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  • Man killed in Mesa assisted living fire

    Authorities are investigating after a fire at an assisted living facility in Mesa Wednesday night.The fire started around 7:30 p.m. near Brown and Grand Roads.Mesa firefighters told ABC15, when they arrived on scene, they found a 71-year-old man deceased inside his apartment.Officials are still trying to determine if the man died from the fire or a medical condition.Fire officials said they were able to quickly extinguish the blaze which was isolated to the victim's unit.The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

  • Brewer vetoes measure that would create crime for gun theft

    Calling the measure unnecessary, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a measure Wednesday that would have created a whole new crime for taking away someone else's gun.HB 2338 would have said someone who does that is guilty of aggravated assault. That's a Class 4 felony and carries a presumptive prison term of 2 1/2 years.But Brewer, in her veto message, questioned the need.“Current law already provides appropriate penalties for the conduct described in this legislation,” she wrote.That is the exact same argument that House Minority Leader Chad Campbell made to colleagues in his unsuccessful attempt to block the measure. He pointed out that it's already a crime to steal someone's gun. That's a Class 6 felony with a one-year presumptive prison term.Burglary of a home is a Class 3 felony carrying a 3 1/2 year presumptive prison term. Campbell said if criminals are not deterred by that penalty, he doubts that stacking another charge on top would make a difference.

  • Six people tied to uninvestigated child abuse cases fired

    Six state workers associated with having nearly 6,600 reports of child abuse ignored were fired Wednesday.Charles Flanagan, head of the new Division of Child Safety and Family Services, said five were people who were part of a special team charged with handling the backlog of cases at what was at the time Child Protective Services. He said they were found to have been instrumental in crafting and implementing a policy that resulted in ignoring state laws that require all complaints be investigated.Flanagan said the firing came after review of an extensive investigation conducted by the state Department of Public Safety of exactly who was accountable for ignoring the law. He said these are the people most responsible.Separately, Clarence Carter, director of the Department of Economic Security, fired a sixth, Sharon Sergent, who had been deputy director of programs at his agency. The DPS report said she had oversight of what had been Child Protective Services and that she was aware that complaints were not being investigated.But Flanagan said that DPS report found no evidence that Carter, who had been in charge of what was Child Protective Services until the duties were removed from him last year by Gov. Jan Brewer, knew of the unofficial policy of marking cases NI, as in “not for investigation.” He would not answer, though, whether he thought Carter should have been aware of what was going on at the agency.The report apparently satisfied the governor: Press aide Andrew Wilder said Carter remains a part of the Brewer administration.

  • Date Street expected to reopen this afternoon

    The portion of Date Street closed off yesterday due to a water main break is scheduled to reopen later today.A release sent by the city of Mesa states the section between Rio Salado Parkway and 8th Place should reopen in the midafternoon. Repairs to the water main break began on Sunday evening and required large amounts of asphalt repair work. Also scheduled to open this afternoon is the westbound right lane of Rio Salado Parkway.

  • SanTan set to expand to SoCal

    The long wait for SanTan Brewing Company’s out-of-state expansion is nearly over.The Chandler-based brewery announced this week it is teaming up with Reyes Beverage Group to introduce its uniquely southwestern style craft ales to the Southern California marketplace. Distribution is expected to begin later this month.SanTan Brewing, which in 2012 was rated the country’s 14th fastest growing craft brewery by The New Yorker, plans to begin distributing its core beers — Devil’s Ale, HopShock IPA, Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer — as well as a SanTan variety pack.The Reyes Beverage Group will SanTan reach craft beer retail and tap accounts throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. Reyes Beverage Group California beer distributorships include Crest Beverage in San Diego, Gate City Beverage Distributors in San Bernardino, Allied Beverages in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and Harbor Distributing in Orange County and Los Angeles.“We believe in true partnerships with friends that are committed to educating, serving and selling craft beer in America,” Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing founder and brewmaster, said. “Reyes Beverage Group have undisputedly dedicated their houses to the development of the American craft revolution, which is part of our mission at SanTan Brewing.”Social media will play a key role in the launch. SanTan Brewing has set up a dedicated Facebook page to keep thirsty fans in SoCal updated on where to find SanTan beers on tap and in cans.

  • Mesa mother, daughter found after murder/suicide

    Police believe that a woman and girl found dead in a Mesa home Monday were part of a murder/suicide.Officers responded to a home on East Ingram Street Monday afternoon after a man arrived home from work and found his wife and daughter dead.Police have identified the 45-year-old woman as Marcia Wentzel and the 12-year-old girl as her daughter Caitlin.Both had reportedly been suffering from "debilitating, long-term medical conditions," according to Mesa police.Inside the home, officials also found two suicide notes.It appears that the cause of death may have been asphyxiation or prescription drug overdose, but a medical examiner has not yet confirmed the cause.

  • 'Dead Man’s Cell Phone' rings at MCC

    Mesa Community College’s Theatre Department stages “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” an imaginative new comedy and Pulitzer Prize finalist for Best Play about a woman forced to confront her assumptions about mortality, redemption and the need to connect in a technology-obsessed world.DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 24-25, 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26. MCC Theatre, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa. $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. (480) 461-7172 or EZticketlive.com/mcc.

  • Family gaming events highlights scientific problem solving

    Parents and their kids ages 9-13 are invited to play video games that encourage and promote scientific problem solving at the state’s premiere family science venue. The event is free but pre-registration is required.DETAILS >> 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 26. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. Free. (602) 716-2000 or AZScience.org.

  • Fractured Prune Doughnuts to open in Chandler

    Chandler will welcome Fractured Prune Doughnuts — known for always-hot doughnuts, hand dipped and topped to order — on April 29.The first of many Fractured Prune shops expected in Arizona opens at 6 a.m. that day at the northeast corner of Ray and Rural roads. The first 100 customers in-store will be treated to a giveaway.Customers can choose from 19 glazes and 14 toppings, as well as a specialty doughnut menu with flavors like French Toast (maple glaze and cinnamon sugar), Blueberry Hill (blueberry glaze and powdered sugar) and Caramel Bliss (caramel glaze and mini chocolate chips).Founded in 1976 in Ocean City, Md., Fractured Prune Doughnuts are named after the spunky Prunella Shriek, known as “Fractured Prunella” for the broken bones she suffered from competing in traditionally men’s sports, even into her 70s.For information, visit FracturedPrune.com.

  • Laura Walsh gives free concert in Tempe

    Nashville recording artist and Arizona native, Laura Walsh, is actively involved in the Southwest music scene. Debuting her brand new album, Take Your Time, Laura has been featured as a pre-show opener for Miranda Lambert and Sugarland.

  • Live music at DVine's

    Grab a bite to eat while enjoying a live piano performance from John Burak.

  • 'In Living Color' comedians perform in Chandler

    Tommy Davidson and David Alan Grier bring the In Living Color Comedy Tour to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. Davidson and Grier gained notoriety on the wildly popular comedy show In Living Color with hilarious sketch comedy routines.

Tech Data Doctors Deals

  • SanTan Village installs almost 3,000 solar panels

    SanTan Village completed the installation of 2,877 solar panels on the shopping center’s rooftops.According to a press release, the panels are out of sight on the roof but are expeted to yield approximately 758 kilowatts of clean energy, or enough to power 110 homes.For more information on SanTan’s solar initiatives, visit www.shopsantanvillage.com/About/Sustainability.

  • Westminster College shutting down Mesa campus due to low enrollment

    Westminster College has decided to close its Mesa campus at the end of the spring semester.Officials at the private Missouri-based institution say the decision announced Tuesday is in response to lower-than-expected enrollment and market demand.The Mesa campus opened last fall. It was the result of a partnership between the city and Westminster that followed a call by the city to attract liberal arts colleges to the growing community.After studying the market, Westminster joined with three other institutions to offer services for undergraduate students in Mesa.Westminster President George Forsythe says a number of colleges and universities have entered the Valley in the past three years, making for more competition.Westminster says it's working with the Higher Learning Commission to develop a plan to help current students continue their education.

  • SanTan set to expand to SoCal

    The long wait for SanTan Brewing Company’s out-of-state expansion is nearly over.The Chandler-based brewery announced this week it is teaming up with Reyes Beverage Group to introduce its uniquely southwestern style craft ales to the Southern California marketplace. Distribution is expected to begin later this month.SanTan Brewing, which in 2012 was rated the country’s 14th fastest growing craft brewery by The New Yorker, plans to begin distributing its core beers — Devil’s Ale, HopShock IPA, Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer — as well as a SanTan variety pack.The Reyes Beverage Group will SanTan reach craft beer retail and tap accounts throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. Reyes Beverage Group California beer distributorships include Crest Beverage in San Diego, Gate City Beverage Distributors in San Bernardino, Allied Beverages in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and Harbor Distributing in Orange County and Los Angeles.“We believe in true partnerships with friends that are committed to educating, serving and selling craft beer in America,” Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing founder and brewmaster, said. “Reyes Beverage Group have undisputedly dedicated their houses to the development of the American craft revolution, which is part of our mission at SanTan Brewing.”Social media will play a key role in the launch. SanTan Brewing has set up a dedicated Facebook page to keep thirsty fans in SoCal updated on where to find SanTan beers on tap and in cans.

  • Glendale won't receive state aid for Super Bowl security

    Glendale will not be getting help from the rest of the state to cover the cost of public safety at next year's Super Bowl.On a 16-10 vote the Senate rejected legislation to reimburse the city for half of its costs, up to $2 million. Opposition came from both sides of the political aisle.Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, said the issue is strictly one of who should be responsible for paying for public safety for the 2015 event.“My constituents in Tucson will not see the benefits from this bill,” he said.“People may come to these big events in the Maricopa County area,” Farley said. “Chances are they're not going to spend their money in Southern Arizona, they're not going to spend their money in Northern Arizona.”He said if there's a financial benefit, whether to Glendale or the immediate area, that is where the cost should be borne.

  • State Senate votes to remove blocks to alternative transportation services

    State senators voted 20-8 Tuesday to remove what they said are legal impediments to alternative “transportation services” like Lyft and Uber, paving the way for them to compete with taxis in Arizona.In an often-heated debate, supporters agreed that the companies – and the individuals who drive for them – should not be subject to all the same regulations as traditional taxi firms. Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, who is championing these alternatives, said there is no reason for some of the insurance and drug-testing requirements to be applied.“They're different entities,” she said, even if both provide rides. HB 2262 now goes to the House which has not considered the issue.The two companies have a business model built on ordering up rides online. Companies then send out messages to individuals who, using their own vehicles, are willing to pick up patrons and, for a fee, take them to their destination.Passengers pay the fee online, with the company forwarding a share of that to the driver.One of the big concerns is the question of whether these motorists are actually insured.

  • Bill to allow residents to bring guns into public buildings quashed by Brewer

    Arizonans will not be allowed bring their guns into public buildings, at least not this year.Gov. Jan Brewer this afternoon vetoed HB 2339 which would have allowed those who have a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon to ignore a “no guns” sign posted at the door. The only way a government agency could keep out all weapons would have been to install metal detectors and place armed guards at each public entrance.Separately, Brewer vetoed legislation to add more teeth to existing laws that pre-empt the right of cities to enact their own gun laws.HB 2517 would have required a court to assess a fine of up to $5,000 against any elected or appointed government official, or the head of any administrative agency, if there is a knowing and willful enactment of a local gun law that exceeds the restrictions permitted by the state.That same measure also would have precluded the use of public funds to defend or reimburse someone found guilty of breaking the law for his or her legal costs. And it would have permitted individuals and gun-rights groups to sue local officials and, if they are successful, get reimbursed for actual damages of up to $100,000.But the measure with the larger impact would have been HB 2339

Pets Food Health TV Travel

  • Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

    WASHINGTON — While scientists believe the universe began with a Big Bang, most Americans put a big question mark on the concept, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.Yet when it comes to smoking causing cancer or that a genetic code determines who we are, the doubts disappear.When considering concepts scientists consider truths, Americans have more skepticism than confidence in those that are farther away from our bodies in scope and time: global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and especially the Big Bang from 13.8 billion years ago.Rather than quizzing scientific knowledge, the survey asked people to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.On some, there's broad acceptance. Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory.

  • Aesthetics-minded Americans decry Paris love locks

    PARIS — Without love, what is Paris? And yet what is a trip to Paris without unfettered vistas of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre or Notre Dame from bridges over the River Seine?Concerns about scenery are clashing with sentimentality in this reputed City of Love over a profusion of padlocks hitched by lovers on bridges as symbols of everlasting "amour" — locks that some decry as an eyesore.Part of a global phenomenon, the craze has grown in Paris recently and now two American women who call Paris home have had enough. They've launched a petition to try to get the city's mostly laissez-faire officials to do something. City leaders say they're exploring alternatives.In urban myth, it goes like this: Latch a padlock to a bridge railing and chuck the key into the water as you make a wish. Some say the tradition has its roots in 19th-century Hungary. Others cite a recent Italian novel as the inspiration.Campaigners Lisa Taylor Huff and Lisa Anselmo are denouncing what they call a padlock plague, warning of alleged safety risks and arguing the craze is now a cliche. Their petition, at www.change.org , says "the heart of Paris has been made ugly" by the locks and the Seine has been polluted by thousands of keys.Plus, they say, tourists shouldn't be fooled: The locks aren't forever. City crews regularly remove them as they replace damaged structures. One strained rail weighing 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) was recently taken down, a Paris official said.

  • Bee-friendly garden can help struggling species

    Bees are pulling a disappearing act. Honeybees are vanishing from their hives. Bumblebee numbers have crashed so radically that some species are believed extinct. Even native solitary bees are in decline. Food supplies dependent upon pollinators are threatened.But gardeners can help.There is no single explanation for what is causing the pollinator losses, said Matt O'Neal, an associate professor of entomology at Iowa State University."There are multiple sources of stress," he said. "There are your basic pests, also pathogens like viruses, pesticide exposure and land use practices reducing the kinds of forages bees can feed on. It looks like a combination of all those."As insect pollinators, bees broaden our diets beyond meats and wind-pollinated grains. An estimated one-third of all foods and beverages are made possible by pollination, mainly by honeybees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. Pollinators also are essential for flowering plants and entire plant communities."Common species are disappearing at a dramatic rate. I'm terrified in the extreme," said Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Portland, Ore. "I worry in particular about pollinator species with limited ranges and that have unique habitat requirements that are being threatened. A lot of species are dropping out of the landscape."

  • A springtime take on the classic crabcake

    As the weather gets warmer, I cook lighter. And in The Husband's taxonomy of food, crabcakes are relatively light. So I thought I'd employ of couple of seasonal stars — peas and radishes — to put a spring spin on them.I blithely went shopping for fresh crabmeat at my local market, but found to my horror that it's almost unaffordably pricey — and that pasteurized refrigerated crabmeat isn't much cheaper. In search of an ingredient with which to stretch the crab (I thought of it as Crab Helper), I settled on boiled shrimp, which are readily available, but not astronomically expensive. Happily, the crab and the shrimp played very nicely together.As this also is the season for fresh peas, I added some of them to the crab/shrimp mix. Their natural sweetness chimes in well with the shellfish, and they add a little crunchy pop to the texture of the cakes.Flavor and texture aside, I used to discount the nutritional value of peas, until I finally scrutinized the data and discovered that the little fellers are packed with protein, fiber and micronutrients. If you find fresh peas at the farmer's market, by all means scoop them up. But keep in mind that the sugar in fresh peas starts turning to starch the minute they're harvested, so be sure to bring them home, shell them and boil them right away.And if your only option is frozen peas, don't despair. Those guys are picked at the height of their ripeness and blanched immediately in water, which sets their flavor and texture.We bind up the cakes with eggs, mayonnaise and panko breadcrumbs, then season them with tarragon, which always teams up nicely with both shellfish and peas. If you're not a fan of tarragon, which is unpleasantly reminiscent of licorice to some folks, substitute some dill, chives or parsley. The panko does double duty, thickening the interior of the cakes and adding crunch to their crust. And as long as you brown the cakes in a nonstick or stick-resistant skillet, you won't have to use much oil.

  • New Americans turn to goats to address food demand

    COLCHESTER, Vt. — A bunch of kids in a minivan are solving twin challenges in northern Vermont: refugees struggling to find the food of their homelands and farmers looking to offload unwanted livestock.The half dozen kids — that is, baby goats — that arrived last week at Pine Island Farm were the latest additions to the Vermont Goat Collaborative, a project that brings together new Americans hungry for goat meat with dairy goat farmers who have no need for young male animals. Some dairy farmers who otherwise would discard bucklings at birth or spend valuable time finding homes for them now can send them to Colchester, where they will be raised and sold to refugees, some of whom have spent full days traveling to Boston or New Hampshire for fresh goat, or have settled for imported frozen meat.When community organizer Karen Freudenberger realized that the roughly 6,000 new Americans from southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere living in the Burlington area were buying what amounted to 3,000 goats a year from Australia and New Zealand, she saw an opportunity. Since some of them had been farmers raising goats in their native countries, why couldn't they do it in Vermont, prized for its working landscape and locally raised foods?"People keep saying, are you sure you can sell all those goats? We are sure we can sell all those goats," said Freudenberger, who helped launch the project.Now in its second year, the collaborative includes two families from Bhutan and Rwanda who are raising about 200 baby goats that will be slaughtered on site and sold in the fall.While there are no federal statistics on goat meat consumption, the USDA says demand for it is increasing, driven in part by a growth in ethnic populations. The U.S. had 2.3 million head of meat goats in January 2013, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, with Texas producing the most, followed by Tennessee.

  • Philly's 13th St. brings good luck to great food

    PHILADELPHIA — Tourism officials will tell you the restaurant-rich area at the heart of downtown is called Midtown Village, but that moniker hasn't entirely caught on with the locals.The good news is that it doesn't matter what you call it. Philadelphia food-lovers just know 13th Street — which runs through the center of the neighborhood — as a vibrant area chockfull of great eateries and wine bars, a place to get anything from artisanal pizza and gourmet vegan to Asian fusion and modern Indian. And don't forget the freshly made prickly-pear gelato for dessert.While the city boasts many foodie destinations — from Fishtown in the north to East Passyunk in the south — Midtown Village is the most centrally located, sitting in the shadow of City Hall between the Liberty Bell and tony Rittenhouse Square.The once-seedy 13th Street corridor has been transformed in recent years in part through the efforts of chef Marcie Turney and her partner Valerie Safran. Their portfolio of restaurants, upscale gift shops and grocery store became core elements of the casually hip district.Among their properties: perpetually popular Barbuzzo, which offers a Mediterranean kitchen and bar; Jamonera, a Spanish wine bar with an extensive sherry list; and the relatively new Italian dining room Little Nonna's. Their innovative take on Mexican food, Lolita, was scheduled to reopen in April after undergoing renovations.Another Mexican outpost is the hard-to-miss El Vez, a gregarious emporium from hometown restaurateur Stephen Starr. And across the street is the eye-catching Sampan and its semi-hidden Graffiti Bar, both offering a contemporary Asian menu from chef Michael Schulson.

Local Guitar Group Meets in Downtown Mesa

A local guitar group based in Mesa, Ariz. meets every other sunday for musical fun, community,...

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