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  • Peoria reports 11 residential burglaries; Glendale reports 5 residential burglaries

    The following is a partial list of burglaries in Peoria. There were 25 burglaries reported: 11 vehicle, three business and 11 residential.Residential• 7300 block of West Cameron Drive, April 27.• 7900 block of West Greer Avenue, April 27.• 9200 block of West Meadow Drive, April 30.• 10400 block of North Jessie Lane, May 1.

  • Josh the Otter visits Sunrise pool

    The Rotary Club of Peoria will host a Splash 4 Safety event from noon to 3 p.m. today at at Sunrise Pool, 21321 N. 86th Drive.Drowning is the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury death in the United States for children ages 1 through 4.In an effort to prevent tragic drownings, the Rotary Club of Peoria is sponsoring the Splash 4 Safety event, featuring “Josh the Otter.” Booth activities and water games will be part of the festivities.Open swim officially begins today at Sunrise Pool and Monday at Centennial and Peoria pools.All three pools will offer free admission on Monday. 

  • Gas prices rise again but still not as bad as last Memorial Day

    Contrary to weekly and monthly price comparisons, West Valley motorists are paying much less to fill their tanks compared to last year, AAA reported Thursday.This week, prices in the West Valley rose 2 cents a gallon, according to AAA, while Arizona fuel prices increased 3 cents. Nationwide, prices gained 5 cents.“Despite recent increases, Arizona drivers will pay the lowest gas prices for Memorial Day since 2010,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “AAA estimates that U.S. households have spent about $400 less on gasoline from January through April this year compared to the same timeframe in 2014.”This weekend more than 642,000 Arizonans will embark on a Memorial Day road trip, according to AAA’s travel forecast. Tucson and Flagstaff hold the low and high state fuel averages at $2.47 and $2.99 per gallon, respectively. South Carolina and California hold the lowest and highest average price for the lower 48 states at $2.42 and $3.79 per gallon, respectively.

  • Special interest groups close month

    The West Valley Genealogical Society, 12222 N. 111th Avenue, Youngtown, finishes its May calendar with two classes. They are:• The Writing Your Family History special interest group meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Cathy Gallagher leads this group.• The British Isles special interest group meets from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday. Bob Gallagher leads this group.

  • Benevilla program takes food from garden to table

    Benevilla is bringing back the Intergenerational Sustainability Program, teaching multigenerational learners how to choose, grow, and cook their own super foods.The program will be offered on June 9, 16, and 23.The program, funded by a grant from the City of Surprise, comprises three free non-credit classes that focus on the science of food and nutrition, gardening techniques, and cooking delicious vegetarian meals.Classes will take place at Rio Salado’s Lifelong Learning Center with hands-on activities at the Surprise Community Garden and Birt’s Bistro.The first of the three classes, Food and Nutrition, will be at Rio Salado from 9 a.m. to noon on June 9. It is an introduction to the science of food and human nutrition, with an emphasis on personal dietary behavior for a holistic life of wellness.The second class will be Garden Practices and Techniques, the cultural practices of vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants as they relate to organic and inorganic gardening. The class will take place on from 8 to 11 a.m. June 16 in the Surprise Community Garden and with classroom work at Rio Salado.

  • Good Shepherd remembers with Walkway of Flags

    The Good Samaritan Society — Peoria Good Shepherd will honor the service of men and women in the armed forces with a Walkway of Flags and remembrance ceremony on Saturday.More than 100 flags will be displayed in the courtyard of Peoria Good Shepherd, located at 10323 W. Olive Ave. The 10 a.m. remembrance ceremony will be on the front patio. The ceremony includes a reading of names of those being honored, entertainment and refreshments.Marge Lawrence, Walkway of Flags committee member, will give the welcome and the Presentation of Flags will be led by the Cactus High School ROTC.Each flag on display bears a name tag that honors special men, women and heroes of the community.The flags were purchased with donations of $10 or more from residents, staff members and the general public. Nearly $3,000 has already been raised.Proceeds from the Walkway of Flags event will be used to purchase a piano and other supplies for the residents’ activities program, which enhances quality of life.

  • Walmart committing to hiring veterans

    Walmart announced Wednesday that it is creating even more job opportunities for transitioning U.S. veterans in Arizona and nationwide by guaranteeing a job offer to any eligible U.S. veteran honorably discharged from active duty since the original launch of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013. The previous commitment was for veterans within 12 months of active duty. Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 2,467 veterans across Arizona. For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment please visit: www.walmartcareerswithamission.com.

  • Phoenix dentist offers free services June 6

    People in the Phoenix community will have the opportunity to receive free dental services at Deer Valley Family Dentistry on June 6.Dr. Ryan Stanger and the team at Deer Valley Family Dentistry will be improving the oral health of the community as part of Free Dentistry Day, a day dedicated to providing dental care to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance.“Our team is committed to lifetime dental care because good oral health is integral to overall health,” said Dr. Stanger. “By participating in this program, our goal is to engage patients and encourage them to adopt an ongoing oral care program and a lifelong regimen of preventative care.”A choice of a free cleaning, filling or extraction will be provided per patient between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 6 at the Deer Valley Family Dentistry office, located at 19636 N. 27th Ave., Suite 110.For more information, call 623-587-8700 or visit www.FreeDentistryDay.org.Patients will be accepted on a first come first served basis.

  • Arizona sheriff seeks to remove judge from profiling case

    PHOENIX (AP) — A racial profiling case against an Arizona sheriff was put on hold after his attorneys asked the case's judge to disqualify himself.No decision has yet been made about whether U.S. District Judge Murray Snow will be removed from Sheriff Joe Arpaio's profiling case, but the request stops all litigation from going forward until the issue is decided.Arpaio's lawyers say there's a perception that Snow is biased because he posed questions about an investigation done on behalf of Arpaio's office that examined a statement allegedly made by Snow's wife about the judge not wanting the sheriff to get re-elected.Opposing lawyers say the request is an attempt to delay contempt-of-court hearings scheduled next month against Arpaio for his acknowledged violation of court orders in the profiling case.

  • Cheers! Indulge in a fine glass for National Wine Day

    Memorial Day is also National Wine Day and restaurants across the Valley are offering delicious deals. Pop into any of these restaurants and indulge a fine glass of your favorite wine on Monday, May 25. Salut Kitchen Bar1435 E. University Drive, Tempe(480) 625-3600 or salutkitchenbar.comWinos know a good vintage when they taste one. They also know a fantastic wine bar when they discover one, and Salut Kitchen Bar in Tempe is hands down one of the best vino dives in the East Valley. But don’t take our word for it. Salut was voted Best Wine Bar by AZ Central its inaugural year. In addition to a wide selection of wines, Salut also boasts a delicious menu of new American and Mediterranean cuisine.

  • Take a ride on world's tallest inflatable slide Saturday

    Arizona families are invited to don their bathing suits, bring their towels and take the dare to ride down the Dropkick, a four-story-tall inflatable slide that packs an adrenaline kick daredevils won’t want to miss.Kids and adults can indulge in free carnival fair with hot dogs and shaved ice from the Valley’s Chilly Chicks Shaved Ice Truck, strike a pose for free family photos from around the world at a green screen photo booth, dance to the musical stylings of a live DJ, tour two Taylor Morrison home collections and enter to win a $500 gift card to San Tan Village.The grand opening excitement continues at Eastmark in Mesa with wine and beer tastings, live acoustic music, tours of Taylor Morrison’s new Summit Collection and appetizers prepared by celebrity chef Eddie Mattney.Created for the contemporary home buyer, Elliot Groves offers five brand new model homes ranging in size from from approximately 1,574 to 4,541 square feet. The largest of the homes, the Acadia, is a five-bedroom home with a secluded owner’s suite that features a luxury bathroom with his and hers closets and sinks and private walk-through laundry access. Upstairs in the Acadia surprises with a beautiful balcony view of the great room, a guest suite with an ensuite study and an expansive game or media room for all to enjoy.Taylor Morrison is introducing its sought-after Summit Collection at Eastmark with homes ranging from approximately 2,808 to 4,730 square feet of luxury living space. One of five available models, the Vail model offers a stunning interior with both formal and informal dining and living spaces, six bedrooms and an expansive owner’s suite with an ensuite sitting room, walk-in his and hers closets and ample room for everyone in the household.It’s all happening at Taylor Morrison’s Slide Into Summer Grand Opening Celebration, Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at two East Valley locations, Elliot Groves at 4277 E. Weather Vane Road, in Gilbert, and Eastmark at 4758 South Centric Way, in Mesa.

  • Wrongful termination suit filed by 5 ex-CPS workers tossed

    PHOENIX (AP) — A judge Thursday threw out a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by five former Arizona child welfare workers who were fired last year amid an agency scandal.Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig dismissed the case more than a week after the five women had their first day in court, saying state law allowed their firings even if they were scapegoats for others' actions.The ex-Child Protective Services employees argued their terminations were the result of a scheme to provide political cover to then-Gov. Jan Brewer and Clarence Carter, who headed the Department of Economic Security.In Oberbillig's ruling, he said he took the ex-workers' allegations as true for the sake of the legal argument. Even given that, he found there was no violation of state law.The workers' lawsuit said they were top employees chosen to help review inactive cases under a plan devised by their superiors to try to cut down on a crushing caseload for field workers. They said they were only following orders to go through thousands of cases and chose those to be investigated and those that could be closed.The state's child welfare agency was rocked by the November 2013 discovery that thousands of hotline calls were labeled as not worthy of being investigated. The scandal led to the agency's demise and the creation of the Department of Child Safety.The five senior CPS workers were fired in April 2014 by former DCS Director Charles Flanagan after the completion of a Department of Public Safety investigation.Flanagan said at the time that he fired the five upper-level managers and administrators because they were responsible for creating and overseeing the case closings against policy and in violation of state laws. He said they not only knew that what they were doing was against policy but took steps to keep their actions secret.The fired workers have defended their work, saying they followed orders to create a system that culled out low-priority cases and lowered crushing caseloads. Their lawsuit said they kept their superiors apprised of their actions at all times.The five women — Deborah Harper, Tracey Everitt, Michelle Parker, Jana Leineweber and Janet Sabol, claim they were merely the fall-guys. They sought unspecified damages.Terry Woods, the lawyer for the workers, said he was dismayed at the ruling and would advise his clients to appeal."It's pretty disappointing, but I thought certainly the judge took it seriously," Woods said.Woods pointed to Arizona's employment laws, which limit fired workers' ability to seek help from the courts. Many state employees lost civil service protections after Gov. Jan Brewer championed an overhaul of the state merit system protections through the Legislature in 2012."I obviously thought that it was unfair, but I'm an advocate," Woods said of his clients' firings. "But there was a decision made three years ago to vastly reduce the number of state employees who have job protection. And that was a decision made in our legislature."

  • Surprise students really cook in Valley TV show

    Two Surprise students are among 36 Valley teens competing for cash prizes, commendable cuisine and crushed competitors in Food*Ball TVShow, a dramatic new weekly program that launches at 4 p.m. Saturday on AZ-TV/Cable 13.Primavera Online High School students Mackenzie and Kelsea Ray were chosen from more than 100 area teens who auditioned for the high energy competitive cooking reality show. Mackenzie, 16, is a junior and Kelsea, 17, is a senior.Kelsea Ray, who said she enjoys music, reading and watching TV, joked that she auditioned for Food*Ball “because I wanted to push my comfort zone. This will show I have no idea what I’m doing in a kitchen.”“If I’m not home to cook,” confirmed Kelsea’s sister Mackenzie Ray, “no one in my family eats. I wanted to be on Food*Ball to learn to make better food so my family doesn’t starve!”Set to football metaphors, the hourlong Food*Ball TVShow pits two-person teams against each other in the kitchen to see who can score with the best on-field performance while amassing the fewest penalties for violation of food safety and procedural rules.All contestants in Food*Ball’s 10 episodes completed a one-day crash Food*Ball Training Camp focused on food preparation techniques.

  • Take a ride on world's tallest inflatable slide Saturday

    Arizona families are invited to don their bathing suits, bring their towels and take the dare to ride down the Dropkick, a four-story-tall inflatable slide that packs an adrenaline kick daredevils won’t want to miss.Kids and adults can indulge in free carnival fair with hot dogs and shaved ice from the Valley’s Chilly Chicks Shaved Ice Truck, strike a pose for free family photos from around the world at a green screen photo booth, dance to the musical stylings of a live DJ, tour two Taylor Morrison home collections and enter to win a $500 gift card to San Tan Village.The grand opening excitement continues at Eastmark in Mesa with wine and beer tastings, live acoustic music, tours of Taylor Morrison’s new Summit Collection and appetizers prepared by celebrity chef Eddie Mattney.Created for the contemporary home buyer, Elliot Groves offers five brand new model homes ranging in size from from approximately 1,574 to 4,541 square feet. The largest of the homes, the Acadia, is a five-bedroom home with a secluded owner’s suite that features a luxury bathroom with his and hers closets and sinks and private walk-through laundry access. Upstairs in the Acadia surprises with a beautiful balcony view of the great room, a guest suite with an ensuite study and an expansive game or media room for all to enjoy.Taylor Morrison is introducing its sought-after Summit Collection at Eastmark with homes ranging from approximately 2,808 to 4,730 square feet of luxury living space. One of five available models, the Vail model offers a stunning interior with both formal and informal dining and living spaces, six bedrooms and an expansive owner’s suite with an ensuite sitting room, walk-in his and hers closets and ample room for everyone in the household.It’s all happening at Taylor Morrison’s Slide Into Summer Grand Opening Celebration, Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at two East Valley locations, Elliot Groves at 4277 E. Weather Vane Road, in Gilbert, and Eastmark at 4758 South Centric Way, in Mesa.

  • Summer a good time to spy owls across Valley

    Keep your eyes and ears open this summer, and you could spot an owl in your neighborhood.“We have five species that regularly occur in our urban areas: Great Horned owls, Western screech owls, barn owls, elf owls and burrowing owls,” said Tom Gaskill, a local birder who will lead a June short course on Arizona’s owls at Desert Botanical Garden.It’s one of about 70 workshops, classes, trips and other special programs for personal enrichment that the Phoenix garden will offer in June, July and August. Registration is now open.Summer is when owls get busy.“Burrowing owls have their babies in the summer, and they can have some large families — up to 16. So, they’re very active during the daytime with all those little mouths to feed,” said Gaskill, who’s birded on five continents and in 48 U.S. states.“Great Horned owls nest in the spring, but they’re so big their babies take four months to get big enough to leave the nest. The parents are working hard taking care of them into the summer. Western screech owls have their babies in the summer, too,” he said.

  • Car dealerships offer deals for active military, veterans

    May is National Military Appreciation Month and Larry H. Miller is dedicated to supporting our active military and veterans.This nationally recognized month is a way to honor and acknowledge all who have served our country. To do so, each of the Larry H. Miller Valley Dealerships are offering discounts and deals:Avondale Dodge Ram: $500 bonus cash for 2015 vehicle purchases and leases on new vehiclesAvondale Chrysler Jeep: $500 bonus cash for 2015 vehicle purchases and leases on new vehiclesPeoria Dodge Ram: $500 bonus cash for 2015 vehicle purchases and leases on new vehiclesSurprise Chrysler Dodge: $500 bonus cash for 2015 vehicle purchases and leases on new vehicles and $1,000 off all 2014Toyota Peoria: $500 off any new 2015 Toyota vehicleHyundai Peoria: $500 off any new 2015 Hyundai vehicleVolkswagen: $500 below invoice pricing on a new vehicle in 2015​Larry H. Miller appreciates the dedication and hard work of our service members and  ​is dedicated to giving back to the community.

  • CVS buying Omnicare, expands reach to senior care facilities

    New York (AP) • CVS Health will buy Omnicare in a deal valued at about $12.7 billion in a move to expand its pharmacy services reach into assisted living and senior care facilities.Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health will pay $98 per share for Cincinnati-based Omnicare, a 6.1 percent premium to its closing price Wednesday. The deal also includes about $2.3 billion in debt.

  • Banks fined more than $5B, to plead guilty to market rigging

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Four of the world's biggest banks agreed Wednesday to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets — a rare instance in which federal prosecutors have wrung an admission of criminal wrongdoing from a major financial institution.Traders at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup's banking unit Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland were accused of working together to manipulate rates on the foreign exchange market, where hundreds of billions of dollars and euros change hands back and forth.The penalties are a victory for the government and reflect a broader effort by the Justice Department, long criticized as reluctant to prosecute big banks, to tackle financial misconduct.In the past 18 months, prosecutors have brought criminal cases against banks accused of tax evasion and sanctions violations, and have reached multibillion-dollar settlements with several others for their roles in the 2008 financial meltdown.Still, the punishment announced Wednesday may have limited practical consequences.The four banks will be able to continue to do business in the currency markets. No executives were charged, though that part of the investigation continues. And the fines, while large, are a fraction of what the institutions have made through currency trading over the past decade.Prosecutors said traders shared customer orders through chat rooms and used that information to profit at their clients' expenses. The traders called themselves "The Cartel," and in one of those chat rooms, a Barclays employee wrote: "if you aint cheating, you aint trying," investigators said.The banks will pay a combined $2.5 billion in criminal penalties for manipulation of currency rates between 2007 and 2013. The Federal Reserve is slapping them with an additional $1.6 billion in fines. Finally, Britain's Barclays is paying an additional $1.3 billion to British and U.S. regulators.A fifth bank, Switzerland's UBS — which was scrutinized years earlier in a similar scheme — has agreed to plead guilty to manipulating key interest rates and will pay a separate criminal penalty of $203 million."Having to enter into a guilty plea, at the parent level by a major financial institution, is not something that they enter into lightly, nor is it something they enter into with any great joy in their hearts," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.All told, including an agreement announced last year, the group of banks will pay nearly $9 billion in fines for manipulating the $5.3 trillion currency market.Still, JPMorgan Chase had $4.1 billion in revenue from its fixed income and currencies business in the first quarter of this year alone, while Citi had $3.48 billion.It is rare to see a bank plead guilty to wrongdoing. Even in the aftermath of the meltdown, most financial companies reached "non-prosecution agreements" or "deferred prosecution agreements" with regulators, agreeing to pay tens of billions in fines but not admitting any guilt. If any wrongdoing was acknowledged, it was usually by one of the bank's subsidiaries or divisions, not the overall company.An earlier case against UBS underscores the difficulty of deterring banks from bad behavior.In 2012, the bank admitted manipulating interest rates and signed a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. But after it became clear that UBS was involved in currency rate manipulation, the government tore up that agreement and imposed new penalties."Unlike the other banks, UBS has a 'rap sheet' that simply cannot be ignored," said Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department's criminal division. "Enough simply is enough."UBS said it received partial immunity from the currency market charges by being the first bank to report the corruption to the Justice Department and cooperate.Unlike stocks and bonds, currencies trade nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The market pauses two times a day, a moment known as "the fix." Traders in the cartel allegedly shared client orders with rivals ahead of the "fix" and pumped up currency rates to make profits.Global companies do business in multiple currencies and rely on their banks to give them the closest thing to an official exchange rate each day. The banks are supposed to be looking out for them. Travelers who regularly exchange currencies also need to get a fair price for their euros or dollars.The number of traders who took part in the currency fixing was small. JPMorgan said it has fired one trader. Citi said it dismissed nine employees. Barclays has fired eight employees tied to "The Cartel," according to New York regulators.The banks have agreed to help prosecutors investigate individuals who took part in the rigging.

Featured columns

  • Home networking becomes easier, faster

    Anyone who connects to the Internet from their home computer(s) owns their own piece of the world’s largest and most important network.The individual homeowner needs to have some acquaintance with three parts of it:1. The network in your own home.2. The role of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).3. The world network at large.Your own home

  • Richardson: Police training must improve

    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week it falls in as National Police Week.Last week in honor of the eight Arizona police officers who died while on duty in 2014, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey paid tribute to those officers and the more than 200 officers who suffered line-of-duty deaths since 1865.At a memorial ceremony, Governor Ducey, the son of an Ohio police officer, told the audience “he knows firsthand the sacrifices of peace officers.” In his speech to those who’d gathered, the governor said of the fallen officers: “Their loss can never be measured, it can never be mended, and they will never be forgotten. To all the men and women who remind us every day what heroism looks like, your country is eternally grateful and better off because of you.”During Police Week there have been countless stories of officers who died and the mark they left on the world and the tragedy that accompanied their deaths. From gunfire to vehicle accidents, it’s obvious to me too many officers in Arizona are dying.Last year’s tragic death of a Flagstaff police officer who responded alone to a domestic violence call was documented in detail thanks to the body camera he was wearing. The Flagstaff Police Department released the videotape to the public so the world could see what can happen to an officer and just how fast it does.The video tape also showed a series of mistakes that left a young and promising brand new officer dead while exposing serious questions about his supervision and quality of training he received at the police academy.

  • Guest commentary: Consider becoming a candidate

    Most of us move to Sun City AZ for the great retirement value and lifestyle we enjoy along with the number of activities available to keep us healthy, active and involved. Whatever your pleasure, there is always something to do and someone to do it with.State-of-the-art fitness facilities, first-class golf courses, two bowling centers, outstanding pickleball and tennis courts and clubs for every interest allow Cardholders abundant opportunities to participate and partake in a wide variety of activities. Add to that our many events and concert offerings, and the list of things to do seems virtually endless.But behind all of this fun in the sun and personal enrichment are members of our community that keep things running smoothly. Sun City AZ did not get the nickname “City of Volunteers” by accident. Early-comers to the community saw unfulfilled needs and joined forces to establish many of the organizations that still are in existence today, offering support and guidance to those in need.The operation of the Recreation Centers of Sun City is really no different. You and your input are needed to keep the wheels of Sun City AZ on track. The RCSC Board of Directors represents each and every Cardholder throughout the decision-making process. This unique system of self-governance works now and will continue to work, but only with your help.Each year board elections are held in December for three upcoming vacancies and each director on the board serves a three-year term. Directors bring a variety of life experiences to the table and help to prioritize which projects and policies would have the greatest benefit for the most members — and in the process, the future of Sun City AZ — all the while representing each and every one of us.Thanks to the dedication of the Elections Committee, RCSC has succeeded in having an abundance of qualified candidates over the last two election cycles to ensure there were more than three candidates on the ballot.

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