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Latest News in Avondale, AZ

Fired Avondale city manager files lawsuit against city, mayor and vice mayor

Charles Montoya, Avondale's former city manager, filed a lawsuit against Avondale, as well as Mayor Kenn Weise and Vice Mayor Veronica Malone after he was fired by the city in 2021.The lawsuit comes after Montoya filed a notice of claim against the city and the mayor earlier this year, accusing them of breaching his employment contract and defaming his character.The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 22 by Charles Montoya's lawyer Stephen Montoya, no relation to Charles Montoya.The lawsuit alleges that Montoya's em...

Charles Montoya, Avondale's former city manager, filed a lawsuit against Avondale, as well as Mayor Kenn Weise and Vice Mayor Veronica Malone after he was fired by the city in 2021.

The lawsuit comes after Montoya filed a notice of claim against the city and the mayor earlier this year, accusing them of breaching his employment contract and defaming his character.

The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 22 by Charles Montoya's lawyer Stephen Montoya, no relation to Charles Montoya.

The lawsuit alleges that Montoya's employment agreement with the city was violated, as well as the Arizona Employment Protection Act, the due process clauses of the Arizona and United States constitutions and an Arizona law prohibiting defamation of character.

According to the filing, if Montoya were to be fired without cause, the city would have to pay him 10 months worth of salary. But if Montoya were to be fired with cause, the city would not have to pay him.

When Montoya was fired by the city in December 2021, he received a letter stating that he was being terminated with cause. Five allegations were cited, which the lawsuit argues were not supported by facts.

The reasons for Montoya's firing include several financial concerns and also state that Montoya misled city staff on his residency. The city required Montoya to live in Avondale.

And Stephen Montoya emphasized that Charles Montoya's employment agreement was violated because the city did not give him 30 days to cure any breaches. If something could reasonably be corrected within 30 days, Stephen Montoya said Charles Montoya would have been entitled to that time. And the reasons for Charles Montoya's firing were capable of being corrected, said Stephen Montoya.

The lawsuit states that Montoya was never given a warning and therefore had no chance to correct any misconduct. That's because the city knew he could quickly correct any errors, states the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the termination was driven by Weise and Malone, who were angry that Montoya would not give preferential treatment to their children for employment. The lawsuit states that Weise pressured Montoya to direct city staff to hire Weise's daughter's fiancé at the Avondale Fire Department.

Inquiry request:Avondale asks Arizona attorney general to investigate issues surrounding fired city manager

Additionally, the lawsuit states that members of the City Council were proposing legal actions to other members in private, which is a violation of an Open Meeting Law that requires such discussion to happen during public meetings, with advance notice given to the public.

The lawsuit alleges that Montoya made efforts to stop this practice, and Malone and Weise sought to terminate Montoya over his repeated complaints regarding the issue.

The lawsuit goes on to say that Montoya's character was defamed when Weise informed city employees that Montoya had been fired for "misconduct involving dishonesty," as well as when Weise previously told The Arizona Republic that Montoya had misled the city about his residency. Weise was aware that Montoya had sold his Avondale home and was relocating to another location within Avondale, states the lawsuit.

The situation has caused Montoya significant anxiety and has damaged his reputation, making it difficult for him to find another job, according to the lawsuit.

The filing asks for the city to re-hire Montoya as city manager as well as monetary compensation. The lawsuit also asks the city, Weise and Malone to retract statements that it states were defamatory.

Montoya, Weise, Malone and representatives from the city of Avondale declined to comment for this story.

Leading Avondale, AZ, Realtors Discusses The Best Time To Sell A Property

Selling a home is a very trying time. Getting the home ready to be put onto the market, waiting for offers, choosing an offer and then finding a new home can be a stressful time. Deciding when to put a home on the market is always an important question to ask. Fortunately, The Caren Team, real estate selling agents with a market in Avondale, Arizona, have a suggestion.“Basically, the soon...

Selling a home is a very trying time. Getting the home ready to be put onto the market, waiting for offers, choosing an offer and then finding a new home can be a stressful time. Deciding when to put a home on the market is always an important question to ask. Fortunately, The Caren Team, real estate selling agents with a market in Avondale, Arizona, have a suggestion.

“Basically, the sooner the better is always best when it comes to putting a home onto the market. However, Matt and I have noticed those who choose to post their homes in the colder months of the year sometimes get offers sooner,” said Shalin Caren, one half of The Caren Team real estate selling agents in Avondale, AZ.

While putting a home for sale in early spring or even winter might result in more offers and a quicker sale, the Caren’s note the colder months are not always 100 percent foolproof for the best offers, and every situation is different. There is a better rule to consider based on an old adage.

Matt Caren said it best, “the early bird gets the worm. Put your property on the market when you are ready. Shalin and I will do what we can in order to get the best offers, regardless of the time of the year – we are always ready to help you sell or buy.”

The Caren Team are leading Realtors in Avondale, Arizona. Their website has the best properties available across the city with plenty of amenities to meet the needs of almost any buyer. Properties come onto and off of the market with regularity, so visit regularly. Go to www.thecarenteam.com for more.

Media Contact Company Name: The Caren Team Email: Send Email Phone: +1 602-777-6683 Address:2990 N Litchfield Rd Suite 18 City: Goodyear State: Arizona 85395 Country: United States Website: https://www.thecarenteam.com/

Chronic absenteeism has skyrocketed in Arizona since the pandemic

Arizona students are missing more school than they were before the pandemic, raising the alarm about learning loss and broadened opportunity gaps.What's happening: The chronic absence rate across Arizona schools was 22% during the 2021 school year, up from about 14% in 2019, according to a new ...

Arizona students are missing more school than they were before the pandemic, raising the alarm about learning loss and broadened opportunity gaps.

What's happening: The chronic absence rate across Arizona schools was 22% during the 2021 school year, up from about 14% in 2019, according to a new report released from Helios Education Foundation and WestEd.

Why it matters: Regularly missing school is a predictor of negative educational outcomes, including failing to meet literacy benchmarks or dropping out of school.

What they're saying: "This issue of chronic absence and the broader lingering effects of COVID… is I think fair to say truly a crisis that we need to all come together to focus on, to understand how we can raise awareness and address these types of challenges that are directly impacting students and their ability to be successful," Helios president and CEO Paul Luna said.

Threat level: The report indicates that absenteeism increased more significantly among historically underserved student populations, such as those who qualify for free or reduced lunch, are English language learners or are Black or Latino.

What they're doing: Avondale Elementary School District superintendent Betsy Hargrove said her schools have studied their individual attendance data to reduce barriers for student access and better motivate them to want to be in the classroom.

Of note: Chang said there is no evidence that punishing students or parents for absences will reverse their behavior. In fact, it may make them less engaged.

Worth your time: A recent analysis by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and The Hechinger Report found that attendance-related suspensions are pervasive in Arizona, accounting for more than half of all in-school suspensions in some districts.

Decadence Arizona is back. Here's your guide to the 2022 New Year's Eve music festival

The eighth edition of Decadence Arizona moves to its new home, Phoenix Raceway, for a two-day EDM extravaganza packed with marquee talent from Subtronics to Louis the Child, Duke Dumont, Fisher, Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead, Flume, Malaa and more.Subtitled "Ancient Future," this is Arizona's largest New Year's celeb...

The eighth edition of Decadence Arizona moves to its new home, Phoenix Raceway, for a two-day EDM extravaganza packed with marquee talent from Subtronics to Louis the Child, Duke Dumont, Fisher, Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead, Flume, Malaa and more.

Subtitled "Ancient Future," this is Arizona's largest New Year's celebration, presented by the Valley's own Relentless Beats and Global Dance.

They're promising festival-goers "top-level production, the return of the Weird and Wonderful performers, activations throughout the grounds and more" at an event that has become one of the Valley's most-anticipated New Year's Eve traditions.

Here's everything you need to know before you say goodbye to 2022 in style.

Where is Decadence Arizona 2022?

The Decadence Arizona EDM festival is at Phoenix Raceway, 7602 Jimmie Johnson Drive, Avondale. From central Phoenix, take Interstate 10 west to Avondale Boulevard and head south to Phoenix Raceway.

When is Decadence AZ 2022? What time does it start?

Music starts at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30-31. Doors open at 5 p.m. each day. Early arrival is recommended.

Decadence ends at 2 a.m. on Friday night and 3 a.m. on Saturday night.

Here's the Decadence Arizona lineup for Friday

Set times for both nights will be released the week of the event.

Grand Palace Stage: Brett Ortiz, DJ Pauly D, Fisher, Flume, KAYZO, Malaa.

Royal Ballroom Stage: Black V Neck, Chuwe, Deathpact, Liquid Stranger, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Moon Boots, Wooli.

The Playhouse: This area will feature the Beatbox Beatbus, a stage with full sound and lights and an exclusive bar with nine flavors of Beatbox. Sets by Alex Anders, Daytona, Mamba & Turbo Present: Nightglider, Mastuh, Medicine Mike, Sed’s Vortex.

The Bazaar: This will be an interactive experience featuring an art walk, bars, lounge space, photo ops, tarot card reading and the Weird & Wonderful performers. Sets by Elwer, Comfort Clo, Jur, Nikita Rising.

Here's the Decadence Arizona lineup for Saturday

Grand Palace Stage: Dr. Fresch, Duke Dumont, Louis The Child, Porter Robinson (DJ set), Subtronics, Yookie, Zeds Dead.

Royal Ballroom Stage: Cosmic Gate, Ekonovah, Hannah Wants, Nicole Moudaber, Space Wizard, Tinlicker, Walker & Royce.

The Playhouse Stage: Deep Chetty, ¿IDK?, Residuo, Seppi, WRLD CYPHR.

The Bazaar: ICO Soundz, Ladell Ransom, Lejre, STPHN.

Is there a Decadence Arizona afterparty?

In the event that like Miley before you, you can't stop, won't stop, there's an afterparty with Zeds Dead and Altered States, with support from Ayybo & Noises.

Afterparty tickets are $40.

How much are Decadence Arizona 2022 tickets?

Two-day general admission passes cost $199 plus fees in advance at decadencearizona.com, $219 at the door. Single-day general admission passes are $99 for Friday, $129 for Saturday.

A GA+ pass includes admission, express entry and premium restrooms. GA+ two-day passes are $269 in advance, $289 at the door. Single-day GA+ passes are $139 for Friday, $169 for Saturday.

A VIP pass includes admission, express entry, a commemorative lanyard, access to VIP deck with premium view, premium bar and VIP lounge. VIP two-day passes are $449 in advance, $469 at the door. Single-day VIP passes are $219 for Friday, $269 for Saturday.

Platinum passes include the same amenities as a VIP pass as well as five drinks per day, side-stage viewing at the main stage, access to artist hospitality lounge, a catered dinner, a festival swag bag and festival concierge.

Platinum two-day passes are $1,099 in advance, $1,199 at the door. Single-day Platinum passes are $549 for Friday, $649 for Saturday.

How to reserve a table at Decadence Arizona

Reserving a table gives what Decadence Arizona promises is "an experience that puts you in the heat of the action, with picturesque views and an immersive environment."

That includes reserved private areas, exclusive check-in, an elevated bottle service menu, dedicated table service, admission to the festival, access to the VIP lounge and viewing deck, food and beverage and upgradable options.

Two-day table service options range from $8,799 to $17,999. Single-day table service options range from $3,999-$7,499 for Friday and $5,499-$11,999 for Saturday.

How to take a shuttle to Decadence Arizona 2022

Roundtrip shuttle service is available from Tempe and must be purchased as an add-on when buying your ticket.

A two-day shuttle pass is $70 in advance, $75 the day of the show. A single-day shuttle pass is $40 for Friday, $49 for Saturday.

Coat check and lockers are available at Phoenix Raceway

Coat check is available for $19.99 a day or $29.99 for two days.

Lockers may be rented for $29.99 a day or $49.99 for two days.

Are Decadence AZ T-shirts available?

Festival T-shirt may be purchased in advance for $32.50.

Where to park at Decadence and how much it costs

Free parking is available at Phoenix Raceway for no charge. Premium parking near the entrance costs $29 a day.

Overnight parking is not permitted. Violators will be towed at the owner's expense.

How old do I have to be to go to Decadence Arizona?

Decadence Arizona is strictly 18 and older. You must present a government-issued ID to enter.

What's the reentry policy at Decadence 2022?

Same-day reentry is not permitted. Wristbands will only scan for entry once per day.

Phoenix Raceway has a clear bag policy

Phoenix Raceway's bag policy allows bags that are fully clear or colored clear plastic, vinyl or mesh. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags can be used.

The maximum bag size is 15 by 15 by 5 inches. Guests may also bring one small clutch up to 5 by 7 by 2 inches.

Empty hydration packs are allowed.

Concert news:Red Hot Chili Peppers return to metro Phoenix with the Strokes. Here's how to get tickets

What you can't bring to Decadence Arizona

Crowd surfing and rail breaking are prohibited. Patrons doing either will be ejected.

What you can bring to Decadence Arizona

Interview:Duran Duran's Roger Taylor on how they avoided being written off in history as a teen band

Decadence Arizona is a cashless event

Festival vendors will only accept RFID payments from your wristband, credit card or debit card.

Waiver of COVID-19 liability

Here's what the Decadence website says about the assumption of risk:

"The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. By entering these premises and/or the event, you (a) acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that you may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death, (b) voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury, illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expenses, of any kind (“Claims”), that you may experience or incur, and (c) hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless the venue, event promoter(s), vendor(s), and each of their respective parents, members, partners, affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries, and landlords and their respective officers, directors, and employees from Claims of any kind arising out of or relating thereto."

Moving Out: Two Farmers' Market Favorites Will No Longer Set Up Their Stands

After waking up early and making your way to the farmers' market, one of the great rewards is a freshly baked breakfast. Standing in line, making your selection between bagels and pastries, and taking that first bite as you add a few more to your basket or tote bag to take home is a weekend ritual.For the bakers behind the scenes, it can be a grueling process. They wake up even earlier, schlep tables and tents along with their precious baked goods, all before they can help the first customer. And for two Valley bakers, their tenure at...

After waking up early and making your way to the farmers' market, one of the great rewards is a freshly baked breakfast. Standing in line, making your selection between bagels and pastries, and taking that first bite as you add a few more to your basket or tote bag to take home is a weekend ritual.

For the bakers behind the scenes, it can be a grueling process. They wake up even earlier, schlep tables and tents along with their precious baked goods, all before they can help the first customer. And for two Valley bakers, their tenure at our local markets is over.

Bagelfeld's, a small bakery founded by Brooklyn-born Charles Blonkenfeld, started out at the Uptown Phoenix and Downtown PHX farmers' markets. The market booths quickly became known as the go-to spots for New York-style bagels throughout the Valley and often sold out. Other restaurants around town started selling Blonkenfeld's bagels, and the company gathered accolades, including a Phoenix New Times 2022 Best of Phoenix award.

That growth inspired the company to open a production facility and storefront on Thomas Road. Now, that's where Blonkenfeld will shift his focus.

"We simply do not have the capacity to run our building and the market successfully at the same time," a January 9 announcement on Bagelfeld's social media reads.

So, while the farmers market table complete with its black and white sign is no more, customers can find the delectable bagels at the brick-and-mortar location on Thomas Road on Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 a.m. to noon.

"We are so excited for this next step," the post reads, "always remembering with gratitude our roots and how we got here."

La Belle Vie, a French patisserie vendor known for flakey croissants, pain aux raisins, and kouign-amann, is also taking a step back from the farmers' market grind.

Almost five years ago, Nathas Kraus launched his bakery at the Gilbert Farmers Market, selling bread and croissants. In the spring of 2022, he launched a permanent location in Scottsdale and has been operating both ever since.

But January 14 will be the bakery's last market in Gilbert, according to an announcement also made on January 9 on La Belle Vie's social media.

"It's hard to say because La Belle Vie is a baby of GFM," the announcement reads. "It's hard to say because economically and rationally we were doing great, so it couldn't be more frustrating."

The owner explained that the step back is necessary for his health. He also shared plans to maintain the bakery's brick-and-mortar store, located on Roosevelt Street in Scottsdale, but with limited hours. Customers can pick up pastries on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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