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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  • Workshop in Surprise details symptoms, treatment of diabetes

    The city of Surprise is hosting a free informational workshop on diabetes that will cover the risk factors, symptoms, treatment and what can be done to avoid or delay the disease.The workshop will be taught by Cindy Penaranda, Certified Diabetes Educator for Banner Health, and will also provide time for questions.Surprise welcomes the public from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Oct. 4 from in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623-222-3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Those interested should register early since space is limited.

  • Get to know the PUSD Governing Board candidates at upcoming forum

    Residents, readers and tax payers can get to know the candidates running for Peoria Unified School District Governing Board before election day, Nov. 8.The public can attend a Meet the Candidate Forum hosted by the Peoria United Parent Council and moderated by Independent Newsmedia.Six candidates are running for three seats. They include incumbents David Jonagan and Judy Doane, as well as newcomers Dr. Russell McConnell, Monica Ceja Martinez and David Sandoval.All six candidates are invited to participate in the forum. Mr. McConnell, Ms. Ceja Martinez and Mr. Sandoval had confirmed as of Sept. 23.Registration begins 6 p.m. and the forum starts at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 29 at the PUSD administrative offices in the administration center board room, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, in Glendale.Voter registration deadline for the general election is Oct. 10, and early voting begins, Oct. 12.

  • Peoria GAIN Annual Public Safety Night set for Oct. 15

    Peoria’s Police and Fire-Medical Departments are bringing together family fun and safety education in one place at the GAIN Annual Public Safety Night, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15.This is an opportunity for an up-close look at police cars, fire trucks, specialty emergency vehicles and equipment. In addition, safety organizations will have displays to show how to keep residents and their families safe. The event will include kid-friendly activities such as inflatables, face painting and more. Call 623-773-7099 or visit peoriaaz.gov/gain.

  • Surprise Police seek suspects in 3 separate shoplifting cases

    Surprise Police have reached out to the public for assistance in locating persons of interest in three separate shoplifting incidents in August.The cases are:• On Aug. 15 the Surprise Police responded to a report of shoplifting at an “Ulta” store in the area of Grand Avenue and Bell Road in Surprise.A store representative said a male suspect entered the store and shoplifted multiple items of merchandise (estimated value of $460). The suspect was described as a white male and he was last seen wearing a light colored long sleeved shirt, blue jean pants and black shoes.Click here to view a short video of the suspect.• On Aug. 25 the Surprise Police responded to a report of shoplifting at a local business in the area of 15300 West Waddell Road in Surprise.

  • Glendale council talks flag pole height

    Should Glendale allow businesses fly the American flag higher than the 30 feet currently allowed?That is the question City Council wrestled with in last week’s workshop.“I’m all for flying the flag,” Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff said. “It’s partly patriotic but it’s also advertising.”Mayor Jerry Weiers said he was asked some time ago about a taller pole from a home builder who was struggling to attract foot traffic to his infill development and was paying a ridiculous amount of money for sign spinners to stand on a street.He said the city has a number of infill lots and would it not be better to fill them with homes than leave vacant, which becomes a nuisance with blowing dust and people dumping their couches and stuff on site.Across the nation, flying an American flag on a tall pole is easily identified with home sales or car dealers, which is not a bad thing, the mayor said. The city has car dealers on Bell Road that are competing with dealers across the freeway in Peoria, which allows for taller flag poles, he said.

  • Ironwood High hosts Surprise author for book signing

    Briar Patch Marketplace at Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Ave., Glendale, will play host to author Catherine Follestad for a book signing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.Follestad, a resident of Surprise, will be available to sign copies of her books, "The Itty Bitty Kitty," "The Itty Bitty Kitty and the Mystery at Reflection Pond" and "I Think That I Would Like To Be..." and "I Dream That I May One Day Be."The Itty Bitty Kitty is a story about a kitty that yearns to make friends with other cats who think she is too small.The Itty Bitty Kitty and the Mystery at Reflection Pond is a story about friendship, fun, and a bold journey taken to solve the mystery of a new friend's past. It is the second book in The Itty Bitty Kitty series.Michelle Whitman is a publicist for the Key Marketing Group

  • In Yahoo breach, hackers may seek intelligence, not riches

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If a foreign government is behind the massive computer attack that compromised a half billion user accounts at Yahoo, as the company says, the breach could be part of a long-term strategy that's aimed at gathering intelligence rather than getting rich.Yahoo says the breach involved users' email addresses, passwords and other information — including birthdates — but not payment card or bank account numbers. Although the stolen data could still be used in financial crimes, such as identity theft, experts say a foreign intelligence agency might combine the Yahoo files with information from other sources to build extensive dossiers on U.S. government or corporate officials in sensitive positions."With state-sponsored attacks, it's not just financial information that's of value," said Lance Hoffman, co-director of the Cyberspace Security and Privacy Institute at George Washington University. "In the long run, if the state accumulates a lot of information on you, and especially if it corroborates that with other sources, it can assemble a pretty good profile."Governments have also been known to hack email accounts to keep tabs on their own citizens or dissidents. Experts believe that was one motive behind a 2010 hacking of Google Gmail accounts used by Chinese human rights activists.Yahoo hasn't revealed the evidence that led it to blame a "state-sponsored actor" for the latest attack, which the Sunnyvale, California, company said occurred two years ago and was discovered only in recent weeks.Some analysts warn that "state sponsored" can be a vague term. It might also be an easy excuse to deflect blame for a company's own security lapses, by suggesting it had no hope of defeating hackers who had all the resources of a government intelligence agency behind them, warned Gunter Ollmann, chief security officer at Vectra Networks, a San Jose, California, security firm.

  • Obama vetoes 9/11 bill; possible override by Congress looms

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama rejected a bill Friday that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security and setting up the possibility Congress may override his veto for the first time in his presidency.Obama's move escalates the fight over an emotional issue that has overlapped with the campaign debate over terrorism and the Middle East. The bill had sailed through both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support, clearing the final hurdle just days before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.The president said the bill, which doesn't refer specifically to Saudi Arabia, could backfire by opening up the U.S. government and its officials to lawsuits by anyone accusing the U.S. of supporting terrorism, rightly or wrongly."I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," Obama wrote to the Senate in a veto message about the bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. But, he said, "the JASTA would be detrimental to U.S. national interests more broadly."Congress is determined to try to overturn the veto, which requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. Previous attempts to overturn Obama's vetoes have all been unsuccessful.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said an override would pass in the Republican-controlled House. Yet the Senate would be the greater challenge. After furious lobbying to try to peel off supporters, the White House said Friday it was unclear whether enough had defected to avert an override.

  • 162 bodies retrieved after migrant boat capsizes off Egypt

    ROSETTA, Egypt (AP) — The bodies of 162 people had been pulled from the waters off the Egyptian coast by Friday, two days after a boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized in the Mediterranean while attempting to head to Europe.Dozens more are feared dead, said Mohammed Sultan, the governor of Beheira, who provided The Associated Press with the latest figures. He also said that the search operation is still ongoing. Many of them are believed to be children and women who were unable to swim away when the boat sank.Wahdan el-Sayyed, the spokesman of the Nile Delta province of Beheira, told The Associated Press that the search operation was ongoing.An AP reporter near the Nile Delta city of Rosetta saw between 20 to 30 bodies brought in by coast guards in gray inflatable boats and fishermen in wooden boats early Friday morning and delivered to ambulances at the coast guard pier. Pictures posted on social networking sites showed dozens of bodies lined up in black plastic bags, and others floating near wooden fishing boats. Videos showed that some fishermen were using nets to bring up the bodies.In one video, a fisherman was heard shouting into his mobile phone that, "the sea is littered with bodies."Many of those gathered at the shore where the bodies arrived appeared to be wearing surgical masks to protect them from the smell of decaying bodies. Some brought chunks of ice to be placed on the bodies to prevent them from decomposing.

  • Clinton struggles to make Obama's coalition her own

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton long planned to activate the vaunted Obama coalition to help carry her to the White House. But a rough month on the trail has exposed a big challenge — the Obama coalition belongs to Barack Obama.Clinton's struggle to win over Obama's supporters — most notably young voters — has served as a reminder that many of them are more loyal to him than to his Democratic Party. Republican Donald Trump's recent rise in the polls helps demonstrate that Obama's two victories were more about one man in the right moment than any political realignment.Rather than showing a formula for winning the White House for years come, as many Democrats hoped, Obama's coalition may fail to outlast his own presidency. If that happens, Obama — long known for his dislike of party politics — will share some of the blame."The enduring Obama coalition is a bit of an urban legend," said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. "It was very much shaped by that election in that period."This hard reality is not lost on the president. After months of appearing coolly confident about Clinton's chances, Obama has begun to acknowledge the alternative and get out on the campaign trail on her behalf."This shouldn't be close, but it's close," Obama recently told donors in New York. His pitch to his most die-hard backers was telling: "I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy," if African American voters don't turn out.

  • Experts: May be hard convicting Tulsa cop of manslaughter

    CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors moved quickly to charge a white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man whose vehicle broke down in the middle of a street. Now, they have to prove it.The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office offered just a glimpse of the existing evidence when it charged Officer Betty Shelby with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.A video from a police helicopter and another from a dashboard camera show the incident, but they are partly obscured and neither shows unambiguously that Shelby had acted criminally. Crutcher can be seen walking with his hands in the air toward his SUV, stopping by the driver's window and then falling as a shot is fired.Based on what's been made public thus far, some legal experts say prosecutors may have the tougher task of proving the officer's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial. Said Lee F. Berlin, a former assistant district attorney-turned-defense lawyer in Tulsa: "I would much rather defend this case than prosecute it."Here's a look at potential strengths and weaknesses of prosecutors' case:Q: WHAT'S REQUIRED TO PROVE THE CHARGE?

  • City 'changed forever' as authorities hunt mall gunman

    BURLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — A gunman police said killed five people in a Washington state mall remained at large Saturday as authorities appealed for help in identifying the suspect but said there were no indications the slayings north of Seattle were a terrorist act.People fled, customers hid in dressing rooms and employees locked the doors of nearby stores after gunshots rang out just after 7 p.m. Friday at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. A helicopter, search teams and K-9 units scoured the area for the gunman in a police response that included more than 200 officers.The gunman entered the shopping center without a weapon, but 10 minutes later, went inside Macy's with a rifle and opened fire, authorities said Saturday.Authorities said that a weapon had been found at the scene. Mount Vernon Police Lt. Chris Cammock described it as a "hunting type" rifle. Cammock said officers are reconstructing the entire scene at the mall."There are people waking up this morning and their world has changed forever," Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said Saturday at a news conference. "The city of Burlington has probably changed forever."Authorities said four females, ranging in age from teens to seniors, died after the gunman opened fire in the makeup department of a Macy's store. An adult male who was wounded in the shooting died early Saturday, officials said. His age was not given and no identifications of the victims were released

  • Designers showcase spring and summer fashions in Milan

    MILAN (AP) — If even Giorgio Armani has a negligee-inspired dress, then baby doll looks are definitely a trend.Armani's take featured a layer of black sheer pleating over a dark floral pattern, finished with poufy translucent shoulders. Baby-doll looks are hot this season on the runways at Milan Fashion Week, with a parade of lacy eyelet and pleated mini-dresses, many featuring feathery touches.The flighty, breezy looks are often accompanied by sturdy shoes, balancing a young women's desire to be sure-footed with her more romantic side.Highlights from Friday's womenswear previews for next spring and summer, with shows from Armani, Diesel Black Gold and Versace:___LOVE SET

  • Hot Rod Night At Westgate 9/21/16

    People gather at the Westgate Entertainment District for Hot Rod night on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Cars were lined up the district for people to see along with live music and vendors.  All photos by Independent Newsmedia/Alexandra Gaspar. 

  • Ironwood High hosts Surprise author for book signing

    Briar Patch Marketplace at Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Ave., Glendale, will play host to author Catherine Follestad for a book signing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.Follestad, a resident of Surprise, will be available to sign copies of her books, "The Itty Bitty Kitty," "The Itty Bitty Kitty and the Mystery at Reflection Pond" and "I Think That I Would Like To Be..." and "I Dream That I May One Day Be."The Itty Bitty Kitty is a story about a kitty that yearns to make friends with other cats who think she is too small.The Itty Bitty Kitty and the Mystery at Reflection Pond is a story about friendship, fun, and a bold journey taken to solve the mystery of a new friend's past. It is the second book in The Itty Bitty Kitty series.Michelle Whitman is a publicist for the Key Marketing Group

  • In Yahoo breach, hackers may seek intelligence, not riches

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If a foreign government is behind the massive computer attack that compromised a half billion user accounts at Yahoo, as the company says, the breach could be part of a long-term strategy that's aimed at gathering intelligence rather than getting rich.Yahoo says the breach involved users' email addresses, passwords and other information — including birthdates — but not payment card or bank account numbers. Although the stolen data could still be used in financial crimes, such as identity theft, experts say a foreign intelligence agency might combine the Yahoo files with information from other sources to build extensive dossiers on U.S. government or corporate officials in sensitive positions."With state-sponsored attacks, it's not just financial information that's of value," said Lance Hoffman, co-director of the Cyberspace Security and Privacy Institute at George Washington University. "In the long run, if the state accumulates a lot of information on you, and especially if it corroborates that with other sources, it can assemble a pretty good profile."Governments have also been known to hack email accounts to keep tabs on their own citizens or dissidents. Experts believe that was one motive behind a 2010 hacking of Google Gmail accounts used by Chinese human rights activists.Yahoo hasn't revealed the evidence that led it to blame a "state-sponsored actor" for the latest attack, which the Sunnyvale, California, company said occurred two years ago and was discovered only in recent weeks.Some analysts warn that "state sponsored" can be a vague term. It might also be an easy excuse to deflect blame for a company's own security lapses, by suggesting it had no hope of defeating hackers who had all the resources of a government intelligence agency behind them, warned Gunter Ollmann, chief security officer at Vectra Networks, a San Jose, California, security firm.

  • McDonald's testing Happy Meals for breakfast

    NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's is considering another addition to its all-day breakfast menu: Happy Meals.The fast-food chain says it will begin testing breakfast Happy Meals in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sept. 26. The Happy Meals come with either two McGriddles cakes or an egg and cheese McMuffin. McDonald's says the latter option is the same size as a regular Egg McMuffin, except without the slice of Canadian bacon or butter.McDonald's Corp., based in Oak Brook, Illinois, has been trying to win back customers since CEO Steve Easterbrook took over last year and said he wanted to transform it into a "modern, progressive" burger company. The company had conceded that it failed to keep up with changing tastes, with sales slumping in recent years.One of the company's biggest moves since Easterbrook took over was the rollout of an all-day breakfast menu in the U.S. last fall. It's not clear what affect the addition is having. Although U.S. sales have been up at established locations in the last four quarters, McDonald's hasn't said how much of that has come from an uptick in customer visits, versus factors such as higher pricing.McDonald's is known for getting more business from families with children relative to its traditional rivals, such as Burger King and Wendy's.The company says the McGriddles cakes in the Happy Meals have 240 calories, and the egg and cheese McMuffin has 260 calories. The Happy Meals also come with side apples, yogurt or hash browns. In the afternoon and evenings, fries are also an option.

  • West-MEC breaks ground on campus in Surprise Oct. 6

    West-MEC is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning stages of the construction of their Northwest Campus from 9 to 10 a.m. Oct. 6 on the future site of the campus in Surprise, the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue.West-MEC Superintendent Gregory J. Donovan, the West-MEC Governing Board, Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott, the Surprise City Council, McCarthy Building Companies Inc., SPS+ Architects, Architechnology and numerous city and local school officials will be on handThe ceremony will include a light breakfast, a ceremonial groundbreaking and speeches from school officials and local community leaders.The first phase of the 45-$50 million, 19.3-acre campus is scheduled to open in August 2017. Phase 1 will feature four buildings and programs in medical assisting, coding and security, cosmetology and law and public safety.West-MEC, a Joint Technical Education District, could have training in up to 32 careers offered to high school students as well as adults.About 130 Dysart Unified School District students now travel to West-MEC for specialty programs and this will provide a closer site for their commute. Arizona Charter Academy is just south of the site and already sends students to the other three sites.

Featured columns

  • LETTER: Why are RCSC officials spending the way they do

    Many readers lately seem to be expressing concerns about the way the RCSC board is spending our money.There have been many negative comments on the golf courses — both the way the money is being spent on them and the way they are being run. It has been suggested some cronyism is involved, which would not be in the best interests of the dues paying membership. It is our money and should be spent the way we want it spent.Sun City is a great place, very well taken care of, and kept up-to-date. The board has a specific duty to spend the money for the greatest benefit of the most members, and they should never spend money they don’t have to spend. Many residents feel a handful of people decide what is spent and for what. I certainly hope all of our best interests are truly being served.When I see in the Independent news reports of the money being spent on replacing things, the same two thoughts always come to my mind. Did we replace that AC unit or roof because it was broken or leaking, or just because it is getting old, the money is there and now is a convenient time? I also wonder if the contractors see Sun City as a cash cow. We seem to pay top dollar for everything.This board raised our fees last year $12 per home, which is more than $275,000, if my calculations are correct. This year they purchased a $750,000 building off Grand Avenue “because it was such a good deal.” We apparently had an extra $750,000 in cash laying around that wasn’t needed for its’ original purpose while they raised our fees. They could have delayed the $12 increase a full three years with this money — and they originally asked for more. No doubt this building will have to be extensively remodeled when they tell us the real reason it was purchased. The membership is not growing so why do we need more space?Now I see in the Sunviews we have $1.1 million more than planned available in the PIF fund. How about a refund on our fees? It seems the board operates under the practice of purposely asking for more than they need and then they seem to spend the entire budget every year. It is time to find a better way to manage what we have with the money available rather than continually asking for more. A $500 per year rec fee is right around the corner and some of us don’t have any more money available.

  • LETTER: Reader worried about wrong candidate

    I wish to comment on an article written by a reader (“Clinton is not honest enough for president,” Sun City Independent, Aug. 17, 2016).The writer stated, “Crooked Hillary took millions of dollars from foreign nations for the Clinton Foundation.” After two paragraphs of Clinton bashing, she went on to state, “This is very dangerous for the safety of our nation.” After gibber gabbering about malicious gossip regarding FBI investigations, monies given to Iran, the impeachment of Bill Clinton and other absurd untruths, it is apparent your reader was given unverified information over the backyard fence, or maybe in the walking path at the rec center pool.Then she went on to state that Donald Trump wants to build a wall across the entire width of our bordering states along the Mexican border to protect our U.S. citizens. Trump has said that this wall would be paid for by Mexico. This idea was already rejected by the Mexican president.The one to worry about as president of our country is the hot headed blow hard with the bottle blonde comb-over!Joe ComitoSun City

  • LETTER: Country clubs available for unhappy golfers

    Golfers are upset about the money being spent on golf courses?Any big smart business, and golf is a big smart business, has 3-5 and even 10-year business plans to anticipate budgets, growth and improvements. I think this is good business sense.I will admit that our golf courses are not as pristine as the Masters Country Club in Augusta, but we are talking about paying $7 or $3 to play golf all day. In my 50 years of playing golf, I have never heard, until I read your article, anyone say “I’m not playing that course because it’s too hard.” I would bet Phil Mickelson never said, “I’m not entering that tournament because the golf course is too hard.” Golf is, and always will be, a challenge.Here are three answers, among hundreds of other answers, for those who don’t like the condition of the golf courses in Sun City or, that they are “too hard” for them: 1) Palmbrook Country Club; 2) Sun City Country Club; 3) Union Hills Country Club. They openly are recruiting new members at highly discounted membership fees, and you can still use your own golf car.Art Coutcher

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Neighbors say former Phoenix golf course attracting more and more homeless people

PHOENIX - Neighbors say an abandoned golf course is becoming prime real estate for homeless people in Phoenix. They say the area near 19th Ave…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:40 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Where did the chimichanga, the glorious deep-fried burrito, come from anyway?

Recently, UNESCO designated Tucson as  a “capital of gastronomy,” naturally inspiring articles on the Arizona city’s long food heritage, as we…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:38 pm @ http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-fo-chimic…

Wanted man in custody after chase, barricade in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Phoenix police say a man with multiple felony warrants is in custody after leading officers on an overnight chase. The suspect repor…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:42 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

A veggie burger that 'bleeds' might convince some carnivores to eat green

Humans have been eating meat since, well, before we were human. Popout Share downloadListen to the Story. But there are so many of us now eati…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:08 pm @ http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-09-23/veggie-burge…

Bicyclist killed in crash with truck in W. Phoenix

PHOENIX - Phoenix police are investigating a deadly crash involving a truck and a bicycle. Emergency crews arrived at the scene near 35th Aven…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:12 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/wes…

20 tons of trash have been removed from Papago Park following complaints on cleanliness

TEMPE, AZ - It all started with area residents telling ABC 15 that they didn't feel safe walking, riding and hiking along the trails of Papago…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 4:38 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/…

Ranked: Every Amazon Original Series So Far

Right at the beginning of the summer, we took on the slightly crazy task of watching every Netflix Original Series so far, and ranking each sh…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ http://theplaylist.net/ranked-every-amazon-origina…

Native Americans Lead Conservation Efforts in Rio Grande Valley

After a bitter primary fight Trump gets Cruz’s backing; a lawsuit challenges solitary confinement of children; and Americans urged to get out …

Published: September 24, 2016 - 3:08 pm @ http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2016-09-22/native…

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can

I BELIEVE THAT THE RHYTHMS OF DANCE RELECT THE VERY HEARTBEAT OF THE UNIVERSE. After all, the human body was made to move, and that is true wh…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 3:06 pm @ http://www.rogerebert.com/chazs-blog/im-dancing-as…

Degrassi: Next Class Recap: Truth Will Set You Free

Ashley Harris A A Every week, we're recapping season two of Degrassi: Next Class. #TheseAreMyConfessions. Finally, we have an arc worthy of a …

Published: September 24, 2016 - 2:34 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/degrassi-next-…

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