Newspaper Articles


County island residents gain freedom but lack services

Nov. 5, 2008 | The Arizona Republic

A quirky inhabitant of the unincorporated county land between major cities exemplifies a less-restricted lifestyle.

“It’s the American dream, really, Higney said, to have such freedom that he’s able to express himself with a technicolor avalanche of toys —­ some might call it trash and debris ­— that almost buries his home east of Mesa. Higney’s individualism highlights what can be the good and bad of county islands, those unincorporated areas hemmed in by one or more cities. Many county islanders, like Higney, are happy, but others say the lack of regulation can be vexing.”

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Sex business gets violation for ‘holes’

Nov. 19, 2008 | The Arizona Republic

A resort for swingers offers more than the law allows — and gets busted as a result of this article.

“County ordinances specifically prohibit glory holes, and the activity a glory hole might lead to violates state law — misdemeanor and felony offenses ranging from indecent exposure to public sexual indecency. Internet search words listed in October on the East Sunvalley Resort Web site include ‘cruising, private, rooms, sex and toolshed.’ Those search words no longer show up on the site. East Sunvalley Resort also sells access to a private area behind the building surrounded by a high, barbed­wire­topped wall. There, patrons have access to a swimming pool, spa, sauna and private rooms.”

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Apr. 16, 2007 | The Bend Bulletin

To address cramped quarters and inadequate funding, Deschutes County’s emergency dispatch center is asking for voters’ help.

“A measure to stabilize funding for Deschutes County’s only 911 call center may face an uphill battle in the May 15 election, as some Central Oregon residents have said they oppose the measure. Yet voter apathy may be the strongest opposition the proposed legislation faces, emergency service officials said.”

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New director plans to expand Bend Habitat

March 30, 2007 | The Bend Bulletin

The choice of Bend Habitat for Humanity’s new executive director signals a change in direction for the nonprofit organization.

“In addition to doubling its housing output, Bend’s Habitat for Humanity will spend $1 million in August to purchase a 10­acre parcel of land outside Bend’s eastern city limits, Love said. If all goes according to plan, the city’s urban growth boundary will grow to encompass the land, where the nonprofit plans to build 60 to 70 homes, Love said. If the city approves the nonprofit’s plan for the subdivision, construction could start by 2009.”

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Visitors honor fallen soldiers one last time

Feb. 25, 2007 | East Valley Tribune

Some four years after the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we meet the fallen soldiers and their families.

“A day before the news from Iraq reached his family in Arizona, Myron Shondee knew his little brother had died. Shondee, a 31-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and member of the Navajo Nation, said he sensed Harry Shondee’s death the moment the 19-year-old Army medic was killed by a roadside explosion.”

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Former Mesan to get Medal of Honor

Feb. 14, 2007 | East Valley Tribune

Some 50 years after the Battle of Ia Drang, one man remembers the actions that earned him the Medal of Honor.

“Bruce Crandall said the small-arms fire whipping out of the Vietnamese jungle toward his Huey helicopter sounded like bursting popcorn kernels. ‘When you’re in the air, it had more of a popcorn-popping sound,’ said Crandall, a 73-year-old former Mesa resident. ‘If it’s a deeper sound, you’re in deep (expletive), because then it’s antiaircraft.'”

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Virtual battlefield tests Arizona troops

Jan. 13, 2007 | East Valley Tribune

A trip to Ft. Hood yields a glimpse of what will come in Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The Army training grounds here were designed to mimic the extreme conditions in Afghanistan, but Arizona’s National Guard troops expect the live fire of war will be unlike anything they’ve experienced on U.S. soil. They’re being acclimated to the rigorous work of war, carrying a weapon at all times and dealing with the sound of exploding roadside bombs. But at the Texas training grounds, nobody is trying to kill them.”

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Visa causes odyssey for Queen Creek couple

Jan. 10, 2007 | East Valley Tribune

A married couple from Vienna faces heartbreak as the wife is ordered to leave the United States until further notice.

“Gerlinde Foltin had a pained look in her eyes last week as she opened a passport from her native Austria. Scrawled across the last page was a note from a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent that reads ‘Subject required B2 visa for further entries.’ It means the 52-year-old Austrian woman will have to leave her immaculate Queen Creek home and her husband by Sunday, or become one of millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States.”

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A.J. chief’s gun cache disposal questioned

Oct. 4, 2006 | East Valley Tribune

Residents were furious after a late-night tip led to this exclusive gun-disposal exposé.

“Last month, a cache of firearms was cleared out of the Apache Junction Police Department evidence room under the supervision of police Chief Glenn Walp and then destroyed. Although it’s common practice for police agencies to eventually dispose of pieces of evidence such as guns, Walp did so without alerting city leaders, the public or the local magistrate.”

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Service dogs help police maintain public safety

Sept. 23, 2006 | East Valley Tribune

A ride-along with a police K9 unit shows the relationship between officer, canine — and suspect.

“Officer John Lafontaine stepped out of his patrol car to approach the large, muscular man he suspected of harassing residents in a run-down neighborhood near 64th Street and Broadway Road. ‘Hey!’ Lafontaine said sharply. ‘Step over here.’ The man, whose bulky torso was barely contained by a sleeveless T-shirt, complied quickly. As he was questioned, the man glanced warily toward Lafontaine’s patrol vehicle, where fierce barking resonated from the back seat.”

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ICE operations team searches for fugitive illegals

Aug. 21, 2006 | East Valley Tribune

With extensive training and high-tech gadgetry, federal agents track down undocumented immigrants — one by one.

“Avila-Ortiz is one of more than 6,000 undocumented immigrants in Arizona targeted for deportation by the state’s fugitive operations team, an investigative unit reporting to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Undocumented immigrants such as Avila-Ortiz end up on a fugitive operations’ wanted list after they are ordered to leave the country, fail to report for deportation and warrants are issued for their arrest.”

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Legendary gold stays shrouded in mystery

July 27, 2006 | East Valley Tribune

A couple of visionary New England brothers brave the summer heat to prove they’ve found the Lost Dutchman’s gold.

“Mike Johnson slumped his big frame onto a rock formation in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, pulled off his baseball cap and ran a hand through his long, sweaty hair. ‘Wicked,’ he said in a thick New England accent. Johnson and his companions took a breather Monday morning, exhausted from the 95-degree heat and the hike up the looming fortress of stone. After a few minutes, he dug a battered walking stick into the dirt and continued the ascent.”

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