First United Methodist news

The Gila Valley Ministerial Association is hosting a food drive Sept. 1-Sept. 25. Donations may be dropped off at Thriftees or Bashas.

First United Methodist is serving a meal and fellowship to the homeless on Sunday, Sept. 26. To sign up, call 428-4211.

Oct. 3 is World Communion Sunday and First United Methodist is seeking people who speak, sing or/and read a language other than English who would like to participate. Call 428-4211 to sign up.

Sparklight offering grants

Sparklight® will open fall applications for the company’s Charitable Giving Fund, which annually awards $200,000 in grants to 501©(3) nonprofit organizations, from Oct. 1-Oct. 31. The grants will concentrate support for nonprofits focusing efforts on education and digital literacy, hunger relief and food insecurity, and community development.

Last spring the company awarded more than $100,000 in grants to 30 nonprofits, including organizations serving the homeless, providing child advocacy, offering senior assistance, and supplying food to those in need.

For more information about the Sparklight Charitable Giving Fund, visit

Restaurant burglarized

Three kids, ages 14, 15 and 17 are facing burglary, criminal damage and criminal trespassing charges after confessing to breaking into a West Main Street restaurant overnight on Sept. 3 and Sept. 6.

According to a Safford police report, the kids kicked in a roof-top door, damaged walls, broke glass and threw items around inside the restaurant on the second night. Between the vandalism and the loss of food caused when the kids turned off a breaker, the owner estimated her losses at $1,500.

The restaurant owner had a still picture and recordings that helped identify the teenagers.

DUI arrests

• Aug. 29, 9:40 p.m., South 17th Avenue and West 26th Street: Gabriela Gonzales of Safford was arrested on suspicion of DUI after being involved in a one-vehicle accident and a portable breath test “showed a presence of alcohol on her breath,” according to a Safford Police report.

• Aug. 30, 6 p.m., Eighth Street: Ricardo Benito Villescas was arrested on suspicion of DUI and possession of a narcotic drug and drug paraphernalia after being pulled over for a stop sign violation and he failed two field sobriety tests. According to a Safford Police report, officers also found Fentanyl pills in his vehicle.

• Sept. 6, 6 p.m. Stone Willow Way and South 14th Avenue: According to a Safford Police report, Douglas West of Thatcher was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he failed field sobriety tests administered after a bystander found him sleeping in a still-running truck.

• Sept. 7, 8 p.m., 1500 block of East Highway 70: Michael Ruiz of Safford was arrested on suspicion of DUI after failing field sobriety tests after an officer saw his vehicle drift over a white fog line multiple times, according to a SPD report.

• Sept. 8, 11 p.m., Gila Avenue and East Main Street: Scott Rivers of Safford was arrested on suspicion of DUI and possession of a narcotic drug and drug paraphernalia after being pulled over for having multiple items hanging from his rear view mirror. According to a SPD report, officers found drug paraphernalia and what they suspected was a Fentanyl pill in his possession.

House burglarized

The Safford Police Department is investigating a residential burglary in which the suspects got away with a .40 caliber Glock pistol and roughly $2,000 in jewelry.

According to a SPD report, a 9th Avenue resident came home from work around 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9 to discover someone had forced their way into her back door and rifled through her bedroom.


“Mt. Graham Safe House wants you to play golf for a really good cause,” Sept. 8, Page 6. At the last tournament two years ago they raised a record $14,000.

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