Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on May 20, 1996 · Page 73
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 73

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Monday, May 20, 1996
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Page 73
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I Gilbert SERVING Apache Junction Gilbert Queen Creek THE PHOENIX GAZETTE THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC 12 COMMUNITY WHO WOULD'VE GUESSED? Cops' best friend dumb crooks: Tempe police arrested a 47-year-old man accused of robbery recently after a bank branch on South Rural Road was tapped for cash by a man with a demand note. Speedy apprehension was aided by the fact that the accused robber used a cab to escape and asked the cabbie to deliver him to his own residence which the driver properly noted on his trip log. We do not know if the cab driver had to return the $220 fare. CHECK IT OUT Spud tug: Teams will compete in a tug of war over a giant pit of mashed potatoes on Saturday at the Queen Creek Potato Festival. Promoted as a celebration of the spud, the festival will include potato decorating, potato sack races and potato snacks. Winners of the tug of War will get to donate 1 ,000 pounds of potatoes to their favorite charity. Losers will be washing mashed potatoes out of their tennis shoes for weeks. The festival will be at Schnepf Farms. Information: 987-3333. THAT'S A FACT How much for pencils? The estimated annual cost of drafting paper for Mesa's Engineering Division: $93,642.77. HATS OFF A great point of view: The staff of Mesa's Mountain. View High School student newspaper, Viewpoint, won first place in a competition for high schools of 2,500 students or more. The Viewpoint staff also took individual honors at the recent Journalism Education AssociationNational Scholastic Press Association convention in San Francisco. Junior Joshua Flatt received a superior certificate for editorial writing, senior Sumer Buening a certificate of excellence for sports writing, and senior Jason Hansen won honorable mention for yearbook layout. The staff for the school yearbook, La Vista, took a third place in best-of-show. THE BOTTOM LINE "How can anybody find time to make cockfighting legal but not fix the problems in education in Arizona?" John Dole, Gilbert Unified School District teacher, lamenting about legislative priorities. Heard something interesting? Let us know, we 'II spread It Around Town. Leave a message on 497-7945; fax, 497-7978; e-mail SETOWNTALKaol.com or mail to Around Town, 106 Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 85210. PRESSUNE To ask a quick question ... To tell us what you think ... Golden Oldies: Salvation Army Thrift Store's awash ary Ammann sat on a vinyl chair from the era of Formica and chrome dinette sets when rock and roll was only three chords and nearly everything else was uncomplicated. AH around him in the Chandler shop along South Arizona Avenue was an eclectic assortment of donated nostalgia, from Art Deco to Golden Oldies. That was just swell as far as Ammann, real estate broker, drummer and '50s music buff, was concerned. He was in the place where he also finds refuge, among a few other things, from the grinding pace of his daily routine as a business executive. Facing a white bookcase stocked with man's crowning achievement in plastic dozens of 33 record albums Ammann's fingers walked carefully among Carole King, Stevie Wonder and the Mormon Tabernacle Church Choir. Development plan angers Queen Creek By Edythe Jensen Staff writer QUEEN CREEK - The first phase of a giant housing development south of Queen Creek has the blessing of the Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission. If it's completed, the 3,230-acre Johnson Ranch and golf course at the base of the San Tan Mountains could attract more than five times the population of Queen Creek home to 3,000. ' Its size, water use and the cars its future residents will drive has Queen Mom's search presses on By Clare Ullk Staff writer Tall, hefty and flamboyant, Richard Relf is not the kind of man who blends easily into a crowd. But for the past four years, Relf has hidden himself and his daughter, now age 15, from law-enforcement officials, family members and former co-workers. Those Relf hurt and then abandoned are weary of the mystery. "Everyone Nowage15, here would love Heather Relf to see him behind (1991 Photo) bars," said Bob disappeared in Mueller, who 1992 with her worked with Relf father. Richard, at Brown Wholesale Electric Co. "It's pretty damn amazing he hasn't been found." Relf was fired in June 1992 after being accused of stealing more than $800,000 from the company by paying fictitious vendors and pocketing the money. At the time, he lived lavishly in Cave Creek and had custody of 11-year-old Heather, his daughter from a previous fMM ''ai-'S '-. ..V,..-"- . .ur- --"--;,.- -; What's the catch? Aurelio Gutierrez of Guadalupe was hoping for catfish with fish by the Arizona Game and Fish Department as as he rowed out onto Kiwanis Park Lake one recent day. part of an urban fishing program. Anglers, for a fee, may The lake is one of several around the They were post-'50s, but that didn't matter. "You can't buy these albums new anymore, and it's difficult to find them in used record stores," Ammann said, brushing his right hand through his short, sandy hair. Behind Ammann, teacher Ed Miner scanned a row of shelves for items such Art Thomason as small, plastic balls to show his high-school chemistry class what the roundest of known molecules a crystalline form of carbon called "Buckyballs"-look like. "There are lots of treasures in here," said Miner, who walks in frequently ''' -, Creek Mayor Mark Schnepf worried. He said he'll try to convince project planners to scale it down and reroute traffic. The zoning request was unanimously recommended for approval by the commission on Wednesday. It affects 1,874 acres southwest of Hunt Highway and Gary Road, and faces final approval by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. Included in the rezoning are plans for single-family housing, commercial development, manufactured housing and recreational vehicles. c3 Photos by Nancy Engebretson marriage. Relf and Heather disappeared Sept. 9, 1992, in a 1991 GMC Suburban that never has been found. A month later, Relf was indicted on two counts each of fraud and theft, for which he Valley stocked fish any of the lakes searching for classroom experiment and demonstration fodder. He gets them for nickels and dimes. In a nearby aisle, Cheryl Livermore, mother and homemaker, picked up a used terra cotta planter as she kept her eyes peeled for antique kitchen utensils. "She's a regular," a clerk said, grinning as she arranged a variety of donated knickknacks and collectibles. The difference in tastes among Livermore, Ammann and Miner would cover the cultural spectrum dividing Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Rodman. But the three shoppers knew that at the Salvation Army Thrift Store they were likely to find riches quite possibly someone else's tax deduction that they couldn't do without. "It's fun to discover," Livermore said. "It's therapy." Thrift stores throughout Arizona, which Schnepf said the town is not happy with the plan's high density, its lack of an assured water supply, and a desert road system that would funnel traffic to the center of Queen Creek. "We really hope Pinal County will try to reduce the density and make the plan more environmentally friendly," he said of Johnson Ranch. Schnepf said he has no intention of trying to block the development. He said he'd prefer to work with planners to lessen its negative impact on Queen Penny Nickel regained custody of her daughter, Heather, in 1994, and began registering her daughter with law-enforcement agencies and missing-children agencies. Unsolved Mysteries has featured the case twice. Staff photographer could face up to 48 years in prison. Relf has brown hair and hazel eyes, and will be 43 on June 12. Heather was 4 feet 8 and thin, with long, strawberry blond hair, freckles across her nose and See MISSING, Page 2 Michael Meister Staff photographer around the Valley. are operated by such charitable organizations as the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, support a multimillion-dollar industry that provides jobs and training for hundreds of employees and assistance for the poor. The success of the charitable ventures has prompted scores of entrepreneurs to open private thrift shops, including those that specialize in specific types of goods, from blue jeans to furniture. The non-profit shops over the past several years have provided Miner with enough classroom experiment and demonstration materials to fill almost 100 tomato boxes in the high-school laboratory. Miner, who purchased the stuff with his own money, plans to take it with him when he takes early retirement next year from Chandler High School. Creek. Project manager Dean Pehrson of the WLB Group in Phoenix said water and traffic studies are much more expensive than zoning applications. They will be done only if zoning is approved. The Arizona Department of Real Estate requires a 100-year assured water supply before developers can construct a subdivision, Deputy Real Estate Commissioner Ed Ricketts said. The Department of Water Resources See JOHNSON, Page 2 Hospital bond vote Tuesday Chandler Regional seeks funds to expand By Joyce Valdez Staff writer East Valley voters will be asked Tuesday to approve $40 million in general-obligation bonds to finance expansion of Chandler Regional Hospital. The taxpayer-backed bonds are to be repaid with revenue from the hospital, which has remained at 120 beds since it opened in 1984 at 475 S. Dobson Road, Chandler. The east Valley's population has grown dramatically during that period to about 650,000. The election was called by Maricopa County Hospital District No. 1, a 250-square-mile area that includes Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Higley and parts of Ahwatukee, Tempe and Mesa. Hospital officials last week said they were not aware of any formal opposition, and sample ballots have been mailed. Under the first phase of the remodeling -project, the Birth Center will be expanded to include 12 labor and delivery rooms, 21 postpartum rooms, two surgical rooms and a larger nursery. The center is the hospital's fastest-growing department, with more than 200 births recorded monthly. Other plans for the first phase, which will cost about $15 million, include construction of a 26-bed cardiac-monitoring wing and a new central plant. POLLING PLACES Voting for Tuesday's hospital bond election will be from .6 a.m. until 7 p.m. at: Ahwatukee Senior Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, Phoenix. ' Guadalupe United Presbyterian Church, 8619 S. Avenida Del Yaqui, Guadalupe. Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek. Anna Marie Jacobson School,. 1515 N.W. Jacaranda Parkway, Sun Lakes. Sun Lakes Country Club, 25601 S. Sun Lakes Blvd. W., Sun Lakes. San Tan Ballroom, 25612 S. E.J. Robson Blvd., Sun Lakes. Gilbert Presbyterian Church, 235 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. Knights of Columbus, 644 E. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. Desert Cross Lutheran Church, 8600 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe. Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, 2520 S. Alma School Road, Mesa. St. Benedict's Catholic Church, 6400 W. Del Rio St., Chandler. First Christian Church of Chandler, 800 W. Galveston St., Chandler. Information: Chandler Regional Hospital Voter Hotline, 821-7777. in nostalgia "I'll use the materials when I teach elsewhere, possibly at a charter school," he said. "But meanwhile, my wife is concerned about where I'm going to put all of those boxes." Ammann turned to a nearby shelf and pulled off a pair of used, brown and recently polished wing-tip shoes. "I look for clothes reminiscent of the '50s too," he said. "I used to grease my hair down, put on some '50s threads and go listen to a band that plays '50s music." Maybe Ammann can play for Miner's retirement party. Or at least spin some of those black, vinyl platters bearing Golden Oldies. Now that would be thrifty. Art Thomason can be reached at 497-7971 or you can e-mail him at AThoma8152 aol.com on the Internet.

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