89 Casa Grande Elementary School District . . . . . . . . . 61

Garrett Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Hexcel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Integrity First Financial. . . . . . . . . . . . 174 J Warren Funeral Services . . . . . . . . . 110

Casa Grande Family Dentistry . . . . . . 31

Jenkins Chiropractic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

Casa Grande Union High School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Legacy Traditional School. . . . . . . . . . 74

Central Arizona College . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 CG Street Rods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Chacon’s Landscaping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Coldwell Banker ROX - Recruiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Coldwell Banker ROX Realty - Agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Coldwell Banker ROX Realty - Commercial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Coldwell Banker ROX Realty - Property Management. . . . . . . . . . 163


Coldwell Banker ROX Realty - Why List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Linda Tawney Photography. . . . . . . . . 57 Mankel Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Meritage Active Adult. . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Mission Heights Prearatory High School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Star Towing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 Stewart Chiropractic. . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Sun Life Family Health Center. . . . . . 84 Tee Pee Sand & Gravel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Hearing Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Mahoney Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Title Security Agency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Tractor Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Treasured Hands Massage Therapy. . . 147 Trinity Southern Baptist Church. . . . . 81 Tumbleweed Restaurant . . . . . . . . . 120

Mission Royale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

Vantage West Credit Union. . . . . . . . . . 4

Norris RV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

Wallace, Volkmer & Weagant, PLLC. . . 25

Nussbaum, Gillis & Dinner, P.C. Attorney’s at Law. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

Western Pinal Association of REALTORS® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Pinal County Federal Credit Union. . . 137

Yang & Horsley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Premier Orthodontics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Zippy Entertainment. . . . . . . . . . . . . 159




For a world explored

The Casa Grande


Growth & Incorporation of Casa Grande

CG News

(The following is from the 1998 historic resource survey of Casa Grande)

by Harold Kitching


By September 1880, Southern Pacific executives had renamed the settlement Casa Grande, after the prehistoric ruins located northeast of town. The first Casa Grande post office was established in September 1881. In these early years, the railroad was the sole source of Casa Grande’s

ured by inexpensive land and promises of water, new settlers flocked to Casa Grande during the 1910s, and the town began to grow steadily. By the end of 1912, Casa Grande was in the midst of a building boom, with the construction of 20 homes underway and families living in tent houses while waiting for local carpenters to be available. These tents on the outskirts of town were so numerous that Casa Grande described itself as “a white city.” The downtown underwent substantial changes during this period as well. Casa Grande’s growth was temporarily restrained by the absence of a lumber yard, hardware store, general store, or bank, as well as by inadequate hotel facilities, which were overflowing with guests. But by the end of 1912, the town had acquired not only a lumber yard and new store, but also new buildings for offices, a bakery, a meat market and cold storage facility, a post office, a livery stable, and expanded hotel facilities. In a year’s time, both passenger traffic and freight shipments received at Casa Grande tripled, causing a 500 percent increase in railroad revenue from the station. The town looked forward with great confidence, advertising its need for another hotel, a bank, and a doctor, as well as more basic improvements like a central electric power station and a water works. Of great local interest was the

continued on page 21...

continued on page 47... or

Origins & Founding of the Town (The following is from the 1998 historic resource survey of Casa Grande)


he settlement of Casa Grande is commonly dated from the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in May of 1879. The community was not planned but arose almost by accident as the Southern Pacific was laying its main line, working eastward from California. Local lore suggests that midday temperatures became too much for work crews, who could no longer handle the sun-baked rails, forcing a work stoppage and establishing the future location of Casa Grande. While the heat may indeed have been an issue for workers, construction apparently stopped because of costs and delays in the delivery of rails manufactured in the East. Rail shortages were a chronic problem as


the nationwide surge in railroad construction strained steel supplies. When the work stoppage occurred, a temporary camp was established at the railhead. At first the camp was simply called Terminus, the name of the temporary post office which rolled along behind the workers on the Southern Pacific line. Wagon roads quickly were laid out to meet this new end of the line, and a good freighting business developed. The valuable Silver King mine, located to the northeast near Superior, as well as other mines in the Globe mining district, shipped out ore and picked up food and supplies at the railroad stop. When construction resumed in January 1880, the community of Terminus, with its three buildings and five residents, remained.



Herald Local News from Golden Corridor Living Magazine



Housing Shortage in the 1940s (Little known facts about housing in Casa Grande, taken from the 1998 historic resource survey)


he 1940s brought not only growth to Casa Grande but also growing pains. Significant labor and housing shortages accompanied economic expansion and municipal improvements. Population increases meant overcrowding of local schools, a crunch partially alleviated in 1947 with the acquisition of surplus buildings from Marana Air Base. The addition of seven new buildings for elementary classrooms was sufficient to allow the local district to maintain a separate “Colored” grade school. Still, Casa Grande’s schools were full, and the new school buildings were expected only to reduce the average class size to 30 children. Although desegregation of Casa Grande Union High School was considered in 1947, the idea met with strong local opposition and action was delayed. Casa Grande was among the last communities in the county to desegregate its high school, lagging behind Coolidge and Florence. Demographic information for Casa Grande is sparse, but it is clear there were racial divisions in Casa Grande. These surfaced in the 1940s, when concerns were raised about residential segregation and slum conditions in the city. The severe housing shortage naturally led to the overcrowding of residences, many of which were substandard. In 1941, approximately 40 adobe and frame rental properties, many of which were owned by the city, were declared either structurally unsafe or dangerously overcrowded CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

by a state health inspector. Indicative of residential development patterns in Casa Grande, these residences were scattered throughout the town, rather than clustered in a single neighborhood, but it was noted at the time that the residents of these substandard buildings were predominantly low-income Mexican Americans who had lived in the area all their lives. The situation was grave enough that Sen. Carl Hayden and Sen. Ernest McFarland secured federal funding for a slum clearance project in Casa Grande, which provided for the construction of low-cost government homes for displaced residents. Many efforts were made to alleviate the severe housing shortage in Casa Grande. In early 1945, the city applied for 50 government housing units through a program of the Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) which converted surplus war buildings into housing for returning veterans. Under the program, the city

furnished the land and paid all the expenses of setting up the units and equipping them for residential use. The city was tentatively assigned 20 dwellings under this plan in early 1946. Upon completion of the units, title was turned over to the city, which was then responsible for administering the project and turning all rents and profits over to the FPHA. Intended only as a temporary solution, the dwellings were required to be destroyed within two years of the termination of the national emergency declared in September 1939. The units could be rented only to veterans and their families in distressed circumstances. The veteran’s housing project, located at Dry Lake and Main streets on the south side of the railroad tracks, was finally opened for occupancy in August 1946. The city also received authority to build 15 other homes under a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) program. These units, 10 of which were for

sale as private residences and five as rental properties, could be built by any private person approved for financing through the FHA. As noted in the local newspaper, this was the first time that any city in the nation “has been granted priority for such housing units, when the city was not in a war area.” The local VFW post even lobbied for the preservation of the Rivers Japanese-American relocation camp facilities, which had been vacant since November 1945. The post was particularly interested in acquiring the hospital and housing (sufficient for a thousand or more people) for the use of ex-servicemen in the area. These hopes evaporated, however, when the escalating prices quoted to veterans forced those waiting for housing to withdraw their deposits from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which had been charged with the task of disposing of the property.




CG News


TOWN ORIGINS ...cont. from page 18 livelihood, and all activity centered around the depot. Businesses sprung up along Main Street, which ran parallel to the tracks. By 1881, Casa Grande had eighty structures, and by 1882, a population of nearly 500. It had become the Silver King mine’s primary shipping point, and the town picked up additional freight traffic from the recently developed Casa Grande mining district. During the early 1880s, a number of small mines such as the Vekol, Jackrabbit, and Reward mines began production in an area twenty-five to thirty miles south and southwest of Casa Grande. Led by the Vekol mine, the district was primarily associated with silver mining, but it also supported a few small gold, copper and zinc mining operations. Thanks to this mining activity, Casa Grande established itself as a shipping center, and it was prosperous enough to warrant immediate rebuilding after fires destroyed sections of the business district in 1883 and 1886. The Casa Grande Townsite was created in 1892, when a patent on the 160-acre quarter section was granted to John Miller, a Pinal County probate judge. By the time the townsite was officially platted, the community of Casa Grande was already 13 years old and had built up alongside the railroad track. The current street alignment of downtown Casa Grande, in the original townsite area, reflects its origins as a railroad community. These streets have a northwest-southeast orientation because they are aligned with the railroad tracks; later additions to the city are oriented toward true north, making Casa Grande’s historic downtown geographically distinct. The local mining industry that sustained Casa Grande in these ear-


Rebecca Dallis School House



ly years began to falter in the 1890s, particularly after the onset of the depression of 1893, and commercial activity in the town suffered as a result. Another fire in 1893 burned the entire business district to the ground. Residents quickly rebuilt, as they had done before, with frame and adobe buildings. Casa Grande suffered another disastrous fire in April 1914. It began in the Berlin Bakery and quickly spread, destroying an entire block of business buildings along Main Street, including the Armenta Building, Gilt Edge Saloon, McNatt’s Barber Shop, Bennett’s Meat Market and Cold Storage, Hail’s Furniture Store, and several other businesses. Losses, including the contents of the buildings, were estimated at $20,000. Plans were made to rebuild immediately, this time with stone, brick, and concrete. This fire also forced the issue of incorporation, since the losses might have been prevented if Casa Grande had invested in some form of municipal fire protection. Tragically, fire visited Casa Grande again in October 1915, destroying portions of Main Street once more.

Citizen volunteers were able to quell this fire by tapping into the Southern Pacific water tank and organizing an impromptu bucket brigade, but the need for municipal fire protection was again made abundantly clear. The Board of Trade recommended incorporation, which was accomplished in December 1915. Five hundred twenty-four people reportedly lived within the new city limits, and storekeeper L. J. Weaver served as the first mayor. The newly incorporated town of Casa Grande moved quickly to rebuild and resume its promotional campaign. The Board of Trade erected informational signs between Casa Grande and Tucson, published another promotional brochure, and constructed a State Fair exhibit. The city moved forward immediately with plans for a light and power plant, water works, and ice plant. With a dependable municipal water supply, fire protection would finally be possible. The Board of Trade, now reconstituted as the Chamber of Commerce, lost no time interpreting this development: “Water, Lights, Ice Mean Rapid Growth.”

he Rebecca Dallis School House, a reminder of segregation in Casa Grande and Arizona, is a part of the displays at the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society Museum. It has been designated as a local historical landmark. According to documents presented when the City Council approved the designation, the original one-room schoolhouse was named Southside Colored Grammar School, standing on the southwest corner of the South School (Ocotillo) grounds “and was erected to educate the Black children of Casa Grande.” According to the documentation, the school opened in 1934, remaining in use until 1952, when the grade school children began attending East School (Palo Verde) upon its completion. One document says “there was a fence that separated the Colored school and play area from the main school and playground. “During recess the students would hop the fence and play together. When recess was over, they’d return to their respective schools.” According to the documents, it wasn’t until the late 1950s that Casa

continued on page 47...



Celebration: Casa Grande


by Robert “Bob” Jackson, Mayor of Casa Grande

ne hundred years ago Casa Grande officially became a city. The Pinal County Board of Supervisors appointed five men to serve as the first City Council and Mr. L. J. Weaver to serve as Mayor. That spring the first election was held with Weaver, and W. D. Randle (who had also been appointed by the Board of Supervisors) elected along with George Burgess, Gus Kratzka and J. A. Armenta to serve as the first elected Council. Burgess was selected from the Council to serve as the Mayor. At that time the Mayor was appointed by the Council rather than by direct election as we do today. Imagine what the town must have looked like in 1915. The railroad was here and the town was pretty much clustered along the tracks. It is also thought to be the year that Sarah McMurray introduced eucalyptus trees to the community. Over the next 100 years the City developed into the commerce center of Pinal County. In the mid 1970’s the City leaders decided to create a Charter that has been the basis of our rules since. In the 40 plus years since the Charter was approved by the voters, there has only been a couple of times it has been changed, illustrating how forward thinking our leaders were at the time. Many of the decisions made by earlier Councils are still in place today. The Council in the early 1950’s decided to put a landfill south of town and make it large enough so it still serves the community today. They also located a wastewater treatment plant on the north side of town that continues to serve the City today in a more modern plant. When the discussions of a new freeway started, Casa Grande’s leaders worked hard to have I-10 and I-8 routed through our City, making us a desirable location for new industry. In the mid 1980’s, the mining industry

was weakening and a group of community leaders and the Council diversified our local economy to attract Abbott Nutrition and Frito Lay to town. Our community has been fortunate to have forward looking leaders throughout our history. One of the things I think helped us move forward is our stability. The Mayor is the only Council position with term limits but over the past 40 years only a handful of people have held the office. Combine this with a very stable Council and senior staff and the City has been able to move forward. I have lived in Casa Grande since 1991 when the City’s population was a little over 18,000 and our shopping and entertainment options were limited. Today we are a City of over 50,000 and are the commerce center for western Pinal County. Casa Grande is well positioned to be a leader in the planned Sun Corridor mega-region and I believe will have a positive future as a leader in Arizona. I am sure I will not be around in 100 years but hope the citizens of 2115 look back positively at the foundation we have set for our children and grand-children to have a prosperous life.







Celebrating 100 Years of Casa Grande!

• •


A reflection in time…

by Helen Neuharth, President/CEO, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce


was not surprised, but found it extremely interesting to see how the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce played a significant role in the growth of Casa Grande. Founded in 1879, the town prospered and in 1915, with a population of 600, was incorporated with L.J. Weavers as its first mayor. In 1920, when Casa Grande’s population was 948, a group of business people met and formed the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, eventually becoming incorporated in 1935. The Chamber has been through the good times and the challenging times as our community has grown over the past 100 years. Here are a few timelines I thought you might be interested in noting: • 1884 – 1914 - Casa Grande’s ‘downtown’ area burned down three times but each time, merchants and business leaders gathered forces and rebuilt ‘downtown’ Casa Grande • 1890 Casa Grande’s population 328

• •

1902 - Casa Grande’s business district had faded away to a saloon, a mercantile store and two smaller stores. 1920 - Casa Grande’s population 948. On April 19, community’s business people formed the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce 1924 - The Women’s Club was constructed from local rocks collected and contributed by members of the Women’s Club and housed a free library until the Casa Grande Library opened

• • •

in 1955. 1930 - Casa Grande’s population 1,351 1940 Casa Grande’s population 1,545 1946 - The City of Casa Grande had $19,300.00 for the construction of a swimming pool in Peart Park but needed an additional $6,600.00 to complete the construction of the swimming pool; the Chamber loaned the City the needed amount of funds. The loan was paid back to the Chamber from the City from the profits of the

• •



swimming pool. 1950 - Casa Grande’s population 4,181 1959 - The Chamber played a pivotal role in ensuring the construction of the San Francisco Giants’ Minor League training base in Casa Grande. In a two-day period, local citizens and the business community ‘stepped up’ and raised the $50,000 that was needed to give the Giants clear deed to 160 acres of land. 1960 - Casa Grande’s population was 8,311 1967 - Chamber business members and the City worked together for the first O’odham Tash “gathering of the people” held to honor the Native Americans that live on the reservations north and south of Casa Grande, began with a one-day barbeque 1970 - Casa Grande’s population was 10,536 1980 - Casa Grande’s population was 14,971. The Greater Casa Grande Chamber established Educational Partners of Casa Grande. 1981 - Chamber members built the ‘new’ chamber building, at its present location 575 N. Marshall St. Prior to the ‘new’ building. The Chamber was located in a one-story house at the corner of Dry Lake and 4th Street, which is the current location of the Casa Grande Public Library. 1990 - Casa Grande’s population was 18,675 1992 – Established Casa Grande 2000 - A Community Alliance continued on page 31...



If these walls could talk… Rina Rien, Director, Casa Grande Main Street


ou may wander the streets of Historic Downtown Casa Grande and wonder about the people that brought this town to life. As you turn the corner of Fourth Street and Florence, you will find just one of many examples of how Casa Grande Main Street has had an impact on preserving and projecting their heritage through public art projects dating back almost 20 years. It was 1998 when then Main Street Director, Donna Renninger, convinced her friend and artist Rose Johnson to spend a week onsite with Casa Grande Union High School art students. Together, they painted a mural that still stops visitors in their tracks. Depicting the history of Casa Grande from 1879 to 1967, you can follow the progression over three panels from immigrants working on the railroad to the agricultural roots that continue to dominate our landscape. Unfortunately, Rose Johnson is no longer with us, but our community continues to be the steward of one of only a handful of her works that still remain in Arizona. Since the organization’s formation in 1992, Casa Grande Main Street has completed numerous major revitalization projects including The Old Town/Market Central Neon Signs, Prickly Pear Sculptures in the Pedestrian Plaza at 2nd and Florence, Erdmann Plaza at the Five Points Intersection, Downtown Entry Monuments Signs, The Main Street Patio and the replica of The Paramount Theatre Marquee. In 2006, Director Marge Jantz summoned Eagle Scouts and local artists to create one of downtown’s most uniquely artistic destinations, the Main Street Patio and Alley. Over two years, this area came to life with murals of Table Top Mountain and the original Main Street storefronts and Depot that were burned to the ground and no longer exist. The resulting effort drew rave reviews and a 1st Place Arizona Main Street Award in 2008 for Best Public/Private Partnership. With the 2012 Florence Street Landscape Improvements by the City of Casa Grande, Main Street partnered with the Historic Preservation Commission to commemorate the centennial project with a Plaque



and Pedestal of the Original Townsite Map, located at the corner of 3rd and Florence Streets. Parchment map replicas are sold and proceeds support fabrication and installation of plaques on historic buildings. The latest Main Street project, completed in 2013, was once again championed by Marge Jantz. The Doors to the Past at 3rd Street and Florence reflect icons lost to time. Brought back to life by no less than 14 local artists and 15 community partners who brought their time, talent and dollars, The Doors serve as a lasting tribute to John Wayne, Rebecca Dallis, and the pioneers who had the fortitude to bring business to a dusty little town once called Terminus. Today, the legacy of Casa Grande Main Street’s


role in the downtown can be found on its walls, in its streets and even on the sidewalks branded with irons from the cattle ranch days. We invite you to join us when we gear up again next fall and share the stories during our monthly Day Out Downtown featuring historic walking tours. Bring your friends when we close down Florence Street at night and invite the community out for evening fun downtown. Whatever your speed, take pride in knowing your town is a unique, authentic, vibrant place to call home. Casa Grande Main Street is a non-profit organization designed to improve all aspects of the downtown experience. Strengthening public participation and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to Main Street’s future as drawing new business, rehabilitating structures and expanding parking options.

You can find all the latest information for ongoing events and more by checking out our website at Click on our Facebook link to stay connected and “like” our page for impromptu announcements.

Criminal Defense, DUI, Family Law & Personal Injury

Call Today for



• Joshua R. Wallace • Kent P. Volkmer • Cody Nicoll Weagant


Lakeshore Village Office Complex 442 W. Kortsen, Suite 102 P.O. Box 12363, Casa Grande, AZ 85130 CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION



The Barony of Arizola by Harold Kitching A comprehensive report on the land scam and con man, including clickable links and citations, is found at


s you zip along Jimmie Kerr Boulevard you probably don’t notice a small historical marker on the north side just east of Noble Street and that metal tubing sign promoting Casa Grande service clubs.

rights on a Spanish land grant. To make a long story short, the two of them consulted with William Gitt, a man known as the “Old Spanish Land Title Lawyer” following a series of dubious land deals in Illinois and Missouri.

Unlike other historical markers, there are no signs saying that one is just ahead, leaving it in relative obscurity. Strange for something that marks the home of the “Baron of Arizona” and his “Barony of Arizola,” the work of a con man who pulled off the biggest land scam in Arizona history using a forged Spanish land grant to claim 18,600 square miles stretching from the area of the present city of Maricopa, running east through what is now Casa Grande, Coolidge and Florence, jogging north covering the Phoenix area, then running east again to the Silver City, N.M., area. (By comparison, Pinal County is about 5,374 square miles and Casa Grande about 110 square miles) The “Baron” was James Addison Reavis, a man who used his forgery techniques learned during the Civil War to falsify the Peralta grant. According to the plaque marking the site of the long gone town of Arizola, established about 1892 on the Southern Pacific Railroad line and lasting until about 1904, “He and his family lived here in royal style until his fraud was exposed. From the barony he went to federal prison in 1895.” Well, he lived there for awhile. Various references say he built a mansion and lived in luxury there, children dressed in velvet, until



things got too hot for him in the Arizona Territory. Overall, they say, he then preferred his mansions in New York and California, all obtained with the estimated $150 million in today’s dollars that he extorted through threats to businesses such as the Silver King mine, the railroad, illegal rentals, selling quit claims and through some scam investment plans, including the Casa Grande Improvement Company. It’s a long and twisted story, beginning during the Civil War when he learned that he could forge his commanding officer’s signature perfectly, allowing him to falsify passes for himself and other Confederate soldiers. Perhaps as an early indicator of his future, he used one of the passes to leave his military area, deserting to the North. He later came to Missouri, using his forgery skills as a real estate salesman to forge land contracts. Reavis eventually travelled to Arizona, where he met a man who claimed to have a deed for mineral

According to the Wikipedia sources, the three men began meeting for several hours each week to examine the grant paperwork. In addition to the deed there was an expediente, a copy of the legal papers relating to the Peralta grant. Accompanying the copies was a letter dated 1853 and bearing the signature of Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna claiming a diligent search had been performed to locate all related documents and that the expediente established secure title of the grant. The grant had been a “floater,” a grant for a certain amount of territory but lacking a fixed location. Such grants, while common, were useful as legal nuisances capable of scaring an unsophisticated land owner but of little real value. Reavis decided to change this and fixed the location of the grant. To deal with ambiguities regarding various historical measurements, he chose the definitions most advantageous to his goals. With the center of its western boundary set near the confluence of the Salt and Gila rivers, the forged grant contained the towns of Phoenix, Globe, Casa Grande, Florence, and Tempe and stretched to the outskirts of Silver City, N.M. Other points of interest within the grant boundaries were the fabulously


rich Silver King Mine near Superior and a section of the Southern Pacific Railroad. He later filed all of the forged paperwork in Tucson. After filing his claim, the Wikipedia sources say, Reavis established his base of operations at Arizola just east of present Casa Grande containing a small set of ruins that had supposedly been used by the first Baron as La Hacienda de Peralta. Reavis brought in craftsmen to build a mansion of redwood and red brick on the site, complete with servant quarters, stables, storage sheds, and a protective stone wall surrounding the site. While the construction was beginning, Reavis began hiring rent collectors and agents. He also opened negotiations with James M. Barney, owner of the Silver King

hired grant title water

publicists announcing the land were made, proclaiming the was ironclad and included both and mineral rights.

Opposition began rising, forcing Reavis to realize that the complex conveyances he used to base his claim were a serious weakness. He decided that presenting an heiress to the Peralta grant would strengthen his scheme. He convinced a woman in California that she was a direct descendant, Doña Sophia Micaela Maso Reavis y Peralta de la Córdoba, third Baroness of Arizona. She wasn’t, of course, but was gullible enough to believe Reavis. By the time Reavis returned to Arizona Territory in August 1887 he was using the name James Addison Peralta-Reavis, going to Tucson to file a new claim on behalf of his wife.

Mining Co. After several weeks, Barney agreed to pay $25,000 for a quitclaim, a pittance given the wealth of the silver mine. Reavis then printed and posted notices throughout the claim instructing residents to contact his lawyer “for registering tenancy and signing agreements, or regard themselves liable to litigation for trespassing and expulsion when the Peralta Grant is, as it must be, validated by the U.S. Government.” Arrangements for newspapers and


By the time of the second filing, Reavis was dressing in the finest linen and broadcloth while his wife wore the products of New York and San Francisco’s best dressmakers. Finding conditions in Arizona too hostile to his ambitions, Reavis rarely spent time at his mansion in Arizola. He and his wife instead maintained residences in San Francisco, St. Louis, and near New York City were they entertained the social and financial elite. According to Wikipedia, reaction to the new claim by Arizona residents was nearly unanimously negative, with some newspapers publishing open incitements to violence

against Reavis. As a result of the opposition, sale of new quitclaims effectively ended. During his trip to Spain and visits to New York, Reavis had gained an understanding of government and big business finance. He put this new knowledge to work and began offering investment opportunities involving development of Arizona Territory. With the business leaders he had met in New York advocating the legitimacy of his claim, Reavis began to gain millions of dollars in new funds. He formed three corporations in rapid succession in 1887, each bearing the name Casa Grande Improvement Company. Each had Reavis as director and well known business leaders selected to serve as president and vice-presidents. The third, the Casa Grande Improvement Company of Arizona, was incorporated in November and absorbed the prior two entities. The company planned to develop the land of the grant by building roads, railways, dams, irrigation canals, telegraph lines, and other improvements while simultaneously engaging in leasing water rights, selling livestock, and performing other activities. It all began falling apart, drastically so, when the surveyor general of Arizona Territory issued a detailed report saying the whole thing was a complete fraud. continued on page 35...



25 years of Prevention in Casa Grande by Breanna Boland, Executive Director, Casa Grande Alliance


he Casa Grande Alliance coalition began in 1989, under the tutelage of Cindy Schaider, former Executive Director of CGA, Inc., and was part of the national prevention coalition movement. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan hosted the White House Conference for a Drug Free America and it was there that the Drug Prevention Committee claimed the key to success would be unity among federal, state and local authorities, community members, youth and families. This conference started the coalition movement across the nation and in Casa Grande. The Casa Grande Alliance coalition was formed to address community concerns about underage drinking and tobacco. Strong leadership and dedication from the coalition members drove the mission of the coalition forward. The coalition has been fulfilling its mission by creating partnerships and working together to reduce substance abuse and violence among youth and

adults. The Casa Grande Alliance coalition provides a framework for organizations, families and individuals to address substance abuse issues in the community. The coalition has over 50 members and representatives from various community sectors that are actively involved in the mission of the coalition. Back in 2007, the coalition formed its own non-profit organization, CGA, Inc., and the non-profit became a 501(c) (3) IRS charity in 2009. The non-profit, CGA Inc., provides program and administrative staff to support the efforts of the coalition including prevention education and awareness, treatment resource information, a family strengthening program, a youth leadership program, and a community Prevention Resource Center. The agency has grown exponentially over the past several years. Six full-time and four part-time staff support the work of the coalition and agency programs. Agency programs are funded by the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families

Parents Commission, Cenpatico Integrated Health, Arizona Department of Health Services, United Way of Pinal County and individual donors. Together, the coalition and the agency have addressed various substance abuse trends in Casa Grande. From underage drinking and tobacco, to methamphetamine, marijuana and spice, the coalition and the agency have made large strides forward in creating a safe and drug-free community. Since 2006, there has been a 15% increase in the number of Casa Grande youth who have never used drugs or alcohol. What that means for our community is there are 1,190 more kids living alcohol and drug free!1 Although there have been significant gains over the past twenty-five years, substance use is still a major health concerns in Casa Grande. An issue currently being addressed by the coalition and the agency is marijuana and the misperceptions related to use of the substance. Across the nation, there has been an increase in youth marijuana use.2 In Casa Grande, marijuana use among our youth has not increased– yet. However, there has been a decrease in youth’s perception of risk/harm related to marijuana use.3 Perception of risk/harm is directly correlated to use. What that means is, when people believe there is little to no risk or harm associated with using a substance, such as marijuana, use of the drug tends to increase. You might be asking yourself – what’s the big deal? It’s just

a little pot. It is a big deal!The development and success of our youth and the future of our community is a big deal. In the early 1990’s, the THC content (or potency) of marijuana was about 4%, and today the THC content is roughly 16%. There are some marijuana extracts, such as ‘dab’ or ‘wax’, that can be 50-80% pure THC.4 When the potency goes up, the chances of becoming addicted increase. Yes, marijuana is addictive! About 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. This number increases to about 1 in 6 if they start using in their teens and the potential for addiction increases to 25-50% among daily users.3 It is also important to note that marijuana can cause long-term or permanent changes to the brain. This is particularly important for our young community members. Studies show that using marijuana (especially by adolescents) has the ability to lower a person’s IQ, on average, 8 points.4 The list of effects that marijuana has on the developing brain and body goes on. The Casa Grande Alliance and CGA, Inc. recognize that drug use is a major public health threat and that addiction is a preventable and treatable disease. As the coalition and agency move forward, keeping the mission in mind, we will continue to be a catalyst for a healthy and drug- free community. For more information visit our website at or call the Casa Grande Alliance at 520-836-5022.

1 Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. (2012). Arizona Youth Survey: Casa Grande. 2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Retrieved from aspx?TT=B&OUT=0&SID=HS&QID=H49&LID=LL&YID=2013&LID2=&YID2=&CO L=S&ROW1=N&ROW2=N&HT=QQ&LCT=LL&FS=S1&FR=R1&FG=G1&FSL=S1&FRL=R1&FGL=G1&PV=&TST=True&C1=S7&C2=S8&QP=G&DP=1&VA=CI&CS=Y&SYID=&EYID=&SC=DEFAULT&SO=ASC 3 Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. (2014). Arizona Youth Survey: Casa Grande. 4 National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Marijuana. Retrieved from




Weed today is not the same as ‘70s weed.

Marijuana is addictive.

“Medical” weed is NOT safer than street weed.

Marijuana can affect your IQ.

Parents CAN keep kids from trying drugs.

Marijuana is harmful.

Marijuana impairs memory, judgment, coordination, and balance.1

There is no such thing as “medical-grade marijuana.” The marijuana sold as “medicine” in dispensaries is the same as marijuana sold on the street and carries the same health risks.1

THC concentration averaged 12.3% in 2012, compared to an average of 3% in the 1970s and 1980s.2

1 in 11 adults who use marijuana will become addicted, and 1 in 6 youth who use marijuana will become addicted.1

 

Youth who use marijuana, on average, can lose 8 IQ points.1 Teens that have good relationships with their parents are 2 times less likely to use alcohol and 3 to 4 times less likely to use marijuana.3 Drug abuse prevention and treatment referrals 901 E. Cottonwood Lane - Suite C Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 520-836-5022

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse

2 University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Program

3 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

Casa Grand or Casa Grand-ay? by Jim Dinkle, Executive Director, Access Arizona


or 31 years Access Arizona and its predecessor organizations have been a part of Casa Grande. We have been here during the rapid growth in population of the past 20 years, the diversification of the local economy meshing agriculture with manufacturing and, in general, to help recruit businesses to locate and to stay and to expand here. We salute Casa Grande on the 100th Anniversary of its incorporation! One of the most common questions that I am asked by visitors is, “Do you pronounce it Casa Grand or Casa Grand-ay?” The name Casa Grande is Spanish for “the big house” and the proper pronunciation in Spanish is granday. This question is a sure fire way to strike up a conversation with a stranger, because everybody has their own opinion on the pronunciation! I sometimes ask strangers, “How do you pronounce the county seat of Pinal County? Casa Grand or Casa Grand-ay?” Their responses are usually divided 50/50, to which I reply, “Florence!” Casa Grande has established itself the past 100 years as the commercial hub of Pinal County and it is the address of homegrown and multinational businesses that over the decades have started or put down roots here. Businesses that thrive here include logistics and distribution, food processing, agriculture, aviation and aerospace, plastics, vitamins and dietary supplements, advanced manufacturing and healthcare.

Two anchors who have perhaps the deepest roots in Casa Grande are Banner Regional Medical Center established in 1984 and Central Arizona College’s (CAC) Corporate Center established in 2007. CAC’s main campus is near Coolidge with satellite campuses throughout Pinal County in Apache Junction, Maricopa, San Tan Valley, Saddlebrooke and Florence. Each has contributed a vast amount to the community wealth building of Casa Grande. Casa Grande also has an important place in Arizona history for it was the first town in our state to have a woman mayor. The Associated Press reported the election of Mrs. Earl “Fannie” Garr on May 25, 1927, winning by a margin of just one vote. A news article reported that the women of Casa Grande “are celebrating the election result as the greatest victory that they have won since Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt first notified them that the vote is more powerful than the rolling pin.” On behalf of Access Arizona’s staff and our board of directors Donovan Kramer, Jr, Rona Curphy, HR Paddock, Jennifer Alai, Evelyn Casuga, Stephen Miller, Joel Belloc, Bob Jackson, Jon Thompson, Greg Stanley, Jim Thompson, Bob Flatley, Harvey Krauss, Ken Waddill, Ed Hadley, Denis Fitzgibbons, Zoe Richmond, Travis Robinette, Hope Wallace, Dennis Dugan, Shea Nieto, Morris Mennenga, David Bentler, Kirk McCarville, Dennis Gerlach and Matt Herrington, Happy Birthday, Casa Grande! Now it’s on to 200!

Jim Dinkle Executive Director 520.836.6868




continued from page 23... There are so many programs and successful partnerships that have been established from 1990 to 2015 almost too many to list in this article. So in conclusion…. The Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, with more than 510 business members, representing several thousands of employees, is here to support and promote the economic well-being of Casa Grande, our business members and our extraordinary community. We consider building partnerships with various businesses and organizations, as well as the City of Casa Grande, one of the Chamber’s most vital functions. Promoting Casa Grande, encouraging consumers to buy locally, economic development, business retention and expansion, involvement with education and workforce development, and providing resources and community information to businesses and individuals - all services that the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce does to ensure our

community continues to be a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. Remember, when you shop in Casa Grande and buy locally, your tax dollars stay in Casa Grande helping to maintain the streets, fire and police services, community activities and our educational system. Located at 575 N. Marshall Street, the Chamber is open to the public, a resource for business, provides area information on the many amenities and services available in Casa Grande as well as local and state tourism information. I invite you to visit where you will find area information, Casa Grande Community Calendar, online employment opportunities, access to the Chamber’s monthly newsletters and upcoming Chamber events. For business and community information, contact the Chamber at 520-836-2125 or 800-916-1515 or email, info@



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1891 Courthouse Still Being Used by Joe Pyritz, Communications Director, Pinal County


he 1891 Pinal County Courthouse was built in 1891 for the tidy sum of just under $35,000. Today, that factors to roughly $844,000. The best part – it is still being used today, albeit a little more modern than in 1891. The 1891 Courthouse is actually the second courthouse for Pinal County government. The first one was located at what is known today as McFarland State Park. In 1890, the three county Supervisors wanted to build a structure that represented their vision that Pinal County is a place with a future prosperity through mining and agriculture. J.M Creighton was hired to design the sign of our future prosperity with A.J. Doran and T.A. Adams as builders. The new building was not only to be used as a courthouse, but was designed with a jail included on the first floor. (Today that portion of the building is used as the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room and yes, you can still see the bars from the old jail.) Completed in February 1891, the courthouse was designed in the classic American-Victorian architecture style. Totaling 15,000 square feet, the building not only housed the courthouse and jail, it was also contained the offices of the Sheriff, Recorder, Treasurer and Assessor. You might also notice the hands of the clock on the tower never move. (You could say it is right twice a day.) The reason for that is there was not enough money during construction to complete a working clock. So the hands were painted and set at the time of 11:44.


Pearl Hart. She was convicted and served time in the Pinal County jail. In 1930, the courthouse was the site for the sanity hearing of convicted murderer Eva Dugan. She was found sane and was executed by the State of Arizona. In fact, she is still the only woman to be put to death in Arizona. One of the more famous hearings to be held at the courthouse was the sanity hearing for trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd. In 1933 Judd was convicted of a double murder and then found to be insane and then sent to the Arizona State Asylum for the Insane where she stayed until her release in 1971. Did you know that Judd escaped from the asylum seven times and actually wasn’t caught for six and a half years after fleeing in 1962.

Little did anyone one know at the time that this magnificent building would be in the crosshairs of judicial history.

There have been four additions made to the 1891 Courthouse. In 1917, there was two story additions made to the north and south of the building. The north side of the building was expanded in 1933 and 1975. The final addition came in 1982 as the county expanded the south side of the Courthouse. In all, the building went from its original 15,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet.

Just eight years into its existence, the Courthouse was the site of the trial of notorious stagecoach robber

Pinal County used the Courthouse continually until 2004 when the Assessor, Treasurer and Recorders


offices were moved to another building. There were small improvements made to the structure through grant funding, but the aged building was needing more than just a repair or two. Following the 2010 Census, Pinal County’s population was large enough to warrant going from three supervisory districts to five. Needing the space to house the upcoming five Supervisors, were studies conducted on the building to see if it was feasible to renovate the building and use it as office space. An original study in the 1990’s placed the renovation cost at $3 million. Later an updated study took place in the 2000’s showed the total cost of renovations at $7 million. In 2011 the Board of Supervisors approved the use of county and federal funds to rehabilitate the Courthouse. The renovations were completed in late 2012. Today the Courthouse now houses the offices of the Board of Supervisors, County Manager, Parks and Trails, Economic Development, Clerk of the Board, Citizen Contact Center and Communications. The building also has four conference rooms as well. There is also a gallery of historical items located on the first floor. The public is invited to come in and visit the historic structure anytime during business hours.






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continued from page 27...

(The complete text is in a footnote of the link at the beginning of this story.) Among the findings: • Most of the claim’s 18th century documents showed evidence of having been written with steel nibbed pens, a tool rarely used until the 19th century, instead of a quill. • Printing styles on the Peralta documents differed with documents from the same time period. • Searches of Spanish archives for supporting documents failed to find information on the Peralta grant in locations where such information was expected. • Multiple spelling errors and grammar issues were present in the Peralta documents, a situation highly atypical of documents from the Spanish royal court. Reavis was later arrested, spending a year in jail awaiting trial. Later, the court sentenced him to two years in prison and a fine of $5,000. After he was released, he traveled around trying to find new investors for projects, but found little interest.


In 1900, Reavis began the magazine Peralta Reavis Real Life Illustrated where he promised to provide the complete inside story of the Peralta fraud. The magazine folded after a single issue. The same year he wrote a memoir that was published in several installments by the San Francisco Call newspaper under the title “The Confessions of the Baron of Arizona.”

pauper’s grave.

By 1913 he was living in a poor house in Los Angeles. He died in Denver on Nov. 20, 1914, and was buried in a

All that remains is the lonely marker along the highway.

As a footnote, the Wikipedia sources say, the mansion that Reavis built in Arizola was rediscovered by the National Park Service in 1953 following years of use as a barn by a local farmer. An evaluation in April 1963 by the Park Service determined restoration of the building was financially infeasible.

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McMashers – Your Friendly Hometown Bar & Grill by Rejana McSwan


McMashers Sports Bar & Grill is happily celebrating more than 25 years in Casa Grande! Opened for business in 1989, McMashers has kept its true focus on preparing only the freshest meals and providing the best in customer service. Coupling this outstanding fare with a wide variety of craft beers and contemporary drinks makes for a satisfying experience. We also take pride in entertaining our guests in a warm and comfortable environment. McMashers Sports Bar excels at providing you with top notch sporting events on 42 large flat screen TVs. We carry all NFL

games every week. You can see up to 100 out of market baseball games each week as well. Bring your cell and headphones and

you can hear your favorite game on our new HEAR TV with HD quality sound! To top it off we also have DishNet to bring you

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Great View -42 Large HD TVs

Outstanding fare – Wings, Burgers, Wraps, and salad. All with the freshest ingredients

Craft Beer – a wide variety of draught beers and contemporary drinks

Sound – Listen to your event on our HD Hear TV! It has great quality

Service – Our local forte! You’re not just a guest, you are a friend

all of the action on the PAC12 Network – a MUST for you ASU and UA fans. As long as you are enjoying your time at McMashers, don’t forget to follow up on that tip you heard about and place your bets on thoroughbred horse racing. We carry live racing from Turf Paradise in Phoenix as well as the greatest tracks in America. Wager live and collect your winnings only at McMashers. We also carry Greyhound races. McMashers ownership team is born and raised in Casa Grande. It is this heart felt heritage that gives McMashers its true local flair! We invite you to stop by and meet a lot of friends.

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Mission Statement: To create an environment of academic success built on the pillars of college readiness, community service, civic duty, and self discipline.

At Mission Heights we believe that: •

Belief Statements: 1.





High Expectations: All students will have high expectations placed upon them to succeed, and will be supported to succeed by administration and teachers. Opportunities for success: All students will be presented with a multitude of clubs, sports and activities to enhance their high school experience. Quality Educators: All students will be taught by highly qualified and effective educators that

will have high expectations placed upon them. They will have the core belief that ALL students can learn. Safety: All students will be provided a safe environment where learning comes first.

Homework should be meaningful, relevant and designed to enhance learning - not busywork. Students have homework almost everyday in each class. Students should be able to focus in on their courses and balance their workload. Students take only 3 classes each quarter, with the option of taking a 4th class at the end of the day. Students should be supported and given every opportunity to succeed. Tutoring is available before school, after school and during lunch each day. Students with grades lower than 70% are required to attend tutoring.


We’ll Find Your New Horizon! Residential Resale & New Homes • Short Sales & Bank Owned Commercial Sales & Leasing • Residential & Commercial Property Management

Paula Lambert “OWNER”

Enrique Viezcas

Pam Alvarez

Jason Ferguson

Jackie Guthrie

Rosie Hernandez

AZ New Horizon Realty is a young company which is comprised of professionals with many years of experience in the real estate industry. Our beginning was a result of a small group of dedicated individuals who were faced with the closing of a brokerage. Solid in the belief of each other, the company, AZ New Horizon Realty became a reality. Since the start of the company in March, 2014 our team has grown to 19 licensed professionals. The Agents of AZ New Horizon Realty have been essential to the history of Casa Grande and surrounding communities by assisting sellers, buyers, owners and tenants with their real estate transactions. In addition to our professional influences, our agents have contributed financially and as volunteers for many charitable, community and youth organizations. AZ New Horizon Realty specializes in residential and commercial sales, leasing and property management. We are proud to be a part of Casa Grande’s 100 Year Celebration.

Fatima Rocha

Donna Stadum

Stephanie Blanco

Valerie Zimmerman

Frank Barancik “Broker”

Donna Graham

Frances Granillo

Alicia Ortega

Manny Ortega

Lauren Thompson

Susan Valdez

Agents not pictured: Jason Anderson • Andrew Hilt • John Niemann

520-836-1001 3860 N. Pinal Ave, Ste 5, Casa Grande, aZ 85122 WWW.AZNEWHORIZONREALTY.COM 40


Maricopa office: 21300 N. John Wayne Pkwy., Ste 103 Maricopa, AZ 85139

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Commercial office: 115 1/2 E. 4th Street Casa Grande, AZ 85122

(520) 423-0087


Who’s your neighbor? by Jose Antonio Chacon The Chacon Family he Chacon Family first came to Casa Grande from Picacho in the early 1970’s, having previously moved from Fremont, California to Arizona for medical reasons for a sibling with a heart condition. My dad, Candelario Miranda Chacon, worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and moved with his wife Rosalia T. Chacon and their four boys to a warmer state. My parents chose Picacho, AZ as our first place of residence in 1970 and we arrived in mid-August to some ungodly heat. I remember it well. We were stripped down to our underwear and sweating, and boy was it miserable. We made many friends in Picacho, many who I still have a wonderful relationship with today. I started working at a young age. Our father would come home from the railroad (he was a welder) and he would take us to the fields and we would pick whatever fruit or vegetable was in season. My summer and winter vacations were spent in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. In Chihuahua we raised cattle and at an early age, the three oldest boys, Elias, Jaime and I would tend to the cattle helping our dad and the cowhands. It was a wonderful time and experience for me. What was funny is that every time we came back to the USA, we had to re-learn English.


Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. started off not expecting to grow into a company recognized locally, stately and federally as a service provider in the commercial and residential landscaping & irrigation industry since 1999. The owner of Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. is Jose Antonio Chacon, a 1982 Casa Grande graduate. He joined the U.S. Army after high school from 19821986, serving in the Infantry in a CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

Recondo Unit, then a Bradley Unit as a gunner, obtaining the rank of Sergeant with an Honorable Discharge. Through necessity Jose started a lawn care service in early 1997 to help pay some medical bills. Chacon’s Landscaping first started with an old lawn mower, a rake and a borrowed shovel. Jose saw an opportunity and a demand for another landscaping company since at the time there was only one other here locally. Working 10-12 hours a day, at a Roof Tile Manufacturing Plant, I finally landed a job in a Composite Industry Plant at Hexcel here locally. I took advantage of the education program offered there and received my AAS minor in Manufacturing and Engineering from Central Arizona College and my BSBM from the University of Phoenix. While pursuing my education, opportunities arose to landscape homes and I decided to get my contractor’s license. In 1999 I obtained my K21 Arizona Contractor Licenses #148513 which is a dual Commercial & Residential Landscaping & Irrigation license allowing me to legally per-

form work in the State of Arizona. After the tragic events of 9/11, in 2005, I volunteered and joined the National Guard. I joined the Army’s Shooting Team, receiving the Governors Dozen and becoming the 1st SDM (Squad Designated Marksmen) in the State of Arizona along with Sgt. Brock, Scott. I competed in various shoot matches against all the Services with Sgt. Brock taking 2nd in Rifle and I taking 3rd in pistol. In 2006, a unit with non-combatants (not Infantry) were assigned to deploy to Iraq. Our company commander requested volunteers to go with this unit. I volunteered, shut down my landscaping business, and with four others from the 158th Infantry Bushmasters went to Iraq. Upon my return to Arizona after an injury, I restarted the business. I didn’t do it alone so I would like to recognize Ms. Maribel Buelna, my Contracts Administrator. She handles all the day to day operations, from scheduling, ordering materials, tracking payments, invoicing clients and ensuring the company is running smoothly. Ms. Buelna is an ASU graduate.

Most recently as of February of 2014 Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation Inc., has been certified as a SDVOSB Company-Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business by the Federal Government. This SDVOSB certification qualifies us to perform Landscaping & Irrigation related work at all levels in the Government sector. We are also OSHA Certified. In January of 2015, we obtained a DBE ADOT (Disadvantage Business Enterprise) (Arizona Department of Transportation) certification to include the SBE (Small Business Enterprise) certification. I just want to thank the citizens of Casa Grande and the surrounding areas for their support in hiring a local company, who does quality work, provides the best hand-picked materials, is here locally, has kept the fight oversees, veteran owned, SDVOSB owned and an American with Mexican/ American heritage. God Bless the USA - Jose Antonio Chacon President/Sgt. (Medically Retired)

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From the “End of the Line” to the “Heart of Arizona” by Roxy Helman, Arizona Milk Producers


estled between Phoenix and Tucson, Casa Grande had a humble beginning as a town at the end of a railroad line. Now a bustling city of about 50,000, the early days of town hardships and little business are a distant memory. Many people may not know the history of Casa Grande or the initial challenges the town faced, including a national mining slump in the 1890s that resulted in a decline in business. In fact, by the early 1900s the town was made up of a mercantile store, saloon and two smaller businesses. That is, until agriculture saved the community, starting with small-scale agriculture and farm trade and eventually growing into large scale cotton farming and dairy farming. The history of dairy farming in Casa Grande dates back to the 1920s with San Carlos Dairy, when milk and cream were delivered to homes twice a day.


Fast forward 100 years and dairy farming is still going strong, with approximately 25 dairies and over 90,000 of the state’s 185,000 dairy cows calling Casa Grande and Pinal County home. The thriving dairy industry is built on family-owned and -operated dairy farms, with some dating back five generations. The Dugans are by far the largest dairy family in the city with five dairies owned by different family


members. Since the first Dugan set up shop in the 1980s, the family has built deep roots in the community. Other dairy families in the city and surrounding areas include the Boyles, Nowlins, Feenstras, De Jongs, Goldmans, Rezzonicos, Caballeros, Van Hofwegens, and Shamrock Farms, to name a few. Thanks to the large supply of wholesome milk from Casa Grande and surrounding Pinal

County dairy farms, many companies producing dairy products now call the city home. The two newest companies are as innovative as they come and include Franklin Foods, whose motto is “Re-inventing cream cheese” and German born Ehrmann Dairy, who specialize in Greek yogurt. Well known sour cream producer, Daisy, has called Casa Grande home for many years now and Abbott Laboratories has also been making infant formula in the city for nearly 20 years. The industry as a whole has a great economic impact by supplying hundreds of jobs and utilizing many of the local businesses to keep the dairies and businesses up and running. With so many dairy farms and companies based in Casa Grande today, the town’s humble beginnings at the end of the railroad line are long behind and the future is bright as “the heart of Arizona”.


Associates in Pediatric & Internal Medicine Michael P. Ridge, M.D., A.B.I.M. Darryl R. Brown, M.D. LaTrecia M. Herring, M.D., F.A.A.P., A.B.I.M. Douglas E. Parkin, M.D., F.A.A.P. Natalie A. Teng, M.D. Craig W. Connor, PA-C Kevin G. Hall, PA-C Denise C. Sarsam, RN, MSN, FNP-C C. Marlene Hoeft, RN, MSN, FNP-C Derral E. Hawthorne, PA-C Kelsie D. Pate, RN, MSN, FNP-C 560 N Camino Mercado, Suite 7 (520) 836-5538 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 (800) 895-5538 Fax (520) 876-0878 Accepting New Patients

History of Cottonwood Medical Center, Ltd.


r. Douglas E. Parkin began his career originally in Phoenix at Good Samaritan Hospital. In 1977 he joined the practice of Dr. Glen Walker in Coolidge. After moving to Casa Grande, he established Cottonwood Medical Center, Ltd. in August of 1981 that was originally located at 11th Street and Pinal Avenue with barely 1500 sq. ft. As his patient base expanded, more physicians were added and in 1984 the office moved its location to 675 East Cottonwood Lane. The practice continued to

grow and eventually the building was remodeled three times and tripled in size with radiology and laboratory. In 2004 the office was relocated to its current location at 560 N. Camino Mercado, Suite 7 in the Palm Center. Currently with eleven providers we continue to serve the community with pride.

Temptation Rox presents… ROX TravelTravel presents…

Visit the Imperial Cities


ask in the splendor and romance with 3-night stays in each of Europe’s Imperial Cities, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. In Prague, walk the Golden Lane, a delightful neighborhood of tiny, medieval houses. Delight in the baroque marvels of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Palace, the summer retreat of the Habsburg dynasty for more than


200 years. Visit a 14th-century Hungarian castle where knights recreate the days of chivalry. Soak up the culture of the region with included guided city excursions and and through your own explorations on your days at leisure. Cruise the Danube River through the beautiful scenery of the Wachau Valley to the famous Abbey at Melk.


Imperial Cities

Travel provided by

September 25 - October 5, 2016 11 Days • 14 Meals • Double: $3799* Highlights: Prague, Hradcany Castle, Prague Folklore Dinner and Show, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Grinzing Evening, Schoenbrunn Palace, Danube River Cruise, Bratislava, Budapest, Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, Szentendre, Renaissance Dinner

For more information, call Peggye Eck at 520.836.8517 *Rate is per person and includes roundtrip air from Sky Harbor Intl Airport, Air Taxes and Fees/Surcharges, and Hotel Transfers. Pricing is based on a minimum of 10 passengers traveling on the same air schedule from the same gateway. Airfare: For your convenience, we offer airfare for purchase with all vacation packages. If you purchase an air-inclusive program, your airfare will be quoted inclusive of all fuel, taxes and fees. Your rates are subject to change until paid in full. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight or departure date. Checked Baggage Charges: some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. CST# 2006766-20 UBN# 601220855 Nevada Seller of Travel Registration No. 2003-0279


The Alley Main Street Mural by Harold Kitching “The Alley” mural, completed May 2008, portrays our history by taking a walk down the old Main Street.


ost of the original buildings on Main Street burned down. The Briggs Jewelers & Prettyman’s Market building located today at 110 W. Main St. is a Mission Style built in 1914 with a unique parapet design. It served as a butcher and food market for Robert Andrade, Ramon Andrade and the first location for Don Prettyman’s Market in the downtown. Briggs Jewelry store sold pawned items, records and record players as well as jewelry from 1928-1971. Bowser’s Indian Store, known as Tee-Pee Trading Post, was also in this building in later years. Today the entire building is occupied by Ochoa’s Trading Post. A.J. Armenta General Merchandise aka Jose Armenta Merchandise was originally located on the 110 W. Main Street site. This store is an important part of our Casa Grande heritage. Cruz Trading Post at 200 W. Main originally built in 1888 as a onestory rectangular adobe building. It functioned as a general store and post office until 1897. Between 1897-1898 the building was operated as Bible’s Saloon. In later years, it was a lodge meeting hall and the Casa Grande Valley Bank until Ramon Cruz purchased the building in 1937 for his trading post. The building was subsequently remodeled into the present Pueblo Revival Style and continued as Cruz Trading Post until 1955. Today the building is vacant. Chief Theatre c. 1940 was the movie house on Main Street. Heritage Hall was built in 1927 by stone mason, Michael Sullivan for the Presbyterian Church. This


building was said to be his crowning achievement. Located at the north end of Sacaton Street, today this building is on the campus of our Casa Grande Valley Historical Society and Museum. The famous Gilt Edge Saloon on Main was destroyed in the 1914 fire. Saloons were popular on Main. Gordon McMurray’s Livery Stable, c. 1900, was located just off Main Street but for purposes of our recreation we needed a livery stable to display the two mule shoes that were uncovered on Main Street during the 2007 Downtown Streets renovation project. The mule shoes were gifted to Councilman Dick Powell who gave them to Casa Grande Main Street for this project. Railroad Depot Our original depot was destroyed by fire in 1937 and was replaced by a Pueblo Deco Style Station in 1939. This station was destroyed by fire June 5, 2009; about a year after the mural was painted. Pueblo Deco symbols from

this station appear in several art projects downtown and have been brought into the new downtown streetscape design. Moving out of town on the railroad tracks we travel to the Francisco Grande Hotel on Hwy. 84. The hotel was built in 1959 as the San Francisco Giants Spring Training Camp. Take a stroll down this artistic Main Street in “The Alley” and thrill to other subtle representations of Casa Grande’s past. Prepared by: Marge Jantz, Historic Preservation Commission Member 11/27/12 Resources: Casa Grande Main Street, Casa Grande Valley Historical Museum, Photographer- Jim Parkin, Artists; Van DeLashmutt, James Fleming, Noelle Wells, Ken Granger, Don Easterly, Patti Kramer, Steve Kelly







CG News


GROWTH ...cont. from page 18 opening of the Airdome, an entertainment venue featuring movies and dancing. The Airdome served many purposes over the years, including serving temporarily as the schoolhouse prior to the completion of the town’s first school building in late 1913. In 1912, the Casa Grande Commercial Club was organized to promote the area’s growth. It produced the area’s first promotional brochure and placed advertising in Sunset magazine. In 1913, Casa Grande businessmen organized the Board of Trade to advance the business interests of the community by encouraging growth. Property values were rising fast. Lots which had reportedly sold for

$10 a year before were now valued at between $40 and $50. Taking advantage of this situation, Katherine Drew laid out the First Addition to the Casa Grande Townsite (originally called the Katherine Drew Addition) and Clara Myers announced plans to sell part of her extensive land holdings on the east side of the townsite for residential development as well. When the First Addition (located immediately to the north of present day Florence Boulevard) was opened in July 1913, 80 lots sold in 45 minutes. Residential lots sold for $50 to $75 and business lots brought $75 to $125 apiece. The expanding town also decided to build a new school, commissioning well-known Tucson architect Henry Jaastad to design the building.

Casa Grande’s First Airport


DALLIS SCHOOL ...cont. from page 21 Grande began desegregating its schools, first at the high school and then the junior high level. “Up until then,” one document says, “any Black student who wanted to continue their educaCASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

tion beyond the eighth grade had to attend the all-Black Carver High School in Phoenix.” Rebecca Dallis, a black teacher with a master’s degree, was hired in 1939, teaching grades one through eight. She was honored in the 1980s by

s Casa Grande celebrated a Prosperity Jubilee in 1929, the airport was the big story. A big enough story that the editor didn’t give a location, apparently believing that in a small town, everyone knew where it was. It was a big enough airport that for one day during the jubilee it had airmail service, racking up about 2,000 letters from around the country. Both the Army and the Navy had checked out the airfield, the paper said, and had decided that it met all Army/Navy requirements and the two services would be sending airplanes for the celebration, the Dis-

patch said. The dedication was attended by “half a thousand” celebrating citizens, the newspaper noted, climaxed when “... a gigantic tri-motor Fokker plane owned by the Standard airlines swooped down out of the sky bearing Governor John T. Phillips and a party of distinguished guests to the dedication of the new airport.” After his politicking, the governor flew away. So did the airport, apparently. Seventy three years later when a Dispatch reporter was doing a story

the State Historical Society as an Arizona community builder and woman of distinction. In 1990, the report says, the school was dedicated in her name. The Casa Grande Elementary School District gave the schoolhouse to the Casa Grande Valley Historical

Society and it was moved to the society property just north of the museum in 1983. The society made renovations to maintain its historic integrity, the report says, and the building is now used as a “School Room of the Early 1900s” exhibit.

continued on page 59...



A Century’s Worth of Secrets Unveiled by Dee Dee Davis, Adult Services Librarian


any envision archives as haphazardly stored crates, brittle, frayed pages crumbling at the touch and faded images hidden under layers of dust. This is a very real representation of physical archives or anything that whispers of antiquity. Oftentimes, visiting these repositories evoke a sense of reverent awe and wonder for those things that have withstood the test of time. However, access to historical archives requires time, willingness, patience, and a statement of intent before the gates of the past are open for perusal. Most people do not have these requirements readily available, but their curiosity still plagues them.

Enter digital archiving. It erases distances between the sought out information and minimizes the requirements needed to achieve access. Most importantly, digitizing protects the historical artifacts and memorabilia from constant exposure to the elements and wear from human touch. Luckily, historical archives have been around for decades, and with increasing technology people have more information available than ever before. The amateur historian’s treasure trove lies in old newspapers, a wealth of recorded information in one generalized location.


Local newspapers are the best at documenting a town’s rise or fall, struggle and triumph in general terms and small events that pertain to the wider world. The Casa Grande Dispatch Digital Archives, available through the Library’s website www. is a fascinating read for anyone interested in our town’s beginning. Going back to 1912, the digital records can be searched by month, year, and/or keywords. The earliest publications of the Dispatch cover the minutiae of daily life in early Casa Grande. It has a section listing newcomers and families who recently settled. It notes new businesses coming into town. The newspaper even mentions the names of people who were leaving town for a while or taking care of ailing family members. It helps modern day citizen follow their ancestors, if personal records are not at hand. The library was recently asked if they could assist in some family historians wanting to verify their ancestor was indeed the first mayor of Casa Grande. It took some sleuthing through the Casa Grande Dispatch Digital Archives, but



it turns out there was indeed an appointed temporary Mayor before Casa Grande was incorporated. The same man just missed the filing deadline for the official election of first mayor of Casa Grande. Other people have found 96 mentions of their family and its members in a given calendar year! It makes one wonder, what they were all up to. . . It is phenomenal what can be found in the old archives. We urge you to poke around the digital archives and unearth Casa Grande’s long buried secrets that are just itching to be discovered once again.



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I was born into 1950s Casa Grande by Rick O’Neil


n era some called “Post World War II,” I simply called it my childhood. Not much was spoken about the war. However, its impact on the lives of the adults around me was profound. As children, one of the games we played was Army or war. For the most part we were reenacting scenes from the popular TV series “Combat.” This sanitized version of the war was far removed from the horror and gore of the actual war. As children we argued over whose father was the greater hero. In truth, few of us had any idea of the depth of our father’s war time experiences. The simple fact was, there were war heroes all around us, and we did not even notice. The man up the street from us had his airplane shot down and survived a brutal experience as a prisoner of war. Our plumber had fought on Iwo Jima. The man whose store carried the parts to fix my bicycle had fought through the landings on Luzon. Even the strange man who fixed our roof had a steel plate in his head covering a portion of his skull blown away during the D-day landings. Like the blacksmith’s hammer shapes steel, the wartime events shaped the lives of our mothers and fathers. My own father, James T. O’Neil, M.D. was a surgeon stationed in an emergency surgical hospital in England during the war. At war’s end he moved to Coolidge. At that time, the only properly equipped hospital for doing any serious surgery was the county hospital in Florence. It was at the Florence hospital that my father met Dr. Lehmberg of Casa Grande. Dr. Lehmberg encouraged my father to move to Casa Grande and felt certain my father’s practice would fare better there. Dad disagreed and pointed out the fact that Coolidge (at that time) was significantly larger than Casa Grande. That’s when Dr. Lehmberg spoke prophetic words to my father. He said, “Casa Grande will not stay smaller long. Casa Grande is on a path toward growth. People there work together. Even if they disagree on one issue, they will still work together to accomplish things on which they do agree.”



with ample educational opportunities as well as employment opportunities so as their children grew and became educated, they could live nearby. Of course this was nothing like Casa Grande at the time. Casa Grande was encircled by illegal brothels, and had two opium dens. Money was being made from the poverty of Casa Grande’s citizens and this had to change. Bolstered by his new friends, my father became city health officer. There serious waves began getting made. Gradually new leadership began getting placed on city council and other elected positions. The fight was on.

Captain James T. O’Neil, M.D. To prove his point, Dr. Lehmberg invited my father to a Lion’s club meeting in Casa Grande and began introducing him. It did not take long before my father saw Dr. Lehmberg’s point. Soon my family moved to Casa Grande, and my father became Dr. Lehmberg’s partner. Together, they formed the Casa Grande Clinic. Soon they recruited additional doctors Ford, Wagoner, Schoen, and Lamb. The group of young up-and-coming community leaders Dr. Lehmberg had introduced my father to, went on to form “Los Conquistadors” 4-wheel drive club. Although the club was intended to be a group of likeminded friends getting together to explore the desert, it became a sort of brain storming incubator for ideas to improve the community. These men who had survived a war together, understood the value of teamwork and ingenuity. Today I look back and marvel. Who would have thought they could accomplish the things they did. At the time Casa Grande was a tiny town, fraught with crime and corruption, and with only one industry, farming. These young leaders dreamed of a city that was healthy, wholesome, and a good place to raise their children. They hoped for a town

One night the fight almost came to an early end. Assassins called my father to make a medical house call. When he arrived at the front door, he was shot at point blank range. Perhaps, I should say his medical bag was shot, as he was holding the bag high near his chest as he knocked at the door. The medical bag blocked what surely would have been a fatal wound. The following day, my father was met by a corrupt official who informed him that he should either move away immediately, or buy a great deal more life insurance as my mother would soon become a widow. However, the new community leaders were not about to let that happen. Quietly, incriminating evidence was gathered on the corrupt official. When the official was confronted with the evidence, he was the one to move away. Within a matter of days, the illegal establishments were closed. Next on the agenda was health care. No thriving city can be without a modern hospital. However, the city of Casa Grande lacked the bonding capacity to build one. A small group of Citizens got together and wrote a new law, the hospital districting act. This act allowed the forming of hospital taxing districts for the purpose of building hospitals. Lobbying the state legislature, the act was passed and Casa Grande’s Hoemako hospital was the first hospital built under the new act. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

There was, however, still a problem. Being post war, there was a nationwide shortage of building materials. As it turned-out, a hospital built by the federal government to treat depression era migrants was up for auction. A local doctor placed the winning bid of $5,000. Still there was a problem. My father only had $200 in his bank account to cover the $5,000 check he had just written. Every one of the young business leaders contributed what they could and the $5,000 was raised in less than a day. Although the group had hoped to lift the hospital from its foundation and move it to Casa Grande, government red tape prevented this from being done. Again, teamwork and ingenuity won the day. Every Casa Grande citizen with a pickup truck and a hammer drove to the hospital, and the newly purchased hospital was dismantled piece by piece and moved to its new location. These were the building materials used to construct the new Hoemako hospital. Next on the agenda was to bring industry to Casa Grande. It did not take long for the first roadblock to be encountered. Phoenix and Tucson banks were unwilling to lend to new industry locating in Casa Grande. I am not sure who came up with the idea. Nor do I have any idea what made these brazen young leaders think they were capable of it, but they formed their own bank, “Central Arizona Bank.”(No relation to the Central Arizona Bank formed in 2008.) Then my father and a few of his associates formed Casa Grande’s first industrial park (if you could call it that.) The first success story was the recruitment of Casa Grande Mills, a t-shirt manufacturer which later became Champion. They located next to where the post office is now on Pinal Avenue. When interviewed by the Tucson newspaper, and asked why they located in Casa Grande instead of the other cities courting them, the executes responded, ‘Casa Grande had given them free land, a free well, one year of free utilities, and a $30,000 line of credit at the local bank.’ The lessons learned in this first industrial recruiting effort were utilized in the creation of the Valley Industrial Park. The Valley Industrial Park was a huge success. Everyone was encouraged to contribute $25 for the CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

Early meeting of Los Conquistadors 4-wheel drive club creation of the park. For that you were issued one share of stock in the Valley Industrial Park, Inc. Most people thought it was simply a donation for the betterment of Casa Grande. In the end not only did the park bring jobs to Casa Grande, it also gave those original contributors better than a 100:1 return on their investment. Then came Central Arizona College. The first attempt at creating the junior college district ended in failure. The vote soundly defeated the creation of the district. The issue had passed by a sizable margin within the city of Casa Grande. However, the balance of Pinal County had strong reservations about what they perceived as having to pay for Casa Grande’s college. In retrospect, the initial plans for the college did favor Casa Grande. Now was the time for diplomacy. Meeting with the leadership of the surrounding communities and businesses, it was agreed that the college would be located half way between Casa Grande and Coolidge. The college telephone number would carry a Coolidge prefix, and the College’s mailing address would be in Coolidge. It was agreed that the college would provide training for workers in the mines, including diesel mechanics, heavy equipment operation, and eventually underground mining. It was agreed with the rail roads that there would be no gerrymandering of the taxing district to place an undo financial burden on the rail road. In the second election, the issue passed. The diplomacy was critical not only to getting the vote passed, but also to creating a college in which the entire

county took ownership. My father’s roll in all of this was acknowledged when the administration building was named in his honor. As I was growing up, there were certain lessons my father made clear. First among them was that although he was active in many of these Casa Grande projects, he accomplished none of them by himself. Casa Grande is what it is today because a large group of men and women worked together to accomplish great things. Forged together by their experiences in World War II, these leaders learned the lessons of how much could be accomplished by working together. As Dr. Lehmberg noted, the citizens of Casa Grande did not allow what they disagreed on to stop them from accomplishing things on which they did agree. Optimism ruled the day, and nobody accomplished a thing by pointing out what could not be done. I have always been very proud of my father’s accomplishments in the community. Of course, in my mind, my father’s greatest accomplishment of all was that in an age when rural doctors worked over 70 hours per week, my father had time for me. I was blessed to have been raised by a mother and father who loved me. They loved their community as well. As I reflect upon my childhood, watching Casa Grande grow, I cannot forget just how many people were there for me. From the Boy Scout leader, to the youth football coach, to the man who volunteered to fire the starter’s pistol at my track meets. The people of this community reached out and raised me into the man I am today. Perhaps that is why I love this community so much. SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING





Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum


n Toltec Road between Interstate 10 and Jimmie Kerr/Frontier Blvds, on the east side of the road just south of the railroad tracks sits a building with significant historical value to the community. Eligible for the National Historic Registry, the old Toltec Elementary School is currently being restored by the Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum. The mission style building was completed in 1930 on lands donated by the Shedd family and it was used as a classroom in the Toltec school district until 1956. From 1958 to 1966 it was used by the LDS Church. In 1966 the building was renovated and was used as a school again for the next ten years. A jail cell was installed when the Pinal County sheriff’s office used the building as a substation from 1977 to 1984. The wooden building, just to the southeast and built in the late 1920’s, is believed to be one of the last standing Colored schools not restored in Arizona. In 1951 desegregation was instituted in Arizona and all the children were then taught together. Comprised entirely of rural farming areas south and west of Eloy, the school district was never part of any city until the 1960’s. From the beginning area farmers employed many multi-cultural workers from all over the valley,


including the Tohono O’Odham nation. They employed only the best and most dependable of the migrant workers and native-Americans. Children living on the farms attended the old school. The Museum acquired the school buildings in 2003 with the intent of restoring them so they can be used as a multi-purpose museum and visitor center where artifacts of the past can bring history to life for present and future generations. Successful fund raising efforts, material and financial support from the community and various grants have allowed the Museum to accomplish significant advances in this renovation process. The renovation of the “colored school” was completed in time for the Arizona state centennial in 2012 and was selected by the state as a Legacy Project. A great deal of restoration has been accomplished. However, much more needs to be done. The electrical and mechanical work need to be brought up to current codes. An ADA handicap restroom needs to be installed. The intention is also to build a replica of the original wooden school house. Of course there are many additional projects which still need to be addressed. Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum’s annual fund raising event is a Dinner Dance held at The Property. The theme for

this year’s event is “Dance to the Blues”, with Bad News Blues Band providing the music. Both sponsors and contributors are sought to aid in the success of the event. With good food, good music and good fun, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets and attend in order to join in on

the door prizes, raffle and both silent and live auctions. The 2015 event is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th. For more information about the Museum, the renovation efforts and this year’s event, contact Dick Myers at 840-1041. The website is http://

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12th Annual Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum Dinner Dance

Sat, Nov 7 - 5:30 pm- 10 pm At The Property 1251 West Gila Bend Highway Casa Grande, AZ 85122

To benefit the renovation of the Old Toltec School buildings in Eloy Tickets $50 ea or two for $90

Band: Bad News Blues Band Plated Dinner Raffle / Silent Auction / Live Auction Kristin Gramando, 520-705-0910 Dick Myers, 520-840-1041 SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


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CG News


CG AIRPORT ...cont. from page 47 about the jubilee most city officials weren’t aware that there ever was a city airport before Casa Grande acquired the former Army Air Corps field built during World War II and transferred during the 1950s. It is now the city airport on North Pinal Avenue. The officials agreed that ThreePoints Airport – just went of where Airport Tavern sits west of Pinal Avenue -- was a private mostly crop dusting facility, never owned by the city. What the Dispatch referred to as “the crown jewel of the desert, the grandest city airport in Arizona,” had faded away. Actually, it never was much of a jewel Vern Hancock, who moved to

Casa Grande in 1935 when he was in the third grade, told the Dispatch reporter. Hancock, a former City Council member, said the field, located at the northeast corner of what is now Pinal Avenue at Cottonwood Lane, “looked like a dump and an airport all in one.” A few planes were still using the field six years after the grand dedication, Hancock said, but the place wasn’t anything pretty. “I can remember when the planes landed on the runways,” Hancock said. “Those runways kind of angled from the corner of the intersection out to the northeast (over the present Motor Vehicles Department area) and on either side of the runways was trash.”

100 Years of Mayors


n the beginning Casa Grande had no mayor or City Council. By 1914, residents presented the Pinal Council Board of Supervisors with a petition for incorporation. It was approved and an election set for May 24, 1915. In the interim, super visors named a five-man town council to serve until the election. They were William Shonessy, W.S. Prouty, D.J. Boyce, L.J. Weaver and W.D. Randell. Weaver was appointed mayor and E.R. Stoner was appointed as town clerk. When the 1915 election was held, George Burgess was elected mayor, serving until 1917. Many have followed - including the only woman mayor. They were: H.D. Wilson, 1917-19. L.A. Jayne, 1919-21. T.R. Peart, 1921-23 W.P. Clements, June-November 1923. T.R. Peart, November 1923-25. Dan Peart, 1925-27. Fanne B. Gaar, the woman mayor, 1927-29. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

Early City Plats A.M. Peck, 1929-31. J.M. Sawtelle, 1931-October 1933. Paul Stein, October 1933-35. C.S. Goff, 1935-37. H.O. Pace, 1937-43. Holmes Galloway, 1943-June 1945. O.H. Maud, June -November 1945. Holmes Galloway, November 1945-47. C.S. Goff, 1947-53. Chet H. Jones, 1953-55. Walter B. Davis, 1955-57. Raymond E. Peterson, 1957-59. Albert Guinn, 1959-65. Jack Foster, 1965-67. Jimmie B. Kerr, 1967-75. Robert Amos Hawkins, 1975-77. Hugh N. Guinn, 1977-85. Jimmie B. Kerr, 1985-94. Robert Mitchell, 1994-2001. Charles Walton, 2001-07. Bob Jackson, 2007 through today. Casa Grande got its first city manager in 1953, when City Clerk Edward Pederson took the position. EDITORS NOTE: Edward Pederson is the father of Jim Pederson, developer of Promenade Mall.


asa Grande’s early growth was slow and piece-bypiece when looked at in the context of the building boom of the early 2000s as giant subdivisions were platted. The Evergreen Addition historic survey says the original town was laid out in 1879 and 1892, running from Casa Grande Avenue on the east to Pinal Avenue and what would be Pinal if that street ran straight south. The north border was Florence Boulevard and the south was Ash Avenue, below the railroad tracks. The blocks, as was usual in railroad towns, were odd shaped, some squared and some oblong. By the next addition in 1913, developers abandoned the railroad system for one of square blocks. In those days, there was no comprehensive planning to make sure that new plats were in line with streets of previous ones. That’s why you can drive on one street in Casa Grande, get to an

intersection and then have to jog left or right to continue on that first street. The First Addition was platted in 1913, running north from Florence between Olive and Pinal to 10th Street, with a three block area from 10th to 11th streets between Pinal and Center Avenue. In 1915, Witting Square was added at the southeast corner of Sacaton Street and First Avenue. That was followed in 1919 by Bennett’s Addition at the southwest corner of Pinal and Florence. The Burgess Addition in 1920 was south of the railroad tracks from Ash Avenue to the north and Elm Avenue on the south. The east boundary was Elliott Avenue and the west was what is known as Chuichu Road. The four blocks east Elliot Avenue between Ash and Elm avenues came to Elliot Addition in 1920. The Armenta Addition in 1921

continued on page 95...



Casa Grande Union High School District

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From Pee-Chee’s to Laptops: The Artifacts of Education


ew will remember slates, nib pens and inkwells, but many can recall the artifacts of our school days including the Eberhard-Faber #3 pencils, 3 x 5 note cards, and the newly invented ballpoint pen, a demon as likely to leak in your shirt pocket, as write an essay, or record your most private thoughts on the inside of the ubiquitous Pee-Chee portfolio. The times they are a-changing!

Casa Grande Union High School District All CG Union schools now have wi-fi system available to students. Students are allowed to access the system from their own devices: IPad/IPhone, tablet, laptop, or cell phone. Classrooms contain six laptops available to students who have no device. “All devices must be used in class per direction of the teacher. No surfing around or playing games!” Glenda Sulley, new principal at Vista Grande said. “The best use in the classroom is researching information and writing.” She also pointed out that plans are in the works to upgrade the two computer labs from 32 to 40 machines. Casa Verde High School has a music production studio developed and donated by Lewis Storey (retired). In this studio, students are able to create, record, edit and mix their own unique music. Steve Wagoner, AP Art teacher, says he uses e-tools to do image searches for students to acquaint themselves with styles and schools of historic artists. He also uses samples of design, drawing, and painting for students to practice technique and refine fundamental skills. His classroom is now outfitted with a high-tech desktop camera to display student work as well as the works of great artists. Many of his students are competent in desktop art and design programs such Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop.

At the administrator levels, all schools in the district use “Blackboard” which allows teachers to make and track assignments and progress, offer one-on-one programs to individual students, personalized learning, and students may bring their own devices (BYOD). “Power School”, on the other hand, is a program with many features and a direct contact for parents to follow student progress and interact with teachers. A parent can log-on and see the student’s schedule, a list of all assignments, the grades on each one, and the current percentage and grade for the class. Ms. Sulley also said Robo-calls and email blasts are a great benefit for the schoold. Important messages and announcements can be delivered by phone call or email to all parents, or specific groups of parents, about activities, meetings, and calendar changes. One of the most critical flaws in the current system at CGUHSD, however, is the extended territory and outlying people who are included in the district. Many of them simply do not have computers or access to the internet at home. Thus, they cannot receive emails, or access the internet tools provided by the district and available to other parents. Casa Grande Elementary School District The Casa Grande School District is also well on the way to integrating new technology into the district and the school day. According to Ms. Lisa Bradshaw, Instruc-

tional Technology Specialist, at the district and school level, Edmodo is greatly valued by the teachers for class assignments, collaboration, student interaction, tracking assignments and grades. All teachers have





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document cameras and digital projectors in the clasrooms. The district also uses mobile “labs” in rolling modules. The labs hold 30 Dell computers or 30 IPads for research, can roll from one room to another, and charge the computers when stored aver night. Some teachers use Web Whiteboards in their classes and some use class sets of IPads and IPods which is reflective of their current strategy to try, test, evaluate a wide range of products before making district-wide investments. The schools also use and adopted online program which provides mathematics curriculum, supplementary materials and Language Arts. Casa Grande Middle School recently held a special open house to introduce the STEM Academy to the local citizens. The academy started here last year with 90 sixth graders and 90 seventh graders. Next year 90 eighth graders will be added. The Casa Grande Middle School, in the elementary district, and Casa Verde, in the high school district, have been designated as STEM schools. The National Science Foundation gives the “short” definition of STEM as “an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.” At most Casa Grande schools today, if you open a student’s backpack, you may discover anything from a report designed and composed with information from a remote website, and printed using desktop publishing software able to build a complete professional magazine. Or, a laptop computer more powerful and faster than a 1950 Boeing mainframe with more computing

power than accompanied the astronauts on Apollo XIII. It fits into a specially designed pocket in the backpack. Students track their daily schedules on handheld computers and cell phones. They have access to a world of information from the Library of Congress to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. At night, they cruise the ‘Net where they may access the most sophisticated databases, research libraries, and specialized bulletin boards offering interactive transactions on subjects ranging from quilting to virtual reality games to plans for your vegetable garden or a new house. The computers and software used by our student are “virtually” the same as used by their professional counterparts at Microsoft, Motorola and Intel. The creative and professional capability inherent in the tools is now available to anyone, regardless of age or economic status. As William Randolph Hearst reportedly said, “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” Yes, and everyone can own one today. We hear about Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, Common Core, charter schools, vouchers, and online classes. We are all at the central vortex of this incredible whirlpool of ideas and activities, and schools and students are in a unique position to take advantage of all that is happening. We have a pipeline into those offices and labs. Indeed, the people from those companies come to the schools to teach, share and promote. They work with schools on levels ranging from direct tutorials to long-range planning and facility development. We have immediate access to the primary artifacts of the most current technology and the expertise to use it. “The Center is Everywhere”, and teachers, students are on the information highway and setting the pace for other students and school districts around the nation. The two primary functions of new educational technology in Casa Grande Union High School District and Casa Grande Elementary School District are: 1) management tools at the school sites and the district offices; and 2) research. curriculum and student/teacher resources in the classrooms. Both districts feel acquisition and student use is a “work in progress” dependent on exploring and budget in order to build a robust system with the “computing power” to support current and future needs. They have both achieved a great start.

Did You Know? • Casa Grande Elementary has more A+ Schools and A+ Programs than any other school district in Pinal County • The District has a proven, rigorous instructional program built upon “Success for Every One”

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Our core purpose is to help individuals and families achieve successful homeownership through responsible lending.


Academy’s outstanding people fuel the growth of our organization. We hire and retain the industry’s brightest and most capable mortgage professionals.


All of our processes are managed in- house, eliminating the need to outsource or depend on third parties to get the job done.


In 1983, I started in the mortgage industry in Alaska as a courier and over the years worked my way through various positions including processor, operations management and funding, and regional operations manager. I have been with Academy Mortgage for the past 5 years. My favorite past-times are golf, watching Nebraska Cornhusker and Arizona Wildcat football and spending time with friends and family. As an experienced professional in the mortgage industry, I attribute my success to excellent customer service skills and always keeping the needs of the client first. Offering a diverse group of loan products enables me and my team to custom tailor the right mortgage for each individual client. Lending is no longer a “one size fits all” industry. With over 30 year experience as a mortgage professional, my team will offer the best service along with quick closing timelines and local underwriting. Our office has many loan products to offer including VA, FHA, USDA and Conventional loan programs. We also specialize in many first time buyer products. Whether you are a first time home buyer or seasoned homeowner, you can rely on me and my team to guide you through the loan process with ease and understanding of your mortgage loan.


I AM HERE TO WORK FOR YOU! For over 30 years I have worked in accounting and finance and recently retired as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Central Arizona College. My educational background includes a degree in Accounting and General Business Administration from the University of Arizona. I love to golf, am a board member of the Optimist Club and serve as the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Pinal County Federal Credit Union.

Russell Banta, Loan Officer NMLS ID# 872902 | AZ 0920237 442 W Kortsen Road #104 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Work: (520) 421-1171

Dawn Svoboda, Loan Originator NMLS ID # 177235 | AZ 0913936 | AZ Branch BK LICENSE #0116181 442 W Kortsen Road #104 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 P.520-421-1171 F.520-421-0131 C.480-221-9826 Email: NMLS # 3113 | Corp State Lic AZ #BK-0904081




Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm Saturday 8:30am - 2pm 503 E. Florence Blvd (Across from City Hall) Casa Grande AZ 85222

(520) 836 1847

Creating Future Heirlooms


ommers Jewelers is a family owned and run business providing professional jewelry service to the Casa Grande area for over 25 years. After being burned buying overpriced jewelry for their girlfriends, the business started as a dream to provide affordable, quality jewelry in their hometown for the two Sommers brothers and the rest as they say, is history. Initially both brothers worked in the business located at 503 E. Florence Blvd, Casa Grande – right next door to their Mom and Dad at Sommers Glass and Mirror. Justin then left the business and moved to Australia to pursue romance. He was in Australia for 12 years, starting his own custom jewelry business – Future Heirlooms – unique and elegant jewelry. In 2004 Justin returned to Casa Grande and currently owns


and runs Sommers Jewelers with his wife Jennilyn. Sommers Jewelers is able to meet all your jewelry needs for: • Custom Jewelry Design, especially bridal • Precious Metals – buy, sell and trade • Diamonds, Gemstone and Pearl Jewelry • Affordable, Quality Watch and Jewelry Repairs • Gifts: including Rhythm Clocks & Crystal • PANDORA, CHAMILIA & Reflections Bead Jewelry • Engraving on a wide range of surfaces Sommers Jewelers specializes in jewelry for all those memorable occasions and milestones in life – jewelry that has a story to tell when it is passed on to future generations. Apart from being a qualified

jeweler, Justin is also an accredited Gemologist through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is able to provide appraisals of your jewelry for insurance or other purposes. So, should you find yourself in need of professional jewelry services, drop in and see your personal hometown jeweler… Justin Sommers.



The History of the Library by David Snider, City Librarian/Library Director, 1977-2003


s the town of Terminus slowly crept into the 19th Century, changing its name to Casa Grande, and struggling to survive off the meager rail traffic between Tucson and Phoenix – the women of the town began to focus on the future of the community. Most of the “amenities” of the town revolved around drinking, gambling, and other pastime activities and only a fraction of the menfolk paid attention to or participated in anything else. But as they raised their children, the women of Casa Grande began to first talk about and then take small steps to ensure that their children had an appreciation for the finer things of life: culture, history, music, literature, etc. To that end, in 1913 seven ladies began accumulating books on various subjects for the purpose of operating a small lending library so that motivated families could supplement the education their children were receiving.A “Current Events Club” was established as well in order that ladies could learn more about life in the larger world. Several years after the lending library began, a disastrous fire demolished the home housing part of the collection. But the redoubtable women persevered and the collection continued to grow in size and composition.

However, the fire was a cautionary tale and as the number of women participating in the nascent club increased, the desire to build a facility that could accommodate fine and performing arts events and a public library collection grew. By the end of World War I, the unofficial Woman’s Club was actively driving the establishment and improvement of a local school and other cultural events in the city. In 1923, their formal charter as The Woman’s Club of Casa Grande was granted and a small plot of land owned by the Club was mortgaged for the purpose of constructing a Club building. In 1924, plans for a structure were approved and each member contributed a load of rock or sand. The building was completed the following year: the library collection was housed in the southeast wing of the building and boys in the high school’s manual arts classes built the library’s shelving. By 1930, the Woman’s Club had hired a librarian to manage the collection and paid her the handsome sum of $14 per month. By the mid-1950s use of the public library and its collections had grown to the point where the Woman’s Club’s budget was seriously constrained. The Club’s leadership continued to press the City to partner in the operation and maintenance of the library and in 1955, the City agreed to share in that operational cost. A grand opening of the Casa Grande Public Library was celebrated that year as the Woman’s Club donated its entire 2,129 books to the City after 40 years of operating a circulating library. In 1958the Casa Grande Public Library was moved from the Woman’s Club to a renovated scout lodge at the east end of Peart Park due to space constraints. The joint arrangement lasted well into the next decade when the City

eventually agreed to fully take over the public library’s operations. The Woman’s Club continued to contribute to the acquisition of library materials but the City paid for all other costs. Mrs. Leah Cook assumed the duties of Librarian in the late 1960s, living in a small house just east of Peart Park. By the early 1970s, the “new” facility was again getting too cramped and the City acquired land at the corner of Dry lake and Sixth Streets for the purpose of building a new, modern library facility. A Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant was secured through the state’s Department of Library, Archives & Public Records – and matched with local donations – and the new 10,000 square foot facility was proudly opened in 1975 with Mr. Henry Weiss as the Casa Grande Public Library’s first professional librarian at the helm. Periodical subscriptions were acquired and the CGPL took over the “Talking Book” program (books, magazines, and newspapers recorded on cassette tapes for the blind and physically handicapped) that had been started by the Woman’s Club in 1974. A Summer Reading Program was initiated, along with weekly children’s Story Hour programming. In 1977, Mr. Weiss accepted an offer to manage the Palm Springs (CA) Public Library and after a recruitment search, Mr. David Snider was hired as the City Librarian/ Library Director. Library services and collections continued to expand as demand for access to information grew apace along with Casa Grande’s burgeoning population. By the mid-1980s, the library’s collections numbered nearly 74,000 items and the CGPL acquired a fax machine – for several years, the city government’s only fax machine. It was about this time that the Library applied for a





old high school buildings on Florence Boulevard for the purpose of renovating them for use as a new Casa Grande City Hall.

grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts through its Outdoor Art in Public Places program. Phoenix Artist Peter Slater’s art piece – entitled Half Circles with Intersecting Parallelepipes and constructed using Core 10 steel (a naturally oxidizing metal) – was selected after a competition held by the Library Advisory Board. It was the first of several outdoor art pieces to be created in Casa Grande’s public places. In fact, when ADOT and the City of Casa Grande agreed to re-align what was called Five Points (the intersections of Pinal Avenue, Florence Boulevard, and SR 84 (aka the Old Gila Bend Highway) – the Arizona Commission on the Arts was invited to participate as well. The collaboration was so successful that ADOT and the Arts Commission began working together on adding artworks to traffic interchanges throughout the I-10 corridor in and between Tucson and Phoenix. When the public’s interest in this strange new technology called the Internet began to rise, the Library approached the local Arizona Public Service Company (APS) with a proposition. Since APS created its own Internet portal – instead of relying on the one created by ASU and shared with practically everyone else in Arizona – so that it could share information with its network of


offices across the state, the Library approached APS with a novel offer. In exchange for a little advertisement announcing the largesse of APS and its Internet service (called Cybertrails), would APS be willing to provide the Library’s customers with free Internet access? APS and Cybertrails said “yes” and so the Library purchased a computer and a modem – and the stage was set for today’s computer labs and Internet information terminals that are an integral part of today’s public library. By 1995, the CGPL Advisory Board and the Friends of the Library were gently urging the City to consider plans to either dramatically expand the current public library facility (located at 405 E. 6th Street) or construct a completely new facility. The Library’s collection of print materials by now exceeded 100,000 items and even with the trend to acquire non-fiction and reference information in electronic formats, space in the aging library facility was at a premium and structural issues began to loom larger and more critical. When the Casa Grande Union High School District successfully convinced the electorate to pass a bond issue and build a new high school at the corner of Trekell and McCartney Roads, the City agreed to take over the

Once completed in late 1998, the City’s Public Works Department (under the guidance of Public Works Director Bob Jackson) went to work the next year remodeling the 16,000 square foot former City Hall (449 N. Dry Lake) for use as a “new” public library. Another LSCA grant was secured and the Friends of the Library raised nearly $50,000 for new shelving and furniture to go into the new facility. Finally, on a hot and sweaty day in the early fall, all 100,000 plus volumes, computers, current and back issues of magazines and newspapers, files, and personnel were relocated into their new surroundings. Both Library patrons and staff felt as though they could comfortably breath again as everyone worked together to help each other locate the books they wanted – just as always happens in a public library. And hanging overhead was a wonderful work of art created by local artist Campbell Auer, who coincidentally, made most of the electrical and light switchplates deployed throughout the new Library. Today’s Casa Grande Public Library – in the main and Vista Grande branch – is still adapting to change and still doing its best to ensure that Casa Grande’s residents have access to the library and information resources they need and want. Resources necessary to compete in today’s global information economy – resources necessary to help Casa Grande to be the best place ever to live, work, and raise a family – resources a community such as ours views as an investment in Casa Grande’s culture, to feel good about ourselves and our prospects for the future. Very much in keeping with the same vision put into play by those intrepid seven women of Casa Grande back in 1913: the will to be more than we are today and to make our community better than it was when we arrived.



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Your Community Garden Specialists by Phil Bond


istinctive Earthscapes Inc. at The Avocado Nursery is owed by Phil Bond, a third generation Arizona native from Double Adobe. Alongside his wife and best friend, Julie, of 45 years he established a company that sold thousands of Ocotillo off a small ranch they purchased along the Mexican Border and still do to this day. They built two homes; one is their unique underground home here is Casa Grande, located at the nursery. Their back yard had gotten so out of control with plants that they decided to form Distinctive Earthscapes, LLC. a plant nursery. Avocado Nursery may have been the first residential-landscape drip irrigation company in Arizona. At Distinctive Earthscapes Inc. at The Avocado Nursery they emphasis on Desert Landscape Plants they are meant to grow in this area and can withstand our

• • • • • extreme temperatures. The staff are all made up of either Master Gardeners or those with multiple years of experience. If you bring a plot plan to the nursery, you can have a custom plan sketched for you to help envision your property. They also offer a variety of courses during the cooler months as well as a Farmers Market. Stop in today and let them help you with any and all of your landscaping needs.

(520) 723-4480 6855 N Overfield Rd, Casa Grande


Cactus Agave & Yucca Sonoran Desert Plants Honey & Seasonal Produce Community Garden Specialists


Avocado Crew (from left to right) - Front row: Phil, Lupe, Adel, Joyce Back row: Jack, Marisol, Si, Harold


St. Anthony of Padua Parish and School, a vibrant, growing community of faith since 1905 Congratulates the City of Casa Grande on its 100th anniversary. Our award winning school provides a quality educational and religious experience for students Pre K to 8. Come pray with us! Sunday services 7am, 8:30am; 10:00am and 11:30am (Spanish)


201 N Picacho St (Parish) • (520) 836-0601 501 East 2nd Street (School) • (520) 836-7247 CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION



Hospitals Through the Years by David Lozano, Banner Casa Grande Regional Medical Center


s a Southern Arizona native, I have vivid memories of remembering what Casa Grande used to look like when we would travel regularly back and forth from our home near Nogales, Arizona to my cousins’ house in Flagstaff. It was a tiny, quaint town that could get hotter than an oven during the summer months. Over the years, the town has transformed from a small agricultural, desert community which you might have missed if you blinked while traveling too fast along I-10, to a modern city in the desert with restaurants, hotels, and a large Dillards where the store’s sign hovers over the freeway’s northbound traffic. Amongst all those businesses and traffic off Florence Boulevard is Banner Casa Grande Medical


Center. The hospital has been a permanent fixture in this rapidly growing area for a long, long time. How long, you may ask? While the current building at 1800 E. Florence Boulevard has been in place since back when Ronald Reagan was just getting ready to start his second term as president of the U.S., the birth of the hospital actually started about 60 years ago when Casa Grande had a population of less than 5,000 people. “Back then, it was called Hoemako Hospital,” said Rona Curphy, CEO of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. “The hospital was literally constructed from a couple of former military buildings that were moved from one location to Florence Boulevard and Trekell Road. At that time, if you got sick, you went to the hospital to get diagnosed and receive care. But


if you needed more specialized treatment, the best they could do was refer patients to healthcare providers in either Tucson or Phoenix. The town was just not big enough to have those types of specialized clinical services at that time, unlike today when we offer an array of services to the community so people don’t have to drive far.” As Casa Grande’s population expanded throughout the years, so did the need and demand for more state-of-the-art, robust clinical care. Hoemako Hospital, while fine for a sleepy community like Casa Grande once was 60 years ago, was experiencing some growing pains of its own. The former military build-

ings that formed the hospital were not improving with age, and as more and more residents relied on the medical services the hospital offered, change was necessary to meet the growing population. As the 1950s came and went, so did the 1960s – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the escalating war in Vietnam. The 1970s arrived and by the time the 1970 census was taken, the little town of Casa Grande was no longer little – it was a town of more than 10,000 people. As the ’70s endured, it was pretty evident that Hoemako Hospital was out of space for both employees and patients. continued on page 75... CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION


We understand that people heal better when surrounded by friends and family. That’s why Banner Casa Grande Medical Center provides innovation in intensive care, obstetrics, and patient care close to home. We couldn’t be happier to continue serving this community with medical advancements that help save lives and enhance patient satisfaction—right where you need it. (520) 381-6300 • • CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION




Legacy Traditional Schools: Your Local A-Rated School


uch of the focus these days in education is alignment of curriculum to Common Core Standards. Many school districts are rushing to purchase new curriculum, adjust their current curriculum and pacing, or even write their own curriculum that covers all the new Common Core Standards. Teachers, parents, and students are overwhelmed with all of the changes. Legacy Traditional School (LTS) has a different approach to the Common Core Standards. It is the belief within the district that “When something works, there is no need to fix it.” LTS has

solid curriculum that focuses on best practices and is completely aligned to both previous and current Arizona Standards. Saxon Math and Spalding Language Arts are research-based programs diligently used in all LTS campuses, which address the needs of diverse learners. The Legacy Traditional School District has been “A- rated” for the past three years. LTS-Casa Grande has received an “A” label consistently since the 2011-2012 school year. While we are more than an “A” label, this proves that our curriculum, teaching strategies, mission and school character model all contribute to the success of our students.

Our student body is as diverse as any local public school. LTS-Casa Grande has English Language Learners of varying levels of language acquisition. Our student body also has a percentage of students who require special and/or gifted services. Over 50% of the students who attend LTS are of lower socio-economic status. Despite these challenges, we firmly believe that all students are capable and able to succeed when given the right tools. Our rigorous, accelerated curriculum requires dedication on the part of all stakeholders. Nightly homework, book reports, and poem recitation are integral parts of our high expectations.

Students are taught a full grade level above in math, so many students come to Legacy several years behind. For those students who struggle, weekly tutoring and online resources are available to help bridge the academic gap. While every student may not be on grade level by the end of the school year, progress is certain. Legacy Traditional School’s success is due to our commitment to quality education taught by highly effective teachers in cooperation with supportive involved parents. We are confident in our proven ability to meet the needs of our students while fulfilling any requirements, Common Core or otherwise, set by the state.

Voted #1 Charter School

in Arizona By “R anking Arizona: The Best of Arizona 2015”

Our academic standards are anything but standard.

Here at Legacy Traditional School we believe every student deserves the benefit and reward of a quality, well-rounded education. One that focuses on all areas of academic study, including music, art, physical education, extracurricular activities and clubs.

(520) 421-2323 | CasaGr ande.LegacyTr 74



continued from page 72... Curphy said, “It was obvious a new hospital was desperately needed as the town grew. They just simply outgrew that hospital. Patient rooms at Hoemako were not private, but rather semi-private, so you had more than one patient sharing a room. Employees were turning closets into offices, and they were forced to know each other pretty well since they literally worked so close together. If a patient passed, Hoemako was not even equipped to hold bodies since there was no morgue. Hospital workers had to call Phoenix to come and pick up the body so it could be stored properly.” Fast forward to Aug. 4, 1984; the population in Casa Grande taken in the last census was nearly at 15,000 residents, and that was the day the new Casa Grande Regional Medical Center building, now in use, was dedicated to the community. The old Hoemako Hospital became a thing of the past, but a reminder of the sleepy, little community that was served with compassionate, exceptional patient care. The community of Casa Grande welcomed the new hospital with open arms. Residents came out to help celebrate and tour the new facility. Those instrumental in securing funding and helping to create a marvelous, new state-


of-the-art facility were there for its dedication, including Bob Benjamin, CEO; Jim Pate, longtime Casa Grande resident, cotton farmer and hospital board chair; and long-time Casa Grande Resident Isabel Singh, who donated parcels of land to build the new, 100-bed hospital. The new hospital was ready to offer services and had room to grow. The new space was definitely needed! As the community grew by leaps and bounds, so did the need for clinical services. Casa Grande Regional was getting out of the habit of referring patients to other facilities in Tucson or Phoenix, and was getting into the business of offering those same services in their own expanding community. As businesses around Casa Grande began to pop up and traffic increased in both directions along I-10, it was evident that Casa Grande was no longer a small farming community. Great things were happening and Casa Grande Regional was now a part of it. As we entered the “new millennium,” the hospital had been open for almost two decades. Casa Grande Regional was a permanent part of the community, known for its exceptional care and service. While the hospital grew in size and clinical service, intertwined in the businesses and droves of vehicles that moved around it every

day, the one thing that remained constant was the personal, smalltown feel that every patient and visitor encountered when they walked into the hospital. “When I became CEO of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center in 2009, the recession hit,” Curphy said. “It affected the healthcare industry in a big way. Businesses closed, people lost their jobs and ultimately their health insurance. We pushed on and evolved as the business of healthcare changed during that time. The important thing for us was to make sure that even with the changes, we didn’t compromise quality of care or service.” By 2013, it was evident that big changes were on the horizon for Casa Grande Regional. By that time, the hospital had grown in both the number of beds and the number of services offered, as it served a rapidly growing population of about 50,000 residents. The community hospital retained that community feeling,

even as more people moved into the area and the hospital saw more patients. In the winter of that year, it was announced that Banner Health would acquire Casa Grande Regional. On June 9, 2014, Casa Grande Regional, after 30 years of service in the community, officially became Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. Now, after one of year of being a part of the Banner Health family, the community hospital continues its tradition of providing excellent patient care with that small-town hospitality. Curphy said, “You look back at all those years, at what’s transpired, and it’s amazing how long we’ve been a part of this wonderful community. We’re proud to be a part of this town, part of its history and legacy. Here’s to another 100 years and another year as Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, because we truly do exist to make a difference in the lives of this community through excellent patient care.”





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Central Arizona College: First NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship - 1988-89 by Lin Laursen


he National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Women’s Basketball Tournament is held every March and I’ve been fortunate to attend six different sites along the way. Locations were Temple, Texas, Vincennes, Indiana, Overland Park, Kansas, Senatobia, Mississippi, Tyler, Texas, and Salina, Kansas. This will be the last year for Salina to host. Arizona was never thought of as being from a strong Region but as the years and trips rolled along we started to represent. One coach at one of the tournaments told me that I couldn’t win with Arizona players. We had finished 4th at Nationals in 198788 finishing at 31-4 as we kept pecking away at the National Championship. I returned 4 players and brought in 7 freshmen to complete the 11 member squad. I had to kick off my starting point guard in December for not going to

class. Thus we had to go with a back-up point guard who was 5’2” and nicknamed “Bruiser” for all the punishment she took each and every day. Little did I know what Bruiser was about to become. In December of 1988, we flew to Jacksonville, Fl., where Florida Community College (FCCJ) was hosting the tournament of champions. I was thankful to be asked to come and of course we had to raise the money. FCCJ was loaded with talent and had a couple of All Americans. We were down 21-4 in that game and lost 85-81. Players in the locker room were crying after the game and vowed they would never lose again. What does a prophecy really mean to teenagers? We scored over 100 points per game ten times that season to beat Pima 13121, Cochise 103-42, Eastern 113-54 to mention a few and the quest was on for March Madness. We won the Regional title 83-42 over Glendale and a trip to Nationals was at hand. The conference is now divided into Div. I and Div. II schools and those schools with dorms

represent Div. I and the other colleges represent Div. II. Each winner goes on to a different National Tournament. We got on a plane for Tyler, Texas, as they were hosting the tournament for the first time. We rented vehicles in Dallas and drove to Tyler arriving late at night. A toilet was broken on move in and that room had to move. Connors, OK., was also staying in the same hotel and was one of the elite programs in the country. Tyler is the rose capital of the world and sits within a complete circle. We practiced in many churches, stayed at a nice hotel and met some great people. We beat Louisburg (N.C.) 92-89 in the first game. The next day I went to the emergency room to get a shot to shut down my immune system as I was itching and my ears and lips were swollen. The nurses recognized me as we had made the front page of the sports section after our win as I was smiling from ear to ear. We defeated Hilbert(N.Y.) 91-71 in the next round and advanced to the Final Four, once again having to face FCCJ. We won 66-51 to avenge our only loss to




them in December and now faced Connors, OK. for the title. Is the prophecy coming true? I would see the Connors coach every morning in the coffee shop and he was always in a suit. I must have looked like a zombie as I never slept. My assistant, Denise Brooks, said I yelled most of the night and my feet were at the head of the bed. Denise never got any sleep. Playing 4 games in 5 days takes its toll as our bench was not that deep. Connors was 34-1 and we were 20 point underdogs. We beat Connors 77-57 and grabbed our First National Championship. We became the darlings of the tourney by winning there the first time they hosted. Central had put its mark on Tyler, Texas. It was all about balance on that team as Kristi Kincaid was MVP of the tournament and national player of the year. Kristi came back to CAC as my assistant and helped us win our Second National Championship in 1998. Kristi is the current basketball coach at Phoenix College. Bruiser was 10 for 10 from the free throw line and was smiling at the end as she wanted that ring. We had nicknames for the team: K.K., K.D., Peta, Bruiser, and Fila to mention a few and they still go by those names. Our song was “One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston and we played it in the parking lot after the game. We didn’t want to leave. If we hear that song on the radio, we will remember. We averaged 94.5 points a game that year and gave up 56.1. That’s almost a 40 point spread but I was always concerned about defense. I always said, “If you don’t play the big D you will sit on the little B.” Maybe we were a team of destiny as pre-season included a climb up Picacho Peak in September. During the game my trainer, Jeff Oliphant, who took them on this trek kept telling them, “you’ve got to climb that mountain, you’ve got to climb that mountain.” That they did.


The team has had four reunions in Vegas in July and all 11 players have remained in touch with each other. I laughed so hard the first year as stories were shared about each other and the college. We watched that championship game in our hotel room and memories came flooding back. We laughed at our short shorts, our uniforms and hair styles. They are all grown women now with children and great careers and are linked forever by that game and of course the ring. Lin Laursen • Retired as head coach of Central Arizona College, where she tallied an overall record of 971-145 (.870) in 34 seasons • Has won three NJCAA National Championships (1989, 1998 and 2005) and appeared in eleven Final Fours • Holds record for NJCAA wins • Has seen 140 of her players go on to major universities, including Bridget Pettis and Amanda Lassiter, who both went on to play in the WNBA

tallied 185 consecutive conference wins over a nine-year span • Appeared in 27 National Tournaments with 20 or more wins in 31 years and 30 or more wins in 20 years • The basketball court at Central Arizona College is named after Laursen, who was with the college from 1971 to 2008. She also coached volleyball and softball for eight years. • Was inducted into NJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2008 EDITORS NOTE: Lin wrote a book, From Buckboard to Backboard, detailing her life and career. This is a story of undaunted will. Lin Laursen’s story of pulling up roots from an Iowa farm and moving to Arizona to coach basketball reminds one of the Grapes of Wrath in reverse. Read how she became the winningest women’s basketball coach in Junior College History (971 - 145) as her road to success is revealed in this book. Available on

• Named Converse Coach of the Year in 1982-83, Russell Athletic WBCA Coach of the Year in 2004-05 and 2007-08, and NJCAA National Coach of the Year in 1988-89, 1997-98 and 2004-05 • Has led Central Arizona to 29 ACCAC Titles, including 21 consecutive and



Where Hope Began by Terri Durham, Office Coordinator


he year was 1990. A seed was planted in the heart of First Presbyterian Church of Casa Grande Pastor Rick Lemberg to begin a ministry to the poor, a segment of the population that desperately needed both physical and spiritual support. The name Seeds of Hope was chosen and a steering committee was organized of interested community members. After a nationwide search, Dave Brubaker was chosen to be the first executive director and he and his wife moved to Casa Grande from Pennsylvania. In 1992 Dave met with city leaders, pastors, and civic groups to determine the felt needs of the community and how Seeds of Hope could best meet those needs. A hot lunch program soon started, serving a meal to the homeless 6 days a week. Soon


Dave and Mert moved to the Cabana neighborhood starting an after school program in their home for children and youth. Other programs began that addressed additional needs in the community including a community service option for juvenile offenders, a peer leadership youth program, and a community garden. From 1997 – 2005 Seeds of Hope thrived under a few directors, each one bringing valuable experience and leadership. The board of directors expanded to include members from professional backgrounds and other churches, better reflecting the community. Another seed was planted in the heart of board chairman, Mondo Anaya, to build a community center to provide spiritual, educational, and social support for all ages. In June 2005 Mark Vanderheyden became the executive director. Under his leadership the community center seed was watered and harvested. A partnership with the city of Casa Grande led to a 75 year lease of Cruz Park on the Westside for $1.00 annually. In November 2012 the Mondo Anaya Community center opened. Immediately our after school program tripled in size. Today, the MACC is a community treasure, being used six days a week by various groups, both religious and civic, to provide


Spiritual, Educational, and Social Support to Casa Grande since 1993. WWW.SEEDSOFHOPEAZ.COM meaningful support to children, youth, adults, and seniors all free of charge to participants. Seeds of Hope has blossomed into an integral part of the Casa Grande landscape. Our support today includes a medical clinic, a wellness clinic, hot lunch, after

school, grandparents raising grandchildren, community garden, adult education, and a peer leader youth program. We are many ministries with one mission: to promote opportunities to improve lives through relationships and community development.


Trinity Southern Baptist Church Trinity Southern Baptist Church is a vital part of the one hundred year history of Casa Grande. Trinity began serving the community of Casa Grande fifty seven years ago in the year 1958.


n May 24th Trinity Southern Baptist Church celebrated its 57th anniversary as part of the wonderful Casa Grande community. In continuation of our tradition of proclaiming the gospel around the world, we had our staff missionary to Ecuador, Ron Sutton (a son of Casa Grande) addressed the congregation by SKYPE. Harold Vangilder stated that the potluck lunch after the services was of significant proportion in keeping with the finest of the Baptist heritage! Doug Currie organized a golf tournament for Memorial Day at Francisco Grande, attended by nearly 40 people. Dr. Philip W. Calvert, Senior

Pastor, commented, “At the initial meeting of Trinity in 1958 J. K. Simmons, editor of the Baptist Beacon newspaper, preached a message from Psalm 110 titled, ‘The Victorious Church.’ Pastor Phil shared the same message on the occasion of our 57th anniversary in 2015. This passage declares the victory of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the anointed One. He is the victorious King! The Church is victorious because Jesus, the Messiah, is victorious. Are you living in the victory of the Messiah? Join us at Trinity, and let’s live victoriously to the glory of Jesus Christ together!” God is doing great things at Trinity…tell a friend!

The current worship center (pictured above) was completed in 1975. Through the spiritual strength, commitment, and faith of our members from 1958, God has blessed us with the ability to serve Him and our community. We serve the local community through our partnership with Arizona Baptist Children Services at the New Life Pregnancy Center located on our campus. In addition, we offer the following: Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, FAME-Family Education (homeschool),Youth Ministry, Multicultural Ministry, Grief Ministry, Senior Adult Ministry, Caregiver Support Ministry, and much more.

We’re not a Sunday only church! Join us in worship, proclaiming the Gospel, and serving our wonderful Casa Grande community. For “the rest of the story”, please go to our website. • 520-836-2383


The building pictured above was the first church sanctuary completed in 1959. It is now the Adult Education Center. The 133 charter members founding the church in 1958 made Trinity the largest congregation to organize into a Southern Baptist church in Arizona at that time. Of those charter members, two remain as active members 57 years later, Dot Evans and Billie June Wilkins. The charter was left open for two more months and the total charter membership grew to 154.

REGULAR SUNDAY SCHEDULE: First Morning Worship Service 8:00 am to 9:15 am Sunday School 9:30 am to 10:30 am Second Morning Worship Service 10:45 am to 12:00 pm Sunday Night Seminary, Youth Group 6th grade to 12th grade 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

REGULAR WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE: Wednesday Prayer Warriors & Praise Band Rehearsal 6 pm to 7 pm Youth Group meets at 6 pm Grades 6-12 Children in Action at 7 pm Grades 1-5 Adult Choir Practice 7 pm to 8 pm SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


History of Central Arizona College – Pinal County’s Community College by Angela Askey, Director of Marketing


he process to establish a community college in Pinal County began July 1, 1961, when the Arizona Legislature passed a bill permitting counties with the necessary assessed valuation and potential numbers of students to form junior college districts. Pinal County voted in favor of organizing a district on Dec. 17, 1961. County Superintendent of Schools, Mary C. O’Brien, appointed five citizens to make up the original Pinal County Junior College District Governing Board. Charter appointees included Claude C. Compton of Casa Grande; C. Leroy Hoyt of Kearny; Paul Pearce of Eloy; Dr. Leslie A. Wakefield of Florence; and Dr. G. H. Walker of Coolidge. The group held their first meeting on January 16, 1962. For the first six years, the board worked diligently to find a suitable location for the campus while simultaneously preparing for a bond election to actually build the Signal Peak Campus. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at Signal Peak on Nov. 8, 1968 and Central Arizona College opened its doors in the fall of 1969 near the base of Signal Peak Mountain. Approximately 1,000 full-and part-time students registered for classes at the new campus. The first graduates of CAC were recognized during commencement exercises on May 31, 1970. Twenty-five associate degrees were conferred. Just three years later, CAC saw its largest graduating class to date, with the college conferring 194 associate degrees. CAC began extending its accessibility throughout Pinal County, becoming an important community-building entity that


still exists today. During the 1972-73 academic year, the state board for community colleges authorized a 48-bed addition to dormitories at CAC, and approved preliminary construction plans for the Arizona College of Technology, now known as the Aravaipa Campus. It was also during this time frame that David Callahan, a CAC art student from Arizona City, was commissioned to paint a 30-foot modernistic mural of a Vaquero on a black horse to decorate the water tower at the Signal Peak Campus. This design still remains intact today. The date of May 16, 1975, marked the first graduation and dedication at the Arizona College of Technology. By the early 1980’s enrollment at this location had reached 492 students. A library revision, addition of four classrooms, a warehouse and a multi-purpose activity center for indoor supporting activities were completed. In the early 1980s the Governing Board approved the recommendation to develop a college with the name Central Arizona College with multiple campuses. Location names changed from CAC to Signal Peak Campus and Arizona College of Technology to Aravaipa Campus.


In 1982, CAC began offering classes in Apache Junction, using portables at Apache Junction High School. From 1985-1987 CAC held classes for students from the east valley at the Grand Hotel which housed an administrative office and four classrooms. During the summer of 1987 the Superstition Mountain Campus opened at its current location and by 1992 an additional 28.5 acres were purchased to expand the growing campus from one building to four buildings. By the early 1990’s CAC had reached a new full-time student equivalency record of 3,000. As the mid-90s approached, Central Arizona College began planning its 25th Anniversary Celebration. Honors in the classroom, for employees, and in the realm of athletic competition made CAC known well beyond the borders of Pinal County. In May 2000, CAC awarded 662 degrees and certificates to graduating students. Developed in 2001 by the CAC Foundation, the program known as Project Early Start was renamed to Promise for the Future in 2004. The program designed to help increase the high school graduate rate in Pinal County along with access to higher education has supported

thousands of students since its inception. During the 2014 academic year, 506 students (first and second year) enrolled at CAC received a total of $871,838 in Promise scholarships. This was an increase of nearly $200,000 from the prior year. On August 10, 2006 a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the new Maricopa Center located in the heart of this thriving community. A year later, CAC’s new location – the Corporate Center – located at the former Palm Center Outlet Mall just off the Florence Boulevard exit of I-10 – opened. The new location became the hosting site for the Weekend College program. When Central Arizona College began implementing its district model, the goal was and continues to be providing quality higher education to all residents of Pinal County. In November 2008, voters of Pinal County authorized the college to expand educational opportunities and accessibility throughout the county by approving a nearly $99 million general obligation bond. This stamp of approval allowed CAC to build new campuses in the San Tan Valley area and in the city of Maricopa, while also upgrading some of the facilities at the Signal Peak, Superstition Mountain and Aravaipa campuses as well as the Casa Grande Center. Central Arizona College’s San Tan Center in The Shops at Copper Basin opened for business along the Hunt Highway Corridor in 2009. The San Tan Center offered traditional face-to-face


courses, hybrid classes and interactive television (iTV) along with university transfer courses to accommodate adult, early college, transfer and new students. Two years later, CAC conducted the groundbreaking ceremonies for its new campus in Maricopa, giving the college the ability to extend services to the growing community. The evidence of a need to build a campus in the city of Maricopa was reflected in the enrollment growth at the Maricopa Center. From the fall of 2006 through the fall of 2012, enrollment climbed 478 percent while unduplicated headcount rose 411 percent. With the first phase of the campus complete, the Maricopa Campus opened for business on January 2, 2013. More than 200 community members from the City of Maricopa, the Ak-Chin Indian Community and Pinal County gathered on September 17, 2013 for the official ribbon cutting and opening of the campus. Within its first year

of service, the Maricopa campus witnessed a 50% increase in enrollment. CAC’s newest campus in the San Tan Valley was celebrated during a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 5, 2013 and opened for business in January 2014. This full-service campus offers a full array of degrees and certificates, a library, state-ofthe-art classrooms and labs, and administrative offices. Enrollment at the San Tan Campus continues to grow. During the 2013-14 academic year the college enrolled 11,746 students. More than 800 graduates were recognized from all five campuses during the 2015 district wide graduation ceremony. Since the first graduation conducted by the college over four decades ago, CAC has awarded 30,294 certificates and degrees to 21,760 students. In addition to providing educational opportunities, CAC continues to play a significant

role in Pinal County’s economy. According to a 2014 study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialist International (EMSI), CAC contributed $212.7 million to the county during fiscal year 2013-2014. Investments made by local taxpayers create a wide range of benefits to society. For every dollar of support, taxpayers see a return of $1.30 in the form of higher tax revenues and

avoided costs. For 46 years now, Central Arizona College has been serving and educating the diverse communities of Pinal County. With a total of five campuses and three centers located strategically throughout the county, CAC provides accessible, educational, economic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities for those of all ages.

Proud to be your community college for nearly 45 years

Accessible, Educational, Economic, Cultural, and Personal Growth Opportunities for All Ages Aravaipa Campus 80440 E. Aravaipa Rd. Winkelman, AZ 85192

San Tan Campus 3736 E. Bella Vista Rd. San Tan Valley, AZ 85143

Signal Peak Campus 8470 N. Overfield Rd. Coolidge, AZ 85128

Casa Grande Center 1015 E. Florence Blvd. Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Corporate Center 540 N. Camino Mercado Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Florence Center 800 E. Butte Ave. Florence, AZ 85132


Maricopa Campus 17945 N. Regent Dr. Maricopa, AZ 85138

Superstition Mountain Campus 805 S. Idaho Rd. Apache Junction, AZ 85119 SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING



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f there is one arena that Sun with its new name, the organiLife Family Health Center zation also moved into a newly strives to be recognized, constructed building on Arizola it as a leader in healthcare Road in order to serve the growexcellence. ing Casa Grande population, both Sun Life is Pinal County’s larginsured and uninsured. The faciliest primary healthcare provider. ty, expanded in 2003, still stands The nonprofit organization is today as the organization’s largest committed to providing both family practice service location, accept most insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare theWe insured and uninsured with along with dental and pharmacy. access to quality and price-con- We Ascan the main headquarters for the Uninsured? help! sciousEnrollment services. organization, location houses assistance with AHCCCS, and Sun Life’sthis discount programs. There are currently no other management offices as well. healthcare providers in this counSince their humble beginnings ty serving both of those populaof providing healthcare in Pinal 865 N. ARIZOLA RD,County CASA GRANDE tions equally. in the 1970s, the Sun HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. has Life nonprofit organization Sun Life’s History brought many much-needed In 1976, a healthcare practice services to the area, as well called West Pinal Family Health as expanded to a total of nine Center opened its doors. It opfacilities across the county, along erated out of a trailer in western with a Mobile Health Van. The Casa Grande. It functioned as organization staffs over 46 medpart of the Arizona Job College ical providers and helps almost program, which provided job 40,000 patients each year to EXCEservices skill training LLENCEtoINseasonal HEALTH CAREmanage their health by providing migrant farm The Center almost 140,000 visits a year. Acceworkers. ptingpatient New Pa ti en saw nearly 12,000 visits Sun Life now offers family tS Hablamos Españo l annually with only one full-time doctor visits, pediatric care, Same Day and one part-time healthcare pre-natal care and women’s Appointments! provider on staff. wellness, diabetes classes, inteThe Center then moved into grated behavioral health, as well a more permanent space the as family dentistry with cleanings next year with three full-time and other treatments. and three part-time physicians, in order to serve not just What Makes Sun Life a Leader migrant workers, but the entire In addition to meeting commuCasa Grande population. From nity health needs with comprethere, the nonprofit organization hensive medical services in Pinal blossomed. Dental and women’s County, Sun Life also keeps in health services were introduced step with convenience in healthin 1978, and additional offices care treatment. Weopened accept most insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare were in neighboring For one, Sun Life’s services Uninsured? can help! communities like Maricopa, Eloy, We have been likened to being a Enrollment assistance with AHCCCS, and Sun Life’s discount and Coolidge. “one-stop-shop,” withprograms. several In 1996, the Center underwent sites providing on-site pharmasome big changes and rebranded, cy, onsite lab, and integrated thus changing its name to Sun behavioral health. These services 1856 E. FLORENCE BLVD, CASA GRANDE Life Family Health Center. Along assist patients in making health













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treatments easier habits to adopt. Travis Robinette said, “is the Sun Life is also dedicated to right thing to do for our patients We in accept insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare training the nextmost generation and staff.” the organization has of healthcare workers by acting We Although Uninsured? can help! beenand culturally branded as a nonas a clinical education resource. Enrollment assistance with AHCCCS, Sun Life’s discount programs. profit entity that relies on federal Sun Life provides opportunities grants funds to operate, Sun Life’s for students with majors related Health Center Program grant to medical or healthcare careers, 865 N. ARIZOLA RD,monies CASA GRANDE make up only about five including dental, to serve in inHOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. percent of its annual revenues. terdisciplinary primary healthcare The rest of the organization’s teams at area community health revenue is earned by serving all centers. High school students area populations from the insured training in healthcare-related proto self-paying patients. grams through Central Arizona And last year, Sun Life Valley Institute of Technology achieved the highest level of (CAVIT) have shadowed, trained, recognition from the National and later hired on as new staff at Committee for Quality Asseveral of Sun Life’s area centers. EXCEtoLLeducate And helping the next ENCE IN HEALTH CAREsurance (NCQA) for its companywide, patient-centered generation starts as Acceptinasgearly N ew Pa ti en healthcare approach. Sun Life childhood. Sun Life was the first tS Habla mos Español adopted this model called the medical practice in Pinal County Patient Centered Medical Home to participate in the nationally Same Day Appointments! about two years ago as a way to acclaimed Reach Out and Read improve quality care to patients program, where doctors give in Pinal County. Currently, there babies and toddlers free books are 134 medical practices in the at well-child visits to encourage state of Arizona using the PCMH readership and literacy. Quality healthcare are not model that have been recognized by the NCQA and 6,500 only words in the organization’s practices/40,000 clinicians mission statement, but a real across the country. everyday effort throughout the “I believe that to be a leader in organization. Sun Life is accredited by the Joint Commission, anything, it is not a state of being which is completely voluntary. or a plateau you reach,” explained Weaccredited accept most insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare Being by the Joint Robinette. “It’s a constant, nevUninsured? can help! Commission means that Sun Life We er-ending effort. We don’t just sit Enrollment assistance with AHCCCS, Sunrest Life’son discount adheres to the Commission’s back and and our programs. laurels. At mission, which is “to continuousSun Life, we will always continly improve the safety and quality ue to strive and raise the bar in of care1856 provided to the public.” delivering quality healthcare and E. FLORENCE BLVD, CASA GRANDE “Quality care,” Sun Life’s CEO achieving excellence.”






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[huh-BOOb] noun: haboob a thick dust storm or sandstorm that blows in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia or on the plains of India (or Arizona)


Congratulations Casa Grande! 100 years and still going strong! by David Baum, President, Brighton Collision Centers


n behalf of Brighton Collision Centers, we wish you the best as we pass this momentous milestone. We are also celebrating an anniversary of our own, albeit a bit less historic. Brighton Collision Centers is in its tenth year since first opening its doors to the Casa Grande community. Since then, we have received tremendous support from the city, local businesses and most importantly, the community. Thank you! With your generous support, we have grown into a trusted resource, helping residents smooth out dings and dents with honesty and integrity.

Like many businesses in Casa Grande, we are locally owned and operated. Brighton Collision Centers stands behind its work with a lifetime warranty to put your mind at ease for as long as you own the vehicle. It’s a big part of what we do, as well as what you have grown to expect. We also have you covered Valley-wide with 4 other locations including our most recent opening of our 5th location in Mesa. Remember it’s your car…”Tell them…I’m taking it to Brighton. “ Thank you Casa Grande!

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201 N. Florence Street • Casa Grande (NW Corner of 1st & Florence St.)


Consultas En Español

Dr. Tim Hoyt Proudly Serving Casa Grande Since 1987 Monday - Thursday • 7:30-5:00pm Friday 7;30-12:00pm SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


Exploring the Garden by Michael Jackson


n 1917, an 18 year old man named Jean Vallette got off the train in the new depot in Casa Grande. He had just arrived from Riverside, California where he had gone AWOL from the German Army. It seems he was dissatisfied with his assignment. He thought he would be there to procure horses and grain for the army, but was instead just a grunt. Later he met and married a lady named Mattie Hardesty, the youngest of 13 children. Together with his money and her hard labor they built three structures on a piece of land just outside of the new city of Casa Grande. They started with a two bedroom adobe home and later added an office and a rental home. At that time it was six blocks from downtown and the only residence around.


Jean loved the desert here in the southwest and had remembered Casa Grande from his first trip through. Jean was the first employee of a ranch 12 miles northeast of town, later buying out the Tenney Transfer Company which at the time was operated by horses and wagons. They changed the name to City Transfer Company and their phone number in the 1933 phone book was 1. Jean was very active in Boy Scouts and was a founding member of Rotary. The Vallettes loved the west and its flora and over the years built up a remarkable collection of cacti and other desert plants. They traded seeds from Peru, Argentina and Mexico and had about 85 different types of cactus in the garden of their home. There are only 7 cacti that are


indigenous to Arizona. Jean walked to Gila Bend twice looking for a type of saguaro called a crested saguaro to no avail. A neighbor heard about this and told Jean for $35 he would take him to one. They dug up the cactus in 1933 and moved it to the garden. It happened to be the only one known to be crested at the base. Only one in a quarter million has a crest and this was the only one of its kind. Mattie and a Mexican laborer built most of the homestead. The fire place in her office has 4 places that work. In the late 1960s, the Arizona Republic wrote an article on it and said it had to have been designed and built by a professional because it works perfectly from all 4 places. Jean died in 1944 and Mattie followed him 5 years later on Christmas day. They both requested to have their services in their beloved garden. Mattie’s family sold off the really good artifacts that they had collected to a minister from Yuma for a nickel on the dollar and boxed the rest and left them in the office while renting out the home for 15 years. In 1965, Lee and Annabell BeDillon bought the gardens. The first project for Lee was to re-build the adobe walls. Originally the walls were 8 feet high, but due to neglect, weather and vandals, they were about 2 feet high. Lee got the city to let him have five adobe structures

the city was going to bulldoze - three houses, a lumber yard and a bar. He had students from his high school shop class help him move the blocks on a flat bed to the gardens and taught them how to build an adobe wall with a wooden roof. He got free labor and the boys got practical knowledge to work with adobe. Lee remodeled the office into a little apartment for his daughter Anna Lee and her new husband Ben until they could buy their own home. After they moved out, Lee remodeled the office again into a museum. He built display cases and shelving and his wife who was also a school teacher, made little signs to describe the artifacts. Anna Lee’s wedding was held in the garden and it was sort of a coming out party for the garden. For 15 years no one really used it, but after the wedding, the BeDillons found that many other


brides also wanted to get married there. The BeDillons hosted about 200 weddings in the next 20 years. They would rent out the garden and you would provide your own food, alcohol and entertainment. Lee was a Rotarian so they had a lot of events scheduled there. He got the city to abandon an alley on the north side of the property. There he built a shop where he had every tool an industrial arts teacher could collect. In 1984 Lee and Annabell moved to Payson and their son Ron moved in. The BeDillons put an ad in the paper saying BeDillon’s cactus garden for sale to the right owner. We saw the ad, but having never seen the garden, we had no idea what it was. Two years later we were hired to cater a fundraiser for a man from Tucson named Jim Kolbe who was running for office. We owned another restaurant at the time called The Property and we did a lot of catering. I walked in the south entrance to figure out how we would set up and before I got to the back door, I was in love. I asked Ron if the place was still for sale and he said yes.


I told him that when my wife arrived and if she felt the same, we wanted to buy it. Nancy had the same feeling that we could take this place and make a really special restaurant out of it. Lee came down the next day and said they were asking $165,000 cash. This was the only real asset they had other than their retirement from teaching school. Nancy and I discussed it and told them that we could only afford $145,000 if they would carry the paper at 7%. Lee told me he had turned down 3 full cash offers from people that were going to sell off the assets and then bulldoze the garden and build apartments there. He knew that everything we owned we had saved from being bulldozed and that we were the ones he wanted to sell it to all along. I told him, he should have called me 2 years earlier. In 1986 Nancy and I bought the gardens and 761 days later we opened. In 27 years we have been reviewed by Phoenix Home and Garden, The Arizona Republic twice and were the cover of the April 2009 issue of Arizona Highways magazine.

BeDillon’s Cactus Garden Restaurant & Museum Hours: Lunch: Tuesday - Friday Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday Reservations Recommended • Catering Available 800 N. Park Ave - CG • (520) 836-2045 Like us on Facebook for dining specials and entertainment schedule.

Catering and special events up to 500 people The Property Conference Center 1251 West Gila Bend Hwy - CG • (520) 836-1101



[Se-ren-i-ty] noun: serenity the quality or state of being serene; calmness; tranquility

Travel over the Past 100 Years by Jon Nees, ROX Travel Consultant


century ago, only the rich were usually able to afford to own a vehicle. Ships were the common way to travel across the ocean. By the turn of the twentieth century the railroad had spread across the country. Many used this as a means of transportation across the country. Today, it is easy to get in our cars and go wherever we want, need or desire. Accessibility and cost have changed the way we travel. Planes and cruising used to be the purview of the wealthy. As accessibility has expanded, prices have dropped, which has increased availability. Tourism economies now cater to a broader range of economic classes. This is the evolution of leisure travel over the past 100 years — from domestic to global, exclusive to popular, exotic to standardized, and how important it is in American culture. Over the past 100 years, the airplane has transformed travel from a cushioned journey of the elite into a convenient leisure pastime for the general public, flying more than eight million people every day. In 1957, the number of passengers traveling by air within the US exceeded the number going by rail for the first time. Until airplanes took over intercontinental travel in the 1950s, ocean-faring vessels dominated travel between countries. Then in the 1970’s arrived the wide-bodied airliners, like the Boeing 747, which provided the spur to real growth as the airlines were able to offer more economical travel. Bigger planes meant more seats, and more seats meant tickets could be cheaper. Journeys once the preserve of the rich were suddenly affordable. Technology is also refining our basic traveling methods. Technologies like the internet and TV have given us the chance to be aware of places which we would not have been aware otherwise. We can book a trip from anywhere in the world. From horse and buggies to railroads, and from railroads to airplanes, the way we travel has really changed. Once upon a time, smartphones and tablets didn’t exist. Travel was



Helsinki, Finland

very different. Can you remember these common travel points?

7. Traveler’s checks. Those things don’t even exist these days.

1. International Calling Cards were a must when traveling abroad. How else would you stay in touch with your friends and family back home? Now, you don’t even need to use a phone to get in touch with your family back home. Skyping over WiFi is way easier.

8. You lugged around a camera rather than snapping thousands of pics on your smartphone.

2. You didn’t pay baggage fees, which is good because your carry-on was packed with all the books on your vacation “to read” list. Imagine packing those in your luggage. E-books make your bag a whole lot lighter. 3. And all those CDs and your Discman and your Gameboy and your travel journal and your datebook took up some space, too. 4. When you arrived at your destination, you relied on physical maps, not a ‘map app’ that helps you when you get lost. 5. You had to call your airline to check flights. No internet updates, no emails, no texts. 6. You had to read guidebooks or chat up locals to find out the best places to eat, drink and explore. The Internet makes that a very different experience.

9. And when you got home, you developed all those rolls of film and were so excited to see your prints! 10. You didn’t know exactly what your hotel or destination would look like or the menus of the restaurants you’d eat at before you arrived. 11. You became pen pals with people you met along the way. Now you just friend new buddies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. 12. You never had to worry about updating your social media constantly. You didn’t need to worry about unplugging. Traveling meant freedom. Planes, Trains and Automobiles---This love of travel is America’s legacy. And the American travel plan -- swifter, more comfortable and accessibility to everyone–has set the standard for the world. Above all, it is available to all, enabling millions to explore distant lands, or see their own more fully. Jon Nees is an independent travel consultant with ROX Travel. You can reach him at or 520-836-8517


CG News


CITY PLATS ...cont. from page 59

1920, from Third Street south to what is now Jimmie Kerr Boulevard between Casa Grande and Brown avenues. The Myers Second Addition in 1920 ran north from Third Street to Florence Boulevard between Casa Grande and Brown avenues. Myers Homesite 1st Unit in 1929 ran north from Third Street to Florence between Brown and Roosevelt avenues. In 1951, Ward Park addition between Olive and Center avenues and 10th and 11th street was added. One of the major marketing efforts in what is now downtown was for the Evergreen Addition in 1928. That area is east of City Hall between Morrison and Gilbert avenues north of Florence to 10th Street, north of City Hall between Morrison and Casa Grade avenues and east of Carr McNatt Park (which takes in some of the original Evergreen

straddled Sacaton Street between Second and Third avenues. What is known as Katherine Drew’s Second Addition came in 1924, between Picacho and Olive avenues from Florence Boulevard to 9th Street and 9th to 11th streets between Olive and Casa Grande Avenue. The E.P. Drew Addition, also in 1924, took in an area between what would be Pinal Avenue and Mercedes Streets between Main and Third avenues. Lincoln Hospital Addition came in 1946 between Brown and Roosevelt avenues south of Fourth Street. The area south of that became Myers Homesites 3rd Unit in 1947 and 1948. That was one of several Myers additions. The first was between 1914 and

blocks) and the city swimming pool between Brown and Gilbert avenues from 11th Street to McMurray Boulevard. According to the Evergreen Ad-

100 Years Odds and Ends

Paved Streets



ome odds and ends about early Casa Grande, taken from files at the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society. ••• First cemetery is established in November 1915 in the block north of Peart Park, later moved to present location. ••• First municipal bond election on Jan. 14, 1916. $8,000 for a water department approved 71-3. $21,000 for a light and power plant approved 69-4. $6,000 for an ice plant approved 70-3. ••• May 1918, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors changes Casa Grande’s designation from town to city. •••

Second municipal bond election on June 21, 1921. $90,000 for improving the water plant and $30,000 for improving and enlarging the electric plant approved. ••• February 1928 - in an action that has come back to haunt the city - Casa Grande officials decide that the city was continually losing money on the utilities, including water. An election was set for Dec. 13, 1927, at which was approved 136-17 to sell all of the utilities to People’s Arizona Gas and Electric Corp. for $145,000. ••• February 1928, bids are opened on the first city sewer project, followed on June 29 by a second project.


n 1929, the Casa Grande Dispatch published a Prosperity Jubilee edition, recounting growth and good times in the city. Of special note was newly-paved streets in the downtown, which sported street lighting, done at a cost of $199,285.67, and meaning the city of 2,000 people had 28 paved blocks. They were popular -- almost too popular. A special speed ordinance had to be passed by the City Council.

dition Historic Survey, “At the time, the subdivision was considered to be a suburb of Casa Grande and was marketed as a country place for Casa Grande’s upper class.”

“The city’s new pavements are not to be used as speedways, however smooth and tempting they may be,” the Dispatch story said, reporting that the council was upset about the speeders, one of which had caused an accident that had blocked a fire truck. The ordinance set a speed limit of 25 mph in town, to be strictly enforced, and ordered that all cars were to have mufflers and that vehicles with open cut-outs were illegal.



The Heritage Hall Stone Church by Harold Kitching


skilled, local stone mason, Michael Sullivan, built many of the stone buildings in Casa Grande. His crowning achievement is Heritage Hall, the home of the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society. The Stone Church (the historic property name) was the largest fieldstone building to be built by Mr. Sullivan who died of a heart attack while driving his car just three months after the church was dedicated. Aside from the magnificent stone masonry, the floor level is raised above grade by over six feet. Some significant features of the building are a full raised basement, the cement porch with stone arches and an arched doorway with double doors leading to a projecting vestibule. Over the vestibule is an octagonal belfry with a copper dome. The sanctuary stained glass window was added in 1952. Officially organized in October of 1896, 17 years after Casa Grande was founded, the Presbyterian Church became the first Protestant church in this small desert community with



fewer than 300 inhabitants. Their first church was located at First Avenue and Florence Street and was known as the “Little White Church�. Through the efforts of a growing Presbyterian congregation the Stone Church was built in 1927 and the first service in the new church, with the glittering copper-plated dome, was held in January of 1928. Church services were held in this building until 1971. The building stood empty from 1971-1973, at which time it was purchased by the Casa Grande Mortuary. The Casa Grande Historical Society acquired the Stone Church in June of 1977. Over the years the 152 seat auditorium has served as an intimate setting for lectures, meetings, programs, musicals and theatrical performances, which included the home of the former Casa Grande Valley Players. Through the efforts of an Eagle Scout project, the aging auditorium seats were removed on August 6, 2011. The wood flooring has been refinished and a wall removed to create newly improved space to accommodate fund raising

events and an intimate venue to better serve the needs of the museum. Three pulpit chairs, the pulpit, 4 auditorium seats, paintings and photos from the historic Stone Church are on display in a history room created by Bill Heinle at the First Presbyterian Church, 702 E. Cottonwood Lane. The communion table from the Stone Church continues to be used in their sanctuary. Prepared by: Marge Jantz, Historic Preservation Commission Member Resources: SHPO Historic Property Inventory No. CG-171, Casa Grande Valley Historical Society, Bill Heinle- First Presbyterian Church



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5ac (potential) Multifamily Land S of SEC Florence Blvd & Pottebaum Rd, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 REALTY 5 Acres (Potential) Multi-family Land - Pottebaum & Florence Blvd Area ROX • $495,000 Rev. 4.30.2015

Great Investment Opportunity! Fantastic large parcel in town with tons of potential. Parcel sits just south of Florence Blvd and Subject has access off of Pottebaum - traffic light at Florence and is nestled Øin between commercial and multifamily parcels Lender-owned residential parcel Property



also available



Currently zoned Urban Ranch but previously planned for multi-family


Walking distance to many national retail / food stores

One of very few build-ready small commercial sites on the Casa Grande the city’s Florence Blvd retailofcorridor Ø ofOn the edge side major I-10 of intersection; 3 miles west proposed Phoenix Mart (see below); 1 mile west of Promenade Casa Grande. Best use is probably Ø Adjacent to existing 3-star apartment complex food – fast food or restaurant.


also available

Use(s): Fast Food or restaurant or?

Location: NEC Florence Blvd/Cacheris Ct, Casa Location: 660' S of SEC Florence Blvd & Pottebaum Rd Grande AZ Casa Grande Zoning: 17,000 Single family (Urban Ranch)(2009) but previously Traffic Count: (2010); 41,500 I-10 planned for multifamily

also available

Size: interchange 1.15AZ acWater (approx, gross) Utilities: All at or near; APS, Co., SW Gas Zoning: of Casa Tax Parcel: City 505-30-023

also available


Grande B-2

Utilities: All utilities at or near site

Legal Description: N ½ Tract 11, MOELLER-SELLERS UNIT NO 1


Tax Parcel: Price: 505-23-001X $495,000 price reduction Comments: 1. Site is approximately 3 miles west of future Phoenix Comments:

Photo, Property Information

Mart, a proposed 1.5million “sourcing center” with 2,000 vendors, thousands of jobs with annual payroll of more than $300,000,000 2. Rock Earle is a principal in broker COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY LLC and also in the property


The information contained herein is from sources deemed reliable. COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY has no reason to doubt its accuracy but does not guarantee it; it is the responsibility of the reviewer to independently verify it. This information package is subject to change, prior sale or complete withdrawal without notification.

1.15ac commercial corner / pad 1919 N Trekell Rd, Casa Grande AZ 85122 1.5 Acre Commercial Pad – Corner of Cacheris & Florence Blvd $600,000 Casa Grande, Arizona Rock Earle Associate Broker, Principal 520.421.9000

Brett Eisele Associate Broker, Principal 520.560.2555

Keith LaVoo Associate Broker 520.560.3787

520.423.8250 REALTY Best corner in town! Perfect for fast food or other high visibility uses.ROX Owner Agent. Rev. 2.27.2014

One of very few build-ready small commercial sites on the Casa Grande side of major One of very few build-ready small commercial sites on the Casa I-10 intersection; milesI-10 west of proposed Phoenix (see below); 1 mile west of Grande side of3major intersection; 3 miles west of Mart proposed Phoenix Mart Grande. (see below); 1 mile of Promenade Grande. Promenade Casa Best usewest is probably food Casa – fast food or restaurant. Best use is probably food – fast food or restaurant.

Use(s): Fast Food or restaurant or?

Use(s): Fast Food or restaurant or?

Location: NEC Florence Blvd/Cacheris Ct, Casa Grande AZ Location: NEC Florence Blvd/Cacheris Ct, Casa Grande AZ

Traffic Count: 17,000 (2010); 41,500 (2009) I-10 interchange


Traffic Count: 17,000 (2010); 41,500 (2009) I-10 interchange


Size: 1.15 ac (approx, gross)

Size: 1.15 ac (approx, gross)

Zoning: City of Casa Grande B-2

Zoning: City of Casa Grande B-2

Utilities: All utilities at or near site

Utilities: All utilities at or near site Tax Parcel: 505-23-001X

Tax Parcel: 505-23-001X Comments:

Comments: 1. Site is approximately 3 miles west of future Phoenix is approximately 3 miles west of with future Phoenix Mart, Mart,1.Site a proposed 1.5million “sourcing center” 2,000avendors, thousands jobs with annual proposed 1.5millionof“sourcing center”payroll with 2,000 vendors, of more than $300,000,000

thousands of jobs with annual payroll of more than $300,000,000 BANKER ROX

2.Rock is a principal in broker COLDWELL 2. Rock EarleEarle is a principal in broker COLDWELL BANKER ROXLLC REALTY LLC and also in the property REALTY and also in the property

Price: $600,000

Price: $600,000

Rock Earle Rock Earle Associate Broker, Principal 520.421.9000

Designated Broker, Keith Principal LaVoo

Brett Eisele Associate Broker, Principal 520.560.2555

520.421.9000 Associate Broker 520.560.3787

Brett Eisele

Keith LaVoo

Associate Broker, Principal ROX REALTY Associate Broker COLDWELL BANKER

1919 N Trekell Rd, Casa Grande AZ 85122 520.560.3787 520.560.2555 520.509.1000

The information contained herein from sources deemed reliable. COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY has no reason to doubt its accuracy but do not guarantee it. It is the responsibility of the person reviewing it to independently verify it. This information package is subject to change, prior sale or complete withdrawal without notification.

1919 N. Trekell Rd., Casa Grande • 520-423-8250 The information contained herein from sources deemed reliable. COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY has no reason to doubt its accuracy but do not guarantee it. It is the responsibility of the person reviewing it to independently verify it. This information package is subject to change, prior sale or complete withdrawal without notification.

WHY COLDWELL BANKER ROX? Commercial Real Estate throughout Arizona’s Golden Corridor (Pinal County)

Because ALL real estate is LOCAL Gold may be fungible, but real estate is not. Most things, even - especially - commercial real estate, have peculiar features that depend upon context and therefore are about LOCAL. With the advanced marketing tools of today (internet: email, video) any firm can be at the forefront of marketing technology, but only LOCAL firms have the on-the-ground LOCAL expertise needed to fully assess any given property, its characteristics and potential in the LOCAL commercial real estate arena. It is important to have LOCAL representation; that’s why you should hire the experienced commercial specialists at COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY for your buying, selling or leasing needs - land or improved property. Our brokers have over 120 years of LOCAL commercial real estate experience guiding their clients through the complexities of today’s commercial real estate matrix.

THEM Comprehensive company website, Costar, LoopNet Premium, in-house research, custom comp maps, email newsletters/blogs, social media LOCAL area MLS State-of-the-art LOCAL facilities A division of the largest, most prestigious LOCAL residential brokerage in the area ROX Group of Companies’ dominant LOCAL media reach LOCAL insider access











Plus, our parent company (ROX Group) publishes a range of dominant LOCAL print publications which make ROX companies the go-to source for representation in real estate, insurance and travel. “THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY”




The Best Of


When it comes to real property of any kind, it’s hard to deny that expertise is LOCAL. We at COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY are the largest commercial group of brokers in Casa Grande, the capital of the area we like to call “Arizona’s Golden Corridor. As I write this, the commercial real estate market is coming back, and we stand ready to help you participate. And check out our awesome Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine too!

The Interview:

Paul Babeu Pinal County Sheriff



Rock Earle Designated Broker and Principal



1919 N Trekell Rd, Casa Grande AZ 85122 Each office is independently owned and operated.

The Jolly Tamale by Paula Leslie, Mankel Mechanical


hen I was asked if I wanted to write an article for this edition of this magazine regarding the history of my business, I immediately thought that there would be no Mankel Mechanical without an Arthur R Mankel, Jr. Sixteen years ago when I finally convinced Eddie to take the risk and start a plumbing business, he tossed around a few business names but ultimately settled upon his family name. The name Mankel had a reputation locally and undeniably, Eddie had already made himself a name in the plumbing community. It is upon these reputations that we have built our business. Eddie grew up next to the Southern Pacific railroad tracks on the west side of Casa Grande. The property was an old abandoned manufacturing business. When the property became available, Art bought it and converted the existing building into a three bedroom house. Ed’s father worked for ADOT as a mechanic for over 30 years and also raced sprint cars under the nickname Jolly Tamale. The back part of the property became Art’s Garage. This is where he would work on his own sprint car or help local boys work on their cars. To the south of the Mankel property was Hancock Plumbing owned by Vernon Hancock. Art already knew Vern but became more acquainted with him when they became neighbors. The summer Eddie was twelve, he remembers Vern waking him up too early for a no school summer day by kicking his bed and telling him to get dressed because he was going to work.

Eddie’s mom and dad were in the kitchen. Eddie’s mom had made a lunch for him to take. He kissed his parents goodbye and was turned over to the tutelage of Vern. Eddie was actually excited thinking he was going to go to Coolidge or somewhere else. His first job ended up being three blocks from his home. He dug for three days, did a few hours of piping the next day, and finished with two days of back filling the ditches. The stories Eddie tells about his years learning plumbing basics under Vern would cause some politically correct ears to burn. But Vern had Eddie’s respect and, well, some days Eddie had Vern’s. As Eddie got older and the summer weekends got more engaged, sometimes Eddie would show up late when the mornings came too quickly. Even if Eddie were only five minutes late, Vern would send him home. Ed not only learned a trade but he learned how to work hard, and to show up for work, and to take pride in the work you did.


Ed moved on from Hancock Plumbing to different trades - mining, trucking, and again plumbing for different companies in the valley where he learned tract home plumbing, commercial plumbing and multi-story plumbing. He detoured from plumbing for a few years and with a high school friend started a landscape/sprinkler system business in the 1980s. When that business closed, he went back to his first love - plumbing. Good thing because it was at a local plumbing company where he met me. Did I mention there would be no Mankel Mechanical without me? We’ve stayed a small business, never employing more than 20 employees at a time, but have grown in the types of plumbing projects we do. In May/June we will have completed our fourth charter school and our second fire station. Plans are on the table for a three story motel. That will be our third motel if it happens. We became licensed in the state of Texas in 2009 to

do Waffle House remodels and are now completing site work for a different restaurant in Katy, Texas. We are also looking at a high rise remodel project in Houston, Texas. Ed and I still run the day to day operations but we have knowledgeable employees to help us in the field who include our two sons, Shea and Vaughn. Our granddaughter has been known to hang around the shop, too. All this wouldn’t be possible if forty-one years ago Art Mankel had allowed a sleeping twelve year old to lie. Instead, he sent him to the ditches to learn a work ethic and a trade with an ornery but loving old plumber whom Eddie stayed in contact with until Vern’s death. I know Art was proud to have his last name decorating a fleet of work trucks. Some of our trucks also have a Jolly Tamale decal on the back window. Art’s legacy lives on through his son and grandsons and maybe one day his great granddaughter- all keeping the good reputation alive.


Celebrating Our Partnership with Casa Grande, in Honor of 100th Anniversary


ractor Supply Company has been dedicated to serving the rural lifestyle since 1938, founded on a set of missions & values that still drives our culture and business today. As the largest operator of rural lifestyle retail stores in the U.S., with more than 1,420 stores in 49 states, we are honored to have Casa Grande be an important part of our continued growth; through the addition of our distribution center and retail store in this great city. The Casa Grande distribution center is essential to the expansion of Tractor Supply’s store base in the Western states. We’re

thrilled to be working with the excellent local workforce, who share our commitment to service and hard work that’s needed to successfully operate this key facility. We would also like to thank the Casa Grande community for their welcoming hospitality. We greatly appreciate the dedication of local officials and partners that made these projects a reality. While this year marks a century of incorporation for Casa Grande, we believe it’s just the beginning of a prosperous future for this city, and Tractor Supply is proud to be a part of that. Congratulations to the City of Casa Grande on its centennial celebration!


ince 1938, we’ve been growing strong and delivering legendary customer service seven days a week. We thank our 21,000+ team members that work hard every day to make sure our customers find exactly what they need. The out here lifestyle comes with great rewards and a commitment to do whatever it takes. We open our doors each day ready to do just that. Learn more about our passion and find out how you can become part of our team at:




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The History of ROX Group


fter retiring from commercial real estate brokerage and investment in 200506, Rock Earle traveled the world for a few years. Tired from the road, he spent some time doing nothing until boredom set in, followed closely by global economic chaos. Desiring the more active environment of operating businesses, ROX Group (“Rock’s Group” - get it?) was created by Rock as a holding company for the various enterprises intended to be his re-entry into the world of commerce and industry. Since real estate brokerage was his primary business endeavor to date, when Mahoney Group decided they wanted out of that business, he accepted their gift and in 2008 a dozen or so of the area’s finest REALTORS® walked out of Mahoney’s door and into ROX Real Estate’s door. As you may recall, the second week of September 2008 was the real start of the Great Recession, with Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing. With the best environment and tools money could buy, ROX Real Estate held its own during the very rough initial few years of financial turmoil, aided by its great agents and the strong Canadian dollar and Canadian second-home purchases. During that time Rock re-invested in the asset category he knew best - commercial real estate - but restless for growth after a few years of waiting for real estate markets to recover, he created what became known as the ROX Manifesto: an idea to group consumer-oriented businesses in geographical islands (such as Casa Grande), together under a unique, ubiquitous and pervasive multi-media umbrella. To that end, in late 2011 the print media part of the Manifesto became real as the first issue of cgROX Magazine hit the streets. cgROX was meant to be not only a house organ for the ROX companies, but also


a serious voice of enterprise and progress, and was printed quarterly in an attractive, oversized format. Confirming the Manifesto’s eerie prescience, shortly following the second issue of cgROX, in March 2012 Casa Grande Insurance was bought by ROX Insurance Systems along with partners Douglas Morrow (Excel Risk Management of Edmonton, AB) and Houston-Taylor Group (Phoenix, AZ). Shortly thereafter, in July 2012, ROX Real Estate merged with the local Century 21 and Connie Rush’s Coldwell Banker Excel Realty to form Coldwell Banker ROX Realty. Finally, in late 2012 ROX Travel emerged as an independent travel agency, bringing ROX Group to its full complement of business activities as envisioned by Rock in the ROX Manifesto: real estate, insurance and travel agencies, covered by an umbrella of print marketing. In 2013 the format of cgROX Magazine was changed to a more mainstream size and circulation was accelerated to bi-monthly. Several issues later the name was changed to Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine, content was rounded out to be general interest, and the page count was doubled,tripled and quadrupled. In many ways, it truly has become “The Voice of the Community”. Since that time, the media division has gone on to add monthly racked and mailed Smart Shopper magazines, bridal fairs and other expos in Casa Grande and Prescott, Arizona, and a monthly racked Homes magazine in Prescott. So, in what will be remembered as the worst financial era since the Great Depression, ROX Group has gone from a gleam in one entrepreneur’s eye, to a fully-fledged business group occupying its rightful niche in its markets.



Hexcel Celebrates 50 Years in the Casa Grande Community


excel was founded more than 65 years ago by a couple of World War II veterans in the California Bay Area. Like many other companies, it started in a garage and was focused on making honeycomb materials for the U.S. military. Over the years, we’ve expanded and broadened

Hexcel Yesterday

our focus to composite materials and composite structures. Today, we still make some of the best honeycomb products in the world. But now our sales are even larger for fibers and fabrics pre-impregnated (prepregs) with a resin system. To make some of the best performing prepregs in the world, we also make our

Hexcel Today own carbon fiber, which is a key input in the prepregs. We also are expert weavers, another critical skill set in making aerospace and industrial composite products. Hexcel is a leader in advanced composites technology and innovation. We are a leading producer of carbon fiber, honeycomb, reinforcements, adhesives, and engineered products for commercial aerospace, space and defense, and industrial markets. Our customers include leading companies such as Boeing, Airbus and Safran. Currently, more than 5,700 people work for Hexcel globally. Hexcel is now in its 50th year of continuous operation in Casa Grande. We currently have approximately 321,000 square


feet of manufacturing space at the plant. In fact, Hexcel’s Casa Grande plant is the world’s largest producer of honeycomb for the commercial aerospace industry. One reason Hexcel located a plant here was the available workforce, the low risk zone, and few natural disasters. Casa Grande is one of 18 Hexcel manufacturing plants globally. Hexcel is very proud to be associated with Casa Grande over the years and looks forward to another 50 years. Please visit our website (see link below) for more information about Hexcel, including employment opportunities.


Coldwell Banker Professional Agents Donna Anderson

Robin Armenta

Sherry Balentine

Jim Beck

Sarah Campbell

Elaine Canary

Rock Earle

Brett Eisele

Kay Kerby

Keith LaVoo

Bea Lueck

Barbara Miller

Dave Miller

Sue Pittullo

Linda Pixler

Pree Powers

Doreen Riley

Connie Rush

Georgia Schaeffer

David Schlagel

Gretchen Slaughter

Joyce South

Dave Streicher

Annalisa Tapia

Cathy Taylor

Sandy Wascher

Charlie Weaver

Dawn Zimbelman

1919 N. Trekell Rd., Casa Grande


Š2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

For a world explored

J. Warren Funeral Services Four Generations in Casa Grande


he Warrens have been serving the needs of Pinal County residents since 1953 when Janet Warren’s father first took ownership of the Eloy Valley Chapel. After graduating from Mortuary School, Jerry Warren, who was born and raised in Eloy, and Janet took over the operation and began a lifetime of service to their community. Over the decades, countless things have changed, including customs and technologies. While J. Warren Funeral Services has kept pace with these changes, the principles, ethics and philosophies upon which it was built have remained steadfast. J. Warren Funeral Services is now a third generation family-owned business. Jerry and Janet’s son, Brandon, has been working as a funeral director in the family business for nearly twenty years. Their daughter, Tressii, also works for the firm. Even the couple’s grandchildren have started to get involved—the beginning of a fourth generation. As the business grew, they

acquired “Cole & Maud” funeral homes in Casa Grande and Coolidge, now known as The Gardens Chapel Cole & Maud on Florence Boulevard and Peart Road, and Cole & Maud Coolidge Chapel. Since 2000, the firm has owned and operated the Mt. View Cemetery in Casa Grande. Built adjacent to the cemetery in 2009, the Mt. View Chapel and Crematorium, features a state of the art crematory and preparation room, the only one of its kind in Pinal County. In 2013, The Serenity Gardens was added to the cemetery. This features a cremation garden,

granite pavilion, water feature and an above-ground mausoleum. The addition of The Gardens Chapel in 2004 allowed the Warrens to better serve large group events. The chapel alone is large enough to accommodate 150 people and has been the location for celebrations of life, church services, and weddings. Adjoining the chapel, in 2013 The Memory Garden was added. It is a 1900 square foot facility which provides expanded seating capacity and catering services to provide even more opportunities for gatherings. This facility, with a garden and patio, is open to families and local businesses for a variety of events, including celebrations of life, wedding receptions, christenings and company dinners. All of these amenities allow J. Warren Funeral Services to provide the families in the community a level of service above their expectations. They are committed to the continuation of their renowned service to ensure that they will remain in that position of trust.

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Lend Local Support Local

Shonessy House History by Harold Kitching


ome of the most elite and well respected businessmen in Casa Grande’s early history lived in this home. 1880’s W.C. Smith (owned one of the first stores on Main Street) 1900 – 1919 William F. Shonessy (on the inaugural five member town council) 1920’s Mr. & Mrs. Harry Fisher (mortician) 1933 – 1943 Don Chun Wo (Grocery Store Owner & Apartment Manager at the two- story, first cast-in-place concrete building that Mr. Shonessy built in 1913 on the corner next door to the home.) The home is an outstanding example of an early settlement style, adobe and wood construction house in Casa Grande. Although the original shingle roof has been replaced with corrugated metal and there are window changes at the rear, the building preserves most of its original integrity. The Casa Grande Dispatch reported on September 29, 1916 that “ Mr. Shonessy, who was never backward about improving his property, was having Nick Schweitzer lay a cement front porch and walkway.” The walkway was removed sometime after the 1982 Historic Property Survey was prepared. Historic Property Names are primarily chosen based on a resident’s significance in the community and length of time in the residence. Mr. Shonessy, a rancher and businessman, came to Casa Grande


from Cochise County at age 65 and resided here for the next 20 years. He was appointed by the County Board of Supervisors to the inaugural five-member town council. He was on the committee to draft Casa Grande’s original Articles of Incorporation. Often referred to as “one of the city’s best known and like citizens, he owned a considerable amount of property and business holdings. He is reported to have invested $5,000 in Victory Bonds during the life of the sale (US government issued bonds to raise money for our country’s involvement in World War I). Mr. Shonessy died in San Diego on March 4, 1922. The “Bulletin” reported on March 11, 1922 that he was a vet of the civil war and no man had a deeper reverence for flag and country. Good natured, big hearted and a reputation for square dealing

that was known all over Arizona. At present the property is owned by the City of Casa Grande. It’s located within the “Life on Main” project area along Main Avenue, recently approved by the City Council for a Master Plan development area. It has been reported that the two historic properties acquired at this location would be renovated and restored following completion of this plan. Prepared by: Marge Jantz, Historic Preservation Commission Member 7/20/12 Resources: SHPO Historic Property Inventory No. CG106, Casa Grande Valley Historical Society, Casa Grande Public Library Newspaper Archives, City of Casa Grande- Ben Bitter



[lēdər-SHip] noun: leadership the action of leading a group of people or an organization

Remember this? This graphic first appeared in our Summer 2014 Business Issue, and re-appeared, along with the results of the Leadership Survey in the subsequent Leadership and Holiday issues.

Progress Since those magazine issues, lots of forethought, discussion, planning and work have gone into our Leadership effort. Unknown to the average citizen, behind the scenes efforts continue to set this community on a more certain course toward a better future. Or, as we like to call it: progress.

Make it Better Our efforts have been disappointing in the sense that we see now how existing vested interests stand squarely in the path of progress. It’s one thing to hear this type of rhetoric in second-hand conversation or urban myths – it’s quite another to see it clearly, looming between our present and the better future we all want and deserve.

Elections So: what are we going to do about it? Well, we live in perhaps the greatest democracy of all time, and it is serendipitous that local elections are coming up soon – very soon – and we will become very involved in the upcoming elections. We are the peoples’ advocate for Progress, and we intend to Make it Better.

- Rock Earle




7 Years Ago Casa Grande Lost a Hero

We Will Never Sergeant Tate Lynch By Christie Lynch, Tate’s wife


gt. Tate Lynch left early in the morning for SWAT training on October 25, 2007. It was fall break for the schools so his family was not awake yet. He called his wife mid-morning to tell her that they would rent a movie and relax together that evening when he got home. That was the last time she would speak to him. That afternoon, the chief of police called her and said that there had been an accident and that Tate had been injured while rappelling at the detention center in Florence. He was pronounced dead that evening at the hospital in Scottsdale. His children were ages 6, 8, and 10. Tate had wanted to be a police officer from the time he was a small boy until he finally realized his dream in 1998. He had ridden along with his Tucson police


ate was the most positive, generous and Christ-like person I have ever known. His mental strength, which equaled his tremendous physical prowess, enabled him to shelter and protect his family, friends and the citizens he served from the evils of the world, ultimately giving his all and taking his fight for all of us to the spiritual realm.

I love and miss him dearly! — Chris Palmer Criminal Investigations Division Casa Grande Police Department


ate used to pick at me for responding shall we say, swiftly, to calls for service. So much so he took to calling me “Rocket” for about a year or so. One night I was in a pretty tough con-


frontation and was able to get out that I needed back-up over the radio. A short time later I heard an awful screeching of tires, followed by the sight of Tate’s face pale as a ghost. He later told me he was in such a hurry to get there to help me that he put his car sideways around the corner and thought he was going to go through a building. Needless to

officer father so many times growing up that he practically knew the job without even going to the academy. He excelled in his training and received Officer of the Year the very first year on the job. Police work was just in his blood. He transferred from Holbrook Police Department to Casa Grande Police Department

say that was the last time I ever heard him call me Rocket. Miss you Tate. — Juan De Leon Casa Grande Police Dept., Patrol Sgt.


gt Tate Lynch was great person, friend, Sergeant and family man. Many know when you were feeling low and had an issue, and if Tate came across your path during this time,

in 2001. Again, he was awarded Officer of the Year his very first year. Awards and commendations filled his walls. He promoted quickly to sergeant and became a leader who led by example. Tate was set apart by his exceptional skills and by his warm smile and caring attitude. Everyone knew they could count on Tate to catch the bad guys but also to listen to their personal struggles and to care about their families. One of Tate’s passions was teaching Sunday School at his church. He prepared lessons all week and used the animated stories from his job to illustrate spiritual truths. People were just drawn to him because he took a genuine interest in their lives. He not only talked about his faith in Jesus Christ, he lived it out. One time he made phone calls to Sunday School members from the back of the armored SWAT

he brought your spirits up because of his high spirits and positive attitude all the time! Tate converted bad words to his own G rated vocabulary having respect for others but mostly for himself and his beliefs. Sgt. Lynch was all about his faith, family and career. I know this because of our last words together. It was a Sunday morning,

he was getting off a graveyard shift and I was starting my day shift. We were on SWAT together at that time (October 2007). I was scheduled for vacation that upcoming week and we were also scheduled for SWAT training that week. I told Tate that I was taking the family up to the mountains and taking my boys fishing but that I that I would be back


Whole Again


I received a phone call that you were injured in a fall But I do not worry for our God will make you whole again I sat in the waiting room with countless friends as we waited to hear some news But I do not worry for I know our God will make you whole again

EOW 10-25-2007

I sit and wait with brothers in blue and friends from all over that love you But I do not worry for I know our God will make you whole again Your dad walked in and told us the news and in disbelief I cried as I heard the truth For our God our God has taken you home and made you Whole Again I miss you friend, — J.R. Lawson Casa Grande Police Department Badge #183 vehicle to see if they were coming to the pool party that weekend! It has been seven years since this community has lost this hero. His family, friends, and co-workers miss his smile, his laugh, his practical jokes, his energy, and his passion. We will never forget how he lived or how

for the training. Some of Tate’s last words to me were that I better not show up to training because family was more important, especially when I have schedule time with them. He also jokingly told me that if I showed up to he would make me pay, we laughed and separated our ways, and that was the last time we spoke. I forever wear “S25”

he died. He has left an amazing legacy of faith, love, and justice. He is greatly missed, this much and more. Article compiled by Elaine Earle; on October 25, 2007, our family lost a brother-in-law, uncle and friend. We will never forget.

on my arm. I know many miss such a one of a kind great person but we also learned many things from him from the time we had with him. We will never forget, “RIPTL25” — Mike Bejarano Casa Grande Police Dept., Badge #183


ate was more than a mentor, he was a friend. His love for God, Family, Job and Co-workers


was a shining example of how a man can be compassionate towards those he knew and those he did not know. Tate was the kind of cop that even when he handed you a ticket for speeding you thanked him, mostly for treating you with respect. — J.R. Lawson Casa Grande Police Dept., Badge #183


ate was a team mate, a brother, a friend, and a mentor. As a team leader on SWAT, I had the chance to see Tate grow from a young operator on the team into a solid SWAT Cop. Tate was one of those guys that everyone respected, and that you could not help but to like. He was “that guy” whom many of us really looked up to

as a man more than anything. He lived a righteous life, was strong and proud of his faith and what he believed in, and he loved his family more than anything in the world. Tate affected so many people in his life, and that is why we look to honor him as often as we can, both as a great man and a warrior. Tate was one of the best cops around, and

had a balance in his demeanor and decision making that many of us could only hope for. I know that Tate has a special place in heaven because he was such a special person here on earth, and I am thankful that I had Tate as a brother in arms while I did. — Lt. Matthew Thomas Pinal County Sheriff’s Office



Fitzgibbons Law Offices: A Pillar of the Casa Grande Community for Decades


n 1974, David A. Fitzgibbons, Jr., moved to Casa Grande (population 10,000) and began practicing law at Stanfield, McCarville, Coxon, Cole & Fitzgibbons. Mr. Fitzgibbons served a diverse base of clients, always seeking to provide a quality legal product, at a reasonable fee, in a timely manner. By 1986, Tom Cole left the firm to begin his own practice, Bill Stanfield retired, Frank Coxon became a judge in Pinal County Superior Court, and David Fitzgibbons opened his own law office on Cottonwood Lane at Kadota Avenue. One of Fitzgibbons’first employees was Lupe Mendez, who initially began working for David Fitzgibbons when she was fresh out of high school. Today Mendez is the firm’s office manager and lon-

gest-tenured employee. In 1987, he was joined by his older son, David III. In 1993 his good friend E.D. “Bud” McBryde, a former Pinal County Superior Court judge, came on board, as did Fitzgibbons’ younger son, Denis, who left the Snell & Wilmer law firm in Phoenix to practice with his father and brother in Casa Grande. The elder Fitzgibbons passed away in 1995 and was succeeded by his sons, David and Denis. From its earliest days, the Fitzgibbons Law Offices distinguished itself by the quality of its legal work, earning the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory’s highest rating for ethical standards and professional ability and securing a place in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. For more than a quarter of

a century the Fitzgibbons Law Offices has also been a resource of regional influence in Pinal County, selflessly devoting time and energy to civic affairs, promoting economic development, and helping to create opportunities for the citizens of the Casa Grande Valley. The Fitzgibbons Law Offices has long been the attorney for the City of Coolidge, and in 2003 Denis Fitzgibbons became the founding city attorney for the City of Maricopa and continues in that capacity today. As national and multinational corporations and Arizona entrepreneurs have joined Central Arizona’s business community, Fitzgibbons Law Offices has facilitated the growth and diversity of the area’s economic and employment base. Also, through their community leadership,

David A. Fitzgibbons Jr., 1930 – 1995

Fitzgibbons attorneys have consistently sought to promote the health of local charitable, cultural and human service institutions. As Casa Grande’s population grew to over 50,000, Fitzgibbons Law Offices grew as well. In 2009, Pinal County’s largest law firm built its current offices at Cottonwood Lane and Trekell Road, just a few blocks from its original location. Fitzgibbons Law Offices has a strong tradition as a training ground for future leaders in the legal community and for seeing its attorneys assume positions of leadership in the legal profession, serving as judges, court commissioners and city attorneys. In May 2015, attorneys who practice in Pinal County elected Denis Fitzgibbons to represent them on the State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors. Today, the firm continues its tradition of providing exceptional legal training, a strong ethical foundation and a talented support staff. Its attorneys provide a wide range of sophisticated legal services, to clients ranging from local families to major U.S. corporations, remaining faithful to the principle that David Fitzgibbons Jr. established over 40 years ago: providing a quality legal product, for a reasonable fee, delivered on a timely basis.

Top row: Gloria Auger, Kevin D. White, Robert M. Yates ; Bottom row: David A. Fitzgibbons III, retired Judge E.D. McBryde; Denis M. Fitzgibbons



November 19, 2008, Fitzgibbons Law Offices and Henry & Horne building

Fitzgibbons Law Offices staff groundbreaking, November 19, 2008

Construction of Fitzgibbons Law Offices and Henry & Horne building 2009

Another day at the office, Denis M. Fitzgibbons




Š2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Congratulations Casa Grande on your Centennial Celebrations!


e’ve made much of of that journey with you! The Tumbleweed Inn Started out over half-century ago in its present location as “The Fountains”, a small road-side watering hole along the busy Tuscon to Yuma highway. In the 1950’s, the highway was dotted with motels, restaurants, tourist attractions (and traps) and The Fountains was a small diner that catered to traveler as well as local residents. Over the ensuing years, it grew to be a tavern selling beer and spirits along with short-order foods. Now the Tumbleweed has undergone a complete transformation into one of the area “destinations” where customers can enjoy dining and dancing with live entertainment seven nights a week. Its reputation draws people not only from the local populace, but also from as far away as Tuscon, Phoenix and Florence - customers who augment the Casa Grande, Coolidge, Eloy and Arizona City patrons. The Tumbleweed strives to be a fun part of the community, also

Bill & Joyce Mowry Arizona City We think of the Tumbleweed Inn as our local ‘Cheers” bar - where everybody knows our name! It is a super friendly, fun place to enjoy a drink with friends and the menu is extensive and varied, so we never leave hungry!

Al & Marie Breese Casa Grande

hosting special evening, fundraisers, motorcycle events and other appeals for many children’s charities and others. It provides periodic refreshing changes of pace by offering special events like Elvis Nights, skits and revues and special appearances by wellknown artists. The Tumbleweed is open daily, twelve months of the year. However, as winter approaches and the winter visitors and others swell the area population, so grows the popularity of the Tumbleweed. A dedicated cadre of customers hails from nearby

Famous Friday Nigh Fish Fry

$12 All-you-can-eat Beer Battered Cod Served With Salad Now Open for Breakfast Friday, Saturday & Sunday Coldest Beer in Town!


Robson Ranch. Other RV parks and venues also help to make The Tumbleweed a hopping place every night of the week. From October through May, we encourage our customers to make advance reservations to ensure available seating. Look for advertising announcing special events and new theme nights that will feature food, costume and music related to the specified theme for the evening. Plan your week around Tumbleweed activities and reserve your chance to have a wonderful, memorial evening.

Good food, country music and dancing Friday is fish night with the Campbell Brothers - fantastic! When the snowbirds are in town, it’s a good idea to call ahead. Sunday is a 3pm jam session. We love it!

Judy & Virg Gottsch Robson Ranch Great place to kick back an have fun. Friendly people make for a fun evening. Music 7 nights a week! Now that’s unique for this area!

Lew Myrick Arizona City Good grub. Fun Dancing. Fantastic music. Friendly folks.

live muSiC SATURDAY DAYS A WEEK NIGHT SPECIALS 7Starting at 6pm BBQ riBS or Ground Steak

Served with a Baked Potato or Sweet Potato Fries, Veggies & Salad

Happy Hour martini SpeCialS MONDAYS 3 pm-7 pm Karaoke at 7:00pm with DJ Jim

The Campbell’s Performing Live! Friday 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Advance Reservations Available


3815 W. Frontier St. eloy JuSt minuteS From CG!


Are you a licensed Real Estate agent looking for a change? Or looking for a part-time weekend position?

We want to talk to you! Coldwell Banker ROX Realty is looking for experienced full and part-time agents. Your experience counts. A career in real estate offers new challenges, freedom from the 9 to 5 routine, and the opportunity to get paid what you are worth. The possibilities are endless. • Residential • Commercial • Land • Agricultural/Farm • Leasing • Property Management


1919 N Trekell Rd, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Send resume or letter of interest to: ©2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.




Tell Us Why You Love Casa Grande!

We asked our Facebook community to tell us “Why they love Casa Grande” here is the overwhelming response!

CG CHAT • By Darlene Moberly Five years ago I became an admin for the original Casa Grande Buy~Sell~Trade Facebook group. During that time, it became clear to me that a community forum group designed to promote Casa Grande and provide helpful information was needed. I wanted the group to be a positive place for people to get a myriad of information about our community, i.e., new businesses, events, jobs, available resources, reviews, etc. CG Chat was created in May of 2012. In doing so, I firmly believe the group has brought a great deal of awareness to our community and enabled many of us to make new friends. Social media is a powerful thing and it has given us a means to have a "one-stop" group to ask questions and get information that would have previously meant researching multiple sources to find. It has given me a real sense of community and shown me how many wonderful people we have in Casa Grande. The goal is to continue to promote the positives and encourage people to be proactive in helping one another and finding ways to contribute to this beautiful city.

Judy Kitching: I love CG because I have been welcomed here by my church, 1st Presbyterian, and the community at large. I have been here 10 years and this is my new home town. Great people and lots of interesting things for me to see and do. Melinda Nelson: I love living in Casa Grande because it isn’t just a location on a map. It is a living breathing growing entity and the people that live here are its heart. The people of this community amaze me on a daily basis. Just like a body, when one part is in need the entire body will run to its rescue and I see that SAME spirit in this city. When someone cries out in our community, I see people rushing to their rescue, even when they’ve never met them before. But because that person is a part of our community the heart of the community, our people, we truly care about them. Marsha Starr: Casa Grande has given me a second chance to start my life over. Three weeks after moving to Arizona,

my family was thrown to the streets and Casa Grande welcomed us, got us help and has supported our journey toward wellness. Jana Barnard: I love Casa Grande because it has grown so much while I have lived here for the past 11 years, yet still has the small town feel with the all nice people. We have a great community in town and online! Casa Grande is the best location in Southern Arizona because it’s so close to anywhere you want to go! Our community thrives on shopping local and supporting each other, not only in business, but also on a personal level. If you need help, you will find it here! I get so much community support from all of you with my new YouTube endeavor too! I have loved Casa Grande since I moved here and I am happy to be here! Happy Centennial Casa Grande! Debra Shaw Rhodes: Casa Grande became my home five years ago on May 31st, 2010. I have experienced many things since I made that move but the most important part has been becoming a part of a communi-


ty and given the opportunity to be involved. I come from Kansas City, Missouri and never had the opportunities that I have experienced in our big, little city. I love the bigness of our growth as we turn into a true city and I love the smallness of everyone knowing each other and working together to build our city. We have the best of both worlds right here in Casa Grande and we have Fay Don which is by all means a true part of our history. Heather Barnes Rivard: I love Casa Grande and all the wonderful memories it holds. Growing up in CG made me appreciate the small town feel, where everyone knew everyone and watched out for each other. Summers were hot but there was always the La Grande Pool to cool you off or The Otter Slide. There was always good food to be had. Little Sombrero, Ochoa’s, Ricardo’s, but man did I love Sophia’ s cheese crisps. My favorite celebration was Odahm Tash and the parade that came with it. Memories of my HOME town will always make me feel grateful for my roots. Home is where the heart is, and mine is

in Casa Grande.

Steve Petreshock: I like rush


Amber Horton: The reason why I love Casa Grande is not only my family and friends but it is the place I grew up in since I was a tiny newborn. I have met incredible people day in and day out growing up. Going to the Elks lodge all the time with my Dad and Grandfather every year. I am now 34 years old, and raising my kids here too. It’s a quiet, humble, gorgeous city; what’s not to love about the place? Dreya Sigarroba-Jaquez: Born & raised in CG and I love everything about it! Although I miss the places that have come & gone & had amazing memories at, like the original CGUHS. I also enjoy all the new things CG has gotten over the years! I never dreamed we’d get as big as we are today & I am still excited to see how CG will continue to grow little by little & year after year! Nora Phillip Maldonado: I love CG because I was born and raised here as were my 4 kids and many of the grandkids! I have so many great memories CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

of family get-togethers, births and friends! I had my wedding reception at the old Paramount theatre and it was great; I can still remember going to the movies as a young kid, the smell of the popcorn, the hot Jolly Ranchers, watching movies like Bonnie and Clyde, the Sinbad movies and Bruce Lee movies!!! The town is not big and noisy like Phoenix or Tucson but if you want the night-life it’s just a hop, skip and jump to get there, not to mention the casinos! You kind of still know all the old families that were here back then and people you went to school with. Up until a couple of years ago you could go to bed without locking your doors and knew all your neighbors! You weren’t afraid to let your kids ride their bikes outside or play in the streets! It’s changed a little bit but I would still rather raise a family here than anywhere else in the world! And 3 of my kids and their kids still live here so it must still be a great place to live! I love my home town! Gaby Hidde: I love Casa Grande because the community is welcoming and kind. Mark Allan Drost: I moved to Casa Grande 25 years ago. I grew up in Douglas, Arizona, but lived in Tucson and Columbus, Ohio for awhile, so moving here was moving to a town not as small as Douglas, but not as big as Tucson or Columbus. I moved here because my family was moving from Douglas, and I felt it was time to make a change, and “home” as I knew it was disappearing. I moved here because I was offered a job, but I ended up staying because of family. I “forgot” my aunt, uncle and cousins lived here, and although I only knew them so-well, they adopted me as a son and a brother. I found another family at St. Anthony’s Parish. I found another family with the people involved with Special Olympics. I found yet another family in the customers I dealt with at Tri-Valley Electric. I found family in the residents of Casa Grande. The list goes on-andon. The family members I have CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

in Casa Grande, have become the village that is helping my wife and I raise our daughter. That’s why I love Casa Grande. Michael Davila: Casa Grande is AWESOME! Sure we have our ups and downs as a community but we still have not lost the small town touch unlike the bigger cities of the valley. Regis Sommers: Life here in Casa Grande is in my heart and soul. My father, Dr. William Ford, was looking for the perfect place to call home, when Dr. O’Neil encouraged him to move to Casa Grande to join the Casa Grande Clinic. Both my parents loved Arizona as both came from cold hard winters in the East and Midwest. I am #7 of 9 siblings. I and my 2 younger sister were born here in CG. I grew up in a neighborhood and small town that was filled with life and laughter! My sisters and I traveled the world within the city limits. The desert around us was also our playground! Our friends traveled with us especially on Halloween. Patty Bowra: Thirty three years ago I came HOME! Coming into town on Pinal Avenue I knew this is where I was meant to be. Kelli Larkspur: I love Casa Grande simply for the reason that my 3 sons were born here (all at home in my bedroom) with their placentas each buried under a saguaro planted in honor of their births. (The saguaros are tall now!). My children have grown up here, all the memories of raising them in this community are here. I love this town because this is where we lived when my children grew up and we made all our memories. George Sanchez: I love Casa Grande and it’s an honor to be here serving under a worldwide Ministry Victory Outreach that has a burden to meet the needs of our community with A Message Of Hope. I see great potential in this city and have been here for 10 years. I Love My City. It is a privilege living and serving the city of Casa

Grande for 10 years reaching the lost and the hurting with a message of Hope. Donna Wilson McBride: I love Casa Grande because we have city leaders who embrace the future while respecting the past. We have opportunity to grow while still enjoying the “small town” attitudes, events, and traditions. I love walking down the street and knowing people- if not by name but by a familiar smile. Home is where the heart is...and my heart is in Casa Grande. Peter Redwine: I love Casa Grande because I grew up in suburbs and lived in big cities like Seattle & Minneapolis/ St. Paul. We moved here blind in 2007 for my job with Qwest/ CenturyLink and we’ve never looked back. The sense of community and social investment, frequently seeing our friends just out & about or even saying hi at the store to my customers whom I’ve had the privilege to serve in their homes gives this town a special place in our hearts. Dan Hoover: My wife and I moved here from Indiana after our 30th wedding anniversary and my retirement from Dana Corporation after 30 years. I was 48 and Peggy was 47. But truly we were reborn at the old age of 8 and 7. It was a new start, a new birth. We have been blessed to have been a part of Casa Grande for the last 18 years and always felt welcome here. It is our adopted and permanent home, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Trinity Lutheran Church is a very important part of our lives now where we can give back to the community that has given us so much. God Bless Casa Grande. Angela Wallace: I am a Casa Grande native and I love my city!! I love the hustle and busyness when our winter visitors are here because that means my birthday, and Thanksgiving dinner on the patio, the light parade & Christmas! And I love how everything slows to a crawl when the “Snow Birds” leave because that means ‘staycations’ - quick drive to Sunsplash

or Arizona Grand resort, lake trips and tan lines, fireworks at the park and lightning shows that can light up our world! There is so much to do and see here in our beautiful town! Mary Tompkins Burns: I live in CG because the community is quick to help people that are truly in need. Maryjane Sanchez: I came to live Casa Grande 5 years ago and was very home sick. I was back then trying to transition but HOME IS WHERE YOU MAKE IT AND CASA GRANDE IS HOME. It feels like when you go to grandmas and you feel so welcomed and loved and the cozy feeling you get when you come here. Julie Mikkelsen: The people! Casa Grande is full of the most amazing, caring, and giving people around. You can always find a friendly and welcoming face wherever you visit. Casa Grande Rocks!!! Miranda Jensen Byrne: I love Casa Grande because it feels like family. You get to know everyone and they become family. It has them good old Gems like no other town does like restaurants you can’t find other places, a great place to go shopping, and the Casa Grande ruins and things like Art in the Alley once a month, lots of community things and you can enjoy also climbing the Casa Grande Mountain, the aquatic center with a water slide. That’s just some of the things I like about Casa Grande and make forever lasting memories.

Andrea Denise Costales-Ortega: it has been my home for

39 years, born and raised here. I think back as a kid, the saying everyone knows everyone, it was hard to act up as child because Casa Grande is and was a tight-nit community. If you needed help, there was always someone willing to help. I watched how as a kid and beyond, how much our community has grown, but I’m so extremely glad we still have some of the same mom-and-pop shops here. Casa Grande is my home and i am raising my kids in this beautiful town with extremely amazing people!!


Guarantors Lose Anti-Deficiency Protection on Arizona Residential Loans by David A. McCarville, Partner at Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C.


n May 28, 2015, the Division One Appellate Court decided the case of AZ Bank v. James R. Barrons Trust, et. al. and ruled that while borrowers on a loan to purchase residential property may still be protected from a deficiency judgment under A.R.S. 33-814(G), a guarantor who expressly waives anti-deficiency protections may be liable to the lender. Before we dive into what that may mean to existing guarantors on residential loans that are currently under water, some background may be helpful to understanding this ruling.

What is a deficiency judgment? Arizona, unlike most states, has an anti-deficiency statute that essentially protects owners of a single family home, on 2.5 acres or less, from the threat of a deficiency lawsuit by the lender when the lender forecloses and the value of the home at the time of the foreclosure is less than the market value. Sound familiar? This scenario played out throughout the country during the recent recession, which was particularly disastrous for residential homeowners and lenders. Here in Arizona, lenders who took back residential properties through a foreclosure, most commonly a


trustee’s sale, were not able to obtain a judgment against the borrowers for the difference between the balance of the outstanding loan and the value of the home at the time of the trustee’s sale. An illustration of this may be helpful--let’s imagine it is 2009 and the lender has just completed a trustee’s sale to take title to the home from the borrowers. The outstanding loan balance on the home is $350,000, but the home’s value has dropped to $200,000. In most other states, the lender would be able to take the property back through a foreclosure action and also obtain a deficiency judg-

Mr. McCarville focuses his practice on real estate, litigation, estate planning, trusts and probate. Mr. McCarville can be reached at (480) 609-0011 or by email at The information contained in this column is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal or tax advice. If you have any questions regarding the topics discussed here, you are advised to contact an attorney or tax adviser. continued on page 127...


Thomas A.“Tom” McCarville Sept. 19, 1933 - June 11, 2015


homas A. “Tom” McCarville, age 81, died June 11, 2015 after a brief illness. Tom is survived by his wife, Jean “Jeannie”; seven children: Ken (Pam) McCarville, John (Melanie) McCarville, Kirk (Beth) McCarville, Jeannine (Jay) Swartwout, Megan McCarville, Amy (Tony) Tutrone and David (Judy) McCarville; four stepchildren, whom he accepted as his own: Katie (Jeff) Krueger, Patrick (Mia) Maley, Christie (Scott) Davis and Steven Mathews; 20 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, seven brothers and sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews. Tom was born on September 19, 1933, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the fifth boy of eight children, in the height of the Depression, and grew up on a farm in nearby Moorland. He served in both the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army, and was a disabled veteran of the Korean War. Tom attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and earned his doctorate in law from the University of Arizona. Tom practiced law in Pinal County, Arizona, for over 50 years. He was the kind of man that you could not help liking – congenial, outgoing, and always cordial. His practice involved criminal, civil, agricultural, water, commercial, banking, and real estate law. He represented many Arizona legends, both notorious and famous, including Frank Eyman (former Arizona State Prison Warden), the artist Ted DeGrazia, and many others. He wrote case law, had many law partners elected to superior court judge, and traveled to many countries while representing clients’ interests. While practicing law, he also raised wheat, cotton, cattle, and kids. He has and deserves a reputation of competence and integrity, and is liked and respected by other lawyers and the judges before whom he has practiced. He is now presiding in a bigger courtroom. Tom was a founding member of the Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation. He was closely involved in local politics, acting as city attorney for many Pinal County cities, including Eloy, Mammoth, Florence, Kearney, and Superior, and serving on the election committee of the first Hispanic governor of Arizona, Raul Hector Castro. He served on the Eloy School Board, the Central Arizona College Foundation Board, the Bank of Casa Grande Board of Directors, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center Board, and the Board for the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society. He was also past Chairman of the Casa Grande United Way Fund Drive and was past Chairman of the Saguaro District of the Boy Scouts of America. Tom was particularly proud that May 4th was proclaimed “Thomas McCarville Day” in


Casa Grande, Arizona, by Mayor Robert M. Jackson in 2009. This was in recognition of and appreciation for all Tom has done for the people of Casa Grande. In 2011, Tom and Jeannie moved to Florence, Oregon, where he enjoyed his men’s Wednesday discussion group. He was active in the local VFW chapter, and volunteered with the Vets Helping Vets HQ organization. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Dunes Catholic Church, 85060 Highway 101 S., Florence, Oregon. Burns Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Another funeral mass will be held on Saturday, August 1, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 100 Main St., Moorland, Iowa, with burial following at the Moorland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation, 602-290-9195, or send messages to the family at Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc., CA# 991, 200 W. 2nd Street, Casa Grande, AZ 85122.


DEAR FRIEND: If you’ve ever thought about going to a chiropractor but you’ve hesitated because you weren’t sure it was right for you, please read on… My name is Dr. Brett Stewart. This summer, we will be celebrating our Two Year Anniversary in Casa Grande. To show my appreciation, I HAVE AGREED TO “GIVE AWAY” (TO ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR IT) $250 OF MY SERVICES FOR ONLY $30 – THAT’S RIGHT, $30. Since I began practicing, I’ve helped many people feel better and live healthier, more productive lives through chiropractic care. And now I’d like to introduce even more Casa Grande residents to the many benefits our profession has to offer. For instance, chiropractic care may be able to help you if you’re suffering from any of the following conditions: • Migraine headaches • Lower back pain • Numbness or soreness in your arms or legs

• Constant fatigue: lack of energy • Muscle spasms, sprains & strains • And a whole host of other problems ranging from dizziness to ringing in the ear. These symptoms can be caused whenever the vertebrae in your spine are out of alignment because these “misalignments” directly affect your nervous system. Fortunately, if you are suffering from any of these problems or similar affliction right now, they can be relieved or eliminated by proper chiropractic treatment (commonly called an adjustment.) So, if you’ve always wanted to “check out” chiropractic care and see what it can do for you, now is the best time to do so because… WHAT DOES THIS OFFER INCLUDE? EVERYTHING. Take a look at what you will receive… • An in-depth consultation about your health and well-being • A complete chiropractic spinal examination

• A full set of specialized X-rays to determine if a misalignment in your spine is causing your pain or symptoms… (NOTE: nobody gives these kinds of X-rays away free; they would normally cost you at least $250) • An analysis of your X-rays and spinal exam results to see what needs to be done to help relieve your problem • Helpful literature that shows you how your body works and why you experience pain • Answers to all your most probing questions about chiropractic care and what it can do for you… The appointment will not take long at all. And like I said, I normally charge $250 for this (most of which just covers the full set of X-rays). But for now, as part of this special offer, you can come in and find out for certain if you need chiropractic care and how it might help you eliminate the pain you are feeling. DOES CHIROPRACTIC REALLY WORK? Listen to these comments from a few of my patients…


After an automobile accident several years ago, I have dealt with mid back pain. Whenever I would spend time using my computer or doing my crafts for more than 20 minutes, I would have headaches and right wrist pain from holding a crochet hook or needle for my beading crafts. I would try and relieve some of the pain by using a massage shiatsu cushion I bought to help relieve the pain. It would help a little but never solved the problem. After several years of limiting the things I enjoyed, I decided to try Chiropractic. I came to Dr. Stewart’s clinic and have been following the treatment program he recommended. Not only has my back pain decreased but I now have no problem with my wrist or headaches from typing on the computer. I am once again returning to doing my beading and crocheting as well as other crafts I have enjoyed in the past. Once again I can enjoy the creating of crafts and things I love to do without the discomfort of back, wrist or headache pain. Thank You Dr. Stewart. Kittie K. -------My husband and I both began seeing Dr. Stewart in early March of this year. The main complaint for me at the time, was the inability to move my neck freely and without pain. Several treatments later, it was beginning to move as it should. The biggest concern I had with not being able to move my head properly was when driving, I had to turn my whole body in order to be able to see. In May, my husband and I started on what would be a 6,000 mile trip by car. By the time we started our trip, I was able to turn my head without turning my whole body. There was also no pain. Without chiropractic treatments, I’m not sure we would have been able to

GUARANTEE OF GREAT SERVICE Obviously, I cannot guarantee results. No one can. But there is one guarantee I can give you and that is a guarantee to give my best effort. Plus, if I do not think I can help you, I will tell you and refer you to another specialist who might be able to help.




Call anytime between the hours of 8-12 and 2-5:30 Monday, Wednesday & Thursday and 8-12 on Friday. Tell the receptionist you would like to come in for the Special Introductory Examination running through September 15. I expect to get flooded with appointments for this event, so please call as soon as possible to assure Includes Consult, Examination & X-Rays. that you do not miss out. Expires 9-15-15. Certain limitations may Thank you very much and I look forward to apply. See office for details

New Patient Exam

make our trip, since it was my job to do all the driving.

Barbara W. ----------HOW DO YOU SAY THANK YOU!? In January 2015, I came down with a severe pain condition, so painful that I was unable to walk or sleep. A friend suggested that I visit Dr. Stewart for treatment. He even made an appointment for me the same day. Needless to say, I was not too convinced but I decided to give it a try. I had an X-ray that pointed out exactly where some of the problems were and Dr. Stewart also indicated that he felt that I also could have a case of Trochanteric Bursitis as well. Perhaps due to my R.A. which had plagued me for a good 5 years, I was unable to sleep, walk and in extreme pain. Not knowing for sure what my ailment was, I decided to go home to Canada to see my rheumatologist. He had an MRI done which confirmed that I had a severe case of Trochanteric Bursitis. Cortisone shots in my knee and hip joint did not seem to work, but I had been warned that it could take some time before the shots became effective. After a series of treatments [with Dr. Stewart], I am now TOTALLY free of painfrom both the bursitis and fibromyalgia-and can now walk, pick up things on the floor etc. Also, I am able to get out of bed without help and/or pain and even walk without any support. HOW BEAUTIFUL IS LIFE?! I am thankful for the friend that introduced me to Dr. Stewart AND A THOUSAND THANK YOU’s to Dr. Stewart. I am so grateful for his care. I cannot go away without thanking Stefanny and Syara for their smiles and competence. Now I am going back home with no pain. Jacqueline P.

LIMITED TIME OFFER Obviously, with an offer like this, I cannot afford to do it for very long, so I picked now through Sept., 15, 2015. If you would like to take me up on my offer to see what chiropractic can do for you, all you have to do is call our office and set up an appointment. trying to help you get rid of your pain so you can start living a healthier and more productive life. Sincerely, Dr. Brett Stewart

1415 N. Trekell Rd, Ste. 101 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 (520)509-6160 Due to insurance regulations, Medicare and some other insurances may be excluded from this offer. Copyright 2015/AMC

Palmer Graduate

continued from page 124... ment against the borrower for the difference, which in our illustration would be $150,000. Until this recent decision, it was generally understood that this protection typically extended to guarantors, as well as to borrowers. So why did the Court distinguish between the Borrowers and the Guarantors? The Appellate Court determined in the Barrons case that the borrower was a limited liability company (TDJ Land Investments, LLC) and that the guarantors (comprised of several individuals and entities) had expressly waived any protection from the anti-deficiency statute when they signed unconditional loan guarantees. While the borrower was protected by the anti-deficiency statute, the guarantors were not, and the bank can collect from the guarantors. The attorneys for the guarantors argued unsuccessfully that, as a matter of public policy, the anti-deficiency protections under A.R.S. 33-814(G) apply to both

borrowers and guarantors and cannot be waived. Now what? If you or someone you know is currently a guarantor on a residential loan or is contemplating becoming a guarantor on a residential home loan where the value of the home is less than the market value, then it would be wise to consult with a real estate attorney to determine your exposure to a potential deficiency judgment. The good news for guarantors of loans on residential property that were foreclosed upon in the past recession is that lenders had a very narrow window of time within which to file a lawsuit to obtain a deficiency judgment. Most of these potential deficiency claims are now be barred by the statute of limitations. Going forward, guarantors should be aware that what was commonly perceived by the legal community as protection for guarantors as well as borrowers may no longer apply based on this new case law.

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(520) 836-9685 • 325 E. Cottonwood Lane • CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION


The Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center History and Future by by Jim Rhodes, Long time small business advocate


he history of Casa Grande reveals it as a business draw and as a business hub. The City of Casa Grande beginning back in the days of primarily agriculture has long been a draw for business activity. Where citizens gather is also where needs are shared and common solutions are developed. As a business hub at some point in time Casa Grande went from being a place to meet and became the place to meet. The history of Casa Grande is the history of entrepreneurship. Casa Grande supported free markets and free minds before that became an entrepreneurial catch phrase. When and where did we start with assistance to developing businesses and what have we learned over the years? The Association of Small Business Development Centers was formed in 1979 by an act of Congress. Arizona became part of the assistance network in 1988. Business has changed dramatically in the last 35 years beginning with the introduction of new technologies and moving on a continuum to the expansion of global trade. And America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network has been there throughout — helping small businesses succeed, and helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve the American dream of owning their own business. Celebrating 35 years doesn’t mean looking back, it means looking to the next 35 years. In the early years when starting a business, business leaders concentrated on the technical aspects such as licensing, choosing a name or renting a storefront. Today they are concerned with their product and/or service message and how to get buyers to hear it. The backbone of a new business is the process that successfully develops revenue. The concepts of customer service are as important today as they were 35 years ago or 100 years ago. We still

believe that it is important to keep every customer we have; get new customers; get as much revenue from each customer as legally possible; and spend some time each business day mentally recapping what we have done and what has worked best. How has the role of the business leader changed? The SBDC has been in existence in Pinal County for about 25 years helping business leaders. In keeping with the thrust of this article, the SBDC has seen a number of identifiable events in its history. However, the most interesting history is not in functions of the SBDC but instead is in the activities of the business owner population. As we look back over the 35 years of the SBDC program, it is with the SBDC clients that the creativity and willingness to take risks resides. We are actually celebrating the evolution of our client business owners rather than the evolution of our bureaucracy. Look at the big picture facing business leaders in the immediate future. According to German consultant Ranier Strack, the labor supply and labor demand for the largest economies in the world, representing more than 70 percent of world GDP will face a global workforce crisis by 2030. Looking at different skill levels, on top of an overall labor shortage, we will face a big skill mismatch in the future, and this means huge challenges in terms of education, qualification, upskilling. When we say 2030, were not talking about an abstract number. We’re talking about a timeframe when people who are in school today will be entering the workforce in 15 years. We’re talking about issues that will need to be resolved in a period of time that includes early years in school and entry into the workforce for the very workers who will be dealing with the issues. Over the next few years we may not be developing the ultimate solutions


to these issues. However we will be developing the leaders who will create the solutions or who will be educated to address the issues in the future. The performance differences by which businesses may be identified and ranked rests with leadership rather than with rote completion of technical tasks. From “20 paces at a trot” most businesses may appear similar when we look at their performance of routine tasks. However when we measure the performance of a fully engaged leadership competing in a market of similarly hungry business executives we can feel the excitement of the hunt. Technological changes have made possible the distribution of human capital or “people” to speed up identification of opportunity and the development of strategies to take advantage of the opportunities. For example, in one large US chemical company the use of communications technology to back time and cost out of the customer relations and ordering process resulted in a revenue increase of 10% for one region over 12 months. The increased dollar value was $84 million realized from a technology equipment investment of $250,000. Bottom line is that the technology investment would’ve been worthless without an enlightened leadership to implement it and continually improve it. The coverage and effectiveness of our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been enhanced by its relationship with Central Arizona College (CAC). Community colleges in Arizona were developed to provide a quicker response to the changing needs of the business community and the populations that they served. CAC does that in spades. It supports and is well represented by a cadre of capable academic leaders. In addition by the organization and distribution of its personnel resources it is literally an integral part of each area of

the greater community that it serves. Through a variety of initiatives CAC has long maintained an environment for student success. Beginning down in the ranks of middle schoolers CAC has worked to make a college education affordable for those willing to make the commitment. Through flexible course and program offerings CAC has made entrepreneurship a viable and in many cases exemplary education and career path for interested students. CAC is embedded in many activities of community life in Pinal County. It assists in compounding the intellectual property of local businesses, civic organizations, charitable organizations and other public and private institutions. It is through these collaborative partnerships that CAC is able to enhance workforce and economic development in Pinal County. For those wishing to continue educational development beyond accredited courses, CAC offers lifelong learning opportunities for both the internal and external college community. The college is also an important fiscal resource for the SBDC and its business owner client population. The college makes available offices and meeting rooms along with operating dollars. In addition many of the college academic offerings complement the business training available through the SBDC. Further the SBDC is routinely invited to participate in CAC academic data collection and planning. So you can see the SBDC is routinely positioning itself to address the challenges of an evolving business community. We look forward to helping our local Pinal County business leadership to prepare for competition on the world stage. The international business community may sometimes appear to be moving into Pinal County in fits and starts. The bottom line is when business opportunities are ready for us we will be well prepared to engage.


Thank You to everyone who entered our Facebook Photo Contest!


8 9 3 1 E C

Improvement Comes With Age by Lisa J. Atkinson


any things get better with time. For instance, my husband enjoys extra sharp cheddar cheese, which is aged three to four times longer than mild cheddar. An athlete’s skill and endurance improves with time spent in practice. People also improve with time. Few would argue that with age, one gains maturity and wisdom. Certainly, the City of Casa Grande has aged well. Similarly, Casa Grande Insurance has matured and improved in its thirty-two year history. The agency was born in 1983. The original owner was Stuart E. Rasmussen, known and loved by many as, “Stu”. His insurance career began in Illinois, but after he and his family moved to Casa Grande, he opened an office downtown, on Florence Street. His business was a fixture in the community until it was moved to Cottonwood Lane in 2005. Although Stu decided to retire in 2002, he couldn’t resist popping in and out of the office to lend a

hand and see how things were going. Stu passed away in 2008. The second owner of the business was Michael P. Johnson. After working for many years as a captive insurance agent, he directed his energy and enthusiasm toward making Casa Grande Insurance more visible to the growing population. After relocating the office to Cottonwood Lane, he hired additional agents and expanded the pool of insurance companies the agency could offer. This positioned the agency for success. Still he kept focus on the clients and providing excellent service. Mike still enjoys the winter months in Arizona, but spends much of his time in northern Minnesota, fishing Lake Vermilion for walleye. Today, the offices of our agency are located at 442 W. Kortsen Rd., Ste. 101. We are more readily known as Rox Insurance, since our legal name is: Rox Insurance CG, LLC dba Casa Grande Insurance Agency. Currently, the agency is owned by local entrepreneur, real estate


agent and world traveler, Rock Earle (see ROX Group history on page 102). His partner, Doug Morrow, hails from Edmonton, Canada. Doug’s area of expertise is commercial risk management. Their combined business acumen, experience and forward thinking has served the agency well. As the city has expanded its boundaries and the residents have fanned out into different new housing communities, the agency is better placed to continue to serve its clients and be able to grow. We still enjoy getting to know our clients. We want to recognize them when we go to the grocery store or the post office. At the same time, we know that many folks are just too busy to make a face to face appearance in our office. With the passing of time, more and more of our customers come to us by way of an e-mail request for insurance and we are happy, as well as equipped, to do business this way. As technology has changed, we have adjusted. Our client base can be found anywhere in Arizona.

We have many clients who are part-time residents of our sunny state. We also find satisfaction in assisting Canadian residents with their U.S. insurance requirements. We are confident that we can assist anyone who has an insurance need in Arizona. Between three agents, we can boast 39 years of collective insurance experience. I am currently the acting office manager and handle both personal and commercial insurance. Irene Rayrao specializes in personal lines and Cindy Garcia focuses on Commercial, although you will catch her hands in personal lines as well. We also boast one of the most talented, friendly, customer service representatives to be had, Rosie Rodriguez. We invite and welcome you to contact us. We appreciate that there are multiple means and ways to shop for insurance. We are confident that if you give us the opportunity to provide an insurance quote, you will not be disappointed. You will never leave emptyhanded…even if all you take away is a smile.


At ROX Insurance, you'll find companies you can trust. We are an Independent Insurance Agency with Over 20 Carriers That We Use to Find the BEST Insurance Quote for You!


520-836-7660 OR 800-690-7660


The Gene Yang Gang:

Celebrating the Life by Janelle Horsley, DDS., Gene Yang’s daughter



ne thing I can recall quite clearly about Dr. Gene Yang was his asking me questions while he was probing around my mouth with a tool. I always thought that was pretty funny, and I think he thought so too -- he had that understated type of sense of humor. Gene was a fantastic doctor who really cared about his patients. I am thankful to have had a dentist of his quality and kindness, and that tradition has continued with [Dr. Janelle], Dr. Julie

and Dr. Phil. — Ed Petruska


anelle, I have always been a source of stories and anecdotes of outdoor adventure with your father, the Great Gene Yang. If you will indulge me a chance to deviate from this expected path. Your father was always a gung-ho participant in anything that would give him great physical challenge in the outdoors. But I also had the privilege to see many acts of the Good Samaritan. While I was always a person who would


willing get involved when someone was in obvious need of help your father was acutely sensitive to helping people who could just use a hand or a bit of support. He raised the bar for everyone around him to be the helping hand to anyone he detected might need help. He was first to offer his last bike tube, his spare tool, his last bottle of water, food or just ‘ride in” for someone who was ‘Hitting the Wall” even if it meant sacrificing his own result, part of this was possible because he was always well

ave you seen bicyclists, runners, or hikers wearing their Gene Yang Gang jerseys around town? The GYG was founded on February 12, 2010, the day my dad left this world behind and entered Heaven’s gates. The GYG meets every year at Picacho Peak to remember that day. His friends wanted to honor his legacy: My dad would find any reason to enjoy the outdoors that he loved so much. He once

prepared. He was the kind of guy that for the fun of it, would pay the park entrance fee to the Grand Canyon of the car behind him just to see the occupant’s amazement. There are situations in his personal life and professional life that demonstrate this same caring constitution to which he never drew attention. He was as an amazingly kind and caring person. He made the rest of his friends step up their game. He helped all of us, his friends, be better people.

hiked 5 mountains in one day. He put thousands of miles on his bike. As a dentist, he worked to create sparkling smiles. He loved to surprise people by picking up their check at a restaurant, or sneaking into their house to install a new TV for Christmas! He found joy in every aspect of life. February 12, 2010 was an uncannily mild winter Friday. It was sunny with blue skies. I remember, because as soon as I received the call from my dad’s good friend Wes Baker, I

For this is how will I always remember him, and deeply value his friendship. — Eric Wilkey


ou know this, your dad was one special man. Quiet but when he spoke you knew you needed to listen. He did not waste his words. I remember he called me one day when we were still in Tucson. It was the middle of the week and he called to tell me he was headed to Tucson to see his parents and did I have time to go for a ride. The answer was of

course. I dropped everything and We met at Honey Baked Ham on Oracle and Ina where he had just had lunch with his folks. From there we saw his folks off then we took off for 2 hours of good, hard riding. Not many words exchanged (we were working so hard), just the sounds of our bikes purring beneath us as we hammered to Saddlebrook and back late on a fall afternoon. I miss the long rides with Wes, John, Eric, Kenny and Gene. When Gene hit the front of our pace line I was


of Gene Yang

always grimacing hoping I could hold his wheel; as he pulled off the front, always that little smile letting us know he had thoroughly enjoyed dishing out a little pain -in a good sort of way. He also had a tendency to sneak away from the table during a meal and when it came time to pay, we would learn Gene had picked up the tab (something he and Wes loved to do). Hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim or cycling to Picacho Peak and climbing to the top, then riding home. I miss

truck and only suffered a left knee injury, cuts, and scrapes. He soon returned to dental practice, and we now have two beautiful sons. It’s been 5 years since we said goodbye to my dad, but we will never forget. Every day with Phil and our boys is a bittersweet reminder of that miraculous day. In the midst of incomprehensible loss, we have hope. Anyone can be a member of the Gene Yang Gang. It’s easy - just aspire to leave this world better than you found it.

him, Janelle. And I, and we, are so much better to have had him for the time that we did. He and Greg (Brecher) both. Good men, good dads, good friends. He made us all better people. Take care. — Kevin Burns


very morning when I get up I see Gene Yang. It is only a photograph of him displayed in one of our book cases in our bedroom but it has the effect of taking me back a few short years ago when I was with Gene at least once a week . Every Friday morning I drove into


Gene’s driveway at 5:30 A.M. to pick him up for our weekly climb up Signal Peak outside of Casa Grande. We hiked to the top regardless of the weather and always remarked to each other how lucky we were to stand on the summit of a fairly steep desert mountain and watch the sun come up. We laughed that New Yorkers did not know what they were missing! Gene was not big on conversation but I knew he loved those hikes as much as I did. My hiking buddy


ran outside and pleaded to the helicopter flying overhead that the news wasn’t true. The news, of course, was that a freight train had collided with my dad’s F-250. My dad, Gene Yang, had been hunting javelina near Newman Peak with my husband, Phil Horsley. On their way home, at an unmarked crossing, authorities think he was checking the opposite direction when their truck crossed the tracks. My dad died on impact, but miraculously, my sweet husband was thrown from the

5 Year Tribute

has been gone now for five years. I wonder what kind of mountain Gene now is hiking and what, like the New Yorkers, am I missing. At least till I meet up with Gene again. — John Skelley


ive years ago on February 12, 2010 my friend Gene Yang died in an accident on a beautiful afternoon in view of Picacho Peak and Neuman Mountain. I miss him every day. We humans struggle to fully understand the eternal aspect of our lives, but this

much we know, our life is a gift from God. When the mortal season of our lives comes to its end our fleshly seed will fall into the ground and through Faith in Jesus Christ our eternal spirit will arise to join Jesus Christ forever in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. It is this knowledge of the Truth of Gene’s new heavenly home that allows me to fully be thankful for his love and friendship with a clear sense of hope and joy in knowing that we will all see him again and bask in the presence

of his love. To paraphrase Gene’s extraordinary friend Eric Wilkey, “As each of us travel towards the summit of this mortal life to the gateway of heaven we know when we arrive to the eternal city of God our friend Gene will be waiting close to Jesus to welcome us home.” Thank you Gene for your love, for your goodness, for your smile and for pouring your life into all of us in all the important ways! I love you Gene. Amigos Para Eternidad, — Wes Baker


Five Generations in Casa Grande by Fred Tucker


oesn’t it seem like everyone you meet that is NOT from Casa Grande, asks you how you ended up in this dusty, beautiful little town? Here begins the story of how Fred Tucker’s family history in Arizona began. Back in the 1930’s, two twin brothers married two twin sisters (for real) and began their trek

West due to the health condition of one of the brothers. This was the Dismuke family. My great grandfather, Henry Dismuke, served in WWI and also served as prison guard at a Japanese internment camp during WWII. Henry and his wife, Dovie, had a lot of children including my grandmother, Ouida. Not far behind the Dismuke’s

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So, what’s important to you? Contact us today for a face-to-face appointment to discuss what’s really important: Your goals. Fred Tucker

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442 W Kortsen Rd Ste 103b Casa Grande, AZ 85122 520-836-0917



were the Carlile’s but they were headed to California. They had car trouble in Casa Grande, found the city very welcoming and liked it enough to call it home. My great grandfather, Clarence Carlile worked in Agriculture and retired as Farm Foreman for Marvin Pate. Clarence was married to Gertrude had two children, CJ & Helen. CJ Calile and Ouida Dismuke eloped to Florence to get married because Ouida’s father said they were to young to marry. CJ served in the Army during WWII and then returned to Casa Grande to work for Pinal County Highway Dept. for 42 years. My grandma Ouida worked as a plant Manager at Champion products, which was in the same location as the current Post Office. CJ & Ouida had two children Jim and Betty (my Mom). The Tucker family showed up in the 1950’s when my dad’s uncle, Ray Tucker, opened an A&W Root Beer Stand on Florence Blvd. (in the building today known as 3 G’s Flowers). My father, Fritz Tucker, who was Ray’s nephew, came out for a visit and never left again other than to serve in the military as a dog handler in Okinawa and Viet Nam. My dad worked as an accountant at various companies before opening Fritz Tucker Accounting. Any lady in town that met Fritz Tucker would know him by his familiar greeting, “Hello Pretty Lady”. Fritz met my mother, Betty Carlile and it was love at first site. They were married for 45 years, parted only by my fathers death due to complications from ALS in 2011. They had two children, me and my sister, Kerry Dee Davenport. We both graduated from Casa Grande Union High School. Kerry married Dave Davenport and they have one daughter, Mabry. I graduated from Union

in 1991, and went to CAC for one year before going on to NAU to finish my degree. I met my beautiful wife, Kim, in Flagstaff while in college. Kim and I were married in 1995. Directly out of college I was offered a job with US West Communications. I accepted and went on to work for them for 10 years. After leaving Qwest, my wife and I opened our own business, Tucker Contracting, doing underground utilities. We operated Tucker Contracting successfully for 5 years. During my time at Qwest, we were blessed with two children, Gage and Garret who both also graduated from CGUHS; 2014 and 2015 respectively. This year as I sat in the stadium watching the graduating class of 2015 parade around in their blue and gold cap & gowns, I turned to my family and friend who came to share this momentous occasion with me and I could not hide the fact that I was proud that my two boys and I now share the pride of growing up in Casa Grande and graduating from Casa Grande Union High School. If you’ve spent any time with me, I have most likely mentioned that I am a proud 4th generation Casa Grandian; oh I can hear my wife mocking me as I type these words. No matter how many time my wife and buddies razz me in good fun, my pride in unwavering. Gage went to CAC last year but will be transferring to ASU for further studies. Gage is highly motivated to serve his country, but that may have to wait until after college. Garret will be attending Glendale Comm. College to continue his education and play football. My wife, Kim worked as a manager at the GAP until it closed. She stays active in the community by coaching a girls youth volleyball team. Currently I serve on the continued on page 142...

Member SIPC






Branham’s Exterminating Company, Inc. P. O. Box 12004 • 820 W Cottonwood Lane #8 • Casa Grande, Az 85130


he journey began in November 1982 for the Branham Family in Casa Grande Arizona. Before coming to Casa Grande we had been exterminating in Benson and Phoenix, Arizona. AAA was the company we started with. They had already started a route in Casa Grande when we arrived but had few customers. Joe worked very hard to build relationships with the realtors and contractors. Joe and Debbie Yost and Alice Johnson McKinney just to name a few. The city was small and easy to make friends as our business grew. Joe did all of the hands on work building a client base while I was the bookkeeper, router, and answered the phone. It was so much fun every time we would go out to dinner Joe knew

everyone in the restaurant but I recognized every voice (that still happens today!) Our company grew out of our home office for many years……. Roy Melick was one of our first and longest employees. He has a faithful customer list that now are just family. We joke and say if Roy retires then we will have to as well! As the city grew so did our business. We spent 3 years in the building on Pinal and McMurray. When the giant real estate boom hit Casa Grande we joined forces even more and built our mall on 820 W Cottonwood Lane. We love this location and are happy to be working with all the people there. Our company has enjoyed sponsoring many activities over the years. Seeds of Hope, Against Abuse, Home of Hope,


Branham’s Exterminating Co., Inc. Serving Casa Grande, Arizona City, Coolidge, Eloy & Maricopa Since 1982

520-426-1160 • 520-316-0502

820 W Cottonwood Lane, Suite #3, Casa Grande Email: Visit our website at:

Complete Pest Control & Termite Services


Exterminating Co., Inc. 820 W. Cottonwood Lane, Casa Grande

520-426-1160 520-316-0502

Serving Casa Grande, Arizona City, Coolidge, Eloy & Maricopa Since 1982

Locally Owned & Operated ROC LIC. #15238BC

Locally Owned & Operated

Lions Club, Little League, Boys and Girls Club, Scouting Groups, School Events, Chamber Events, Real Estate Events, and the list goes on. We are so glad to be a part of them all. Joe has also mentored several young men over the years and helped them start their own pest control companies. One of the greatest projects we have enjoyed is Arizona Storm Christian Music Festival that happens in October. This year will be our 7th year. It brings all the different churches in our community and the people together with 4 nights of bands playing music. Last year 500 people per night attended and 104 different artist on stage. The businesses in the community contributed so much and we had an abundance of volunteers. The event is free to all as Branham’s way of giving back to the wonderful people here. To say thank you seems so simple yet I find it difficult because we would want to mention every name, every company, every wonderful customer that has helped make Branham’s Exterminating one of the top companies in the state. We have

enjoyed the pleasure of making so many life-long friends in the city and although we are from Kentucky, Casa Grande has truly become our home. We are blessed to have our daughter Kim Branham working with us in the business and in the summer our granddaughter Ashley works in the office when college is out. Chloe and Ellie help out in the office on occasion if they aren’t tied up with activities…..oh, how they love Cheer! The end of the journey is hopefully a long way off. Our family is looking forward to many more years of serving the people in this city. Thank You especially goes to our Lord Jesus Christ from whom all our blessings flow. We owe every-thing to Him. Also, our employees that are more like family, who work faithfully, tirelessly and continually giving wonderful customer service. We strive to be the best and do the best. Thank You to all who have given us a chance to serve you. — The Branham Family Joe, Jami, Kim, Ashley, Chloe, and Ellie

ROC Lic. #15238BC



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THE MAHONEY GROUP: The John McEvoy Years by Nancy McEvoy with a lot of help from Eddie Higginbotham


he insurance agency now known as The Mahoney Group (since 1983) was started in Superior, Arizona by John E. O’Donnell’s parents in 1915. Don Mahoney, Johnny O, and Chuck McHugh, already good friends in grade school carried on the business after WWII. By the time Don hired my late husband, John W. McEvoy away from the Hartford Insurance Company in 1965, there were 4 locations. The one in Coolidge was called The Don Mahoney Agency, and that is where we moved. The others were in Superior, Eloy and Casa Grande. The day the Eloy office was opened; a man was shot and killed in the doorway. The Casa Grande office was located where the Casa Grande Dispatch is now located. Don really liked that building because of the big sign on top we could use for advertising. Dick Johnson and Boots Claunts were the producers. The Coolidge producers were Don, Johnny O, Chuck, Jimmy Davis (former football star) and John W. Eddie Higginbotham was hired about 6 months later, and Bob Pitman came about 3 years later. The Coolidge women were Helen Gibbs, Marilyn Montgomery Cole, Marilyn Pitman, Helen Manzaneda, Sharon McHugh, Susan Ramirez, Linda Ashcraft, and Agnes McKee. Last year Agnes, at age 105, threw out the first ball at a Padres game! The Coolidge years, 1965 to 1972 were full of social activities. With all the Irishmen around St. Patrick’s Day was always celebrated, well, rousingly. My initiation was held at a pub in Florence. Everyone was drinking green beer when a strange gentleman knelt beside me and tried to put a green garter on my leg. He turned out to be Don’s older brother, Judge T.J.Mahoney.


The Coolidge office was also popular because you might be able to catch a glimpse of John Wayne. His favorite barber, Hippo, had his shop in our building. When Don wanted a haircut, Hippo would bang on the wall to let him know when he wasn’t busy. Don’s first heart attack had been in 1964, and he was advised to slow down. But the agency kept expanding with business from school districts, cities and Pinal County. In the early 70s Don decided to open a Phoenix branch. It was in the Park Central area across from Durant’s restaurant. The McEvoys, and Higginbothams joined the Mahoneys in the city with bright lights and heavy traffic. Don had another heart attack and died at his son Pat’s football game on Thanksgiving Eve, 1972. It was totally unexpected and times became chaotic for the agency. No plans

were in place for this situation. The business had heavy financial responsibilities and Don’s wife Jean and 3 children, Donna, Jim, and Pat, needed to be reassured. John McEvoy was selected as the new CEO, and went to see all the insurance companies we used. They agreed to trust him, but some of our producers did not. They saw a sinking ship and left. As it turned out, the ones that committed to the new management ended up just fine. By 1974 John and Eddie, who calls himself “the back room guy”, realized they needed a better handle on finances. Computers were the coming thing, and a system was need quickly. New business from Pinal, Pima, and Yavapai counties were switching to computerization as were many school districts. TMG was the first independent insurance agency continued on page 146...







he Rick and Lynne Luster family has been operating ServiceMaster 1st Choice for nearly ten years in the Casa Grande area. However, Lynne Smith Luster was born in Florence in the 1950’s because her parents moved to the Coolidge/Florence area in the late 1930’s, marrying after graduating from Florence Union High School in 1952. The sons own and work in the business started by Lynne’s parents. The corporate name ‘Generation Three Company’, under which ServiceMaster operates, is to honor her parents for their 35 years of carpet cleaning and restoration work here in central Arizona. With eight grandchildren, the Lusters are optimistic that a fourth generation will some day continue the operation of their business dedicated to quality work and the best customer service in the area.


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Norris RV

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Financing Available Trades Welcome 520.836.7921 • 973 W. Gila Bend Hwy Casa Grande, AZ 85122

orris RV was started as Taylor and Norris agricultural chemical company in 1952 by Jack Taylor and Lloyd Norris. Lloyd bought his partner out and became Norris Chemical Company. Lloyd’s daughter, Lee Herman and her husband Butch, continued working with him in that business for many years doing business in the Casa Grande Valley for many years selling agricultural chemicals, fertilizers and supplies. In the 1990s Lloyd noticed that farms were being bought and turned into RV parks. Never one to miss an opportunity, he thought they should start selling RV parts in their slower winter months. The company then became Norris AG and RV. Eventually, the Agriculture business was sold to a large company and the RV business was the focus. The small RV parts store that was started by Lee Herman and her manager Sarah Campbell started off by ordering parts for customers and they would order an extra one for the store stock.

The business grew and turned into RV parts, supplies and RV service. Butch and Lee Herman’s son, Matt Herman, joined the company in 1998 and has been instrumental in growing the company adding RV sales and consignment. The Norris and Herman family has been very fortunate to make many friends through the years in business in this wonderful city of Casa Grande. They have always been involved and been happy to help the community in any way that they can by sponsoring teams, local charities, 4-H, supporting the RV parks and their charities and being active in the community. The family is very fortunate to have the 4th generation working in a business that was started over 60 years ago in this small community. We are proud to help recognize the Centennial of Casa Grande. We hope that everyone enjoys it and remembers to support the locally owned and operated businesses that have built this community into something great.

continued from page 134...

Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Casa Grande, volunteer Coach for the CGUHS Cougar Football team and I also serve on the Site Council for the High School. In 2008, I began my career as a Financial Advisor for Edward

Jones Investments. Along with my assistant, Robbie Parrott, we provide highly personalized service. All aspects of our business are aligned to help us better understand and meet our clients’ unique goals and needs. Helping you succeed, helps us succeed.




Why You Should Use a

REALTOR For most people, buying a home is the largest financial investment they will ever make. It is the one time you can say you went shopping and spent a quarter of a million dollars (or more). So shouldn’t you work with a REALTOR® to get the best advice possible for that investment? REALTORS® Facilitate the Process A REALTOR® is a client advocate, the market expert and the negotiating tiger all wrapped up into one independent contractor. Because REALTORS® are usually solo practitioners, they wear many hats. They are sales people, but they are also marketing directors, social media managers and data analysts all in one. A rising number of home buyers are using REALTORS®. About 88% of home buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTOR®’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Homeowners rely on REALTORS® to help them find the most qualified buyer and to navigate the home selling processes. Rules regarding home sales are always changing, and it is the REALTOR®’s job to stay on top of those market dynamics and pass along their expertise to their clients. REALTORS® direct their homebuying clients to the best financing options for their situation, and they steer all their clients to make better decisions in preparation for the home buying or selling process. For instance, a homeowner who wants to list their home might be advised to take a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before listing to make necessary repairs—because


once the property is listed, a bank will not lend on that property. A buyer might be advised not to buy a car before starting or closing on a home purchase, because such a big ticket purchase would change their debtto-income ratios and might disqualify them for a home loan. Offer Great REALTORS® Resources REALTORS® know the best contractors and can refer them easily to new homeowners and potential sellers. They are the link between all things real estate and the novice. One of the REALTOR®’s most important roles is as the unbiased voice of reason. The REALTOR® is the objective set of eyes in the transaction. They help sellers see outside their personal connection to a property, and they help buyers stay level when faced with a multiple-bid situation. A REALTOR® can help a buyer save money and help a seller to make the most money. Because they go through the home buying and selling process daily, they can warn clients of potential dangers and looming changes. For instance, when Congress threatens to eliminate the mortgageinterest deduction, REALTORS® are at the forefront of the fight rallying to voice their support and save the measure. They are the link between housing policy and the consumer. A REALTOR® maintains a customerfocused approach. Showing properties and writing offers is just a percentage of what happens in the course of the typical REALTOR®’s day: no two days are alike, and no two transactions are alike. The REALTOR® is the only constant in the real estate transaction. Can you afford not to have that experience on your side?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Arizona Ranch Real Estate AZ New Horizon Realty Belva's Real Estate Birdsong Realty Bradford Lee Bush Briggs Realty LLC Casa Grande Acclaim Realty Casa Grande Realty CG Cactus Realty Coldwell Banker ROX Realty Elite Real Estate Pros LLC Gemstone Home & Properties Hawkins & Associates Realty Housepad LLP Invest Smart Real Estate Pros Ivory Towers AZ City Ivory Towers CG Israel Finley Ramos Keller Williams Legacy One Casa Grande Lawson Realty Long Realty Partners Casa Grande Maricopa Home Rentals LLC Mg. Arizona's Best Real Estate Company & Property Mgt. Morgan Arizona Properties Norris Management Pacific Arizona Realty Patricia I Anderson Peter Anthony Saldivar Pinal Realty & Property Management Prestige Real Estate Professionals LLC Purple Door Realty Realty Executives Arizona Home Pros REATA LAND RE/MAX A Bar Z Realty RE/MAX Casa Grande Snider Enterprises Stephenson Land Brokerage Summit Real Estate Professionals The Maricopa Real Estate Company Tierra Antigua Realty Transition Realty United Country Robinette & Associates Woodmere Associates Realty

To find a LOCAL REALTOR® visit

Full interviews can be read online at

Well, I’ll tell you, and this is the sad part about politics, the thing you’re always remembered for as a politician is your NO votes. You’re never remembered for all those YES votes and all the good things you’ve done, only the NO’s.

Dr. Doris Helmich, President of Central Arizona College

I think I’m most proud of being able to remove barriers so students can accomplish their goals. I talked about looking at the research and you find things out, you need to pay attention and do something about it, not ignore it.

Steve Miller, Pinal County Supervisor District #3 I felt that being an administrator, you have an opportunity to have a greater impact in regards to a larger number of students, in order to be able to make that difference.

One of the benefits of being a teacher is being able to directly impact kids and their lives.

Dr. Shannon Goodsell, Superintendent of the Casa Grande Union High School District

Dr. Frank Davidson, Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District

Part of my personality is to be engaged and involved and, if I see something I care about, I can’t help but be involved, participate in the conversation and find a solution.

Paul Babeu, Pinal County Sheriff 144 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15

Back in ‘08 or ‘09, I wrote what we in the company called the manifesto - it was basically an idea to expand on three business concepts: real estate, insurance, and travel, under one roof with expansion to other geographical islands in the Rock Earle, state, like Yuma, Sierra Vista or Prescott and ROX Group Founder cover them in each place with a print publication that markets them. I think at this point in time we’re having a lot of fun with the magazines.


As a zoning attorney I do cases all around the valley; around the state really. About two years before Pinal County actually boomed, I identified it as a place that I relate to well, and a place where I’d want to work.

Jordan Rose, Attorney and Owner, Rose Law Firm

In my lexicon, politics is the art of getting your environment to do what you want it to do and interpersonal relationships only become politics when ballots are cast.

David Snider, Outgoing Pinal County Supervisor, 2013

I’ve been lucky in my mentors. I’ve been lucky in having had interesting opportunities in very different settings. It wasn’t planned on my part, but I have been lucky to have had the range of experience that I did.

Scott Bales, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

What can we do? What makes best sense to take care of patients at a lower cost with high quality, the triple aim of healthcare? What is happening is how can we take Rona Curphy, CEO of Banner control of Health? Casa Grande Medical Center How can we move into preventative care? We have responsibilities for what we call population health, the health of the population from the time you’re born to the time you die. Where can we impact that the most?


When the Internet became so popular, we were scared to death of it. The rumors circulating said we were going to be replaced; people didn’t want travel agencies anymore, you could go online and do everything yourself. Now I’m very big on education and I still go to two conferences a year to catch up on what’s going on.

Hope Wallace, Owner, ADA Travel

I recognized that it was apparent I was not the physical specimen that was going to play football or those types of sports. I desperately wanted to be accepted by my classmates and some of them happened to be very good athletes. I realized the only way I could do that was to get involved with something the others weren’t interested in.

William J. O’Neil, Arizona Disciplinary Judge, Arizona Supreme Court



continued from page 140...

in Arizona to begin using computers internally. But it was close. A major competitor’s computer was damaged when it was dropped out of the back of a delivery truck and had to be returned. In 1975 the headquarters of TMG moved to Casa Grande, strategically located between Tucson and Phoenix. The bigger reason was tax increases in the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County. Because of buy-outs and acquisitions, John was constantly looking for ways to save money and increase sales so he had to approve even minor expenses. He called himself a benevolent dictator. The song “Big Bad John” sung by Jimmy Dean was popular then, and many employees began referring to John as “Big John” among themselves. Others in the insurance community began to notice how TMG was growing. John had been a member of the Arizona State Insurance Agents Association for years, and later served on their board. In 1980 his peers voted to award him as Independent Insurance Agent of the Year. Our son, J R, made a nice speech about his father on this occasion.

With agency success came problems with time management for John. He hired Dawn Zimbelman as a personal assistant, and she became part of our lives. She was the behind-thescene strength that kept things straight and freed John to focus on the most important matters. She had the skill and personality to handle a lot of the day-to-day issues. As TMG grew John had his eye on Assurex, an exclusive partnership of the most prominent independent agents and brokers in the world. It was the largest privately held commercial insurance, risk management, and employees benefits brokerage group, and John wanted to be a part of it. Around 1978 he went to Assurex headquarters in Ohio and was shortly notified they were accepted. John was president a few years later. Our good friends Michael and Susan Echeverria had started Metasoft, a computer software company. When they decided to go to the Comdex convention in Las Vegas, John and Eddie decided to go along to check out possibilities for the agency. They hooked up with a young kid named Bill, and ended up going out to dinner. Bill wanted to buy Michael’s Metasoft product and offered to pay his company a royalty of $1 or $2 a unit. Michael laughed at that, saying you’d have to sell


thousands, so the offer to be part of Bill’s company was turned down. Bill was trying to get investors for a new company he was starting, but John decided not to risk backing him. Bill didn’t have a credit card and apparently no cash, so John bought the dinner. If you haven’t guessed by now, that start-up company was Microsoft and the kid was Bill Gates. In l983 our son JR joined TMG group as a producer after working for an insurance company in California. A couple of months later Zebra Winebarger came straight out of high school. She started out in personal lines and now does just about anything, including accounting projects and training new employees. J R just retired in June but Zebra is still with TMG. Barbara Mullar came to TMG from Humana as a specialist in health benefits. She created a new health benefits program department. Teachers may remember her smiling face at the in-service days before classes started as she signed us up. By 1987 the goal of becoming the largest independent insurance agency in the Arizona seemed attainable. By becoming involved in the sale of municipal bonds, primarily in Tucson, the Mahoney Group reached this goal. But now Eddie ended more continued on page 172...


Massage… for the Health of it! by Dennis Beye, L.M.T.


assage Therapy can assist your body in its natural healing processes, offer deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and mobility to stiff joints. That is a big statement. The different modalities under the massage therapy scope of practice, (deep tissue, swedish, etc.) do these things for most people. It is important for you to get a therapist that can do these things for you, not “just put lotion on me.” You deserve the best. You deserve to be as pain free as possible without the side effects of drugs. You deserve to be relaxed, with

clarity of mind, and the energy to live life your way. Massage therapy should be as much a part of your routine as eating right, sleeping well, working out, and having fun. Dennis Beye L.M.T., at Treasured Hands Massage Therapy,is celebrating 20 years as a massage therapist and has won the Casa Grande’s Best Massage Therapist, by Market Surveys of America,every year since 2008. In the peaceful country setting of his home you will receive a quality massage tailored to your needs, at a price that hasn’t gone up since 2010! Be amazed at how good you can feel!


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Additional fees may apply to patients diagnosed with periodontal disease. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION




Celebrating 10 Years: Silent Witness Anti-Crime Night by Wendy Lloyd, Casa Grande Police Department Volunteer Service & Event Coordinator


ational Night Out began in the United States in 1984 as an event to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug

prevention, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts. In most of the U.S., it is held the first Tuesday in August. After participating for several years, the Casa Grande organizers


decided to create their own city event on a date more conducive to our weather. August events come with the risk of monsoon storms and excessive heat. The City of Casa Grande Annual Silent Witness Anti-Crime Night began 10 years ago. This year, we are celebrating 10 successful years. For many years, this event was held at Carr McNatt Park. Over the years, the sheer explosion of the size of this event has caused challenges for parking, residents in the area and limited the number of participants. This year the event is moving! The new home is Vista Grande High School. The festivities take place on September 29, 2015 from 5:30 to 9:00. With over 75 local non-profits, law enforcement agencies, community resources and local business – there is something for every one of all ages to see and enjoy. The participating vendors share information, give demonstrations and provide entertainment throughout the evening. Where else can you enjoy lots of games, bounce houses for kids, good food, drinks and raffle prizes – all for FREE!

Silent Witness provides our community with the opportunity to assist in the fight against crime. This is possible with the help of the community involvement and helps continue to make Casa Grande a safe community. The Silent Witness Anti-Crime Night helps to raise money for Casa Grande Silent Witness program. Each year, this event raises over $13,000 and is used for rewards for crime tips for Casa Grande Police Department. Mark your calendar and join us for the Annual Casa Grande Anti-Crime Night on September 29th!



ANTI-CRIME NIGHT When: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm Where: Vista Grande High School



Frito-Lay Casa Grande ‘near net zero’ plant uses innovative technologies to reduce and reuse


n 2011, Frito-Lay celebrated the success of its most ambitious environmental sustainability project to date by announcing that its Casa Grande, Ariz., facility had achieved its “near net zero” vision -- transforming an existing facility so that it would be as far “off the grid” as possible, run primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water, while producing nearly zero waste. Frito-Lay invested in and implemented a combination of technologies to enable the Casa Grande plant to significantly reduce its use of natural resources and overall environmental footprint. “Frito-Lay’s Casa Grande site continues to demonstrate PepsiCo’s commitment to improve the environment and improve business results by using state of the art water, solar and fuel-saving technologies,” said Tim Kinsinger, plant director of Frito-Lay’s Casa Grande facility. “Our site has demonstrated the viability of these technologies to deliver over time, and we continue to seek new ways to use technology to improve environmental sustainability.” The plant employs three key

technology areas -- the biomass boiler, photovoltaic solar fields, and the Membrane Bio Reactor and Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis technologies. “Frito-Lay set out to create an environmental learning lab in our Casa Grande plant that would try to make the plant ‘near net zero,’” said Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability. “Our approach to significantly reduce the use of natural resources and the environmental impact of a manufacturing site has been cut-


ting edge and marks a major milestone for Frito-Lay and PepsiCo.”

Tiny footprint, huge accomplishments in Frito-Lay’s Casa Grande When World Water Day came around in March, it was another opportunity to shine the light on PepsiCo’s global efforts to reduce its water consumption and promote sustainability. World Water Day, an observance sanctioned by the United Nations since 1993, exists to draw attention to critical fresh water shortages around the world, and foster fresh thinking about how to conserve the precious resource. Inside PepsiCo, there’s an excellent example at the Frito-Lay plant in Casa Grande. As PepsiCo’s flagship facility for sustainability innovation, the site uses solar power and biomass fuel systems, and advanced water treatment and recovery systems to achieve a “Near Net Zero” environmental footprint. “We recycle 75 percent of our process water,” says Ben David,

maintenance and engineering director at the plant. “In other words, for every gallon of water we buy, we use it four times.” That amounts to saving 350400 thousand gallons of water every day, or enough to supply clean water to 2,400 average homes annually. With results like that, the Casa Grande system serves as a model for other facilities to adopt. “We’re not really facing a critical water shortage here in Arizona, but we have other facilities where water stress could be a problem,” says Ben. “Conservation is not just good for the environment, it’s a necessity for our business.” Ben also points out that Casa Grande is not a new facility. The 31-year-old plant has been retrofitted with all of its conservation equipment. “That’s important because it shows you don’t have to put up a brand new building to put these measures in place,” he says. “It’s complex to upgrade, but it’s worth it.” People around the world in need of fresh water are likely to agree. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION


Work With Us! We’re hiring! At Frito-Lay, our snacks aren’t the only things that offer a taste of variety — so do our career opportunities. We’re always on the lookout for dedicated team members to fill a variety of positions, and we’d love for you to apply! Are you looking for a frontline sales position, or a manufacturing/operations position such as packer, warehouser, overthe-road driver or other hourly positions? Are you interested in a corporate position with Frito-Lay? Explore your possibilities!


BRAND All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status. PepsiCo (Frito-Lay) is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities/ Females/Disability/Protected Veteran




Insurance: because life happens 520-836-7660

Silver Star Aw

arded 1944 -


Some stories need to be told more than once, especially if they are true stories that are really bigger than themselves and have a special way of impacting those who hear the telling of it. The story I am referring to is about a real person who represents all the good that helped to continue to build an amazing foundation for our wonderful Country. Many believe that the foundation of the Golden years of America, the post WWII years, is the cornerstone supporting all that is happening around us today. Just as this WWII Generation is rightly referred by many as the generation that saved the world, their beliefs, ingenuity, hard word and integrity are still the most lasting and enduring elements that hold the fabric of our society together today. If we are wise we will remember their stories and values and return to them to make our lives less about serving ourselves and more about helping our neighborhoods and city to be a better place to live. Bob Brutinel is one of this Great WWII Generation whose story is of living a life that faithfully continues to pour itself into the lives of others. Following is a story that has been told before but merits our sincere attention, the story of Bob Brutinel and how he planted his life in Casa Grande, Arizona in 1949.

On Life Making Other Lives Better, One Day at a Time Jaycees Com munity Clean-up



veryone at Brutinel Plumbing & Electrical wholeheartedly agrees that one person can make a difference in our world. One person can make his life count in such a way that he is an encouragement and a blessing to all with whom he comes in contact. You may ask, “How do we know this?” We have the honor and privilege of seeing such a man as this every day of the week. Bob Brutinel, founder of Brutinel Plumbing in 1949, is such a man. Bob has been a humble example of commitment, integrity, courage (he is a decorated WWII Marine here) and encouragement. He model’s such time-honored

values as hard work, faithfulness to his God and family, helping his neighbor, honesty and fairness, and a genuine willingness to do whatever it takes to generously touch the lives of those around him. His presence in our business is the single most significant human factor that gives us all a sense of purpose as we attempt to serve our community and provide for each of our families. His strong character and moral compass continues to guide us and embrace us today with a life that beats brightly with a heart for serving and helping others. Let us share with you the story of how this man and his family came to Casa Grande. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

Bob’s father, Don Brutinel, was born to French parents who immigrated to the USA from Paris, France in 1889. They raised goats on San Clemente Island before relocating to Colorado City, Texas to raise sheep. Don Brutinel’s father, Bob’s grandfather, was killed by a cattleman when Don was 5 years old. Don’s mother returned to Paris following her husband’s murder to be with family to mourn her loss. Soon thereafter she received a letter that she needed to return quickly to Texas because the person she left her sheep business with was doing a very poor job and all would be lost if she did not come quickly. She left her son Don and her daughter in Brutinel, France with family members, with the intent of sending for them as soon as she had the business stabilized. Well it ended up being 8 years before Don and his sister Jenny were rejoined with their mother in Clifton, Arizona. Don Brutinel spoke only French when he returned to the states but he was a quick learner and adapted well to his reentry to the US. When World War I came along Don enlisted in the Army and served his country well. In fact, because he was fluent in both French and Italian, Don was able to be an interpreter between Italian and French Diplomats and American military commanders at the Treaty of Versailles in Paris at the end of WWI. While in Paris Don fell in love with a young Parisian girl named Emily. When WWI was over Don was shipped home but he left his heart in Paris with young Emily. He worked with his brothers growing cotton in Glendale, Arizona, but he was so forlorn for his beloved Emily that his brothers finally raised enough money for Don to return to Paris to be with his love, which he did. Don and Emily were soon married in Paris and Don was able to get a job with the US Government Grave Registration Department to help with identifying and returning the remains of US soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War. In 1922 Don and Emily had a CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

daughter, Emily, in Paris and then moved to the United States in 1924. While traveling to return to Clifton, AZ, Bob Brutinel was born in El Paso, Texas in September of that same year. Bob Brutinel was raised in Clifton, Arizona and at the early age of 5 he and his sister Emily accompanied his mother back to Paris for her final visit to see her family. They ended up staying five months and when they returned Bob, just as when his father was a child, spoke better French than English. Bob had a happy childhood growing up in Clifton, always helping his father in the many enterprises that he had started, including renting space to the Cottonwood Inn Restaurant in the Brutinel Building, delivering mail to Morenci and even delivering ice cream. Bob had many friends growing up in Clifton and he loved playing football. He had two younger brothers, Donnie who later would lose his life while serving in the Korean War, and his youngest brother Maurice who would go on to be a very successful banker in Prescott, Arizona. WWII began and Bob enlisted in the USMC as soon as he was old enough. He did his basic training in San Diego and was soon shipped off to the South Pacific to New Caledonia. Bob and his Company were part of many landings in the South Pacific including the Guadalcanal, Vella Lavella, and Choiseul in the Solomon Islands, where the PT 109 captained by John F Kennedy picked up a few of Bob’s comrades who were being driven into the ocean by the enemy. H Company, 27th Marines, 5th Division, which Bob was a part of, was fully involved in the battle on Iwo Jima. Of the 360 men in his H Company only 45 made it out alive. Through his gallant and courageous efforts Bob was awarded the Silver Star for saving many lives by knocking out a machine gun pill box single-handedly with a flame thrower. Bob was wounded on Iwo Jima and spent a short time recovering at the temporary Iwo Jima base hospital. The doctor wanted to



send Bob back to a real hospital in Guam but Bob refused to leave the island because he did not want to be separated from his outfit and he wanted to rejoin them as soon as possible. While in the hospital Bob began receiving letters from a young lady from SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


Casa Grande, Arizona, Maxine Hancock. Maxine was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson and one of her classmates was from Clifton and she was a friend of the Brutinel family. She heard that Bob had been wounded and had suggested Maxine to start sending letters to “Bobby” to encourage him. Bob began receiving regular letters from Maxine and he wrote back thanking her for the encouragement and assured her when he got back home he would look her up. Shortly after the war ended Bob was honorably discharged and went home to Clifton. Soon thereafter Bob made his way to meet and visit with Maxine Hancock. He liked what he saw and so did Maxine and the two were married in June of 1947. While Maxine finished her last year of college at the U of A, Bob went to work for Don Means Plumbing in Tucson and went through the lo-

cal union apprenticeship program. In early 1949 the economy slowed down and Bob was not able to find enough good work. Jay and Billie Wilson were a couple from Casa Grande that Bob and Maxine has become friends with and one weekend Jay showed up with a big moving truck and announced that he was there to move Maxine and Bob to Casa Grande so Bob could start a new Plumbing Company. Bob sheepishly confessed to Maxine that he and Jay had talked a little bit about this possibility but the thought of taking such a big step was a little intimidating. When Jay showed up with the truck, Bob looked at Maxine and said, “I guess we are moving to Casa Grande to open up our own Plumbing Shop!” That was 64 years ago in 1949. The first couple of years Bob worked out of his house and began to build his business with the same integrity that God

Vacationing in Brutinel, France, 1990

had formed in him to build his life: work hard, be humble, treat people better than you want to be treated and always be generous, helping and fair. That first year if you were to call Brutinel Plumbing for a service call you would expect to get a bill charged out at $2.50 per hour plus material. Bob raised a beautiful family of four children, Mark, Patsy, Beth and Diane and today is reaping the benefits of being a grandfather and great grandfather.

Bob is 90 years old today and still gets excited about coming into work every day. You may be asking, “Is this man for real?” We respond with a resounding YES!!! We love Bob Brutinel. As we complete 66 years of service to our community and look forward to many more years of service to come, our goal is to continue responding to the needs of our community in the same spirit that God has instilled within Bob Brutinel.

Dear LORD, thank you for Bob Brutinel.

LOS CONQUISTADORS photo circa 1965-1970 This was a local group of community leaders and business owners that formed an informal search and rescue group. One former member still in the area didn't recall ever being called to action, but did remember the monthly dinner meetings at the members homes, the comradery of four-wheel 'training' and exploring Arizona and the family outings to the mountains in search of the perfect Christmas tree. The group formed in the mid 1960s and ended in the late 1970s.

L-R: Bill Kephart, Bill Ehrdman, Ben Kortsen, Bill Poleet, Harlan Russell, Vern Walton, Bill Scott, Bob Brutinel, Duncan Butler, Jim Benedict, Doc (Jim) O'Neil



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The Man who Hiked Casa Grande Mountain Carlie McIntyre - February 20, 2010

The Heart of the Hike by Janelle Horsley, DDS., Gene Yang’s daughter


y Dad saved a life on Casa Grande Mountain one day. Our friend Alex almost stepped on a rattlesnake that was sunbathing on the trail, and my dad warned him just in time! We were all too busy chatting, which was one of my favorite things about hiking with my Dad. Out in the open air and away from the walls of our family’s dental office, Gene Yang was an open book. He would do most of the talking, because I was huffing and puffing to keep up. He hiked CG Mountain several times a week (sometimes twice a day) with various friends, but my husband Phil and I only joined him occasionally. Shortly after Phil and I graduated from dental school in 2008, we moved back to Casa Grande, and we started hiking

CG Mountain with my dad until his passing in 2010. He shared tales from his Filipino-American childhood, stories about the many times he had hiked this mountain, and tidbits about the people who passed us on the trail or people in Casa Grande who impacted his life in some way. Along with teaching the basics to a new hiker like me, I think he also wanted to introduce us to the extended “family” that he discovered in his decades of living in Casa Grande. I grew up here, but my husband did not, so my dad wanted to give him the scoop on the little town he loved. I too, learned new things from these conversations on the mountain. Our patients own that (insert landmark),” he would say, or “soand-so’s brother is so-and-so’s cousin.” My dad told me these things because he was proud of


One day he was alive and well He would ride his bike in the town he dwelled Deciding to go, he went to a path Where many times before, hiked it he hath While leaving behind a sunny day He thought to his wife what he would say Nearing the entrance to the main road His son-in-law went, the gate he closed After his companion in the car was back Proceeded he did to cross the train track Still fresh in his mind were the Bible verses read And the kind words to his wife that he said The morning before was no different than many The day’s outdoor adventure he did sit planning Often he went outside to explore Casa Grande hikes, riding bikes, running and more But mostly his life was about the relationships had Everyone knew the humble man to see you would be glad Indeed the fit dentist even encouraged my mailman dad Above all, though, he knew the Lord Jesus, who died for him had Nearing the truck as the tracks it crossed Was a train whose sound in the vastness was lost Without knowing a life would be lost The train nor the truck before the crossing did stop Fiercely colliding, in an instant, sadly a life was quickly taken He had gone to be with Jesus, leaving a world so immensely broken Forever from this world his presence was finished We all cried many tears because he diminished Gone always is not his fate, however Filled with joy and peace he and Jesus are together.

Casa Grande and the people that make up this city. Climbing CG Mountain combined my Dad’s two favorite things: being outdoors, and strengthening relationships. My dad was a people person and loved the serendipity of running into an old friend at the grocery store, or being able to introduce

others to new experiences and friends. He would have loved taking his two little grandsons on their first hikes. As our steps navigated the gravelly slope of the Radio Tower trail, he shared his wisdom about dentistry, relationships, and life. Every time I hike, I think of him and the paths that he inspires me to follow.


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irst American Credit Union has been serving members since 1962—thirty-two of those years in Casa Grande—investing in the people and principles of our community. In celebrating Casa Grande’s 100th year of incorporation, First American humbly thanks you for your inclusion and support. From our initial office on Florence Boulevard to our transition to Pinal Avenue, the credit union has witnessed, participated, and shared in the mutual ‘wants’ and ‘dreams’ of the people and the city. In a very modest way,

we hope we have provided the appropriate financial solutions that have complemented the everyday needs and values of our working families. The credit union staff and its dedicated volunteers will continue to strive to be a trusted and respected community partner— following the city’s mantra of being “committed to service”. In or outside the office, First American Credit Union looks forward to creating long-lasting memories of serving this great city. After all, “we’re just like you!” Happy Birthday Casa Grande!

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Grand Opening of rox real estate announcement from Sept 2008.

From the Beginning


verything evolves and eventually goes full circle. This is the story of how Coldwell Banker ROX Realty evolved. In October of 1983 Roy Pittullo and I decided to carpool up to Phoenix to the Cecil Lawter School of Real Estate and obtain our real estate sales license. When we were officially licensed we went to work with the Don Mahoney Agency located at the Southwest corner of Kadota and Cottonwood Lane. At the time there were three offices in the Mahoney real estate division consisting of Coolidge, Eloy and Casa Grande. Coolidge was the home office and Charles “Chuck” McHugh was the Broker. Gary Kehias was the designated Broker for the Casa Grande and Eloy offices. There were only two agents in Casa Grande - Gary and Roy’s wife, Sue Pittullo. Sue is still one of the top producing agents in our area. In retrospect I wonder what Roy and I were thinking. At that time if you wanted to purchase a home in 1983/84, the interest rate was 16% with 9 “points”. The one thing it did teach us was how to be good salesmen - seeing we had to eat! It was an education that still helps me today.

Over the years the real estate agency name changed from the “Don Mahoney Agency” to “the Mahoney Agency” to “the Mahoney Group” and for a while we were an affiliate of the Better Homes & Garden franchise. Numerous people of note hung their license with us through the years like Joan Foster Koenig, Linda Pixler, David Coolie and his wife who went on to own a very successful Century-21 office in Kingman, Arizona, Georgia Schaeffer, Kay Kirby, Cathy Taylor, Charlie Weaverand of course Connie Rush who later went on to open a Coldwell Banker franchise, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The Mahoney Agency built a new building at the East end of the existing building and it was really a show place. We each had our own offices instead of desks in a big room and more and more agents were coming on board. You have to remember the Mahoney Group was the premier insurance agency in Pinal County. Mahoney Group CEO John McEvoy always said the real estate signs were what kept our name in front of the people. There were literally hundreds of for sale signs throughout Pinal County and we had indeed gained a franchise in


by Brett Eisele the minds of the people with the Mahoney name. In July of 2001 the partners decided it was time to retire and enjoy their success and sold the agency to an internal group of people and things started to change as it always does with a changing of the guard. Real estate was no longer considered part of the family; understandably so because the new owners were insurance people and knew nothing about real estate. After a couple of years it was made known to our manager, Linda Pixler, our days were numbered. Enter Rock Earle. Rock had been successful in real estate development and investments and retired at an early age with the intent of traveling the world. He soon realized there had to be something else besides weird food and airport lounges. He soon became bored. When he discovered our days were numbered, he came up with the idea of moving the Mahoney Group real estate division en masse to a new building he purchased at the Lakes project behind the Walgreen’s at Kortsen and Pinal. Strangely enough Roy Pittullo was involved in the ownership of that building. The new name became ROX

Real Estate as a play on Rock’s name. Linda Pixler was again our manager and with Sue Pittullo, Charlie Weaver, Sandy Wascher, Robin Armenta, Rock and I among others set out to start a new dynasty. Remember Connie Rush? She had left the Mahoney Group in 2004 and started the Coldwell Banker franchise. At the very beginning there were quite a few of the old Mahoney Agency/ Group sales people with her and many are still with the company today, including Kay Kirby, Georgia Schaffer, and Cathy Taylor. Coldwell Banker Excel went on to grow and acquire agents from other brokerages in the area. The real estate market was booming and Connie had grown so much she needed a bigger place. The old Southwest Eye Center on Trekell Road was the perfect building for the growing real estate office. Fast forward a couple of years and the opportunity presented for the three way merger between ROX Real Estate, Century21 All-Star and Coldwell Banker Excel. In 2012, Coldwell Banker ROX Realty was born. What is it they say? It all comes full circle and everyone is together again. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

Being a Landlord is Hard!



eing a landlord requires more work and effort than just collecting the rent. Here are the Top Ten reasons why hiring a local property manager is a wise decision that can actually save you money in the end!

1. Marketing: Property managers use a variety of resources to reach out to qualified, prospective tenants including company websites, public websites such as craigslist, area print such as newspapers or magazines, flyers and walk-in traffic. Renters know which property management companies to seek out. 2. Knowledge of availability and pricing: Tenants know if a property is overpriced. Accurate knowledge of local rental rates and inventory is key to a fast rental and cash flow. Vacant homes cost the owner money. Leased homes make money! 3. Tenant Screening: A property manager requires a written application from each adult applicant along with photo ID. The PM reviews criminal history, credit reports and other public records, verifies references, employment and rental history according to set requirements and standards for accepting or declining applicants. 4. Knowledgeable about Laws and Regulations: A property manager maintains compliance with an up-to-date and thorough knowledge of the Arizona/ Landlord Tenants Act, Fair Housing Regulations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable local, state and federal laws. Lawsuits are costly! 5. Rent Collection & Eviction: Property managers have systems in place to improve collection and on-time payments. Property documentation if payment is not made according to lease terms (and law) is imperative to replacing the tenant as quickly as lawfully possible. 6. Accounting: Property managers provide monthly detailed income and expense reports as well as year-end tax reports for your accountant. Property managers also manage your security deposits in compliance with regulations. 7. Regular Inspections: Property managers regularly

inspect your home for wear & tear, damage and needed maintenance. Typical times for inspection include the time of leasing, 180 days later and at the end of the lease. Some even inspect monthly by scheduling HVAC filter replacement as part of the lease agreement. 8. Emergency Calls: A property management company is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when the tenant calls with an emergency. Some calls are urgent and require immediate attention. Do you want to deal with a broken pipe at 2am? 9. Vendor Network: Property managers have a list of qualified vendors, supplies and contractors available to repair and maintain your property. Many times a property manager is able to negotiate a discount based on volume. 10. Cost of Service vs. How Much Is Your Time Worth? Property management fees vary company by company. By dealing with your tenant and any problems you have invaluable free time making the managements fees very affordable and many times can actually save you money!


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Is it Top or is it Bottom? by Harold Kitching


any have probably thought it was just a wide alley, but it was actually called Washington Street. Platted between Florence and Sacaton streets, it originally ran south between the Casa Grande Dispatch main building on the west and its commercial printing plant on the east, crossing the railroad tracks. In later years, it pushed south again to what is now Third Avenue. And originally it wasn’t Washington Street. It was Top and Bottom Street, or as the original 1890 townsite plat map shows it, TOPANDBOTTOM ST. (On the other hand, that map also shows Sacaton Street as SACCATON (the N is also backward) and Picacho Street as PICACHIO. What is now Marshall Street is QUAHJOATA ST.) Top and Bottom? No one seems to know how it got that name, way back before the city was incorporated a hundred years ago. Was it because it was on the top and bottom sides of the railroad tracks? Or was it because card sharks frequenting the many local saloons on the street were so good that they could deal from the top and bottom of the deck without being caught? The urban myth favors the latter answer. The local historical society gives this version: “This is one of the three oldest streets in the Old Townsite (the other two are Main Street and Main Avenue) and may have started out as nothing more than a path. Traffic leaving the passenger side (east end) of the depot


Scale reduced

FIRST RECORDED ORIGINAL TOWNSITE MAP – JULY 19, 1890 Dedicated by Casa Grande Historic Preservation Commission Downtown Plaque.indd 1

would have had to turn either right or left thus creating a road in front of the railroad station. “Local legend has it that the street’s name came from one or more card sharks operating in one or more saloons fronting on the street who were so dexterous in dealing out cards that the unwary could not tell whether they came from the top or the bottom of the deck. “Card sharks were known to travel the railroad lines and ply their trade with unsuspecting greenhorns wherever they could find them, so the legend could well be true.” When the Historical Preservation Commission last year sent a recommendation (adopted by the City Council) that Washington Street be changed back to Top and Bottom Street as part of the Life on Main redevelopment project south of the tracks, then Casa Grande Dispatch reporter Christina Sampson offered this, based on some research: • Hard evidence confirming the story is hard to come by, though there was at least one saloon on the street in 1881, according to an article published in the July 28, 1881, Arizona Star. • After the town incorporated in 1915, the City Council unanimously voted to change the name from Top and Bottom Street to Washington Street. The minutes do show residents were referring to the road as Washington Street before the official name change.

★ You are here 10/18/12 11:29:45 AM

• The minutes of several meetings prior to that meeting record a resolution that requested the Southern Pacific Railroad change some of the platforms, crossings and stops in town. Every time Top and Bottom Street is mentioned, the phrase “also called Washington Street” is added. • A Casa Grande Dispatch article published on June 11, 1915, said “the change will be welcomed by the people of Casa Grande, many of whom have wondered how such a name happened to be given to a street.” • A 1913 transcribed oral recollection from a resident in 1913 recalling the great fire of that year said, “Florence Street to Washington burned,” according to Berlin Loa, the historical society museum director. Other possibilities for the street’s name, Sampson wrote include: • Many streets in Casa Grande were named for mining claims they led to, but Bureau of Land Management records don’t show any Top and Bottom mining claim near Casa Grande. • Since the railroad named the city, it seems plausible that it also named its main streets, but Aaron Hunt, public information officer for Union Pacific, which took ownership of Southern Pacific, checked with railroad historians and said no one was able to confirm that the railroad named the streets.


Two Old Buildings by Harold Kitching


s Casa Grande marks its 100th year as an incorporated city it hasn’t forgotten its historic buildings south of the railroad tracks, the earliest part of the city. When the proposed Life on Main redevelopment south of the tracks on both sides of Florence Street becomes reality, the Shonessy House on the east side of Florence Street and the Casa Grande Hotel on the west are to be renovated as part of the entry to the area. Shonessy House - 115 W. Main Ave., east of the Casa Grande Hotel. “The Shonessy House is really an important structure within the Life on Main area,” city Planning and Development Director Paul Tice told the Planning and Zoning Commission during a briefing on the future project. “It’s probably one of the oldest, if not the oldest, adobe residential structures in Casa Grande. “The city owns it. We’ve been able to secure it from trespass, but it still is not secure from the elements. Part of the roof is peeled back on one corner. We still have some work to do to secure it from the weather, from deterioration. There are some cracks in the adobe wall that need to be stabilized. “We intend to stabilize the structure and then, long term, totally rehab it for some kind of adaptive reuse. The intent of the city is to retain ownership and to rehabilitate it and to find adaptive reuses that might be compatible with that structure.” Shonessy House background The Casa Grande Valley Historical Society gives this description: Rancher-businessman, William Shonessy arrived in Casa Grande around 1900, at age 65. CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION

This house, which retains its original configuration except of a shed-roofed addition on the back and the enclosure of a rear screened porch, was built some time before 1890 and is considered an outstanding example of Casa Grande’s settlement period homes. It was once the home of W. C. Smith, who owned one of the first stores on Main Street during the 1880’s. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fisher lived here for awhile in the 1920’s and used the back porch for a mortuary. Harry was killed crossing the railroad tracks coming home one day. His wife handled the burial arrangements. She later married Bill Plenz and had a mortuary on the corner of N. Olive Avenue and Eighth Street. Between 1933 and 1943, the Don Chun Wo family lived here and operated the store and rental apartments next door. Casa Grande Hotel - 201 W. Main Ave. Tice said he believes it was the first hotel in Casa Grande but is not sure of the year it was built. The age of the building is rather a mystery. The appraisal done when the city bought the structure says construction was in 1900. However, a historical site plaque on the building says Casa Grande Hotel, circa 1898-1929. An earlier historical survey of downtown buildings says 1898 for construction as an adobe building. Most recently it was Outreach Mission. Regardless of the year built, Tice said it is a valuable historic asset. “The hotel is in fairly good shape,” he said. “It’s had a couple of additions over the years, but we’ve had a structural analysis done on it and it is structurally sound. The city owns the property; we’ve secured it from trespass. “The concept here is to rehab it eventually into some adaptive reuses. Due to the amount of space available in that structure, there’s actually a lot of potential for what might happen there. “This is something the city would not

sell. We would retain its ownership and eventually maybe put private uses in it that we would lease.” Hotel background The historical society gives this background of the hotel: The Casa Grande Hotel, often referred to as the Gould Hotel, originated as a single-story, double-bay, commercial building put up by John Riess in the early 1890’s. He used it for a butcher shop and dry goods store. Gordon Graves, in his reminiscences, remembered the butcher shop being here in 1893. It doesn’t appear on the 1890 Sanborn map, so it must have been built sometime between 1890 and 1893. At any rate, it shares honors with the Cruz Trading Post as being one of the oldest commercial buildings in Casa Grande. When Riess sold the property to William Gould in 1909 it was being used as a five-room lodging house. Over the next two years, Gould added eight more rooms, all of adobe construction. Much later those first five rooms were converted to a dance and banquet hall. In 1913, Gould built a two-story concrete addition at the rear of the hotel which is now bridged to it by a third addition. What is now a living room was an alley behind the hotel extending from Washington to Sacaton Street. Four apartments were built in 1931 or 1932, and the exterior of the hotel was modified with Mission Revival details at about the same time. Most of the interior features have remained the same, including the pressed tin ceilings, original light fixtures and door hardware. From the beginning, the hotel catered to newly arriving passengers on the trains. Advertising read, “We meet all trains.” It was noted for its fine restaurant also. SPECI A L EDI T ION 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING



Congratulations On your 100th Birthday

Casa Grande!


rizona Water Company is honored to have been part of Casa Grande’s history for 60 years. Arizona Edison sold the Casa Grande water system to Arizona Water Company in 1955. Arizona Water Company’s Casa Grande customer base was 1,970 in 1955. In 2001, customer base was 12,840; the customer base of Casa Grande is currently 23,000 customers and growing! Arizona Water Company currently has 35 dedicated loyal employees serving Casa Grande. In 1955 the Company’s Casa Grande system had a 100,000 gallon elevated water tank and a 500,000 gallon water storage tank both supplied water by three ground water wells. Now, the Casa Grande water system has 14 million gallons of water storage fed by 25 wells providing safe and reliable water service for various purposes including drinking and fire protection. On average the Casa Grande water system produces over 300 million gallons of safe and reliable water per month to its customers. In the summertime the Company produces over 14 million gallons of water a day or 420 million gallons of safe and reliable water per month to satisfy our customer’s needs.


(Above) Casa Grande Elevated tank installed pre 1955 till 1972. (Below) Casa Grande Elevated tank removed 1972


Cottonwood Lane Arsenic Treatment Facility, one million gallon storage tank and Booster pump Station

Casa Grande Mountain five million gallon storage tank

Henness Arsenic Treatment Facility

Henness Booster pump Station

Burgess Peak two million gallon storage tank




Retire Like You Mean It at Mission Royale


charming small-town location. A serene golf course setting. It’s hard to find a better place to call home than Mission Royale, a Meritage Homes Active Adult community, located in Casa Grande, AZ. Mission Royale has been thoughtfully crafted for those 55 years of age and better, artfully interwoven around the Mission Royale golf course and offering an assortment of amenities and activities for residents of the community to enjoy. The social hub of the Mission Royale community lies within the resident-exclusive recreation center. Renovated in late 2014, the recreation center offers abundant opportunities to stay active. Residents can stay fit in the fully-equipped fitness center, offering an assortment of cardio machines, weight machines and free weights. Fitness classes like yoga and Zumba are popular choices. The billiards room is a regular hang-out for members of the billiards club, on tournament days, or for those just wanting to take in a game or two. There are also multiple card and hobby rooms throughout, often occu-

pied by the Bunco or poker club, or a number of other groups that meet regularly. The large ballroom fills up quickly during planned social events like dances, pot luck’s and holiday parties. Just outside the recreation center, the Pickleball and tennis courts are often filled with residents. Other popular social gathering spots are the two outdoor pools and the new bocce courts. The Mission Royale Golf Club offers residents the convenience of living in a golf course community. The daily fee, 18-hole, par 72 golf course designed by Greg Nash blends seamlessly with the community and offers residents both golf course homesites and beautiful surroundings. The golf course is a favorite among both avid and novice golfers alike, and is often played by the Mission Royale men’s and women’s golf clubs. Opened in 2004, Mission Royale has been a long-standing member of the Casa Grande community. With fewer than 300 new homes left to sell, the community will be home to 1,292 residences upon completion, spanning about 560 acres.


An ever-evolving community, Meritage Homes is excited to offer an assortment of brand new single-story floorplans, with 7 brand new model homes in Mission Royale premiering in early 2016. Highlights of the new plans include outdoor living spaces with optional outdoor kitchens and dual master suite options. Also new to the line-up is volume ceilings and well appointed indoor pet showers and outdoor pet runs. Meritage homeowners are also afforded an incredibly energy-efficient home, allowing them to spend their money on better things than utility bills. Every Meritage home at Mission Royale is built standard with energy- and money-saving features like spray-foam insulation, low-E2 vinyl windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, dual-flush toilets, water-efficient fixtures, water-sensing irrigation, minimum SEER 14 HVAC and more, helping to keep utility costs down and more predictable. Located just off the I-10 and Florence Boulevard, Mission Royale neighbors the town’s newest shopping center, The Promenade at Casa Grande,

cutting down the need to drive to Phoenix or Tucson. Boasting a Harkin’s Movie Theatre, anchor stores like Dillard’s, Kohl’s and Target, several dining options and specialty stores, Mission Royale residents can find everything they need just outside their door. A new Sam’s Club, Walgreen’s and eateries have also opened adjacent to the community. When a trip to the big city is desired, Phoenix and Tucson can both be reached easily within about an hours’ drive. Mission Royale offers a convenient location to both metropolises, offering multiple airports, endless shopping, dining, professional sports, concert arenas, major hospitals and specialized medical centers. Mission Royale is currently selling new homes, priced from the mid $100s. The sales office and model homes are open daily at 9am. Quick move-in homes are available, offering homebuyers a faster way to start enjoying the lifestyle at Mission Royale. For more information on new homes at Mission Royale, please call 877-ASK-MERITAGE or visit www.


Today, 55-plus is whatever you make it. Here’s to making it your own. Kick back and relax with family and friends and your favorite activities. Or blaze new paths through community service and renewed interests. However you define retirement, we say, ”go for it.” We’ll help you achieve it with affordable, energy-efficient homes in amenity-packed neighborhoods, including Casa Grande. Homes from the $160s to $210s. Now, you can try all the amenities, classes and clubs as if you lived here – ask about a FREE VIP guess pass.

City of Casa Grande – congratulations on your 100th anniversary.


53 N. Alamosa Avenue, Casa Grande, AZ

1- 87 7-291- 8747

VIP Guest Pass program is reserved for age-qualified guests only. VIP Guest Passes cannot be obtained by anyone under the age of 19. Speak with a Sales Associate for more details. Home, features, and community information are subject to change, and homes to prior sale, at any time without notice or obligation. Additionally, deviations and variations may exist in any constructed home, including, without limitation: (i) substitution of materials and equipment of substantially equal or better quality; (ii) minor style, lot orientation, and color changes; (iii) minor variances in square footage and in room and space dimensions, and in window, door, utility outlet, and other improvement locations; (iv) changes as may be required by any state, federal, county, or local government authority in order to accommodate requested selections and/or options; and (v) value engineering and field changes. Pictures and other promotional materials are representative and may depict or contain floorplans, square footages, elevations, options, upgrades, decorations, window treatments (such as shutters, drapes, etc.), landscaping, pool, spa, furnishings, appliances, and other design/decorator features and amenities that are not included as part of the home and/or may not be available in all communities. All square footages are approximate. ©2015 Meritage Homes Corp. All Rights Reserved. AZ ROC Lic #B-166223 CASA GRANDE 100 YEAR CELEBRATION






Casa Grande 100 Year Celebration Mug $14.19

Golden Corridor Living Magazine Hat $18.19

ROX Group Mug $14.19

Golden Corridor Living Magazine T-Shirt $21.19

July 2015 Commemorative Edition of Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine! RESERVE YOUR HARD COVER COPY FOR ONLY $24.95!

Casa Grande 100 Year Celebration T-Shirt $21.19

Casa Grande 100 Year Celebration Hat $18.19

Golden Corridor Living Magazine Water Bottle $10.19

Golden Corridor Living Magazine Mug $18.19












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help in the accounting department. Matthew Bagnall, who we all knew and liked from Coolidge, was hired. And I should mention Carol Farrington, one of the first people I met here, who worked with Eddie for years. One unwritten law of TMG was that employees become part of the community and contribute to it. They joined the Jaycees in Coolidge, Rotary Club, the Lions, Elks, and Kiwanas. The agency and our staffs generously supported these organizations and sports teams with both time and money. Everyone also understood that we shopped with the businesses that did business with us. And when it seemed impossible to get bonds to build a new high school north on Trekell Road, John told their business manager how to do it. Then our office was used as a phone bank to get the votes needed. He did the same thing when our city outgrew Hoemako Hospital. There was opposition, especially from Maricopa, but CGRMC was built. There was a bit of a problem when Wal-Mart decided to build across the street from the hospital. They wanted the hospital to change its entrance way to line up with their entrance way on Florence Blvd, and


just couldn’t understand why we didn’t hop to it. This would have cost us thousands of dollars, and things got rather nasty when they tried threats. Obviously they didn’t know who they were dealing with, as John was on the hospital board and not intimidated by them. Needless to say Wal-Mart had to change their plans a little. John went on to serve many years as board chairman until his death. IN 1991 an updated computer system was installed that could handle tens of thousands accounts and sales topped $10,000,000. The current CEO, Glen Nelson, was hired in 1993. The agency today is enjoying continued success under his leadership. In 2001, John, Eddie, Bob and Leon retired, passing the torch to the next generation. And finally, John left many other legacies. He worked with Donovan Kramer Sr. to bring new industry to our area. Frito Lay and Ross-Abbott Laboratories were early successes of bringing large employers to the area. CAC was a project that began when we lived in Coolidge. He worked with the instigators from the beginning, but his big dream was to have it paired with the University of Arizona. They rejected his many

overtures to them, so he then tried ASU with the same results. Finally he got NAU interested and that came to be realized. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our residents to have a university offering degrees so close to home. We have supported their foundation through the years, and you may have seen a classroom with the McEvoy name over the door. TMG group sponsored adult seminars on computer education and also supported their foundation. To encourage reinvestment and growth in the area, we were involved in starting a new independent bank. John wanted a bank in our area that would make small business loans when the big banks weren’t interested. The bank’s name went through several changes as it grew – Central Arizona Bank, The Bank of Casa Grande – later adding Valley, to Sunstate Bank before the partners sold it to The Great Western Bank out of Australia. Over the years branches opened in several area communities. John was chairman of the board for years until the bank was sold. In 1999 a group of us decided to start a TV station, Central Arizona Broadcasting, first TV47 and then KCAB-TV28. The station was broadcast over the air and carried on Cox Cable. Some of the highlights was a daily 30 minute newscast with the news of Pinal County, anchored by Jack Salvatore. Bea Lueck was the one who knew how to do everything connected with operations on a day to day basis. She and Brett Eisele also had a very popular TV segment talking about… grocery shopping! Who knew shopping could be so entertaining! The station was doomed when TV stations were required to change from analog to digital. Small market stations, particularly in border regions were shut out. So the tower and land were sold and the station closed in 2011. Eddie retired (again), Brett continued in real estate, Jack bought a home in the south of France and Bea went on to a whole new career with ROX. John passed away after a brief illness in 2008 at age 70.





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Integrity First Financial Group is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. This is not a commitment to lend. Information is intended for mortgage professionals only and not intended for public use or distribution. © 2013. Integrity First Financial Group. All rights Reserved. Licensed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (Arizona Mortgage Bankers License: BK-0917875), NMLS 129777.

Experienced, Quality Care for the Entire Family Living & Serving in Casa Grande for over 60 Years After-hours Emergency Treatment Available Most Insurance Accepted Services Provided by an Arizona Licensed General Dentist




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* Must present coupon at time of visit. Not valid with any other offer. Coupon good for new and existing clients. Expiration date September 30, 2015

(520) 836-7111 721 N Olive Ave. Casa Grande, AZ 85122



Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

July 2015 - Special Edition

Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

July 2015 - Special Edition