Tag Archives: South Phoenix

Gabrielle Giffords shooting: Friends, strangers express grief

In Phoenix, about 250 people stood mostly in silence, holding candles at the state Capitol. Standing in front of the main building, leaders of local religious groups said prayers into a microphone. The somber-looking crowd scarcely uttered a word. Mothers held their children close, while some people embraced in long, tearful hugs.

“Exercising leadership – that’s exactly what Gabby was doing today,” former U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell told the crowd. “Despite multiple threats to her, her staff, she displayed genuine courage and never sought refuge, and she did exactly what she said she’d always do.”

Henry Wade, 56, said he had plans to spend quality time with his son before he saw him off to college the next day. When he found out about the vigil, he decided to go and take his son along.

“I’m glad that we were able to come and represent our feelings toward Congresswoman Giffords,” said Wade, who lives in Maricopa. “It’s just senseless that people can’t sit down and have dialogue with one another if you have a difference of opinion.”

Cyndi Whitmore, 36, of south Phoenix, was tearful, particularly about the death of a 9-year-old girl in the attack.

“I have 8- and 11-year-old daughters,” she said.

“We’re here to stand on the side of love, show our support for the families of the victims of today’s shootings, and show solidarity for non-violent, peaceful discourse.”

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/09/20110109gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting-reaction.html#ixzz1AY9Ubsom


Group Accuses Councilmen of Tampering with Witness


Nowakowski: We told him he did the right thing

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 11:11 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 11:11 PM MDT

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department is dealing with an officer charged with murder, accused of killing an unarmed man. But the focus right now is not at that officer, but instead on City Hall.

Two city officials are accused of obstructing a criminal investigation and tampering with a witness. They allegedly contacted the witness in that police murder case — Officer Sergio Virgillo, who blew the whistle on Officer Richard Chrisman’s alleged conduct.

A national watchdog group is claiming the councilmen crossed the line, and maybe even broke the law.

via Group Accuses Councilmen of Tampering with Witness.

Electrician gets past tough start


Francisco Corral believes it only takes a moment to help someone out. He’s repaying those times when someone watched out for him.

Corral, the owner of Chico’s Electric LLC, grew up at 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road in Phoenix, a neighborhood he categorized as “rough” for an elementary-school student.

“I always got picked on and stuff. I was always put to the test,” he says. “At first, I felt like I had to prove to everybody I was no punk, so I joined little gangs. But then I started seeing the bad things happen to my friends. My friends started disappearing, they started getting sick and going to jail, paralyzed, you name it.”

In an effort to cultivate more positive role models, he began boxing.

“The coaches we had, they were pretty good,” Corral says. “They’d always tell you to stay out of trouble. It was a privilege for us to go in the ring, so they would always say, ‘If you get in trouble, you’re not going to go up there.’ ”

He attended Metro Tech High School in west Phoenix, where he entered a construction program that had other at-risk kids. There, he spent four hours in class and four hours in training, while being paid a small stipend every two weeks.

“It was very, very hard for us because we weren’t used to respecting anybody,” he says. “We weren’t used to ‘Thank you, sir.’ None of that.”

Teachers took students to places they had never seen, such as power plants, Corral says. He learned the electrical-wiring trade at Metro Tech, though he says he “started messing around with wires when I was 2 years old.”

He started his south Phoenix business in 2003. And his success has allowed the 33-year-old to help family and friends who have also faced trouble. Several have gone on to start their own businesses.

Corral says he was motivated to be an entrepreneur by his family. “My wife and two kids push me to do the best that I can do,” Corral says. “I have the most beautiful kids in the world and I want them to be proud of me. I want them to know that there is never a reason to ever give up in life, no matter the circumstances.”

via Electrician gets past tough start.

Valley group reaches out to gang members to stop violence



PHOENIX – To some gang members, kids in south Phoenix are potential recruits. But to the people behind Project TRUCE, they are the future, and a catalyst for peace in a neighborhood riddled with gun violence.

“It’s probably one of the things that keeps me up at night, when you see a 4-year-old throw up a gang sign,” said Advisory Board Member Deborah Kidd Chapman, who teaches children from her neighborhood to follow a productive path.

“I learned a lot on those streets, and I learned a lot about what it means to make good choices in your life,” said Chapman. “When I was given a do-over, I said I would try to direct children to make positive choices in their lives.”

Valley group reaches out to gang members to stop violence


Rio Salado Audubon Center flying high with several awards

Phoenix Business Journal – by Jan Buchholz

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 7:40pm MST

The industrial area of South Phoenix hardly sounds like a great backdrop for an architectural jewel, but it is.

That’s where the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center was built alongside the Salt River bed.

The project, designed by Weddle Gil­more Black Rock Studio in Scottsdale, has won several recent awards, including the 2010 SRP Sustainability Award, which was conferred by the Arizona Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in conjunction with Salt River Project.

It also received the 2010 President’s Award for special achievement in environmental excellence given by the Valley Forward Association. The structure is certified platinum, the highest degree of sustainability as measured by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council.

The center, which was completed in July 2009, is open to the public. It’s located at 3131 S. Central Ave.

For more: az.audubon.org/center_riosalado.html

Read more: Rio Salado Audubon Center flying high with several awards | Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona businesses win stimulus funds in lottery

by Emily Gersema – Oct. 19, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

A cement plant under construction in an area 35 miles north of Prescott won $17.7 million in tax-exempt federal stimulus bonds Monday at a state lottery.

In a small conference room, Arizona Department of Commerce officials drew from a basket a small square paper with the name of Drake Cement LLC as the first of three entrants to share $29.7 million in recovery zone facility bonds for private construction projects.

Paloma Dairy near Gila Bend will receive the $6 million it requested to add a second dairy to its operations. And paint maker Dunn-Edwards will receive $6 million for a plant in south Phoenix. It had requested $22.2 million.

via Arizona businesses win stimulus funds in lottery.

Phoenix officer charged with murder has mixed past, prior problems

The records show an up-and-down career for the officer, who now faces second-degree murder charges after he shot and killed 29-year-old Daniel Rodriquez during a domestic violence call on October 5.

Rodriquez’s mother called police after an argument. The situation escalated and Chrisman shot him twice. He died shortly later.

Rodriquez was not armed and the killing has ignited the Hispanic community.

Chrisman’s partner also called the incident “the worst day of his life,” arrest records show.

via Phoenix officer charged with murder has mixed past, prior problems.