Your West Valley News: Local news from Phoenix's West Valley communities - Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown

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  • Scottsdale woman, Roseanna Langford Kempson, accused of leaving child to go drinking

    PEORIA, Ariz. - An 18-month-old boy was left wandering on a lakeside pier as his mother went out for a drink at a bar, according to Peoria police.Police say that on July 23, Roseanna Langford Kempson, 33, allegedly left her son walking around the Lake Pleasant deck, while she was drinking at a bar with a friend.The child was found by a bar employee about 60 feet away from anyone, as he was walking on a deck that had no railing over an area of the lake that is more than 100 feet deep.The child was walking near the edge of the seven-foot deck without a diaper or life vest on, police said.Kempson was reportedly found in the bar "extremely intoxicated and had difficulty standing up and speaking."Kempson has been charged with child abuse and endangering the health of a minor.

  • Surprise police arrest man who barricaded self in home

    Surprise Police captured a man who barricaded himself and a child in his home for nearly seven hours Monday.Around 7 p.m., Raul Aranda, a 45-year-old Surprise resident, crawled onto the roof of his house. That allowed police to safely remove the child with his mother.Aranda surrendered to police without further incident or injuries just after 7, outside the home in the 12700 block of West Elm Street.He faces several felony charges, said Surprise Police Sgt. Norm Owens, from a series of incidents during the last 24 hours.It began shortly after midnight Monday with a domestic violence incident against his mother. After the report, officers arrived at the house but Aranda had left.When police returned for a follow up at noon, he was back. However, he refused to come out of the house initially — or to let the child out.

  • Public session opens window to Surprise police accreditation process

    As part of their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and providing the community with exceptional police services, the Surprise Police Department has voluntarily participated in the law enforcement accreditation process since 2007.The Surprise Police Department is one of 1,031 law enforcement agencies in the United States that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.In order to achieve and maintain accreditation, CALEA requires agencies to comply with more than 400 state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policies and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.In August 2016, assessors from CALEA will conduct an on-site assessment of the Surprise Police Department as part of the reaccreditation process prior to granting accreditation for another four years. During the on-site assessment, agency personnel and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session at 5 p.m. Aug. 8 in the Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.For those who are unable to attend the public information session, but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone. The public may call 623-222- 7945 between 1 and 3 p.m. Aug. 9 to speak with one of the CALEA Assessors.Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to three minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the CALEA Standards.

  • Peoria Police Officers Association disputes department data

    Editor's Note: The following is a release provided by the Peoria Police Officers Association. PEORIA, Ariz. - Recently, despite all evidence to the contrary, the Peoria City Council was treated to a rosy picture of public safety painted by Peoria Police Chief Roy Minter. For example, the chief told the council that the time it takes police to respond to crime only increased by a small amount and that crime is falling in the city.  We sympathize with Chief Minter.  After all, he only remains Chief at the pleasure of the council. Unfortunately, the situation on the ground refutes those claims.Cherry picking statistics to show only a small increase from one year to the next ignores the fact that response times are much worse than they used to be.  The overall time it takes Police to respond to crime has increased by almost 35 percent from February of 2011 to March of 2016 (5 minutes, 30 seconds to 7 minutes, 24 seconds respectively).  The figures are even worse for communities like Vistancia, where the time it takes for police to arrive has been as high as 13 minutes.What about the claim that crime rates are dropping?  In order to answer this question, it is important to know how crime statistics are created. Peoria has repeatedly altered how it measures and tracks crime, which makes the validity of the statistics Chief Minter is using unreliable and, frankly, questionable.  Showing only the crimes reported on the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting also does not provide statistics for all crime. And finally, a crime is only measured if it is reported or detected by police. You get less crime in the statistics when you don’t have enough officers to investigate crime; staffing problems directly impact the number of crimes that can be detected. 

  • Peoria Police Department data says crime down, response times improving

    PEORIA, Ariz. – The Peoria Police Department recently presented to the city council current crime data, and highlighted the latest technologies and innovative techniques the department is deploying in an effort to keep the community safe. Police Chief Roy Minter presented an update on various statistics related to crime rates, staffing levels and response times. In addition, the Chief shared several key indicators of the police department’s performance.“The safety of Peoria’s residents is taken seriously” said Chief Roy Minter. “Our police department makes a diligent effort to regularly connect with the community and review best practices to ensure we are delivering the best services to our citizens.”Peoria’s use of technology for both citizens and officers can help residents feel safer and better equips officers to reduce crime. Peoria was one of the first cities in Arizona to provide all patrol officers with body-worn cameras, which strengthens transparency in the department and community. Other programs like Safe-Cam allow residents to voluntarily be a part of a database that is used to solve crime quicker. Peoria is the only Valley city to offer this innovative program. The department’s strategic use of modern statistical and geographical software is helping the department to utilize data, such as determining patrol deployment strategies. The recently installed Hunchlab predictive policing software enables officers to better understand where crime could happen before it does.Recent crime data shows the following:Major CrimesOver the last five (2011-2016) years, major crimes per 1,000 residents in the City of Peoria has fallen 32%.  The latest monthly crime numbers (May 2016) show a 6.4% decrease in overall crime from the prior month.The City of Peoria participates in a nationwide Benchmark Cities Group to compare crime data with comparable agencies. The 22.4 crime rate per 1,000 remains well below the Benchmark average of 30.4.

  • Glendale slates August parks and recreation events

    The following featured events are offered by Glendale’s Parks and Recreation division in August. To see many more events and activities, please visit Swim LessonsAt the Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center, 5600 W. Union Hills Dr.It’s never too late to learn to swim! For ages 15-plus.Private LessonsAugust & September

  • Activists protest no charges for Arizona officer in shooting

    PHOENIX (AP) — A small group in Arizona on Monday protested a decision not to charge a police officer in the shooting death of a woman accused of shoplifting and threatening the lawman with scissors.The shooting of 27-year-old Navajo woman Loreal Tsingine in March led tribal officials to urge the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the treatment of American Indians who live in towns that border the reservation.Maricopa County prosecutor Bill Montgomery announced Friday that his office found no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of Winslow, Arizona, Officer Austin Shipley in Tsingine's death.About 20 people chanted "Justice for Loreal" and "Shame on Bill Montgomery" outside the prosecutor's office in Phoenix as employees arrived for work Monday morning.The Phoenix protest came amid a wave of demonstrations and racial tension over police shooting of black men as well as the fatal attacks on law enforcement officers.Members of the Navajo Nation Council said in a statement they were appalled by Montgomery's decision and demanded a federal investigation.

  • In 10th convention speech, Bill Clinton faces tougher crowd

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Clinton was once the Democrats explainer-in-chief, electrifying the convention crowd with his support of President Barack Obama.Today, he increasingly seems to be explaining himself.In the four years since the party's last national convention, the center of gravity in Democratic politics has shifted decidedly to the left. Clinton must finesse some of his administration's biggest achievements, including a landmark free trade agreement and major criminal justice law, lest his wife pay the price with the party's emboldened liberal base.On Tuesday night, the former president will promote what aides say are his wife's lesser-known achievements, her early days as a child advocacy lawyer, her policy campaigns as first lady and work as senator from New York.But his 10th consecutive convention address may require one of the toughest balancing acts of his career: separating his wife's legacy from his own."It's not just (Bernie) Sanders supporters who have concerns about the impacts of those policies," said Ben Jealous, a former head of the NAACP who endorsed the Vermont senator and now backs Clinton. "You look at this platform and in many ways it's a response to those policies."

  • Takeaways: Sanders, Michelle Obama dominate convention

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bernie Sanders gave a strong endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president and Michelle Obama went on the attack against Donald Trump as Democrats struggled to appear unified at their national convention in the face of a storm over hacked emails.Democrats looked to defuse tensions by announcing that outgoing party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not take the stage. She has long been a focus of criticism from Sanders and his backers for her apparent bias in Clinton's favor.Many of Sanders' supporters weren't appeased and jeered as speakers lauded Clinton.Here are the top takeaways from Monday's opening day of the Democratic National Convention:__SANDERS URGES UNITY

  • Tempe police: Teen girl killed by family member in accidental shooting

    TEMPE, Ariz. - Police are investigating after a teenage girl was killed in an accidental shooting Monday night.Officers responded to a home near University Avenue and Rural Road around 9:30 p.m. Police said an adult male family member was handling a gun when it fired, hitting a 16-year-old girl in the face.She was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. She was later pronounced dead.Investigators said they would remain on scene for much of the night collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.Authorities did not immediately know the specific relationship between the man and the teen.No other information was immediately available.

  • Democratic emails: All about the hack, the leak, the discord

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — First came the hack, then the leak. Now, the Clinton and Trump campaigns are fighting over Russia's role in the release of thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails.At least one thing is clear: The email uproar is an unwelcome distraction at the launch of the Democratic National Convention, inflaming the rift between supporters of Hillary Clinton and primary rival Bernie Sanders just when the party was hoping to close it.As the Philadelphia convention got underway Monday, developments in the email story rolled out in rapid sequence:Clinton's campaign, citing a cybersecurity firm hired to investigate the leak, blamed Russia for hacking the party's computers and suggested the goal was to benefit Donald Trump's campaign.Trump dismissed that idea as laughable, tweeting: "The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails."Sanders supporters certainly weren't amused. Irate, in fact, that the emails confirmed their long-held suspicions the party had favored Clinton all along.

  • More than 50 pro-Sanders demonstrators cited by police

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police briefly detained more than 50 people after they tried to storm the barricades outside the Democratic National Convention on Monday in a show of anger over Bernie Sanders' treatment by party leaders, even as he urged his supporters to fall in line behind Hillary Clinton.Several hundred Sanders supporters and other demonstrators converged in the sweltering heat on Broad Street and made their way 4 miles to the convention site as the gathering was being gaveled to order, chanting "Nominate Sanders or lose in November!" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, the DNC has got to go!" They carried signs reading, "Never Hillary," ''Just Go to Jail Hillary" and "You Lost Me at Hillary."As tensions mounted outside the Wells Fargo Center, police moved metal fences into place and closed the nearest subway station to arriving trains. Fifty-five people were issued citations for disorderly conduct when protesters tried to climb over police barricades at the edge of the security zone surrounding the convention, police said.The anger reflected the widening rift inside the Democratic Party and the convention hall between Sanders' supporters and Clinton's. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as Democratic Party chairwoman on Sunday over leaked emails suggesting the supposedly neutral Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primaries by siding with Clinton and bad-mouthing Sanders.Addressing the convention Monday night, Sanders urged his supporters to vote for Clinton, generating a chorus of boos and chants of, "Bernie! Bernie!""Based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," Sanders said. "The choice is not even close."

  • In 'Indignation,' a maturing Logan Lerman changes course

    NEW YORK (AP) — Logan Lerman is already one of the most sought-after young actors in Hollywood. You might then expect the 24-year-old to have a steady lineup of dystopian young-adult adaptations or house-party comedies in the pipeline. But his latest is in a different direction entirely: industry veteran James Schamus' Philip Roth adaptation, "Indignation."The role, Lerman says, is exactly the kind of material he's attracted to, and he doesn't mind turning down more cookie-cutter (and lucrative) parts in order to find his own path."Let the other actors take the bad roles," he joked in a recent interview, only using a different word for "bad." ''I'm trying to figure out who I am through the choices I make. I don't know myself well enough. I'm still trying to figure out what person I want to be."In "Indignation," which opens Friday, Lerman stars as Marcus Messner, the only son of a Jewish butcher in Newark, N.J. While the Korean War is raging, he goes to a Christian college in Ohio, where his rigid principles are challenged by a forward but fragile young woman (Sarah Gadon) and a rigid and judgmental dean (Tracy Letts).The directorial debut of Schamus (the longtime writing and producing partner of Ang Lee and the former head of Focus Features), "Indignation" is a revelation of the maturing talent of Lerman. His performance is subtle and smart, but also with the kind of confident charisma that can make stars out of young actors. In the film's lengthy 20-minute centerpiece, he volleys back and forth with Letts, holding his own with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and veteran stage actor."It was terrifying, but I like that. I mean, I didn't enjoy myself. But I wanted the challenge. I want to be the guy who can take the responsibility to try to tackle difficult obstacles," says Lerman. "When we got to set it was like two boxers getting ready for the fight. I had trained and been focused and brought a lot of caffeine."

  • Marni Nixon, voice of classic movie songs, has died at 86

    NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood voice double Marni Nixon, whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses in such classic movie musicals as "West Side Story," ''The King and I" and "My Fair Lady," has died. She was 86.Michael Kirsten, senior vice president of Nixon's talent agency, Harden-Curtis Associates, said she died Sunday of cancer in New York. "She passed away peacefully with her family at her side," he said.Nixon, who was initially uncredited for her work, early on resented the dubbing work but later came to terms with it. "I realized now that this was something that would outlive me. Something that would last," she wrote in her 2006 memoir, "I Could Have Sung All Night."In the heyday of the Hollywood musical, studios often paid big money for film rights to hit Broadway shows, then cast them with popular non-singing actors and actresses.Such was the case with the 1956 hit "The King and I," in which filmmakers dubbed Deborah Kerr's voice with Nixon's."I was brought in and had to follow along with her, getting her diction and acting style," Nixon recalled in 2004. "She in turn would study how I looked when I hit the high notes."

  • 'Pokemon Go' players stumble on hidden history

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Historical markers have long dotted the landscape, often barely noticed by passers-by — until they became treasure-filled stops this month on the "Pokemon Go" trail.Players hunting for fictional creatures on their smartphones are now visiting real-life memorial plaques, statues, mosaics and landmarks, ranging from a Civil War battlefield in Chancellorsville, Virginia, to a Hells Angels clubhouse on New Zealand's North Island.Some don't bother to linger at these Pokestops, staying just long enough to stock up on the virtual balls they'll use to bonk and capture the next Pokemon. But for others, the GPS-powered "augmented reality" game is heightening awareness of the history and geography of their neighborhoods."Before I was just going from Point A to Point B, but now I'm learning things," said 15-year-old Jaiden Cruz as he walked by a plaque Wednesday in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, marking where Abraham Lincoln spoke at an old railroad hall in 1860. The plaque is a Pokestop, and shortly before Cruz arrived, another player dropped a "lure module" that attracts Pokemon to the site.The 380-year-old city abounds with Pokestops, including the nation's oldest Baptist church — founded by religious dissident Roger Williams in 1638 — and a stone marking where French troops camped during the Revolutionary War."It gets you to learn about your surroundings," said 59-year-old Cheryl DiMarzio, who on the advice of her daughter ventured into an urban park to capture an owl-like Pidgey and some purple rodent Rattatas. "Different landmarks, the statues and historical places."

  • Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.8B, seeks wider digital audience

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Seeking a wider digital audience, Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.83 billion in a deal that marks the end of an era for a company that defined much of the early internet but struggled to stay relevant in an online world dominated by Google and Facebook.It's the second time in as many years that Verizon has snapped up the remnants of a fallen internet star. The nation's largest wireless carrier paid $4.4 billion for AOL last year. The two brands will be rolled into the same operation."We have enormous respect for what Yahoo has accomplished: This transaction is about unleashing Yahoo's full potential," AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement.Despite Yahoo's travails, its operations are a prize for Verizon, which wants to capitalize on the growing number of people living their digital lives on smartphones. The company already profits from the data plans that connect more than 100 million people and their devices to the internet. Now it's making plans to control more of the advertising on those devices.Most analysts expect the deal to end the four-year reign of Yahoo's Mayer, who flopped in her much-watched attempt to turn around the company that was once a titan valued at $130 billion.However, Mayer told employees Monday in an email that she intends to stay "to see Yahoo into its next chapter" without specifying for how long. In a later interview with The Associated Press, she said it's too early to know whether there will still be a desirable role for her after Yahoo and AOL are combined.

  • AP Exclusive: Medicare safeguard overwhelmed by pricey drugs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show.The cost of Medicare's "catastrophic" prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program's number-crunching Office of the Actuary.Out of some 2,750 drugs covered by Medicare's Part D benefit, two pills for hepatitis C infection — Harvoni and Sovaldi — accounted for nearly $7.5 billion in catastrophic drug costs in 2015.The pharmaceutical industry questions the numbers, saying they overstate costs because they don't factor in manufacturer rebates. However, rebates are not publicly disclosed. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is calling the rise in spending "alarming."Medicare's catastrophic coverage was originally designed to protect seniors with multiple chronic conditions from the cumulatively high costs of taking many different pills. Beneficiaries pay 5 percent after they have spent $4,850 of their own money. With some drugs now costing more than $1,000 per pill, that threshold can be crossed quickly.Lawmakers who created Part D in 2003 also hoped added protection would entice insurers to participate in the program. Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost of drugs above a catastrophic threshold that combines spending by the beneficiary and the insurer. That means taxpayers, not insurers, bear the exposure for the most expensive patients.

  • G-20 countries pledge to protect against Brexit shock

    BEIJING (AP) — Global finance officials promised Sunday to protect the world economy from the shockwaves of Britain's European Union referendum and to boost sluggish growth.Envoys of the Group of 20 major economies also rejected trade protectionism, an issue that has risen in prominence as U.S. Republication presidential candidate Donald Trump stirs unease with talk about restricting access to American markets.The gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors from the United States, China, Britain, Germany and other governments took place against a backdrop of a weak global recovery that was rattled by Britain's vote to leave the EU and trade tension over Chinese exports of low-priced steel.The British vote "increased global economic uncertainty," said a joint statement by the officials, who were meeting in Chengdu in western China."G-20 members are ready to actively respond to the potential economic and financial impact brought by the British referendum," said the statement. "In the future, we hope to see Britain as a close partner of the EU."On Friday, the director-general of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, called for quick action to end uncertainty about the British-EU split. She said that turmoil prompted the IMF to cut its forecast of this year's global growth by 0.1 percentage point.

Featured columns

  • LETTER: RCSC should curb wasteful spending on high salaries

    The golf courses are in deplorable condition. Those of us who have been here for more than 10 years have seen the conditions going downhill since the RCSC hired a general manager, who in turn has hired many acquaintances to care for our Sun City courses.Here’s the problem as many of us see it. We are paying very generous salaries to persons who are not doing the job, or who do not know how to do the job.Case in point: The director of golf has no education or experience in course maintenance, yet was placed in this position by the general manager. The result? The courses continue on a downhill deterioration.We have paid millions of dollars to “upgrade” and “improve” our courses. Because there is no adequate or educated leadership to assure playability and condition, those millions of dollars have been totally wasted.The sand traps that were put in are without question for much younger players than we have here in Sun City. Many of us have sustained injuries trying to play out of traps that are too steep for the older person. These are serious injuries that have required orthopedic surgery.We were assured prior to the traps being put in that ingress/egress would be no problem for our age group, and that the traps would be maintained so the ball did not plug in the high sides, but would roll to the bottom. Wrong, I’m sorry to say.

  • LETTER: Other ways to handle RCSC assessment fees

    After attending the (RCSC) transparency meeting June 30, the only thing transparent was the fact that behind closed doors they had already made their decision.I know these fees are necessary; after all, I’ve been paying them for 28 years. None of us know what tomorrow may bring and catastrophe can hit anyone at any time. There are other ways to handle this. What about putting a lien against the property so they have a chance to pay it back or, if they sell, the RCSC would their fees, fines and legal fees, etc. from the sale. That way they would definitely get their share, but they seem to want it all. They got indignant when someone doubted their integrity.I keep hearing on the news that the government is going to stop Social Security. That is the main source of income for a lot of Sun City residents, which would mean that they may have to make the choice of buying food, medication, utilities or — oh yes, rec fees! Then they would also have to worry that the home they worked for most of their lives would be taken from them. Wow!The RCSC board doesn’t see anything wrong with this? With a clause like this in the contract people won’t even want to buy a home here. My advice to people depending on Social Security is to be prepared, buy a tent and air mattress and if the government takes the rest of the money you’ve worked for and paid into for most of your life, and stops Social Security, you can just pitch your tents in the back yards of the board members that voted for this. They really shouldn’t mind since they think this is such a good idea.Virginia Aiello

  • LETTER: Reader offers random thoughts on life

    1. Weather. I will not know until Friday if I will walk Saturday. Heat beats me up.2. Still need a meeting room? The Sun City Maricopa Republican headquarters is around the corner from McDonald’s. Its filled with old people spending donations on coffee and donuts, messing with every conservative, protecting useless government workers and otherwise doing nothing. Plenty of room for making calls. Republican voters already paid for the space. Try to find Kelli’s material in there.3. Signs. I still have Kelli’s signs in my garage. You got a home for them?4. Calling. I agreed to make calls from my home. No one ever sent me anything.5. Republican convention. TV coverage is a joke. No one is talking about the Republican platform (that’s what they are doing in meeting rooms Monday and Tuesday). TV anchors talk more about Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Never saw this one: giving Hillary an interview to comment on the Republicans and her agenda. All distractions, so no one can focus on what Republicans are saying. I am counting the interruptions and number of times they discuss Hillary and avoid mentioning Trump or the Republican platform.6. Polls showing McCain in the lead are all messed up. Polling organizations do not understand Arizona voters or voting laws. However, Kelli Ward’s lackluster campaign and Pollyanna appearance may keep voters at home. McCain, corrupt Republicans and Gov. El Duce will get out the minions of bureaucratic functionaries and greedy government contractors, mostly union workers like teachers, police and fire unions, AFSCME, state employees and others that have do-nothing jobs.

Wild Horse West

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Last year, a group of Central American and Mexican immigrant parents sued Texas in federal court, claiming that the state had denied their chi…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 11:03 pm @…

Hiker rescues up in 2016; hundreds helped off Valley mountains so far

PHOENIX - It's a desperate situation that frankly firefighters are seeing way too often. "I think that this year we've just had some real trag…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 10:29 pm @…

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