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Quartzsite, Arizona

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scholars' Academy sex scandal gains international attention

Quartzsite, Arizona - Update to the original story posted Friday, April 20th.

Thursday, April 19th a local high school student took a video of Scholars' Academy Principle Steve McClenning in a steamy embrace with his Secretary Billie Madewell. The pair's exchange took place on campus during school hours. The video was posted on, taken down, put back up, posted on and then sent out to the media by friends/family of the videographer.

The Scholars' Academy board met Wednesday night and accepted the resignation of Mr. McClenning and took disciplinary action against Mrs. Madewell. Madewell said, "He resigned, I was dismissed." However both will remain employed until June 30, 2012 to finish out the school year.

The photo above is the one poster in the classroom where the school board met. Chanel 3 out of Phoenix, Arizona was the first on the scene Thursday afternoon. Crystal Cruz interviewed students and parents concerned about the future of the school.

ABC 15 Phoenix's Steve Kuzj met with students and concerned community members Thursday evening.

The story has since been picked up by the Huffington Post,  UK's Daily Mail, Australia's NineMSN, Pakistan's Daily Times, Tucson Citizen, ABC5 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Imperfect Parent.

Controversy continues over the story as national media is expected in town soon.

Editor's Note: 
I promised Billie Madewell I would not post the video, 
therefore readers will have to go elsewhere. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quartzsite PD sends Scholars' Academy findings to County Attorney

On April 19, 2012, the Quartzsite Police Department began an investigation into conduct alleged to have been committed at the Quartzsite Scholar's Academy. Upon completion of the investigation, the Police Department submitted its findings to the La Paz County Attorney who will decide whether there has been any criminal conduct.

The Quartzsite Scholar's Academy is a charter school under the guidance and control of the State of Arizona's Charter School Board and is not controlled or operated by the Town of Quartzsite.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Steamy embrace between Quartzsite Scholars' Academy principal and secretary caught on camera

Quartzsite, Arizona- Today a video was released by a local high school student revealing yesterday's steamy embrace between Scholars' Academy Principal/President Steve McClenning and Business Manager/Secretary Billie "BJ" Madewell. The extracurricular activities evidently took place in a classroom during school hours, while students studied in the next room. According to the mother of the student videographer, the kids found out about it "totally by accident when two boys reached for a ball on the floor. There was a hole in the wall and they noticed movement in the classroom next door, which should have been empty." The mother told Desert Messenger that at one point or another all the students were watching the couple.

The steamy 2-1/2 minute video shows the couple kissing and embracing passionately. Both were fully clothed in the short video. The video was posted to for a short while this afternoon before being pulled with this message: "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy on nudity or sexual content."

According to the mother of the student, some teachers were told of the incident, but they "didn't want to hear about it.At least two students received text messages from Madewell asking any photos or videos be deleted. This afternoon, the video was emailed to Desert Messenger. Then a text message with a photo attached was received. Shortly thereafter, an email from was received, which included multiple news agencies. 

Desert Messenger reached out to Madewell who asked that the video not be put out on the Internet. "I've been violated also. This is our personal lives that we just took into a public place." 

Mr. McClenning responded to Desert Messenger's phone call, however the connection was lost before comments were made, but McClenning said he would email comments. As of this evening, no email had been received.

The concerned mother filed a police report with Quartzsite Police Department (QPD), along with the video, however Madewell said, "QPD explained it was not a criminal matter."

The Scholars' Academy has been under the microscope recently due to the denial of their contract from the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. The school appealed and the hearing is scheduled  next month. Declining test scores, financial issues, and internal challenges were sited as reasons for the denial.

On another note, the Scholars' Academy is scheduled to go before the Quartzsite Town Council next Tuesday, seeking a renewal of their 2012-2013 lease from the Town. 

The videographer's mother said, "This is unethical, disgusting, and absolutely irresponsible. These types of actions are NOT tolerable. These people are supposed to be professional leaders of our community and the school in which they work. They are role models for the children that attend our schools."

The statement above could be said for Mark Orgeron, Head Teacher of Quartzsite Elementary School and current council candidate, whose Facebook comment of "Corrupting Arizona's students one child at a time" was the focus of an article in April 4th issue of Desert Messenger. Shortly after the article brought attention to Mr. Orgeron, he proceeded to transport a female elementary student, alone in his vehicle, 20 miles to and from a school board meeting, at night. According to a witness, Orgeron was apparently seen on Wednesday stopping the same student walking after school and the girl proceeded to step into his vehicle. According to school policies, teachers are only allowed to transport students in a district vehicle.

According to multiple reliable sources, Madewell was also a former favorite student of Mr. McClenning. Both are adults now and are married, but not to each other. 
Indeed, teachers are role models for our children and are held to a higher standard. 

Crystal Cruz of, Phoenix television Channel 3, visited Quartzsite Thursday afternoon. Cruz interviewed a group of parents and students. The news was the top story at 4:30pm and 5:30pm broadcast live from Quartzsite. 

By 7:30pm Steve Kuzj of ABC News 15 out of Phoenix also visited with local residents. His report aired at 10:00pm last night. As of this afternoon, the story is top news on and 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roadwork between Parker and Havasu

Pavement repairs along State Route 95 north of Parker begin Monday
Motorists are advised to plan extra travel time when traveling between Parker and Lake Havasu

The Arizona Department of Transportation will continue working on a pavement repair project along State Route 95 north of Parker beginning Wednesday (April 25).

The project consists of repairing cracks in the pavement between mileposts 152-161 and mileposts142-148. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 2012.

What to expect during construction:
  • Daily intermittent lane closures are scheduled between 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Workers will temporarily stop traffic and escort them through the work zone.
  • Motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow extra travel time.
  • Message boards will advise drivers of lane restrictions.
  • Speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour in the work zone.
  • Law enforcement will be on-site to control traffic and monitor speeds.

ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.

For more information about this project, please visit or contact Yuma District Senior Community Relations Officer Gabriella Kemp at 928.317.2165 or Local media should contact the ADOT Public Information Office at or 1.800.949.8057.  Visit for more information about ADOT. For more information about ADOT projects and programs across Arizona see the agency's latest blog posts at  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Town of Quartzsite May 15, 2012 General Election deadlines

Public Service Announcement 
from La Paz County Recorder:

The Recorder's Office would like to remind all citizens of La Paz County that it is NEVER TOO EARLY to register to vote. Registration forms are available at all Post Offices, APS, Justice Courts, Town Hall and the Recorder's Office. You may call 928-669-6136 or 1-888-526-8685 and request an application be sent to you.

If you have moved or changed your mailing address, you will need to complete a new form to update your registration. DON'T WAIT; pick up an application or call the La Paz County Recorder's Office today.

Voter registration deadline: April 16, 2012
Early Voting starts: April 19, 2012
Satellite Voting: April 30, 2012 10am-1pm Quartzsite Town Hall
Last Day to request ballot by mail is May 4, 2012
Last day to vote at the Recorder's Office is May 11, 2012

Remember- the implementation of Proposition 200 requires every voter to show ID at the polls that match the information on file with the Recorder's voter registration rolls. Proposition 200 mandates one picture ID or two non-picture IDs as proof of identification when voting.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friends of Quartzsite posted photos showcasing local events

Quartzsite, Arizona - A new Facebook page recently started called Friends of Quartzsite. 

Recently over 50 photos were posted showing the fun events around Quartzsite 
over the past few years. With all the negative publicity, this Community Page 
focuses on why thousands of snowbirds flock to Quartzsite every year. 

To view the page click on the link below. Check out the untitled album to see the 50 photos. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quartzsite Town Council meeting agenda for Tues. April 10, 2012

04-10-12 TofQAgenda


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