Democrats Call Doug Ducey's Cold Stone a "Ponzi Scheme," and Say It With Ice Cream

Categories: Election 2014

The Arizona Democratic Party is comparing the way Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey ran Cold Stone Creamery to a Ponzi scheme.

To push the point, the party held a bit of an ice cream party at its Phoenix headquarters today, showing off gallons of ice cream labeled: "Doug Ducey's Pistachio Ponzi Scheme."

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Rex Chapman's Sale of New, Stolen Apple Items Didn't Raise Suspicions at Pawn Store

Categories: News

Details released in the Rex Chapman shoplifting case show that North Scottsdale Loan and Gold paid the ex-NBA star thousands for the brand-new goods he brought in.

Alfonso Larriva, owner of the Scottsdale store as well as other Valley pawn shops, tells New Times that the store's employees didn't find the transactions suspicious.

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Video: Fight Among Fans at Cardinals vs. 49ers Game on Sunday

Categories: Cardinals

A bloody fight between fans at Sunday's Arizona Cardinals game was caught on video.

The Cards beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-14 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Plenty of action also took place in the stands, as the video shows.

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Arizona Democratic Party Protested by Latinos, Immigrant-Rights Supporters

Categories: News

Immigrant-rights protesters held a demonstration outside the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix last week, blasting the Dems for being the "deportation party."

Videographer Dennis Gilman was there to capture the action, as protesters were particularly upset with recent news that President Obama would delay taking executive action on the immigration front until after the election.

"Over 2 million people have been deported under this president," Puente Arizona director Carlos Garcia said at the rally. "One thousand people a day are deported from this country, all in the hands of President Obama and the Democratic Party."

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All 24 Cities and Towns in Maricopa County, Ranked from Worst to First

Categories: List This

Here it is: The definitive ranking of every single city and town in Maricopa County.

We factored in things like livability, location, attractions for visitors, and any number of X-factors in ranking all 24 cities in towns in the county from worst to first.

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Top Five Most-Read Phoenix News Stories of the Week

In case you missed any news action this week, we've got you covered.

Here's our recap of the most-read news stories of the week:

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Rex Everett Chapman, Former Phoenix Suns Player, Suspected in Apple Shoplifting Scheme

Image: Twitter
Rex Everett Chapman in better days. The former Phoenix Suns player was arrested on Friday in connection with an Apple Store shoplifting scheme.
Rex Everett Chapman, a former star Phoenix Suns player, was arrested today by Scottsdale police in connection with an Apple Store shoplifting scheme.

Chapman was transported to the Maricopa County Jail, suspected of nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking in stolen property, all felonies.

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Arizona Marijuana-Legalization Campaign for 2016 Ballot Measure Becomes Official

Categories: Weed

Image: Andrew Pielage
Proponents of a 2016 citizens' initiative in Arizona that aims to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older filed paperwork with the state on Thursday, the first step in their campaign.

The Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona initiative still has a long way to go before becoming a law. But if it's successful, it would reverse about 80 years of marijuana prohibition in Arizona, raise millions in tax revenue and potentially end black-market sales of the plant.

The downsides: We'll let you know if we think of any.

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Kingman Couple Battling Biological Father Over Custody of Adopted Children

Categories: News

Wikimedia Commons/Chris Potter
A Kingman couple is fighting to keep the children they adopted in 2012.

"It's a hot mess," says Tracie Hirz, the children's foster mother.

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Pot Deal Gone Bad Leads to Lockdown of Sky Harbor Airport Terminal, 25 Canceled Flights

Categories: News

Phoenix PD/Sergeant Steve Martos
Layron Dejarnette was arrested at Sky Harbor airport yesterday after running and hiding from police for several hours.
A marijuana deal gone bad at a Tempe gas station eventually led to a three-hour lock-down of a terminal and 25 flight cancellations at Sky Harbor airport yesterday.

A group of three people showed up to a Shell gas station near Broadway Road and Price Road in Tempe around 2:45 yesterday, and one of them shot the pot dealer, police say. The dealer was able to make his way to a nearby apartment complex and called police, while the group of three drove away from the gas station, and toward the airport.

According to police, patrol officers in Tempe spotted the suspects driving about two minutes after the 9-1-1 call was made, but a high-speed chase developed.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: Best Guess

At the end of the week, we bring you a roundup of visitors to the desert's own Fourth Avenue Jail. To be considered for our Maricopa County mugshots of the week, get arrested, strike a pose, and we'll take care of the rest.

This week, we take our best guesses as to what's going on in some of the week's most memorable mugshots. Enjoy.

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Bill Montgomery's Anti-Muslim Seminar Results in Threats to Muslims, ADL Criticizes Training, Phoenix PD Will Not Participate (w/Updates)

Thumbnail image for FeatheredBastard_RESIZE_VF.jpg

Please see the updates at the end of this post, which include comments from John Guandolo, the Phoenix Police Department, and the MCSO.

The backlash is building against Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's upcoming anti-Muslim training session, featuring Islamaphobic ex-FBI agent John Guandolo, who believes that CIA Director John Brennan is a secret Muslim.

The Phoenix Police Department has confirmed to me that it will not be sending any representatives to the controversial, day-long seminar, which is being held at a Tempe hotel on Friday.

Other law enforcement agencies may be getting cold feet too, including the MCSO, but that remains unconfirmed at present. (Note: MCSO has since confirmed non-participation, please see updates below.)

The Arizona office of the Anti-Defamation League sent Montgomery a letter last week critical of Guandolo, though the ADL says Montgomery has yet to respond to the letter.

And most troubling, Guandolo's involvement in the training already may have resulted in threats against local Muslims and Mosques.

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Green Acre Dog Owners File Lawsuit Alleging Fraud by Senator Flake's Son, Others

Image: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Dogs in the "Dog Room" at the Hughes' house.
The owners of 23 dogs found dead on June 19 at a home-boarding business in Gilbert are suing the four suspects in the related criminal case, including the son of Senator Jeff Flake.

Twenty-one people, represented by four local lawyers, filed a 23-page complaint today in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging they were defrauded by the owners of Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding, MaLeisa and Jesse "Todd" Hughes, MaLeisa Hughes' daughter, Logan Flake, and her husband, Austin.

The wide-ranging lawsuit alleges multiple acts including fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and negligence, and details heart-wrenching tales of lies and betrayal that followed the deaths of numerous beloved pets.

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Sherman Unkefer Sold Secret Stash of $5.4M in Gold and Silver, Witness in RICO Suit Claims

Categories: Scam Alert

Image: Jeremy Schultz via Wikipedia
Sherman Unkefer, the Scottsdale gold-and-juice scamster targeted in a $54 million RICO suit, supposedly sold $5.4 million in gold and silver in 2013 to stop it from going to his victims.

Marc Olivieri, who worked with one of Unkefer's associates, detailed the alleged sale in an affidavit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in late August as part of the RICO suit.

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First Amendment Coalition Joins Execution-Drug Lawsuit, Seeks Release of Information

Categories: Death Row

The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona filed an amended complaint on Thursday to join a lawsuit by Federal Public Defenders seeking information about execution drugs.

The public defenders filed their lawsuit on June 26 on behalf of Arizona's condemned prisoners, hoping to find out more about the drug Midazolam and its use in the then-planned execution of convicted murderer Joseph Wood.

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ASU Police Officers Have 70 Semi-Automatic M-16s They Don't Need

Categories: Guns

Image: Ray Stern
One of the 70 semi-automatic M-16s acquired by the ASU police department, which has 71 sworn officers.
Arizona State University police obtained 70 semi-automatic M-16s from a military program in 2013 that the force doesn't actually need.

The ASU police department has 71 sworn officers, according to its website, meaning the junior-league offshoot of the state Department of Public Safety has upped its firepower potential considerably.

But with no invasion of ISIL shock troops imminent, nor any need to take over ASU's campus by force, the rifles are about as useful as a chainsaw in a kitchen knife set.

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Jonathan Dwyer, Cardinals Running Back, Punched and Head-Butted Wife, Cops Say

Categories: Cardinals

Ken Lund
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested yesterday on felony and misdemeanor assault charges for a pair of domestic-violence incidents.

Court documents released this morning detail the altercations between Dwyer and his wife at their Phoenix apartment in July.

According to the documents, Dwyer, 25, head-butted his wife during an argument on July 22, breaking her nose. The next day, police allege, Dwyer "punched his wife on the left side of her face with his right closed fist."

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Congressman Franks Gets an "F" Grade From Atheist Coalition for Blending Religion, Politics

Categories: Election 2014

Representative Trent Franks, Arizona's abortion obsessed Congressman, got a failing grade from an atheist coalition for, basically, draping himself and his political office with a robe of Christianity and proposing legislation based on his religious views.

As one would figure, that wouldn't go over well with the Secular Coalition for America, which serves as the "national lobby for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other non theistic Americans."

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Arizona Lawmaker Proposes Civics Test as a Requirement for High School Graduation

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

Matthew Hendley
Republican Representative Steve Montenegro (center) explains his proposal for requiring a civics test for high school graduation.
Republican Representative Steve Montenegro plans to introduce legislation that would require Arizona high school students to pass a civics test before graduating.

The test would be based on the 100-question exam that immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens must pass, which includes general knowledge questions about the country, like who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the date of Tax Day.

"How can we the people maintain or unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- rights that so many Americans have fought and died for -- if we're ignorant of these facts?" Montenegro said.

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West Valley Casino Opponents Fail in Attempt to Force Election to Reverse Glendale's Support

Categories: Wild, Wild West

Ed and Bette Sharpe / Glendale Daily Planet
City officials rejected Gary Hirsch's submission of several boxes with signed petitions.
Another victory of sorts for the Tohono O'odham Nation and its plans to open a casino in the West Valley.

Glendale officials rejected boxes of petitions gathered by an anti-casino group upset that the City Council formally reversed its opposition to the Nation's gaming project called the West Valley Resort.

And, the group wasn't happy that the Council voted to formally oppose a measure introduced by Arizona Congressman Trent Franks to effectively kill the casino project. Or, that Glendale entered into an agreement with the Nation that exchanges financial support for political support.

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