News items from around the East Valley and Arizona.
2 women scam man with dementia
Police say two women scammed an 88-year-old Chandler man with dementia by taking him from a care home and using his credit cards on a $6,000 shopping spree.
The women visited the man at his senior assisted living apartment on Dec. 14 and drove him to several stores in Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix, buying more than $6,000 in merchandise. The man’s bank called his family after noticing the strange account activity. Family and staff did not recognize the women after they were shown surveillance photos.
Anyone with information is asked to call Chandler police at (480) 782-4130.
Mercedes raffle funds scholarships
Raffle tickets for a new Mercedes four-seat convertible can be purchased through the Chandler Unified School District to help the Chandler Education Foundation provide scholarships for high school graduates. The raffle is Feb. 9.
Money raised will benefit the VISION: CollegeBound program, which provides scholarships to graduating seniors in the district who maintain a 3.4 grade point average, participate in community service and have a 95 percent attendance record.
Tickets are $20 for a chance on a CLK350 valued at $54,000 from Mercedes-Benz of Chandler. Tickets are available by calling the Chandler Education Foundation at (480) 812-7633, stopping by the Chandler kiosk outside Dillard’s at the Chandler Fashion Center, or at any of the Chandler district schools.
Sex offender moves to area
A sex offender classified as an intermediate risk to the community has moved into a residence at 2226 W. Butler Drive, police said Thursday. Ruben Arzola Jr., 23, was convicted in 2001 of attempted sexual conduct with a minor — a 13-year-old female acquaintance. He served six months in jail, and is on lifetime probation. State law requires police to inform the community when a sex offender moves to the area.
Photo enforcement to begin Jan. 22
Scottsdale plans to launch its photo enforcement trial on Loop 101 on Jan. 22, with drivers receiving warnings in the mail for 30 days. Citations will start being issued Feb. 21 to motorists caught driving 11 mph over the speed limit on an eight-mile stretch of the freeway between the Scottsdale Road and 90th Street exits. Six camera stations are to be installed by Jan. 14, while two 5-by-16 foot signs warning motorists to slow their speeds are to be erected by Jan. 6. The city’s effort is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Information: (480) 312-2336.
Henderson to lead women’s group
Gayle Henderson, an award-winning agent with RE/ MAX, has been selected as director of Women of Scottsdale for 2006. Founded in 1998, Women of Scottsdale is a group of women involved in business, government, education, nonprofits and the arts that meets once a month to exchange ideas and connect with one another. For more information call (480) 391-6585 or visit
Historic documents available online
More than 50 years worth of documents, some dating to Scottsdale’s founding in 1951, from the city clerk’s office can now be viewed online. The documents include contracts, meeting agendas and minutes, ordinances and resolutions. They are available at
The Web site allows people to search by date and by document type. City Clerk Carolyn Jagger said she hopes to add a fulltext search by the end of 2006. The service is free. Information: (480) 312-2411
Horne wants delay in AIMS ruling
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne will ask for a judge to delay court orders from a recent ruling in the Flores v. State of Arizona case.
The judge ruled that English learners do not have to pass Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards to graduate because the state is not adequately funding English learner programs. The state has 15 days after the legislative session begins in January to come up with a plan to increase funding for English learners or it will be fined $500,000 daily. AIMS becomes a graduation requirement for other students starting this spring. Horne said the ruling will give English learners a "meaningless diploma."
Jennifer Pinner, (480) 898-5640
Hispanic woman to head Ariz. ACLU
The American Civil Liberty Union’s Arizona chapter picked its first Hispanic executive director on Thursday to fill a vacancy created earlier this year by eight-year leader Eleanor Eisenberg. Alessandra Soler Meetze, a former Miami Herald reporter and current ACLU Florida chapter spokeswoman, will start her post Feb. 1.
Meetze was picked unanimously by the Arizona chapter’s board of directors.
Among highlights of her seven-year career with the ACLU, Meetze has coordinated two Spanish media campaigns in Florida. No word yet on her plans for Arizona.