Florence Reminder Blade Tribune > News
Compiled by Daniel Dullum
ONE YEAR AGO
January 20, 2011
Several categories of crime in Florence were down last year as compared to 2009, according to statistics the Police Department reported to the Town Council. Arrests were down at 345, after 424 in ‘09.; juvenile referrals dropped to 78 after 119 in ‘09; warnings were down by nearly half to 64 after 125 in ‘09; and animal reports were down to 186 for the year after 368 in 2009.
Total complaints were down to 4,679 after 7,408 in 2009; DUI arrests dropped to 46 after 68 in ‘09; and criminal damage reports were down to 88, following 157 in ‘09.
To comply with a new law that requires a portion of the superintendent’s pay to be performance-based, the Florence Unified School District Board approved a motion to table approval of the superintendent’s contract for upcoming fiscal year at its regular meeting.
Florence High won the 2011 State Grade Level chess championship for grades 9 through 12 on Jan. 8 at Flagstaff. Gophers chess coach Michael Fitch said this is one of two high school team championships in Arizona that are sanctioned by the United States Chess Federation.
FIVE YEARS AGO
January 18, 2007
Total complaints to the Florence Police Department were up by more than 300 in 2006 compared to 2005, while certain specific areas showed less activity than the previous year. The Police Department received 7,579 total complaints in 2006, up from 7,265 in 2005, according to the department’s monthly report to the Town Council.
Total arrests were virtually even with the previous year – 209 in 2006 and 215 in 2005. So were traffic citations, 495 in 2006 compared to 511 in 2005. Showing marked increases were total juvenile referrals (76 in 2006, 48 in 2005) and total warnings (291 in 2006, 117 in 2005). Utility rates will increase in March to help the town’s water, wastewater and trash systems to keep pace with the cost of gasoline and other rising expenses. In a narrow vote, the Town Council defeated the proposed flat sewer rate, which would have been more expensive for the town’s lowest water users and a great bargain for high users.
The vote which ultimately passed continues to bill sewer at 75 percent of water usage. This means a customer using 2,000 gallons a month, and currently paying a town utility bill of $43.63, will see his bill go up $5.50. The bill would have gone up $9.50 with the flat rate.
Dale Bell, owner of the San Tan Flat, was fined $5,000 for allowing customers to dance outside at his restaurant without a permit. Pinal County officials said at a code compliance hearing that Bell would also be fined an additional $5,000 for every day people dance at his restaurant, beginning Feb. 17.
County Attorney Seymour Gruber said dancing outside violates a county code because it’s not happening in an enclosed area with walls and a roof.
NINETEEN YEARS AGO
January 14, 1993
Florence officials looked upstream for heavy amounts of water headed toward town, over the Coolidge Dam and down the Gila River. Town Manager Tom Rankin said the Gila initially peaked at Florence around 8 p.m. on Jan. 9, but began rising again.
By early morning on Jan. 12, water was creeping toward the north end of town, submerging cotton fields and threatening a lone house between the bridge and downtown Florence. The Gila itself was reaching the bottom of the bridge over Highway 79.
Elvis Presley fans in Florence only had to shuffle their blue suede shoes a little bit to pick up the U.S. Postal Service’s postage stamps dedicated to the King. In all, about 4,000 Elvis stamps were sold by the Florence Post Office.
Florence Police were investigating the theft of $2,000 from a 76-year-old Florence man. The cash was missing from a residence in the 100 block of North Willow Street, according to reports. Entry was made through a broken window. No suspects were named.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
January 21, 1982
James Sherwood was elected president of the Florence Unified School District Governing Board, and Andy Jimenez was elected as clerk. In other business, the board voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Art Celaya for two more years. Celaya’s current contract runs through the 1982-83 academic year.
As of last week, the town has received over 80 applications for the vacant position of town manager. Applications have come in from all over the nation, with nearly every state represented.
Department of Corrections Director Ellis MacDougall participated in the dedication ceremonies of a “historic” warehouse at the Arizona State Prison. The $1.5 million, 40,000-square-foot facility will be used for housing the prison’s wood products shop, plus carpentry, upholstery and furniture products made by inmate workers.
Another 20,000 square feet of the warehouse have been reserved for storage of raw materials and finished goods.
FORTY YEARS AGO
January 20, 1972
Allen M. Elliott, a member of the town council and its current police commissioner, submitted his letter of resignation as an alderman to Mayor J.F. O’Betka, citing a ruling by the Arizona attorney general’s office that a person who holds one elective office cannot be a candidate for another.
That evening, at the January meeting of the Florence Elementary District School Board, Elliott took the oath of office as a trustee for another five-year term.
Construction of a 2,000-square-foot building for the Pinal County School Employees Federal Credit Union is underway, following a groundbreaking ceremony. The modern structure is situated on Central Avenue, across from the Pinal County Nursing Home, and it will replace the present offices at 1515 Central Ave.
Five 2-year-old Arizona State University registered Holstein heifers were purchased by the Arizona State Prison to help improve its herd. Art Cook, ASU dairy herdsman, said that in the past, ASU has sold Holstein bulls to the prison to improve its dairy cattle breeding program.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
January 19, 1962
The inaugural Pinal County Junior College Board held its first meeting on Jan. 16. Dr. G.H. Walker of Coolidge was elected president, and Paul Pearce, mayor of Eloy, was selected as secretary.
Emily Sult, Florence High School senior, has received a $200 Marshall Foundation for Arizona Women scholarship to the University of Arizona for the 1962-63 academic year. Miss Sult is the daughter of Mrs. F.P. Sult, 2306 South Park, Florence.
Mary Elizabeth McEntire of Florence has been named winner of the 1962 Betty Crocker “Search for the American Homemaker of Tomorrow” at Florence Union High School. Miss McEntire, a senior at FUHS, achieved the highest score in the test on homemaking knowledge and attitudes, and becomes eligible to compete for the state title.