Three Times the Fun!

Danielle and Nick Cicogna run a trio of businesses By Shelley Sakala Meet Danielle and Nick Cicogna, a pair of New York transplants who each settled in the desert, met, and are in the middle of their happily ever after. They’re also the owners of three businesses in North Phoenix: Diamond Dance Works, one of the largest dance studios in the NorthValley; Pearl Dancewear, home of high-quality dance apparel an ...

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The Kids Are All Right

Student-run nonprofit Youth for Troops aids veterans and active military By Eric Newman Six teens in the Anthem area frequently ran into each other at volunteer events and activities supporting veterans, active military members and their families, and figured they should maybe start working together. So in early 2017, they got together to create a nonprofit organization to consolidate their efforts, and “Yo ...

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Post-Turkey Plans

Five fab activities to stave off boredom and burn calories By Shelley Sakala   The plates are cleared, the dishes are washed and the leftovers are loaded into the fridge. You’re sitting around with family and friends, with the top button of your jeans unsnapped (to ease digestion) as you fight off the effects of the tryptophan. Another Thanksgiving dinner is in the books. With the final few minutes of ...

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The Meaning of Veterans Day

By Judge Gerald A. Williams   What we now know as Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it as such in 1919 after World War I had ended the year before on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m.).  Years later, a World War II veteran organized a parade to honor all veterans, and eventually, Congress ch ...

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Room with a Vision

Local Girl Scout turned Navy Seaman honors veterans with Gold Award project By Grace Flemer   Books and boats are a huge part of Tanner Laizure’s life. Laizure, a recent graduate of Cactus Shadows High School, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award from the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council for creating a teen room full of books and other media at an apartment complex that gives priority to veterans. T ...

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Bring It Home, Jags!

Boulder Creek’s homecoming week instills school pride Story and photos by Emma Suttell   Hailing in the fall season, Boulder Creek High School also welcomed homecoming week with the theme of “The Greatest Homecoming,” inspired by the movie-musical The Greatest Showman. Homecoming is organized by Boulder Creek’s Student Government, a select group of student leaders who organize several events at the sch ...

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Kilstrom was here

Anthem original retires from football announcing By Garrison Murphy   For Anthem original resident Eric Kilstrom, community involvement is a way of life.  One of his favorite methods of involvement has been announcing football games at Boulder Creek High School. He has been doing this for 12 years and this is his final season.  “I love it, I love the kids,” Kilstrom says. “But my son is a senior and he ...

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Leading by Example

Boulder Creek senior Joe Pitts raises the bar for student leaders around Arizona   By Emma Suttell Heading into his senior year, Joe Pitts undoubtedly brought with him a new level of leadership ability. While most students use high school as an opportunity to jump-start their training and skills, Joe has been honing his skills throughout his high school career. Along with serving three terms in Boulder ...

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Edifying Education

Standing Stones Christian Academy to open soon   By Shelley Sakala If you’ve recently driven on North Valley Parkway, you may have noticed a new structure rising from the fields. Standing Stones Christian Academy will soon be open. For more than a decade, Standing Stones Community Church has been serving Phoenix from its original campus on 16th Avenue, providing worship services, spiritual growth, and ...

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A True Champion

Time in the Army shaped Anthem entrepreneur Frankie Ruiz By Weiss O’Connor Given his time in the jungles of Panama and the tropics of Hawaii, veteran Frankie Ruiz can truly appreciate the simplicity of the desertscape. Yet the eight-year Anthem resident and owner of the successful Azteca Home Services says he can’t help but “kind of miss” his time serving in the U.S. Army. It was in the military that Ruiz l ...

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