News Briefs

The Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club encourages rock hounding at a young age and participates in STEM nights at local junior high schools. (Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club/Submitted)

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

AAUW fashion show successful

The AAUW Northwest Valley hosted a fashion show by New Image Fashions at the Sun City West Foundation on January 16. All monies went toward a scholarship fund for women and girls. 

Baskets were raffled, and a stained-glass piece by Judy Neigoff and a quilt were part of the silent auction to raise funds. Joy Catering provided lunch while the husbands served wine by donation. 

The American Association of University Women promotes equity and education for women and girls. AAUW advances gender equity for women and girls through research and education. 

Membership is open to anyone holding an associate degree, bachelor or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. For more information, call Cynthia Ferguson at 774-284-0471.

Acacia Health Center named one of the best

Acacia Health Center, the on-site health center at Sagewood Senior Living community, was recently recognized as one of the Best Nursing Home’s for both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care in the 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report.

The annual Best Nursing Homes ratings assist prospective residents and their families in making informed decisions in consultation with their medical professionals about where to receive short-term or long-term care.

Only 16% of U.S skilled-nursing facilities earned the “Best Nursing Home” designation this year.

“We pride ourselves on Acacia’s top-of-the-line care, outstanding staff and comprehensive services,” says Natalie Miko, Acacia Health Center administrator. “It is an honor to be nationally recognized as one of the best care facilities in the nation. At the end of the day, it is about making sure our residents are well cared for and I am proud to say we go above and beyond.” 

For 2022-23, U.S. News rated more than 15,000 nursing homes on care, safety, infection rates, staffing and health inspections. For the first time, the Best Nursing Homes ratings feature a new measure on weekend staffing and another new measure on infection rates that led to hospitalizations.

“Choosing the right nursing home based on care needs and comfort is a critical decision for prospective residents and their families,” says Zach Adams, health data engineer at U.S. News. “The Best Nursing Homes ratings highlight nursing homes that excel in short-term rehabilitation and long-term care needs.”

The Best Nursing Homes methodology factors data such as resident care, safety and outcomes. To calculate the Best Nursing Homes ratings, U.S. News evaluated each nursing home’s performance using a variety of data obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Both short- and long-term ratings include data on consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs, and success in preventing ER and hospital visits. The long-term care rating also includes measures of whether a home changed ownership and how well they were staffed on weekends. The short-term rehabilitation rating also includes measures of a home’s success in preventing falls, preventing serious infections, and making sure residents are able to return home. 


Fry’s Food Stores unveils new store in Surprise

A new Fry’s Marketplace Stores will open on Wednesday, February 22, which is also Supermarket Employee Day. The 128,000-square-foot, full-service grocery store is located at 16400 N. Pat Tillman Boulevard, Surprise.

“All of our associates at the new store are looking forward to meeting our neighbors in Surprise,” says Monica Garnes, president of Fry’s Food Stores. “Not only will our customers find fresh, affordable food, but they will also find some of the most friendly and caring associates who are ready to meet their everyday needs.”

The new store will feature a modern design with a wide variety of amenities, including:

• Murray’s Cheese shop will feature an array of cheeses from around the world. See our specially trained cheese masters for suggestions on how to pair a cheese with your favorite bottle of wine or craft beer.

• Sushi station will offer a variety of grab-and-go rolls and nigiri as well as a full-service ordering options for those who want something particular to their taste.

• Extensive wine department with a knowledgeable wine steward to assist with selecting the perfect wine for any occasion.

• Starbucks baristas will create the full range of coffees, teas and snacks the public loves, including the Cold Brew Nitro.

• Chompie’s will be offering a wide selection of sandwiches and soups, available in a grab-and-go case.

• Pharmacy will provide an array of prescription services including easy prescription transfers, a complete line of vaccinations, same-day delivery service and a convenient drive-thru.

• Apparel department featuring clothing from Fry’s Dip label, as well as other name-brand clothing, shoes and accessories for the entire family.

• Housewares department will feature the latest kitchen essentials and home trends.

• Pickup services for conveniently ordering groceries online.

• Fuel Center will have 18 pumping stations and will be open to serve customers 24 hours a day.

The new Fry’s Food Store will be managed by Jeremy Valdez, who has a passion for people and taking care of his associates, customers and the community.

Rock and gem club’s show approaching

Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club is hosting its semi-annual Rock & Mineral Show at a new location in March — Mesa Community College, 1401 S. Dobson Road, Mesa. 

This dog-friendly event will be held in the parking lot under the solar panel shade structures. Over 70 vendors from Arizona and nearby states will sell precious gems, minerals, rocks, slabs and jewelry.  

The show is outdoors 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 4, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5. Cost for adults is $3; $1 for students with ID. Free for children. Students with school ID are $1. Children 12 years and under are free.

More than 70 vendors will sell pieces with prices ranging from $1 to several hundred dollars. 

The Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club encourages rock hounding at a young age and participates in STEM nights at local junior high schools. The Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club is a nonprofit that provides scholarships to students whose main interests are earth sciences and geology. This year, there will be a scholarship program for undergrad students at MCC. The Scholarship Committee at the AJ Rock Club is facilitated by Vicki Bretey.

The club is located at 2151 W. Superstition Boulevard, Apache Junction. The AJ Rock Club facility has a large lapidary room set up with machines to cut rocks, polish, grind down and shape to make cabochons for necklaces or other jewelry items. There is also a silver smithing program to learn how to set stones in jewelry. 

The club arranges more than 40 local field trips a year to go on rock hunts, plus holds a monthly general meeting open to the public the second Thursday of the month September through May. The cost to join the club is $4/month plus fees for equipment use. Previous field trips can be seen on YouTube by searching AJROCKCLUB.