Wednesday, June 12, 2013

City of Casa Grande Recreation News

Teen Models Needed

The Casa Grande Teen Center needs female and male Teen Models between the ages of 12 and 18 to Model back to school outfits at the Back to School Fashion Show. The event takes place on Saturday, July 13th at 2 pm at the Teen Center (540 N Camino Mercado, in Palm Center Plaza behind Cracker Barrel). The deadline to reserve your modeling position is Friday, June 21st. To reserve your spot contact 520-421-8677 ext 4560. Spots are limited so call today.

Teen Center Transportation

The Casa Grande Teen Center will be offering transportation to and from the Teen Center through the months of June and July on Monday - Friday beginning on May 28th. The van will depart from the Parks and Recreation office (404 E Florence Blvd) at 2:45 pm and arrive back at the Parks and Recreation office for pick up at 8:15 pm on Monday – Thursday and 9:45 pm on Fridays. The Casa Grande Teen Center has a variety of games and activities for teens to take part in. There is pool, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, video game systems, computer lab, snack bar and much more. To take part in the transportation program, a parent or guardian must fill out the application form and sign up at the Parks and Recreation office. The van is limited to 11 passengers so the first 11 to sign up will be able to attend. The Teen Center is a FREE program and is located at 540 N Camino Mercado (behind Cracker Barrel, next to CAC). For any questions contact the Parks and Recreation office a! t 520-421-8677 ext 4560.

Open Gym Co-Rec Programs at Len Colla Recreation Center

The City of Casa Grande Community Services Department along with the Len Colla Recreation Center is hosting Adult Sports Open Gym Programs. Basketball Open Gym is held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Those ages 18+ can come and enjoy open shooting or self-refereed pick-up games; full or ½ court which will depend on interest; majority rules. Cost is $2.00 per person.
Volleyball Open Gym is being held each Thursday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Ages 18+. Two courts may be set up but will depend on interest. Teams will be based on number of players, players call their own points. Cost is $2.00 per person.
Open Gym programs are being held at the Len Colla Recreation Center (Gymnasium) located at 1105 E. 4th Street. For more information or questions, please call Shayla Gunn at (520) 421-8677, Ext. 4550.

Casa Grande Youth Theater Auditions for Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. June 7

The Casa Grande Youth Theater invites you to join us in Agrabah, the City of Enchantment, where every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail! The program is open to those ages 8-18. Registered participants will learn stage presence and movement, voice projection, interpretation of characters along with all other aspects involved in the production of a play.
The program will be held Monday through Thursday from June 7 – July 13 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. This year's production will be Disney’s Aladdin (Jr.) Cost for the program is $35. All participants will be required to participate in a mandatory audition on Friday, June 7 beginning at 6 p.m., as well as a call back audition on Saturday, June 8 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Dorothy Powell Senior Center. All participants must be registered prior to the date of auditions.
Registration is available at the Parks and Recreation Department, and is also available on-line at For more information, call (520) 421-8760.

Make Your Own Accessories June 11

The City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Department is offering Make your own Accessories for youth ages 5-10 years old. In this class children will make a variety of different accessories including your own felt purse, headbands, necklace and more. Class will be held on Tuesday, June 11 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and will be held at the Len Colla Recreation Center, 1105 E. 4th Stree. The class fee is $15.00 and cost includes supplies. Space is limited, so sign up fast!!! Registration will be accepted at the Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Office or on-line at For more information please call Shayla Gunn at (520) 421-8677, Ext. 4550.

Animal Antics Class June 12

Learn to “talk to the animals” with the City of Casa Grande Animal Control Officers. They will talk to children ages 7-12 about pet care and being a good pet owner. We will have some live animals in the classroom. Cost for the program is $6. Animal Antics will be held on Wednesday, June 12 from 9-11 a.m. at the Parks and Recreation Building.

Hair Accessory Fun June 13

The City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Department is offering Hair Accessory Fun! Young ladies ages 10-15 years old can make all of their own fashionable hair accessories. We will use fabric, ribbon, gems and other supplies to create a variety of styles. Cost is $15.00 and includes supplies. Class will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and will be held at Parks & Recreation, 404 E. Florence Blvd. Registration will be accepted on-line at or in person at the Parks and Recreation Office. For more information please call the Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Office at 421-8677.

Design Your Own Silly Switch Plates June 13

The City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Department is offering Design your own Silly Switch Plates! Youth ages 5-10 years old will design and decorate a variety of light switch plates using paints, art foam, sequins and more. These will be great to decorate the bedroom with or add color around the house. Class will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Parks & Recreation Department. The class fee is $12.00. Cost includes supplies. Space is limited, so sign up fast! Registration will be accepted in person at the Parks and Recreation Office or on-line at For more information please call Shayla Gunn at (520) 421-8677, Ext. 4550.

Teen Center June Lock In June 14

On Friday, June 14th the Teen Center will be hosting a Summer Lock in. There will be movies, games, food, etc. all night long. The event begins at 8 pm and runs until 7:00 am the next morning. The event is limited to the first 25 teens that show up. There is a $5 fee at the door. The Teen Center is located at 540 N Camino Mercado (in Palm Center Plaza behind Cracker Barrel, next to CAC). For any questions and to RSVP contact the parks and recreation department at 520-421-8677 ext 4560.

Rottweiler Puppies Dumped in Trash Bin Now Reunited with Mother

FLORENCE – Four one-week old Rottweiler puppies found in a Florence dumpster have been reunited with their mother and will be looking for good homes sometime soon.

The saga of the newborn puppies began on Tuesday morning when a Florence resident filed a report with the Florence Police Department claiming that his adult Rottweiler and her puppies were taken from his backyard.

A neighbor found the puppies later that day when he was dumping a load of garbage and heard them whimpering in a box.  The neighbor contacted the owner and turned the puppies over to him.

The owner brought the dogs to the Pinal County Animal Care and Control Shelter on 11-Mile Corner Road.  He subsequently signed the pups over to Animal Care and Control so they may find a rescue to help care for them.

“We had a real mystery on our hands when this started unfolding,” stated Animal Care and Control Director Kaye Dickson.  “We were wondering who would do something so cruel as to separate the puppies from their mother and throw them in a dumpster on a 100 degree day.  We had a lot of questions and very few answers in the first 24 hours.”

The puppies were found a bit dehydrated, but still alive.  The Bark Side Rescue came forward to care for the pups on Wednesday morning, but the mother was still missing.  Dickson and her staff acquired pictures of the mother Rottweiler from the owner and placed them on Facebook.

The media picked up on the story from the Facebook posting.  Pictures of the puppies and mother were shown on several news sites throughout Phoenix.

“Wednesday afternoon our staff received a call from the Florence Police Department telling us they thought they had found the mother,” Dickson said.  “The Florence Police Department then took the Rottweiler to the shelter where staff positively identified the dog as the mother of the puppies.”

The Rottweiler had shown up on The Windmill’s property on Tuesday afternoon.  The dog was thirsty and hot, but very friendly.  The staff had placed bedding in an office and kept the mother overnight.  The next morning, one staff member of The Windmill noticed a picture of the Rottweiler on a website and called the Florence Police Department.

“We were in a race against clock,” Dickson said.  “If a mother of puppies does not feed within a short amount of time she will stop producing milk.  We were also learning more about the events leading up to the dumping of the puppies and the disappearance of the mother.  The investigation started to develop some leads at this point.  The owner also voluntarily signed over the mother Rottweiler to us as well.  We had a lot of developments in this case in just a 24 hour span.”

The Bark Side Rescue was called back to the shelter to reunite mother and puppies.  Late Wednesday afternoon, the mother and puppies were together once again.

“Our biggest fears were whether or not we could get the mother to produce milk and if she would accept the puppies,” Dickson recalled.  “In both cases everything turned out just fine.  A very good ending to what could have been a heartbreaking story.”

The puppies and their mother are being fostered by the Bark Side Rescue.

According to Director Dickson, the investigation continues with a person of interest being questioned in this case.  Dickson said she hopes to forward the case to the County Attorney’s Office early next week.

Area South of Casa Grande to Benefit from Road Improvement Projects

FLORENCE – County crews are preparing to apply chip seal to two roads south of Casa Grande. The road resurfacing work is anticipated to last from Monday, June 10 to Thursday, June 20.

A protective rock and emulsion seal will be applied on the road surface to extend the life of the roads. The application of this material is highly weather-dependent with ideal conditions taking place in the spring and fall.

This pavement preservation project will include a combined total of 50,000 square yards of material used that includes 203 tons of emulsion and 1,828 tons of aggregate rock. Cactus Asphalt will be performing the work under a contract with Pinal County

The areas to receive the treatment include:
Thornton Road beginning at Hanna Road and ending at Shedd Road
Shedd Road beginning at Thornton Road and ending at Chuichu Road
Public Works crews ask local area residents to watch for heavy maintenance equipment and crews working throughout the project area. Motorists are urged to exercise extra caution, play close attention to warning signs and the instructions of workers in the area.

City News

Lisa Fitzgibbons Appointed Mayor Pro Tempore

Members of the Casa Grande City Council unanimously voted to name Lisa Fitzgibbons the new Mayor Pro Tempore at a regular meeting on June 3, 2013. Fitzgibbons replaces Dick Powell, who served as Mayor Pro Tempore for a year. By City ordinance, a Mayor Pro Tempore is selected by the Council every year to serve a one year term.
The duties of the Mayor Pro Tempore are similar to those of a Vice Mayor, in that he/she conducts official city business in the absence of the Mayor. Fitzgibbons has been a member of the Casa Grande City Council since 2010 and is currently serving her second term on the City Council. This will be her first year serving as Mayor Pro Tempore.
Mayor Pro Tempore Fitzgibbons has lived in Casa Grande since the early 1970s. She attended elementary and high school in Casa Grande and is a graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Organizational Communications. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Fitzgibbons Law Offices in Casa Grande.
You can contact Mayor Pro Tempore Fitzgibbons at (520) 421-8600 or

New Exercise Equipment at Senior Center

Senior citizens looking for a cool place to work out this summer should visit the Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center. The facility recently got retrofitted with new exercise equipment, including two new treadmills, two recumbent bikes, one strength trainer and two racks with dumbbells ranging from 2 1/2 to 50 pounds.
All the new equipment is senior-friendly. The bikes are easy entry, the treadmills low-step and most machines consist of touch-button operation for easy use. The equipment can be adjusted to each user’s fitness level. Training on how to use the equipment is available upon request. The fitness area is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon and is free to all Casa Grande residents 50 and older.
According to health officials, older adults should be doing aerobic activity to help maintain body weight, strengthening exercises to develop and maintain muscle mass and some type of flexibility training.
"We're committed to providing senior citizens the opportunity to experience recreational, cultural and educational programming in a friendly atmosphere," says Erica Perez, who manages the senior center. "We invite and encourage all seniors to take advantage of the new fitness equipment to get healthy and stay healthy."
The Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center is located at 405 E. 6th Street. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call (520) 421-8760.

Road Work on Trekell and Other City Streets Begins June 10

As part of the City’s pavement preservation program, crews will be out resurfacing Trekell Road from Jimmie Kerr Blvd. to McCartney Road beginning next week. Work will include mill and overlay along with new striping. Milling removes the old surface and creates a rough surface that allows the new asphalt to bond with the old pavement. Work will be divided on Trekell Road from Jimmie Kerr to Campbell, Cottonwood to Kortsen, and end of Rancho Grande to McCartney.
To ease traffic congestion and increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, Trekell Road south of Florence Blvd. will be made up of two through lanes, a center two-way left turn lane and bike lanes.
Other road work:
  • Mill & overlay on Cottonwood Lane from Trekell Road to French Street
  • Micro seal on Casa Grande Avenue from Melrose Drive to Cottonwood Lane
  • Mill & overlay on Casa Grande Avenue from McMurray Blvd. to Melrose Drive
  • Mill & overlay on McMurray Blvd. from Pinal Avenue to Schultz Street
Construction crews will be working from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. While work is underway, there will be lane restrictions, but one lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Access to businesses will be maintained and advanced notification will be given. Motorists are advised to please obey all traffic signs and slow down in construction zones. All road work is expected to be completed in July. If you have any questions, call Streets Superintendent Pedro Apodaca at (520) 421-8625 Ext. 4840.

View a map and schedule of street projects

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

FLORENCE, AZ (6/7/13) – 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.
Pinal County Attorney Voyles’ Office charged Alvarez with one count of aggravated assault, a class 2 felony, Dangerous Crime Against Children, first degree and one count of child abuse, a class 2 felony, Dangerous Crime Against Children, first degree.
Following a 5-day jury trial in April, Alvarez was found guilty on both counts and on Friday, the Honorable Judge Johnson sentenced Alvarez to 20 years of prison on each count, to run consecutively.
Pinal County Attorney Voyles thanked the work of his team and said, “Child abuse remains a far too frequent crime in Pinal County.  Voiceless victims, such as children, require, deserve and will receive my tireless dedication ensuring justice for them and I will continue to work hard removing dangerous and violent offenders from our streets and neighborhoods.”

Library News

Annual Summer Reading Program!
The 2013 Summer Reading Program, Dig Into Reading, has begun! You may pick up your book bag and reading log at either library May 31st-June 30th. Registration can be done in person or online at
Family Storytime at Main
Family Storytime: Tuesday, June 11th at 10:30 a.m. We’ll continue our “Dig Into Reading” summer theme by digging up some books about dinosaurs and then we’ll decorate our very own shovels to take home!
Basic Internet & Email Class at Vista Grande
Stop into our Basic Internet & Email Class on Tuesday, June 11th from 11:00-12:30 p.m. and start surfing the web.
LEGO™ Club at Main
The library will supply the building blocks; you just need to bring your building skills and your imagination! Wednesday, June 12th at 2 p.m. and again at 2:45 p.m. Please plan to attend just one session. Parents/guardians are required for children under the age of 8. Parents of older children are asked to remain in the library during the program but do not need to stay in the community room.
Drop-In Craft at Main
Kids are welcome to “drop-in” any time between 3:00 and 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 13th and complete a craft project to take home. Parent/guardian is required. Crafts take about 15 minutes to complete. No registration is required. This week we’ll be decorating our own flower pots and planting some flower seeds in them when we’re done!
Beginning iPad/iPhone Class at Main
Come to the library to learn about the iPad or iPhone on Thursday, June 13th from 3:00-4:30 p.m. and find out what your fingers can do. iPad or iPhone required. Android device users are welcome, but the class is geared toward iPad and iPhone devices.
Wildman Phil! at Main and Vista Grande
Get ready to bring your kids to the library for a wild time with Wildman Phil! Wildman Phil introduces kids to their wildlife neighbors and animals that have survived for thousands of years. Wildman Phil will bring 10-20 live creatures - including spiders, scorpions, lizards, and snakes - plus a variety of preserved specimens. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Monday, June 17th at 11:00 a.m. at the Main Library and 2:00 p.m. at the Vista Grande Library.

Assessor Implements New Fee for Residential Rental Property Form

FLORENCE, AZ – 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.
The new fee only applies to forms submitted July 1 or later.  Forms turned in by June 28 of this year will not be charged a fee.  Once submitted, there is no requirement to renew unless the owner’s information has changed or the property in sold to a new landlord.  Rental owners who have already submitted the form for all of their properties in the county will not be affected by this change and do not have to re-file.
“This small fee prevents us from having to burden the general taxpayers of Pinal County with the cost associated with updating our records.  It is the fiscally responsible thing to do,” stated County Assessor Douglas J. Wolf.
Property owners who have questions are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s Office at 520-866-6361 for more information.  Rental owners can also visit the Assessor’s website to download a copy of the form.