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Cops recover Avondale boy allegedly abducted by father

A Phoenix boy who went missing in 2007 after being taken to Mexico by his father has been reunited with his mother, now living in Avondale, authorities said.

The child, now 10, was recovered March 27 from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, a border town south of Yuma, and was reunited with his mother.

The father, Jarturo Ramirez-Garcia, had advised the mother in August 2007 that he was taking their son on a two-week vacation in Mexico to see the father's parents, said Manuel J. Johnson, an FBI special agent in Phoenix.

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New Palo Verde information center under construction

Work has begun on a Buckeye facility that will serve as a new information and operations center for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.

Officials, including Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, APS executives and others, gathered at the site April 8 for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

The facility, which will go up 600 N. Airport Road, about one-half mile south of Interstate 10, is set for completion in March 2011, said Betty Dayyo, a spokeswoman for Arizona Public Service Co., the Palo Verde operator.

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Buckeye to get Fresh & Easy

A new grocer is coming to Buckeye, but not any time soon.

The Buckeye Town Council on April 6 approved a preliminary plat for a 10.84-acre site on the southwest corner of Miller Road and Southern Avenue.

The development dubbed Shoppes at Miller Park is to include a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, a Chase bank and CVS Pharmacy, said Adam Zaklikowski, associate planner for Buckeye. A retail building is also planned for the site.

The request was made by Kathleen Walp of Jacobs Global Buildings on behalf of Armstrong Miller, LLC.

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Avondale man accused of sex with minor for tattoo payment

Avondale police have arrested a West Valley man they accuse of exchanging tattoos for sex with an underage girl.

Juan Lara Jr., 37, an ex-convict, was arrested April 7 and booked in a Maricopa County jail on charges of child prostitution and sexual conduct with a minor, according to booking documents.

Lara, who uses the nickname "Memo," also is being held on charges of performing tattoos on a minor without parental consent, authorities said.

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Girl escapes man with knife on way to Buckeye school

A knife-wielding man attempted to abduct a 12-year-old girl as she was riding her bicycle to a Buckeye school, police said.

The man tried to pull the girl off her bike, but she was able to pull away unharmed and continue on to school, investigators said April 8.

The student, who attends Bales Elementary School, 25400 W. Maricopa Road, reported the incident to a school resource officer, said Lt. Jared Griffith, a Buckeye police spokesman.

Now, there is "an increased police presence around our local schools," but the man has yet to be caught, he said.

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Verrado students dance away in Footloose

Without a doubt, Footloose is the biggest challenge the Verrado High School drama club has faced.

Heather Horne wouldn't want it any other way.

"It's going to be amazing," said Horne, who started the theater program and club at the four-year-old campus its first year as an after-school project; productions didn't begin until year two when theater classes were actually added to Verrado. "It's exciting to see where the program started, at almost nothing, to putting on a huge musical."

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Buckeye looks at more cuts

Like most West Valley municipalities, Buckeye is continuing to work through financial hardships to balance its budget.

On April 6, Town Finance Director Gail Reese presented current financial standings to the Town Council during a work session.

The town relies on four revenue generators: local sales tax, state-shared taxes (made up of auto lieu tax, state-shared sales tax and urban revenue sharing), property taxes and building related fees (made up of building permit fees and planning and zoning fees).

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View this issue online!

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Society Notes: April 9, 2010

Mandy Ault to marry Andrew Sievewright
Terri and Charles Ault of Goodyear have announced the engagement of their daughter, Mandy, to Andrew Sievewright, the son of Terrie and Bob Sievewright of Avondale.

The bride is employed by Arrowhead Dermatology. The bridegroom is employed by Albertsons.

The wedding is scheduled for April 24 at the Valley of the Falls Chapel at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Community Notes: April 9, 2010

Poster, b-ball contests held for youths
A poster contest for youths ages 5 to 15 and two basketball competitions are planned for April 24's Family Fun Recreation Expo at an El Mirage park.

Buckeye, in partnership with the Luke-West Valley Recreation Committee, will host the event, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in El Mirage Gateway Park, 10100 N. El Mirage Road.

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