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NEWS ACROSS THE VALLEY
Valley and State

Phoenix posts its hottest summer and autumn in city history

PHOENIX (AP) — After having the hottest summer in its history this year, Phoenix now has had its hottest autumn ever. National Weather Service officials said Phoenix posted an average high …

Big rig driver facing charges in fatal crash near Buckeye

PHOENIX (AP) — A man was allegedly driving a commercial semi-truck on a suspended license at the time of a crash near Buckeye that killed a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detention officer last …

Navajo Nation reports 104 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is reporting 104 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. Tribal health officials also said Tuesday night that the Navajo Department of Health …
Government

Citizenship test gets harder, doubles in length

WASHINGTON — The good news for prospective citizens is that they will soon have more time to take the civics test that has long been a critical part of the citizenship process.The bad news is …
subscriber exclusive

158 military veterans housed with Mesa voucher program

Nearly 160 military veterans who had been without homes are using rental-assistance vouchers to live in Mesa in the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, with funding available for …
First responders
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police say a 14-year-old boy has died after being wounded a week ago when he was shot in an apparent accident while a friend was mishandling a firearm. Sgt. Ann Justus …
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police say a man has died after he continuously pointed a firearm that turned out to be a BB gun. Police spokeswoman Mercedes Fortune said the incident occurred Monday …
Surprise Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Desarey Acosta, a 16-year-old runaway.
Opinions: Highlighting Valley Voices
Bobby Boland

Boland: Ways to care for seniors with mental illness

Caregivers know that even small daily tasks can be a huge burden for seniors dealing with mental illness.

Gilpin: Respect others' decisions

After reading your letter in the Independent on Nov. 28, 2020, I just have one thing to say — ”Mr. Megee, mind your own business.” There is no reason whatsoever to wear a mask …
Peoria City Councilwoman Vicki Hunt

Hunt: Lots of ‘new’ headed to Old Town Peoria

Don’t let the name mislead you – there are big, new additions on the horizon for Old Town Peoria!
Things have changed in Goodyear since the city's first traffic light, at the intersection of Litchfield Road and Western Avenue, was installed around 1950.

Siegel: Goodyear growth requires planning for the future

As a resident of Goodyear during the past five years, I have seen the amazing growth throughout this community. That growth demonstrates the highly desirable environment in the city.
Steve Trussell

Trussell: State success in adverse times

Why is Arizona thriving despite the adversity we are facing? Great public policy.
More sports

The Latest: Fiorentina coach Prandelli positive for virus

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Italian club says …

Nova's Wright says bubble stay takes mental toll on players

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Villanova stayed in Connecticut's “Bubbleville” at the Mohegan Sun resort casino for a full week, playing four games, including two that were not on it schedule when …

Popovich knows filling US Olympic roster may be a challenge

Game 7 of the 2021 NBA Finals, as of now, would be played on July 22. The opening cermony of the Tokyo Olympics, as of now, would be the next day. And when presented with this potential …

Rodgers' 50th TD pass vs. Bears puts him in exclusive group

Aaron Rodgers picked apart Chicago’s defense once again last week, throwing four TD passes to give him 51 for his career against the Bears. Only Brett Favre has ever thrown more against the …
Nation

Fauci: US may see 'surge upon surge' of virus in weeks ahead

The nation's top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the U.S. may see “surge upon a surge” of the coronavirus over the coming weeks, and he does not expect current recommendations around …

Hawaii seeks to be seen as a remote workplace with a view

HONOLULU (AP) — Software engineer Raymond Berger begins his work day at 5 a.m., before the sun comes up over Hawaii. Rising early is necessary because the company he works for is in New York …
Subscriber Exclusive

Arizona, federal health officials offer holiday safety tips as COVID-19 surges

As federal and local health experts issue warnings and guidance on how to safely celebrate during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, some local residents are considering how the resurgent …

Michigan governor says she has authority for stay-home order

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she has the authority to issue a second stay-at-home order to curb the spiking coronavirus if necessary and called a comment by an adviser to …

NATO, acting US Pentagon chief discuss Afghanistan

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken to the new acting U.S. defense secretary about the alliance’s commitment to stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary, his …
World

China denies weakening sanctions enforcement on North Korea

BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday rejected U.S. accusations it is weakening its enforcement of U.N. sanctions against North Korea, but said more efforts are needed toward reaching a political …

China's space ambitions: robot on Mars, a human on the moon

BEIJING (AP) — China’s landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and …

Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow jailed

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were sentenced to jail on Wednesday on charges related to an unauthorized anti-government protest last year …

Thai leader faces court ruling that could cost him his job

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s highest court is set to rule Wednesday on whether Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has breached ethics clauses in the country’s constitution and should be ousted from …

Polish zoo captures rare mouse-deer birth on video

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A zoo in Poland says it's the first to have captured on video the birth of a rare Philippine mouse-deer, and everyone's hoping it’s a male so it can help the endangered …
Business

Walmart drops $35 minimum for its members' online orders

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers on Walmart.com who pay a $98-a-year membership fee will get free shipping on orders of any size starting Friday. Walmart announced the membership perk on Wednesday, …

Asian shares mixed on growing hopes for stimulus, vaccines

Asian shares were mixed Wednesday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite index both set fresh record highs. Shares fell in Hong Kong, Shanghai and India but rose in Tokyo and …

Australia bounces out of recession as economy grows 3.3%

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australia's economy grew by 3.3% in the third quarter, rebounding from its first recession in nearly three decades as it recovered from pandemic-related shocks, …

Judge throws out Trump rules limiting skilled-worker visas

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down two Trump administration rules designed to drastically curtail the number of visas issued each year to skilled foreign workers. The changes …

Travel

Nobel laureate says pandemic raising violence, trafficking

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad said the coronavirus pandemic has increased trafficking of women and gender-based violence, leaving the health and safety of women “on …

The Latest: Nobel laureate warns of increased trafficking

UNITED NATIONS — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad says the COVID-19 pandemic has increased trafficking of women and gender-based violence, leaving the health and safety of women “on the …

Coronavirus robs biblical Bethlehem of Christmas cheer

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — The coronavirus has cast a pall over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, all but shutting down the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace at the height of the …

The Latest: Croatia’s Prime Minister tests positive

ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Government spokesman Marko Milic says Plenkovic is feeling fine and will continue to …

Things to do

Fifth Annual Trolls Teddy Bear Run Saturday

The Fifth Annual Trolls Teddy Bear Run, benefiting the Mesa Family Resource Center and Mesa’s first responders, takes place Saturday, Dec. 5, in Gilbert. The entry fee is $10 plus the …

Winter Wonderettes Dec. 10-20 at Zao Theatre

Zao Theatre, 550 S. Ironwood Ave. in Apache Junction, reopens Dec. 10-20 with “The Winter Wonderettes” entertaining at their Harper’s Hardware Christmas party. “The Winter …

Southwest Ballet Theatre to perform ‘The Nutcracker’ in Goodyear

Southwest Ballet Theatre will stage two outdoor performances of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at King of Kings Church in Goodyear on Saturday, Dec. 12.

‘Reverse Light Parade’ Saturday in Apache Junction

Join Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department on Saturday, Dec. 5, for a new take on the city’s annual free light parade — keeping the holiday spirit and hosting a Reverse Light …

Entertainment
This image released by ABC shows  Jade Pettyjohn, from left, Jesse James Keitel and Natalie Alyn Lind in a scene from "Big Sky." Native American tribes and coalitions are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims. (Darko Sikman/ABC via AP)

'Big Sky' producers recognize Native American criticism

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making …
FILE - Elliot Page arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Umbrella Academy" on Feb. 12, 2019. Page, the Oscar-nominated actor of “Juno”, “Inception” and “The Umbrella Academy” came out as transgender on Tuesday in an announcement greeted as a watershed moment for the trans community in Hollywood. The 33-year-old actor from Nova Scotia said his decision came after a long journey and with much support from the LGBTQ community. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

'All my love, Elliot': Actor Page comes out as transgender

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, the star of “Juno," “Inception” and “The Umbrella Academy,” came out as transgender Tuesday in an announcement greeted as a watershed …
This cover image released by Quadrille shows "Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love" by Thom Elliot and James Elliot. (Quadrille via AP)

Brothers write a love letter to a food we all love — pizza

NEW YORK (AP) — Let Thanksgiving have the turkey. Let Christmas have fruitcake. Every other day, it's got to be pizza. So argue Thom and James Elliot, brothers and pizza makers from England who …
Petri Hawkins Byrd, bailiff on the reality court television program "Judge Judy," poses for portrait, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Petri Hawkins Byrd deliberates on life after 'Judge Judy'

Judith Sheindlin has been the sole judge, jury and verbal executioner for the last quarter century on her behemoth TV court show, “Judge Judy.” Her trusted bailiff, Petri Hawkins Byrd, has stood …
FILE - In this May 28, 2015 file photo, signs for Hachette Book Group are displayed at BookExpo America in New York.  The annual publishing convention and trade show, a decades-old tradition, may be coming to an end. ReedPop, which has managed BookExpo for a quarter century, announced Tuesday that it was dropping the event, along with the fan-based BookCon. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Event organizer drops BookExpo, annual publishing convention

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual publishing convention and trade show known as BookExpo, a decades-old tradition where guest speakers have ranged from Bill Clinton to Margaret Atwood, may be coming to an …