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  • Glendale, Peoria each report 16 residential burglaries

    The following is a partial list of burglaries in Glendale Sept. 29-Oct. 16. There were 26 burglaries reported: eight vehicle, two business and 16 residential.Residential:• 22900 block of North 71st Drive, Sept. 29• 22700 block of North 74th Lane, Sept. 30• 16400 block of North 62nd Avenue, Sept. 30• 5800 block of West Libby Street, Sept. 30

  • Nothing scary about W. Valley gas prices this Halloween

    Arizona has joined 20 other states in averaging a sub-$3 gallon of gas, and pump prices in the West Valley are 10 cents cheaper than that statewide average.This week, the price of a gallon of gas in the West Valley plummeted a dime to $2.87. Statewide the average dropped 8 cents and nationally, the average fell 7 cents.“While falling gas prices are typical this time of year, the continuing drop in crude oil — including a temporary sub-$80 barrel price this week — has exacerbated the reductions,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “As long as crude stays low, motorists should enjoy lower prices, barring unforeseen circumstances.”The East Valley and Flagstaff hold the low and high state fuel averages at $2.86 and $3.28 per gallon, respectively. South Carolina and New York hold the lowest and highest average price for the lower 48 states at $2.76 and $3.38 per gallon, respectively.

  • PUSD parents can tour Liberty, Sunset Heights

    Reservations are now being taken for Peoria Unified School District’s Fall Patron Tour.This opportunity to visit two Peoria Unified campuses is scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Liberty High School and Sunset Heights Elementary School.Patrons will meet at Liberty High School, where Superintendent Denton Santarelli will welcome guests. Visitors will board a Peoria Unified school bus for a short trip to Sunset Heights Elementary for a tour of the campus.Guests will be greeted by Principal Rae Conelley, who will share information about the district’s newest elementary school.After touring Sunset Heights, guests will board the bus to return to Liberty to be greeted by Principal John Croteau, who will share an overview of Liberty and discuss what makes it unique. After touring the high school, lunch will be served by the school’s culinary arts students.The district hosts a series of patron tours throughout the school year to give a personal look at the variety of schools and programs offered as part of its ongoing commitment to the community.

  • Rio Vista Rec Center offers dodgeball tourney

    The City of Peoria’s Rio Vista Recreation Center has partnered with the National Dodgeball Organization to offer a dodgeball tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15.The dodgeball tournament will help benefit the center’s Veterans’ Scholarship Fund.The Veterans’ Scholarship Fund helps Peoria veterans with financial hardship with wellness opportunities at Rio Vista Recreation Center at a significantly reduced cost.Registration is open to the public with 12 team slots available. Each team will consist of six to eight players with an entry fee of $140, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Veterans Scholarship Fund.Spectators are welcome and three is free admission to watch.For more information, call 623-773-7137 or visit www.peoriaaz.gov/recreation.

  • Glendale police seek gunmen who shot, wounded boy

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Police are searching for two gunmen who shot and wounded a teen Thursday afternoon, a city police spokesman said.The incident happened around 4 p.m. near 45th Avenue and Glendale Road.Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neil said two teens were walking in an alley near 45th Avenue and Glendale Road around 4 p.m. when the two men, walking in the opposite direction, pulled out guns and opened fire on the teens. It is unclear whether the suspects and victims knew each other.O'Neil said one of the teens was hit but was able to make his way to a nearby McDonalds, where he collapsed. He was later taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.Police are still searching for the shooting suspects.The suspects are described as a black and a Latino, each 20-30 years old.

  • IHOP celebrates Halloween with free Scary Face Pancakes

    Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide are giving families a safe place to celebrate Halloween and offering kids 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 31.Each order comes with one of IHOP restaurants’ buttermilk pancakes decorated with a whipped topping smile and eyes, and a strawberry nose. Then, kids can use a kit of toppings — eight pieces of sweet candy corn and two mini Oreos -- to finish decorating the face any way they choose.As a way to say thank you to the local communities in which it operates, IHOP wants to provide families a safe and fun environment this Halloween. Instead of stocking up on just candy this year, IHOP is a neighborhood stop that will hand out pancake treats to its guests instead.The Scary Face Pancake will be offered throughout the month of October and, like all IHOP ‘Just For Kids’ menu items, is less than 600 calories.

  • Governor candidates set for final campaign push

    PHOENIX (AP) — The Republican and Democratic candidates for Arizona governor are set for a final campaign push through the state as they try to seal a general election win. Republican Doug Ducey plans stops in Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Coconino Counties between Friday and Monday. Democrat Fred DuVal plans 22 stops across metro Phoenix and in southern Arizona over the weekend. Ducey will be joined by other Republican candidates for statewide office on many of the stops. DuVal also is being joined by other Democratic candidates.

  • Arias judge bars public from witness' testimony

    PHOENIX - The judge in the Jodi Arias trial took the highly unusual step Thursday of barring the public from watching the first witness called by the convicted murderer's legal team as she fights to be spared the death penalty.The day began with dramatic statements from the victim's family members about the emotional and physical trauma they have suffered since Travis Alexander was murdered by Arias in 2008.Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens and lawyers then met behind closed doors about the start of Arias' case. They made a decision to keep the public out of the courtroom because a skittish defense witness wanted to testify in private.An attorney for an Arizona newspaper objected, but the judge closed the courtroom anyway."This was not an easy decision," said Stephens, who declined to reveal the witness' identity.The public and reporters were then asked to leave and the trial continued behind closed doors.

  • Medicare bought meds for dead people

    WASHINGTON — Call it drugs for the departed: Medicare’s prescription program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead.The problem was traced back to a head-scratching bureaucratic rule that’s now getting a second look.A report coming out today from the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general says the Medicare rule allows payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patient’s death — at odds with the program’s basic principles, not to mention common sense.“Drugs for deceased beneficiaries are clearly not medically indicated, which is a requirement for (Medicare) coverage,” the IG report said. It urged immediate changes to eliminate or restrict the payment policy.Medicare said it’s working on a fix.Investigators examined claims from 2012 for a tiny sliver of Medicare drugs — medications to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS — and then cross-referenced them with death records. They found that the program paid for drugs for 158 beneficiaries after they were already dead. The cost to taxpayers: $292,381, an average of $1,850 for each beneficiary.

  • Chandler police: Officer killed in auto accident

    CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — A Chandler police office is dead following an early morning accident. Police say the on-duty motorcycle officer was stopped at a red light early Friday morning when he was struck from behind by a vehicle. According to police spokesman Joe Favazzo, the other driver left the scene but was stopped by officers a short time later and taken into custody. Favazzo says there was a 1-year-old child in that vehicle. Favazzo also says police are investigating whether the other driver was impaired.

  • Graffiti found in 3 more national parks in West

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The National Park Service says it has found more graffiti in some of the West's most scenic locations in a case that sparked an uproar on social media last week. Investigators also say they suspect 21-year-old Casey Nocket of New York state is responsible for the paintings and drawings on rocks in national parks, which could lead to felony charges. A phone listing for Nocket was disconnected, and a message left Thursday for a possible relative was not immediately returned. Rangers say they've now confirmed images in Joshua Tree in California and at two more Colorado locations, bringing the total number of tagged parks to eight. A drawing in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park was reported and removed last month. The Highland, New York, woman allegedly used Instagram and Tumblr to document her works during a summer trip. The park service began investigating Oct. 20.

  • Pro-Latino group: Hispanics play big part in election day outcome

    PHOENIX -- Close to one out of every seven votes cast this year will come from Hispanics, according to a non-partisan organization promoting Latino turnout.And group members predict that large percentage of them will vote for Democrats -- but not necessarily because of what those candidates offer but how Republicans are campaigning.Members of the One Arizona Coalition acknowledged that a new study by Pew Hispanic finds Republicans nationwide making inroads into the Hispanic community in the last four years. Asked who they would support in congressional races, 28 percent of Latinos favored a Republican, up from just 22 percent four years earlier.But Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, part of the coalition, said Arizona is different."What we've done with our voters is we've connected the dots,'' she said.That involves educating people to understand those votes translate directly into who is in power -- and how that affects their lives. Falcon said that means helping people understand whoever is elected president gets to name Supreme Court justices and the governor has veto power.

Rio Vista Rec Center offers dodgeball tourney

The City of Peoria’s Rio Vista Recreation Center has partnered with the National Dodgeball O…

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  • Kick back on Easy Street at Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival

    If you’re in the market for fine art, be sure to visit Thunderbird Artists’ 21st Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Sunday in downtown Carefree, at the intersection of Easy Street and HoHum Drive.The award-winning festival features more than 165 juried fine artists, live musical entertainers, food, sweets and a wine-tasting experience.“This year’s festival features a fabulous roster of juried artists,” said Judi Combs, CEO of Thunderbird Artists and Arizona Fine Art EXPO. “As you stroll through Easy Street, you’ll be captivated by the diverse selection of high-quality original pieces of fine art, including small to life-sized bronzes, paintings, pottery, photography, scratchboard, wood, clay, metal and glass sculptures, batiks, jewelry and more.”This year’s featured artist is oil painter Lauren Knode, whose booth is located across from Thunderbird Artists’ information booth. Knode enjoys creating paintings with an atmospheric luminescence while working in oil, acrylic or pastel. After 20 years as a teacher in Oregon, she moved to the Southwest to pursue her passion for the arts full time. Her inspiration is derived from the beauty of nature in Arizona: the ever-changing brilliance of a sunset, the light glowing through the delicately translucent petals of a flower, even the contrast of the sharp and prickly cacti. Her work aims to transport the viewer to a peaceful, quiet place within.Knode’s travels have influenced her as well. A trip to Santa Fe and Taos, N.M., inspired her paintings of old Pueblo Indian homes. Before beginning a commissioned landscape, she often visits the person’s home to discover the natural environment and ambiance the commissioner wishes to capture.Several wineries will provide a wonderful selection of local, national and international wines for sampling. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir glass with six tasting tickets, allowing them to enjoy a variety of wine, while strolling among countless pieces of original artwork and listening to local musicians perform. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased for $1.

  • IHOP celebrates Halloween with free Scary Face Pancakes

    Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide are giving families a safe place to celebrate Halloween and offering kids 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 31.Each order comes with one of IHOP restaurants’ buttermilk pancakes decorated with a whipped topping smile and eyes, and a strawberry nose. Then, kids can use a kit of toppings — eight pieces of sweet candy corn and two mini Oreos -- to finish decorating the face any way they choose.As a way to say thank you to the local communities in which it operates, IHOP wants to provide families a safe and fun environment this Halloween. Instead of stocking up on just candy this year, IHOP is a neighborhood stop that will hand out pancake treats to its guests instead.The Scary Face Pancake will be offered throughout the month of October and, like all IHOP ‘Just For Kids’ menu items, is less than 600 calories.

  • Gentlemen of swing croon in Wickenburg Sunday

    Vocalist Joe Bourne brings a special program featuring favorites from Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Al Jarreau and others to the Friends of Music concert Sunday in the Wickenburg Community Center.Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.The Massachusetts native began singing in church as a youngster. He’s performed all over the world, including Australia, Aruba, Brazil and Indonesia and lived in the Netherlands for 25 years. While there, he entertained the American and Dutch militaries and on radio and television. A Christmas special with Ray Charles was filmed in Germany and broadcast internationally. Germany honored Bourne as Entertainer of the Year. He relocated to Arizona in 2000 and continues to sing, create and perform special shows, including a salute to Lou Rawls, a tribute to Nat King Cole and his acclaimed Motown show.Playing in the band is Mike Vax, jazz trumpeter, band leader, composer and clinician. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, he performs exclusively on Getzen trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns and has the status of an International Artist for the Getzen Company. He has played lead and solo trumpet with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Clark Terry Big Bad Band and the U.S. Navy Show Band. As a recording musician, he has performed on more than 75 albums, including 20 under his own name.Saxophonist Tony Vacca began his professional career at age 7 in the family band and continued throughout his teen years playing sax and keyboards. He received his formal training in Arizona State University’s jazz department and went on to perform and teach in the Phoenix area. Moving to Chicago in 1982, Vacca spent 16 years as a musician and educator. Back in the Phoenix area since 1998, he now teaches jazz history and rock history at Scottsdale Community College.Guitarist Stan Sorenson began lessons at age 8. After seven years of private lessons, he began his professional career performing on the guitar in an accordion-based pop/polka band and an all-original jazz/rock band.

  • Glendale’s Tanger Outlets poised to open expansion

    Four new stores are scheduled to open next month in Glendale’s Tanger Outlets Mall in what will be the first wave of a two-part expansion at the retail location off Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.A 60,000-square-foot addition will include Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, and Tilly’s, all opening in mid-November. Another four stores in that addition are expected to open during the first quarter of 2015, said mall general manager Jessica Reeves. New stores in the second portion of the expansion will be announced at a later date, she said.“We’re really excited. We’re set to open before the busy Black Friday weekend,” Reeves said.The two latest groups of additions will give the outlet mall over 90 stores, including some of the foremost retail names. The outlet concept includes grouping brand-name stores together. Directly connected to their producers, outlet stores typically offer merchandise at prices below traditional retailers.Tanger’s newest stores will add outerwear, clothing, shoes and gear (Eddie Bauer); surf and skate clothing (Tilly’s); chic women’s clothing (Ann Taylor); and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories (Abercrombie & Fitch). The rectangular-shaped structure that will house the new stores will replace parking areas along the southern end of the mall.Reeves, who has been with Tanger for more than two years, said it always has been the company’s intent to enlarge the Glendale site since opening in November 2012. The decision to grow now has been fueled by faster-than-anticipated customer and retailer demand, she said.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'

    NEW YORK (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's proud to be gay. The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out as gay. Cook said that while he never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it, either. The executive said that for years he's been open with many people about his sexual orientation and that plenty of his Apple colleagues know he is gay. Cook wrote in the column, published Thursday, that it wasn't an easy choice to publicly disclose that he is gay, but that he felt the acknowledgement could help others. "I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," he wrote. Three days ago, Cook challenged his home state of Alabama to better ensure the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Alabama is among the states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, and it also doesn't offer legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Cook is a native of Robertsdale, Alabama, and attended Auburn University. The announcement is a "huge deal," said Richard Metheny of executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. "This really sets the stage for 'It's OK,'" he said. "Anything CEOs do is very magnified, very complicated, and it affects a lot of people. ... There's no taking away that he has become a role model and will have a positive influence on lots of people that would like to be comfortable being out in the world of business." "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me," Cook wrote in the essay Thursday. The executive said that "being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day." Cook said he's been lucky to work for a company that "loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people's differences." Cook, 53, succeeded Apple founder Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple Inc. in 2011. Apple Inc. has been an outspoken champion for diversity since Cook succeeded Jobs as CEO. The company has trumpeted the phrase, "Inclusion inspires innovation," as a rallying cry. Cook has reinforced that message on his Twitter account with periodic posts supporting gay rights in the workplace. Cook's public declaration that he is gay comes a little more than two months after Robert Hanson — the former CEO of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. — wrote a piece for Time in which he talked about being an openly gay man for as long as he's been in business and running companies. Hanson is currently the CEO of luxury jewelry brand John Hardy. There are no other publicly gay CEOs of major companies. United Therapeutics Corp. CEO Martine Rothblatt, who was born male and is now female, has been open about her transgender status. ___ AP Technology Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report from New York. MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Writer

  • Surprise business incubator converts gas to green

    One of the affiliate companies of AZ TechCelerator recently showcased a new green technology developed at the business incubator to the Surprise City Council.Torque Trends, Inc. presented to council before a work session a 1999 Mazda Miata that its ev-Torque Box technology helped convert from gasoline to electric.“It is beyond exciting to see this type of clean technology developed and implemented so successfully right here in Surprise,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “The AZ TechCelerator continues to produce innovative companies that we all can be proud of.”Torque Trends will showcase the e-Miata Roadster at next month’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas.To learn about the conversion process visit e-Miata Roadster Project Build at www.torquetrends.com/#!e-miata-project/c7a.For information about the AZ TechCelerator, the city’s business incubator, visit www.aztechcelerator.com or call Manager Julie Neal at 623-222-TECH.

Featured columns

  • OPINION: Sometimes, government is essential

    Two years ago, President Obama was striding the beaches of New Jersey and spearheading the federal response to the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.Gov. Chris Christie was praising the president and Washington’s help for his battered state — much to the dismay of his fellow Republicans.Four out of 5 voters shared Christie’s support for the president’s actions, and Sandy helped solidify Obama’s decisive victory over Mitt Romney just a few days later.Today, the political landscape has shifted dramatically. The role of government has turned from an asset to a liability for Obama. His favorable rating in the latest ABC/Washington Post poll has sunk to 40 percent, the lowest mark of his presidency.Since those heady days on the Jersey shore, a string of missteps has soured the public and provided Republicans with a prime political opening. The botched rollout of Obamacare was compounded by scandals at the Veterans Administration, the IRS and the Secret Service. Then came Ebola.A patient being treated at a Texas hospital died from the disease. Two nurses were infected, and one was allowed to board a plane to Cleveland.

  • Secret car warranties provide free service

    Nothing’s more frustrating to a car owner than a vehicle whose paint starts peeling or whose roof is leaking just a few years after leaving the dealer’s lot, says Consumer Reports. Having to make expensive, post-warranty repairs sends a signal to consumers that says: You’re getting ripped off.Fortunately, you can often save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair bills by taking advantage of special, unadvertised automaker programs that provide free or discounted service work. Though manufacturers often call these programs service actions or customer satisfaction campaigns, many people refer to them as secret or hidden warranties because they’re rarely announced to the public.Two examples: Owners of 2006 to 2009 Honda Civics may qualify for a free engine block, or even a whole new engine, if their car has been leaking coolant from a crack in the block. Chrysler minivan owners may notice that the front wheel bearings on models from 2008 to 2010 are subject to premature wear, so dealers will replace them for free during a vehicle’s first five years or 90,000 miles.How do these “secret warranties” come about? They usually originate when automakers discover that some component or system in a given model is failing at a greater rate than expected. They learn about the problems from numerous sources, including complaints to their customer service departments and reports from dealers.Programs that offer subsidized or free repairs are usually presented as a “warranty extension,” since they last for a specified time and mileage. Occasionally, they’re good for a limited number of years from the original purchase date but have no mileage limit. They’re often enacted in the name of good customer service. Sometimes, though, a free repair program is instituted as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers.How secret are secret warranties?

  • OPINION: The audacity of Greg Orman

    Overland Park, Kan. • The image some conservatives have of Greg Orman, the wealthy businessman running as an independent against veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts here in Kansas, is that Orman is, in the words of a recent Weekly Standard story, a “vacuous cipher.”Watching Orman’s performance in a recent debate with Roberts before a business group in this large suburb of Kansas City, it’s safe to say that image is wrong, or at least incomplete.Calling Orman a cipher suggests he has no positions, or nothing to say. But on some important topics, Orman outlined policies in more detail than Roberts. Some of Orman’s views, although certainly not all, would fit comfortably within the range of Republican orthodoxy.For many Republicans, the real problem is not that Orman is a cipher. It’s the suspicion that his entire campaign is a ruse.Yes, Orman can be slippery on some big issues. What would he do about Obamacare? Nobody really knows.Orman also seems to have some ideas that go beyond most in the GOP. At one point in the debate, he was asked for his plan to shore up the dwindling Highway Trust Fund. Orman suggested the government might start by cutting social welfare spending.

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