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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from April 12-14

(Photo/Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A deadly domestic dispute, a new city hall for Goodyear and federal approval for a light rail extension.

Here are some stories that headlined the news cycle, both locally and nationally, over the weekend.


Phoenix man accused of killing wife, 2 daughters over affair allegations

A man was arrested in Phoenix on Thursday after allegedly killing his wife, two young daughters and a man he believed was having an affair with his wife.

Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the suspect, identified Friday as 30-year-old Austin Smith, has been booked for the murders of 29-year-old Dasia Patterson, 7-year-old Mayan Smith and 5-year-old Nasha Smith, who were found at their home Thursday night.

Ron Freeman, 46, whom Smith believed was having an affair with his spouse, was found at a different location.

Patterson and Nasha Smith died of gunshot wounds, and police believe Mayan Smith was killed by blunt force trauma.

Smith told police God told him to commit the murders.


Goodyear moves forward with plans for new city hall, civic square

This week, the Goodyear City Council approved a letter of intent to partner with a Valley real estate investment company to develop a community gathering spot along with a permanent city hall.

“Goodyear has envisioned a city hall project like this for decades,” Mayor Georgia Lord said in a press release Thursday.

“Our current city hall, which requires future funding for reinvestment and expansion, was meant to be temporary.”

In addition to the city government’s headquarters, Goodyear Civic Square at Estrella Falls will include a library, a 2-acre park and office space.


South Phoenix light rail extension gets federal approval, access to funds

The south Phoenix light rail extension gained federal approval this week to move into its next phase, pumping millions of dollars into the project.

Valley Metro, the Phoenix area’s public transportation agency, said the Federal Transit Administration gave the green light Thursday for the project to enter the Engineering phase.

According to a press release from U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, that makes Valley Metro eligible to use up to $530 million from an FTA grant program.

“This is a great milestone for the South Central/Downtown project,” Valley Metro CEO said in the release.

The 5-mile extension will run along Central Avenue from the existing downtown light rail tracks to Baseline Road in south Phoenix.


Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day at these Phoenix-area spots

Friday was National Grilled Cheese Day, but any day is a good day to celebrate the staple of kid’s menus and vegetarians’ diets.

As long as it’s not burnt to a crisp, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good meal when ordering the gooey sandwich.

Here are some of the best spots in the Valley to get a grilled cheese, according to Yelp.


Arizona’s largest vegan festival came to Scottsdale this weekend

More than 100 vegan food and beverage vendors gathered in Scottsdale this weekend to show off their meat-, dairy- and egg-free creations.

The Veg Out! festival ended 5 p.m. Sunday at the Scottsdale Waterfront near Camelback and Scottsdale roads.

Besides the opportunity to fill your stomach, the festival offered vegan-friendly clothing, skin care products and artwork, as well as educational lectures on vegan lifestyles, chef demonstrations and live music.

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