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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  • Ride program keeps seniors at Royal Oaks mobile

    Envoy America, a ride program offering door-to-door accompanied transportation services for seniors, entered into a partnership with Royal Oaks Retirement Community, 10015 W. Royal Oaks Road, Sun City, to augment the transportation program provided by Royal Oaks.“For many seniors, preserving their independence is vital to living a full, active and healthy life,” said Vicki Ullery, Royal Oaks marketing director. “Most of our residents still drive. But when the time arrives to let someone else take the wheel, Envoy has been an excellent source for residents.”Doris Yock, a resident of Royal Oaks who used Envoy’s services to go with a group of friends to Scottsdale for lunch, was very impressed with the Envoy driver and how considerate she was.“Envoy’s service is terrific,” said Ms. Yock. “I no longer drive and have only one friend who still drives. So we were happy to hear about Envoy’s service.”Visit www.royaloaks.com or www.envoyamerica.com.

  • West Valley honored as Great American Defense Community

    The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) has named the West Valley a Great American Defense Community.The designation recognized eight communities throughout the nation that have provided outstanding support to service members, military families and veterans.The West Valley is home to Luke Air Force Base and about 100,000 active-duty military and civilian personnel deployed or working at the base, their families, and veterans dependent on important base resources and services.“This award is a testimony to just how vital it is that we continue to support our military installations and military personnel,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “On behalf of the council and the citizens of Glendale we are so proud to be the home to Luke Air Force Base.”ADC launched the Great American Defense Communities Program in 2016 to acknowledge the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families. Communities are selected by a panel of defense community advocates and experts from dozens of nominees based on the broad range of efforts they carry out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering areas such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation.The West Valley Partners coalition, comprised of Glendale, Maricopa County and 12 other West Valley communities, submitted the nomination on behalf of the West Valley region. The nomination highlighted a diverse collection of efforts throughout the region, touching on key areas of community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities, and family support including efforts from government, nonprofit, and education organizations.

  • Surprise Police seek suspects in 2 waves of vehicle burglaries

    On Jan. 5, 2017, around 2:40 a.m., the Surprise Police responded to several reports of burglaries from vehicles in the area of 16200 North 162nd Lane.According to several victims, an unknown suspect entered and removed property from several unlocked vehicles in the area.The suspect was described as a male approximately 16-20 years old, with long curly hair, and was last seen wearing a dark colored ball cap, a dark colored hooded jacket, blue jeans, and dark colored shoes.Anyone with any information leading to the location or identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective M. Leszcynski at 623-222-4169 or 623-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be emailed to crimetips@surpriseaz.gov.Click here to view a video of the incident.• On Jan. 15 around 1:40 a.m., the Surprise Police responded to several reports of burglaries from vehicles in the area of 17200 North Elko Drive in Surprise.

  • Dysart begins enrollment for Innovation Academy

    Dysart Unified School District is now accepting open enrollment applications for the Innovation Academy at Western Peaks.The Dysart Innovation Academy will provide a personalized learning environment for students in grades 5-8. Utilizing digital learning tools and project based instructional approaches, the Innovation Academy will personalize education for students by addressing the distinct learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students.In the Innovation Academy setting, the students move from a “one-style-fits-all” approach to student-centered learning. Utilizing a 1 to 1 technology approach, students will be engaged in decisions about the what, when and how of their learning.Students will be expected to master the state standards while building competency in all areas described in the Profile of a Dysart Student. By creating a competency based environment, students will become independent and innovative thinkers by engaging real-world problems with tangible solutions.Incorporating project-based learning strategies, students are able to develop important skills that will prepare them for success in an ever-changing world.As a unique learning environment, students will have 1 to 1 technology use, 24/7 access to objective based learning resources, non-traditional classroom dynamics, and project based instruction integrating communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

  • Glendale Chocolate Affaire sweetens first February weekend

    Glendale will soon host the sweetest event in town. The 22nd Annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire will be a chocoholic’s dream, with chocolate and more in Historic Downtown Glendale for three days, Feb. 3-5.Where else in the Valley can you fine nearly 40 chocolate purveyors all in one spot, with chocolate favorites like chocolate-covered strawberries, nuts, cheesecake, bananas, and truffles, but new things you may not have tried, including chocolate lemonade, a chocolate steamed bun, spiced chocolate and a Polar Plunge (hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream.) That's just the tip of the chocolate- covered iceberg – partake in a chocolate lover’s scavenger hunt to find all of the delicious confections.If you really want to find out the best of the best at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire, attend the Sweet Tooth competition, in which vendors enter their best chocolate creation and judges vote on the most decadent and delicious ones.The contest takes places on stage Friday evening at 6 p.m. KTVK-3TV television personality Jaime Cerreta will emcee.The Chocolate Affaire is presented by Arizona’s famous candy makers, Cerreta Candy Company. Glendale’s hometown factory will offer tours all weekend and visitors can expect to find some Willy-Wonka-type magic happening and maybe a free sample of their confections there, as well. Free shuttles, sponsored by SRP, will carry visitors to and from Cerreta’s.Besides the love of chocolate, the other facet of the Glendale Chocolate Affaire is a celebration of romance.

  • Westbound Grand closed in Peoria Jan. 27-30 for repairs

    Westbound Grand Avenue will be closed Jan. 27-30 for bridge and New River Trail repairs.Pin and hanger assemblies will be replaced so the trail must be closed for safety reasons since the bridge will be supported on temporary towers constructed by Arizona Department of Transportation’s contractor.There will be street and trail signs indicating the closures. Questions and comments can be directed to the ADOT project hotline at projects@adot.gov or 855-712-8530.

  • Trump takes charge, assertive but untested 45th US president

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pledging emphatically to empower America's "forgotten men and women," Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a riven nation facing an unpredictable era under his assertive but untested leadership.Under cloudy, threatening skies at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Trump painted a bleak picture of the America he now leads, declaring as he had throughout the election campaign that it is beset by crime, poverty and a lack of bold action. The billionaire businessman and reality television star — the first president who had never held political office or high military rank — promised to stir a "new national pride" and protect America from the "ravages" of countries he says have stolen U.S. jobs."This American carnage stops right here," Trump declared. In a warning to the world, he said, "From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it's going to be America first."Eager to demonstrate his readiness to take actions, Trump went directly to the Oval Office Friday night, before the inaugural balls, and signed his first executive order as president — on "Obamacare."The order notes that Trump intends to seek the "prompt repeal" of the law. But in the meantime, it allows the Health and Human Services Department or other federal agencies to delay implementing any piece of the law that might impose a "fiscal burden" on states, health care providers, families or individuals."This is a movement and now the work begins," Trump told supporters, before dancing with his wife, Melania, to "My Way" at the first of three inaugural balls. "We love you. We're going to be working for you and we're going to produce results."

  • First day goal? Make White House feel like home for Trump

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's supposed to feel just like home when Donald Trump steps inside the White House residence for the first time as president on Inauguration Day.His clothes will be hanging in the closet. The kitchen will be stocked with his favorite foods. Windows will have been washed, carpets vacuumed or replaced, and fresh linens and towels will be in all the bedrooms and baths. No packed or half-empty boxes will be lying around either, unlike a typical home move.Trump and his wife, Melania, can thank the nearly 100 butlers, maids, plumbers, electricians and other staffers who maintain the private living areas of the White House. The crew will have just the hours between Trump's swearing-in and the end of the inaugural parade to remove all traces of President Barack Obama and his family and make the Trumps feel at home."I've called it, for years, organized chaos," says Gary Walters, a former White House chief usher who oversaw the move in-move out process for four presidents.The "chaos" breaks out moments after the outgoing president and the president-elect depart the White House for the oath-taking ceremony at the Capitol. However, the process itself starts after the November election when the White House chief usher reaches out to the incoming president's team to begin coordinating the new First Family's big move.Melania Trump toured the living quarters in November when she accompanied her husband to the White House for his postelection meeting with Obama.

  • Arizona Senate panel wants US flag thieves to serve more jail time

    PHOENIX -- A flag is a flag. But a Senate panel agreed Thursday to make it so you'll spend more time behind bars for stealing the Stars and Stripes. On a 4-3 margin the Judiciary Committee voted to make it a Class 6 felony to steal an American flag that is on display by a resident or business. That translates to a year in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. SB 1009 is a major departure from existing laws which set the penalty for theft based on the value of the item stolen. So someone who takes property worth less than $1,000 faces up to six months in the county jail and a $2,500 fine. The vote followed testimony of Charles Foley, a Tucson police officer who runs a program called ``Flags for the Flagless.'' Foley, who said he has provided 90 U.S. flags in Pima County, said some of those have been to replace flags that have been stolen. "I don't know who is stealing them,'' he told lawmakers. Foley said he hopes that an enhanced penalty will provide a new deterrent. 

  • Mexico says drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzaman extradited to US

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's government says it has extradited drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, where he is wanted on drug trafficking and other charges.The Foreign Relations Department has announced on Twitter that Guzman was being sent to the U.S. on Thursday, the day before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated as U.S. president.The convicted Sinaloa cartel boss has been held most recently in a prison near the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. He was recaptured a year ago after making a second brazen jailbreak and had fought extradition since then.

  • Perry says he regrets call to eliminate Energy Department

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Energy Department, said Thursday he regrets his infamous statement about abolishing the federal agency and insisted it performs a critical function.Perry told a Senate committee that if confirmed, he will be a passionate advocate for the department's core missions and will seek to draw "greater attention to the vital role played by the agency," especially in protecting and modernizing the nation's nuclear stockpile."My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking," Perry said. "In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination."In 2011, at a Republican presidential primary debate, Perry was something of a punchline who famously forgot the department was one of the agencies he wanted to eliminate.Perry also pledged to promote and develop American energy in all forms, advance the department's science and technology mission and carefully dispose of nuclear waste. And he acknowledged that climate change is real."I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by man-made activity," Perry told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "The question is how do we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn't compromise economic growth, the affordability of energy or American jobs."

  • Senate panel OKs good Samaritan bill for hot car rescues

    PHOENIX (AP) — Legislation that would provide lawsuit protections for people who break into a hot car to rescue a child or animal passed its first hurdle Thursday in the Arizona Legislature.Republican Sen. John Kavanagh's bill was approved unanimously after a hearing by the Senate's Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 1001 now heads to a Senate debate after a routine constitutional review.The proposal got a shout-out from Gov. Doug Ducey in last week's state of the state address."All it takes is a good Samaritan to save a life, to be on the lookout, see movement, take action, and stop another death," Ducey said. "The last thing we'd want is any Arizonan worried about breaking into that car to save a life. Send me a bill protecting the good Samaritans who save the lives of children and pets — and I'll sign it."Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said his bill's protections require the person breaking in to have a reasonable belief that there is real danger, call authorities and wait for them to arrive."It simply gives liability from lawsuits for the damages that occur so long as the damages are reasonable," he said. "Only reasonable force can be used."

  • Broadway Tunes begin year for Surprise Pops Band

    The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes.The concert will be at 3 p.m. Sunday inthe Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.Doors open at 2:15. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank.For more information, visit www.surprisepopsband.com/.

  • Glendale Chocolate Affaire sweetens first February weekend

    Glendale will soon host the sweetest event in town. The 22nd Annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire will be a chocoholic’s dream, with chocolate and more in Historic Downtown Glendale for three days, Feb. 3-5.Where else in the Valley can you fine nearly 40 chocolate purveyors all in one spot, with chocolate favorites like chocolate-covered strawberries, nuts, cheesecake, bananas, and truffles, but new things you may not have tried, including chocolate lemonade, a chocolate steamed bun, spiced chocolate and a Polar Plunge (hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream.) That's just the tip of the chocolate- covered iceberg – partake in a chocolate lover’s scavenger hunt to find all of the delicious confections.If you really want to find out the best of the best at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire, attend the Sweet Tooth competition, in which vendors enter their best chocolate creation and judges vote on the most decadent and delicious ones.The contest takes places on stage Friday evening at 6 p.m. KTVK-3TV television personality Jaime Cerreta will emcee.The Chocolate Affaire is presented by Arizona’s famous candy makers, Cerreta Candy Company. Glendale’s hometown factory will offer tours all weekend and visitors can expect to find some Willy-Wonka-type magic happening and maybe a free sample of their confections there, as well. Free shuttles, sponsored by SRP, will carry visitors to and from Cerreta’s.Besides the love of chocolate, the other facet of the Glendale Chocolate Affaire is a celebration of romance.

  • CNN at war with Trump over what reporting unleashed

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A week before the inauguration, CNN is at war with an incoming president, not necessarily for what it reported but for what its reporting unleashed.For all the noise — accusations of "fake news," the confrontation between Donald Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta at a news conference, false claims about what CNN had reported or linked to — that realization emerged toward the end of a remarkable 25-minute televised confrontation between Anderson Cooper and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.When it reported on Tuesday that national intelligence officials had informed the president-elect that the Russians had collected a dossier on his behavior, CNN did not specifically detail what that behavior was because it couldn't vouch for its veracity. But it was CNN that gave BuzzFeed the cover to do so, Conway said."You got the party started," she said.The question is raised: if one person unlocks a box and walks away, is that person responsible when someone else opens the box and removes its unsavory contents?The dossier was reportedly prepared by a former Western spy as part of a political opposition research effort, and detailed supposed efforts by Russian intelligence to compromise Trump during visits to Moscow. Its existence and contents became known by some Washington leaders last fall, while the presidential campaign was still going on.

  • GM to add or keep 7,000 US jobs, make $1B factory investment

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in U.S. factories and add thousands of new white-collar jobs, measures that have been in the works for years but were announced Tuesday after criticism from President-elect Donald Trump.In all, the Detroit automaker said it will create or keep 7,000 jobs in the next few years, including about 2,000 at factories. Another 5,000 new positions will be created at its auto financing arm and to develop advanced technology, electric and autonomous vehicles and information technology.Trump has demanded the auto industry build more cars in the U.S. GM said these latest actions have been in the works since well before the election, although spokesman Patrick Morrissey acknowledged it's a good time to announce new jobs in the U.S. Trump will be sworn in as the nation's 45th president Friday."There's no question there is an emphasis on job creation in the U.S. right now," he said. "This is good timing for us to share what we are doing."Morrissey said most of the new positions would be in Michigan, with exact locations to be revealed at a later date. The long-planned new white-collar jobs will come in the next two or three years.GM said the factory investment will create or keep around 1,500 jobs at unspecified factories. In addition, 450 new pickup truck axle-making jobs that will be moved to Michigan from Mexico. GM also said an unidentified company that will make parts for the next-generation pickups will move 100 jobs from Mexico to Michigan.

  • Difference between traditional, Roth plans lies in how the money is taxed

    Looking at retirement accounts, two modifiers – “traditional” and “Roth” – dominate much of the discussion.They apply to individual retirement accounts and corporate 401(k) savings plans, as well as 403(b) savings plans for nonprofits.The difference lies in how the money is taxed:• In traditional accounts, taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn – presumably during retirement, when the account holder might be in a lower tax bracket. After age 70.5, account holders must take an annual, taxable required minimum distribution (RMD).• In Roth accounts – named for the late Sen. William Roth Jr. – the money is taxed up front, but then earns interest and appreciates tax-free.Roth accounts also have more flexible rules for withdrawals. There are no RMDs. In fact, Roth plans don’t require any withdrawals until the account holder dies.

  • 6 VW employees indicted in emissions scandal; VW fined $4.3B

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Six high-level Volkswagen employees from Germany were indicted in the U.S. on Wednesday in the VW emissions-cheating scandal, while the company itself agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $4.3 billion — by far the biggest fine ever levied by the government against an automaker.In announcing the federal charges and the plea bargain, Justice Department prosecutors detailed a large and elaborate scheme inside the German automaker to commit fraud and then cover it up, with at least 40 employees allegedly involved in destroying evidence."Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied and they ultimately lied," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.Prosecutors may have trouble bringing the executives to trial in the U.S.  German law generally bars extradition of the country's citizens except within the European Union. Privately, Justice Department officials expressed little optimism that the five VW executives still at large will be arrested, unless they surrender or travel outside Germany.Still, the criminal charges are a major breakthrough for a Justice Department that been under pressure to hold individuals accountable for corporate misdeeds ever since the 2008 financial crisis.U.S. authorities are still investigating just how high the scheme went, and held out the possibility of charges against more VW executives.

Featured columns

  • Smoke detectors do save lives

    Iwrote this article and it was first published in the summer of 2015, but the story needs to be repeated for those of you who need our help.One of the responsibilities of the Fire Marshal’s offi ce is to perform fire Investigations. There are several certified fire investigators within the Sun City Fire and Medical Department, but all of the investigations are channeled through the Fire Prevention office. Since becoming a fire investigator, I have been able to see first-hand how many different things can cause a fire and the damaging effects a fire can have on a person’s belongings, or even their own life.I was called out at 11 p.m. one night because we had a significant structural house fire with partial collapse in Sun City. The residential fire was in a duplex with one elderly man in one side and a couple in the other side. When I arrived on the scene, the fire was significantly extinguished and the fire crews were still putting out hot spots.The entire roof on one end of the duplex had collapsed.This makes a very difficult task for a fire investigator because the ceiling, insulation, roof structure and shingles are all lying on top of the evidence as far as determining the source of the fire.Now comes the part where you need to methodically put things back in place to determine the area of fire origin, the point of fire origin and the cause of the fire.

  • Online scammers use bait to lure victims

    “You must update your account now”, “You just won a Grand Prize,” “The IRS has a refund waiting for you,” “There’s a problem with your order,” “Here’s a 15% Coupon,” “Click Here”.Sound familiar? In the cyber world, these words are used as “bait” – lures by con artists and scammers using emails, phone calls and texts that are all designed to separate you from your cash, your passwords, your social security number, your security questions or your very identity.These kind of lures are referred to as “phishing” schemes and they work almost every single time. Cybercriminals are always concocting new and creative ways to easily trick victims into handing over their money or sensitive data. When it comes to computer safety, the main line of defense is not technology, it’s YOU!Criminals pose as a person or familiar organization that you trust and/or recognize. They may hack a friend’s computer and their email account and then send mass spam emails which appear to come from them. They may pose as your bank, a credit card company, a charity or someone in authority. Or, they may pose as a State or Gov’t agency - such as the IRS. Criminals go to great lengths to create websites that appear legitimate, but contain fake log-in pages.Just remember: No legitimate organization – not your bank, not your credit card company, not the IRS – will ever ask for sensitive information through unsecured methods, such as emails. Nor will they send unsolicited emails or make calls with threats of lawsuits, fines, arrests or jail time.Scam emails and fake websites also can infect your computer with Malware without you even knowing it. Malware often gets onto your computer by you clicking on tainted links in emails and opening up email attachments. The malware can give the criminal access to your device, enabling them to access all your sensitive files, your address book and even track your keyboard strokes, exposing login information.

  • Difference between traditional, Roth plans lies in how the money is taxed

    Looking at retirement accounts, two modifiers – “traditional” and “Roth” – dominate much of the discussion.They apply to individual retirement accounts and corporate 401(k) savings plans, as well as 403(b) savings plans for nonprofits.The difference lies in how the money is taxed:• In traditional accounts, taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn – presumably during retirement, when the account holder might be in a lower tax bracket. After age 70.5, account holders must take an annual, taxable required minimum distribution (RMD).• In Roth accounts – named for the late Sen. William Roth Jr. – the money is taxed up front, but then earns interest and appreciates tax-free.Roth accounts also have more flexible rules for withdrawals. There are no RMDs. In fact, Roth plans don’t require any withdrawals until the account holder dies.

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Gov. Brown Appoints New Public Utility Commissioners to Replace Florio and Sandoval

Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen both come from the governor’s office with strong environmental protection backgrounds. Martha …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/gov.-…

Kerry’s Blunt Words for Israel Denounced by Lawmakers in Both Parties

A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemni…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/politics/john…

Obama preparing to penalize Russia for hacking

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to penalize Russia over the hacking of Democratic officials during this year's presidential…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:16 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/1…

Mail truck tips on Mesa street

MESA, Ariz. - A mail truck ended up on its side in a crash Wednesday. Mesa police say a single-vehicle collision left the United States Postal…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:12 am @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/mail-truck…

Reports of mall disturbances light up social media

A flurry of reports of mall melees and disturbances rippled across social media Monday on a day Americans swarmed shopping hubs for post-holid…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:51 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/…

Graham, McCain want Russia sanctions after election hacking

Top Republican senators said Wednesday that the incoming Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should impose new and tougher sanctions on …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:13 am @ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/28/graham-…

Immigration Is the Only Hope for States That Helped Trump

The decline of manufacturing does not explain the decline of Wisconsin. Photographer: Daniel Acker/BloombergFacebook Twitter Email Print Share…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:17 am @ https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-28…

Creator of the Red Solo Cup dies at 84

FOX 32 NEWS - The creator of the Red Solo Cup died on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the age of 84. Robert Leo Hulseman lived in Northfield, …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:07 am @ http://www.fox4news.com/trending/225996868-story

12 Cars You Can Legally Import to the US in 2017

slide-4320347 There were plenty of great vehicles produced abroad that Americans (outside of Canada) haven't been able to import until they hi…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:06 am @ http://www.autoblog.com/photos/cars-you-can-legall…

Raw sewage bubbles out of ground, Mesa apartment residents fed up

MESA, AZ - People who live at one apartment complex in Mesa said they have a problem that stinks — raw sewage bubbling up out of the ground an…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 6:35 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/…

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