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Family Court Services Available Now in Casa Grande

Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) in Pinal County has a long history of providing crucial court-based and child-focused services.  These services are provided to families as they work through the challenging issues of parenting through family conflicts surrounding separation and divorce.  With approximately 125,000 people living in Casa Grande and surrounding cities, the decision to bring those services closer to home was a major goal for FSCC Director Billie Jo Garcia and Judge McCarville, Presiding Family Court and Conciliation Court Judge.

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23-year-old man sentenced to 40 years for multiple acts of child abuse

On Friday, Pinal County Attorney Voyles announced that John Alvarez, who severely abused his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, was sentenced to 40 years of prison.

Alvarez served as primary caregiver for the victim while the mother was at work and on December 21, 2009, he caused the 2 year-old’s lumbar spine to fracture and dislocate.  When the child’s mother returned home from work that night, she took the child to an urgent care facility.  The victim was later transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where, in addition to the spinal fracture and dislocation, doctors discovered he suffered 16 further fractures and additional serious, unspeakably painful internal injuries.

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PhoenixMart HIres Tom Johnston as Senior VP of Leasing and Sales

Tom Johnston

Phoenix Mart, LLC is pleased to announce the recent hire of Tom Johnston who will join the PhoenixMart team as the Senior Vice President of Leasing and Sales. Johnston’s proven background in managing a large and profitable real estate services company as well as his vast experience within the commercial real estate industry will help PhoenixMart become the premiere venue for businesses on an international scale.

“We could not be more excited to get Tom on board to lead our Leasing and Sales team”, said Steve Betts, CEO of PhoenixMart. “TJ joining PhoenixMart, with his stellar reputation in the real estate community, provides further validation of our project and business model. But more importantly, his leadership, leasing/sales experience, and creativity will ensure the successful opening of PhoenixMart in 2014.”

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Drug dealer to spend 39 years in prison

On Wednesday, Kelvin “Lee Lee” Barnett received a 39 year prison sentence after being found guilty on four felony counts, including dangerous drug possession and sale and tampering with a witness, in May.

During the presentencing and imposition of sentence hearing, Honorable Judge Boyd Johnson heard arguments from the Pinal County Attorney’s Office and Barnett’s defense counsel, where the County Attorney’s Office presented aggravating factors. 

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Bond denied for man arrested for shooting at construction workers, PCSO deputy

On Wednesday, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office successfully argued before Honorable Judge Neal to deny setting bond for Danny Davis, a Florence man arrested on Monday for shooting at construction workers and a PCSO deputy.

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Clerk's Office Implements Tighter Securities on Court Records

Jamey Nikole Shell-Klein

An instance of a properly sealed document being viewed by the County Attorney’s office has functioned as a catalyst to broadly reexamine electronic document security within the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court (COSC) in Pinal County.

“The security of court records is an absolute non-negotiable,” said Chad A. Roche. “And to be clear, at no time could a member of the general public access a sealed document – this was an issue of a department seeing something they should not have been able to see, and we’re fixing it,” he stated. The County Attorney has filed a motion to review the decision to seal the document in question; it is currently pending review by the judge on the case.

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County Officials Provide Shipman Fire Update – 50% Containment

Work will take place primarily along Bella Vista Road from Tourmaline Drive to Sierra Vista Road (between Gantzel Road and Quail Run Road

Pinal County Emergency Management and the elected officials of Pinal County are providing the following update on the response to the Shipman Fire burning near Kearny since Monday.

The Shipman Fire is 50% contained at this time.  A Type II Incident Management Team began fire operations on Tuesday, July 9 and with more than 150 firefighters on scene, significant strides toward containment occurred today.

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County Recorder and Assessor Warn Local Residents

No Need to Pay High Fees for Documents Available Directly from County

A Phoenix-based firm is mailing carefully worded letters to selected property owners in Pinal County offering to obtain a copy of their property deed for a payment of almost $100.  Homeowners may obtain a copy of their deed from the Recorder's Office for a small fee, usually less than five dollars.

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Day after, 2 friends washed away by flood retrieve SUV

The Ford Bronco on the left was swept away by floodwaters Sunday near Apache Junction.

Two teenagers plucked from raging stormwaters Sunday in Apache Junction said they learned a valuable lesson, but one them found the helicopter ride to safety something to smile about.

A driver following the teens caught the moment the two were sucked into a wash during heavy rainfall.

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Evacuations East of Florence in Kearny, AZ due to wildfire

Lightning Monday, has apparently sparked a wildfire in Kearny, AZ that has led to the evacuation of a trailer park.

The fire is near the San Pedro River.

There are numerous firefighters on scene and there are reports that there are actually two separate active fire scenes, according to Tim Gaffney with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

The small town of Kearny is located in eastern Pinal County about 60 miles southeast of San Tan Valley.

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From the desk of Supervisor Cheryl Chase

This fourth of July is especially difficult as we thank God for our freedom and to those who made it possible.  During this holiday, as we celebrate our independence, we also grieve our fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots, who gave their lives to protect our wild-land as well as our homes.

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Illegal Immigrants Smuggled in U-Haul

Tom Johnston

On Sunday, July 7th, 2013 at 2:10 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from an individual at the “Bowlins Travel Center” located at 16543 East Camino Adelante (I-10 and Picacho Peak). The caller reported to dispatchers and later to deputies on scene, a U-Haul box truck had stopped at this location. When the driver and front seat passenger opened the backend of the box truck, several subjects were inside and they appeared to be in medical distress as they were “falling out and staggering” as they attempted to get out.

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County Officials Provide Shipman Fire Update

Pinal County Emergency Management and the elected officials of Pinal County are providing the following update on the response to the Shipman Fire burning near Kearny.  The fire began around 5:00 PM on Monday, July 8 and continues to burn.  Crews have established a fire line intended to protect the Town of Kearny but as of press time have a containment level of about 5 percent.  Fire behavior, wind and weather conditions continue to be closely monitored with multiple local and wildland fire crews battling the fire.

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New AZ wildfire erupts near Kearny; 1 home destroyed

One home has been lost as firefighters battle a new wildfire that has triggered the evacuation of a trailer park in Kearny in Pinal County, the Arizona State Forestry Division said.

The Shipman Fire stood at 300 acres just before 9 p.m. Monday and was being fought with multiple resources, including six engines, heavy air tankers and a bulldozer, officials said.

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Office of the Clerk Identifies Security Issue in Case Mgmt System

With the safety of court records paramount, the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court has identified a security issue within the Case Management System (CMS) for Pinal County and has taken a broad measure to secure sealed documents. The issue may extend to other counties who also use the CMS known as AJACS. 

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City of Maricopa Police Detective arrested following investigation by FBI, PCSO

City of Maricopa Police Detective Jose Lizarraga, 45, was arrested for fraudulent schemes, forgery, tampering with public records, attempted money laundering, and theft.

On July 2nd, City of Maricopa Police Detective Jose Lizarraga, 45, was arrested for fraudulent schemes, forgery, tampering with public records, attempted money laundering, and theft.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles requested the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office initiate an investigation into Lizarraga.  After becoming aware of various irregularities with the detective’s activities while on duty, the Sheriff’s Office decided to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigations for additional assistance.  The City of Maricopa Police Department was made aware of the investigation and continues to fully cooperate.

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Chairman Miller: McGuire’s Amendment Brings Pinal a Vital $550,000

Senator Barbara McGuire

Senator Barbara McGuire, who represents a wide swath of Pinal County as District 8 Senator, was instrumental in ensuring that Pinal County would again receive an appropriation from Arizona Lottery revenues.  The $550,000 that McGuire secured for Pinal County will be used to provide vital county services from road construction and emergency management to public health and safety.

Counties have historically received lottery revenues since 1986.  In the most recent year for which distributions were made, $7.65 million went to counties – $550,000 for each of the 13 rural counties and $250,000 each for Pima and Maricopa counties.  In 2011, lottery revenue sharing was eliminated to assist the state in resolving its budget crisis.  

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Autopsy Results on Dale Hausner Still Pending

The Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office has jurisdiction over the autopsy of Dale S. Hausner, 40.  Hausner died in state prison custody while he was serving on Arizona’s death row in Florence.

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Assessor Implements New Fee for Residential Rental Property Form

The Pinal County Assessor’s Office will be charging a one-time fee of $10 for filing the Notification of Arizona Residential Rental Property form beginning on July 1, 2013.  Payment may be made by check or cash can be accepted at the Assessor’s Office in Florence during regular business hours.

The owners of residential rental properties within Pinal County are required to file the form with the Assessor’s Office.  The fee and the rental form are both authorized in ARS 33-1902.

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Airport Authority Approves City of Apache Junction Membership

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority voted unanimously to approve the City of Apache Junction as the sixth member government in the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority.

Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Phoenix and the Gila River Indian Community comprise the remaining membership. Each member government has a single Board seat and vote.

Gateway Board Chairman and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said “We are excited to see Apache Junction become a participating member of the Gateway Airport and to take an active role in planning its future.”

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