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High School Seniors Essay Content-“WHAT JURY SERVICE MEANS TO ME”

PINAL COUNTY, AZ (4/26/2011) – In conjunction with Juror Appreciation Week May 1 through 7 and to highlight the importance of Jury Service in Pinal County, the Clerk of the Superior Court Chad A. Roche and the Superior Court Judges are sponsoring an essay contest open to all Pinal County High School Seniors.

Seniors are invited and strongly encouraged to submit an essay of 500 words or less about the meaning of Jury Service. Ten winners will be selected and will each receive a $100 United States Savings Bond. Entries will be judged by a panel that includes the Clerk, the Associate Jury Commissioner and a member of the Judiciary. Essays may be submitted until midnight May 9, 2011; winners will be notified by email or by telephone.
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Arrest in Pratt Case

The Casa Grande Police Department announced January 4th 2011 that Hilyard Scott, age 34, of Casa Grande was arrested in Phoenix and was a person of interest in the assault and robbery of State Representative Frank Pratt.  Further investigation has led us to booking Hilyard Scott on charges of Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Kidnapping in the December 25th incident at Pratt Pools in Casa Grande.  Scott will be extradited from Maricopa County Jail to Pinal County Jail today on those charges with a $100,00.00 bond.

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Homeland Security Exercise Tests Local Emergency Management Reactions to Domestic Terrorism Scenario

FLORENCE – Ammonia leaking out of a rail tanker.

Several rail cars derail leaking sulfuric acid.

A train derails with several tankers loaded with chlorine.

All of these accidents happen within an hour of each other.  Coincidence – or a coordinated terrorist attack?
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Arizona Tourist News features 25th Annual Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival as a Top 10 event for early 2011

FLORENCE, AZ – Arizona Tourist News ( has selected the 25th Annual Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival as one of the 10 featured events for the first quarter of 2011.  The festival is set for January 28-30 at the Pinal County Fairgrounds & Events Center.  Festival goers can enjoy fun, food and entertainment for all ages from 9 AM to 6 PM.  

Bill Breen, bluegrass emcee extraordinaire, will host Saturday and Sunday events featuring acts such as the Hillbenders, the Hey Boyz, Digger Davis & Tombstone, the Copper River Bluegrass Band, Tangled Strings and others. 
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Arizona Theatre Company Receives $10,000 Grant from Johnson Family Foundation, Inc.

www.arizonatheatre.orgArizona Theatre Company is pleased to be announced as the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Johnson Family Foundation on December 14, 2010.  The primary purpose of this grant is to build and strengthen relationships within the schools of Pinal County by providing unique arts and literary educational opportunities for the youth of Pinal County.  This grant also supports the fourth year of ATC’s AMERICA PLAYS! Celebrating Great American Stories initiative.

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Frank Pratt Beaten on Christmas Day

Frank PrattAccording to the Arizona Republic, Arizona Representative Frank Pratt, of Pinal County, was "beaten, knocked unconscious, tied up and left bound inside his Casa Grande business after 2:30 p.m.Christmas Day".

Rep. Frank Pratt had stopped by his shop, Pratt Pools, the afternoon of Christmas Day, to check on the place.  When he entered, someone was already inside and attacked him.

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Shooting Update from Antelope Peak

On April 14th, 2011 at 2:15 a.m. the Arizona Department of Public Safety received a 9-1-1 call regarding a shooting which had occurred.  The female reported her father was at a rest area near mile post 150 and Interstate 8.  When DPS arrived, they found a 35-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The shooting investigation was turned over to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.  Deputies were able to speak with the shooting victim who told them himself and fourteen other individuals had come from Mexico and were walking towards Interstate 8.  As the group stopped to rest from walking, they were approached by another group of individuals.  The individuals opened fire on the group which had stopped to rest.
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Sexual Assault Suspect Who Fled to Oregon Now In-Custody

Steve JamesOn Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 5 a.m., the Phoenix Police Department contacted an adult female victim at the Circle K (15th Avenue and Thomas) who alleged she was kidnapped and raped in Apache Junction by a known acquaintance named Steven Lee James (age 47). According to the victim, after they left the Apache Junction residence, she was sexually assaulted multiple times at knife point in the vehicle James was driving. The victim was also forced to drive to several ATM locations in Phoenix and ordered at knife point to withdraw money so James could leave Arizona. The victim and James entered into the Circle K just before 5 a.m. so the victim could withdraw additional money from an ATM. The victim and James got into a verbal dispute and the clerk called 9-1-1. After the police were called, James fled the scene eastbound on foot leaving his knife and vehicle behind.

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Arizona City girl, 2, stops breathing 2 days in a row, dies

Girl stopped breathing, was given CPR and taken to a hospital two days in a row, authorities say....
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Second Update from Antelope Peak Shooting / Homicide Investigation

On April 14th, 2011 at 2:15 a.m. the Arizona Department of Public Safety received a 9-1-1 call regarding a shooting which had occurred.  The female reported her father was located at a rest area near mile post 150 and Interstate 8 and had been shot.  When DPS arrived, they found a 35-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The shooting took place near Antelope Peak which a known smuggling route used by the cartels for drug and human trafficking.  The shooting investigation was turned over to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. PCSO Deputies were able to speak with the shooting victim who informed them that himself and (14) fourteen other individuals had come from Mexico and were walking towards Interstate 8.  As the group stopped to rest, they were approached by another group of individuals.  The second group opened fire on the first group (which had stopped to rest).
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Jose Zaragoza Arrested for Possession of Marijuana for Sale

Jose Alejandro Ramirez-ZaragozaOn Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 the Pinal County Regional DUI Task Force was working in the City of Maricopa. At 7:17 p.m. task force members attempted to stop a silver colored Pontiac Grand Am traveling southbound on Highway 347 for several traffic violations. The vehicle failed to yield for the emergency lights and sirens and a pursuit ensued. The vehicle eventually stopped in the Fry’s parking lot at 20797 North John Wayne Parkway.
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Linda Burchfield Arrested for Aggravated Assault

On June 1st, 2011 at 12:02 a.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 53000 block of Prickly Pear Road, Maricopa in reference to a stabbing. When deputies arrived on scene, they spoke to the adult male victim who had multiple stab wounds and cuts. He was later transported to Maricopa Medical Center where he underwent surgery as a result of his wounds.
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Professional Standards Reviewing Incident with ICE Detainee

Good afternoon.  During the past two days, I have gotten several media and public inquiries into an incident which occurred in the Pinal County Adult Detention Center involving Detention Officer Dan Lovelace.  "Trusted Law Enforcement Sources" have been telling people that Detention Officer Lovelace abused an ICE detainee.  I have gotten phone calls saying the abuse involved punching and kicking of a detainee.  Those allegations are completely false.

Although this case is currently under review by our Professional Standards Unit, I am releasing the News Release below describing the incident in full detail.

-- PCSO PIO Tim Gaffney

Reviewing Incident with ICE Detainee

On July 23rd, 2010 an ICE detainee was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center. The detainee was booked by ICE as a “Level 3”, the highest custody classification placed by the Department of Homeland Security ICE, due to the detainee’s past history. On August 24th, 2010 the detainee had a disciplinary charge after returning a razor blade with paper in place of the blade.

On December 11th the detainee was in recreational area with eight other individuals. The detainee had an opportunity to use the restroom 12 minutes prior to his request to use it again. The detainee was told he would have access to the restroom as soon as another detention officer completed his health and welfare check of other detainees.
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Military Service Argument Leads to Christmas Day Shooting

On December 25th, 2010 at 8:04 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 9-1-1 call in the 6700 block of Stacy Street in Florence regarding a shooting. When deputies arrived on scene, David Provost (age 24 - Navy) was located outside of the residence. David had a single gunshot wound to his left foot. Dustin Jakes (age 27 – ARMY) was located inside of the residence.

David and Dustin are prior roommates and both are on leave from their respected military branches of service. Dustin invited David over to his family’s home for Christmas. The two men began to argue over which branch of service was better, Army or Navy. The confrontation escalated into a physical fight. Dustin recently had surgery on his shoulder, his arm was in a sling and he could not defend himself from the physical attack. Dustin feared for his safety and pointed a handgun at David. David said, “What are you going to do shoot me? I don’t care, shoot me” as he advanced on Dustin. Dustin fired two rounds from the handgun towards the floor. One of the rounds struck David in the foot.
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Fed Funds to Aid First Time Homebuyers, Stabilize Neighborhoods

FLORENCE, AZ – Pinal County has received $3,168,315 in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP3) funds.  These are funds made available through the U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Program’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.  The program provides targeted emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.  This will meet the HUD objective of stabilizing neighborhoods damaged by foreclosure, vacancy or abandoned properties.
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Fatal Collision in Arizona City Alcohol Related

On December 26th, 2010 at 3:07 a.m. a citizen driving on Lamb Road just north of Laguna Street in Arizona City reported coming upon a single vehicle rollover collision. Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputies were sent to investigate.

It was determined during the investigation, James Bowen (age 29 of Arizona City) was driving his 2005 Nissan passenger car southbound on Lamb Road. He drove his vehicle through the northbound lanes of traffic and onto the east shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle then drove back across all lanes of traffic and through the west shoulder of the roadway and into some soft dirt. The front end of the vehicle dug into the dirt causing it to roll over several times.
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Fatal Accident in San Manuel

Fatal Accident in San ManuelOn Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 5:08 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to a serious injury accident on Water Tank Road in San Manuel.  The location is on a private dirt road.

When deputies arrived on scene, it was determined a 2007 Polaris Ranger was being driven northbound on the dirt road.  The 1985 Ford Bronco was being driven southbound on the same dirt road.  The two vehicle struck head on when they both reached the top of the hill.  The force of the head on impact caused the Ranger to rollover onto its top.
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Nearly Century Old Documents Provide a Peek into County’s History

The pages may be somewhat faded, the type is very small and the people are long gone, but a set of documents, almost 100 years old, reveals life in Pinal County at the beginning of statehood.

This surprising find comes to the county via Apache Junction Mayor John Insalaco who presented the historical documents to Pinal County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Pete Rios.
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New Director Appointed for Animal Care & Control

Lt. Kaye DicksonPinal County sheriff lieutenant Kaye Dickson, has been named director of the county's Animal Care & Control unit.  Lt Dickson was appointed last Monday, after previous director Ruth Stalter, stepped down.

Board and County Manager are very appreciative of Lt Dickson's past service at the Sheriff's Office.  Her experience in law enforcement will be of benefit to the people of Pinal County and the staff at Animal Care & Control.

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No Injuries in Plane Crash Near the Town of Mammoth

On May 16th, 2011 at 2:09 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to a plane crash near the town of Mammoth.  The reporting party advised they were on Cooper Creek Road near the Cooper Tree Ghost Town.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found the single engine plane upside down.  The pilot of the plane was Thomas Trotter (age 48 of Bremerton, Washington) and his passenger was Christopher Gardett (age 47 of Laguna, California).
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