Sept. 15 looking back photo

Kevin Long, center, walks into the Coolidge Police Department on Thursday to answer questions about his kidnapping after police found the 10-year-old boy in Phoenix. Sept. 18, 1996

One year ago

Sept. 16, 2021

Two highly anticipated fall events organized by the city of Coolidge have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city will not host Calvin Coolidge Days or the Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods event this year. The announcement was officially made at Monday’s city council meeting. Held the first weekend of October Coolidge Days are designed to celebrate everything that makes Coolidge unique and pays tribute to the president, the community, was named after – Calvin Coolidge. This will be the first time after 35 consecutive years the event has been canceled. GAIN night, organized by the Coolidge Police Department, seeks to bring members of the police force together with the community to strengthen community relations. This event has been held every year for the past decade.

Coolidge Unified School District students will return to a hybrid model of in-person instruction Monday. In this hybrid model 50 percent of the students will attend two days of the week and the other 50 percent will attend the other two days. There will be no school on Friday. Masks will be mandatory and the school will have them for students who show up without wearing one. Signs have been put up on which way to go, how to wash their hands, put on a mask and social distance of six feet apart along with other safety measures.

To account for the construction of a new aquatic center that will be built at the current location of the city pool, the City Council approved an amended version of the intergovernmental agreement between the city and school district. The new aquatic center will be financed through a $5 million general obligation bond, which voters approved last year. When the development of the center was initially proposed in April 2019 city officials said they intended to increase the area the current pool encompasses to include additional amenities for local residents to enjoy.

10 years ago

Sept. 14, 2011

A recent report published by on the 10 least expensive housing markets in America listed Coolidge as number three, ahead of locations like Detroit and Cleveland. The report noted an average list price in the city at $69,083 with a median household income of $38,208. Coolidge realtor Ken Bolton said Coolidge is an ideal place to live and it’s becoming more and more known. Year-to date houses selling in Coolidge have averaged only $60,919 with a low of $6,000 and a high of $245,000. The average house consists of 1,955 square feet and lasts 70 to 80 days on the market.

A recent decision by the Coolidge City Council during a special meeting Sept. 8 will allow staff to move forward for the design, extension and the resurfacing of taxiway A at the Coolidge Municipal Airport. The work will be made possible through a grant agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the city. The grant will be for $123,475 which will include the design and extension.

25 years ago

Sep. 18, 1996

An alleged kidnapping involving a 10-year-old Coolidge boy that took place last week in Coolidge before stretching into Casa Grande and ending in Phoenix has left authorities with many unanswered questions. Kevin Long was reported missing to the Coolidge Police Department on Sept. 10 and was later found by Phoenix police on Sept. 11 after he was dropped off at a friend’s house at 10 p.m. Authorities are concerned with why the boy’s mother, Marcella Cumbie, waited so long before notifying authorities about her son’s disappearance. Police said Cumbie was told by James Willie Newell, the family acquaintance who took Long Sept. 9, that her son would be back in a few hours, though Cumbie waited 26 hours before contacting police. Police are still trying to determine why the mother did not recognize the number of a family friend who left a phone number to tell the family where the boy was staying.

Coolidge residents can feel a little safer in the near future because the Coolidge Police Department recently added two officers to its staff, bringing the department closer to a full staff. The CPD is also currently interviewing candidates for its last officer opening. The two new officers, Lou Ronda Rae Horton and Emmett Malosh will bring the total number of officers to 19. The department had been at 17 to 18 officers for the past month because Coolidge in the last month has lost three officers.

Coolidge Cleaners have been cleaning residents’ clothes for the past 50 years and have no plans to stop anytime in the near future. The store, located at 253 W. Coolidge Ave., celebrated its official anniversary April 13. In 1946 Reed and Emma Tyus came to Coolidge from Mesa after hearing there was a dry cleaning business for sale. After seeing the business, the couple with their two sons, Gary and Jim, purchased the local cleaners from Vernon Ferries and has been operating in Coolidge ever since.

50 years ago

Sept. 16. 1971

All five seats on the Coolidge Union High School Board and the seat of President Jack Meeker on the Coolidge Elementary School Board will be up for election Oct. 5. The five CUHS board members were appointed by County School Superintendent Mary C. O’Brien took office on July 1 of this year when the CUHS district went into effect. The district was formed because of the addition of the area covered by the Kenilworth Elementary School District to the local high school territory. The Kenilworth area was formerly part of the Florence Union High School District.

The first Mexican Independence Day Fiesta in Coolidge started last Saturday with Miss Francis Lozania being named as fiesta queen. Irene Galindo and Rosa Hernandez were the other contestants. The fiesta, sponsored by the Coolidge Community Council, continues this Wednesday and Thursday with dancers and a parade in downtown Coolidge. On tap for Wednesday is a dance at the American Legion building at which Lozania will be officially crowned the queen of the fiesta.

The unique career of Ernest McFarland, the first American in history to hold high elective offices in all three branches of government, will be featured at a birthday testimonial dinner for him Oct. 9 at the Del Webb TowneHouse in Phoenix. James E. Patrick, general chairman of the dinner, told a group representing the 20 sponsoring organizations from around the state that strictly supporting non-partisan is being held for the purpose of honoring an amazing versatile man for his many years of public service.