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Latest News in Fountain Hills, AZ

Members Wanted for New Historic and Culture Commission in Fountain Hills

By Town of Fountain HillsDuring the celebration of the fountain’s 50th anniversary, members of the 50th Anniversary Committee suggested that the Town of Fountain Hills should have a historic preservation commission. At the June 7, 2022 Regular Town Council Meeting the Town Council formally approved the creation of the Historic and Culture Advisory Commission.The purpose of the Historic and Culture Advisory Commission will be to advise the Town Council on matters relating to historic and cultural preservation, including ma...

By Town of Fountain Hills

During the celebration of the fountain’s 50th anniversary, members of the 50th Anniversary Committee suggested that the Town of Fountain Hills should have a historic preservation commission. At the June 7, 2022 Regular Town Council Meeting the Town Council formally approved the creation of the Historic and Culture Advisory Commission.

The purpose of the Historic and Culture Advisory Commission will be to advise the Town Council on matters relating to historic and cultural preservation, including making plans and policies for the identification, evaluation, and recognition of historically or culturally significant aspects within Fountain Hills. The Commission will establish criteria and procedures for review and bring further awareness to the public on the history of the Town of Fountain Hills. The Commission’s purpose is informational and advisory, not an archival collection of memorabilia or artifacts.

Photo courtesy Fountain Hills.

The Historic and Culture Advisory Commission will be composed of a total of seven members appointed by the Mayor, subject to the recommendation of the Town Council. These appointments shall be for three years each, with the terms of members staggered such that the terms of no more than three members will expire in any one year, except for the initial appointment of members who will serve two or three-year terms respectively.

The Commission shall have the following duties:

1. Act in an advisory capacity to the Town Council, Town Manager, and Community Services Director in matters about the cultural and historical significance of the town and increase public awareness of the importance of historical and cultural issues.

2. Consider provisions of the annual Community Services Department budget during the preparation process and make recommendations concerning the needs of the Historical and Cultural Advisory Commission.

3. Assist in planning educational awareness and outreach programs for the town’s residents and promote and stimulate public interest therein.

4. Perform other duties not inconsistent with this Article as the Town Council, Town Manager, or Community Services Director may be requested.

To apply for the Historic and Culture Advisory Commission, go to www.fountainhillsaz.gov/commissions. The deadline for application submittals is Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

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Chino Valley Football Fights Past Adversity to Capture Opening Week Win Against Fountain Hills

The Chino Valley High School football team’s win against Fountain Hills on the road Friday night not only started the season on the right foot but gave fans a look at the character the squad looks to bring to the gridiron every week.The Cougars picked up the 20-14 win behind a solid defensive effort, as the group had three fumble recoveries, forced the Falcons to turn the ball over on downs more than five times and capped the game with an interception.“I was so impressed with these guys,” Chino Valley head coa...

The Chino Valley High School football team’s win against Fountain Hills on the road Friday night not only started the season on the right foot but gave fans a look at the character the squad looks to bring to the gridiron every week.

The Cougars picked up the 20-14 win behind a solid defensive effort, as the group had three fumble recoveries, forced the Falcons to turn the ball over on downs more than five times and capped the game with an interception.

“I was so impressed with these guys,” Chino Valley head coach Michael Gilpin said after the game. “Offense was kind of starting and stopping and shooting itself in the foot a little bit and Fountain Hills would get it going and then our defense would rally and stuff them.

“They really played with heart and poise and character and I’m very, very proud of them.”

Photo by Torrence Dunham for Talking Glass Media.

Chino Valley faced adversity on the very first drive of the season, which ended with a fumble in their own territory. Fountain Hills recovered the ball and opened the scoring a play later on a 26-yard run by Gavin Furi for a 6-0 lead.

The Cougars were able to respond a few drives later in the first quarter as a Fountain Hills fumble gave Chino Valley the ball near midfield.

A pair of rushes and a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Sibole to Ashton Loftin would tie things up at six.

Chino Valley a few drives later forced Fountain Hills to turn the ball over on downs at their own 35-yard line.

A 23-yard touchdown pass from Sibole to Brody Ryan and a successful two-point conversion gave the Cougars a 14-6 advantage.

The score would remain the same until the fourth quarter when the Cougars were faced with another test of their fortitude.

A Chino Valley drive that went backward deep in their own territory forced a punt from the endzone. The kick was a line drive that ended up in the hands of a Fountain Hills defender, who ran in for a touchdown.

The Falcons converted a successful two-point conversion to knot things up at 14.

“This is year three in this program and we’ve been down this road a couple of times,” Gilpin said. “We’ve been the team that didn’t have the athletes to overcome mistakes like that and we’ve worked hard in the weight room, we’ve kept kids in Chino. We’ve kept athletes from going to Bradshaw and Prescott like they always did and they are staying here.

“We’ve got talent and we have kids who want to fight and so when things go bad like that, they don’t pack it in. They want to get out there and get back into it.”

Photo by Torrence Dunham for Talking Glass Media.

That’s exactly what the Cougars did as the offense would respond with a 75-yard drive that ended with a rushing touchdown from Johnny Parrish to put Chino Valley in front for good.

Sibole, a sophomore making his first start as quarterback of the varsity team, was at the helm of that important drive.

“That’s why we put Ben in there because Ben is very mature,” Gilpin said. “He’s very talented and he’s very even-keeled, which a quarterback has to be … When things turned against us in the fourth quarter and they tied it up 14-14, he just calmly led us on about a 75-yard drive and punched it in the endzone.

“That’s why he’s our guy. He’s going to be something in a couple years.”

Sibole was quick to give credit to those around him for his mistake-free game, which included 162 yards through the air.

“My wide receivers played one heck of a game, thanks to my o-line (offensive line) for giving me some time and just the execution of the plays we called,” Sibole said.

He added the win was all on the defense, “I think they played one heck of a game today.”

The win was the first for Chino Valley against Fountain Hills since the 1990s.

Chino Valley looks to build on the opening victory in hopes of delivering the first winning season for the program in over a decade.

“Our hope is that we can give Chino Valley a winning football team because this community supports us so much,” Gilpin said. “If we need something, they give it to us. Food or money or whatever we need.”

“We want to give them something they can be proud of and we’re aware of that at all times. “We’re really happy to bring this win home.”

The Cougars are in Wickenburg next to take on the Wranglers on Friday at 7 p.m.

To listen to the entire game recap including interviews with the coach and players, tune in to Talkin’ Central Arizona Sports with Torrence Dunham on Cast11.

All photos by Torrence Dunham for Talking Glass Media. All Rights Reserved. 2022.

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Falcons set sights on region schedule

The seniors on the Fountain Hills High School football team have dealt with a maddening amount of turnover, having a new head coach three of the past four years. The Falcons lost 42-6 to Marcos de Niza last Friday, Sept. 9, and their record dropped to 1-3, but the Falcons are still bought in to first-year head coach Sean Moran’s program.Moran said that the out of conference game last Friday was one of the toughest challenges Fountain Hills will face this season. The Falcons were down 42-0 at the half, but the message from Moran ...

The seniors on the Fountain Hills High School football team have dealt with a maddening amount of turnover, having a new head coach three of the past four years. The Falcons lost 42-6 to Marcos de Niza last Friday, Sept. 9, and their record dropped to 1-3, but the Falcons are still bought in to first-year head coach Sean Moran’s program.

Moran said that the out of conference game last Friday was one of the toughest challenges Fountain Hills will face this season. The Falcons were down 42-0 at the half, but the message from Moran was clear; win the second half.

“It’s 42 to nothing at halftime, we went out there and didn’t let up another score and scored a touchdown,” Moran said. “They played hard till the end. I think trying to get better is a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Falcons started the second half with the ball and drove down the field to score. It wasn’t a perfect drive, but the Falcons overcame three penalties and capped it off with a 23-yard touchdown pass to junior Gannon Young.

Senior quarterback Spencer Nelson scrambled for six yards after the first false start to begin the third quarter, and on third and short, Nelson found senior Diesel Giger for a 25-yard gain. Later on, in that same drive on third and eight and third and 10, Nelson found Young for first down catches of 16 and 11 yards before Young found the endzone.

“It was a pretty difficult first half,” Young said. “Then the second half we came out and tried to have fun and make some plays. It was tough with the weather and the defenders on me all night with press man, but we got around it on a couple of plays.”

Fountain Hills was overcast and windy on Friday, and it was tough to throw an accurate pass in those conditions during the first half. Marcos de Niza had the same issue as the Falcons, but the Padres were able to establish their run game on the first drive. The Padres had the ball first and exclusively ran the ball on their first drive. The Falcons forced a third down at the goal line, but the Padres scored on each of their possessions until late in the second quarter.

In the last five minutes of the first half, down 42-0, the Falcons kept their composure, and the Padres did not. Nelson took a late hit as an unprotected player on the ground on third down and Marcos de Niza was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The Falcons continued to drive but punted the ball with barely a minute left, and another unnecessary roughness penalty on the Padres kept them from scoring in the final minute. An assistant coach for the Padres was also ejected shortly before halftime for reportedly yelling derogatory statements at a referee.

“What we saw Friday night was probably one of the toughest challenges we’ll see all year,” Moran said. “The fact that we got out of there healthy, the fact that we went out there and didn’t hang our heads and quit and we kept playing and we tried to beat them in the second half, I think that says a lot.”

The Falcons did their best to work around the size difference the 4A team had over them. Senior offensive lineman Wyatt Mowers said the defense blitzed seven or more defenders frequently, but the Falcons only lost the sack battle two to one thanks to senior Gavin Furi.

“A few of them, they could run fast,” Mowers said. “They blitzed a ton, and it was kind of hard to pick up. We also had [sophomore] Aiden Cronican come in at tackle, which helped, but he’s not a lineman, so he doesn’t know all of the plays. It definitely helped, and we pushed one of them down pretty good, 20 yards back and into the dirt.”

Furi returned to the field for the first time since week one and was the go-to pass catcher on screen plays in the first half. Nelson said he probably has the best chemistry he’s ever had with a running back with Furi, and Furi also recorded a sack in the final minute of play after fellow senior Ryan Dyhrkopp got a tackle for loss on the Padres running back.

Dyhrkopp filled in for Furi in his absence but continued to impact the game with Furi back in. Dyhrkopp recovered a fumble in the third quarter, and fellow senior Nick Ireton is also starting to garner attention from his teammates on defense.

The Falcons switched their offensive play designs to be more similar to Moran’s play calling at Shadow Mountain last week and he saw a few good results on the field, and more on film. Moran said that it’s clear that the system “clicks” with his offensive players, and they’ll need to build on it ahead of the region schedule.

The next three games are all against region opponents for the Falcons. Starting this Friday, Sept. 16, Fountain Hills will travel to Arizona Lutheran Academy and take on the Coyotes (3-0) at 7 p.m.

“We beat a 4A team in the second half,” Nelson said. “We ran our offense pretty well. I think we can build on that, carry it into Lutheran.”

Cowboy Culture Next up for Museum speakers series

William “Bill” Christian will bring “Cowboy Culture” to life in the next segment of the L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum & Exploration Center’s speaker series.The talk will be held Thursday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room between the River of Time and the library. The event is free to members. Sign up online at riveroftime.center or at the center, 12901 N. La Montana Drive. Memberships are $25 for individual...

William “Bill” Christian will bring “Cowboy Culture” to life in the next segment of the L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum & Exploration Center’s speaker series.

The talk will be held Thursday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room between the River of Time and the library. The event is free to members. Sign up online at riveroftime.center or at the center, 12901 N. La Montana Drive. Memberships are $25 for individuals and $35 for a family of four. Signing up now enables members to attend the talk.

Bill is a national and international facilitator of workshops and seminars in leadership, time management, stress management, and personal productivity. He has more than 30 years of experience in various leadership roles in manufacturing operations, business management, and human resources in the aerospace industry.

As a lifelong learner, Bill has immersed himself in the study of raising one’s level of consciousness and has created numerous workshops including “Finding a Life on Purpose” and “Positive Psychology.” Additionally, as a second-generation Arizonan, he has a keen interest in all things Arizona. He shares his in-depth knowledge of our state through various seminars and speaking engagements.

Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology. He holds Master Facilitator status through the FranklinCovey Company in the highly acclaimed 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Bill is also past President of New Adventures in Learning for Seniors in partnership with Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He and his wife Sandra Barker reside in Fountain Hills.

THE RIVER OF TIME MUSEUM

The rich history of the Lower Verde River valley and the people who settled here is the focus of our interactive, family-friendly museum. Located in the heart of beautiful Fountain Hills, Arizona, The L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum explores how the history of this region and our present-day lives are connected. As you journey through our museum, our exhibits showcase the ways desert dwellers – from the ancient Hohokam, the Yavapai, to early ranchers, and modern-day settlers – have found ways to create an oasis in the Verdes, and now Fountain Hills, throughout human history.

The museum is currently open Thursday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and by appointment at 12901 N La Montana Dr #4742, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. Learn more by visiting www.riveroftime.museum.

Little impact expected from drought mitigation measures

Last week the federal government made an announcement that was not unexpected, and by some opinions does not go far enough, in announcing measures to preserve the water storage viability of lakes Mead and Powell on the Colorado River.The Department of Interior declared a water shortage level that will require significant reduction in the amount of water drawn by the Lower Colorado River Basin States including Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. Arizona will be required to reduce its water draws by 21%, or about 592,000-acre feet, for calendar...

Last week the federal government made an announcement that was not unexpected, and by some opinions does not go far enough, in announcing measures to preserve the water storage viability of lakes Mead and Powell on the Colorado River.

The Department of Interior declared a water shortage level that will require significant reduction in the amount of water drawn by the Lower Colorado River Basin States including Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. Arizona will be required to reduce its water draws by 21%, or about 592,000-acre feet, for calendar year 2023.

The effort is designed to prevent Lake Mead from dropping below 1,047.61 feet elevation.

EPCOR USA, the private water company serving the Town of Fountain Hills, has a statement on its website, epcor.com, maintaining its customers should not be impacted by the drought emergency through 2023.

“While the new restrictions announced (last week) do not directly impact our customers, it is essential that we all understand that drought resiliency and water security – particularly in the western U.S. – are ongoing concerns,” said Joe Gysel, President, EPCOR USA. “Together, with water providers and leaders across the state, we have planned and prepared for this so that our customers can continue to count on us to keep the water flowing. That focus on strategic, long-range planning and smart water use and management will continue to be a priority.”

“This news was not unexpected: All Lower Basin state water utilities, including EPCOR, have long been preparing for this situation,” Rebecca Stenholm, EPCOR USA director of public affairs said in an email to The Times. “EPCOR’s Arizona water portfolio already is diversified – 13% of which is Colorado River water. We are currently using 28% of the water we have allocated for Fountain Hills and are storing the rest for the future.”

She added that while municipal and industrial utilities like EPCOR will not see any significant impact from the Colorado River supply restrictions in 2023, EPCOR continues to take it seriously and is planning for the long term.

“While our customers won’t be impacted in 2023, EPCOR is increasing its customer education efforts, including events, workshops and other programs, and is asking customers to voluntarily increase their own efforts to conserve and manage their individual water usage,” she continued.

In addressing the Department of Interior decision of water limitations last week, Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo said there must be a concerted effort by all those involved.

“Every sector in every state has a responsibility to ensure that water is used with maximum efficiency. In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River System and a future of uncertainty and conflict, water use in the Basin must be reduced,” Trujillo said in a statement to the media.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton echoed those sentiments.

“Reclamation remains fully committed to working in a consensus manner across the Upper and Lower Basins, with Tribes, and the country of Mexico,” Touton said. “I am confident that, by working together, we can achieve meaningful change toward a sustainable future for the river that serves as the lifeblood of the American West.”

Stenholm said EPCOR customers can learn more about the utility’s drought mitigation efforts at their website, epcor.com.

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