Let the presses roll as the first issue of your hometown, award-winning newspaper debuted June 27, 1974. Forty five years ago my father was commuting to Fountain Hills from our home in Paradise Valley. My sister, Holly, was going on one and I was still two years away from coming into this world.
My father moved us to Fountain Hills in 1980. Along with another man, Arthur Hewitt, my father would start the local newspaper in a town that was only four years old at the time. As a kid, I remembered my father putting in long hours to get this paper off the ground and he successfully did so.
We will release our special 45th anniversary issue on June 26 as an insert of the weekly paper. This is something to hold onto. I see it as a history book for Fountain Hills. The issue will feature all the major news for each year since The Times began.
One photo that grabbed my attention is from 1974. In it, it shows people swimming in Fountain Lake to stay cool in the summer of that year. This was prohibited then, as it is now, but at that time the lake was not filled with reclaimed water.
I clearly remember a big story from 1991. This was the year Fountain Hills had its first murder, and the victim was Julie Patterson, a neighbor of mine.
I knew Julie personally, as my parents introduced me to her because she was looking for a dog-sitter. The Golden Retriever she had was really cute and a great dog. Julie travelled to Detroit for a few weeks and I would go over to feed the dog every day since their house was only a few doors away on the same street. Julie returned from her trip on a late afternoon and the last I saw of her was at my front door with her dog and a big smile on her face, handing me money. Two days later she was found dead in her home.
This murder still has not been solved and may never be, but it was a story we all will remember if you lived here in 1991. I will always remember her as a kind person with a positive personality.
Another year that brought back memories was 1994. This is the year I was part of the first graduating class of the Fountain Hills High School. I was one of only 65 students to receive their diplomas that year. It was a very small class but, looking back, I really enjoyed being a part of such a close-knit group. Everybody knew each other and we had a lot of great times together.
So many other events took place over the years and you can read all about it on June 26. If you have a business in town, we have special rates for an ad in the publication. This is a great opportunity to advertise your business to the community. Contact your sales rep here at The Times and they can help you with placing an ad in the issue. Many in town will hold on to this piece of history and we would love for you to be a part of it as well.
Thank you for all your support over the years. We love giving the community reliable, local news and look forward to many more years to come.