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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  • May bank fraud suspect in Surprise remains elusive

    On May 25 the Surprise Police responded to a fraud report at a local business in the area of Bell Road and Loop 303 in Surprise.According to a store representative, an unknown person, posing as the victim, conducted several fraudulent transactions totaling $15,000.The person of interest is described as a female, with short brown hair, and was last seen wearing a black V-neck top and dark colored glasses.Anyone with any information leading to the location or identity of the person is asked to contact Detective J. Kulfan at 623-222-4156 or 623-222-TIPS (8477).Tips can also be emailed to crimetips@surpriseaz.gov.

  • 1 dead, 2 injured after vehicle side-swipe in Glendale

    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Glendale police say a vehicle collision has left one person dead and two injured.Police say the incident occurred Saturday just before 5 p.m. in the area of Northern and 67th avenues.According to investigators, two cars were heading in the same direction when one side-swiped the other.The impact caused one vehicle to veer off the road and hit a utility pole.Police say the driver and two passengers in that car were hospitalized.One, a front seat passenger, died. The driver remains in serious but stable condition. The other passenger has since been treated for minor injuries.

  • 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.

  • Luxury stores add more amenities in a tougher market

    NEW YORK (AP) — Buying some suits at Ralph Lauren might mean being offered a chauffeured ride home in a BMW. New clothes from Saks could lead to a Mercedes-Benz van carrying a customized wardrobe pulling up to a home, hotel or office.With designer goods available online anytime, luxury retailers are adding more amenities and personal touches for in-person shopping. Stores overall are facing slower sales amid more restrained luxury spending, and some brands' flagship locations in major cities have seen a drop in shopping by international tourists because of the stronger U.S. dollar.That makes it even more important for retailers to keep the customers they have feeling valued and pampered.Robert Burke, president of his namesake New York-based luxury consulting business, said he was surprised when the Ralph Lauren sales staff sent him back to his office with a uniformed driver after he came in to buy two suits. He was offered the same chauffeured treatment for the fitting. And he was so pleased with the service he bought a coat and blazer on the visit to do the alterations, and penned a note to the founder's chief of staff with thanks."It made you feel they really appreciated my business, and it made me want to shop. It was a nice perk to have a driver come and pick you up," he said.What Burke hadn't realized was that the Ralph Lauren store in Manhattan earlier this year began picking up and dropping off customers in a BMW sporting a small company logo. It's expected to serve as a model for the kind of service the company wants to offer customers at its top stores. At the soon-to-open Beverly Hills store, a full-time concierge will offer services beyond shopping, like making dinner reservations or recommending art galleries.

  • State jobless rate down

    PHOENIX -- The state's jobless rate is finally ticking down again after four straight months of gains. New figures on September 15 show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August of 5.8 percent. That's down two-tenths of a point from July, a figure that matched the August 2015 rate. But it's not because the economy is necessarily growing. In fact, the private sector lost 1,500 jobs between July and August. That compares with the typical month-over-month gain for this time of year of 16,100. Government did add 31,100 jobs. But virtually all of those are in public education, representing staffers in universities, community colleges and public schools who were in jobs like cafeteria workers and janitors where they are technically unemployed for the summer even though they expected to be hired back when the new school year began last month. The unemployment picture is even more complex than that. 

  • Study finds 20M would lose health coverage under Trump plan

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study that examines some major health care proposals from the presidential candidates finds that Donald Trump would cause about 20 million to lose coverage while Hillary Clinton would provide coverage for an additional 9 million people.The 2016 presidential campaign has brought voters to a crossroads on health care yet again. The U.S. uninsured rate stands at a historically low 8.6 percent, mainly because of President Barack Obama's health care law, which expanded government and private coverage. Yet it's uncertain if the nation's newest social program will survive the election.Republican candidate Trump would repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with a new tax deduction, insurance market changes, and a Medicaid overhaul. Democrat Clinton would increase financial assistance for people with private insurance and expand government coverage as well.The two approaches would have starkly different results, according to the Commonwealth Fund study released Friday.The analysis was carried out by the RAND Corporation, a global research organization that uses computer simulation to test the potential effects of health care proposals. Although the New York-based Commonwealth Fund is nonpartisan, it generally supports the goals of increased coverage and access to health care.Economist Sara Collins, who heads the Commonwealth Fund's work on coverage and access, said RAND basically found that Trump's replacement plan isn't robust enough to make up for the insurance losses from repealing the Affordable Care Act. "Certainly it doesn't fully offset the effects of repeal," Collins said.

  • Police: Washington shooting suspect 'zombie-like' at arrest

    OAK HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — The 20-year-old suspect in the deadly Washington state mall shooting said nothing and appeared "zombie-like" when he was arrested by authorities nearly 24 hours into an intense manhunt, authorities said.As the surrounding community absorbed the news, critical questions remained, including the shooter's motive.Island County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Hawley said he spotted Arcan Cetin from a patrol car Saturday evening in Oak Harbor, Washington, and immediately recognized him as the suspect who killed five people at the Cascade Mall in nearby Burlington.Hawley said at a news conference they had received information that Cetin, of Oak Harbor, was in the area. Cetin, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, is a legal permanent resident who has been living in Oak Harbor, authorities said. He had been arrested once before in the county for assault, Hawley said."I literally hit my brakes, did a quick turn, I jumped out," Hawley said. "We both jumped out with our guns, and he just froze."Cetin was unarmed and was carrying a satchel with a computer in it.

  • Residents evacuate Cedar Rapids homes ahead of flooding

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Residents are leaving low-lying areas of Cedar Rapids, adhering to a request by the authorities to clear out by 8 p.m. Sunday due to the risk of flooding from the rising Cedar River.The river crested Saturday night in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, which are about 55 miles upstream from Cedar Rapids, which is Iowa's second-largest city, with about 130,000 people. The water levels in Cedar Falls and Waterloo were slightly lower than had been expected, but they still reached levels that were second only to those in 2008, when a flood devastated the region.The National Weather Service predicted that the river will crest at 23 feet in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday morning. Officials asked those living in about 5,000 downtown homes near the river to leave by 8 p.m. Sunday. They said it could be days before people could return home.Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said the city has been preparing to deal with a major flood since the 2008 flood, which caused billions of dollars in damage. City workers and volunteers have been working for days to build a temporary system of levees that might be able to contain the floodwaters."All the work is coming together, and you can see the benefit of planning and preparation," Pomeranz said.After the 2008 flood, about 1,350 homes near the Cedar River were bought out and destroyed to reduce the amount of damage that future floods could inflict. About 45 acres of green space sit in that area today.

  • Ducey sets goal for higher learning

    PHOENIX -- Saying it's critical to fill the jobs of the future, Gov. Doug Ducey wants to have 60 percent of Arizonans earning something more than a high school diploma by 2030. "A 21st century economy requires a 21st century skill set,'' Ducey told a gathering to launch the program. "In less than five years, nearly 70 percent of all jobs will require more than a high school diploma.'' But the governor proposed no new funding. "We're thrilled to set this goal,'' Ducey told reporters afterwards, suggesting the question of money is premature. "We're at 42 percent today,'' he explained of the number of Arizonans who go on beyond high school. "Nothing focuses the mind and the resources like setting that goal.'' Ducey pointed out the state is putting about $300 million more a year into K-12 education because of Proposition 123. 

  • Black American journey finally enshrined in national museum

    WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture opens this week alongside the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History, it will firmly — and finally — anchor the black experience in the nation's narrative."In 1915 . they say, 'There should be a monument. There should be a memorial that honors our contribution,'" said Michelle Wilkinson, one of the museum's curators. "Not just a pile of stone, or a shaft. It needs to be a museum."Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, black citizens in Washington, D.C., formed the National Memorial Association with the purpose of "erecting a beautiful building . suitable to depict the Negro's contribution to America." It would be, they said, "a shrine for posterity."It has taken a century for their dream to be realized in Washington, a place visited by more than 20 million people from around the world who want to learn about the United States. During that time, other monuments and museums celebrating the stories of other Americans were proposed and built in the nation's capital.On Saturday, the long wait is over: America's first black president and first lady will preside over the museum's opening.Thousands are expected to attend the museum's inaugural weekend, and millions more will virtually experience the milestone via social media.

  • Just because you have little kids doesn't mean your whole home has to become a playroom

    For new parents, the urge to keep little ones entertained and enriched can often lead to a home so full of baby gear and toys that grown-up style all but disappears.It doesn't have to be like that.Designer Theodore Leaf of Los Angeles says he works with many clients trying to keep their whole home from becoming a playroom."All my coolest friends have kids now. And there's just nobody giving up their cool card," says Leaf, host of "Living Big Under 1,000 Sq. Ft." on Apple TV's new channel The Design Network.For one thing, he says, "People are having kids older, so they have better stuff. The whole 'Oh, this sofa is a jungle gym now' thing has changed, because it's an $8,000 sofa that they love."How do you make a home both kid- and grownup-friendly? Leaf and two other interior designers — Mikel Welch and Nathan Turner — offer some ideas:

  • 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

  • Luxury stores add more amenities in a tougher market

    NEW YORK (AP) — Buying some suits at Ralph Lauren might mean being offered a chauffeured ride home in a BMW. New clothes from Saks could lead to a Mercedes-Benz van carrying a customized wardrobe pulling up to a home, hotel or office.With designer goods available online anytime, luxury retailers are adding more amenities and personal touches for in-person shopping. Stores overall are facing slower sales amid more restrained luxury spending, and some brands' flagship locations in major cities have seen a drop in shopping by international tourists because of the stronger U.S. dollar.That makes it even more important for retailers to keep the customers they have feeling valued and pampered.Robert Burke, president of his namesake New York-based luxury consulting business, said he was surprised when the Ralph Lauren sales staff sent him back to his office with a uniformed driver after he came in to buy two suits. He was offered the same chauffeured treatment for the fitting. And he was so pleased with the service he bought a coat and blazer on the visit to do the alterations, and penned a note to the founder's chief of staff with thanks."It made you feel they really appreciated my business, and it made me want to shop. It was a nice perk to have a driver come and pick you up," he said.What Burke hadn't realized was that the Ralph Lauren store in Manhattan earlier this year began picking up and dropping off customers in a BMW sporting a small company logo. It's expected to serve as a model for the kind of service the company wants to offer customers at its top stores. At the soon-to-open Beverly Hills store, a full-time concierge will offer services beyond shopping, like making dinner reservations or recommending art galleries.

  • State jobless rate down

    PHOENIX -- The state's jobless rate is finally ticking down again after four straight months of gains. New figures on September 15 show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August of 5.8 percent. That's down two-tenths of a point from July, a figure that matched the August 2015 rate. But it's not because the economy is necessarily growing. In fact, the private sector lost 1,500 jobs between July and August. That compares with the typical month-over-month gain for this time of year of 16,100. Government did add 31,100 jobs. But virtually all of those are in public education, representing staffers in universities, community colleges and public schools who were in jobs like cafeteria workers and janitors where they are technically unemployed for the summer even though they expected to be hired back when the new school year began last month. The unemployment picture is even more complex than that. 

  • Ducey sets goal for higher learning

    PHOENIX -- Saying it's critical to fill the jobs of the future, Gov. Doug Ducey wants to have 60 percent of Arizonans earning something more than a high school diploma by 2030. "A 21st century economy requires a 21st century skill set,'' Ducey told a gathering to launch the program. "In less than five years, nearly 70 percent of all jobs will require more than a high school diploma.'' But the governor proposed no new funding. "We're thrilled to set this goal,'' Ducey told reporters afterwards, suggesting the question of money is premature. "We're at 42 percent today,'' he explained of the number of Arizonans who go on beyond high school. "Nothing focuses the mind and the resources like setting that goal.'' Ducey pointed out the state is putting about $300 million more a year into K-12 education because of Proposition 123. 

Featured columns

  • LETTER: EPCOR increase does not address district problems

    There have been several letters and articles published in the Independent about the EPCOR wastewater rate consolidation proposed for Sun City.These articles asked Sun City residents to contact the Arizona Corporation Commission to speak out against the proposal, but none of these have actually spelled out the proposal’s economic impact in dollars and cents.The EPCOR proposal seeks to consolidate, or equalize, the wastewater processing rates charged in five wastewater processing districts managed by EPCOR. The rates charged in these five districts range from a high of $71.16 per month to a low of $22.11 per month. Sun City homeowners pay the lowest rate. If EPCOR’s request is approved, the wastewater processing rate for Sun City homeowners will be “equalized” to $41.02 per month. At the same time the rates of three of the remaining districts, where the rates are $60.33, $63.84 and $71.16 will also be “equalized” to $41.02.The increase for Sun City Residents will be $18.91 per month, an 85 percent increase, not a 54 percent increase as stated in a previous letter. This adds up to an annual increase of $277 a year.The EPCOR proposal doesn’t take into consideration why each district’s rates are so different (e.g., established community versus new development) or the economic circumstances of the districts (e.g., wage earners versus retirees). Sun City residents, most of whom live on fixed incomes, will be obligated to help pay the wastewater bills of people we do not know. Sun City will become EPCOR’s piggy bank!Don’t for a minute think that the Corporation Commission will have the best interests of Sun City residents at heart. We need to help the commissioners understand what our best interests are by contacting each of them. The Independent has published articles and letters that included the commissioners’ names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. A sample letter was also published.

  • 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

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How Instagram Stealthily Publishes Maps of Our Exact Locations… and we don’t care

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Published: September 25, 2016 - 9:55 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Phoenix Things To Do: 19 events to check out this week around the Valley (Sept. 30

PHOENIX - It is a big week for events in the Valley! From Oktoberfest events to food festivals to country concerts, Phoenix is the place to be…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:53 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/entertainment/events/phoenix-…

Phoenix fire treat woman with multiple stab wounds, taken to hospital in critical condition

PHOENIX - A woman has been transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:24 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Going to Mars Could Mess Up the Hunt for Alien Life

Twenty years ago, America celebrated its Independence Day by landing several thousand invaders on the surface of Mars. On July 4, 1997, the Pa…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:22 pm @ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/mars-jo…

Look back: How Arnold Palmer invented the Arnold Palmer

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Published: September 25, 2016 - 7:52 pm @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/11/28/ho…

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