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A look back at this week in Surprise history

Posted 10/19/22

Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week.

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A look back at this week in Surprise history

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Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week, compiled from archives of Independent Newsmedia, Newspapers.com and the city of Surprise historical records:

1959

About three inches of snow falls on a half-mile strip around Dysart School. The rare storm began falling as a mixture of rain and hail around 4:15 p.m.

1963

Police in Surprise and El Mirage break up a petty theft ring that nets seven arrests. Losses have been valued at around $500.

1990

Former Surprise Mayor George Cumbie, who led the town for 21 of its earliest years, died at age 69. He died while running in a special election for a city council seat and while trying to recall Mayor Roy Villanueva. Surprise Town Hall closed for a day in Mr. Cumbie’s honor.

1995

Surprise annexes 167 acres bounded by Union Hills Drive on the north, 115th Avenue on the west, Bell Road on the south and 107th Avenue on the east.

1996

Rio Salado Community College opens a classroom building in Surprise. The 5,000-square-foot education center is on Smokey Drive next to the Windmill Inn.

1998

An F-16 from Luke Air Force base crashes right outside the Surprise city limits, about 10 miles north of the base. The pilot, Lt. Col. Mike L. Bartley, ejects before the plane goes down near Surprise homes.

1999

The City Council voted to spend about $5,000 to install about 50 signs across the city that proclaim its support for Luke Air Force Base. The air base was considered for shutdown, with some base supporters blaming growth in Surprise and El Mirage as part of the threat.

2003

Surprise begins testing curbside recycling thanks to a $195,000 state grant. The Mountain Vista Ranch and West Point neighborhoods are the first to try it out.

Surprise Almanac, history