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  • Glendale libraries prepare September card sign up

    September is Library Card Sign-up Month and Glendale Public Library is celebrating in style by issuing library cards featuring Snoopy from “Peanuts,” as well as entering all new library card holders into a raffle for three free tablets.Secretary of Education William J. Bennett launched Library Card Sign-up Month in 1987 to ensure that every child in the United States would have a library card that would grant them free access to information. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/card<;http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/card>.Libraries have changed a lot since 1987, and today the Glendale Public Library offers free remote access to countless movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks and books through Hoopla, Overdrive and Freegal; free checkouts on nearly half a million DVDs, books and video games; free access to digital resources that provide in-depth research assistance, homework help and ancestry guidance; free programs for people of all ages, including storytimes, adult coloring groups, book clubs and, soon, a library comic convention for teens; and more.Visit www.glendaleaz.com/library.Glendale Public Library is also honoring Secretary Bennett’s original mission to make cards available to children. Staff from the library system will be visiting local schools and issuing library cards to students.Glendale Public Library cards are free to all Maricopa County residents.

  • Glendale residents sound off on chickens in residential areas

    Some say chickens make good pets and provide for healthy eating while others say they are noisy and dirty.Now it is up to Glendale to decide if residents in single-family homes can raise hens in their backyards. Currently the city allows for hens in areas zoned for agriculture, residential rural and suburban residence lots 12,000 square feet and larger. Roosters are not allowed.“I have not made a recommendation,” Planning Director Jon Froke told a crowd of about 80 at a neighborhood meeting last week. “We are still vetting this.”How many hens would be allowed on a property also has not been decided yet.Whether to amend the zoning ordinance to allow for the hens is tentatively expected to go to a Planning Commission workshop Sept. 1 for discussion. The City Council will have the final say on the issue.A majority of the audience members did not want backyard chickens, voicing concerns with attracting predators such as coyotes, effectiveness of city’s code compliance should there be a problem with a chicken owner and allergies to chicken feathers.

  • Surprise Police, Fire train at Valley Vista Saturday night

    Surprise Police and Fire Departments will be using Valley Vista High School on Saturday evening to conduct training activities.The large public safety presence is part of their ongoing training. The public can expect to see a number of vehicles in the Valley Vista High School parking lots and occasional noises from within the facility.Training will include students from Valley Vista’s Law Enforcement Career and Technical Education program and the Surprise Police Department’s Explorers program.No other students or staff will participate in the exercise and no other events will take place during this time.Dysart Unified School District continues to appreciate the continued partnership with the city of Surprise.

  • Surprise resident claims senior spelling bee

    S-I-N-E-C-U-R-E.Surprise resident Sharon Kapuscak spelled “sinecure” correctly to win the fifth annual Senior Spelling Bee, continuing the city’s hold on the title for a second straight year. And the United Kingdom’s as well.“That was so much fun,” Ms. Kapuscak said. “That logorrhea. I’m not sure even now if I would have got it right. So I was very pleased it stopped before me. Uxorious, I’m pleased that went.”Ms. Kapuscak was born and raised in London. Last year’s champion, Sally Charalambous, came from Yorkshire.Contestants went through 59 of the 140 words provided by Grace Bible Church Pastor Bill Bjork, two church members and Independent Newsmedia’s Jeremy Carr. Not quite half, but the format of the bee played a role in the use of few words.If a word were misspelled, the next person in order had to spell it as well. Once a person misspelled two words, they were eliminated.

  • Missing Glendale baby found safe, father arrested

    Friday morning Phoenix Police located the vehicle of a missing 32-year-old Glendale man near Third Ave and Indian School Road.Both Ramon Salas and his 10-month-old son, Abraham, were found in good health. They were reported missing Thursday afternoon and had been unaccounted for since about noon Wednesday.Mr. Salas was driving to pick up his girlfriend and mother of Abraham from work in East Phoenix and never arrived.He was found in possession of dangerous drugs when contacted and was subsequently arrested for the drugs and an endangerment charge for possessing the drugs while caring for the baby.The baby has been reunited with the mother and she did not seek any charges against the father, because she felt the baby was cared for while with the father.

  • First Things First applauds grandparents raising Arizona’s next generation

    The first Sunday after Labor Day is recognized as Grandparents’ Day in the United States.This year, the day falls on Sept. 11. As the nation celebrates Grandparents’ Day, First Things First applauds those grandparents who are parenting a second time around.Earlier this year, the Arizona Legislature proclaimed September as Grandfamily/Kinship Care Month, a time to recognize grandparents and other family members raising children who cannot be cared for by their own parents. State Senator Debbie Lesko sponsored the bill.In Arizona, 14 percent of Arizona children ages 0 to 5 live with grandparents, compared to 12 percent nationally. Of those 14 percent, 30 percent of these households have no parent of the child present, meaning grandparents are responsible for most of the basic needs of children living with them.For many grandparents, it can be challenging when it has been decades since they cared for young children. So much has been learned about brain development and the impact of early experiences. Now we know that about 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before age 5. More and more evidence shows quality early interactions are crucial for a young child’s success in school and later in life.FTF provides funding for various programs that are having positive impacts on grandparents and Arizona’s children. In the Northwest Maricopa region, FTF funds Chicanos Por La Causa Parenting Arizona, which offers parenting classes to grandparents who have grandchildren in their lives.

  • Sheriff: Man confesses in killings of 2 Mississippi nuns

    DURANT, Miss. (AP) — A man suspected in the slayings of two nuns found dead in their Mississippi home confessed to the killings, a sheriff said Saturday, in the latest twist to a crime that has horrified people in the small communities where the women served.Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, was arrested and charged in the deaths of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said late Friday. Both women were 68.Willie March, the sheriff of Holmes County where the killings occurred, said Saturday he had been briefed by police from the town where the killings occurred and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation officials who took part in Sanders' interrogation.Sanders confessed in the interrogation to the killings and gave no reason for the crimes, March said.The sheriff said police work and tips from the community led police to Sanders, and the investigation is ongoing.Durant police could not be reached for comment. Strain, whose department includes the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, said the organization would neither confirm nor deny that Sanders confessed.

  • Ultra-marathon runner reunited with missing stray dog

    LONDON (AP) — An ultra-marathon runner has been reunited with the stray dog that accompanied him through part of a grueling desert race in China and then went missing.Dion Leonard says the stray befriended him as he took part in the 250-kilometer (155-mile) Gobi March race, part of the 4 Deserts race series. The dog followed him for much of the race. He vowed to take the dog, named Gobi, home to the U.K.Leonard, who lives in Scotland, says the dog was preparing to go into quarantine in China before traveling to the U.K. when she disappeared. Having learned that she ran away, he returned to China to find Gobi with the help of a crowdfunding appeal, using posters and the power of social media to track her down."On Tuesday night, I received a phone call around 9 p.m. at night saying, 'We've got Gobi. We think it is her. It looks like her in the posters, come round and have a look,' " he told the BBC. "Thankfully we went over and as soon as I walked into the lounge she came running across the room and into my arms.""She was so excited to see me," he said. "I knew it was her straight away."Gobi joined Leonard on the second day of the six-stage, seven-day race, and also ran along on her short stubby legs for days three and six.

  • US wants to force lower speeds on truck and bus drivers

    DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. is seeking to forcibly limit how fast trucks, buses and other large vehicles can travel on the nation's highways.A new proposal Friday would impose a nationwide limit by electronically capping speeds with a device on newly made U.S. vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Regulators are considering a cap of 60, 65 or 68 mph, though that could change. Whatever the speed limit, drivers would be physically prevented from exceeding it. The proposal does not force older heavy vehicles to add the speed-limiting technology, but regulators are still considering it.The government said capping speeds for new large vehicles will reduce the 1,115 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks that occur each year and save $1 billion in fuel costs.While the news is being welcomed by some safety advocates and non-professional drivers, many truckers say that such changes could lead to dangerous scenarios where they are traveling at much lower speeds than everyone else.The rule has been ensnared in a regulatory maze in the decade since the nonprofit group Roadsafe America issued its first petition in 2006. The group was founded by Atlanta financial adviser Scott Owings and his wife Susan, whose son Cullum was killed by a speeding tractor-trailer during a trip back to school in Virginia after Thanksgiving in 2002. The nonprofit was later joined by the American Trucking Associations, the nation's largest trucking industry group.Owings said he will continue to push NHTSA to force older heavy vehicles to limit their speeds.

  • Lawyers plan civil suit in '44 execution of black youth

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Attorneys are investigating the possibility of filing a civil-rights lawsuit in the case of a black teenager electrocuted more than 70 years ago for the killings of two young white girls in a segregated South Carolina mill town.George Stinney was 14 when he was arrested, convicted of murder in a one-day trial and executed in 1944. A state judge in 2014 tossed out the conviction, saying a grave injustice had been done."It's an awful part of our history and one that we have to tackle," Charleston School of Law President Ed Bell said Friday as he announced that law students will help research the legal grounds for suing over something that happened seven decades ago.Bell said that the lawyers, law enforcement and court officials who participated in the case have long since died. Their descendants can't be sued and research will determine whether the state or Clarendon County, where the trial was held, can be named as defendants, he said."It may be a shallow victory. There may be no money to be collected. But the fact is, we have to figure out a way in our society to take these wrongs and learn from them," he said.Miller Shealy, an attorney and law professor at the school who helped bring the case to overturn Stinney's conviction, said what happened in Clarendon County all those years ago was happening nationwide.

  • AP EXPLAINS: How shallow, deep earthquakes differ

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Italy's earthquake was a lot weaker than the one in Myanmar, but it did far more damage because it happened at a shallower depth. The Associated Press explains the difference between shallow and deep earthquakes.___EARTHQUAKE MAGNITUDE IS MORE THAN JUST A NUMBERA quake's destructive force depends not only on its strength, but also on location, distance from the epicenter and depth. Quakes can strike near the surface or deep within the Earth. Most quakes occur at shallow depths, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Italy's quake was very shallow, originating between 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) and 6 miles (10 kilometers) underground, according to Italy's geological service and the USGS. The magnitude measurements also varied slightly — between magnitude 6 and 6.2. By contrast, the 6.8 quake in Myanmar was deeper — at 52 miles (84 kilometers), which is considered an intermediate depth.___SHALLOW QUAKES ARE LIKE 'A BOMB'

  • Court upholds lopsided law against Libertarians

    PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court on Friday upheld a law that its proponents admitted is designed to help elect Republicans by keeping Libertarians from siphoning away votes. In a unanimous ruling, the justices acknowledged that the new law increased the number of signatures a Libertarian is required to get to run for statewide office by a factor of 25. By contrast, the 2015 statute had little effect on Republican and Democrat candidates. But Chief Justice Scott Bales said the increased burden is legally irrelevant. He said the Republican-controlled legislature was entitled to decide that all candidates from all parties have to show the same level of support to qualify for a place on the ballot. Friday's ruling comes in a case involving Libertarian Frank Tamburri. It dashes his bid to challenge Republican John McCain in November for the U.S. Senate. But it may not be the last word on the validity of the law. The Arizona Libertarian Party has a separate lawsuit pending in federal court challenging the same signature requirements. Oliver Hall, the attorney in that case, wants a judge to rule that the 2015 law imposes "unconstitutionally severe and unequal burdens on the Libertarians alone.'' 

  • Best-selling author J.A. Jance returns to Sun City West Sept. 7

    New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance will present her new book, “Downfall,” in a book talk and signing 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 Deer Valley Drive.Doors open at 2 p.m. and “Downfall” and other Jance books will be sold at the venue. Complimentary tickets are required and are available on a first-come,first-served basis at the R.H. Johnson Library, 13801 W. Meeker Blvd.Library hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.“Downfall” continues with one of Ms. Jance’s favorite characters, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady. With a baby on the way, sudden deaths in her family, a re-election campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college, Sheriff Brady has her hands full when a puzzling new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal. Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small, nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What is the connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide or is it a double homicide? If someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another victim?

  • Michael Phelps, Final Five gymnasts to present at MTV VMAs

    NEW YORK (AP) — Recent Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and the Final Five are heading to the MTV Video Music Awards.MTV said Thursday that Phelps, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian will present awards at Sunday's show in New York City.Jimmy Fallon, Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Puff Daddy will also present awards, while attendees at Madison Square Garden will include Kanye West, Bryson Tiller, 2 Chainz, DNCE, Desiigner and Troye Sivan.Britney Spears, Rihanna, Future, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Nick Jonas and the Chainsmokers will perform during the live show.Beyonce is the leading nominee with 11, followed by Adele with eight nominations. Adele won't attend the show; a representative for Beyonce didn't immediately say if the singer would attend.Beyonce, Adele, West, Justin Bieber and Drake will compete for video of the year.

  • Glendale wants resident input on downtown entertainment area

    The city of Glendale is considering the adoption of a designated Entertainment District pertaining to the issuance of liquor licenses in the Downtown Glendale area and is conducting a public input meeting to gather community feedback.Residents are welcomed and encouraged to provide input at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 in City Council Chambers, 5850 W. Glendale Ave.Resident feedback counts For information or to take a brief online survey  visit www.glendaleaz.com/feedback.cfm by Sept. 2.

  • Biden: $2.45B loan for Amtrak upgrades in Northeast Corridor

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Amtrak is receiving a $2.45 billion loan from the federal government to buy new trains, upgrade tracks and make platform improvements along the busy Northeast corridor, the largest such loan ever by the Department of Transportation, officials announced Friday.Vice President Joe Biden, a champion of Amtrak who rode the corridor's trains almost daily during his more than three decades in the Senate, joined Amtrak officials and deputy transportation secretary Victor Mendez in making the announcement at the Wilmington, Delaware, station named for Biden."You can't make this country work without rail ... This is a really, really sound investment, Biden said.Terms of the loan were not immediately available, but Amtrak said the money would be repaid through growth in revenues from Northeast Corridor operations."We're making the most significant investment in passenger rail that's ever been made in this country," said Amtrak board chairman Anthony Coscia.The loan includes more than $2 billion for 28 new trains that are to replace 23 nearing the end of their useful service life. It also includes $170 million for facility improvements in New York, Washington and Maryland, and $90 million for safety improvements and $80 million for track infrastructure.

  • Defense attorneys clash with prison over recorded meetings

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Defense attorneys who represent inmates at a privately run federal prison in Kansas were livid after learning that their meetings with clients had been recorded on video, despite repeated assurances from the penitentiary that the conversations were private.The recordings that came to light this month had no audio, but the complaints raise the question of whether nonverbal interactions such as body language or the exchange of legal documents are protected under attorney-client privilege."We never had any idea we were being recorded," said Laine Cardarella, a federal public defender in Missouri whose clients include detainees at the Leavenworth prison. "This has had a chilling effect."A federal judge said the recordings might have violated the Sixth Amendment rights of hundreds of inmates and ordered them stopped.The company that runs the prison, Corrections Corporation of America, insists that silent video recordings of inmate-attorney meetings "are a standard practice" throughout the country and are used solely to enhance the prison's safety and security.Unlike prisons controlled by the federal Bureau of Prisons, which generally forbids any recording in attorney-client meeting rooms, private facilities set their own standards.

  • Bold moves, tepid gains: Have central banks met their limit?

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The world's key central banks have worked themselves into contortions to try to rev up economic growth, raise inflation and coax consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more.They've pumped trillions into financial systems and driven interest rates about as low as they can go — even below zero in Europe and Japan. Yet after several years, the results are ... meh.As central bankers meet this week at an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the global landscape remains bleak. Growth is sluggish. Inflation barely registers. Businesses won't invest. And consumers remain mostly hunkered down eight years after a financial crisis that jolted central banks to take radical steps in the first place.Far from stepping up spending, many people and businesses have instead been saving money despite essentially zero interest. Economists warn that the easy-money policies are losing effectiveness over time — and might even make things worse."It's pushing on a string if you're trying to get people who are already living in a borderline recession economy, who are already up to their eyeballs in debt, to borrow more," says Mark Blyth, a professor of international political economy at Brown University.The central banks' extraordinary efforts weren't meant to be permanent. They were designed to restore confidence in a banking system that was teetering in 2008 and then to counter the deepest recession since the 1930s.

Featured columns

  • LETTER: Williams pledges to bring in jobs

    It has been an honor to serve the city of Surprise since 2008 as your District 3 councilman. My pledge today, as I humbly ask for your vote, is to ensure we have opportunities to continue to build a skilled workforce, improve transportation in and out of our city, assure we have a safe city, support excellence in education, and provide quality of life amenities for families. Ninety percent of the Surprise workforce leaves our city every day. This is characteristic of a bedroom community, not who we want to be.For the sake of residents today and in the future, whether you’re retired or beginning a career, building a community that will drive the development of head of household opportunities must be a top priority. Every politician seems to preach promises of connectivity to residents, bridging the gaps, and bringing in jobs. This is the essence of the role as council member.However it cannot be campaign rhetoric, it has to be backed up with action, otherwise it simply becomes empty promises. I know what needs to be done in the role of a strategic policy maker to improve our entire community.We live in a great city with clean streets and safe neighborhoods. We offer great opportunities for all ages, thanks to affordable housing and low taxes. Whether you’re starting a family, or looking to enjoy retirement, Surprise is a great place to invest.However, the investment that many of us made over a decade ago, has not quite come to fruition. We are looking for more, we need more, want more from our city. After righting the ship through some tumultuous financial times, we now have some incredible opportunities to improving the quality of life for all. My commitment is to bring our community together and make decisions that will continue to improve quality of life for all.For working families like mine, for military families, for all engaged families, the daily grind gives us perspective on what the city needs and gaps we must fill. Life is busy for all of us, and I’m no different from any other family in Surprise.

  • LETTER: Resident criticism of Remley misguided

    At the last City Council meeting, a resident (Editor’s note: Olga Perez) gave an address to council, in which she admonished council candidate for District 4, Ken Remley, for his lack of taking action on the lighting issues in the Original Town Site.She stated that perhaps the children on the OTS are not as important as those in Litchfield Manor. She failed to realize that, as a candidate, Ken Remley has no authority over the council, or any of the city departments. In short, you cannot blame the candidate for the sins of the incumbent.What I can say, with confidence, is that Ken has great plans for the OTS.He wants to fix what is broken, and develop a renewed sense of community pride. He wants to represent all of District 4.Early ballots have been mailed out, and I am marking mine for Ken Remley….how about you?Ed Hanzel

  • LETTER: Resident objects to consolidation

    As a customer of EPCOR Water Co. and resident of Sun City, I strongly object to EPCOR’s recommendation for full consolidation of their water districts.We should not be expected to subsidize any other district. That is totally unfair. It would be like asking other districts to pay for our electricity.Sun City and Youngtown readers, write your commissioners. Refer to Docket No. WS-0130A-16-0145. Don’t waste time. Don’t let them waste your money.Sharon BartlettSun City

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The American pika is being killed off by climate change

The American pika, “one of the cutest animals” in the country, is feeling the heat as a hotter, drier summers threaten its habitat. Whole popu…

Published: August 28, 2016 - 1:15 am @ http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/…

Borsch: a neural-network based food app from Russian programmers

After Prisma, the much-hyped mobile app that instantly transforms pictures into artwork, and Artisto, a similar app for videos, Russian progra…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 11:44 pm @ http://venturebeat.com/2016/08/27/borsch-a-neural-…

Sun power: Solar interests donate big in Ariz. race

PHOENIX -- A flood of money from solar interests is overwhelming the spending in the race for the Arizona Corporation Commission. Save Our AZ …

Published: August 27, 2016 - 11:14 pm @ http://www.yumasun.com/news/sun-power-solar-intere…

Phoenix firefighters help woman who became dehydrated while hiking Piestewa Peak

PHOENIX - Firefighters were able to get a woman safely down Piestewa Peak Saturday night.  Rescuers responded around 8 p.m. after a 39-year-ol…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 10:47 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Funeral tears as Italy says farewell to quake dead

Driving in Canada Canada - a home away from home Canada, it's time to change! Living with a disability in Indo-Canadian society The empire str…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 9:43 pm @ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Fu…

Pet telethon raises $519,831 for Arizona Humane Society

PHOENIX (3TV) - A two-hour pet telethon on 3TV Saturday afternoon helped the Arizona Humane Society raise $519,831. More than 17,000 homeless …

Published: August 27, 2016 - 7:41 pm @ http://www.azfamily.com/story/32854723/help-az-hum…

Long-time Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio faces tough re-election bid

PHOENIX Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio has long battled controversy over his tough stance on illegal immigration but may now face his toughest test…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 6:39 pm @ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-arizona-election…

Total chaos: Donald Trump insists he’s holding a big Arizona rally. His own campaign says he’s lying.

If you ask Donald Trump’s campaign, his upcoming rally in Phoenix, Arizona has been postponed. If you ask Donald Trump’s website, the rally ha…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 6:08 pm @ http://www.dailynewsbin.com/news/total-chaos-donal…

Cucumber business leaves family farm in a pickle

THAMESVILLE, ONT.—It’s hot — a real scorcher — and the parched dirt kicks up underfoot as the farmer leads the way to a cucumber field that is…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 5:39 pm @ https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/08/27/cucumb…

KING: Black Lives Matter T-shirts not welcome at Arizona school

Hold up. Hold all the way up. This is completely ridiculous. On Tuesday in Buckeye, Arizona, right outside of Phoenix, it was picture day at B…

Published: August 27, 2016 - 4:36 pm @ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-blac…

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