Around Chandler

Chandler man sentenced to 20 years for exploiting a minor

A Chandler man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually-exploiting a minor, sex trafficking, and other crimes.

Devon Ray Sharma, 28, was convicted of convincing his victims to send him sexually-exploitative images online. Once he received them, he would blackmail his victims to either pay or have sex with him.

The crimes took place between 2016 and 2020. Chandler Police investigated the case. The 20-year sentence is the maximum allowed under a plea bargain. He will be under lifetime probation when he is released.

Sharma is considered a prolific offender who would convince his victims to send him sexually exploitative images under false premises of being movie producer or a female,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said.

Sharma would then extort the women to pay him or have coercive sex with him in exchange for not destroying their lives by sending the images to family and friends or posting on the internet for massive distribution.”

 

Chandler ranks sixth nationally for digital cities in new study

Chandler is among the top 10 nationally for digital cities. The Center for Digital Government ranked the city sixth among those with a population between 250,000 and less than 500,000.

The survey looked at cities that tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity with their use of technology.

 

Kroger awards $20,000 grant

to Rice Elementary

Kroger is awarding a $20,000 grant to Rice Elementary to help with the school’s outdoor learning space.

The money is coming from the company’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation. Kroger operates locally as Frys Food Stores.

Students will learn about growing food, alternate food production methods, composting, reducing waste, and how the environment impacts plant and animal life,” Principal Shirley Mathew said.

The partnership allows us to support our vision of being sustainable, serve the community, organize fun, educational programs and be able to bring the community to our school for a greater purpose,”

 

Chandler nonprofit Si Si Puede gets $5,000 grant from Intel

Intel is giving Chandler nonprofit Si Si Puede a $5,000 grant to help improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

Si Si Puede was founded in 1993 and has worked with thousands of Chandler-area youth. Intel employees have volunteered more than 4,000 hours for the nonprofit.

 

Man and woman killed, another woman attacked

A man and woman are dead after a shooting at a Chandler apartment on Nov. 9. The suspect was caught by a neighbor after he had invaded their home and assaulted another woman.

Korey William Sandusky Jr., a convicted felon from Michigan, was booked into Maricopa County jail on charges of aggravated assault, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person. Additional charges may be added after the investigation concludes.

Police received a call about a possible shooting at the apartment on West Fairview Street. As they were investigating that, they received another call from a nearby apartment about a home invasion and were told the victim was holding the suspect by gunpoint. 

Police found a male and female victim with gunshot wounds in the first apartment. The man died soon after. The woman died a couple of days later. Sandusky allegedly fled after the shooting and entered the second victim’s backyard. They spotted him standing near a tool shed, where firearms were later discovered. 

The suspect allegedly rushed past the man and began assaulting the woman. The neighbor retrieved his firearm and later held the suspect until police arrived.

City offering cancer screening

to first responders

The Chandler Fire Department is now offering cancer screening to its first responders as the latest in a series of measures to reduce and mitigate exposure to carcinogens.

City Council has approved a $963,400 grant agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the use of $96,340 in City funds for the purchase of enhanced cancer prevention and diagnosis services from Vincere Cancer Center. Those services provide Chandler Fire personnel with access to a wide variety of screenings, scans, blood work and other tests for early detection of cancers through May 2024.

The cancer screening services add to the menu of mitigation steps being taken by the Chandler Fire Department to limit exposure to carcinogens found in smoke and off gassing chemicals and materials,” the city said in an announcement.

Chandler’s efforts begin on the scene of incidents through procedures and personal protective equipment that reduce firefighter exposure to hazardous substances. Firefighters then take extensive decontamination measures after incidents and training exercises as well as report exposures to smoke and other combustible materials.”

Each firefighter is outfitted with two complete sets of turnouts so that one set can be cleaned after an exposure. Chandler Fire also is purchasing extractors, a type of powerful washing machine, for each fire station to expedite the cleaning process for turnouts. 

Even the design and use of fire stations have been altered to incorporate transition rooms and create distance between the apparatus bay and firefighter living quarters, which further limits exposure to diesel fumes and hazardous substances. 

 

Armer Foundation launches

toy drive for Banner

The Armer Foundation – a non-profit that helps families with children who have extreme medical needs – is hosting its fourth annual holiday toy drive to benefit the Banner Cardon Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Oncology Unit.

The foundation is looking for Valley business that would host a donation bin and serve as a drop-off location for the unopened toys to bring smiles and hope to children battling for their lives.

A brand-new toy can mean the world to a sick child and as parents who have been through this we know what a difference just one toy can make in a child’s life when they spend several weeks in hospital,” said Jennifer Armer, the foundation’s founder.

The foundation also is hoping for toy donations.

It can be as big of a toy or as small as you can afford, but every little bit helps us give back to these children and their families. We just thank everyone for helping us spread some holiday cheer once again this year,” Armer said.

To sign up for a donation box, go toarmerfoundation.org or call 480-257-3254.

Other items the Armer Foundation will be collecting include: baby dolls, blankets, comfy socks, crayons, pajama pants, hair brush/comb, hair ties, coloring books, kids’ games and books, puzzles and stuffed animals.

Information: armerfoundation.org/toydrive.

 

FuelFest coming to Wild Horse Pass

FuelFest is returning to the Valley on Dec. 10 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Dec. 10. Money raised from the event benefits Reach Out WorldWide, the nonprofit started by Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, who died in a car collision in 2013. His brother, Cody, runs the nonprofit now.

The event brings together racing fans, celebrities, music, food and art. There will be hundreds of custom, exotic, rare and exclusive cars and trucks to view, as well as live racing and interactive exhibits.

Tickets are $35. Visit fuelfest.com for more information.

 

Hadassah chapter invites

Chandler women to join

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is a volunteer organization that inspires a passion for and commitment to the land, the people, and the future of Israel.  Devorah Hadassah is the Southeast Valley, which is inviting area women to join its activities.

For more information contact: Eliana Bar-Shalom at 860-377-7126 or ebarshalom.eb@gmail.com.

Live Nativity scene is returning to

Ahwatukee on Dec. 9 with a camel

The free live Nativity that has become an annual staple in the community at Christmastime is returning

Featuring live animals – including a camel – it will be outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, 2955 East Frye Road, next to Desert Vista High School, 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

An outdoor luminary path to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.

Free hot cocoa is provided and free parking is at Desert Vista High.

 

Armer Foundation launches toy, blood drives to help families

The Armer Foundation for Kids – an Ahwatukee-based non-profit that helps families with children who have extreme medical needs – is hosting its fourth annual holiday toy drive to benefit the Banner Cardon pediatric intensive care and oncology units.

It also has scheduled a blood drive 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 10 at 9830 S. 51st St., Ahwatukee.

The foundation is looking for Valley business that would host a donation bin and serve as a drop-off location for the unopened toys to bring smiles and hope to children battling for their lives.

A brand-new toy can mean the world to a sick child and as parents who have been through this we know what a difference just one toy can make in a child’s life when they spend several weeks in hospital,” said Jennifer Armer, the foundation’s founder.

The foundation also is hoping for toy donations.

It can be as big of a toy or as small as you can afford, but every little bit helps us give back to these children and their families. We just thank everyone for helping us spread some holiday cheer once again this year,” said Armer.

To sign up for a donation box, go toarmerfoundation.org or call 480.257.3254.

Other items the Armer Foundation will be collecting include: baby dolls, blankets, comfy socks, crayons, pajama pants, hair brush/comb, hair ties, coloring books, kids’ games and books, puzzles and stuffed animals.

Information: armerfoundation.org/toydrive.   

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