Silver Belt presents 2019 Year in Review

Courtesy photo The town of Miami was in a state of panic and fear on Sept. 19 as they watched in horror while several historical structures on Sullivan Street burned to the ground.

January

Death penalty sought for Hunt: Trial set for 2020

The trial for 22-year-old Sterling Randall Hunt, of Globe, has been set for Oct. 6, 2020, in the Division One Courtroom of Judge Bryan B. Chambers.

Hunt is the defendant in the Nov. 11, 2018 mass shooting in downtown Globe that ultimately left three people dead and one critically injured.

During the Dec. 17 status hearing in Globe, Chambers scheduled the next status hearing for 3:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4.

Designated as a complex case, the initial trial date would be set for 24 months after the Gila County Attorney’s Office gave its notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Hunt, Chambers said.

Comatose San Carlos rape victim gives birth in a Phoenix healthcare facility

A Phoenix news story that generated national headlines took a local turn after it was revealed that the comatose rape victim is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Chairman Terry Rambler issued a statement after learning the identity of the victim in what he described as “tragic circumstances.”

A woman in her late 20s, who has been in a vegetative state more than a decade, became pregnant and gave birth at Hacienda del Sol, 1400 E. South Mountain Ave., in Phoenix.

“On behalf of the Tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members,” Rambler said in his Jan. 8 statement.

“When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent on others, you trust their caretakers,” he said. “Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her.”

February

Twenty-five suspects arrested during warrant sweep in Globe-Miami area

Along with a multi-agency task force, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) served 11 search warrants, arresting 85 suspects during a four-month investigation code-named “Operation Globetrotter.”

In collaboration with the Globe and Show Low Police Departments, Gila County Sheriff’s Office and Gila County Attorney’s Office, the DPS’ Arizona State Gang Task Force “crippled an organized criminal network which sold illicit drugs within Gila and Navajo Counties,” according to a Feb. 11 press release from the DPS Public Affairs Unit in Phoenix.

In addition to the 11 search warrants and arrest of 85 suspects, the investigation that began in September 2018 also resulted in the seizure of drugs, stolen vehicles, firearms and U.S. currency.

Of the 11 search warrants, seven were completed in Globe and surrounding communities between Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 6 and 7.

More Gila County school districts to get new buses

Two more Gila County school districts are slated to get new buses in the third and fourth round of Arizona’s Lower-Emission School Bus Program awards.

In his Feb. 11 statement, Governor Doug Ducey announced that 35 school districts and charter schools across Arizona were approved to buy 67 diesel and alternative fuel buses, totaling $7.5 million.

It is the third and fourth wave of funding awarded as part of the $38 million plan to provide low-income schools with new school buses, he said.

Globe-Miami area receives more than 10 inches of snow during winter storm

Top-of-the-World was the area’s top winner in the snowfall category during the Feb. 20-22 winter storm, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Phoenix.

“We received reports from storm spotters and the general public that some places in the area received more than 10 inches,” Meteorologist Andrew Deemer said. “Specifically, Top-of-the-World had a 15-inch report, by far the biggest winner we saw.”

The NWS Phoenix office received a report of 11 inches of snow off Ranch Creek Road south of Globe, off Highway 77, while the Buffalo Hill/Copper Ranch area reported 10 inches of snow, he told the Silver Belt.

Deemer said that in Globe, close to downtown, there was a report of 3.2 inches of snow.

March

United Steelworkers deem ASARCO’s proposal ‘insulting’

“Insulting” is how the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 866, in Hayden, described ASARCO’s first economic proposal last month.

“Today, ASARCO gave us an insulting economic proposal. No wage increases and significant changes to healthcare,” the union said in its Feb. 27 Facebook post. “We meet again tomorrow.”

In a follow-up post March 1, the United Steelworkers said, “This initial proposal had no wage increases and significant changes to the healthcare and benefit plans. Instead of including a proposal on the copper price bonus, they left it simply as ‘TBD’ (to be determined).”

Globe and Miami continue to work out sewer management boundaries

The City of Globe and the Town of Miami continue to work in concert to finalize their respective sewer management boundaries.

Globe City Manager Paul Jepson, Public Works Director Jerry Barnes and Mayor Al Gameros each spoke to the Miami Town Council on its agenda item “Sewer Service Designated Management Area (DMA) boundaries for the Town of Miami,” at the council’s Feb. 25 regular meeting.

Andrea Robles, with CAG (Central Arizona Governments), was also in attendance.

Describing it as an issue with “a lot of pieces,” Jepson said it is time to straighten out the DMA, namely “who has legislative control over what happens in water and wastewater.”

Sewer district seeks bridge loan for Phase I

The Tri City Regional Sanitary District will seek a bridge loan from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to provide its portion of funding for Phase I of the proposed sewer system project for the unincorporated area between Globe and Miami.

The financing is a condition placed on the district by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) to get to the grant funding that will complete the first phase of the 3-phase project.

“RD requires the district go out for what is called bridge financing,” TRSD financial advisor, Leo Valdez, said at the March 4 TRSD meeting. “The bridge financing is to complete the engineering and get the project to the bid phase.”

April

Ten years Loco for Miami Arts Festival

For a decade now, the Miami Loco Arts Festival has celebrated the arts — bringing together artists and those who appreciate art.

A “free, all-inclusive art walk,” the festival will take place on Sullivan Street in downtown Miami, from 6-11 p.m. Friday, April 12; from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, April 13; and from Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 14.

Throughout the weekend, the festival will showcase live music on five different stages — the Veterans Park stage, Keystone stage and the Wild Horses Bar stage as well as two stages at Miami Artworks and both Jim Coates and JP Girarde Galleries.

More than 40 acts are scheduled to perform, including local group “Heart of Arizona,” who will open things up on Friday.

Community input to be integrated into Globe’s 2019-2021 strategic plan

Information gathered from two town hall meetings, held earlier this month by the Globe City Council, will be incorporated into the city’s 2019-21 strategic plan.

That, according to Globe Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto who spoke at the April 3 town hall meeting.

With the theme of community pride, the meetings were created as a result of council discussion on Feb. 26 and March 12 regarding blight mitigation funding, as well as blight enforcement in general.

Pocket parks and cleanup: The Miami beautification project picks up steam

Miami Town Councilwoman Patty Bringhurst, who is also a local artist and president of the Miami Business Alliance (MBA), is spearheading a beautification effort in downtown Miami.

The Town of Miami Public Works Department cleaned up the two vacant lots just east of the Guayo’s El Rey Restaurant, at 716 Sullivan St., and Bringhurst is working on the artwork to make a “pocket park” there.

“The little pocket park is part of the town’s way of cleaning up some major eyesores around the downtown area,” she told the Silver Belt. “We have a lot of visitors that make their way to Guayo’s for a savory meal and reminisce of times gone by in this little town. A lot of them walk off their meal by strolling down Sullivan. These two vacant lots were becoming engulfed by weeds and neglect. I really wanted to clean those lots up and make a welcome place to stop by and reflect.”

Both the MBA and the Town of Miami are proactively supporting the idea, Bringhurst said.

May

May 11 is letter carriers’ food drive day

For nearly 30 years, letter carriers have held an annual food drive, collecting non-perishable food while making their rounds.

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 704 will conduct its 27th annual National Food Drive next Saturday.

Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food items that day for distribution to the community food bank.

Area residents are asked to place their food donations in a bag or box and leave it by their mailboxes on Saturday, May 11.

“Your letter carrier will pick up your donation and deliver it to the food bank. Help us help your community,” said NALC Food Drive Coordinator Tiffany Eggert.

She calls it “the largest one-day food drive in the nation.”

Garbage comes to the forefront of next Globe city council meeting on May 14

Globe residents with something to say about their garbage and recycle collection service will have an opportunity during next Tuesday’s city council meeting.

City Manager Paul Jepson said that representatives from Right Away Disposal (RAD) will be “speaking to the issues” at the meeting which begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 in council chambers, 150 N. Pine St., in Globe.

Since Jan. 1, 2011, RAD — established in 2007 and based in Apache Junction — has handled garbage pickup and disposal in the City of Globe. The company provided each resident and business with both a trash can and a can for recyclables, picked up once a week.

In 2016, RAD was awarded the contract again after the city sought bids for its garbage and recycle collection services, Jepson said.

About a year ago, RAD was acquired by a larger firm — Waste Connections, based in the U.S. and Canada — which has been upgrading equipment as well as addressing safety concerns, he said.

Existing safety issues include garbage trucks having to back up hills, said Jepson, calling Juniper Street “a prime example.”

TRSD to acquire office space in Central Heights

If there are no unexpected problems, the Tri-City Regional Sanitary District (TRSD) will soon have offices at the county facility in Central Heights Complex, located at 5515 S. Apache Ave. in Globe.

The board voted to move forward with an agreement with the county to create a central location to store its records and allow the public access to information beyond regular monthly meetings and two websites associated with the project at trsd.org and trsdwastewater.org.

“We’re pretty close to coming to an agreement in the contract, we just have to address some statutory paragraphs,” TRSD Board President Malissa Buzan said in a subsequent interview. “As soon as it is ready, I’ll be signing it.”

According to Buzan, there was extra space in the office complex where she is director of the Community Services Division.

ASARCO files copper price bonus case petition with ‘court of last resort’

ASARCO filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court last week asking the court to review the copper price bonus case.

The year began with the possibility of a United Steelworkers (USW) strike against ASARCO, especially in light of ongoing contract issues, including the withholding of copper price bonuses since 2011.

In its May 13 press release, the USW said the “long, spiteful and misguided fight” ASARCO has waged is “now nearing its end.”

The “fight,” to which the union refers, is ASARCO’s attempt to “avoid paying the copper price bonus to employees hired after June 30, 2011, as ordered by the arbitrator, confirmed in federal court and twice affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

USDA funds may pave the way to Miami street repairs

Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly is seeking a $2.4 million USDA loan to repair streets damaged during the Town’s ongoing sewer project.

During the May 13 Miami Town Council meeting, Heatherly said that he had put together a scope of work to address issues caused by lack of compaction, as well as “work not done properly,” during Phase 2 of the Miami Wastewater Collection System Improvement Project.

Basically, it would cover Sullivan and Pine Streets as well as Canyon Avenue, he said.

Heatherly gave the council a breakdown of his proposal, including the estimated costs involved.
He said it would probably be a little more than $700,000 for sewer replacement and about $100,000 for supervision.

June

Curbside recycling suspended in Globe; no change in customer fees

The City of Globe has suspended its curbside recycling service as of this week.

Residents may keep their blue cans and use them for any type of trash as needed, according to a press release from City Manager Paul Jepson.

Globe residents will no longer need to sort their trash, as Right Away Disposal (RAD) will pick up both the brown and blue cans as they make their rounds, emptying them into the same truck, he said.

With this change, Globe residents will have two cans to place their trash in for RAD to pick up.

Without a dedicated recycling truck, there will now be only one truck serving customers, Jepson said.

Motion to remand hearing July 26 in Globe mass shooting case

With a new judge assigned and the date changed four times, a motion to remand hearing for 23-year-old Sterling Randall Hunt, of Globe, is now set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 26.

Visiting Judge Pamela Gates, from Maricopa County Superior Court, will be sitting in Globe.

Hunt is the defendant in the Nov. 11, 2018 mass shooting in downtown Globe that ultimately left three people dead and one critically injured. His trial is currently set for Oct. 6, 2020.

On May 23, Gates vacated the June 18 hearing date, rescheduling it instead to July 26, according to court records.

Two days prior, Judge Janet E. Barton had re-assigned the case to Gates, at the same time, rescheduling the motion to remand hearing from June 6 to June 18.

During the March 27 hearing, Judge Bryan B. Chambers disclosed a prior professional relationship with former Gila County attorney Joe Albo, a victim’s relative and representative. He pointed out that Albo also serves as a pro tempore judge in Gila County.

While believing there was no conflict, Chamber said he thought the defense should know about it anyway.

At the time, Chambers recommended that an out-of-county judge make the decision, should the defense wish to file a motion to disqualify him from the case.

On Feb. 19, Hunt’s defense team had filed a motion asking to send the case back to grand jury.

With an allotted time of three hours, the “motion to remand” hearing was set May 17 in Chambers’ Division One Courtroom.

Hunt was arraigned Nov. 26, 2018, six days after a grand jury handed down an indictment on three counts of first degree/premeditated murder and two counts of attempted first degree/premeditated murder.

Lunch is served at the Globe Public Library

The Globe Public Library is in week three of its free summer lunch program thanks to a partnership with Summer Lunch Buddies, Arizona’s campaign for the Summer Food Service Program. The SFSP is a federally-funded child nutrition program that ensures free nutritious meals are available for children and teens ages 18 and younger while school is out for summer break.

The SFSP provides the food, but it takes a team of volunteers to serve the 75 plus children dining in the Globe Library’s side yard daily. “The turn out is amazing,” said Library Director Adrea Ricke. “We are providing healthy food to kids that might otherwise go without.”

Woodbury Fire burns over 112,000 acres

Community meeting addresses concerns

The Woodbury Fire has burned over 112,000 acres of land and has over 1,200 “boots on the ground”. The fire is located five miles northwest of Superior and is 25 percent contained. The dedicate personnel fighting the wildfire are working tirelessly 24 hours a day to provide service and protection for the residents of Arizona. According to the update released on Monday, June 24 there have been no structures reported lost due to the fire. Efforts to secure these values with firing operations have been successful so far. Mining operations and power lines have not been impacted and there have been no major injuries reported.

July

Paint the city black; Globe discusses current and future construction projects

It appeared to be a mix-up when the hot asphalt started to pour down Oak and Hill a few weeks back. Residents and business owners were left mulling over questions about current and future city projects. Public Works Director and City Engineer Jerry Barnes aimed to calm the confusion during an open meeting held on June 26.

The purpose of the meeting was to explain what has happened, address what is going to happen, and discuss ways to improve updates and communication about these projects. According to Barnes these current developments are all part of a bigger plan stemming from the Globe City Council’s request to fix and replace the city’s major infrastructure.

Keeping the La Casita legacy alive

La Casita Café in Globe was first opened in 1947 by Salustia Reynoso. It was a branch off of the Guayo’s El Rey that opened in 1938 and is still serving up homemade Mexican food in Miami. Two sisters started the legacy that the Globe-Miami community knows today with the recipes they loved and hard work.

Over 70 years later they celebrate another milestone as third generation Liz Villalobos and fourth generation Annie Villalobos arestepping up to continue the legacy of amazing Mexican food in downtown Globe.

The small community of Globe-Miami is well known for its Mexican food. Each restaurant continues the tradition of serving the same recipes by a relative who has kept the dream of two sisters alive for many years. The food from this family continues to grow as they have restaurants in Miami, Globe, Show Low, Mammoth, Thatcher and some locations in Mesa as well.

Parents angry softball All Stars  disqualified at state tournament

Sandy Rodriguez called a meeting of parents and coaches of Pinal Mountain Little League Monday, July 8, to discuss the disaster that befell the Softball All Stars at Cottonwood the previous Friday when they were disqualified from playing in the state tournament. At the beginning of the season she let a boy play on one of the big league softball teams because his birthday made him one day too old to play baseball. The boy played all season on a softball team. He played with the approval of all the coaches and the coach of the team they played against while winning the right to go to the state tournament in Cottonwood. Parents and players raised over $6,700 in donations according to parent Megan Tober. The team also got assistance in kind with car washes and other sales. Parents spent that money and a lot of their own for transportation reservations and equipment. At the managers meeting in Cottonwood, when the coach mentioned that he had a boy on his softball team the team was disqualified. They never got a chance to play.

Construction of Pinto Creek Bridge set to begin

Construction of the new Pinto Creek bridge is about to begin. Bridge builder Ames Construction of Scottsdale is making preparations to get the huge $20 million plus U.S. 60 project west of here underway.

The company has already opened its construction project office in the town of Miami and has been going over the site where the new bridge will be erected, west of the old bridge that was put up back in 1949.

Miami teacher drowns in flash flood

Students and staff of the Miami School District will start school this week under a veil of sadness after experiencing the loss of beloved special education teacher Catherine Canez.

According to the Gila County Sheriff’s Department Canez died after being caught in a flash flood on Monday, July 22.

Officers were called to Irene Wash near Silver Hills Road north of Globe after receiving report that a truck was stuck in a flash flood. The two individuals in the truck tried to escape the flood and get to higher ground.

August

Building an aquatic center; CVRAC Board of Directors asks Gila County to come on board

The Cobre Valley Regional Aquatic Center intends on revitalizing this community with water. Their endgame consists of a destination aquatic center that will promote health, recreation, and economic growth. The CVRAC Board of Directors touched on each of these ideas as they presented their four-year-old project to the Gila County Board of Supervisors on July 30. They swam in with a purpose of educating to secure funding for yearly maintenance as part of the groups phase I agenda. 

This proposed aquatic center consists of more than a run of the mill summer watering hole. It’s what Evelyn Vargas considers “an investment not a cost,” and what Linda Oddonetto stated would vastly “improve the quality of life for our residents.” It’s also what CCYS Piranha Swim Coach Barry Swank described as “a legacy” for this community.

APS proceeds with

Miami remediation project

Arizona Public Services, Co. (APS) has started the process of cleaning up a property that was once the site of a historic manufactured gas plant (MGP). This is part of a voluntary program to clean up eight MGP’s in Arizona that at one time belonged to APS’s corporate predecessors. Back in April the Town of Miami entered into an agreement with APS that would allow for the clearing of contaminated dirt on the property located near Latham Boulevard and U.S. Highway 60, in a spot known as the Barn. Out of the eight MGP’s in need of remediation, the Miami site is one of the last locations on the list for cleanup.

According to Judy Heywood, from the APS Environmental Department, the Miami MGP project started the initial mobilization and site setup on Monday, Aug. 19. APS anticipates completing the project by Dec. 31, 2019.

September

Globe man charged with manslaughter

Gila County Sheriff’s deputies along with Globe Police Officers responded to Bixby Road, about two miles north of Globe, in reference to a shooting.

In a statement released by Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd, deputies found Jason L. Moss, 49, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was transported to the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Deputies were able to contact the suspect, 31 year old Christopher Lee Wills of Globe. After further investigation, the suspect was booked into the Gila County Jail and charged with manslaughter. Sheriff Shepherd expressed his appreciation to the Globe Police Department and Tri City Fire Department for their coordinated response.

Escaped Fugitives captured near Roosevelt Lake

Blane and Susan Barksdale have been located and taken into custody in Arizona, per the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.

The northeastern Arizona department assisted the U.S. Marshals Service in capturing the fugitives Wednesday evening at a home near Roosevelt Lake.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the capture in the Tonto Basin area.

According to David Gonzales, of the Marshals District of Arizona, the couple was found in Punkin Center, about 88 miles from downtown Phoenix.

Authorities searched by air and land for any sign of the couple or pickup, made warrant sweeps, property searches and arrests.

To ensure authorities didn’t suffer from tunnel vision, they expanded the search from California to Texas in recent days.

One of the first places law enforcement swarmed was the property the Barksdales own near Vernon, about 20 miles east of Show Low.

A SWAT team stormed the property a month ago or more, some time before the couple hijacked the van.

Gonzales said at a press conference later in the day that Susan came out of the home when authorities arrived and was sobbing.

He said Blane put up a struggle and was shocked with a Taser before marshals were able to subdue him.

Sullivan Street Fire results in loss of 100-year-old structures

The town of Miami was in a state of panic and fear on Sept. 19 as they watched in horror while several historical structures on Sullivan Street burned to the ground. It was just after 2 a.m. when 911 calls started coming in with residents and business owners reporting heavy smoke and giant flames.

Miami Police immediately responded to the area confirming a structure fire at 417 Sullivan Street. The fire soon spread to effect other buildings.

Responding to the blaze on Sullivan were Globe Fire Department, Tri City Fire Department, Payson Fire Department, and Tonto Basin Fire Department. Other agencies that responded with help include: Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Public Service, Southwest Gas, Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Globe Police Department, Freeport McMoRan, 5-D Mining, and the Arizona Water Company.

“The Town of Miami has suffered the loss of five buildings,” Miami’s Chief of Police Keith Thompson reported.

News agencies from around Arizona came out to report on the devastating loss in Miami.

Globe Fire Chief Gary Robinson told the Arizona Silver Belt at press time that nothing has been determined yet and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Over 40 fire personnel were on site for 14 hours battling a blaze that demolished three buildings and five offices.

October

Michael Pastor appointed Globe District 2 Councilman

On Tuesday, Sept. 24 after an intense question and answer session, the Globe City Council appointed Michael Pastor to fill the city’s District 2 vacancy.

“I’m excited to be able to accept the appointment of this seat,” Pastor told the Silver Belt at press time. “I’ve lived in the district for many many years and I was planning on running next go around after hearing of Councilman Humphrey’s illness.”

Mike Pastor has spent his entire adult career in public service. He served as a Gila County Supervisor for District 2 for eight years, served on the Globe Public School Board for 11 years, and also served four years on the Gila Community College’s elected governing board.

Unfair labor practices prompt

thousands to strike at ASARCO

300 strike at Ray Complex, 10 at Silver Bell

On Oct. 11, the United Steelworkers stated that approximately 2,000 workers have voted to strike at five ASARCO locations in Arizona and Texas. Rather than accepting the Grupo Mexico subsidiary’s offer, workers have resolved to formally strike against unfair labor practices. 

Union members are angered by ASARCO’s four-year contract proposal. USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture stated that the proposal offered no wage increase for two-thirds of workers, addressed freezing the existing pension plan,and doubling the out-of-pocket contribution for health care.

Workers representing the United Steelworkers Local 915 stood outside the Ray ASARCO complex early Monday morning, Oct. 14, picketing against unfair labor practices

Powell named Cardinals “Player of the week”

Ryan Powell has been playing the game of football since seventh grade and never imagined receiving a recognition like Cardinals athlete of the week. His sport of choice is baseball, but the hard work he and his team have put in this year has really shown on the gridiron. Breaking the 2A record for most pass touchdowns in a single game, Powell only had his teammates to thank. Powell said that without his strong line blocking, his great receivers ready to catch his throws and his running backs to carry the ball down the field, he couldn’t  have accomplished what he has this season. Powell also said that his coaches have been teaching him how to read the field better and know what each receiver is capable of.

Ryan Powell was awarded Arizona Cardinals “Player of the Week” by members of the Cardinals cheer squad and former Cardinal Anthony Clement on Friday, Oct. 18.

November

The Miami Vandals will keep the Copper Kettle for another year after last Friday’s win 20-16 over the Globe Tigers at Harbison Field. This win set the Vandals up for number 16 (7-3) who will take on the #1 Round Valley Elks (7-2) at Round Valley on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. See page A8 for the Globe-Miami game story.

Badosa Arts Academy unraveled

A group of students, parents, prospective teachers and administrators got together under the leadership of Sandra Mitchell Babino in an ambitious attempt to start a new school. It was claimed that by attending the Badosa Arts Academy, students could avoid the shortcomings of the Superior Unified School District.

The first staff members were hired on Aug. 26, the school opened Sept. 3, and by Oct 5 it was unravelling amidst charges and counter charges.

Several ex-employees complained of getting paid only once or twice, and others of not getting paid at all. The ones who actually got paid say that they did not receive pay stubs detailing the deductions for taxes and Medicare, although Sandra Babino said that the money was taken out.

Both sides agree that the financial viability for the school depended on the State of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account Program, which parents can use to attend religious and other private schools using a special debit card in the amount of 80 percent of what the local school district would receive from the state.

Remembering the victims of the Jammerz Bar shooting

One year later hundreds of people from Globe-Miami gathered to remember the lives that were tragically taken on Nov. 11, 2018.

The evening began with bench dedication in memory of Cristi Licano, Daniel Albo and Ashley Sanchez at the Globe Memorial Park. The engraved bench says Globe-Miami Strong followed by the names, birth dates and passing dates of the three victims.

Mayor Al Gameros opened with a prayer, asking everyone to continue to pray for the families of all involved that night. He was followed by Chief Walter’s who made a statement. “As in every great tragedy, there is light. There is that moment that inspires, that reminds us that we will, we will move forward, we will get stronger, we will. We will be Globe-Miami strong.”

Charlie Rose, one of the few that survived her injuries, fought through the pain to speak about her love for her friend, Ashley Sanchez, that died at the hospital after the shooting. Daniel Albo, and a beloved bartender, Cristi Licano, both died at the scene.

Everyone then walked down Broad Street followed by a candlelit vigil in front of Jammerz Bar. Globe Police Department set up road blocks so the crowd wouldn’t be affected by local traffic during the event. Jammerz Bar reopened after the shooting, but permanently closed in September. The suspect, Sterling Hunt, is still incarcerated awaiting trial.

December

Flooded Tonto Creek leaves 2 children dead, 1 still missing

As of Monday, Dec. 2, search and rescue crews continue to scan the area of Tonto Creek near the Bar X Crossing in search of a missing 6-year-old girl.

Willa Rawlings was one of three children stuck inside a truck taken by flooding waters in Tonto Creek after relatives of the children attempted to drive through the Tonto Creek Crossing.

According to the Gila County Sheriff’s Department, two 5-year-olds, Colby and Austin Rawlings, were found deceased on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Lacey and Daniel Rawlings were in the truck with the children when they attempted to cross a flooded creek that was closed due to high waters caused by a winter storm. Lacey and Daniel were parents to Colby and the missing girl, Willa. Austin was theirniece.

It was Friday, Nov. 29 when according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Department, six members of the Rawlings family – two adults and four children – were rescued after the vehicle was overcome by water. The three young children had stayed inside the vehicle.

Lt. Virgil Dodd informed the media at a news conference on Dec. 1 that the family was in Tonto Basin visiting for Thanksgiving.

Requesting a bridge over Tonto Creek

GILA COUNTY –– After the tragic drowning of three small children in Tonto Creek over Thanksgiving weekend, and a 69-year-old man, whose car was overtaken on Saturday, Dec. 7, Gila County residents are, once again, starting to question whether they will ever see a bridge in Tonto Basin.

For decades, requests have been made to build a bridge so that the Tonto Creek’s 1,600 residents could cross when flooding cuts off access. But a lack of funding has hindered progress.

The body of 6-year-old Willa Rawlings, was found on Friday, Dec. 13 on the north side of Roosevelt Lake on the Tonto Creek Arm.

Willa had been missing for two weeks after a vehicle she was in was taken by floodwaters near the Bar X Crossing in Tonto Creek. She was one of three children stuck inside a truck after relatives of the children attempted to drive through the Tonto Creek Crossing.

Vida opens new location at CVRC

Vida e Caffé has opened a second location inside the Cobre Valley Recreation Center in Miami and owner Jordan Johnson would like to invite the public to stop in and see the new caffé. Offering a quiet work center and quick access to everyone’s favorite Vida coffee, the new location is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“I wanted it to be accessible,” said Johnson. “It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get in here.” Both Vida locations now offer breakfast sandwiches and Johnson’s famous sweet treats along with organic Cave Creek coffee. There is free wifi and TV for patrons looking to relax and refuel.

Johnson, who is busy running three business, is looking to continue expanding and growing her local coffee house. “Everything we do at the Globe location we plan on mimicking here at CVRC,” said Johnson. “As we grow we will add more things to our menu.”

The proposed bridge carries a $20 million dollar price tag, and while the county already has a design complete and has secured the needed property, the money has yet to be obtained. The bridge design would set it on the west side of the creek in Punkin Center.

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