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The Arizona Highway Patrol Association wants to ensure all families make it to and from their holiday destinations safely.
They are everywhere. They are some who watched the Towers fall and chose to hold forgiveness in their hearts. They are those whose dreams died that day, but knew to keep living in gratitude.
Daniel Lewis Hendon, the former owner of Danny's Family Car Wash, has been sentenced to prison. Authorities say Hendon, broke the law by rehiring workers who were fired after a federal audit found nearly half of the company's 1,900-person workforce had presented insufficient or ineligible records when they were hired. Thirteen other managers admitted participation in the scheme, and most were sentenced to a few months in prison.
PHOENIX - The former owner of a metro Phoenix car wash chain was sentenced to one year in prison and another year of home confinement for his acknowledged role in a scheme to hire hundreds of workers who weren't in the country legally.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families."
The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.
In a televised address to the nation, Obama defended the legality of his actions and challenged GOP lawmakers to focus their energy not on blocking his actions, but on approving long-stalled legislation to take its place.
"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill," Obama said, flexing his presidential powers just two weeks after his political standing was challenged in the midterm elections.
As Obama addressed the nation from the White House, immigration supporters with American flags draped over their shoulders marched on the street outside carrying signs that read, "Gracias, Presidente Obama."
Despite Obama's challenge to Republicans to pass a broader immigration bill, his actions and the angry GOP response could largely stamp out prospects for Congress passing comprehensive legislation under the current administration, ensuring that the contentious debate will carry on into the 2016 presidential campaign.
Republicans, emboldened by their sweeping victories in the midterms, are weighing responses to the president's actions that include lawsuits, a government shutdown, and in rare instances, even impeachment.
"The president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward," Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who is soon to become the Senate majority leader, said before Obama's address.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who has refused to have his members vote on broad immigration legislation passed by the Senate last year, said Obama's decision to go it alone "cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left."
While Obama's measures are sweeping in scope, they still leave more than half of the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally in limbo. The president announced new deportation priorities that would compel law enforcement to focus its efforts on tracking down serious criminals and people who have recently crossed the border, while specifically placing a low priority on those who have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
He insisted that his actions did not amount to amnesty.
"Amnesty is the immigration system we have today — millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time," he said.
The main beneficiaries of the president's actions are immigrants who have been in the U.S. illegally for more than five years but whose children are citizens or lawful permanent residents. After passing background checks and paying fees, those individuals can now be granted relief from deportation for three years and get work permits. The administration expects about 4.1 million people to qualify.
Obama is also broadening his 2012 directive that deferred deportation for some young immigrants who entered the country illegally. Obama will expand eligibility to people who arrived in the U.S. as minors before 2010, instead of the current cutoff of 2007, and will lift the requirement that applicants be under 31. The expansion is expected to affect about 300,000 people.
Applications for the new deportation deferrals will begin in the spring.
Immigration-rights activists gathered at watch parties around the country to listen to the president announce actions they have sought for years.
"We're going to have plenty of Kleenex around," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
The White House insists Obama has the legal authority to halt deportations for parents and for people who came to the U.S. as children, primarily on humanitarian grounds. Officials also cited precedents set by previous immigration executive actions by Democratic and Republican presidents dating back to Dwight Eisenhower.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's attorney general has sued General Motors for failing to recall millions of cars and trucks with safety defects the auto giant did not disclose for years. The lawsuit seeks potentially billions of dollars in fines.
Attorney General Tom Horne said Thursday that he sued under the state's consumer fraud statutes and is seeking a $10,000 fine for each of hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles sold in the state. The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix also seeks an injunction barring GM from similar actions and an order that it hand over profits it made from selling defective vehicles.
Horne took action independent of a group of 48 states that have been jointly investigating GM, which Arizona was participating in. "I made the decision that my job was to protect Arizona citizens and that I would be doing that better if we moved ahead with the lawsuit," he said.
GM said in a statement that it is committed to setting a new industry standard for safety, quality and excellence and proactively recalling cars and trucks when it finds a defect. The company said it has not had a chance to read and assess the complaint.
Horne's actions came on the same day that news broke that he was settling campaign-finance allegations brought by the state's public campaign financing board and would pay a $10,000 fine. Horne is leaving office in January after losing to his Republican opponent in the primary after years of allegations that he violated campaign laws in 2010 and again this year.
Horne said the two developments were unrelated. "One of the questions that I was asked frequently was 'can I continue doing my job while defending against charges which I say are false charges,' and I've always said yes, I can," he said.
GM has recalled more than 30 million vehicles so far this year, including millions of cars equipped with a defective ignition switch that has been blamed for at least 32 deaths. The ignition switches were installed in many GM small cars for years, and the company has been under fire for failing to recall them until early this year.
GM has hired compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to pay victims and their families and expects to pay $400 million to $600 million in claims.
In addition to two assistant attorneys general listed on the lawsuit, Horne brought in a Seattle law firm with a long history of class action lawsuits against major companies, including suing Toyota in a sudden-acceleration case.
The GM lawsuit alleges the company failed to ensure its products were safe, did not tell the truth about safety issues and failed to promptly recall defective vehicles. It also said GM's purported new safety culture "was an illusion given the company's egregious failure to disclose, and its affirmative concealment of, ignition switch defects and a plethora of other safety defects in GM-branded vehicles."
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is launching a statewide effort to raise awareness about sex trafficking.
Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler has organized a fundraiser on Nov. 21 to benefit two Chandler officers who died recently.
A Valley EMT working inside an ambulance stole from a patient who was riding to the hospital, then put the merchandise up for sale on eBay, Mesa Police said in court documents.
PHOENIX -- Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
Nov. 1, surrounded by her family, Brittany Maynard fulfilled her desire for a physician-assisted death. The world has watched her story and many, of course, have weighed in, some in support, others wishing she would have found another way.
TUCSON -- Gov. Jan Brewer asked the Arizona Supreme Court Thursday to quash efforts by a minority of state legislators to effectively kill the expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
State Health Director Will Humble said Tuesday he's not going to automatically quarantine health workers returning to Arizona from West Africa despite widespread public support for the move.
Looking for movie stars and jet-setters on the Italian island of Ischia
PHOENIX -- Prosecutors in three Arizona counties are using new figures on where teens now get their marijuana to lobby against making the drug legal for all adults.
Prosecutors in three Arizona counties are using new figures on where teens now get their marijuana to lobby against making the drug legal for all adults. But the data may not be as clear-cut as it seems.
Proposition 487, to be decided by Phoenix voters this November, has been clouded by a lot of confusion and misinformation. Unfortunately, one of the main perpetrators is Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who in an attempt to confuse voters, has once again attacked our city’s firefighters.
The fact that a toddler’s favorite toy held a packet of “Spice,” the illegal drug, wasn’t the only reason that the child was in danger, according to authorities.
Proponents of Proposition 122 insist that a potentially far-reaching amendment to the Arizona Constitution is necessary to ensure the public gets to monitor how well — or poorly — Arizona does in protecting children.
Jurors at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias saw a series of gruesome photos that showed her ex-boyfriend's dead body crammed into a shower at his house — his throat slit.
PHOENIX -- The parent company of the state's largest electric utility is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars through a third party to ensure that Republican Mark Brnovich becomes the next state attorney general.
Records obtained by Capitol Media Services show that Pinnacle West Capital Corp. has given $425,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association. That amounts to more than one dollar of every six of the $2.5 million RAGA has amassed so far in Arizona for attack ads on Democrat Felecia Rotellini.
Pinnacle West spokesman Alan Bunnell refused to explain why the corporation is spending that kind of money on the race for who becomes the state's top law enforcement official.
Instead, he said that Pinnacle West and Arizona Public Service "support causes of either party that are pro-business.'' And Bunnell said the company acts to ensure there is "safe, reliable and affordable energy.''
But it also comes as APS and other utilities are fighting the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for what they see as unnecessary and onerous pollution regulations for coal-fired power plants that will require larger reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from Arizona facilities than other states. And Brnovich has said that, if elected, he will join with other states "in challenging the legality of these federal regulations if they are not promptly withdrawn or significantly revised to reflect the concerns of stakeholders.''
Brnovich is not about to reject or disavow the spending by the utility on his behalf.
Spokesman Matthew Benson said the Republican has built "a strong coalition of support'' and that "he's happy to have everyone on board.''
Benson sidestepped a question of whether Brnovich thinks it is appropriate to have a regulated utility try to influence who is elected the next chief law enforcement officer of the state.
"You'd have to ask Pinnacle West about the donation decisions they have,'' he said. But Benson, in language echoing what came from Bunnell, said it's likely the company sees it as in its interest.
"If Pinnacle West has chosen to weigh in on his behalf in this race, it may be because the utility views him as the more credible candidate when it comes to pushing back against the Obama administration and fighting overregulation that threatens Arizona's ability to produce the clean, cost-effective energy Arizona families and businesses need,'' Benson said.
But Rotellini said neither the explanation from Bunnell nor Benson makes sense.
She pointed out she actually had gone on record in August as opposing the new EPA rules, even testifying before a legislative committee, before Brnovich sent his own letter threatening to sue the federal agency. Rotellini said she has no answers about why APS and its parent have opted to back her foe. But that did not stop her from blasting the company for its decision.
"It's beyond disconcerting to see a regulated corporation, the state's largest utility, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a dark money group to fund attack ads full of lies,'' she charged.
Strictly speaking, though, RAGA is not a "dark money'' group. Unlike others involved in trying to influence this year's election, it does provide a list of donors.
But it's not that simple. RAGA does take cash from other groups that do not make such disclosures.
That includes the American Future Fund which gave it $650,000 earlier this year, meaning that the ultimate source of much of RAGA's funding remains secret.
Other reports, however, show that American Future Foundation, in turn, received much of its funding, at least in the 2012 election cycle, from Center to Protect Patient Rights, a group founded by Sean Noble which has now morphed into American Encore. And Noble, who works for Brnovich, has previously been a consultant for APS.
Benson did not dispute whether Rotellini was first in blasting the EPA. But he said the timing apparently is irrelevant to APS.
"The question is which of these two candidates has credibility that they will actually fight back against the Obama administration,'' he said. "Talk is cheap.''
While the large contribution to help Brnovich could be found, albeit not from disclosure required by Arizona law, this may not be the first foray by APS into electing candidates it believes will be better for its business interests.
During the Republican primary, Vernon Parker and Lucy Mason charged that APS was behind the hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into commercials against them by Save Our Future Now. The same organization, which refuses to disclose its donors, also spent more than $425,000 on behalf of favored candidates Doug Little and Tom Forese who have advanced to the primary.
And Save Our Future Now already has reported spending $1.3 million in commercials attacking Democrat Sandra Kennedy.
Bunnell on Tuesday again refused to confirm or deny the involvement of either APS or its parent in the Corporation Commission race. Instead, he repeated his statement about the interest in supporting candidates that the company believes will support its energy policies.
The parent company of the state's largest electric utility is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars through a third party to ensure that Republican Mark Brnovich becomes the next state attorney general.
A prosecutor at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias showed jurors two photos Tuesday of her ex-boyfriend and victim Travis Alexander.