Business Woman of the Year awards cancelled

Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center and community partners have canceled this year’s Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year Awards.

They released the following statement Tuesday: “Like so many events, COVID-19 has paused our group efforts, and while we explored hosting a virtual event, we decided it was not responsible to ask our sponsors for funds during this challenging time. We plan to be back in 2021 and will have many women business owners to acknowledge and honor.”

Stolen vehicle found

A Safford woman reported her Chevrolet Malibu stolen on Oct. 13, but ended up getting it back about eight hours later.

According to a Safford Police Department report, the Third Street resident told officers she went out to her vehicle to get baby formula around 4:30 a.m. but discovered it gone.

The victim, who said she regularly leaves her keys in the ignition, told police she was also missing her driver’s license and debit card.

Around 1:30 p.m. the same day, the victim told police she found her Chevy at an apartment complex on 17th Avenue after receiving a tip through Facebook, the report said.

According to the report, neighbors didn’t see anyone near the car and the apartment manager was going to review surveillance video.

Christmas Cruise, Crossword on Main Street event in development

The Graham County Chamber of Commerce is planning on a new Christmas event this year.

Chamber Executive Director Vance Bryce said the chamber will request permission from the City of Safford to hold a Christmas Cruise and Crossword event Dec. 19 at the next city council meeting.

“We’ll be having crossword clues in all the retails in downtown shops,” Bryce said. “Once they complete the crossword they can turn it in for a drawing for a PlayStation Five.”

Daytime crossword players will play from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cruise crossword puzzle will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Generator goes missing

The Safford Police Department is investigating the theft of a $400 Stratton generator and a pair of ice chests.

According to a SPD report, a supervisor for Eastern Arizona Railway reported the items stolen on Oct. 15. He told an officer the items were in the back of a truck in an empty lot in the 800 block of 5th Avenue on the evening of Oct. 14 and were gone the next morning.

Purse snatching leads to arrest

A pair of Good Samaritans helped Safford police locate a man suspected of stealing a purse out of a car in broad daylight.

According to a Safford Police Department report, a couple called 911 on Oct. 15 around 11 a.m. to report they’d seen a red-headed man on a bike steal a purse from the front seat of a car parked at the Thriftees as its owner returned her shopping cart.

The couple followed the man as he left the area, but they lost him on Third Avenue between 9th Street and 11th Street.

Officers spotted a man matching the suspect’s description running across 1st Avenue near the canal a short time later and caught him.

The couple identified Francisco “Frankie” Rojo as the thief and he was booked into the Graham County Jail on suspicion of burglary, theft, theft of a credit card and possession of drug paraphernalia, the report said.

According to the report, a detective found the victim’s purse by some storage sheds in the 900 block of Third Avenue.

Four injured in wreck, DUI suspected

A Safford man was flown to Banner University Medical Center in Tucson with severe head injuries Oct. 15 after a two-vehicle crash that resulted in minor injuries to three other people, including an 8-year-old boy.

According to Safford Police Department reports, a Ford F-150 pulled out from Relation Street and into the path of a southbound Chevrolet Cruze around 5:15 p.m.

Both the driver and passenger of the pickup had to be extricated from the vehicle and it was the passenger who was later flown to UMC. Officers indicated in their reports that they smelled alcohol in the pickup and saw empty beer cans. They also said the driver of the truck admitted to drinking two shooters of vodka in Morenci before making his way home to Safford, but said the beers weren’t his.

The driver refused to allow his blood to be drawn, but it was obtained via a search warrant after he failed a HGN test.

Safford Police have asked for aggravated assault and DUI charges to be filed.

Gila Valley Live Nativity postponed

The Gila Valley Live Nativity, which is usually scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving, has been postponed until 2021. Tracey Pursley, who orchestrates the annual event, said she’s discouraged, but not surprised the event had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.

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