Your West Valley News: Wickenburg

Wickenburg

  • Surprise provides camp during winter break

    The City of Surprise offers a Winter Break Camp for youth in kindergarten through sixth grade.The camp will be Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2-6 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane.This is a fun-filled camp that includes afternoon snack, daily activities, arts and crafts, games, sports and field trips.Registration is available at the Community and Recreation Services Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. The daily rate is $35 per day for residents and $45 per day for non-residents; the 3-day rate is $85 for residents and $105 for non-residents.Families can save this holiday season and register for the weekly rate of $110 for residents and $130 for non-residents. Field trips are included in the registration fee.Space is limited. For information about Winter Break Camp, call 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

  • Surprise Police seek tips on vehicle theft

    On Nov. 9, the Surprise Police responded to a theft report from a vehicle. The vehicle was parked at a local residence in the area of 15300 West Laurel Lane in Surprise.According to the home owner, an unknown suspect entered their unlocked vehicle and removed several items of property. The suspect was described as a white male with a large tattoo on his right shoulder.The suspect was wearing a light colored sleeveless tank top, light colored shorts, dark colored socks, and light colored shoes. The suspect was last seen running away westbound from the residence.Anyone with any information leading to the location or identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective K. Coats at 623-222-4000 or 623-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be emailed to crimetips@surpriseaz.gov.When contacting the police, please reference Inc# 161101818.Click here to view a short video of the incident.

  • Ballet conservatory performs in Surprise park Sunday

    The city of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.This free, family-friendly event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park and will feature a dance performance by the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet.Bring a picnic or purchase food from the onsite vendors and enjoy the live entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Ave.For more information, contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623-222-2000 or visit us online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

  • High-crash intersections in Glendale

    A two-car collision at the intersection of 43rd and Glendale avenues in May sent four people, including a 6-year-old girl, to the hospital.That intersection, which Glendale and Phoenix share jurisdiction, ranked No. 2 among 100 high-crash risk intersections in the Phoenix metropolitan area for 2011-15, according to Maricopa Association of Governments. Sixteen of the intersections on the list are either in Glendale or on the boundary shared by the city and other jurisdiction. Glendale operates and maintains 10 of the 16 intersections and the remaining six are the responsibility of Peoria or Phoenix, according to the city. All 16 intersections are controlled by traffic lights.Kiran Guntupalli, Glendale transportation engineer, attributes the crashes to driving behavior and not roadway construction."All the intersections in city of Glendale were built to city of Glendale standards in place at that time," he said. "Most times the crash reports read that driver inattention, speeding, DUI and failure to yielding to right of way as primary reasons for high-severe crashes."That said, he added, "safety is our at-most priority."Therefore, traffic engineering staff works closely with law enforcement and also adjacent jurisdictions in every possible way to make the transportation network safe and efficient."

  • Glendale Police on alert after stranger follows girl to school

    Glendale Police is increasing its presence at a local school after a girl reported someone following her on Thursday.A 12-year-old student was on her way to Sierra Verde Elementary School near 7200 W. Rose Garden Lane when she was followed by a male adult.The girl reported to the police that she saw the man while walking to school and believed he had followed her. Once she got near the school she reported he grabbed her by the backpack.The student was not physically harmed. The Glendale Police Department will be patrolling the area with heightened presence before and after school.This incident occurred Dec. 8 at about 8:40 a.m. and police officials are in the early stages of the investigation. The matter remains under investigation at this time.Incidents like this highlight the importance of parents maintaining open lines of communication with their children to ensure children are comfortable sharing information:

  • Police continue search for suspects in Glendale Walmart shooting

    The Glendale Police Department continue to look for two suspects involved in a shooting Wednesday morning at a Glendale Walmart.The suspects are black males, one teenager and another believed to be between 25 and 30, according to police. The older man is described as 6-feet tall, 160 pounds while the teen has a thin build.One of the suspects shot and injured two other males, ages 18 and 19, before fleeing the scene in a black sedan.Officials have concluded the shooting stemmed from some sort of verbal confrontation in the parking lot that led inside the store, located off the Loop 101 and Camelback Road in Glendale.The victims are expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow.Detectives are still actively working all leads and combing through the information, witness statements, and evidence from the scene.Since the incident occurred in such a large public setting there is a great deal of investigation to be conducted and can take some time.

  • Explosion of homes in north Peoria could affect school enrollment

    For Peoria as a whole, home sales have not changed much in the last year, increasing only slightly.But in the northern part of the city, growth continues to outpace the south and stands out as one of the faster growing regions in the Valley.This would normally be a good thing all around, but city and school officials are keeping a close eye on an influx of new families moving to the north since two ballot measures — one to fund more schools and one for amenities in the growth area — failed in November.Four of the five most active housing developments in the city are north of Union Hills Drive and closings are up 9.1 percent in the same region, compared with 5.6 percent in the West Valley, according to recent numbers from Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.Jesse Abarca, a real estate agent who specializes in Peoria, said home sales this year are nearly the same compared with last year. He said the real estate market in Peoria is very stable and positioned for continued growth, with a 5 percent appreciation rate.But with an abundance of vacant land, northern Peoria continues to see new home construction, and will likely see higher appreciation rates.

  • Peoria Police seek male suspect after robbery at BMO Harris Bank

    Peoria Police are looking for a male suspect after a robbery occurred at a BMO Harris Bank, according to a police spokesperson.At about 3 p.m. Friday, a man entered the bank located at 9035 W. Union Hills Dr. near 91st Avenue and presented a note demanding money. No weapon was seen, and the suspect left in an unknown direction with a known amount of US currency.No injuries were reported.The suspect has been described as a black male, between 40 and 50 years old, about 5-feet-8 with a stocky build, bald, and grey facial stubble. He was last seen wearing a dark zip-up jacket and jeans.  Peoria Police Detectives are working in partnership with the FBI on this investigation.Officers are on scene and more information will become available as it is obtained.

  • Former New River water customers going to regular Peoria rates

    Water rates will change in January for some former New River Utility customers.At the time of acquiring the New River Utility water system one year ago, the city informed all customers that, in January 2017, the old water rates would change to the regular city water rates. This is not a water rate increase.The city anticipated that the water rate change would be offset by a significant decrease on the annual property tax statement related to a tax from the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD).Depending on the location of the homes in this area, a water customer could have had a CAGRD tax on the property tax statement received in October 2016. For most customers, the CAGRD tax was eliminated from their property tax statement.However, some customers had a $16.50 tax amount while others had a continuation of the full CAGRD tax that they had experienced in prior years. The city is fully committed to following through on its assumption that there would be no CAGRD tax on the October 2016 property tax statement. All customers who were charged any CAGRD tax will receive a credit on their 2017 Peoria utility bill.• If your CAGRD tax is $100 or less, you will see the full credit in January 2017.

  • Marinette construction work finished in Sun City

    Renovation work at Marinette Recreation Center, 9860 W. Union Hills Drive, was complete at the end of November except for some contractor followups.The auditorium, social hall ceiling, main restrooms and kitchen received renovations, and two new swimming pool restrooms were installed. All areas were reopened by Nov. 15.The project cost increased $16,572 due to required floor grinding and leveling in the auditorium, mirrors and tracks, as well as added wall tile for restrooms.The contractors were DVP Professional Builders, Accel Electric and Custom Cooling. The project total cost was $275,532.

  • Sun City Posse slates last chance to buy pink merchandise

    Residents will have a chance to get some Sheriff Joe pink merchandise before it is all gone.The Sun City Posse will have a pink underwear and clothing sale 8 a.m.noon Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Posse headquarters, 10861 W. Sunland Drive.This could be the last opportunity to buy the pink underwear and clothing signed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

  • Sun City CAN names top volunteer

    The Sun City Community Assistance Network Board of Directors took an unusual step in naming its volunteer of the year for 2016.An agency, especially Sun City CAN, normally does not give the honor to a sitting board member. But in October the board unanimously voted to name Hugh Duncan, the board’s president, as the agency’s volunteer of the year.“While it is unusual to select a sitting board member for this honor, the board decided there was no one more deserving of recognition than Hugh Duncan for his years of dedication to this organization,” said Linda Miskimen, Sun City CAN executive director.Mr. Duncan has been active in the community since he and his late wife, Beverly, moved to Sun City from Boise, Idaho in 2002. He is an Episcopal priest and a retired U.S. Navy officer.  His association with Sun City CAN dates back several years prior to his election as board president in 2010. He continues to serve in that capacity.“Hugh carries our message when he speaks to community groups, churches and civic clubs,” Ms. Miskimen said. “His knowledge, experience and expertise in fund raising has been the primary reason for our financial stability and success.”

  • Ballet conservatory performs in Surprise park Sunday

    The city of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.This free, family-friendly event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park and will feature a dance performance by the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet.Bring a picnic or purchase food from the onsite vendors and enjoy the live entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Ave.For more information, contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623-222-2000 or visit us online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

  • Surprise works out kinks in first month of utility billing

    As expected, the first month of the changeover in Surprise utility billing from American Water to a city-run service had some hiccups.Call volumes have been high, with several callers not aware of the transition and others not aware of the city's new stormwater utility fee, Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan said during the Tuesday City Council meeting.She said the biggest bone of contention from residents who started with the city's billing service Nov. 1 was interest fees from late prepayments back in January to American Water for sewer services."Some customers had been recorded as paying late, whether its a couple days or a week, in the American Water system. They billed a number of times and when the interest payment wasn't made after those bills it usually gets caught up the following January with the next bill. In this case the next bill was a bill that comes out in November with the first bill of our new stormwater billing. They were seeing an interest payment (and think it was) associated with the new stormwater bill. We've been able to clarify some of that," Ms. Duncan said.She said the city is suspending the interest charges. Going forward, the stormwater fee will be available in the annual prepay bill if residents prefer that route.Surprise will retain the option of a 5 percent discount for those who prepay their yearly sewer fee in January. There is no discount with the stormwater fee.

  • Surprise Police brew next Coffee with a Cop event

    On Dec. 17, officers from the Surprise Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.All community members are invited to attend the upcoming “Coffee with a Cop” event, scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, Dec. 17 at Sunsational Coffee, at 15643 N. Reems Road.This community engaging event will offer the community a unique opportunity to directly ask questions and learn more about the police department’s efforts in their own neighborhood(s).A majority of contacts citizens have with law enforcement occur during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street.“Coffee with a Cop” breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.“Coffee with a Cop” is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

  • Investment seminar set for Sun City West Tuesday

    Learn how to make smart investments from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Palm Ridge Center, 13800 Deer Valley Drive in Sun City West.There is a $10 fee for the class. The class will also teach how to assure funds are secure, how to achieve growth and how to determine what level of risk fits certain circumstances.Instructor Scott Sandell is Phoenix Chapter president of the Foundation for Personal Financial Education, a not-for-profit educational speakers bureau and owner of Secure Estate Solutions Services in Phoenix.Call 623-544-6580 for information.

  • NCFMD to refurbish ladder truck

    Rather than purchase a new vehicle, North County Fire & Medical District officials opted to refurbish its ladder tender truck.During its Nov. 17 meeting, the district board approved the renovation of a ladder tender truck not to exceed $465,000. This 12-year-old truck based at Station 102 on Stardust Boulevard would cost $650,00o to replace. Assistant Fire Chief Tim Van Scoter and two other employees researched the options and recommended this was a good opportunity to refurbish rather than replace such an expensive fire apparatus.They chose items to put into the refurbished truck and eliminated some recommended items.“They eliminated the list of ‘dream big’ items,” Fire Chief Rob Biscoe said.Mr. Van Scooter said work to refurbish the truck would be 3-4 weeks.“Once the board approves this cost, the process is to meet with the two bidders — three bidders decided not to make an offer,” he said. “The price, timing and details would be sent for legal opinion before a contract is drafted.”

  • Sun City Posse slates last chance to buy pink merchandise

    Residents will have a chance to get some Sheriff Joe pink merchandise before it is all gone.The Sun City Posse will have a pink underwear and clothing sale 8 a.m.noon Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Posse headquarters, 10861 W. Sunland Drive.This could be the last opportunity to buy the pink underwear and clothing signed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

  • Despite lack of public transportation residents have options during the holidays

    Christmas is fast approaching and residents may have a myriad of travel plans, both within the Northwest Valley and beyond.Public transportation is not easy to find in the Northwest Valley. Valley Metro has limited bus routes past Loop 101, and while there are taxi services, some residents find that to be too pricey, especially for short trips. Benevilla officials spearhead a stakeholders group that meets regularly to formulate ideas for transportation solutions.But so far, a mass public transit system west of Loop 101 remains ideas being batted about — and the need continues to rise.“We are seeing a bit of a pick up in travel this season,” said Tony Pullano, Sun City Express supervisor. “This is the first time in a few years we have seen this.”The increase in travel is across the board.“We are seeing a continued increase in calls from people looking for transportation,” Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect executive director, said in an August interview.

  • Ventana Lakes supports Valley View at fundraiser dinner

    Ventana Lakes residents in Peoria did their part to support the Valley View Community Food Bank.The community hosted a fundraising dinner Nov. 19. A pasta dinner and penny auction were conducted at the Yacht Club, 20015 N. 108th Lane, with more than 130 attending.Residents of the age-restricted community already contribute nonperishable food items to the food bank that serves a wide area of the West Valley and beyond. Residents Tony and Evelyn DeMont coordinate the collection of donated food weekly from the Ventana Lakes community and deliver them to the Food Bank.They approached residents Kathy and Fred Freda in September about hosting a fundraising event and they agreed.A penny auction was added, including items donated from community residents.Mr. and Mrs. Freda presented Jesse Ramirez, food bank director and founder, with an initial contribution of $1,200 raised from the dinner proceeds. However, he was not able to stay to the end of the event to see that another $800 was raised in the penny auction.

  • Benevilla prepares for #GivingTuesday

    Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.Occurring this year on Nov. 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is based on the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.Benevilla, the West Valley’s premier human services nonprofit, has joined #GivingTuesday, this global day of giving, by harnessing the collective power of their local friends, neighbors, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.Consider supporting Benevilla on Nov. 29 with a donation.Information is available and donations can be made directly through https://givingtuesday.razoo.com/us/story/BenevillaThe Benevilla #GivingTuesday Facebook Event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/191191584666200/

  • Despite lack of public transportation residents have options during the holidays

    Christmas is fast approaching and residents may have a myriad of travel plans, both within the Northwest Valley and beyond.Public transportation is not easy to find in the Northwest Valley. Valley Metro has limited bus routes past Loop 101, and while there are taxi services, some residents find that to be too pricey, especially for short trips. Benevilla officials spearhead a stakeholders group that meets regularly to formulate ideas for transportation solutions.But so far, a mass public transit system west of Loop 101 remains ideas being batted about — and the need continues to rise.“We are seeing a bit of a pick up in travel this season,” said Tony Pullano, Sun City Express supervisor. “This is the first time in a few years we have seen this.”The increase in travel is across the board.“We are seeing a continued increase in calls from people looking for transportation,” Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect executive director, said in an August interview.

  • MAG offers 2016 household travel survey

    Maricopa Association of Governments hopes to make future trips better by learning more about how people travel in the Valley.Participants will be compensated for their time, $10 per household member age 6 and older.People can go to http://portal.optimumesp.com/oesp/takeSurvey.htm?token=137g8241kakn8 to see if they are eligible to participate.If qualified, an online registration must be completed, a smartphone app must be downloaded and must answer questions online about travel for those 6 and older.Responses and all-study related data are confidential. For more information, call 602-707-0050 or email MAGTravelSurvey@AskArizona.comMAG serves as the regional planning and policy agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

  • Astronomy club speaker discusses Dawn satellite

    The West Valley Astronomy Club presents Dr. Steve Desch speaking on NASA's Dawn mission at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 17540 Ave. of the Arts, Surprise.The Dawn satellite is a magnificent scientific achievement. The Dawn mission was launched in September 2007 and has a unique propulsion system using ion thrusters capable of speeds of up to 200,000 MPH.It took the Dawn satellite four years to travel to the main asteroid belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system. NASA's daunting Mission data analysis is ongoing.Dr. Desch will also be showing the latest lifelike computer models of the dwarf planet Ceres.The public is welcome and refreshments are provided.For information, visit wvac.net or contact John Cline at johclin@cox.net or MaryAnne Balzer at balzerfreespirit@gmail.com.

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