Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fwd: Casa Grande Connection

New Years Day Holiday Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule

All City Of Casa Grande offices and services, with the exception of Emergency Services, will be closed on Friday, December 31 in observance of New Years Day. Both branches of the Library will close at 5:00 PM on Thursday and reopen on Monday, January 3.

Trash collection days will not be affected. Trash normally collected on Friday, December 31 will be collected as normal collection.

Recycling collection days will not be affected. Recycling collection normally made on Friday, December, 31 will be collected as normal collection.

Landfill operating schedule will be affected. Hours of operation hours on Friday, December 31 will be 7:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. The landfill will be closed for New Years Day Saturday, January 1 and will resume normal business hours from 7:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Monday, January 3.

Police Searching for Suspect and Vehicle

On December, 25 at about 2015 hours, Frank Pratt was found by his wife at his business, Pratt Pools, in the 100 block of W. Cottonwood Lane, Casa Grande. Mr. Pratt had gone to the business about 1600 hours earlier in the day to check on it when he was confronted by a subject already inside the building who severely beat him, knocked him unconscious, and left him bound inside the building.

That subject stole Mr. Pratt's vehicle and left the area. There is no further description of this subject.

Mr. Pratt was treated by Casa Grande Fire and was flown to a Phoenix area hospital where he is in stable condition with multiple bruises/contusions and at least one fracture.

Mr. Pratt is the elected Representative in District 23 of the Arizona House of Representatives.

The Casa Grande Police Department is seeking the public's help in locating Mr. Pratt's vehicle, a gold 2007 GMC Yukon with Az plate 815-KYJ. If the vehicle is found, please call 911 and report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Anyone having further information about this crime is asked to contact the Casa Grande Police Department.

Teen Center Transportation

The Casa Grande Teen Center is offering transportation from Casa Grande, Villago and Cactus Middle Schools beginning in January and running through May. Transportation days will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday immediately following school. The van will arrive at the parks and recreation office (404 E Florence Blvd) at 7:30 pm for pick up. There is no fee for joining the Teen Center. For questions and information about how to take part in the transportation program call the parks and recreation office at 421-8677 ext 4560.


City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation's 2011 Spring Activities Brochure is the source for all the exciting programs, classes, leagues, special events, lessons and more for this spring. Pick one up today at any Parks & Recreation office, City Hall, City Libraries, Chamber of Commerce or check it out on the web at, look for it under the Community Services Department listing. Registration for most classes can be done online anytime for your convenience. Contact (520) 421-8677, for more information

City of Casa Grande Fireworks Information

In Casa Grande, small non-aerial fireworks, such as cone fountains, battle tanks, spinners, and pinwheels are allowed to be used each year only on the 4th of July, December 31st, and January 1st.  Use of any of these fireworks on days other than 7/4, 12/31, and/or 1/1 can result in civil penalties of up to $1000 per offense. All aerial fireworks are strictly prohibited in the City of Casa Grande.

Please be advised that it is always permissible to use wire sparklers, smoke balls, snakes, and party poppers in Casa Grande, as these are considered 'novelty items' and not fireworks.

If you would like to have a supervised public fireworks display, with commercial-grade fireworks, a permit is required.  For more information, please contact the Fire Chief at (520)421-8777.

For a clear understanding, please download the chart here (pdf).

Road Resurfacing for Pavement Preservation to begin in Colonia del Sol

Nearly 50,000 square yards of road surface will get a fresh coat of slurry seal in the coming days. The project will require almost 80 tons of emulsion and about 550 tons of aggregate to give residents of the Colonia Del Sol neighborhood near Casa Grande smooth roads in their neighborhood.

This pavement preservation project is likely to begin during the first full week of January. However, this type of road project is highly dependent on weather conditions. A storm system is forecast to move through Pinal County over the last few days of December and the outlook for early January may change.

Residents will be notified by a paper notice or flyer to indicate the date their streets will be upgraded. Residents should note and follow all instructions or information contained on the leaflet.

Please be alert to possible traffic delays. Drivers are urged to obey the speed limit and all posted signs and barricades while traveling through these construction zones. Children should not be allowed to play on or near work areas until the project is completed and the new road surface is in place.

Employees in the Pinal County Public Works Department appreciate your patience and understanding as they work to improve your drive throughout the county.

For more information, please contact:
Pinal County Public Works
(520) 866-6411
Or email:


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anti-Durg Poster Calendar Contest Awards

More than 1,300 students participate in Pinal County Attorney's 20th Anti-
Drug Poster Contest

Florence, AZ – County Attorney James P. Walsh presented awards of the Pinal
County Attorney's Office Anti-Drug Poster Contest on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

"This is a special year for us. We celebrated the 20th Annual Anti-Drug Poster
Contest," Walsh said. "Over 1,300 entries were received this year, up from 1,000
last year. First the field is narrowed to 60 finalists. Once those were chosen nine
winners were selected by an independent panel of 11 judges."

This year's grand prize winner, Annabel Ybarra a sixth grader from Casa Grande
Middle School won a $500 prize for her school. Annabel also received her poster
framed with an engraving of her name, school and year of her success.

The T-Shirt winner is Vanessa Olivarez from Cactus Middle School of Casa
Grande. About 100 T-Shirts with her art-work on the back were printed and given
to all 60 finalists of the contest and other participants.

The Bookmark winner is Alejandra Alegria from Red Rock Elementary School.
Her drawing was reproduced in the form of bookmarks and which will be
distributed to sixth graders throughout the county.

All nine artists won an expense paid trip to the Challenger Space Center with
their classmates.

The contest is open to all sixth graders in Pinal County.

Mr. Walsh was at hand to honor finalists, their families and teachers at a
ceremony in Florence where he unveiled the 2011 Anti-Drug Poster Calendar.
Almost 1,300 students sent their anti-drug art to the Pinal County Attorney's
Office continuing an effort to educate children and families on the dangers of
drugs. This effort started in 1990 with Roy Mendoza then Pinal County Attorney.
It began as a small art contest in local schools to find out who could draw the
best anti-drug message.

The contest was named in memory of former Pinal County Superior Court Judge
Robert R. Bean who had succumbed to cancer.

Speaking before a group of student finalists and their parents at The Windmill in
Florence, Walsh congratulated all those who participated in the effort to reach
their peers with effective anti-drug messages.

The guest speaker of the night was Judge William J. O'Neil, former Pinal County
Superior Court Judge. Judge O'Neil has been appointed by the Arizona State
Supreme Court as the first Presiding Disciplinary Judge for the Arizona Bar
Association's members. He spoke of the dangers of drugs and related his long
experience of dealing with drug related crime.

In mid-October the nine finalists whose artwork is on the 2011 design were
photographed in front of the former Casa Grande High School, which now serves
as City Hall. The photograph along with the art of the nine finalists appear on the

The 2011 anti-drug Poster Calendars will be distributed to Pinal County schools
and businesses.

December 2010 Message from Supervisor David Snider

HoHoHo – 'tis the season to cover the plants at night and call your friends and relatives back east to brag on our daytime temperatures.  Oh yes, and don't forget to send some Christmas cards, throw some tinsel on a tree (any tree will do), and buy, buy, buy.  [N.B. The preceding sentiment "buy, buy, buy" was brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce!]
For your information, the County's Planning staff will be holding an informal meeting seeking public comment on a proposed amendment (PZ-C-008-10) of county's Zoning Ordinance concerning issues related to medical marijuana, dispensaries, etc.  The meeting will take place on December 14th at 6 p.m. in the E.O.C. Room of Building F on the County complex (31 N. Pinal Street) in Florence.
In the midst of the mad dash to the end of 2010 and the holiday season, there's something that you can do for yourself – a gift that keeps on giving.  The Pinal County Public Health Department is administering flu shots for adults at a cost of $15, a bargain compared to the cost of cold and flu medicines and missed work.
Our Pinal County Public Health Clinics now accept walk-in appointments for flu shots on the dates and times specified below:

• Casa Grande – Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (820 E. Cottonwood Lane, Building E, Casa Grande)
• Maricopa – Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.(44625 W. Garvey Avenue, Maricopa)
• Stanfield – the second Wednesday of the month from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (36711 W. Papago Drive, Stanfield)
• Coolidge – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (119 W. Central Avenue, Coolidge)
• Eloy – Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (302 E. 5th Street, Eloy)
The number to call for appointments is 1-888-431-1311.
The Pinal County Public Health Services District has not received any flu vaccines for children yet.  When we do receive the vaccine, children can receive a flu shot without an appointment at their local Pinal County Public Health clinic.  
In order to reduce that chance of catching the flu this season, the Public Health Department recommends frequent hand washing using soap and warm water for 30 seconds.  If you do become ill, it is important to stay home to help prevent spreading the illness to others. 
Speaking of gifts that keep on giving, the Latino Familia Initiative will be teaming up with Valle del Sol and Central Arizona College again for another session of the Hispanic Leadership Institute-Pinal (HLI-Pinal).  This ten week institute is designed to educate and assist individuals in developing and expanding their leadership skills while encouraging them to take an active role in their respective communities.  These ten weekly sessions are conducted on the Signal Peak Campus of CAC – the first session will get underway on Tuesday, January 25th. 
HLI-Pinal has a competitive application process and is open to all individuals of diverse backgrounds living or working in Pinal County.  For more information, call Dan Cortez (602.258.6797, ext. 527) or go to
Last month I was fortunate to be invited to participate in a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the deployment of a weatherization program in Pinal County.  Operated and administered by the Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA), the program has improved living conditions for countless senior citizens and economically challenged folks throughout our county.  Some of the funding partners are Southwest Gas, APS, Arizona Energy Office, SRP, and the Arizona Community Action Association.  This past year also saw tens of thousands of ARRA (stimulus) dollars spent to increase the scope and benefit of the program.
I would like to close by urging all of us still financially solvent to consider those who haven't weathered the economic storm of 2010.  Any and all contributions to any or all of our local not-for-profit charitable organizations that provide assistance to the less fortunate desperately need our help.  Whether it's the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign, the Marines' Toys for Tots program, the Food Banks of Casa Grande, Maricopa and/or Eloy, the Against Abuse and/or St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores or your local church effort – please give if you can.
May the blessings of the holiday season be yours.  Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Feliz Navidad to all and to all the very best of a New Year.

David Snider, Supervisor
Pinal County District 3

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?
That was the situation facing emergency managers, city managers, police and fire departments at a Homeland Security exercise held Tuesday at the Florence Town Hall.  Although none of these incidents actually happened, the scenario was arranged to test the ability of emergency managers, governments and first responders to work together in an actual emergency.  The governments of Pinal County, Florence, Casa Grande, Eloy, Gila River Indian Community and the State of Arizona were on hand to test their reactions to such an attack.
"We had a phenomenal turnout," Pinal County Emergency Management Director Lou Miranda said following the six-hour exercise.  "With more than 70 people in attendance, we had great representation from multiple agencies and jurisdictions."
The exercise centered around a local environmental militia group whose members were unhappy about a zoning issue to be decided by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  Participants were given a timeline of incidents over a three-day period.  The exercise tested everyone from local law enforcement to air quality and health officials in response to multiple attacks across western and central Pinal County.
"The object of this exercise is to bring forth various jurisdictions and agencies in an effort to handle a situation of this magnitude," Miranda said.  "Periodically testing our capabilities is how emergency responders ensure that we work cooperatively together to manage an emergency situation that would require activation of an Emergency Operations Center."
Miranda said while inter-agency cooperation was one of the major goals of this exercise, the lessons learned regarding each agency's capabilities and their own operations was a by-product of the event.
"To understand what your agency can do in a time like this is very, very important," Miranda said.  "Can you rely on your police and fire department to work together?  Does your public works department know how to handle several road closures at once?  This exercise just reinforces the simple fact that it takes not just one or two departments to handle an emergency.  It takes everyone working together to be able to save lives and property."
Pinal County Emergency Management is planning a similar exercise in 2011.
"We will evaluate the response to this exercise and then plan for a larger scale functional exercise," Miranda said.  "I would say this exercise is already a success due to the communication and collaboration that took place between each of the agencies involved.  It all comes down to building relationships and learning how to effectively work with one another."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Parents Night Out

Attention Parents!! The City of Casa Grande Community Services Department along with the Len Colla Recreation Center (LCRC) will host a Parents Night Out. Get out and enjoy an evening while we entertain your kids, youth 5-12 years old. Youth may bring their pajamas and pillow. Pizza and drinks will be served. Pre-registration is required. You may register online or in person at the Parks & Recreation Office. The cost is $5.00 per child. Parents Night Out will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at the Len Colla Recreation Center from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. For more information, please call Shayla Gunn at (520) 421-8677, X4550.

Interstate widening continues between Tucson and Phoenix

TUCSON – Starting Monday night (Dec. 6), Interstate 10 will narrow to one lane at night in both directions between Junction Interstate 8 and State Route 87, east of Casa Grande, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday nights through Friday mornings, until March. Drivers should allow extra travel time for travel between Phoenix and Tucson.

This segment of I-10 will be widened from two lanes to three lanes in each direction to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety along this heavily traveled corridor.

What to expect during construction:

• Crews will work from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday night through Friday morning, each week.
• Two lanes of traffic in each direction will remain open during daytime hours and on weekends.
• The $31.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project is anticipated to be complete during fall 2011.

As always, drivers are reminded to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.