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  • Chandler teen finishes 2nd in national essay contest

    The stock market is a cruel and complicated thing. It has made millionaires of some and broken the spirits of countless others. Yet, despite all of its intricacies, an eighth-grader from Chandler managed to make sense of it all.Emma Baier, now a freshman at ASU Polytechnic Prep High School, wrote an essay while still in eighth grade at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School that looks at the investment potential of automobile manufacturers Ford and Tesla.The essay was part of a class stock market game project, Baier’s teacher Kimberly Meyer said in an email.“I had the students keep a running journal of their experiences with the game, including current events, trends, profits and losses,” she said.At first, Baier, 14, was anything but excited about the prospect of detailing financial investments.“When I heard we were going to do the stock market game at the beginning of the year, I panicked,” Baier said in an email. “The stock market is always seen as this giant, looming, intimidating beast hanging over a student’s head. It’s presented as incredibly complicated and scary,”

  • Final concepts selected for downtown Mesa redesign

    While the concepts differ, the three finalists for the redesigned City Center in Mesa all have one thing in common: a reinvigoration of the heart of Mesa.The city has spent the last year accepting requests for qualifications from designers to remake an 18-acre plot surrounded by Main Street, Center Street, First Street and Centennial Way that encompasses City Hall and the City Council chambers. The project was part of a 2012 bond package with a total projected cost of $70 million.A total of 18 teams applied to redesign the downtown area, and the city ended up selecting three designs, each with a different view of how to better the downtown area.“We’re building a neighborhood here, not just a park,” said Carol Meyer-Reed, partner at the landscaping firm Meyer/Reed.She and the members of the design firm Otak presented their view of that design at an event hosted by the Mesa Arts Center on Thursday. The team’s design, called the Living Room Plaza, would feature a mirror pond, courtyards, housing choices, a multitude of parking spaces, offices and even a light bar Meyer-Reed said could become “Mesa’s Time Square.” The design team anticipates the cost at $50 million, but said the investment could produce between $200 million and $250 million in private investment and approximately $2.5 million in tax funding.The second design, from Woods-Bagot and Surface Design, called Mesa Central, blends in the surrounding natural aesthetics like the buttes and foothills into the design, said project manager Riki Nishimura. Landscape architect James Lord added the design also has several parking lots both above and below ground, a hydro room that connect with mist and rain, and the potential to add sports fields, a theater and exhibition space right in the middle of the area.

  • Chandler High 28, Centennial 24

  • Chandler Council set to vote on fate of ‘Elevation’

    The long-awaited demise of the Elevation Chandler building is now entering its final stages.Final development agreements about the project are on the agenda for the Sept. 8 Chandler City Council. The six-story tension steel skeleton will be down near the end of the year if all is approved.“It has been a mess of a property … we want to get the development agreement done to move forward and close on the land,” said Chandler Vice Mayor Rick Heumann.Elevation Chandler, which will remain the name of the property, has been abandoned since 2006 when original developer Jeff Cline had financial issues and construction was halted.The city is taking precaution after the failure of the first project eight years ago. Chandler City Councilmember Nora Ellen said the city is inserting impact fees into the agreement with Hines — the developer looking to purchase the land — that will include a non-refundable demolition fee. The worst-case scenario for the city is the current eyesore will be gone.An in-with-the-new process will begin for Elevation Chandler, pending the aforementioned approvals. First priority for the new Chandler Veridian project is a multi-family housing development on the south side of the plot. The housing development may even break ground before or during the taking down process of the current structure as they are on opposite ends of the property.

  • Body found in canal in Gilbert identified as teen

    Authorities say a body pulled from a Gilbert canal has been identified as missing teenager.The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office on Thursday identified the body as that of Maxwell Flancer.His mother reported him missing Tuesday night after Flancer never showed up at his father's home, located about a mile from the canal.The teen's mother found his hat floating in the canal Wednesday afternoon and called authorities.A county sheriff's dive team used an underwater robot with a camera and sonar to locate the body.Gilbert police say the cause of death hasn't been determined yet and the case remains under investigation.

  • Body found in canal in Gilbert

    Authorities say a body has been found in a Gilbert canal.Gilbert police say the body was located Wednesday afternoon in a canal near Val Vista and Williams Field roads.They say the body hasn't been identified yet.Police say clothing also was found in a canal that may have been from a runaway juvenile.They say a 15-year-old boy, Matthew Flancer, went missing Tuesday night and was last seen near the same canal about 9 p.m.

  • And all that Mraz

    Touring in support of his new album “Yes!,” Jason Mraz — the two-time Grammy-winning artist known for tunes like “I’m Yours” and “Love is a Four Letter Word” — takes the stage at Comerica Theatre along with the group Raining Jane.DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $41.50-$89.75. (602) 379-2800 or LiveNation.com.

  • Quick look: New this week at the movies

    >> This information is provided in community partnership with Harkins Theatres. For showtimes, theater locations and tickets, go to HarkinsTheatres.com.As Above, So BelowA thriller centered on two archaeologists in search of a lost treasure in the catacombs below Paris. Starring: Ben Feldman, Perdita Weeks, Edwin Hodge, James Pasierbowicz, Oscar Zhang, Josh Kervarec. RCantinflasCantinflas is the untold story of Mexico’s greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time. From his humble origins on the small stage to the bright lights of Hollywood, Cantinflas became famous around the world — one joke at a time. The film relives the laughter that charmed generations. Starring: Michael Imperioli, Óscar Jaenada, Joaquín Cosio, Teresa Ruiz, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Gabriela de la Garza, Giovanna Zacarías, Ana Layevska, Cassandra Ciangherotti. PGFrank

  • Football Friday Night out

    High school football season, that annual rite of fall, is upon us. The game is only part of the experience for football fans. It’s also about getting together with people in your community, before, during and after the contest.Each week, GetOut will highlight five games worth watching, along with a nearby restaurant to visit for a pregame meal or a postgame celebration. All the games begin at 7 p.m. Here are our picks for Week 1:Highland at Queen CreekQueen Creek Cafeand Sports Lounge(480) 888-9241 or

  • Territorial Days and Wildlife fest are Worth the Trip

    CHINO VALLEYTerritorial Capital Days Pancakes & ParadeIn need of some small-town Americana? Take a Saturday morning jaunt to Chino Valley’s annual Territorial Days celebration — themed this year around the town’s railroad history — which kicks off with a down-home pancake breakfast (served from 6 to 11 a.m.), followed by a parade (starting at 9:15 a.m.) and a day full of activities, food and vendors at Memory Park. If you’re an early riser, you can also participate in the 7:15 a.m. 2-mile or 10K races that benefit the Chino Valley High School cross country team. The Chino Valley Lions and Lionesses sponsor the event in conjunction with the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce.DETAILS >> Pancake breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m., parade at 9:15 a.m., with activities and food available until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30. Parade begins near the Heritage Middle School, 1076 N. Road 1 W. with festivities continuing throughout the day at Memory Park, 1020 W. Palomino Road. (928) 636-2493 or ChinoValley.org.PINETOP-LAKESIDEWildlife and Science Festival

  • 10 things to do this weekend and beyond

    Red Rocks Music FestivalThis four-day festival of classical chamber and operatic music starts with two concerts Thursday and Friday in Phoenix before heading to Sedona for the weekend. Thursday’s show features a quartet playing the works of Gabriel Fauré and César Franck and Friday’s performance, “The Magnificent Blend of Voice & Strings,” will include the vocal talents of soprano Ariana Wyatt and baritone Adam Margulies.DETAILS>> 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, and Friday, Aug. 29. Arizona Opera Center, 1636 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $28 for each show or $48 for both. (877) 733-7257 or RedRocksMusicFestival.com.English Country DancingThis traditional style of folk dance has been around for hundreds of years and underwent a revival in the U.S. and Great Britain in the 20th century. Steps are not difficult to learn, partners are not necessary for the classes and dress is informal.DETAILS>> 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28. The Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $7 per person. (602) 258-0109 or AZIrish.org.

  • Quick Look: New this week at the movies

    >> This information is provided in community partnership with Harkins Theatres. For showtimes, theater locations and tickets, go to HarkinsTheatres.com.A Five Star Life (subtitled)Stylish and independent, Irene is a single career woman in her forties with a job to die for. As a luxury hotel critic, she checks into the world’s finest establishments incognito to assess their standards, meticulously judging every detail from the concierge’s manners to the temperature of the food to the quality of the bedsheets. Her elegant, unattached lifestyle affords her the freedom to jet around the globe at a moment’s notice to experience a world of luxury, but doesn’t leave her with much of a personal life. On the rare occasions she’s not working, Irene’s world revolves around her absent-minded sister Silvia, two lively young nieces, and best friend — and former lover — Andrea. But when Silvia begins to deal with marital problems and Andrea faces an unexpected life change, Irene’s small support network is fractured and she struggles to balance a glamorous career with the growing desire for something more. Starring: Lesley Manville, Margherita Buy, Stefano Accorsi, Alessia Barela, Gianmarco Tognazzi. Not RatedEs El Chapo?In February, the world’s biggest drug lord, Chapo Guzman, was reportedly captured in Mazatlan, Mexico, without a single shot being fired. Many people in Mexico and the U.S. don’t believe it’s the real Chapo Guzman who was arrested. Filmmaker Charlie Minn visits the home state of Chapo Guzman in Mexico to get answers. Not RatedIf I Stay

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  • Chandler teen finishes 2nd in national essay contest

    The stock market is a cruel and complicated thing. It has made millionaires of some and broken the spirits of countless others. Yet, despite all of its intricacies, an eighth-grader from Chandler managed to make sense of it all.Emma Baier, now a freshman at ASU Polytechnic Prep High School, wrote an essay while still in eighth grade at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School that looks at the investment potential of automobile manufacturers Ford and Tesla.The essay was part of a class stock market game project, Baier’s teacher Kimberly Meyer said in an email.“I had the students keep a running journal of their experiences with the game, including current events, trends, profits and losses,” she said.At first, Baier, 14, was anything but excited about the prospect of detailing financial investments.“When I heard we were going to do the stock market game at the beginning of the year, I panicked,” Baier said in an email. “The stock market is always seen as this giant, looming, intimidating beast hanging over a student’s head. It’s presented as incredibly complicated and scary,”

  • Final concepts selected for downtown Mesa redesign

    While the concepts differ, the three finalists for the redesigned City Center in Mesa all have one thing in common: a reinvigoration of the heart of Mesa.The city has spent the last year accepting requests for qualifications from designers to remake an 18-acre plot surrounded by Main Street, Center Street, First Street and Centennial Way that encompasses City Hall and the City Council chambers. The project was part of a 2012 bond package with a total projected cost of $70 million.A total of 18 teams applied to redesign the downtown area, and the city ended up selecting three designs, each with a different view of how to better the downtown area.“We’re building a neighborhood here, not just a park,” said Carol Meyer-Reed, partner at the landscaping firm Meyer/Reed.She and the members of the design firm Otak presented their view of that design at an event hosted by the Mesa Arts Center on Thursday. The team’s design, called the Living Room Plaza, would feature a mirror pond, courtyards, housing choices, a multitude of parking spaces, offices and even a light bar Meyer-Reed said could become “Mesa’s Time Square.” The design team anticipates the cost at $50 million, but said the investment could produce between $200 million and $250 million in private investment and approximately $2.5 million in tax funding.The second design, from Woods-Bagot and Surface Design, called Mesa Central, blends in the surrounding natural aesthetics like the buttes and foothills into the design, said project manager Riki Nishimura. Landscape architect James Lord added the design also has several parking lots both above and below ground, a hydro room that connect with mist and rain, and the potential to add sports fields, a theater and exhibition space right in the middle of the area.

  • Chandler Council set to vote on fate of ‘Elevation’

    The long-awaited demise of the Elevation Chandler building is now entering its final stages.Final development agreements about the project are on the agenda for the Sept. 8 Chandler City Council. The six-story tension steel skeleton will be down near the end of the year if all is approved.“It has been a mess of a property … we want to get the development agreement done to move forward and close on the land,” said Chandler Vice Mayor Rick Heumann.Elevation Chandler, which will remain the name of the property, has been abandoned since 2006 when original developer Jeff Cline had financial issues and construction was halted.The city is taking precaution after the failure of the first project eight years ago. Chandler City Councilmember Nora Ellen said the city is inserting impact fees into the agreement with Hines — the developer looking to purchase the land — that will include a non-refundable demolition fee. The worst-case scenario for the city is the current eyesore will be gone.An in-with-the-new process will begin for Elevation Chandler, pending the aforementioned approvals. First priority for the new Chandler Veridian project is a multi-family housing development on the south side of the plot. The housing development may even break ground before or during the taking down process of the current structure as they are on opposite ends of the property.

  • Price to fill the tank dips by 2 cents

    The price of fuel for the Labor Day weekend is the second highest it’s been in five years, although it has decreased when compared to last week.Data compiled by AAA Arizona indicates the state average has dropped by 2 cents to $3.435 per gallon. Tucson and Flagstaff once again have the lowest and highest averages at $3.291 and $3.681, respectively.The national average is down by a fraction of a penny to $3.434 a gallon.

  • Chandler Chamber of Commerce organizing education forum

    The Chandler Chamber of Commerce will have a forum to discuss issues related to higher education on Sept. 4.Attendees can listen to experts in the field like Arizona State University President Michael Crow and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart discuss the importance of having a post-secondary degree for business success.The event will take place at Crowne Plaza San Marcos, located at 1 N. San Marcos Place, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. For more information visit http://business.chandlerchamber.com/events/details/education-forum-breakfast-8376.

  • Ovation at Tempe complex purchased for $25.85 million

    Passco InSite, LLC has purchased a multifamily complex in Tempe for more than $25 million.Passco Insite, which is a joint venture between Passco Companies, LLC and InSite Investment Realty, acquired the 270-unit Ovation at Tempe for $25.85 million. The company intends to renovate the facility to upgrade unit interiors, add carports and other amenities, and better Ovation’s exterior.

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  • Engineering for Kids Summer Camp

    Engineering for Kids offering STEM Based Summer Camps at Primavera in Chandler. Announces Summer Camp Open House on May 17thWhat is East Valley Engineering for Kids?Engineering for Kids is an enrichment program that teaches concepts on a variety of engineering fields in classes and camps for kids’ ages 4-14. We want to spark an interest in the kids for science, technology and engineering. The camps are all themes based and require the kids to work in teams to address engineering challenges and problems. All programs meet national education standards for STEM and align with Common Core for math and science. Engineering for Kids has operated since 2009, is in 26 states and 4 countries. When and what is the open house for?The open house on May 17th is an opportunity for parents to come and see the facility, meet the staff from Engineering for Kids, and get their questions answered. The summer camps will be offered at Primavera Blended Learning Center at 2451 N. Arizona Avenue in Chandler. The open house is from 11 am to 3 pm.  From 1-2 pm we’re having our popular robotics workshop where the kids will build, program, test and improve the robots. At the end of the workshop, the kids will compete against each other in a Sumo Bot tournament. An RSVP is highly recommended as seating is limited. Please email your RSVP to eastvalley@engineeringforkids.net. What is Primavera Blended Learning Center?

  • Keeping the Faith: Belief, not belligerency

    “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” These are the words of Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ first disciples, written to some of the first and earliest Christians. And like most words put down on paper, these instructions have not always honored the intent of the author.Peter wrote this during a time when Christianity was new, unheard of in most places, and very often viewed with suspicion. Thus, a graceful and thoughtful explanation “for the hope that you have” was absolutely required. Thousands of years later, Christianity is still handled with suspicion by many. Not because it is a novel invention, but because a large core of its adherents have misapplied Simon Peter’s good words.Having a “prepared answer” — that is a ready opportunity to interact, dialogue, and discuss beliefs with others — has been replaced with defensiveness, anger, and out-and-out hostility toward those who see things differently. Many have forgotten to read the second half of old St. Pete’s instructions: “But do this in a gentle and respectful way,” he said.Yes, I am a follower of Jesus. Yes, I consider myself a Christian (on most days). Yes, there are a number of essential beliefs important to me and to which I hold. Yes, some of these beliefs are in conflict with the beliefs of others, and these conflicts are not easily dismissed. But my beliefs, as important as they may be, do not give me the right to be belligerent toward others who do not share my beliefs.I will allow that Christians aren’t the only ones who behave this way. Devotees to other faiths, politicians of all parties and persuasions, soccer fans, college alumni, and those with all manner of competing opinions will attack, degrade, and smear those they consider their opponents. The intent, it seems, is clear: Win the argument at all costs.This cutthroat way of life is consuming every facet of our society, resulting in a complete collapse of common civility — that’s a column unto itself — and there is no relief on the near horizon. Anywhere there is an “us” versus “them” attitude there will be nothing but antagonism and disappointment until “them/they” are somehow rehabilitated or totally vanquished in favor of “us/we.”

  • Take me Home: Beautiful Hannah is a great companion

    Hannah is a beautiful girl, estimated to be a 2-year-old Shepherd blend. She originally was found as a stray in Yuma. She weighs more than 60 pounds. Hannah is a great companion for humans, however, not so much for other animals. She becomes possessive if dogs are around and want her toys or her food. She’ll need to be the only animal in the home because of this. She can and does, however, interact with other dogs when there are no toys or food around.Hannah isn’t too great with her doggy manners upon meeting new dog friends. Volunteers at the shelter say she’s an awesome dog with people and they have no doubt that even though she needs to be the only animal in the home she’ll be enough to fill the role of companion. She’s been spayed, microchipped and is up to date on vaccinations. Her adoption fee is $125. Hannah calls Friends for Life Animal Rescue in downtown Gilbert home for now until a forever family is found.To learn more about Hannah, contact Friends for Life at (480) 497-8296 or visit www.azfriends.org.

  • Chandler Regional opens new tower for trauma program

    Chandler Regional Medical Center will now be able to better serve the most critically injured patients in the East Valley.The new five-story, 96-bed, $125 million Tower C includes four state-of-the-art trauma bays, two helipads and six new operating rooms.Chandler Regional Medical Center was designated a Level I trauma center in March 2014, meaning it now serves the severest of injuries.“We’ve brought in a lot of rooms, spaces, equipment to support the trauma program,” said Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. “This is the place where the most critically injured patients in the hospital will come.”In addition to the trauma center, Tower C includes an expanded, 32-bed intensive care unit.Bricker said the unit is divided into zones to deal with different types of medical situations.

  • Shapiro: Everyone has their own bag of troubles, it’s how we handle them

    My grandmother told me about the Tree of Troubles.In a certain small town, each person groaned under the pain of life. This one suffered from a constant toothache. That one’s husband couldn’t keep a job. Another’s child had died young; his neighbor had been an orphan. Everyone suffered and, looking at his or her fellows, envied the easy lives they led. Everyone wanted what the others had.The townspeople conceived of a way to be done with their problems once and for all. They determined that each person would pack a bag with his or her troubles. They would carry their bags to the large tree on the hill outside town and leave them hanging on the branches. Over the course of the week, they’d each return, open the other bags, and consider each other’s problems. In seven days, they’d select another person’s bag of troubles, take them as their own, and be done with their former struggles forever.When the week was over and all the parcels were picked through, they each decided to retrieve their own bag, and return to the lives they had known. They were better off than they had realized.As I rabbi, I’m invited into people’s lives in profound ways. I visit them in the hospital or hospice. I hear of their marital struggles, job woes, addictions, anger and grief. I have come to see that all of us lead complicated lives, that no one’s bag of troubles is empty. Through my work, I’ve gained what the townspeople didn’t originally have — empathy. Whether we know it or not, everyone around us is struggling. The choice we make is whether to focus exclusively on our own bag of troubles, or to seek to alleviate someone else’s burden.Each day, we have the chance to help another person — to listen, to care, to pitch in.

  • Health care laws providing more access for Mesa residents

    Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and Arizona’s expansion of Medicaid, health care may be more available to residents in Mesa and the rest of the East Valley than it ever has before.Since January, nearly 300,000 people across Arizona have signed up for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). More than 120,000 Arizona residents signed up through the marketplace during the enrollment period.While these numbers are tougher to parse out to the city and county levels, it does mean a lot more people have access to affordable health care.“As a result of the growth in AHCCCS and marketplace coverage, health care systems across the state, including Banner Health, are seeing a decrease in uncompensated care,” said Corey Schubert, public relations specialist for Banner Health, in an email.That doesn’t mean that everything is coming up roses for everyone. Dr. Brent Nelson, area medical director for NextCare, says some have traded a lack of coverage for other deficits.“Anecdotally, it does appear that we see more uninsured patients now than we have in the past, but we are also seeing some of those uninsured people transition onto plans,” said Nelson. “What we also notice is that many people have a much higher deductible, so a lot of the visit charges are out-of-pocket expenses for the patients.”

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