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Often, unlikeable characters have endearing qualities that make them relatable in some way. The musical Catch Me If You Can makes audiences identify and sympathetic with the main character, even though he is a womanizer, thief and master manipulator.

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When Briana Porzelt and Tom Gerlach considered opening a gymnastics center in the West Valley, they never imagined the response they would receive.

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St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Avondale is preparing to welcome its first group of students on Monday, August 13.

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Abrazo West Campus recently recognized Buckeye Valley firefighters Danny Garcia and Alex Romero and Buckeye Fire Department engineer Pat Burns with the Dr. Paul Johnson Award for the trio’s efforts in saving a teenage boy’s life.

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Buckeye Union High School graduate Sheldon Wiley wanted to be “so many things” growing up. His interests changed with the wind, but while “broke,” in college and single, he became a bartender.

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Buckeye’s Before and After School Enrichment (BASE) program is open for registration. BASE offers a safe, convenient and affordable before and after-school care program located at Buckeye Elementary School District campuses.

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Abrazo West Campus donated the equivalent of 16,333 servings of healthy cereal to the Agua Fria Food and Clothing Bank, thanks to its annual Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive.

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Buckeye’s Community Service Department is hosting a slew of classes this season ranging from fitness to toddler sports to CPR.

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Avondale is celebrating Park and Recreation Month by inviting residents to explore the “undiscovered” roles of local facilities this July.

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West Valley residents who are curious about law enforcement are invited to the Avondale Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy.

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U.S. Air Force Airman Michael C. Lopez graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

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Buckeye’s Lil’ Squirts preschool program is open for registration. The recreation-based program helps children learn, grow and create friendships through arts and crafts, group games, imaginative play and music.

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Arts Academy at Estrella Mountain is participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs by offering healthy meals every school day August 6 to May 24.

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Twenty-four Allstate agency owners and licensed sales professionals recently came together to secure a $24,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands Grant to benefit Homeless Youth Connection in Avondale.

Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land have opened the nomination process for the 10th Cox Conserves Heroes program, which serves to honor environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities.

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The Buckeye Police Department is set to build a secure police evidence facility that will allow officers to properly impound their seized evidence — with the hope of prosecuting criminals more effectively.

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Columbia College will open an academic advising office in Goodyear on July 16 at 250 N. Litchfield Road, Suite 202. A welcome week will follow shortly thereafter, with more details to be confirmed.

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A large monsoon rolled into Buckeye just after 9 p.m. July 8 causing widespread damage, including fallen trees, structural damage to homes and two flipped mobile homes.

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A 17-year-old boy died after being shot in a parking lot near South 113th Avenue and West Buckeye Road in Avondale July 6, police said.

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An average of 850 lifesaving blood transfusions are required by the young patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital every month. Blood donors help people like Kellie, who has been diagnosed with leukemia twice.

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Community members voiced frustration during an emotional community forum at Verrado High School following an incident that allegedly occurred on a school bus in April.

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Know of a student doing something remarkable? Tell us about it! Email christina@westvalleyview.com.

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Dr. Sheryl Zimmerman, a pediatrician who has lived in Goodyear since December, heard a woman speak last year of the poverty and despair many Democratic Republic of the Congo residents suffer from. She knew immediately she had to travel there to attempt to make a difference.

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Connect Wireless store manager accused of fraud

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Children ages 3 to 8 are invited to take part in Freeze! The Science of Ice Cream, a hands-on workshop incorporating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while making tasty treats.

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For about five decades, the Toyota Corolla has proven to be an economy car with outstanding reliability. The 2018 version has been refined to make a pleasant daily commuter. Our test vehicle was an upgraded XSE model that includes many luxury items as standard issue. One unusual option was a…

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An Avondale woman returned from running errands last month to find her boyfriend of two years had allegedly “caused serious physical injury” to her 6-year-old son, according to an Avondale Police report obtained by the West Valley View.

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Goodyear native Nicole Acosta is bringing her championship resume to Yuma, as the Millennium High School graduate was named head coach of the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team in June.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a final budget for fiscal year 2019 that decreases spending year-over-year without raising the tax rate.

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Dr. Sandra Dowling of Litchfield Park has announced her campaign to run for U.S. Congress representing Arizona’s eighth congressional district.

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The Avondale Youth Advisory Commission is accepting applications for the 2018-19 service year. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month, at 6 p.m. at the Avondale Civic Center, located at 11465 W. Civic Center Drive.

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The Arizona Department of Transportation shared its findings on a draft environmental assessment for a Loop 303 extension to around 500 West Valley residents at a public hearing on June 27.

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Liberty Utilities’ Palm Valley Water Reclamation Facility was named the Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year 2018 for a small system at the Arizona Water Association Projects of the Year Awards.

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Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Deanna Kupcik likes to expand upon the title given to the West Valley organization she leads.

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White Tank Mountain Regional Park is offering a slew of programs in July, ranging from scorpion to moonlight hikes. The events cater to all ages and abilities.

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Know a student who’s doing something remarkable? Tell us about it!

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Fourth of July: Our Independence Day. Back in the 1970s, we were told America meant baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Guess which car manufacturer created that advertising campaign? I like all of them unless the hot dogs have ketchup. Ew.

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Tolleson resident Robert Gutierrez could arguably be called a jack of all trades. Though he is an accountant, Gutierrez is also a veteran, member of the Army Reserve, and a Lyft driver.

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In Case You Missed It...

On Sunday, July 8, about 9 p.m., Buckeye was hit hard by a major monsoon. High winds, estimated at more than 70 mph, and heavy rain killed power to more than 14,000 residents because of downed power lines and trees. Traffic signals were also out.

Three years ago, right about the time I turned 50, the membership packet arrived in the mail. I took great joy in chucking it in the recycling, the same as I do junk mail, phone books and those lie-filled mailers the politicians send.

I met with President Donald Trump at the White House in June to discuss the crisis happening at our border. Thousands of migrants are entering our country illegally, human traffickers are exploiting women and children, and illicit drugs are being smuggled in and flooding our streets. As a me…

Growing up, my family had a ritual in the old apartment in Queens. Dinner at 6 served on our scratched-up glass table surrounded by four Formica chairs, followed by a half hour of Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News.