Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"UB the RENT" Grand Prize Winner Announced

From the entries received from across the state, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Affiliate, "UB the RENT" contest winner for 2008 is Anthony Whitehurst from Bullhead City Arizona! His video, “You Should Have Told Us” received 4.5 out of 5 stars for the one minute video.

Cassandra Ravacchioli from Desert Mountain High School Student won 2nd prize for her video entitled “We Have Nothing Better to Do”, & the 3rd prize went to Jess Schwartz College Prep student, Noa Gilboa for her video “Stages”.

Payson Jail Searched For Drugs And Contraband

Sheriff John R. Armer, in keeping with his pro-active policy of having the jail facilities searched & cleaned of contraband and/or drugs, reports the following: On April 29th, Gila County Sheriff's Office Deputies and Detention Officers accompanied with 2 canines, performed an extensive search of the Payson jail for drugs & contraband. The search lasted approx. 30 minutes with no trace of drugs found.

Three Candidates Vie To Fill Florence Justice of the Peace Seat

Larry L. Pfeiffer, Andrew M. Ramirez, & Tom Rankin filed their intentions to fill the current opening for the Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace seat. They hope to replace outgoing, Justice of the Peace Kema Granillo, when she step's down at the beginning of June. The appointee will then serve until the general election in November 2008.

A committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors will interview the candidates of Thursday, May 1st. The committee is comprised of Presiding Justice of the Peace Toni Larona, Mike Malone, Jon Thompson, Joe Robison and Anita Van Wagoner. Following interviews with the three candidates, the committee will make their recommendation to the Supervisors at a future board meeting.

San Carlos Tribal Council Declares First Friday As "Clean Up Day"

The Tribe is committed to the protection of the environment of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. To promote this idea of protecting & keeping the environment clean, the San Carlos Tribal Council has declared every first Friday of each month as a "Clean Up Day". They request the public, Tribal programs, privately owned businesses, & other agencies on the reservation to participate. The goal is to encourage the public & working communities to keep their working and living environments clean of all waste debris. The foregoing was duly adopted herewith on 12-21-1994 tribal Resolution No. DC-94-221.

Second Annual Way Out West Festival

On May 2nd - 4th, The General Kearny Inn presents the Second Annual Way Out West Festival. The days are going to be packed with Music, Poetry, Native American Dancers, a Horseshoe Tournament, Old West Gunfights, Gold Panning, & even a Mechanical Bull. The festival will be at the General Kearny Inn, 301 Alden Road in Kearny.

There will also be a variety of vendors set up for you to purchase "Wares of the Old West".

Friday, the Festival will kick off with an Open Mic Night from 7-9 pm. Call, (877) 363-5505 for information on how to sign up. On Saturday, the entertainment portion of the day will start at 2 pm. And, don't miss the Gospel Jam at 10 am Sunday Morning!

Caddy For A Cure

Caddy For A Cure, Inc., the opportunity of a golfing lifetime to go inside the ropes & caddy for the world's best players at PGA TOUR venues, announces the participation of world-class PGA TOUR player, Rich Beem, at the upcoming AT&T Classic at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia, on May 13th. Caddy For A Cure offers PGA TOUR player caddy opportunities through its website & online auction services. Caddy For A Cure donates 100% of the auction proceeds to charity, including the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, which is the inspiration behind the Caddy For A Cure program.

The caddy opportunity for the AT&T Classic is for PGA Championship winner, Rich Beem. Although Beem is well known as a PGA TOUR major champion, the 2003 PGA Championship, he is perhaps better known for his "happy dance" he performed after winning a Nissan Altima Coupe following a Par-3 ace at the Nissan Open in 2007 or for his book about he and his former Tour caddy, the late Steve Duplantis, "Bud, Sweat and Tees: A Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour".

The caddy auction for Rich Beem began on Thursday, April 24th, 2008, & ends Thursday, May 1st, 2008. If necessary, the auction will be extended. The caddy date is Tuesday, May 13th.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer this caddy opportunity for Rich Beem at the AT&T Classic tournament" comments Russ Holden, Caddy For A Cure founder & veteran PGA TOUR caddy. He added, "Every player on the PGA TOUR is incredibly talented, but to be able to be one-on-one & see a player's game who has won a major championship is a special experience. But the added bonus is Rich Beem is not only a great player, he's also just a great guy to be around."

For more information go to:
caddyforacure.com, or call 954-341-4600. Also, information about their official apparel & program sponsors are at: firethorngolf.com & sanfordcorp.com.

In addition to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, a portion of the proceeds generated from the auction for Rich Beem will be donated to local area charities, including the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital.

Early Child Care Professional Training

Yavapai College, in conjunction with Arizona Department of Economic Security, will conduct a no-cost intensive introductory course, titled “Early Child Care Professional Training,” at the Pinal Mountain Elks Lodge, 1775 E. Maple Street in Globe beginning Monday, July 28th & will continue through Friday, August 8th. This is a date and location change for the Globe class.

The 60-hour course is designed for those interested in pursuing careers working in child-care centers, pre-schools, Head Start programs or in-home child care. The 10 modules cover pertinent topics, such as child development, appropriate learning environments, nutrition/menu planning & early reading & math activities to encourage skill development.

The classes meet Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm for two (2) weeks. Seating is limited to 20 participants, & preregistration is strongly recommended. Call toll free 1-866-219-1021 for more information & to register.

Awarded to Yavapai College in 1999, the training enables participants to enter the workforce by providing high-quality child care & education in their communities. The grant provides for up to 15, 60-hour workshops in 11 counties in Arizona each year. Upon completion, students can earn 3 Yavapai College credits.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Deceased Woman Pulled From Car In Roosevelt Lake

The Gila County Sheriff's Office was contacted at approx. 10:30 pm last night by a citizen reporting they saw lights shining from the water at the Indian Point Boat Ramp. Deputies responded to the scene & the Gila County Dive Team was deployed asa well as a DPS Ranger. Mary Lou Morton, 56, was found floating in the water nearby. Her vehicle was recovered by dive team members & notifications to the family were made.

Final Notice For Second Half 2007 Gila County Property Taxes

The Gila County Treasurer's Office is giving a final notice for property taxes in Gila County for the 2nd half of 2007. Payments must be postmarked no later than May 1st, 2008. The payments must be mailed to:

Debora Savage
Gila County Treasurer
P.O. Box 1093
Globe, Az 85502


Don't forget to mail your tax coupon with your payment & write your property ID number on your check or money-order.

If you have any questions call, 1-800-304-4452 (ext. 8703 or ext. 8705), or 928-425-3231 (ext. 8703 or ext. 8705).

If there is a possibilty they do not have your correct mailing address for the 2007 tax bills, you MUST contact the
Treasurer's Office & the County Assessor.

CASA Volunteer Ray Walker Honored


The Arizona Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) honored Snowflake volunteer Ray Walker, with the 2008 CASA of the Year Award. This statewide award recognizes the outstanding dedication and commitment of a volunteer for their advocacy efforts on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Walker was honored at a recognition event hosted by the Navajo County CASA program Saturday, April 26th, where he received a hand-sculpted stone award from Arizona CASA & a certificate of honor from Governor Napolitano. Navajo County Judge Thomas L. Wing & Judge Michala Ruechel attended the ceremony to pay tribute to Walker.

Walker has volunteered with CASA for 11 years. In over a decade of service, he has served 34 children. In January of 2008, Walker attended the adoption hearing for a child that he has been advocating for since 1999. He remains committed to the children he serves, even through his own personal battles with health.

In addition to his work as a child advocate, Walker serves on an Arizona Foster Care Review Board and fundraises for the Navajo County Friends of CASA, an auxiliary non-profit.

Maricopa County Parks To Issue Early Fire Ban

The Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Dept. will initiate its annual fire ban beginning May 12th, 2008.

A fire ban is initiated to limit the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause serious damage to the parks. Violation of this park rule, Rule 113, may result in a citation. A date to lift the fire ban has not been designated & will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon season.

There are ten Maricopa County parks that will be affected by the fire ban: Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area), San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Usery Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, & Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

Smoking in the parks is still permissible, but all park users are strongly encouraged to be responsible in their use & ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished & placed in trash receptacles.

If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930.

Litchfield Road To Close At I-10 Weekdays

West Valley drivers should plan for weekday closures of Litchfield Road at I-10 beginning April 29th, as bridge construction begins. During this work, I-10 & the freeway interchange will remain open, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Litchfield Road closure will occur weekdays from 1 am, Tuesdays through 4 am, Fridays. During this 3- to 4-week effort, Litchfield Road will reopen only for weekend traffic. During the closures, northbound & southbound access on Litchfield Road underneath I-10 will be closed. Interchange on ramps will remain open, but off ramps may be closed periodically during construction.

Earlier this month, construction began under I-10 at Estrella/Pebble Creek Parkway. Here, work will occur on weekdays beginning 1 am, Mondays through 4 pm, Fridays for up to 2 more weeks. Northbound & southbound access on Estrella/Pebble Creek Parkway underneath I-10 will be closed, but interchange ramps will remain open as part of the Monday through Friday closures.

During these closures, drivers are encouraged to use adjacent I-10 interchanges.

Once complete, the I-10 expansion project will provide additional lanes between Verrado Way & Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway). The freeway expansion includes adding 2 new outside lanes & widening into the median to improve east & west traffic flow for West Valley commuters.

This project is one of the 1st elements of the Regional Transportation Plan for Maricopa County & is funded through a voter-approved half-cent sales tax to improve & construct new roads throughout the Valley during the next 20 years. More information on the Regional Transportation Plan is available at:
azdot.gov/ValleyFreeways.

For general information about I-10 improvements, contact the project hotline at (602) 288-9919 or
ADOT@policydevelopmentgroup.com. For traffic updates across Arizona, call 5-1-1 or visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at: az511.gov.

The Irish Cultural Center Presents: Sara Newton

On First Friday, May 2nd, The Irish Cultural Center will be presenting the artwork of Sara Newton.

Sara Newton will bring her unique paintings of acrylic, mixed media, & watercolors to the Center. Ms. Newton has primarily exhibited her art in the Northwest. She's been represented by Potlatch Gallery in Poulsbo Washington & Native Gallery in Seattle. This particular exhibition will include the Rock series, large abstract work & traditional watercolors.

"My current work is an out growth of the larger rock series. I’m still playing with space & working with the golden ratio." After loosing the vision in her left eye, the artist found that the larger canvas was a better fit to her new visual experience. "I’m finding a new way to work, with a larger format, opacity & more structure."

Chef Frank Hand brings to the Center a wonderful herbed lamb roast, with new potatoes, vegetable barley soup & pound cake with berries & cream. Still the best food & bargain at First Friday at $10 per plate. Dinner will get started at around 6 pm

The Irish Cultural Center located at 1106 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. For further information, please call (602) 258-0109.

(The Irish Cultural Center, The Heart Of The Celtic Community, is a Division of the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation a 501 c (3) Not For Profit Corporation, & is owned & maintained by the City Of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.)

Arizona Quarter Striking Ceremony At Denver Mint

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano & members of the Arizona Quarter Commission will ceremonially strike Arizona commemorative quarter-dollars as the United States Mint at Denver hosts Arizona Quarter Day on Friday, May 16th.

The official Arizona Quarter Launch will be in Phoenix on June 2nd, 2008. The Arizona quarter is the 48th coin in the 50 State Quarters Program, which issues new quarters in the order the states were admitted into the Union. Known as the "Grand Canyon State," Arizona was the 48th state admitted into the Union on February 14th, 1912.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Signal Peak Offering Two Summer Recreation Positions

Two Summer Recreation positions from the Signal Peak Community Foundation have opened. The first is for a Recreation Program Director, which starts on May 1st. The second is for a Recreation Program Assistant that will start on June 2nd. For complete job descriptions and contact info, follow the links. The Recreation Program Assistant description is on the second page of the linked document.

23rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

The 23rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is May 3rd at the Old Dominion Parking Lot in downtown Globe. The day begins at 11 am, with the Opening Ceremonies, with entertainment lasting until 9 pm. The Show & Shine Car Show is 10 am - 2 pm. Do you have a stomache made of steel & think you can win $100? Then enter the Jalapeno Eating Contest that will start at 4 pm. Do you think you make the best Menudo, Tortillas, Salsa, Tamales (three seperate categories for: red, green, & sweet) & the $15 entry fee per contest. The prize for each category is $50. You can also enter the contest for the Selena look-a-like contest & best dressed in traditional garb, with each having a $50 prize. And, for the first time ever it's the, "First Annual Best Mexican Cuisine Contest." For more information on each contest, call Angie at 425-7733 or Liz at 812-3044 for rules & regulations.

Anytime Is A Good Time To Educate Your Child About Drug Abuse

In Arizona, the average age that kids start using drugs is 13 years old. Half of all teens report being offered drugs over the past year. Nearly 1 out of 5 young teens report inhaling a household product to get high. This is so dangerous it can kill them. The number of parents who report never talking with their children about drugs has doubled over the last six years. The younger a child starts trying drugs, the more likely he or she is to become addicted. Kids who report learning a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are half as likely to use drugs. If you need help on how to discuss drug use prevention or other information, visit: PartnerUpAZ.org, from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Affiliate. If a child has a problem with drinking or using drugs, the sooner you get help, the more likely they are to recover. You can make a difference.

Tonto Basin Prehistory Presentation

At 6 pm on May 2nd, at the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum, 21 Plaza Circle in Miami, Eddie Colyott will deliver a presentation of the prehistory of Tonto Basin. The program is free to the public. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation.

These special programs at the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum are jointly sponsored by the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum and the Gila County Historical Society.

13th Annual Cinco de Mayo Horseshoe Tournament

Mark your calendars for May 3rd, for the Butcher Hook's 13th Annual Cinco de Mayo Horseshoe Tournament. Sign up starts at 10 am. There are 2 tournaments sheduled, a "Blind Draw Doubles" & "Bring Your Own Partner." There is a $10 person entry fee for "Blind Draw Doubles" & is a double elimination, 100% payback (50% - 30% - 20%), $250 added money plus ice chests, & the minimum age for this event is 15 years old. The "Bring Your Own Partner" also has a $10 person entry fee, is double elimination, 100% payback (50% - 30% - 20%), & $250 added money. They will have food & drinks available all day. For more information call Ken Barrett at (623) 583-9288.

No food or drinks may be brought on premises & all children must be supervised. All animals must also be on a leash.

Red Rock State Park May Events

Red Rock State Park offers a variety of environmental programs in May including hikes, walks & a talk about Red Rockin' Hummingbirds.

On Sunday, May 4th, at 2 pm in the park theatre, Ross Hawkins, founder of the Hummingbird Society, will present "Red Rockin' Hummingbirds...and how to garden for them." This area of Arizona is regularly visited by 5 species of hummers & occasionally more. Hear about these species & what plants are effective in attracting them in this desert area (and much of Arizona, as well). The risk of extinction will also be addressed, along with the Society's efforts in this area. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For reservation, please call (928) 282-6907.

On Sunday, May 11th, at 2 pm, visitors can join a volunteer on a guided geology hike through Red Rock State Park. Learn why the rocks are red, where they came from, where they are going, & more. This hike includes the Eagle's Nest Trail for a great view of the park & surrounding area. More than just a guided hike, this is an interpretive experience for the beginner as well as advanced geologist. Bring the entire family & enjoy an afternoon with our knowledgeable volunteer guides as the rock formations that create the scenic backdrop of Red Rock State Park are explained. This will be the last hike of the season. Hikes will resume in September.

The Moonlight Hike continues on Monday, May 19th. An unforgettable experience, the hike includes a naturalist-led interpretive presentation along the park's beautiful trails. Enjoy the sunset & moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon. The hike lasts 2 to 2 ½ hours, has an elevation climb of 200-250 feet & covers approx. 2 miles. The hike leaves promptly from the Visitor Center at 7 pm. Wear appropriate hiking shoes (no sandals) & bring water, a flashlight & insect spray.

Every Wednesday & Saturday at 8 am visitors will find bird enthusiasts joining a naturalist for a "Guided Bird Walk." Beginners as well as advanced birders are welcome. Rangers recommend visitors bring their own binoculars. A limited number are available for loan from the park.

Daily at 10 am, visitors can join a naturalist on a guided nature walk that lasts 1 to 2 hours & will introduce them to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek & other aspects of the park. Plants, wildlife, geology, history & archaeology are some of the subjects that may be discussed.

Daily at 2 pm, the park hosts a ranger-or naturalist-led activity of approx. 1-hour. Programs may include a nature-hike, a special presentation or an educational/nature video. This program may be an indoor or outdoor activity.

For more information call (928) 282-6907. Red Rock State Park is located on the Lower Red Rock Loop Road off Hwy 89A, southwest of Sedona. Park hours are 8 am to 7 pm. Visitor Center hours are 9 am to 6 pm.

Park Entrance Fee is $6 per vehicle for up to 4 adults, each additional adult is charged $2 each. (There is no charge for children). A $2 per person entrance fee applies to pedestrians, equestrians & bicyclists. Arizona State Parks Annual Pass is available for $50 (some restrictions apply) & Premium Annual Pass is sold for $125.

The unique land-based ecosystem, closely associated with Oak Creek, provides the setting & the opportunity for Red Rock State Park to offer a center for environmental education. With its diverse riparian habitat for plants & wildlife, Red Rock State Park offers special hikes & programs as a regular part of the park's environmental program.

ADEQ To Fund Construction & Operation Of A New Nogales Water Treatment System

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced the ADEQ will provide an estimated $800,000 to fund the construction & operation of a water treatment system for Valle Verde Water Company in Nogales. ADEQ is providing the funds from its Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), which addresses soil & groundwater contamination.

In January 2007, customers of Valle Verde, located east of I-19, were informed by the water company of the detection of tetrachloroethylene (PCE), an industrial solvent, at concentrations above the maximum contaminant level of 5 micrograms per liter in samples collected from Wells 1, 2, 4 & 7 in Valle Verde's system.

As a result, alternate drinking water supplies were provided. ADEQ has been working with Valle Verde & the City of Nogales since that time to address the PCE contamination & establish a permanent solution for the water supply problem.

"We are committed to implementing a long-term solution to the PCE contamination so that residents in the area are assured of safe & reliable drinking water," Director Owens said. "We are making a substantial commitment of resources to address this problem."

The WQARF funding will be used for construction & operation expenses for a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system at site of Valle Verde Well #2. The system will consist of 2 GAC contact vessels where contaminated water will flow through & PCE will be absorbed by the carbon. Storage tanks also will be constructed at Valle Verde Wells #2 & #3 to aid in distribution of treated water. The construction is expected to take about 1 year.

In addition to construction of the water treatment system, ADEQ is working with Valle Verde & the City of Nogales to construct a pipeline connection between their 2 systems which could be used by Valle Verde during potential future water supply emergencies. Such interconnection agreements are common between neighboring water supply systems.

Some DVDs Out This Week

The Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 World Series Collector's Edition
Ultimate Fighting Championship, Vol. 80: Rapid Fire
Maximum MMA Presents: Maximum Knockouts, Vol. 1
Karaoke Terror: The Complete Japanese Showa Songbook
History Channel: Human Weapon - The Complete Season 1
All Monsters Attack (aka Godzilla's Revenge)
Cheers - The Complete 9th Season
Terror of Mechagodzilla
TNA Wrestling: Against All Odds 2008
Dead Man's Bounty
The Best of Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen
Nightmare City
Steve Earle - Live From Austin, TX
I Spy - Season 1
I Spy - Season 2
I Spy - Season 3
The Golden Compass
Schizo
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Vol. 3 - The Years of Change
WWE - Twist of Fate: The Matt and Jeff Hardy Story
Night of the Fox
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roswell: Season 1
Roswell: Season 2
Roswell: Season 3
The Beast in Space (Unrated Version)
Boardinghouse
Beverly Hills, 90210 - The 4th Season
The New York Ripper
The Waltons - The Complete 7th Season
27 Dresses

Some Country/Folk CDs Out This Week

Warren Smith - Rockabilly Legend
Chris Ledoux - Classic Chris Ledoux (W/Dvd)
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers - Turbo Ocho
Mel Tillis - Southern Rain (Box set)
Phil Stacey - Phil Stacey
Mark Chesnutt - Rollin' with the Flow
Steve Earle - Copperhead Road (Extra tracks)
Martina McBride - Live In Concert (Limited Edition)
Confederate Railroad - Confederate Railroad
Steve Earle - Live From Austin, TX
The Oak Ridge Boys - The Gospel Collection

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Arizona Wildland Fire Activity Update

Fire crews made significant progress on containing the Beehive Fire to less than 500 acres. The Eastern Arizona Incident Management Team will hand over full responsibility back to the Coronado National Forest, Nogales Ranger District at 8 pm tonight. The Nogales Ranger District will continue to patrol the area for the next several days.

The Alamo Fire, 13 miles west of Nogales, has reached 95% containment with 5,070 acres burned & April 28th, still as the estimated containment date.

The Eagle Fire is burning in Greenlee County about 35 miles south of Alpine & has burned 2,591 acres. So far, 75% containment has been reached. Crews still expect full containment on April 28th.

ADOT Creates Multimodal Planning Division

As part of recent efforts to address the state’s diverse long-term transportation needs, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has reorganized its planning & public transportation divisions to further enhance its capability to develop multiple transportation solutions.

On April 24th, ADOT announced the creation of the Multimodal Planning Division. This new division merges the former Transportation Planning & Public Transportation divisions.

To lead this new division, ADOT has appointed Rakesh Tripathi as assistant director of ADOT for Multimodal Planning. The division will focus on planning an integrated transportation system consisting of highways, rail, public transportation & bicycle/pedestrian facilities for the movement of people, goods & services.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano praised the bold reorganization by ADOT, saying that it recognizes the expertise and focus needed for the state’s future.

"The creation of the Multimodal Planning Division within ADOT reflects the urgent need to create a coordinated investment in diverse solutions to move people & commerce throughout Arizona," said Gov. Napolitano. “ADOT is again displaying leadership in developing transportation choices to shape Arizona's future.”

Tripathi, who previously served as interim director of planning for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston District, will use his experience in leading ADOT’s highway, rail & public transportation planning programs, all of which are emerging needs for the state.

"Rakesh brings a wealth of knowledge about multimodal transportation planning,” said ADOT Director Victor Mendez. “His experience working with diverse jurisdictions is important as we actively work on plans for our state’s long-term transportation needs.”

In Texas, Tripathi helped manage the largest transportation planning program in the state, covering 8 counties with a population of more than 4.5 million. He served the Texas Department of Transportation for 14 years. Beyond transportation planning, he has extensive rail experience for freight movement & commuter rail - a concept under study in Arizona.

"I am excited & humbled by this great responsibility & I intend to make this division a leader in multimodal planning in the nation,” said Tripathi. “I’m looking forward to providing support & leadership to our metropolitan planning organizations & councils of governments to plan for a bright transportation future in Arizona."

Tripathi is a professional engineer who received his Master of Business Administration degree from Baylor University. He also earned a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University & a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University in India. He is a widely published author & has been awarded a U.S. patent for his inventions in transportation engineering.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Safe Routes to Schools Given $1 Million From ADOT

The Arizona Department of Transportation has awarded $1 million in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds in its second round of funding.

Earlier this year the ADOT Safe Routes to School Program awarded approx. $35,000 through its Planning Assistance Program. This program provides assistance to in-need communities that desire to become engaged in SRTS programs & projects. This effort also includes grant writing assistance that enables the recipients to compete for SRTS funds in support of recommended programs & projects.

The program was created by the U.S. Congress to make it safer & easier for elementary & middle school students to walk & bicycle to school in an effort to counteract the epidemic of obesity & diabetes in the Unites States. Barriers to walking & bicycling can include busy streets, neighborhoods with poor connections to schools, & large schools that are distant from residential neighborhoods.

Since the 1960s childhood obesity has quadrupled. A contributing factor is the general decline in physical activity. Some health experts are predicting that the lifespan of many children will be less than their parents due to weight-related diseases.

The awards were made to 13 of the 38 eligible applicants throughout the state. $700,000 was awarded for infrastructure projects & $294,500 for non-infrastructure projects. Recipients include:

· Town of Gilbert: Installation of raised crosswalks, sidewalks & ramps; development of a community partnership program; funding of workshops.
· City of Avondale: Installation of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, in-pavement lighting, speed tables, & driver feedback signs.
· City of Phoenix: Installation of sidewalks adjacent to the streets near Mitchell Elementary School in the Isaac School District.
· Maricopa County Department of Public Health: Provision of education, bicycle & pedestrian safety training, & resources to schools.
· Town of Florence/ADOT: Funding of classes on healthy transportation choices & bicycle safety.
· Banner Children’s Hospital: Presentation of courses on pedestrian & bicycle safety; Bicycle rodeos.
· City of Peoria: Organization of events for International Walk to School Day & throughout the school year.
· St. David Unified School District: Organization of walking & bicycling activities, events & competitions throughout the district; funding for Community Health & Safety Day.
· Yuma Elementary School District: Funding for a full-time SRTS coordinator to carry out bicycle & pedestrian activities & bike rodeos.
· University of Arizona/Santa Cruz County: Funding for a part-time School Wellness Coordinator position in order to implement a district-wide SRTS initiative.
· Prescott Alternative Transportation: Organization of Walk to School Day events; facilitation of bicycle rodeos; hosting neighborhood safety forums.

Included in the non-infrastructure awards is $15,000 through the Materials & Regional Support Program, which is aimed at applicants who focus on regional rather than single-school projects.

Beginning in September 2008, ADOT will make available to eligible applicants an additional $2.5 million for SRTS programs & projects around the state.

Sgt. Tate Lynch Memorial Bike Run

On Sunday, May 4th, participants will meet at Bikers Dream, 884 W Gila Bend Hwy/Bikers Dream in Casa Grande for a 9:30 am start time. Call Ruben Garza at, (520) 836-9977 for further details.

Third Annual Living In Harmony With The Sun Event

One out of five Americans will develop skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. The good news is: Most skin cancers are preventable & if detected early, are highly treatable. To help people learn how to enjoy Arizona's approx. 350 sunny days each year & understand UV exposure, the Arizona Cancer Center's Skin Cancer Institute is joining the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to present the, Third Annual Living in Harmony with the Sun event from 8 am to 2 pm on May 3rd and 4th, at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (2021 N. Kinney Road). The weekend activities will highlight skin cancer prevention & detection at one of Southern Arizona’s most popular attractions & it's free with the museum's admission fee.

Local dermatologists, recruited by the Tucson Dermatology Society, will be on hand to conduct a limited number of free skin cancer screenings (first come/first served). Interactive educational displays & children’s activities will also be featured. Commercial vendors such as Neutrogena & Solar Eclipse clothing will be on hand to display sun safety products.

The Arizona Cancer Center is the state’s premier National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. With research sites in Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale & Sun City, the Center has 300 world-class physician & scientist members, working to prevent & cure cancer.

American Forests Crowns Arizona With 94 National Champion Trees

Arizona took top honors for the state with the most national champion trees — 94 — in the 2008-2009 National Register of Big Trees. A total of 733 trees were crowned in 44 states & the District of Columbia, 219 of them new this year. The Register is maintained by American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation group, & sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company.

Arizona’s 26 new champs—including a Geyer willow, the smallest big tree in the Register—are second only to Virginia, which had 37. The Geyer willow, on Fort Apache Indian Reservation, was one of two Arizona trees marking their species’ first appearance on the Register. The other is a littleleaf sumac west of Duncan in Graham County.

A new rule that all trees must be remeasured within 10 years to remain as champions resulted in the most changes in the Register’s 68-year history. American Forests relies on public participation to find & nominate champion trees; the nominations are then verified by state coordinators & the list updated every 2 years. Trees receive a point total based on their height, circumference, & ¼ of their crown spread. Trees within 5 points become co-champions.

Among Arizona’s notable titleholders: a 353-point velvet ash in Prescott National Forest, a 653-point Fremont cottonwood in Sonoita Creek, Santa Cruz County, & a 409-point longbeak eucalyptus in Chandler. Striking a blow for higher education, the University of Arizona boasts 3 national titleholders: a huajillo, a co-champ guajillo, & a co-champ tree tobacco; Central Arizona College has a co-champ blackbrush acacia. Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior had 3: althorn, Texas kidneywood, & Florida mayten. Tucson Medical Center has the national champion Indian-fig.

The biggest of the big trees on this year’s list is again California’s General Sherman giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park—Earth’s largest living thing & a perennial champ since the first Register in 1940. Standing 274 feet tall with a girth of 1,020 inches & a crown spread of 107 feet, it racks up a point total of 1,321.

Six states—Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, & Wyoming—had no champs at all.

For more information about all the champions, visit the American Forests’ website:
americanforests.org. From there, you can download interesting trivia about the champs, a description of how to measure a tree, a nomination form for new champs, & e-mailable postcards. You also can check out the list of 189 species that are currently without a national champion.

Friday, April 25, 2008

State Route 85 Blasting Schedule Change

The schedule for the main blast on State Route 85 near the Lewis Prison traffic interchange, previously set for Tuesday, April 29th, has been changed to Wednesday, April 30th, between Noon and 1 pm.

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) is improving SR 85 by constructing a new 4-lane divided highway that extends 3 miles north of the Lewis Prison traffic interchange.

The next step is to blast a road cut on the new west frontage road at the interchange. A small test blast was successfully conducted on Thursday, April 24th. Highway traffic on SR 85 & local traffic accessing the Lewis Prison traffic interchange will be halted during blasting. Delays for drivers will be minimal, & will last approx. 5 minutes.

Posted warning signs will remind drivers to turn off 2-way radio communications through this area. Drivers should use caution and must comply with all posted restrictions throughout the construction zone. The maximum speed through the area will be 55 miles an hour. Narrow conditions exist with a maximum load width limit of 14 feet. Traffic signs will provide details & flagmen will assist with traffic movement.

The SR 85 construction project is on schedule, with completion scheduled for late 2008. State Route 85 is a vital link for travelers connecting with I-8 & I-10 as they head to destinations such as Buckeye, Gila Bend & Yuma .

ADOT will make every effort to minimize the disruption & inconvenience to drivers & to complete this project in a safe and efficient manner. ADOT appreciates motorists’ patience & cooperation during this time.

Construction updates are available by calling the project hotline at (623) 386-8926.

Gastrointestinal Illness At Eloy Detention Center Identified

Specimens tested at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory on April 24th, have confirmed norovirus as the cause of the gastrointestinal illness outbreak currently occurring at the Eloy Detention Center.

Over 300 detainees have become ill so far with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pinal County Public Health and Environmental Health officials are working with officials at the Eloy Detention Center to manage the spread of the infection in the facility. At this point no cases have had serious illness or needed to be hospitalized.

Norovirus, which causes what is commonly referred to as “stomach flu” or “winter vomiting disease” typically causes symptoms such as low grade fever, nausea, vomiting, & diarrhea. Symptoms usually resolve in 1-3 days. Norovirus is spread through the fecal-oral route from person to person, often involving contaminated environmental surfaces such as door or sink handles. Health officials are still investigating the source of the norovirus outbreak.

While norovirus is more common during the colder months, it is found year round in Arizona & is a common cause of outbreaks associated with institutional settings, schools, daycares, cruise ships, & other environments where people are in close proximity to one another. Norovirus is the most common documented cause of outbreaks in Arizona. It is typical in these settings to see high percentages of residents & employees become ill until rigorous disinfection practices are implemented.

“No institutional setting is immune to this,” said Tom Schryer, Director, Pinal County Public Health. “One case of this very common illness brought into an institutional setting is enough to cause an explosion of secondary cases. We appreciate the cooperation from officials with the Corrections Corporation of America to help identify this outbreak of norovirus.”

The best way to protect yourself from infection of norovirus & many other communicable diseases is to practice good hygiene including washing hands multiple times a day.

For more information about norovirus or influenza call the Pinal County Public Health Services District at (520) 866-7347, or the Arizona Department of Health Services at (602) 364-3676.

Tempe IRS Office Moving To Mesa

The Tempe IRS office is moving to 1818 E. Southern Ave., Suite 15 in Mesa, & will be open for business Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, beginning on May 13th. The Tempe office located at 40 W. Baseline Rd., will be closed starting on May 9th. Alternate IRS offices are located at 210 E. Earll Dr. & 2400 W. Dunlap in Phoenix.

"We apologize for any inconvenience during this move. Other ways of doing business with the IRS are available. Payments can be mailed or electronically deposited and tax information is available anytime at
irs.gov,” said Rosemary Davis, office manager. “Area residents can also call toll-free, 1-800-829-1040 for assistance in English or Spanish,” she said.

The three IRS offices in the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as Taxpayer Assistance Centers, provide face-to-face help to taxpayers in understanding & meeting their tax responsibilities. All possible steps are taken to ensure taxpayer privacy & the security of sensitive taxpayer information. Taxpayers are assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Remaining Fall 2008 Hunts Have Been Set By Arizona Game and Fish & Other Changes

At the April 19th, Game and Fish Commission meeting, the commission approved orders setting hunting seasons for deer, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo, bear and mountain lions, and established season dates, bag and possession limits, permit numbers and open areas for the remaining 2008-09 seasons not previously addressed (elk and antelope have already been drawn).

Also, a few changes came out of the April 19th, meeting. Two of those changes involve the initiation of the first-ever over-the-counter turkey tags for youth in the designated units. The second was the approval of the first-ever permitted archery deer hunts in specific units based on a harvest apportioning formula. Also, young hunters have a new opportunity being offered in this year’s fall hunt regulation package is that all the fall javelina hunts are juniors-only, which will coincide with juniors-only antlered deer hunts in the respective units.

The commission set the various small game hunts for a 2-year period & increased the tree squirrel season 5 weeks, that will now close on Dec. 31st. The Gambel’s & scaled quail season opener will now be the first Friday in October each year. Mearns’ will remain unchanged, with a season opener of Nov. 28th, this year.

The new hunt guidelines the Game and Fish Commission adopted last August will be implemented & in place for two years and will constitute evolutionary steps to improve the Arizona hunt scene. These guidelines reflect an over-arching desire to increase the hunting prospects for everyone while also standardizing hunts where feasible.

For the fall turkey season, it is now relegated to shotgun shooting-shot-only with 6,100 permits, which is a 230-permit increase over 2007. Plus there are 6 units (Hunt Unit 1, 6A, 8, 10, 12A, 23, and 27) with juniors-only seasons where over-the-counter nonpermit tags are being offered – for the first time ever.

The commission also approved a youth-only 600-permit antlerless deer season for Unit 12AW due to the continued high-fawn production on the Kaibab Plateau.

These newly-adopted fall regulations are expected to be
posted online on April 30th. The printed regulation booklets are expected to be available at license dealers around the 3rd week of May.

The deadline to apply for the remaining permitted hunts (elk & antelope have already been drawn) is June 10th, at 7 pm MST, postmarks do not count. Don't forget, there is no online application process available at this time, it's a manual paper-permit process.

Also, May 29th, is the end of the application grace period. During the grace period, if you make a mistake on your application for one of the remaining fall hunts, they attempt to call you 3 times in a 24-hour period to allow you the opportunity to correct the mistake. After that date, any mistakes can mean your application will not be accepted.

If you would like to see the hunt guidelines or the packet the commission considered, they can be viewed
online, anytime. The commission did make a few changes to the hunt recommendation packet as submitted, so you cannot use that particular proposed packet to apply. However, it does give an idea of what hunts are when, and what the level of permits will be.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nearly 80 Gastrointestinal Illness Cases Reported At Eloy Corrections Facility

Pinal County officials from the Public Health Services District and Division of Environmental Health are working in concert with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) officials on an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at their Eloy facility.

Approximately 80 cases of gastrointestinal illness symptoms were reported by CCA to the Public Health Services District on Wednesday, April 23rd. Symptoms included vomiting & diarrhea.

Pinal County has taken samples to the Arizona Department of Health Services lab in Phoenix for analysis. It is unknown when the results will be available.

Free Kittens/Cats

There are 4 baby kittens, weaned and litter trained, 1 male cat approx, 6 months old, all very lovable and healthy & are in need of a good home. Especially to a home with no other pets. If you are interested, please call 793-3387.

State Route 85 Blasting Scheduled

Drivers are urged to use patience as there will be short delays on State Route 85 as blasting gets underway during improvement work to the highway. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is improving SR 85 by constructing a new 4-lane divided highway that extends 3 miles north of the Lewis Prison traffic interchange.

The next step includes blasting a road cut on the new west frontage road at the interchange. A small test blast will occur between Noon to 1 pm, today, April 24th. The main blast will be conducted between Noon to 1 pm on April 29th. Highway traffic on SR 85 & local traffic accessing the Lewis Prison traffic interchange will be halted during blasting. Delays for drivers will be minimal, & will last approx. 5 minutes.

Posted warning signs will remind drivers to turn off 2-way radio communications through this area. Drivers should use caution & must comply with all posted restrictions throughout the construction zone. The maximum speed through the area will be 55 miles an hour. Narrow conditions exist with a maximum load width limit of 14 feet. Traffic signs will provide details & flagmen will assist with traffic movement.

The SR 85 construction project is on schedule, with completion scheduled for late 2008. State Route 85 is a vital link for travelers connecting with I-8 & I-10 as they head to destinations such as Buckeye, Gila Bend & Yuma.

ADOT is making every effort in order to minimize the disruption & inconvenience to drivers & to complete this project in a safe & efficient manner. ADOT appreciates your patience & cooperation during this time.

Construction updates are available by calling the project hotline at (623) 386-8926.

“Fishing With an Attitude” Is Done For Another Year

“Fishing With an Attitude” 2008 is now in the history books, including a few challenges in coordinating this year's function. This is the 14th year that Miami Schools and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office have sponsored the outing & once again, the participants had an enjoyable experience while attending the annual overnight at Roosevelt Lake.

The objective is to pair at-risk middle school age students with those who are excelling to obtain a positive experience for those falling behind. It also gives all students positive interaction with authoritative agencies. As this is a school related activity, a variety of learning opportunities are offered.

With Roosevelt Lake at 99% full just finding an area to house 145 students & 40+ adult chaperones was the first consideration for the committee. But a suitable site was found & the kids began arriving around 9 am on Friday, April 18th to pursue that elusive ‘big fish’.

Throughout both days educational presentations were given. One of the major attractions, a jump from a C-130 by Air Force PJ’s was cancelled due to mechanical problems with the aircraft. Other than that, everything else went well. On Friday afternoon the Forest Service (TBRD) gave a wildlife/environmental interactive program, a Gila County K-9 Officer provided a demonstration with his drug sniffing dog (Zelma) & explosive sniffing dog (Rusty) & Arizona Youth Partnership in conjunction with Freeport McMoran talked about drug abuse.

Saturday morning the kids were treated to a fire suppression demonstration by FS wildland firefighters as well as a discussion on fire prevention, the U.S. Coast Guard Aux. gave a talk on water safety & the Gila County SO dive team provided a demonstration on water rescue & recovery.

Of course the main attraction was catching fish & going swimming, though the kids did admit the water was a bit chilly. Several fish were caught though, including some nice sized crappie & catfish. The winners of this year’s trophies as pictured above, were: 1st place, Chris Stout (Lee Kornegay); 2nd place, Cruz Gonzales (Hayden) & 3rd place, James Harris (Lee Kornegay).

Schools from all over Gila County attended again this year including: Hayden, Lee Kornegay, High Desert, Destiny & Young.

The 2008 FWA committee would like to recognize the following businesses, agencies & individuals for their generous contributions & support: Freeport McMoran, we couldn’t have done it without their volunteers, who helped put up tents, took fish off hooks, helped keep the kids hydrated with water & Gatorade & in general did whatever whenever & wherever needed (FMI ROCKS); Arizona Game and Fish, who provided poles & bait for any student who needed it; Gila County Search and Rescue, who provided security, medical & cooked the food & the U.S. Forest Service from Tonto Basin Ranger District, who provided the site, picnic tables, toilets & trash receptacles for the weekend. Others contributing to the event included: Shamrock Farms, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Highway 188 Bait and Tackle, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, U.S. Coast Guard Aux., Gila County Sheriff’s Office (including the dive team & K-9 unit) U.S. Forest Firefighters, ‘Nana’ Alicia Estevane & Johnny & Sylvia Smith.

Southwest Bald Eagle Management Committee Honors Game & Fish Eagle Program

Department of the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne presented the Cooperative Conservation Award to members of the Southwest Bald Eagle Management Committee (SWBEMC) on April 22nd, for its implementation of the Arizona bald eagle nestwatch program at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The SWBEMC is a broad coalition consisting of 23 government agencies, private organizations & Native American tribes that oversees the comprehensive management plan that help's to ensure the continued success of the bald eagle population in Arizona. This plan includes regular monitoring & survey flights; banding & visual identification; contaminants analysis; cooperative partnerships with the other committee partners; & the nestwatch program to protect breeding activities.

"Once Upon A Mattress" Performance

The Copper Cities Community Players is proud to present, "Once Upon A Mattress." This is the Broadway show that Carol Burnett starred in that is a bawdy take on the "Princess and the Pea." The Player's have performances on May 9th, 16th, 17th, at 7 pm & a matinee performance on May 10th at 1 pm. There will also be a special Mother's Day performance on May 11th, at 2 pm. Tickets are $15 each. Performances are at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, at 101 N. Broad St. in Historic Downtown Globe. Call the Center for ticket reservations at, 425-0884.

Current Fires Arizona

Three fires are burning in Arizona. The Alamo Fire is burning 13 miles west of Nogales with 80% containment. The Eagle Fire is burning in Greenlee County about 35 miles south of Alpine & was estimated to be 2,000 acres as of yesterday afternoon. The Beehive Fire was started early Wednesday afternoon & is located 8 miles north, northwest of the Alamo Fire.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Great Corridor Clean-Up Phone Number Update

On April 26th, with enough residents from Globe-Miami & San Carlos volunteering to sign up to help clean from Miami to San Carlos. The clean-up starts at 7 am & with enough people, the job can be finished by mid-morning.

The numbers are for volunteers that live in the following areas:

Globe: 425-7656.
Miami: 200-6450.
Central Heights: 200-1888.
Claypool: 602-359-8148.
San Carlos: 475-2218.

Gila County Rodeo

The Gila County Rodeo has a lot of action packed into April 25th - 27th. Friday night is team roping. Saturday starts off with slack and of course a parade in downtown Globe at 11 am, with the rodeo action continuing at 6 pm until the free dance in the dirt from 8:30 pm until Midnight. The rodeo action will at 1 pm on Sunday. And, all weekend long there will be fundraising to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer in memory of Marsha Powell Marcanti. Admission to the rodeo is $10 per person, children & under 12 are free. Be sure to show your support by wearing pink. If you don’t have anything pink to wear, call 425-0066 to buy a special shirt. Even if you have something pink to wear call 425-0066. The monies from the sale of the shirt go to the foundation.

Casa Grande Road Closure Alert

Due to construction, Kortsen Road will be closed from Pinal Avenue to Casa Grande Avenue until May 12th.

Miami Kindergarten Registration

The Miami Unified School District is asking all resident with a child who will be 5 years old by this coming Sept. 1st, to pre-register their child for the 2008-2009 school year. Kindergarten Registration will be held at the Las Lomas Elementary School at 5791 S. Maple Leaf Rd. in Claypool, April 29th - May 21st.

Please bring your child's Immunization Records, Certified Birth Certificate, & Social Security Number with you.

Globe Library Seeking Volunteers To Help With Kids Summer Reading Program

The Globe Public Library is seeking adult and young adult volunteers to help with their Summer Reading Program. Children age 6 - 10 years will be invited to "Catch the Reading Bug" on Wednesday or Thursday mornings, from 10 am - 11:45 am, from June 4th through July 10th. Ideas are needed for stories, songs, games, & crafts. Interested persons are urged to contact Mary Helen or Ellen at, 425-6111.

Deer Valley Education Association & Deer Valley Governing Board Negotiations Have Stalled

The negotiations between the Deer Valley Governing Board & the Deer Valley Education Association have apparently broken down. The refusal to share any & all information by administrators & board members representing the district is reported as the cause of this impasse at the bargaining table.

Hundreds of teachers, support staff, & parents ended up turning out for last night's regularly scheduled meeting of the governing board to show support continuation of the bargaining process. The Governing Board was not scheduled to address the issue at the meeting.

Herb Weil, DVEA president, said, “We expect open, honest, and transparent communication from district officials in the bargaining process. Teachers understand what it takes to achieve academic success for our students & must be included in the process.”

For nearly 20 years the district & the union have used the Interest Based Negotiations Process but this year the process ended on March 10th, 2008 without a salary agreement. The district continues to reject pleas from DVEA representatives for open, honest, & transparent discussions regarding their draft budget.

"It is time to go back to the table to negotiate a resolution to communication issues that will facilitate a compensation package agreement to support attraction & retention of the best & brightest teachers to the Deer Valley School District. Our students deserve the best,” said Weil.

Recycling Scholarship Winners Announced

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced yesterday that the ADEQ has awarded scholarships of $1,000 each under the department's Recycling Scholarship Program to 10 Arizona high school seniors throughout the state:

The winners and the schools they attend are:

Linda Baez, Pueblo Magnet High School, Tucson; Melanie Napier, Salome High School, Salome; Katie Radosevic, Verde Valley School, Sedona; Kathryn Ross, Kingman High School, Kingman; Mia Spencer, Millennium High School, Goodyear; Dalton Sterner, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale; Dustin Teague, Benson High School, Benson; Maria Tedesco, Centennial High School, Peoria; Leslie Kay Tobara, Northern Arizona Academy, Taylor; Lauren Ashley Wilson, Safford High School, Safford.

Each of these students will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be used for expenses at a college or university in Arizona. The scholarship recipients were selected by ADEQ based on the proposals they submitted to ADEQ outlining a waste reduction or recycling project in their school or community that they have implemented during this month.

"The purpose of this innovative scholarship program is to encourage Arizona students to think about ways to protect the environment while helping them meet the escalating costs of college," Director Owens said. "These high school seniors came up with some terrific ideas for recycling projects."

Owens said ADEQ developed the scholarship program to encourage school recycling activities throughout the state. The scholarship program is funded by the
ADEQ Recycling Grant Program.

Coconino County To Celebrate Law Day

On May 1st, Coconino County will be celebrating Law Day at the County Courthouse, 200 N. San Francisco Street in Flagstaff. The public is invited & encouraged to attend the Law Day activities.

The day is being sponsored by the Coconino County Bar Association, Coconino County Superior Court, DNA - People’s Legal Services, & the Volunteer Lawyer Project.

Volunteer attorneys from the community will meet with high school students prior to Law Day to select one of the following topics & help them in preparing for their debate topic.

* Government in the Sunshine
* Guns in School
* Vague Law: “No Vehicles in the Park”
* Open-Campus Lunches

On Law Day, the students & attorneys will be at the Courthouse to debate these case scenarios, or conduct a mock court on their issue. The debates will be held in the Division III courtroom, with Honorable Mark R. Moran presiding. Debates are scheduled from 9 am to 3 pm, with a break from Noon to 1 pm.

Agencies in the community will also host information tables for the students, & will provide snacks, copies of the U.S. Constitution, Law Day pencils and bags.

For more information, please call Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator Sid Buckman at (928) 679-7508.

Kartchner Caverns State Park 20th Anniversary Celebration

Kartchner Caverns State Park will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on April 26th, from 9 am to 4 pm.

The celebration commemorates Arizona State Parks acquisition of the Kartchner Caverns property. Arizona State Parks leased the property on April 29th, 1988, & acquired the option to purchase from The Nature Conservancy in July 1988. This paved the way to protect the cave & to develop it for public enjoyment. After research, planning, construction, mining concerns & legal issues, the upper caverns was dedicated on November 5th, 1999. Kartchner Caverns State Park was opened to the public on November 12th, 1999.

In honor of the Anniversary the park will be holding a variety of family-friendly activities. These will include a presentation & book signing by Neil Miller whose book "Kartchner Caverns - How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World" was recently published. The book choronicles Randy Tufts & Gary Tenen's discovery of Kartchner Caverns through the opening of Kartchner Caverns State Park. There will also be a book signing by Benjamin Ilka, author & illustrator of "Caves Coloring Book," who will answer questions from the audience as well.

In addition, the park's Cave Unit and Park Rangers will be leading demonstrations & activities throughout the day. There will be interpretive talks about geology, bats, cave critters, the Junior Ranger program, & much more.

Make reservations for guided tours inside the cave & experience the wonder of cave discovery. Rotunda Tours are available for $18.95 for ages 14 & up and $9.95 for those aged 7 to 13 (children 6 & younger are free). (The Big Room will be closed at this time for the roosting of the bats). Reservations are not required but are recommended. Reservations can be made by calling (520) 586-CAVE (2283) or online at:
azstateparks.com.

To book a tour or for more information about the 20th Anniversary Celebration call Kartchner Caverns State Park at (520) 586-2283. The regular park entrance fee ($5 per vehicle) will be waived for this event.

Kartchner Caverns State Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles South of I-10 near Benson. Park is open daily. Park hours are 7 am to 6 pm and Discovery Center hours are 7:30 am to 6 pm.

Webkinz Day Extravaganza Event

KiD to KiD of Peoria will hold a Webkinz Day Extravaganza event April 25th through April 27th in preparation for Webkinz Day on April 29th. The store is located on 13644 North and 75th Ave. in Peoria.

KiD to KiD of Peoria is a children's resale franchise owned by Deron and Michelle Luzar & is a local retailer of the Webkinz product.

The Ganz Company released the Webkinz product in 2005. Each stuffed animal (Webkinz) comes with access to "Webkinz World". "Webkinz World" is a website that contains a virtual version of the stuffed animal and its world. Owners are allowed to play, build & nurture their own animal as well as interact with other WebKinz.

"Webkinz world gives children a safe place to play on the internet. Children can build & nurture their animals & safely 'chat' with other WebKinz using per constructed messaging," said Deron.

Webkinz World was recently awarded the Best of the Web Award from the largest Internet safety & help group in the worth,
wiredsafety.org.

"There will be family fun events, games and prizes for Webkinz fans of all ages. In addition to all of the events, Webkinz pets will be given out to the first 500 customers who make a minimum $10 purchase of any item from the store," said Michelle.

Some of the weekend events include the Jellybean Challenge, Coloring Pictures, Wishing Well & the Wheel of Wow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Prescription Drug Discount Card Program To Be Offered In Gila County

Gila County Supervisor Shirley Dawson introduced to the Board of Supervisors a Prescription Drug Discount Card Program which is sponsored by the National Association of Counties. The program was established by NACO three years ago & has saved consumers more than $60 million dollars.

Gila County joins over 920 other counties across the nation in making the program available to all residents.

The NACO prescription drug discount cards are free to obtain & easy to use. There are no age, health or income restrictions on who can use the cards & there are no registration forms to fill out. The program offers uninsured or underinsured consumers with immediate, at-the-register discounts on their prescription drug purchases through a nationwide network of 57,000 participating pharmacists.

“This program has surpassed all expectations & we are pleased to make it available to our residents,” Dawson stated. She also noted that the average savings has been some 22%. Supervisor Dawson also said, “We have sought ways to help with the ever rising cost of health care & by teaming with NACO we can offer everyone this assistance with their prescriptions. It is an ideal program in that there is no cost to the county, county taxpayers, or consumers to participate in the program. CVS/Caremark negotiates the discounts directly with the pharmacies. Neither NACO nor the participating counties receive any revenue from the program.”

The NACO card cannot be used in conjunction with other prescription drug insurance on any one purchase. However, consumers with insurance are allowed to use the card to purchase prescriptions that are not covered by their insurance.

Supervisor Dawson pointed out, “It will take about 90 days for us to make the program available to all residents. Cards will be available at pharmacies throughout Gila County & at other convenient locations. We hope our residents will find this a savings in their health care costs.”

Guests Appearing On After MidNite

On After MidNite, which airs midnight to 5 am on The Ride, Blair Garner will have Phil Vassar on the program on April 24th. Randy Travis will be joining Blair, in-studio on April 25th. Catch After MidNite with Blair Garner nightly on 94.1 FM.

Suspect Sought In Damage Caused To Holy Angels School

The Globe PD is requesting assistance with an investigation involving damages to the Holy Angels School. Sometime during the night of April 20th, a vehicle collided into the fence, tearing down approx. 100 feet of fence line & then fled from the scene.

Based on evidence recovered at the scene, the vehicle will likely be a dark blu full sized Chevy pickup or SUV. The pickup will be missing the driver side door handle & side mirror & is likely to have damage on the driver side of the vehicle (at minimum). The vehicle also had a front decorative license plate (black and yellow in color) with the words "CAT empire."

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Globe PD at 425-5751.

Starlight Rescue VBS!

Get ready to blast off into an adventure of galactic proportions! Calling all aspiring Star Cadets! River of Life Church invites you to the most exciting out-of-this world week you will ever have! Come join us for God Rocks! Starlight Rescue VBS—A Galactic Adventure with God!

Starlight Rescue VBS is a Vacation Bible School like no other! Your week of space adventure includes new and exciting God Rocks! music and videos! Come join us as we start out each day at Mission Control where our rockin’ galaxy adventures begin. You’ll also visit Galaxy Games, Crater Crafts, the Solar Snack Shack, the Starlight Theater, and the Moon Ray Music Studio. It will be a week of spikin’ fun!

The fun begins on June 9th, at 6 pm. For more information call River of Life Church at (928) 425-2349.

Arizona Innovation Connection

The Arizona Economic Resource Organization (AERO) capital formation task force, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Commerce, is launching the Arizona Innovation Connection, a weekly update designed to assist science discoveries & technology development.

"The partners on this project are committed to enhancing Arizona's global competitiveness by accelerating the pace of discovery, innovation & technology business development,” said Jan Lesher, Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce & an incorporating director of the Arizona Economic Resource Organization. “This new tool should help accelerate the funding coming into the State.”

"With this weekly update, AERO is acting on one of its top priorities - capital formation,” said board member Bill Hardin, an attorney with Osborn Maledon in Phoenix. “The long-term strategy for global success begins with increasing funding to our home-grown innovations, & we are arming the science & technology leaders in Arizona with a means to increase investment.”

The Arizona Innovation Connection provides updates on Federal & State funding opportunities through entities such as Science Foundation Arizona, the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, National Science Foundation, & many other State, National, non-profit & foundation programs.

"This is a powerful resource for today's science & technology entrepreneurs,” said AERO board member Larry Hecker, principal of Hecker & Muehlebach in Tucson. “As we grow the resources available through Arizona Innovation Connection, we hope to increase access to seed funding & venture capital investments.”

The Arizona Innovation Connection is made possible through the partnership of the
State Science & Technology Institute, Arizona Department of Commerce Office of Innovation & Technology & the Arizona Economic Resource Organization. To have the next issue sent to your “in-box,” please e-mail: azinnovation@azcommerce.com with “subscribe” in the subject line.

Drake Picks Phelps

Arizona State Sun Devils assistant Mark Phelps has been chosen to take the helm as coach for Drake's Men's Basketball team. The position became available after Keno Davis reached an agreement with Providence.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Florence Community Library 11th Annual Bookmark Design Winner Announced

Vanessa Bracamonte, a sophomore at Florence High School, won the 11th Annual Bookmark Design Contest at Florence Community Library. Contest winners were announced at a reception in the Florence Community Library during National Library Week, held April 13th through April 19th.

Bracamonte's design featured a brightly colored book suspended in concentric circles of primary colors. Rita Marquez, children's librarian, said, "Vanessa's design is symbolic of the excitement children experience in reading. It opens up entirely new worlds to them."

Second place winner was Jake Cap, 6th grade student at Florence K-8. Tracey Goins-Heisler, 6th grade home school student, took 3rd place.

Thirteen students received honorable mentions: Alyssa Mederos, kindergarten, Anthem School; Lexus Baca, 1st grade, home school; Natalia Lopez, 2nd Grade, Copper Basin; Alyana Frasier, 3rd Grade, Copper Basin; Olivia Cox, 4th Grade, Copper Basin; Lucas West, 5th Grade, Florence K-8; Edy Ruiz, 6th Grade, Florence K-8; Ming Ngu, 7th Grade, Walker Butte; & Stephen Seidel, 6th Grade, home school.

Also, Anthony Gattrell, 9th Grade; Daisy Yanez, 10th Grade; Lydia Cerde, 11th Grade; & Nicole Brown, 12th Grade, all students at Florence High School. Heather Heisler, parent, also received an honorable mention.

Nearly 400 students entered the contest. All entries will be displayed at the library through the month of April. The winning bookmark is available free at the main desk of the Florence Community Library.

IMC Magnetics Of Tempe Penalized

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced that IMC Magnetics Corp. will pay $130,000 for violations of federal & state regulations involving the handling & storage of hazardous waste at its facility at 1900 E. Fifth Street in Tempe.

ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) in 2003 for 11 major violations by the company, which manufactures aerospace components. ADEQ inspectors observed cotton swabs coated with toxic methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) & residue containing cadmium & lead tossed in the trash & lead solder drippings on the floor.

The company failed to determine that material containing MEK, a solvent, & the cadmium-lead residue were hazardous wastes. The company also stored hazardous waste without a permit & kept hazardous waste in large containers that were improperly labeled or not labeled at all. It also failed to update its contingency plan or to make emergency arrangements with local officials.

"The company handled hazardous waste in a careless manner, endangering the public & its own employees," Director Owens said. "In some instances, company officials claimed that their toxic waste was not hazardous. The penalty reflects the seriousness of the violations."

In August of 2004 ADEQ issued IMC Magnetics another NOV for mishandling hazardous waste after the City of Tempe Fire Department found potentially explosive waste that was improperly stored & had not been properly disposed of. Seventeen state & city agencies cooperated to remove the waste, which was removed by a robot & exploded off-site.

In addition to the $130,000 penalty, IMC Magnetics must implement & maintain an Environmental Management System for more than 2 years & retain a 3rd party to perform 2 annual compliance audits.

Bennett Not Running For District 1

Ken Bennett, former Arizona Senate President, has decided not to run. Had he deicided to attach himself to the Republican ticket, he would have joined Sydney Hay and Preston Korn. Mary Kim Titla, Ann Kirkpatrick, & Howard Shanker are the Democrats in the race.

Gaye Isn't So Happy Now

After being featured on "America's Most Wanted" on April 19th, Robert Gaye, 32, was arrested in Phoenix after being on the run for nearly 2 years. He's been on the run since 2006, after being accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl he was babysitting in Minnesota. He's sitting in the Fourth Avenue Jail awaiting extradition back to Minnesota.

6th Annual Walk to End Domestic Violence

On April 26th, you can help Phoenix area domestic violence shelters by participating in the "6th Annual Walk to End Domestic Violence." There is a Competitive 5K Run, a non competitive 5K walk, & a Kids Dash scheduled. Registration begins at 6:30 am. At 9 am, the live performance will start along with the other festivities. The Run/Walk starts and finishes at Wesley Bolin Plaza at 17th Avenue and Adams in downtown Phoenix by the Capital. The Arizona Foundation for Women, is hosting this event. And, 100% of the pledges and registration fees go directly to the shelters. Don't worry, it's not too late, to register.

San Carlos Great Corridor Clean-Up Section

Globe Clean and Beautiful is sponsoring the Great Corridor Clean-Up as part of the Great American Clean-up on April 26th. The area included for San Carlos is the Highway 70 corridor from San Carlos High School to San Carlos Recreation & Wildlife. Anyone interested in helping, will need to contact the following people in your area of residence:

Peridot: Sonny Duncan, (928) 475-2326.
San Carlos: Jon Duncan, (928) 475-5940.
San Carlos: Loretta Stone, (928) 475-2218.

This is a united effort to show pride in our communities by cleaning the entire corridor & provide an incentive for those traveling through to stop & see the many things we have offer.

Gila Community College Spring Semester Art Show

All are invited to attend Gila Community College’s Spring Semester Art Show on April 25th, from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Gila Pueblo Campus in Globe. Light refreshments will be served. The art show is intended to highlight works created by students at the college. Instructors will have some of their artwork on display as well. Some of the classes that will be displaying their art are drawing, stained glass, oil painting, watercolor, sculpture, china painting, & ceramics.

Latest Arizona Project Contracts Awarded By State Transportation Board

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will fund $36.3 million in projects to improve the state’s transportation system. At its meeting in Phoenix on April 18th, the Arizona State Transportation Board approved projects in Coconino, Greenlee, Navajo, Pima & Yavapai Counties.

Coconino County:
I-17 Repaving - The project consists of repaving 8 miles of southbound I-17 from Willard Springs Road to the Airport Traffic Interchange. Fann Contracting will begin work in June on the $3.7 million project, which is scheduled for completion in late summer.
Flagstaff Business Route 40 Repaving – The project consists of repaving four miles of Business Route 40 in Flagstaff from Pine Springs to Switzer Canyon Drive. Fann Contracting will begin work in June on the $2.6 million project, which is scheduled for completion in early fall.
US 89 Repaving – The project consists of repaving seven miles of US 89 from Bitter Springs to the Utah state line. FNF Construction will begin work in June on the $3.9 million project, which is scheduled for completion in early fall.

Greenlee County:
SR 78 Bank Stabilization – The project consists of bank stabilization on State Route 78 at White Mule Creek, 3 miles west of the New Mexico border. Bison Contracting will begin work in June on the $148,000 project, which is scheduled for completion in late summer.

Navajo County:
SR 277 Repaving – The project consists of repaving 13 miles of State Route 277 from Pulp Mill to Industrial Drive. Combs Construction will begin work in June on the $2.7 million project, which is scheduled for completion in early fall.

Pima County:
SR 77 Widening – The project consists of widening State Route 77 (Oracle Road) from Calle Concordia to Tangerine Road. Hunter Contracting will begin work in June on the $19.5 million project, which is scheduled for completion in late 2009.

Yavapai County:
I-40 Repaving – The project consists of repaving 9 miles of westbound I-40 near Seligman. FNF Construction will begin work in June on the $3.8 million project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2008.

Some DVDs Out This Week

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! - Season 1
TNA Wrestling: Best of TNA 2007
Trailer Park Boys - The Movie
Friday Night Lights: The 2nd Season
Charlie Wilson's War
Merrill's Marauders
Cloverfield
Laverne & Shirley - The 4th Season
One Missed Call
The Orphanage
Outside the Ropes Presents: Pro Wrestling's Lost Treasures
Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Season 1
Shirley Temple - Americas Sweetheart Collection, Vol. 6
The Savages
My Boy Jack
A Date with Judy
The Phoenix Lights: We Are Not Alone

Some Country/Folk CDs Out This Week

Phil Vassar - Prayer of a Common Man (Limited Edition)
Willie Stradlin - Willie Stradlin
Billy Bragg - Mr. Love and Justice
Joey Green - Vinyl Destinations

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Night Closures Required For Embankment Repair Of State Route 87

State Route 87 will be closed from 8 pm to 6 am on April 22nd through April 24th, in order to accelerate the repair of embankments in the Slate Creek area, following a landslide that occurred last month.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says drivers can use US 60 & State Route 188 through Globe, or they can use I-17 & State Route 260 through Camp Verde to travel between the Phoenix & Payson areas during nighttime hours next week.

To protect the safety of the traveling public, ADOT closed State Route 87 on March 21st, following the discovery of a landslide between Sunflower & Rye. The highway was reopened on March 27th, with one lane in each direction, while construction crews continued making repairs.

ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division has also approved a 12-foot maximum wide load restriction for both northbound & southbound lanes beginning April 21st, & running through Memorial Day. This will prevent vehicles with wide loads from blocking travel through the construction zone & slowing other motorists.

The U.S. Forest Service has partnered with ADOT to ensure proper drainage & erosion control throughout the project.

For updates on this closure, you can call 5-1-1. ADOT appreciates your patience as they work to safely reopen all lanes of the highway.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Report Card On Arizona's Renewable Energy Potential By County Available

With another study and grade on Arizona, Gila Counties grade for each category was mixed when it came to the Renewable Energies in the Rockies report card. Gila County was given a C- for Biomass (Tonnes/year), B+ for Solar (Solar Energy Resource Potentential - million MWh/year), D for Wind (Mean Power Class), & a B under the Geothermal category (HF - mW/m2).

Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Navajo counties in Arizona earn A grades for having outstanding biomass, solar and geothermal energy potential, according to "
Renewable Energy in the Rockies," a report within the 2008 Colorado College State of the Rockies Report Card.

The Rocky Mountain region, with its ample solar, wind & geothermal resources, as well as excellent biomass potential, is well positioned to become a world-class production region for renewable energy, the report says.

State of the Rockies researcher and report author Elizabeth Kolbe analyzed each county in the eight-state region and assigned grades showing each county's potential for biomass, solar, wind and geothermal energy. The analysis highlights which counties, when supplemented with the necessary labor and infrastructure, are best poised to take advantage of a renewable energy boom.

Maricopa and Pinal counties earned the highest marks overall, both scoring A's for their biomass, solar and geothermal potential, and D+'s for wind power, the renewable energy resource that gets low grades across the state. Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties showed the lowest potential for renewable energy overall, with low marks across the board.

Highlights from Arizona's renewable energy potential report card:

Solar Potential
Arizona fares very well in grades for solar energy potential: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal and Yavapai counties all earned A grades, and Graham County earned an A-. Lowest on the solar scale were Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties, with a D and a D+, respectively.

Geothermal Potential
Much of the state scored well for geothermal potential, with A grades going to Maricopa, Pinal, Pima, Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai counties. Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties had the least potential for geothermal energy, each scoring D's.

Wind Power Potential
Wind power is the least feasible renewable energy option for Arizona, based on the analysis. The entire state scored poorly, with Graham and Cochise counties earning the best grades in that category, each of them scoring a C-.

Biomass Potential
Maricopa County is a biomass hot spot for the entire 8-state Rockies region. The dense population of Maricopa generates waste that can be transformed into energy through landfill gas, wastewater gas and urban wood residues. Pima, Pinal and Navajo counties also earned A's for biomass potential. Yuma County earned an A-. Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties had little biomass potential, scoring a D and a D+, respectively.

Among regional findings of the "Renewable Energy in the Rockies" report:

* Energy use in the Rocky Mountain region is 9% less than the U.S. average & consumers' monthly bills are 17% lower than the national average.
* Five of the 8 Rockies states are among the top 15 windiest in the country.
* Wind is currently the leading installed renewable resource in the Rockies.
* Seven of the 8 Rocky Mountain states register as superior solar sources.
* The region stands out nationally for its geothermal resources.
* As of 2004, only 2 states in the region - Montana & Wyoming - were net exporters of electricity.
* Regionally, Wyoming burns the highest percentage of coal, which fuels more than 97% of the state's electricity.
* The 3 highest energy-using states in the Rockies are Idaho, Nevada & Arizona.

Sheriff Armer To Seek Re-Election

Sheriff Armer filed his campaign committee papers as a Democratic candidate to seek a 3rd term on Feb. 25th, 2008.

During the past seven years; He has obtained the use of more grant money for equipment and personnel (easing the tax burden on Gila County residents, Worked to co-sponsor Citizens Law Enforcment Acadamies in Gila County, Major crimes are down in unincorporated areas of Gila County according to the F.B.I. Uniform Crime Report, A G.E.D. program in their jail (so far, there has been 105 graduates), A recent addition to the Gila County website with a listing of
sex offenders in Gila County, Youth Programs , Gun safety in area schools (by acquiring the use of the NRA's "Eddie Eagle"), Co-sponsored "Project Lifesaver" in Northern Gila County, & Continued work with our Search and Rescue.