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NewsPeople 12/3/2010

Legislature
• Bob Burns, retiring Senate president, was honored with the Arizona Tax Research Association’s Watchdog Award on Nov. 19. The award recognizes his efforts during three decades to fight for taxpayers and target wasteful spending.

ATRA complimented Burns for his “almost singular focus to control the growth of government.” The award was presented at the group’s annual Outlook Conference at The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort.

• Anna Tovar, a Tolleson Democrat representing Legislative District 13, was recently honored with the Legacy of Excellence Award by the Jobs for America’s Graduates program for at-risk youth.

The award was especially meaningful for Tovar, who attended the very same program as a teenager. The award recognizes her as an “inspirational role-model for young people.”

“It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to a program that helped make me who I am,” Tovar said. “Right now, youth in Arizona deserve adequate, equitable and sustainable funding to make every public school a great school.”

• Russell Pearce, Senate president-elect, recently received the Daring the Odds: The Annie Taylor Award from the David Horowitz Freedom Center for his efforts to fight illegal immigration.

Pearce and other honorees were recognized with a ceremony during the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend 2010, an annual event for conservatives to discuss issues that affect “security” and “American freedoms.”

The award’s namesake, Annie Edson Taylor, was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She braved the falls in 1901, in a barrel she designed herself. When she exited the barrel, she said: “No one should ever do that again.”

Environment
• Alex Cabillo, Hualapai, was recognized as this year’s Arizona recipient of the EPA Environmental Award for tribal environmental protection. He was honored with other winners during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 12th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in downtown Los Angeles Dec. 2.

As water resources manager for the Hualapai, Cabillo’s efforts have led the tribe to establish and administer several Clean Water Act programs that serve as a model to other tribes. He oversaw the cleanup of an abandoned cistern, located near one of the tribe’s drinking water wells, that contained a creosote-like substance. He coordinated the cleanup effort with several agencies for more than two years, successfully removing more than ten tons of contaminated materials from the site.

Cabillo is a long-time participant on the EPA’s National Tribal Operations Committees, serves on the National Tribal Water Council and has been a strong tribal voice since the council’s inception.

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  1. Betty Rhodes, wife of former Arizona congressman John J. Rhodes passes away in Mesa at age 93
    PHOENIX (March 21, 2012) —Elizabeth “Betty” Harvey Rhodes, the wife of John J. Rhodes, the first Republican U.S. Representative for Arizona, died March 20 in Mesa, Ariz. She was 93.

    Mrs. Rhodes was an active political wife and mother, raising four children during the thirty years her husband was in Congress while also acting as a leader of the Congressional Club, a non-partisan club for spouses of members of the House and Senate in Washington D.C. She is the mother of former Arizona congressman Jay Rhodes, who died in January 2011.

    Mrs. Rhodes is remembered for her commitment to her family, to her husband and to each community in which she lived. She was born in Council Grove, Kan., in 1919 to Lewis Harvey, a physician, and Grace Campbell. Mrs. Rhodes was the third child and the first girl in her family, which also included two teen brothers, Taylor and Scott. Due to her father’s service in the U.S. military, Mrs. Rhodes and her family lived in three states before settling in Homosassa Springs, Fla., where, at the age of 8, she became a featured exhibition diver at The Homosassa Hotel.

    After the 1929 stock market crash, the Harvey family returned to Council Grove, where Mrs. Rhodes continued to dive into life. She attended Baker University in Baldwin, Kan., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Speech and was president of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta.

    She had known John J. Rhodes most of her life, but romance sparked during a summer break when he returned to Council Grove, also his hometown, from Harvard Law School. They were married in May 1942 in Council Grove, but moved to Arizona where Mr. Rhodes was serving as Adjutant and later Executive Officer in the U. S. Army Air Forces at Williams Field, Ariz.

    During her husband’s years in the military, Mrs. Rhodes continued to volunteer in her community. She was elected as the first president of the Williams Officer’s Wives Club, which supported a Red Cross unit. After World War II, the Rhodes chose to settle in Mesa where Mr. Rhodes started to practice law. Mrs. Rhodes again volunteered in her community, as a member of P.E.O. Chapter K and president of the Junior Women’s Club.

    In 1952, Mr. Rhodes joined the U.S. House of Representatives as the first Republican ever elected to represent Arizona in the House of Representatives. She continued her volunteer commitments in Washington with The Congressional Club, The International Neighbors Club, and Florence Crittenton. Her devotion to her volunteer commitments was extraordinary, but it was her devotion to her family that remains her legacy. Throughout her husband’s 30 years in Congress, she raised three sons; Jay, Thomas and Scott; as well as one daughter, Elizabeth.

    “My mother was an extraordinary woman whose commitment to her family and her dedication to public service will be remembered by all who knew her,” said daughter Elizabeth Reich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Her legacy lives on in each of us.”

    Mrs. Rhodes is preceded in death by her husband, John J. Rhodes Jr.; and, her son, former Arizona congressman John Jacob (Jay) Rhodes III. She is survived by sons Thomas Rhodes (Chris) and Scott Rhodes (Addy); daughter Elizabeth (Rhodes) Reich (Frank); daughter-in-law Jane Firor;12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and a devoted extended family.

    Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Meldrum’s Mortuary, 52 N. Macdonald in Mesa, Ariz. Memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6 in the Skirm Auditorium at Friendship Village, 2645 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282.

    In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: The John and Betty Rhodes Scholarship Fund at A New Leaf http://www.turnanewleaf.org or The Rhodes Chair at Baker University P.O. Box 65 Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065

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