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Ballots for city council and mayor candidates in Avondale, Litchfield Park, Tolleson and Buckeye are to be mailed by Maricopa County Elections Department this week. (Goodyear does not have any seats up for election this year.)

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Though Gov. Doug Ducey warned “it’s going to get worse” at the end of June, the number of COVID-19 tests, hospitalizations and deaths increased dramatically in June compared to previous months.

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Gov. Doug Ducey is defending indoor political rallies with thousands of people without masks even as he admitted the only way Arizona will stop the upward trend of infections is if people mask up and stay home.

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maricopa County and the city of Litchfield Park are providing financial assistance for rent, utility/water bills and security deposits to low- to moderate-income residents in need.

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On June 17, Mayor Thomas Schoaf and the Litchfield Park City Council unanimously adopted the 2020-21 fiscal year budget that took effect July 1.

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While other congressional races have little competition, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one West Valley district has a healthy field of candidates.

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The COVID-19 pandemic means Arizona’s heat-relief programs have added hand sanitizer, gloves and masks to the mix of survival items—water, lip balm, sunscreen and more water—they provide to homeless and vulnerable populations each summer.

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With people staying at home more often because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials stress this is a time where parents and caregivers should take heightened precautions when their children are near water.

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On June 23, Mayor Anna Tovar and the Tolleson City Council unanimously approved adopting the 2020-21 budget that begins July 1.

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On the night of June 29, the city of Goodyear canceled what was planned to be a "drive-thru" July 4 fireworks show at Goodyear Ballpark, "due to a new executive order issued by Gov. Doug Ducey." Ducey’s order prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people or more.

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Last month, the Goodyear City Council approved the city’s 2020-21 budget, which is dominated by a $28 million police budget—a slight increase from the 2019-20 police budget of $27.4 million.

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Though a big show is tentatively on in Goodyear, other traditional West Valley celebrations were canceled after alarming increases of COVID-19.

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The area near Phoenix International Raceway was hot last weekend, for all the wrong reasons.

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The West Valley’s three biggest cities are in the final phases of approving budgets for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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Gov. Doug Ducey’s news conference last week was dominated by discussion about masks, which also have implications for businesses.

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He remembers checking into Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center and leaving the Glendale hospital.

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On June 17, Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ sat down at a long table to begin a news conference.

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Buckeye Union High School District remains the only West Valley district—and one of the few in the entire Valley—that held graduation ceremonies in a large, public venue. 

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United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson wore a mask June 16 while visiting Glendale’s Glencroft Center for Modern Aging, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, with 35 deaths. 

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With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Agua Fria Union High School continues to plan for July 1 graduation ceremonies at State Farm Stadium.

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Six schools in the Tolleson Union High School District will celebrate the Class of 2020 June 29 at their respective school sites. The exception is University High School, which will have a graduation ceremony at the Tolleson Union High School District office.

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Two local Spencer’s TV & Appliance customers were awarded major shopping sprees at its original location in Mesa recently.

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ZIP code maps provided by the Arizona State Department of Health Services show Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Tolleson positive COVID-19 tests increased from about 1,500 positive tests to more than 2,200 over the last week.

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The city of Buckeye has been awarded $75,000 in grant funds under the Community Development Block Grant program from the federal CARES Act.

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Gov. Doug Ducey said June 11 he does not intend to impose new restrictions on Arizonans – or even require them to wear masks – despite more people contracting COVID-19.

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The body of a woman found in the median of I-10 in the Watson Road area on May 22 has been identified. 

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Surging numbers of COVID-19 cases in Arizona have pushed some hospital intensive-care units to their limits in recent weeks, but health experts around the state said hospitals still have room to adapt – for now.

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Xavier Gutierrez was named the new president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes, making him the first Latino in those positions in the NHL.

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The Avondale City Council approved an ordinance on abandoned shopping carts June 1. The city now requires businesses to take measures to prevent the removal of shopping carts from their premises.

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court May 28 against Google for “deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users’ location data, which Google then exploits for its lucrative advertising business.”

In Case You Missed It...

There was a beauty to the games, something artistic that maybe I cannot convey in words: The thud of the ball against the gym floor; the riotous squeaks and squeals of hightops on lacquered hardwood; the dim light, the frayed nets hanging from the rims.