Your West Valley News: Sun Views

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  • El Mirage restaurant clears air on allowing service dogs

    Donna Brown was ready to walk into Rio Mirage Cafe in El Mirage to enjoy an early dinner with friends with little to no problems.However, an issue arose before her arrival. She had planned to bring her service dog, Mocha, to the restaurant. Ms. Brown’s friends were there before her to reserve a table. Upon telling an employee they were expecting another woman and her service dog, the employee said animals were not allowed inside.“I was flabbergasted,” Ms. Brown said about the situation. She is a Sun City resident of 11 years and has frequented Rio Mirage Cafe for about 15 years. Mocha, a black Labrador weighing about 102 pounds, helps Ms. Brown from falling over; or in the event she does fall, Mocha helps her get up.Ms. Brown spoke to the manager present at the time, and even tried to show papers saying service dogs were allowed in public places. She requested a letter saying the restaurant would not allow animals, but she was told the order came down verbally from Rio’s corporate office.Ultimately, they let Mocha in, but after the night no more animals would be allowed, Ms. Brown recalled the restaurant telling her.Back home, Ms. Brown called the Rio Mirage Cafe’s location in Surprise to see if it, too, did not allow service animals. One of the managers there, Rafael, who used to work at the El Mirage restaurant, told Ms. Brown they allowed them.

  • Pet adoptions, food trucks, vendors and more at Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo

    SUN CITY WEST, ARIZ. -- The annual spring PORA Vendor Expo is now expanding into the fall for the first time and getting a new name as the Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo.“We’re adding the pet adoptions, food trucks, to make it more of a fall fest fun event,” said PORA Executive Director Annie Vaugier. “At the same time, we’ll have our vendors there. They usually get a lot out of our activities, that’s why there’s still a waiting list to get in.”The expo will have 72 vendors with 27 on a waiting list.The fall fest and expo will take place inside and outside on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, 13658 W. Meeker Blvd.Ms. Vaugier said PORA is also partnering with the North County Fire & Medical District who will feature a health and safety fair that will include demonstrations and seminars from 9 a.m. to noon.PORA will then have two seminars, one from noon to 1 p.m. and another from 1 to 2 p.m.

  • Rival blames Joe Arpaio for costs in racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff of metro Phoenix is facing stinging criticism from his political rival over the financial impact of a racial profiling case that targeted his trademark immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.County officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to lawyers who won the case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Most of the fees are attributed to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring a court order to stop his immigration patrols.Paul Penzone, the sheriff's Democratic challenger, rejected claims by Arpaio's office that the lawyers who filed the case were responsible for the costs."There is no room for them to try to portray themselves as victims when they created a problem that we are paying for," Penzone said.Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems issued a statement saying the American Civil Liberties Union refused to settle the contempt case and instead drove up the taxpayer tab by letting the contempt hearings drag on."If Penzone wants to side with the ACLU on this issue, he can be our guest," Willems said.

  • Livingston, Lovas set goals for re-election bids

    David Livingston is likely heading into his “junior year” in the Arizona House of Representatives after coming out of the primary elections as the top vote earner among all House candidates.The current House Majority Whip leader received 24,178 votes, which he attributed to the residents residing in District 22, which covers Sun City West and parts of Surprise, Peoria and Glendale.“But that isn’t necessarily a reflection on me,” said Mr. Livingston, R-Peoria. “It’s more a reflection on LD-22 and how much they vote. And they really try to pay attention and they vote. They read a lot.”Fellow Dist. 22 representative Phil Lovas was equally as thrilled with the constituents in the area.“Senior residents are the most engaged and knowledgeable group regarding state issues,” Mr. Lovas stated in an email. His 20,601 primary votes ranked third among state representative candidates.On the Democratic side, challenger Manuel Hernandez ran unopposed and earned 10,686 votes in his district. That low of a number in a primary likely will not transfer well into the general election, according to Mr. Livingston. It is even tougher in a district and state which are mainly conservative.

  • Pet adoptions, food trucks, vendors and more at Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo

    SUN CITY WEST, ARIZ. -- The annual spring PORA Vendor Expo is now expanding into the fall for the first time and getting a new name as the Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo.“We’re adding the pet adoptions, food trucks, to make it more of a fall fest fun event,” said PORA Executive Director Annie Vaugier. “At the same time, we’ll have our vendors there. They usually get a lot out of our activities, that’s why there’s still a waiting list to get in.”The expo will have 72 vendors with 27 on a waiting list.The fall fest and expo will take place inside and outside on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, 13658 W. Meeker Blvd.Ms. Vaugier said PORA is also partnering with the North County Fire & Medical District who will feature a health and safety fair that will include demonstrations and seminars from 9 a.m. to noon.PORA will then have two seminars, one from noon to 1 p.m. and another from 1 to 2 p.m.

  • Rival blames Joe Arpaio for costs in racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff of metro Phoenix is facing stinging criticism from his political rival over the financial impact of a racial profiling case that targeted his trademark immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.County officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to lawyers who won the case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Most of the fees are attributed to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring a court order to stop his immigration patrols.Paul Penzone, the sheriff's Democratic challenger, rejected claims by Arpaio's office that the lawyers who filed the case were responsible for the costs."There is no room for them to try to portray themselves as victims when they created a problem that we are paying for," Penzone said.Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems issued a statement saying the American Civil Liberties Union refused to settle the contempt case and instead drove up the taxpayer tab by letting the contempt hearings drag on."If Penzone wants to side with the ACLU on this issue, he can be our guest," Willems said.

  • Livingston, Lovas set goals for re-election bids

    David Livingston is likely heading into his “junior year” in the Arizona House of Representatives after coming out of the primary elections as the top vote earner among all House candidates.The current House Majority Whip leader received 24,178 votes, which he attributed to the residents residing in District 22, which covers Sun City West and parts of Surprise, Peoria and Glendale.“But that isn’t necessarily a reflection on me,” said Mr. Livingston, R-Peoria. “It’s more a reflection on LD-22 and how much they vote. And they really try to pay attention and they vote. They read a lot.”Fellow Dist. 22 representative Phil Lovas was equally as thrilled with the constituents in the area.“Senior residents are the most engaged and knowledgeable group regarding state issues,” Mr. Lovas stated in an email. His 20,601 primary votes ranked third among state representative candidates.On the Democratic side, challenger Manuel Hernandez ran unopposed and earned 10,686 votes in his district. That low of a number in a primary likely will not transfer well into the general election, according to Mr. Livingston. It is even tougher in a district and state which are mainly conservative.

  • Pet adoptions, food trucks, vendors and more at Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo

    SUN CITY WEST, ARIZ. -- The annual spring PORA Vendor Expo is now expanding into the fall for the first time and getting a new name as the Sun City West Fall Fest & Business Expo.“We’re adding the pet adoptions, food trucks, to make it more of a fall fest fun event,” said PORA Executive Director Annie Vaugier. “At the same time, we’ll have our vendors there. They usually get a lot out of our activities, that’s why there’s still a waiting list to get in.”The expo will have 72 vendors with 27 on a waiting list.The fall fest and expo will take place inside and outside on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, 13658 W. Meeker Blvd.Ms. Vaugier said PORA is also partnering with the North County Fire & Medical District who will feature a health and safety fair that will include demonstrations and seminars from 9 a.m. to noon.PORA will then have two seminars, one from noon to 1 p.m. and another from 1 to 2 p.m.

  • Rival blames Joe Arpaio for costs in racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff of metro Phoenix is facing stinging criticism from his political rival over the financial impact of a racial profiling case that targeted his trademark immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.County officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to lawyers who won the case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Most of the fees are attributed to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring a court order to stop his immigration patrols.Paul Penzone, the sheriff's Democratic challenger, rejected claims by Arpaio's office that the lawyers who filed the case were responsible for the costs."There is no room for them to try to portray themselves as victims when they created a problem that we are paying for," Penzone said.Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems issued a statement saying the American Civil Liberties Union refused to settle the contempt case and instead drove up the taxpayer tab by letting the contempt hearings drag on."If Penzone wants to side with the ACLU on this issue, he can be our guest," Willems said.

  • 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.

  • No drama this year in Surprise as Valley Vista pulls away from Willow Canyon

    The “Battle of Surprise” trophy will stay at Valley Vista for another year as the Valley Vista Monsoon (3-2) used a 21-0 fourth quarter run in the second half to defeat the Willow Canyon Wildcats (2-4) 35-6.That is six consecutive wins after Willow Canyon won the first four games in their series.Senior slot receiver/running back Vodrey Gates scored three three times as he caught a 20-yard scoring pass, a 9-yard pass and an 80-yard run to highlight the offense .Gates prefers to look at his team's performance and go from there.“I could do more, but I feel we’re getting better,” Gates said. “Honestly, I feel I’d rather have zero catches and the team win the game.“It’s good when everyone’s doing their job and when we get going, we feel where we want to be.”

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Former Cactus High teacher arrested, suspected of sex with student

    Glendale Police arrested a former Cactus High School teacher last week on suspicion of an inappropriate and sexual relationship with an underage female student.Allen Scott Johnson, 48, was arrested Sept. 22 and faces three counts each of sexual conduct with a minor, a class 2 felony, police said.Police were alerted July 28 of the relationship that occurred between January 2011 through July 2011. The victim was identified as a 16 years old when she first interacted with the teacher, and 17 when he began the sexual relationship. The teacher was employed by Cactus High School from January 2010 through December 2012. He was a teacher at Paradise Valley High School and was placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.Glendale Police Sex Crimes detectives said Mr. Johnson used his position of trust as a teacher and provided private lessons in both acting and debate to the victim. Detectives are not aware of any other allegations at this time, however, the investigation is ongoing.Anyone with information about Mr. Johnson or his activities is encouraged to contact Glendale Police at 623-930-3000 or their local police department.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • El Mirage restaurant clears air on allowing service dogs

    Donna Brown was ready to walk into Rio Mirage Cafe in El Mirage to enjoy an early dinner with friends with little to no problems.However, an issue arose before her arrival. She had planned to bring her service dog, Mocha, to the restaurant. Ms. Brown’s friends were there before her to reserve a table. Upon telling an employee they were expecting another woman and her service dog, the employee said animals were not allowed inside.“I was flabbergasted,” Ms. Brown said about the situation. She is a Sun City resident of 11 years and has frequented Rio Mirage Cafe for about 15 years. Mocha, a black Labrador weighing about 102 pounds, helps Ms. Brown from falling over; or in the event she does fall, Mocha helps her get up.Ms. Brown spoke to the manager present at the time, and even tried to show papers saying service dogs were allowed in public places. She requested a letter saying the restaurant would not allow animals, but she was told the order came down verbally from Rio’s corporate office.Ultimately, they let Mocha in, but after the night no more animals would be allowed, Ms. Brown recalled the restaurant telling her.Back home, Ms. Brown called the Rio Mirage Cafe’s location in Surprise to see if it, too, did not allow service animals. One of the managers there, Rafael, who used to work at the El Mirage restaurant, told Ms. Brown they allowed them.

  • Rival blames Joe Arpaio for costs in racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff of metro Phoenix is facing stinging criticism from his political rival over the financial impact of a racial profiling case that targeted his trademark immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.County officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to lawyers who won the case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Most of the fees are attributed to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring a court order to stop his immigration patrols.Paul Penzone, the sheriff's Democratic challenger, rejected claims by Arpaio's office that the lawyers who filed the case were responsible for the costs."There is no room for them to try to portray themselves as victims when they created a problem that we are paying for," Penzone said.Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems issued a statement saying the American Civil Liberties Union refused to settle the contempt case and instead drove up the taxpayer tab by letting the contempt hearings drag on."If Penzone wants to side with the ACLU on this issue, he can be our guest," Willems said.

  • 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.

  • Rival blames Joe Arpaio for costs in racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff of metro Phoenix is facing stinging criticism from his political rival over the financial impact of a racial profiling case that targeted his trademark immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.County officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to lawyers who won the case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Most of the fees are attributed to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring a court order to stop his immigration patrols.Paul Penzone, the sheriff's Democratic challenger, rejected claims by Arpaio's office that the lawyers who filed the case were responsible for the costs."There is no room for them to try to portray themselves as victims when they created a problem that we are paying for," Penzone said.Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems issued a statement saying the American Civil Liberties Union refused to settle the contempt case and instead drove up the taxpayer tab by letting the contempt hearings drag on."If Penzone wants to side with the ACLU on this issue, he can be our guest," Willems said.

  • County to pay $4 million in sheriff's racial profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — Officials voted Wednesday to pay $4.4 million in legal fees to attorneys who won a racial profiling case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, marking yet another expense in a case that's projected to cost taxpayers $72 million by next summer.The attorneys have attributed most of their fees to Arpaio's contempt-of-court violations for ignoring court orders in the profiling case, including a decision to prolong his immigration patrols months after he was ordered to stop them.County officials bemoaned having to pay the attorney fees, but they said the law required them to do so."What could we have done with the money, other than pay it to attorneys?" Supervisor Steve Gallardo asked rhetorically moments before the unanimous vote.The racial profiling lawsuit that Arpaio lost more than three years ago morphed into a contempt case after the judge accused Arpaio and his aides of violating court orders.Arpaio, who is seeking a seventh term in November, has since been found in civil contempt, and federal prosecutors are considering whether to bring a criminal contempt case that could expose him to jail time.

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