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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from September 6-8

(KTAR News Photo/Matt Bertram)

The story of a fallen Goodyear firefighter, the release of 911 calls from a hot car death in Gilbert and new stores coming to Scottsdale Quarter.

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


Before cancer death, Goodyear firefighter Austin Peck shared story

As a child, Austin Peck knew he wanted to be a firefighter. He achieved his dream and lived it for 11 years until his passing on Aug. 31. He had just celebrated his 35th birthday.  

I was diagnosed with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. They call it SNUC for short,” explained Peck in an exclusive interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM weeks before his line-of-duty death.  

Peck medically retired from the Goodyear Fire Department this summer after more than a decade in the service.  

“I was diagnosed in 2015. The doctor that diagnosed me told me I had an 18% chance to live within five months and that was with treatment,” he said.  

His cancer is so rare, there is very little research or treatment options to fight it. The sinus cancer grows very rapidly and attacks aggressively.  

Peck passed away on Aug. 31.


Transcripts released of 911 calls from parents in Gilbert hot car death

The Gilbert Police Department on Friday released redacted transcripts of the frantic 911 calls about a 3-year-old girl who died after being left in a hot car for hours outside a house near Higley and Elliot roads Tuesday.

Police did not provide the identity of the callers, but it’s clear one was the father (transcript; contains graphic language) who left the girl in the car and the other is her mother (transcript), who was at work when the tragic incident took place.

The girl is identified as Charlie or C.J. in the transcripts.

In the call from the mother, the 911 operator asked if the father was taking the girl to school that morning.

In the other call, the operator gave directions about how to perform CPR after the caller said the girl wasn’t breathing.


Scottsdale Quarter to welcome 3 new stores to lineup

The Scottsdale Quarter will expand even further with the announcement that three new retailers will be added to the lineup within the coming months.

Gorjana, a jewelry shop, first opened in 2016 and was founded by two Arizona State University alumnus, Gorjana and Jason Griffin Reidel.

This will be their 13th store and their handiwork can also be found in over 1,000 retailers nationwide.

Gorjana is slated to open its doors in late October.

Vineyard Vines will open in November.

PAIGE is a retail store that offers a California-style wardrobe for both men and women.

The pending opening during the winter holidays will mark the retailers’ 16th location.

The Scottsdale Quarter is located between Scottsdale Road and Butherus Drive.


Crepe and coffee shop opening in Goodyear, planning Phoenix location

A family-owned crepe and coffee shop is getting ready to open its second West Valley location and has plans for expanding into Phoenix.

Colados Coffee & Crepes expects to hold a soft opening in Goodyear later this month and a grand opening in October, according to a press release from the city’s economic development office.

The new 4,500-square-foot cafe is located in the Goodyear Centerpointe plaza on the southeast corner of McDowell Road and Pebble Creek Parkway.

Berni and Yesica Reina opened the first Colados five years ago in a 1,200-square-foot space at Indian School Road and 107th Avenue in Avondale after being laid off from jobs they held for 18 years.

A third location is in the works for 2020, at Oak and Seventh streets in central Phoenix.


Phoenix surgeon completes 1,000th deep brain stimulation surgery

A Barrow Neurological Institute surgeon has reached a milestone that hasn’t been achieved by any other professional in the country.

Dr. Francisco Ponce recently performed his 1,000th deep brain stimulation surgery at Barrow’s Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in central Phoenix, according to a press release.

Ponce has performed the operation more times than any other surgeon in the U.S., according to the release.

“I am excited about the increased DBS awareness over the past eight years in the region,” Ponce said in the release. “I see this milestone as a testament to the commitment we’ve made to patient education, surgical safety and consistency, and neurologist engagement.”

The surgery was performed on 73-year-old Stephen Smith, a former government employee from Reno, Nevada, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago.

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