Aug. 16, 2017

Foothills Food Bank to participate in Shopping Extravaganza
CAVE CREEK – The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center will benefit from ticket sales for the 13th annual Outlets at Anthem Shopping Extravaganza, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 9 a.m. Individuals can purchase tickets for $25, of which $15 will go directly to the food bank.

To purchase tickets through the food bank, go online to Tickets must be purchased prior to the event to attend. A check can be sent to the food bank’s main location at 6038 E. Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek, or call (480) 488-1145 to charge the tickets, which will be mailed out.

The exclusive, limited-admission charity fund-raising event features one-day only savings, a special shopper lunch, wine tasting, dessert bar, and opportunities to win several prizes, including more than $30,000 worth of gift cards from Outlets at Anthem's participating retailers.

The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center provides emergency food, financial assistance and other life necessities and resources to individuals and families in the desert foothills, which encompasses a 180-square mile area that includes Black Canyon City, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Desert Hills, New River, north Scottsdale, and north Phoenix.

For more details, visit


Mystery dinner show at The Old Spaghetti Factory
PHOENIX – Solve a mystery at a murder mystery dinner show at The Old Spaghetti Factory on Aug. 20.

‘Noir She Didn’t’ is being presented by The Murder Mystery Co. Guests will solve a 1920s themed mystery. Sign up for a night of intrigue, deception, and delicious food in this comedic thriller. Tickets start at $60. The show starts at 5 p.m.

For more information, call (888) 643-2583 or go online to


New schedule for Peoria Unified students
PEORIA – The new school year brings a change in the Peoria Unified School District’s weekly schedule, in support of the ongoing professional development for PUSD’s 4,000 employees.

On most Mondays throughout the school year, students will be released two hours early from their originally scheduled dismissal. From Aug. 14 on, elementary schools with traditional dismissal time at 3 p.m. will instead dismiss at 1 p.m. every Monday. Elementary schools that dismiss at 3:40 p.m. will dismiss at 1:40 p.m., and high schools that dismiss at 2:20 p.m. will dismiss at 12:20 p.m. on Mondays.

Exceptions to this include Jan. 8, 2018 and Mondays in May of 2018. Within the new schedule, Peoria Unified will still observe the same traditional holiday/break schedule the community has come to expect.

For more information, visit The City of Peoria also offers before and after school care for PUSD students; visit for details.


Phoenix Cooks event, Sept. 2
PHOENIX – Phoenix Cooks is happening Sept. 2, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

At the event, food enthusiasts can sample fare from local culinary experts, with featured foods from all over the Valley. More than 30 wine, beer, and mixology sampling booths will be available. Participants will have the opportunity to learn new recipes and techniques in classroom experiences and stage demonstrations.

Tickets start at $60. The event will benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


SR 51 ramp meter adjustments continue
PHOENIX – The timing of ramp-meter signals along southbound State Route 51 are under adjustment to respond to the flow of morning rush-hour traffic, expanding an Arizona Department of Transportation program that began last fall along the freeway’s northbound on-ramps.

Instead of the ramp meters being programmed with predetermined red-light intervals, the system will use data from traffic-flow sensors embedded in the freeway’s pavement to adjust the signal timing. When morning rush-hour traffic slows, the ramp meters may hold vehicles several additional seconds to help ease the congestion.

The change involves southbound SR 51 on-ramp meters from Greenway to Thomas roads. The southbound ramp meter at Shea Boulevard isn’t currently in use.

As with the northbound State Route 51 ramp meters during the afternoon rush hour, the southbound meters may even turn off earlier in the morning based on how well freeway traffic is flowing. Drivers may notice new signs along southbound SR 51 on-ramps advising them of the signal timing changes.

Ramp meters have been in use for many years across the country and at many Phoenix-area freeway on-ramps during busy rush hours to enhance traffic flow, as well as safety, by controlling the number of vehicles entering freeways at any one time.

The upgrades along SR 51 provide a way to look at expanded capabilities of ramp-meter technology. Most ramp meters along Valley freeways are currently programmed with predetermined red-light intervals. Hours of operation for the meters have been based on historical traffic data.


Phoenix voters encouraged to turn in early ballots
PHOENIX – Early ballots have been mailed to voters on the Permanent Early Voting List and to residents who requested them in advance for the Aug. 29 Phoenix City Council Election in Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Voters should take the time they need to consider their choices and mark their ballot. However, voters who complete their ballot early are encouraged to return the ballot as soon as it is voted. Returning voted ballots as early as possible provides more time for signature verification and processing so that final results are available sooner.

Early ballots must be received by the City Clerk Department no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Aug. 29. Voters who place their voted ballot in the mail should allow for delivery time for the ballot to arrive at the City Clerk’s office by the deadline.

Another option for voters is to bring their early ballot to the City Clerk’s office, which is also serving as an in-person early voting location. The Clerk’s Office is located on the 15th floor of Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85003 and is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Early ballots also may be dropped off during voting hours at any city voting center on Saturday, Aug. 26, Monday, Aug. 28, or Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 29.

For more information about the upcoming election, contact the Phoenix City Clerk Department at (602) 261-VOTE (8683), visit, or use the 7-1-1 Relay System. 


Arizona AARP seeks tax assistance volunteers
NORTH VALLEY – The Arizona AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program and the IRS need volunteers across Arizona, in Maricopa County, and from west valley communities to provide free tax assistance to those who need help in filing their taxes.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Neighborhood volunteers are needed to electronically file tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep running computer equipment used to electronically file tax returns, manage tax sites, and do quality control.

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to apply. AARP Tax-Aide says neighborhood volunteers who are interested in learning about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free are needed, too.

Free training is available online, with classroom style training generally offered during December and January. The instruction and training materials cover how to prepare individual income tax returns, both federal and state, and how to file them electronically. Volunteer hours are flexible and the free tax help sites are located in nearby community centers, libraries, schools, and other similar places.

Locally, during the past tax season, approximately 1,200 Arizona Tax-Aide volunteers helped their neighbors by filing more than 91,000 federal and State of Arizona tax returns, generating an estimated $38.4 million in tax refunds. This refund amount includes an estimated $9.5 million in Earned Income and Child Tax credits to low income families. 

For more information on joining the Arizona AARP Tax-Aide team, visit or contact Susan Key, State Coordinator, at