Arizona Silver Belt Year in Review 2018, Part II

The remains of Mid-State Pipe and Supply in the wake of a fire that destroyed the building that housed the local business since the 1950s.

Following is the second of a two-part series recapping the year that was.


On June 26, a plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away in every direction billowed up as Mid-State Pipe and Supply burned to the ground. For two hours, five local fire districts and the U.S. Department of Forestry battled to get the flames under control. But in the end, the business that had been in business since the 1950s was lost in the midday sun.

Roland “Fuzzy” Pratt spent his professional career ensuring that Copper Corridor residents could communicate with each other, so it was fitting that the Gila County Historical Museum received an old phone booth the Pratt family had kept for 45 years. In an emotional ceremony at the museum, the family made the donation and Fuzzy Pratt’s lifelong friend Tommy McCarty helped son Ted Pratt bring the phone to life.

After a short hiatus, the Globe Independence Day parade returned, bringing local citizens downtown to celebrate. There was patriotic music to accompany the parade and later in the day, events at Miami High School, followed by a fireworks display by Freeport-McMoRan from the tailings above Miami.

The Globe Planning and Zoning commission approved an application for a cannabis grow facility at the site of the former bowling alley behind Holiday Inn Express on Highway 60. Additionally, the commission recommended a revision to a city zoning code, allowing more than one cannabis-related business within city limits.

Frustrated with new out-of-cell procedures set in place, prisoners at the Gila County Detention Center took matters into their own hands, barricading themselves in their block and refusing to return to their cells. The Globe Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Gila County Sheriff’s Office responded. Given a final chance to voluntarily lock down, the inmates complied, and the disturbance was quelled without incident.

When Globe City Council approved its fiscal year 2018-19 budget July 24, the rules for bed tax distribution to five local nonprofit organizations were set to change, as the city attempted to institute more stringent requirements for the yearly disbursement of funds.

“We want to be as streamlined and consistent as possible,” City of Globe Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto said. “We are stakeholders and the largest and only funder for some entities, and we have a fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers.”

Members of the bed tax group are the Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation; Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce; Globe Downtown Association; the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts and Gila County Historical Society.


Miami Councilman Michael Black was fined $150 for violating an ordinance that forbids tampering with facilities or equipment in a public park. The trial stemmed from a March 30 incident. Having reacted to the distress of his ailing, 87-year-old mother-in-law, Black said that he felt it was incumbent upon him as a town councilmember to help a constituent.

The Aug. 7 meeting of the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts was packed as the saga of Molly Cornwell continued. Many had only recently joined to be allowed into the members-only meeting. Cornwell read statement responding to termination of the White Porch lease and request that she step down she received on June 12. She expressed sadness at the turn of events removing her from a space she occupied more than 11 years and her desire to answer the allegations made against her to the full board.

“I am still a member of the board of the CVCA, and I have earned the right to defend myself,” she said.

The board for the CVCA was later rocked by the almost simultaneous resignations of two members of the executive board and Diana Tunis from the general board. Former Executive Board Member Abby Jennex e-mailed her resignation letter to the rest of the board, citing ongoing conflicts within the board about dealing with the issues surrounding the attempted removal of Cornwell, and future and direction of the Arts Center. By Aug. 18, Vice President Leslie Kim too had resigned, as well as Tunis, who was an integral part of the center’s Youth Musical Theater Program.


Resignations at the CVCA continued as Gallery Manager Susie Baker announced her impending departure at the Sept. 4 board meeting.

“I love this place, but I have to step away for a while,” she said.

Interim CVCA Board President Tanner Hunsaker announced his appointment as acting president, as well as that of interim Vice President Jason Marr.

A watershed partnership is being created for Cobre Valley to implement needed watershed projects. The Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership (CVWP) is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART program.

The Miami Town Council unanimously canvassed the primary election vote during its Sept. 10 meeting, but balked at the decision when questions arose about the residency of fourth-place vote-getter Patty Warden. Miami had four non-partisan council seats open during the primary election. Incumbents Susan Hanson and Rosemary Castaneda did not to run for re-election. Mayor Darryl Dalley and Councilmember Angel Medina received sufficient support to return. Candidate Dan Moat received the largest number of votes with 200, or 21.86 percent and Patty Warden 153, or 16.72 percent. Hanson said that Warden is not a resident and there is currently an investigation into her residency status.

Warden replied, “I do live in this area. I believe in full transparency.”

Dale Walters, who took the helm Sept. 10 as the new Police Chief for the City of Globe, was sworn in at the Sept. 11 City Council meeting.

“It is an honor to be sworn in on this date,” which Walters had called a solemn day for first responders. “Thanks to the citizens of Globe for having the confidence to name me the chief of police going forward.”

Prior to taking the post in Globe, Walters was assistant police chief with the Chandler Police Department. Walters, who has been in law enforcement for 28 years, was previously employed with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department.

Service First Realty Branch Manager Debbie Cox was honored at the Sept. 11 Globe City Council meeting for her efforts to provide body cams to the police department.

Owner of Tailwaggers and Globe City Councilwoman Charlene Giles joined efforts to provide body cams. With Cox asking her rental clients for donations, Giles asked her clients who own businesses for donations.

Clients Lee and Jennifer Kinnard, owners of Dominion Firearms, in Globe, donated a 2018 special edition Glock to be raffled for the cause.

Miami High School partnered with a University of Missouri film studies professor for a film project set to begin in early 2019. Christian Rozier, assistant professor of Film Studies and Digital Storytelling at Mizzou, is a documentary and narrative film director who has produced films, music videos and commercials throughout the world. He is committed to bringing access to education to underserved communities to give those students an opportunity to learn new life skills and expand their creative horizons.

“The goal is to contextualize [filmmaking] and give them working experience,” Rozier said. “It’s also a way to create a model to bring in a low-cost teaching experience to local schools.”


Gila County Sheriff’s Officer Lt. Virgil Dodd was named interim chief of the Miami Police Department, after the retirement of Chief Spencer Preston.

“Our goal is to maintain structure and provide guidance to the Miami Police Department,” he said.

BHP removed one of two headframes at the Old Dominion Mine Park in Globe, the old headframe, built in 1881, leaving behind the newer one built in 1908.

“We’re basically doing a facelift, so it remains stable for the next 10-, 20- to 30 years,” said Daphne Place-Hoskie, BHP principal closure planner. “We’re preserving history: it’s a local landmark that serves to provide a sense of place for the community.”

Patricia Sjolin Bringhurst was appointed to the Miami Town Council by a 3-2 vote. Her term will expire in 2020. Vice Mayor Sammy Gonzales and Councilmember Michael Black both cast nay votes and Councilman Jose “Angel” Medina had an excused absence during the Oct. 8 council meeting.

From the audience, Councilmember-elect Patty Warden said that appointing Mancha’s replacement would “take away ‘we the peoples’ voice.”

The Town of Miami welcomed its new police chief. Chief Israel Juarez took the post “with enthusiasm and hope,” after about 12 years of law enforcement experience with the Glendale Police Department.

Councilwoman-elect Patty Warden would not take a seat on the Miami Town Council, after a resolution saying so was approved. Vice Mayor Sammy Gonzales abstained from voting, and Councilman Mike Black had an excused absence from the meeting. The rest, including Councilwoman Patricia Bringhurst, sworn in moments earlier, approved Resolution No. 1214, determining that Warden “is not qualified to serve on the Town Council and prohibiting her from being seated.”


An upcoming feature film was shot in both the Globe-Miami communities in November. The film’s working title is “Patsy Lee and the Keepers of the Five Kingdoms,” by Brilliant Screen Productions, said Molly Cornwell, with the Globe Downtown Association. She described it as a “family film in homage to ‘Goonies’ and ‘Big Trouble, Little China,’ and more.”

A Nov. 5 bomb threat against Great Western Bank thankfully turned out to be a hoax. The branch was closed, as were the adjacent streets in historic downtown Globe that morning. Globe Police Chief Dale Walters said at the time that the bomb threat was believed to be a hoax.

After fire department personnel determined that a gas leak was likely, businesses along Broad Street, between Oak and Cedar streets, were evacuated, and Southwest Gas was called.

The Miami Town Council bid farewell to two outgoing members, the last full meeting Councilwomen Rosemary Castaneda, who had also served as town mayor, and Susan Hanson would participate in as councilmembers.

Four council members were sworn-in, leaving former Councilwoman-elect Patty Warden in the cold. The new council is made up of Donald Reiman, Dan Moat, Darryl Dalley, Jose Medina, Mike Black, Sammy Gonzales and Patricia Bringhurst.

Rep. Edward Lopez Pastor died Nov. 27, at the age of 75 after suffering a heart attack while at dinner at a Phoenix restaurant with his wife, Verma. He was born June 28, 1943 to Enrique and Margarita Pastor in Claypool. Pastor was re-elected 11 times after winning a 1991 special election to fill the House seat vacated by the retirement of Morris K. Udall. Before that, Pastor served three terms as a Maricopa County Supervisor, as an aide to Gov. Raul Castro, in numerous community roles and as a high school chemistry teacher


The Globe City Council bid farewell to two outgoing councilmembers and welcomed two new ones. The new council is made up of Fernando Shipley, Freddy Rios, Charlene Giles, Al Gameros, Mike Stapleton, Jesse Leetham and Mike Humphrey. Incumbents Roberta Johnson and Lerry Alderman did not run for re-election.

After the new council was seated, a vote was held to appoint a new vice mayor. Stapleton was re-appointed by a 6-1 vote. Giles cast the lone nay vote.

Globe Sgt. Abraham J. (A.J.) Castaneda, Jr. was sworn-in as Police Commander at the Globe City Council’s Nov. 27 meeting. Globe Police Chief Dale Walters said he had met many people who were strong candidates for the police commander post and that there were people from across the country offering to help him out. He could find no one better to be his second in command at the Globe Police Department, Walters said.

Castaneda said that, especially with the efforts of Walters, the police department “will be a shining example in law enforcement real soon.”

Miami Unified School District and the Young Elementary School District were awarded $110,000 each with which to buy a new school bus.

Rep. David Lee Cook, R-Globe, was arrested on DUI charges, including extreme DUI, shortly after 11:20 p.m. Dec. 19. A DPS report indicates that Cook was initially charged with DUI-liquor/drugs/vapors/combo; DUI with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 or more and extreme DUI, with a BAC of .15 to .19.

A state trooper stopped Cook’s white Ford F-250 truck near McDowell Road, for “multiple occurrences of unsafe lane usage,” said DPS Public Information Officer Bart Graves.

Before the trooper could finish his explanation for the traffic stop, Cook interrupted him, saying that he had dropped his cellphone and was trying to pick it up, thus the reason for his driving behavior. In his report, the trooper called Cook “uncompliant” during the field sobriety test. Cook later became argumentative, even raising his voice to the trooper.

In a Dec. 20 post on his Facebook page, Cook described himself as lucky to be pulled over and get a DUI, as there was no accident and no one got hurt, etc.

He said the DPS officers who had pulled him over behaved professionally and did their job well.


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