Apache Junction employees lauded for life-saving efforts

From left, Capt. Troy Mullender of the Apache Junction Police Department, public works employee Rick King, Mayor John Insalaco, Officer Mike Graham and Chief Thomas Kelly at the Oct. 21 city council meeting (Submitted photo, city of Apache Junction).

From left, Capt. Troy Mullender of the Apache Junction Police Department, public works employee Rick King, Mayor John Insalaco, Officer Mike Graham and Chief Thomas Kelly at the Oct. 21 city council meeting (Submitted photo, city of Apache Junction).

The Apache Junction City Council and Apache Junction Police Department Oct. 21 recognized two city employees for their efforts in saving the life of an Apache Junction woman.

During the council’s regular meeting at the town hall, 300 E. Superstition Blvd., Rick King and Mike Graham received a commendation from police Chief Thomas Kelly, according to the meeting video.

Mr. King, an employee of the public works department, was driving a road-grading vehicle around 8 a.m. Sept. 28 at Second Avenue and Tomahawk when he noticed a woman near the roadway picking up debris left by a rainstorm, Chief Kelly told the council on the video.

While making his second pass to clean the road, Mr. King noticed the woman lying face down on the ground from unknown causes, Chief Kelly said.

Mr. King began CPR while a citizen who had happened by called 911. Mr. Graham, an officer with the AJPD, responded within two minutes and helped Mr. King, Chief Kelly said. The men continued their life-saving efforts until emergency personnel from the Superstition Fire and Medical District arrived about 10 minutes later, Chief Kelly said.

“I’m extremely proud of their actions together,” Chief Kelly said.

The police chief did not name the woman, saying he had not received permission from the victim to publicly identify her. He said she had declined an invitation to attend that night’s gathering.

Liquor licenses

At the same meeting, the council voted unanimously to recommend three liquor licenses — one for a new business, another for an existing business and a third for a special event — be forwarded to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for its approval.

No members of the public spoke during the hearings.

The first application was for a new license, limited liability company, series 12 liquor license for Linda’s Hoosier Cafe II, 1535 E. Old West Hwy., according to council documents.

Restaurant owner Erlinda Jehl hoped to open the restaurant Monday, Oct. 27, she said during a phone interview Oct. 23. The restaurant will serve Midwestern-style food that is popular in Indiana for breakfast, lunch and dinner, she said. The menu is based on that of her other location, Linda’s Hoosier Cafe at 5050 E. University Drive in Mesa, Ms. Jehl said by phone. The average price of a lunch without drinks will be $5.75, she said.

The second application was a permanent extension of premises to the liquor license of Handlebar Pub and Grill, 650 W. Apache Trail, according to council documents.

The license is for a bocce ball court that has been built on the east side of the Handlebar building, restaurant owner Patricia Candace Plzak said in a phone interview Oct. 23.

Ms. Plzak said the court is ready to open as soon as the liquor license has been aprroved.

The third application was for a special-event liquor license for Superstition Mountain Rotary Club No. 1246. The organization plans to host a beer garden during the annual Festival of the Superstitions event, Nov. 8-9 in the parking lot of the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, 567 W. Apache Trail, according to council documents.

$1,000 donated to AJPD

At the same meeting, two checks totaling $1,000 were presented to Mayor John Insalaco and Chief Kelly to be used in a police department program.

The first was from the Superstition Mountain Promotional Corp. The $500 check was presented by SMPC President Denny Walter.

The second was from American Legion Post No. 27; the $500 check was presented by Post 27 Cmdr. Ken Queen.

The police department plans to use the money to reestablish its honor guard, which was disbanded five years ago due to a lack of funding brought on by the city’s economic downturn, Chief Kelly told the council on the meeting video.

He said he hopes to have a minimum of four officers in honor guard uniforms by December.

The police department needs to raise $6,000 to purchase the four dress uniforms, Melinda Larson, a volunteer with the Friends of Apache Junction who is helping the city’s resource development division, said during a phone interview Oct. 23.

“When we started this campaign four, five, six months ago, we had absolutely no idea what the response would be from the community, and it has been nothing short of overwhelming,” Roger Hacker, the city’s revenue resources manager, said on the video of the meeting.

To view the Oct. 21 council meeting agenda, documents and video, visit the city’s website.

Reach staff writer Wendy Miller at wmiller@newszap.com

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