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October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and the students at Marana High School take the month very seriously.
Changing the available resources in local health care markets may help drastically to improve overall health in spite of health care service shortages, according to a report by the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
PHOENIX (AP) — A sheriff's detention officer shot and killed a jail inmate in Phoenix who slipped out of his restraints, ran away and struggled with another officer over a gun Tuesday, authorities said.
Angel Frescas, 22, died hours after being shot in the head by another detention officer who responded to the scene.
Frescas took off running after being taken to a hospital, Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said. A detention officer caught up with him, and they struggled over the officer's gun.
Another detention officer at the hospital responded to a call for help and fired several shots at Frescas, hitting him twice, said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a sheriff's spokesman.
Frescas had been arrested Oct. 14 on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in a Sept. 18 case, authorities said.
The shooting occurred on a street near the county hospital in central Phoenix, and news video showed a parked black van with bullet holes in its windshield. Residents said they heard several gunshots.
The inmate fled after somehow unfastening handcuffs and leg restraints while he and two other prisoners were unloaded from the van at the hospital, Enriquez said.
While one officer gave chase, a second detention officer helping transport the prisoners took the other two into the hospital and placed them in a holding cell.
Investigators believe Frescas had planned the escape in advance, Enriquez said.
A sheriff's inmate escaped from the same hospital earlier this month as he was taken in for a medical appointment. That inmate ditched his crutches and drove off in a vehicle that a deliveryman had left running. The inmate and stolen car were found elsewhere in Phoenix later that day.
A man is in the hospital after he allegedly stole a city-owned truck and crashed it into a pole, according to the Mesa Police Department.
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 small, white animals flood into Sharon Hampton’s living room in an instant. It’s Thursday morning at the Westie and Friends AZ Rescue dog shelter in Mesa.
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities in western Arizona say a man has been arrested for allegedly having heroin concealed inside his body.
Lake Havasu City police say 44-year-old William Brooks is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond after his initial court appearance.
He was taken into custody Saturday after a traffic stop on State Route 95.
A narcotics-sniffing dog from the Bullhead City Police Department alerted officers to several areas of the vehicle.
Police say numerous items of drug paraphernalia were located along with a .38-caliber handgun.
Detectives believed Brooks had concealed a bag of drugs within his body prior to the traffic stop.
A search warrant was obtained and Brooks was taken to the Havasu Regional Medical Center's emergency room.
Police say about 37 grams of heroin in a packet was retrieved.
Authorities in Chandler say a 2-year-old girl is in critical condition after being pulled from a backyard swimming pool.
One person has been killed in a two-vehicle accident in Gilbert.
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.
A 10-month-old baby was taken to a Valley hospital after being stung three times by a scorpion Friday night, according to Rural Metro.
Gilbert-based veterans group is working to build a smaller version of one of the nation’s most recognizable memorials in the town.
This undated photo taken from an Instagram posting shows an overlook of Crater Lake in Oregon with a rock painting. The National Park Service is investigating paintings and drawings of eerie faces found on rocks across the West in some of the country’s most recognizable wilderness areas, including Crater Lake. (AP Photo/Instagram)
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.
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Glendale police will be investigating the criminal aspect of an assault on an Avondale officer by a theft suspect that left the officer with injuries.
The suspect, who allegedly stole a city of Avondale truck and led police on a wild pursuit, died after being shot by police.
The officer was taken to a Valley hospital after the suspect crashed the truck into his police cruiser in Avondale Thursday morning. The officer had not been identified as of 8 p.m. Thursday.
Avondale police said 43-year-old Jeremy Bustos of Avondale assaulted a City of Avondale maintenance worker then stole the worker's truck around 9 a.m. near 111th Avenue and Durango Street, prompting a ground and aerial pursuit. After a short chase, crews deployed stop sticks near the same intersection, disabling the truck. Video showed Bustos use the stolen truck to ram the officer's vehicle as the truck careered into a nearby tree. Aerial footage showed emergency crews extricating the officer from his cruiser before he was airlifted from the scene.
He is listed in stable condition.
Other officers were then seen with guns drawn approaching the truck just before Bustos got out and attempted to flee on foot. Avondale police said Bustos pulled out a machete and advanced on officers, prompting them to open fire. Bustos was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.
Dorothy Reyes heard the chase from her house. "He went back and forth a few times, I'd say four times, and then all of a sudden he just hit the cop car," Reyes said.
Avondale police Sgt. Brandon Busse said, "We were very lucky that the suspect didn't hit anybody else."
Avondale police asked the Glendale department to take over the criminal aspect of the investigation.
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.
PHOENIX -- Proponents of Proposition 122 insist 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.
Postcards being paid for and mailed to voters by the Arizona Republican Party declare that "an unconstitutional federal law'' forces Child Protective Services -- which technically no longer exists -- "to hide botched investigations of abused kids.'' It features a photo of a young girl with a bruise on her arm crouching in the corner with her teddy bear.
The measure on the November ballot would allow the Legislature -- or voters -- to declare that the new Department of Child Safety will not follow the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which includes provisions about what can and cannot be publicly released.
But it may not be necessary to amend the state constitution to do that.
"We could get out of CAPTA now if we reject the federal funds,'' said Dana Naimark, president of the Children's Action Alliance. Naimark, whose organization has taken no position on Prop 122, said she objects to proponents of the ballot measure using child-abuse issues to gain support, calling it a "distraction.''
Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, who has been at the forefront of demanding more transparency at DCS, supports Proposition 122. But she acknowledged the problem may not be with CAPTA, the federal law which the ballot measure would let legislators decide they don't want to enforce here -- and the one the mailer claims without backup is "unconstitutional.'' In fact, she said CAPTA specifically mandates disclosure of information in cases of deaths or near-fatal cases of abuse.
The big problem, she said, is how the state attorneys assigned to the child-welfare agency have chosen to read the federal law -- and to use it as a shield to reject requests for public records.
"They interpret CAPTA so broadly as to make it shut down the access to and flow of information, as opposed to do what CAPTA was intended, which is to facilitate the sharing of information in the case of the death or the near-death of a child,'' Brophy McGee said.
So is Proposition 122 needed to open up records?
"It's another tool in the tool box,'' she said, to ensure the new DCS she helped create -- and the lawyers that advise it -- err on the side of disclosure. "I'm fully prepared to use it.''
In essence, Proposition 122 would permit lawmakers or voters to decide that some federal law or program is not "consistent with the (federal) constitution.'' If that happens, all state and local governments and school districts would be prohibited from using their workers or funds "to enforce, administer or cooperate with the designated federal action or program.''
Where child abuse comes in is with CAPTA.
On one hand, the law which provides federal dollars to states for child-abuse programs specifically allows disclosure of information in instances of abuse that result in a fatality or near fatality. But other information is considered off limits.
More to the point, officials at Child Protective Services for years have cited CAPTA restrictions in rejecting requests for public records.
Brophy McGee said recent amendments to the law on confidentiality were designed to address some of that.
For example, the statute says records have to be maintained as required by federal law. But they also have declared that "all exceptions for the public release of DCS information shall be construed as openly as possible under federal law.''
"Every time we 'fix' (the law), they go right back to where they were and they cite CAPTA,'' Brophy McGee said. And she said that the new DCS is "not doing any better'' than the old CPS at being transparent about its operations -- even after she inserted a provision into the law creating DCS allowing the agency to hire its own attorney who might be willing to approve more disclosure.
That still leaves the question of whether lawmakers need Proposition 122 or can simply alter the existing Arizona law to demand fuller disclosure, regardless of federal law.
Businessman Jack Biltis, who is financing much of the pro-122 campaign, said he doubts that a simple amendment to state law would do much.
"CPS has really just been creating excuses not to disclose anything they didn't want to,'' he said, with the agency claiming the supremacy of the federal law. He said Proposition 122 would solve that by allowing lawmakers, citing the Arizona Constitution, to preclude precluding the DCS from participating in the federal CAPTA program if that is what is keeping records secret.
Biltis acknowledged that part of the decision lawmakers would have to make is whether such a mandate is worth the risk of losing federal dollars.
It's not a lot: Jennifer Bowser Richards, spokeswoman for DCS, put CAPTA aid to Arizona at just $670,000.
Biltis contends there is precedent that Washington cannot take away funds simply because Arizona refuses to follow federal law. That comes from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling two years ago which blocked the Obama administration from cutting off Medicaid dollars to states that refuse to expand their programs as part of the Affordable Care Act.
But that ruling dealt with a new requirement being superimposed on existing Medicaid law. This would involve Arizona trying to unilaterally alter an existing agreement.
Brophy McGee said she doubts there would be a legal fight if Arizona were to say it is going to make more information public, with or without Proposition 122.
"No state has ever lost funds because of CAPTA violations,'' she said.
DCS Director Charles Flanagan declined to be interviewed about the issue.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office says a court-appointed official's critique of the agency's investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some of its officers contains mischaracterizations.
Arpaio's lawyers say in court papers Tuesday that the report alleges investigators failed to act on information provided to them while they examined shakedown allegations against a former deputy. It also says supervisors of the deputy, whose arrest led to the investigations, didn't take appropriate action against him.
The report has not been released to the public.
The lawyers say the document unfairly suggested the sheriff's department wasn't investigating allegations in good faith, and that the criticism centers on the fact that no criminal charges have been filed against officers.
"Such a conclusion, especially given the genesis of this particular investigation, presumes the guilt of MCSO deputies," the attorneys wrote.
The critique was made by Robert Warshaw, who was appointed to monitor the agency by a judge who ruled Arpaio's officers have racially profiled Latinos in its patrols.
The judge asked Warshaw to investigate allegations against a witness in the profiling case, now-deceased deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz. Eighteen months after the profiling trial, Armendariz was accused of shaking down immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Armendariz was arrested five months ago after investigators found driver's licenses, wallets belonging to other people, bags of evidence and more than 100 license plates at his Phoenix home.
Another discovery at Armendariz's home involved an estimated 900 hours of videos taken from cameras mounted on his eyeglasses and dashboard that were supposed to be turned over in the profiling case.
Armendariz told investigators he was innocent, and he implicated former colleagues on Arpaio's immigrant smuggling squad. After his arrest, Armendariz resigned and was later found dead in his home in a suicide by hanging, officials say.
Warshaw's report on the investigation into Armendariz's allegations hasn't been publicly released.
The sheriff's office has repeatedly denied requests by The Associated Press for updates on the investigations, and investigative reports and related documents sought through public records requests haven't been released.
The attorneys who pressed the racial profiling case against Arpaio's office filed a response to Warshaw's report, but that filing is under a court seal. The American Civil Liberties Union, the driving force behind the profiling case, declined to comment on the filing by Arpaio's lawyers.
The sheriff's office says in its latest filing that nearly 9,000 videos taken by officers during the course of their work have been collected in the investigation. It says the videos have generated 39 internal investigations.
Arpaio's lawyers said Warshaw's criticism underscores the monitor's misunderstanding about the distinction between investigations that examine criminal allegations and those that focus on policy violations.
The sheriff's office also said the monitor alleged that Armendariz's supervisors failed to take administrative action against him. Arpaio's lawyers said it already has an administrative investigation into the matter.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ordered that a copy of Warshaw's report be sent to county and federal prosecutors. He set a Tuesday hearing to discuss the critique.
Arpaio's attorneys have asked the judge to close discussions of the Armendariz investigations, while opposing lawyers said they should be open to the public.
In a rematch of a razor-close 2012 congressional race, Democratic Congressman Ron Barber is in a fight for his political life against Republican challenger Martha McSally, a retired A-10 pilot who nearly beat him two years ago.