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The Goodyear City Council approved the addition of Juneteenth to the city’s official holidays, starting in 2022. The council voted unanimously on the decision at the Nov. 15 council meeting and the city will now observe the holiday annually on June 19.

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Although Thanksgiving is technically celebrated on Nov. 25 this year, 400 Arizona teachers — including more than 60 in the West Valley — feted it early.

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Valor Preparatory Academy Principal Dan Mahlandt believes the “Factory Model of Education” has become outdated. 

Tia Silva of Litchfield Park earned dean’s list with distinction honors at William Peace University in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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GreenPal, a Nashville-based app that connects homeowners with local, vetted lawn care professionals, has expanded to Avondale.

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Highland Prep West broke ground on its new, 42,285-square-foot facility in Avondale on Nov. 5. The new public charter high school is being built on nearly 10 acres at 12235 W. Van Buren Street in Avondale.

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Phoenix teenager Efrain Escobar was shot multiple times and killed, allegedly over a girl, outside of a Buckeye QT.

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The Buckeye Police Department has been awarded two grants from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help prevent traffic accidents caused by speed, impairment and aggressive driving.  

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The American Red Cross continues to address an ongoing emergency blood shortage, and donors are urged to give now to combat the lowest blood supply levels at this time of year in more than a decade. 

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On Nov. 19, the Goodyear 75th Anniversary Carnival will be held at Goodyear Civic Square at GSQ. The new park is opening to the public for this one night only until the entire project is finished next summer.

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Efrain Casillas schooled himself in mariachi so he could help his students bond with their families. For this, he was honored by the CMA Foundation.

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As Goodyear continues to grow and a magnitude of businesses are choosing to make the city their home, the Canyon Trails Towne Center is proof of the West Valley’s economic development momentum. 

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Community Colleges across the state celebrated a great win when the Senate passed SB 1453 on May 5, allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees.

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The city of Buckeye has selected John “Jake” Kent Rhoades Jr. as the new fire chief. Rhoades has more than 29 years of progressive experience in fire and emergency management, most recently as fire chief for the city of Kingman. He also held administrative fire positions in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

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The Arizona Association of School Psychologists has named Palm Valley Elementary School Principal Jennifer Benjamin as its 2021 Administrator of the Year.

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Twenty-one school districts in Maricopa County recently asked voters to OK school funding measures totaling more than $500 million. But voters only approved about half of the requests in the Nov. 2 election.

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Arizona-based diagnostics lab Saguaro Bloom has opened its fourth Valley Shield laboratory in the state to offer affordable and accessible COVID-19 testing. 

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Arizona Parks and Recreation Association awarded the Avondale Parks and Recreation Department with its Outstanding Program Award for Cultural Awareness, specifically for its Avondale Fiesta event, virtually on Oct. 25. 

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Great Hearts broke ground on its first school in Buckeye on Oct. 26, during a ceremony attended by Mayor Eric Orsborn, Great Hearts Arizona President Erik Twist and preparatory headmaster Tony Cruz.

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Avondale Assistant Fire Chief Larry Rooney has been named assistant chief of emergency operations, a position that was created as part of a public safety restructuring in Avondale.

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Old bills, medical records, tax paperwork, bank statements and other documents with personal identifying information can be safely discarded at the AZ Complete Health Avondale Resource Center from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5.

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To Martin Truex Jr., racing in the NASCAR circuit means more than jockeying between competitors. 

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The city of Avondale has introduced a new sustainability plan that will take effect in 2022 and implement new strategies to better serve its community.

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Old bills, medical records, tax paperwork, bank statements and other documents with personal identifying information can be safely discarded at the AZ Complete Health Avondale Resource Center from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5.

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Considered the Oscars of the West Valley, the Best of the West Awards Dinner honored the area’s top leaders, investments and programs on Oct. 21 at State Farm Stadium.

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The Howard Hughes Corp. and Jerry Colangelo launched Douglas Ranch, a new large-scale master planned community in Buckeye. 

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Tolleson’s University High School was awarded the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools prize, making it the only high school in Arizona to make the list. 

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Every day an average of seven people die in home fires in the United States. To help prevent such deaths, the Arizona Burn Foundation, local fire departments, and the American Red Cross will install free smoke alarms in Valley homes and help residents map fire escape routes.

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Buckeye residents, businesses and HOAs are invited to provide comments on the city’s proposed water conservation code updates through either an online form or by attending an upcoming in-person informational meeting.

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The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded Thomas Lee Hicks the Copper State Chapter NSDAR Medal of Honor.

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The Buckeye City Council asks the public to attend one of three public meetings to ensure each council district has an equal population of residents.

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The Higher Learning Commission Peer Review is slated to visit Estrella Mountain Community College Monday, Oct. 25, and Tuesday, Oct. 26, for the final step in a 10-year process to reaffirm the school’s accreditation with the HLC.

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Buckeye’s Downtown Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 23, and invites the community to join. 

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Buckeye Main Street Coalition is accepting entries for the annual Veterans Day Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday Nov. 6, in Downtown Buckeye. Entries can be from schools, religious groups, local business, youth groups, bands, dance groups, lodge/posts, clubs, civic organizations or classic vehicles.

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Buckeye’s Sequoia Pathfinder Academy is officially a multiaward-winning school, as it is the 2021 recipient of the bronze school and teacher of the year prizes. 

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Liberty Elementary School District No. 25 officials, teachers, students, parents and the Buckeye community celebrated the newly renovated Liberty Elementary School during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 14. 

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The Avondale City Council approved a resolution on Sept. 20 proposing to ask voters to decide on a $10,408,000 permanent adjustment to the city’s base expenditure limitation. Voters will consider this question at the Aug. 2 election.

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The city of Avondale released the latest edition of Uniquely Avondale, a feature magazine that complements the city’s new Discover Avondale tourism initiative. It is available to view online. 

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Avondale residents may be eligible to receive a free smoke alarm as part of a collaboration between Make a Difference Day and a home safety initiative.

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An estimated 281,550 women and 2,650 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and blood, plasma and especially platelet donations are constantly needed to help patients undergoing cancer treatments.

In Case You Missed It...

If you want to conduct an experiment in the sociology of pandemic behavior, try a quick jaunt to Las Vegas. Always a petri dish for freaks, Sin City has gotten stranger in these strange times since it continues to have a mask mandate for everyone, vaccinated or not, gathered indoors.

Whoever thinks there is no divine sense of humor may want to reconsider — especially after the latest occurrence of “the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.”