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A small group of local Republican lawmakers gathered outside the Mesa Arts Center on Wednesday morning for a press conference on immigration reform ahead of President Obama’s speech on Thursday.
Not even waiting until President Obama gave his speech Thursday night, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed suit in federal court seeking to block the announced plans to allow millions of people not in this country to remain and work here legally.
There was a time when I actually watched every single play of the high school football game I covered.
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.
Outside groups that want Doug Ducey as Arizona's next governor have spent enough to give every man, woman and child in the state a dollar — and still have $1 million left over. That doesn't count the $2.2 million that Ducey himself has spent in the general election, on top of the $5 million he expended just getting to be the Republican nominee in the first place.
PHOENIX -- Outside groups that want Doug Ducey as Arizona's next governor have spent enough to give every man, woman and child in the state a dollar -- and still have $1 million left over.
Close to one out of every seven votes cast this year will come from Hispanics, according to a non-partisan organization promoting Latino turnout. And group members predict that large percentage of them will vote for Democrats — but not necessarily because of what those candidates offer, but how Republicans are campaigning.
As we begin National Bully Prevention Month, I feel it would be pertinent to put some thoughts on paper that would bring to light an important aspect of the bullying issue that is not usually addressed.
Roughly two years ago, I came home from work to find a letter on my front door. That letter was to inform me about a junior high school in my neighborhood that was closing. As any community member would, I simply asked why?
Two high schools in Gilbert are in the midst of a competition to get a burger named after them for a month at a new downtown restaurant.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A series of colorful, eerie faces painted on rocks in some of the West's most famously picturesque landscapes has sparked an investigation by the National Park Service and a furor online.
Agents so far have confirmed the images in Yosemite and four other national parks in California, Utah and Oregon. Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said the vandalism could lead to felony charges for the person responsible.
The images appear to come from a New York state woman traveling across the West this summer and documenting her work on Instagram and Tumblr, said Casey Schreiner of modernhiker.com, whose blog post tipped off authorities.
The investigation is the subject of well-trafficked threads on the website Reddit, where people railed against the drawings as the defacing of irreplaceable natural landscapes.
"You're seeing this emotional response of people who feel like they've been kicked in the gut," Schreiner said.
It's not the first time vandalism in parks has been documented on social media. Last year in Utah, two Boy Scout leaders caused an online uproar when they recorded themselves toppling an ancient rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park and posted it on YouTube.
But in this case, the woman appears to consider the work an artistic expression, Schreiner said.
One photograph online showed a painting of a woman's face on a rock outcropping against the panoramic sweep of Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. In another, a backpack-size line drawing of a woman smoking a cigarette appears on red rock in Utah's Zion.
The images appear to have been painted with acrylic paint or drawn with marker, Schreiner said.
He took screen shots Tuesday of seven images that appeared on Instagram and Tumblr accounts under the handle "creepytings." The accounts later were made private or taken down.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman associated with the accounts because she hasn't been charged with a crime. Efforts to reach her Thursday were not successful.
Artists who work in natural environments typically consider who owns the land and get permission to work there, said Monty Paret, an associate professor of art history at the University of Utah. The earthwork "Spiral Jetty" sculpture on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, for example, is on land leased from the state.
The images that surfaced this week look more like graffiti, Paret said.
"As opposed to tagging in a back alley, it's like tagging an iconic building," he said. "It's going to get a lot more attention."
National parks agents have confirmed the vandalism in Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks in California, Canyonlands and Zion in Utah, and Crater Lake in Oregon.
Investigators also are looking for vandalism in other places the woman's social media trail indicates she visited: Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California; Rocky Mountain in Colorado; Bryce Canyon in Utah; and Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Crater Lake superintendent Craig Ackerman said bad weather has kept staff from going to the painting there, which is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. Though rangers typically remove graffiti to discourage others, sometimes cleaning it causes even more damage, he said.
Vandalism is a small but persistent problem for the Park Service, which welcomes about 280 million visitors a year, Olson said.
It typically is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison. But vandalism in national parks can be a felony if the damage is extensive or in specially protected places, he said.
Associated Press writer Jeff Barnard in Grants Pass, Oregon, contributed to this report.
Gilbert Fire and Rescue developed a new mobile app that it hopes citizens will use to promote safety.
Get together your geek-gathering gear and garb, there’s a new pop culture convention in town, and its name is Comic & Media Expo (or CMX for short.) They will be making their inaugural run at the Mesa Convention Center from Oct. 17–19, and showcasing local talent as well as nationwide notables from comics, cosplay, television and movies.
Gays are now legally marrying in Arizona.
Friday's federal court ruling voiding Arizona restrictions against same-sex marriage raises a series of new questions about other state laws which discriminate based on sexual orientation.
A former student-teacher at a Tempe high school has changed his plea to guilty to three counts of attempt to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix woman who left her two children in a hot car in March while she attended a job interview will fund a childcare and education trust fund.
Those were part of a plea agreement that 35-year-old Shanesha Taylor reached with prosecutors in August when she regained custody of her two sons ages 2 and 6.
A Maricopa Superior Court judge told Taylor that he was concerned that she hadn't funded the trust from money accumulated from a social media campaign.
The judge told Taylor during a status conference on Monday that if the trust wasn't funded by Oct. 27, the plea deal will be pulled.
Taylor's attorney says $60,000 from the $114,000 donated by the public will be used for the trust fund
PHOENIX -- Same-sex weddings in Arizona could be less than a week away.
In a brief order made available Friday, a federal judge considering challenges to the Arizona ban said he's all but convinced that Arizona's laws and constitutional provision against gays being able to marry are illegal.
Judge John Sedwick said his conclusion follows a ruling earlier this week by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down similar bans in Idaho and Nevada. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously those restrictions violate the rights of homosexuals who want the same rights to wed granted to heterosexuals.
Sedwick said it appears that decisions "controls the outcome'' of challenges here.
In essence, the judge gave attorneys for the state through this coming Thursday to convince him that's not true. If they cannot, the judge indicated he will grant a motion by challengers to summarily rule the Arizona restrictions illegal and reject a separate request by the state to dismiss the challenge.
That could come as early as Friday.
Jennifer Pizer, attorney with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, who is handling one of the two challenges in Sedwick's court, said she sees his action as a good sign.
"The order ... confirms that Judge Sedwick is prepared to apply the 9th Circuit decision and vindicate the basic rights of lesbian and gay Arizonans and their families,'' she said.
Pizer pointed out that last month, it took the judge just hours after oral arguments to decide that Fred McQuire was entitled to be listed by Arizona authorities as the surviving spouse of George Martinez who he married in California.
"Judge Sedwick doesn't dawdle when he's been persuaded,'' she said.
Less clear is how quickly gays would be able to marry.
Sedwick could follow the precedent set by the 9th Circuit and make his ruling effective immediately. Efforts by other states to delay similar orders have been rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the high court on Friday dissolving the temporary stay it had given Idaho officials from that appellate ruling, requiring that state now to also start letting gays wed.
Attorney General Tom Horne told Capitol Media Services his office is still reviewing that 9th Circuit ruling. Horne said he has not yet decided whether any of the arguments Arizona is making to preserve its restrictions are sufficiently different than what the appellate judges already have dismissed in the other cases.
More to the point, Horne said any decision of whether to appeal of Sedwick's ruling will depend on whether he believes Arizona would have more success defending its ban than any of the other states have had.
It may be difficult to prove that the arguments here are any different than have been made -- and rejected -- elsewhere.
In defending Arizona's restriction, lawyers said that defining marriage as solely between one man and one woman "furthers the state's compelling interest in connecting children to both their biological mother and their biological father.''
"The most reliable studies on alternative family structures show that, in general, the optimal childrearing environment is a home headed by a married biological mother and biological father,'' wrote Byron Babione. He is an attorney with the Christian public interest law firm Alliance Defending Freedom who Horne has allowed to take the lead in making Arizona's arguments.
"Moreover, every set of biological parents provides their children with a parent of each sex, and much social science indicates that gender-differentiated parenting is important for human development,'' Babione wrote.
But in the 9th Circuit ruling just this past Tuesday, appellate Judge Stephen Reinhardt said Idaho and Nevada were making the same arguments: that marriage laws "promote child welfare by encouraging optimal parenting.'' That included the idea that children raised by two parents of opposite sex are "most likely to thrive'' because mothers and fathers have "complementary approaches to parenting.''
Reinhardt said, however, there was nothing presented to the court supporting those contentions.
In the brief Sedwick said he will rule on, Babione also said it is "logical'' to assume that if gays can marry "that marriage between man-woman couples having or raising children will decrease.''
"As fewer man-woman couples marry and as more of their relationships ends prematurely, the already significant costs associated with unwed childbearing and divorce would further increase,'' Babione wrote.
Reinhardt, however, addressed that specific contention in the appellate court ruling by citing data from Massachusetts where gays have been able to marry since 2004. He said there was no decrease in marriage rates or increase in divorce rates in that time.
And the judge said allowing gays to marry actually might have the opposite result predicted by foes.
"It would seem that allowing couples who want to marry so badly that they have endured years of litigation to win the right to do so would reaffirm the state's endorsement, without reservation, of spousal and parental commitment,'' Reinhardt wrote.
Babione also contends that that if gays can wed "it is logical to project that fewer fathers will commit to their children's mothers and jointly raise their children.''
But Reinhardt, addressing the same arguments from Idaho and Nevada, said that comes down to a contention that a man who has a child with a woman, seeing a child raised by two women allowed to marry by the state, will somehow conclude that it is unnecessary for his own child to have a father.
"This proposition reflects a crass and callous view of parental love and the parental bond that is not worthy of a response,'' Reindardt sniffed. "We reject it out of hand.''
Along the same lines, Reinhardt brushed aside arguments by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch'' Otter than that allowing same-sex marriage will lead to bad behavior by heterosexual couples.
"We seriously doubt that allowing committed same-sex couples to settle down in legally recognized marriages will drive opposite-sex couples to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll,'' the judge wrote.
Finally, Babione said the people of Arizona, who approved a constitutional amendment in 2008, have a right to define marriage for their community. But Reinhardt, in the earlier ruling, said that does not trump the fact that, absent some legitimate purpose, "laws that treat people differently based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional.''
On a strictly legal question, Babione contends Arizona's restriction should be upheld if the state can show a rational basis for it. But the 9th Circuit, saying fundamental rights are at issue, already has said it examines these kind of laws on a "strict scrutiny'' basis which require states to show some compelling reason for them.
WWE goes pink with Susan G. Komen
WWE goes pink with Susan G. Komen
WWE and Susan G. Komen will expand their partnership for their third annual breast cancer awareness campaign. “The “Courage Conquer Cure” campaign will continue throughout National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and WWE will donate 20 percent of the retail price of all co-branded merchandise sold on WWEShop.com and at WWE live events, as well as 5 percent of all other WWE merchandise sold on WWEShop.com, to Komen. For the first time, fans will have the option of donating $1, $5 or $10 upon checkout from WWEShop.com with all proceeds benefiting Komen.
WWE and Komen will also feature special “Keep Calm and Never Give Up” T-shirts inspired by WWE superstar John Cena, “Support the Twins” T-shirts and pink Hulk Hogan “Hulkamania” T-shirts.
To support Komen’s mission, WWE will utilize all its assets including WWE Network, TV and pay-per-view broadcasts, live events, PSAs, digital and social media to generate awareness and encourage fans to get involved. The campaign will also be featured on the reality series “Total Divas,” in an episode that airs on Oct. 19 on E!. Throughout the month, the WWE announcer table, entrance ramp and ring skirts will be co-branded and the middle ring rope turned pink to promote the fight against breast cancer.
For more information about Susan G. Komen, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org/wwe or call 1 (877) GOKOMEN.
Mountain Vista Medical Center offering mammogram special in October
In honor of National Breast Cancer Month, Mountain Vista Medical Center is offering a special price of $75 for routine screening mammograms on weekdays through October. Mammograms can help detect tumors and increase the chances of a successful fight against breast cancer.
DETAILS>> Mountain Vista Medical Center, 1301 S. Crismon Road, Mesa. Call 1 (877) 924-WELL (9355) for more information or to make an appointment for a digital screening mammogram. Please mention the mammogram special when you call. A physician’s order is required. Insurance will not be billed and the screening is not valid for patients with breast implants or pre-existing breast conditions.
Valley business hosting Breast Cancer Action Project
Spiritude Restorative Therapies for Women LLC will be hosting the Breast Cancer Action Project to benefit for the nonprofit organization Breast Cancer Action, based in San Francisco. The event will strive to change the focus of Breast Cancer Awareness Month from awareness to action. at its location, .
DETAILS>> All events will be inside Bikram Yoga East Valley, 1011 N. Val Vista Drive, Suite 106, in Gilbert. Noon Oct. 11 — Audrey Parets will conduct a free one-hour lecture and a Q & A session in which she will outline breast health advice that women can pursue on their own as preventative measures. Noon Oct. 12 — Spiritude will offer a complimentary screening of the film, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.,” which reveals those individuals and companies who have co-opted what marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause.” A silent auction will also be held throughout the weekend with proceeds benefitting Breast Cancer Action. For more information on the Breast Cancer Action Project, visit spiritude.com, or call (480) 861-1101. For further information on Breast Cancer Action, visit bcaction.org.
Valley Auto Repair Shops putting the brakes on breast cancer
Dozens of locally owned, neighborhood auto repair shops (including all NARPRO shops) are joining forces to raise money for a promising breast cancer vaccine. All proceeds from the “Brakes for Breasts” campaign will go directly to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. During the month of October, at least 30 locally owned shops from across Arizona will join more than 100 other independent shop owners in 26 states in the “Brakes for Breasts” campaign. Customers will receive free brake pads (up to $80 retail value) when scheduling a brake service in October. Customers will pay labor and any additional parts while each shop donates 10 percent of every brake service to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund.
DETAILS>> To locate a shop participating in the campaign, visit www.brakesforbreastsAZ.org.
Donate & Skate at Arizona Coyotes game
BH Skating Pop Up Rink Events presents #PINKRINK, Donate & Skate event during pre-game activities at the Arizona Coyotes game at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Proceeds from the event will support Making Strides Against Cancer AZ.
DETAILS>> The event will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, and feature a promotional skating rink venue that will include 3-on-3 hockey exhibitions, as well as opportunities for the public to Donate & Skate until 6 p.m.. The first 100 guests who donate $5 or more will receive a #PINKRINK gift.
Raising Cane’s donating sales proceeds to Susan G. Komen
During the month of October, all six Arizona locations of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers will donate 15 percent of proceeds from lemonade and tea jug sales to Susan G. Komen Central and Northern Arizona. The proceeds donated will directly support the organization in providing grants to local hospitals and community establishments that provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs for medically underserved and uninsured women and men
DETAILS>> Arizona Raising Cane’s locations. 2715 W. Peoria Ave., Phoenix; 4325 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix; 960 E. University Drive, Tempe; 9935 W. McDowell Road, Avondale; 1945 S. Stapley Drive, Mesa; 7920 W. Bell Road, Glendale.
• Theresa DiBona: (480) 898-7924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.