Channel 12 News Splits From AzCentral, Hopes People Go to New Site

Categories: Media

Channel 12 News (KPNX-TV) has split off from AzCentral after a 14-year partnership, and now hopes people visit its own site.

The station will clearly struggle to draw a respectable amount of traffic to its site,, for years to come.

One big help would be an immediate improvement to the watered-down news the site is now offering.

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Video: Arizona Congressman's Constituents Fired Up Over Chemtrails

Categories: Politics

"Chemtrails" are apparently a hot political issue in Arizona.

Less than a year after state Senator Kelli Ward held a community meeting in her Lake Havasu district to address concerns from her constituents that the government is poisoning people with chemicals dumped from airplanes, another politician took heat over his refusal to buy into the conspiracy theories.

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MATFORCE Puts Up Anti-Marijuana Billboard With Incorrect Website Name

Categories: Marijuana

A Yavapai County anti-legalization group that claims marijuana use lowers IQ seems to be in need of an IQ boost itself.

MATFORCE, a coalition of cops and business leaders led by County Attorney Sheila Polk, put up at least one billboard in the Phoenix area recently that contains an incorrect website address.

Social media has been buzzing for the past few days over a billboard near Interstate 17 and Indian School Road that promotes, due to an unfortunately placed question mark, an unrelated California foundation that helps kids with brain tumors.

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Arpaio Cops to Investigating Federal Judge, Judge's Wife, Confirming New Times Story

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In my line of work, it doesn't get much better than a federal judge's handing your column to a public official, and getting the accused pol to confirm the column's facts, one by one, under oath.

This is what happened on day three of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's civil contempt trial, when, at the conclusion of Arpaio's testimony, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow told Arpaio he wanted to ask him a few questions, based on one of my columns from last year.

The result? Admissions by Arpaio that he had been using a confidential informant in Seattle, Dennis Montgomery, and paying him from RICO and confidential-informant funds to do an investigation of a vaguely defined conspiracy theory involving the U.S. Department of Justice and various judges, including Snow himself.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: A Little of Everything

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 bring you a little of everything, from scary, to creepy, to just plain weird, and even happy! Enjoy.

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Cheap MOOCs for Sale at ASU: Deal With edX to Offer Online Option for Freshmen

Categories: ASU

A deal between Arizona State University and edX, a nonprofit Internet firm, aims to give future freshmen the option to take their first year entirely in MOOCs.

The announcement by edX and ASU comes after a flurry of news articles last year critical of the "massive open online courses," which allow thousands of students to take the same class at once.

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Noose Tightens Around Arpaio's Neck as He Channels Ronnie Reagan in Day Two of Contempt Trial

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Think To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch doing Jedi mind tricks on an addled Emperor Palpatine.

That's what Stanley Young, the plaintiffs' lead attorney in the ACLU's big civil rights case Melendres v. Arpaio, resembled as he interrogated Sheriff Joe Wednesday afternoon during day two of Joe's civil contempt trial before federal Judge G. Murray Snow.

A veteran litigator with the Silicon Valley arm of Covington and Burling, which has partnered with the ACLU in this suit, Young began his examination of Arpaio by first having the sheriff acknowledge that he had violated the orders of the court, asking the pseudo-lawman to agree that all 21 facts both he and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan stipulated to in a March admission of guilt were true.

This Arpaio did, while leaving himself some wiggle room.

"With the caveat that I'm the leader of this office and take the responsibility," he said.

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Brittney Griner Arrested for Domestic Violence

Categories: Crime

Goodyear PD
The Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner was booked into the Maricopa County Jail Wednesday after an alleged domestic-violence incident.

Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis says Griner and fiancée Glory Johnson were arrested following a physical fight. Johnson also plays in the WNBA, as a forward for the Tulsa Shock, and was jailed on the same charges as Griner.

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Phoenix to Study Feasibility of City ID Cards

Categories: News

The Phoenix City Council approved on Wednesday the study of a city identification card.

The idea behind such an ID card is to provide identification to those who don't have a government-issued ID, mainly unauthorized immigrants.

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Navajo Man Gets 35 Years for Brutal Rape and Murder of 18-Year-Old Kayenta Woman

Categories: Crime

Sankey Jim Reid of Kayenta was sentenced to 35 years in a federal prison last week for the brutal rape and murder of his friend's 18-year-old girlfriend.

As New Times reported last year, an FBI investigation showed Reid, 31, raped Nix anally in April 2014 after driving her to a dark road south of the Navajo Nation town, then suffocated her before running over her body with his car.

However, as a plea deal Reid signed with the government in January states, Reid had only tried to suffocate her. She was killed by "crushing injuries to the head and body," an autopsy later found.

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A Copper Mine Near Superior Is Set to Destroy a Unique, Sacred Recreation Area -- for Fleeting Benefits

Pablo Iglesias
For centuries, Linda Thomas' ancestors walked this rugged landscape near modern-day Superior as she does today.

"We have always harvested acorns and berries and had ceremonies here," says Thomas, who lives in the small Apache town of San Carlos about 50 miles away. "My granddaughter won't be able to come here and do that anymore if it's . . . it's going to be poisoned."

Thomas talks of her granddaughter as wind whips through the 5-year-old's hair, both of them standing on a hill of rocks and cactus overlooking sites at the Oak Flat campground. Thomas says the child's Apache name is Zuhnabah. The girl says her name is Serenity, which Thomas agrees also is her name.

Yavapais and Apaches used this land for generations. With a backdrop of gnarled mesquite, volcanic rock outcroppings, meandering streambeds, and the occasional Emory oak that gives the place its name, they would go there to bury their dead, gather edible plants, and hunt for small game.

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Happy Earth Day: Governor Ducey Vetoed "Land-Grab" Bills

Categories: Environment

Royce Bair/Flickr

When it comes to the environment, we don't often get a lot of good news in Arizona. But in honor of Earth Day, here's one victory to celebrate: Governor Doug Ducey vetoed two important "land-grab" bills.

Earlier this month, the Arizona Legislature gleefully passed a series of bills that demanded the federal government transfer the title to all lands it owns in Arizona to the state. (In Arizona, the federal government owns 42.2 percent of land.)

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Phoenix Woman, Forced Into Marriage by Family, Is Brutally Assaulted by "Husband"

Categories: Crime, Religion

Catarina Campino
A Phoenix woman forced into an arranged marriage was brought against her will to her "husband's" apartment on Monday, where police say she was violently sexually assaulted.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the woman's parents "married" her to 30-year-old Mohamed Abdullahi without her knowledge in November. Court documents show the marriage was done as part of a "Muslim custom called 'Nikah.'" The documents describe the two as being joined "culturally."

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MCSO Sergeant Implicates Arpaio in Willful Defiance of Federal Judge

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MCSO Sergeant Brett Palmer sang like Pavarotti on the stand Tuesday afternoon during his boss Sheriff Joe Arpaio's civil contempt trial, laying the blame for the MCSO's defiance of a federal court's orders directly at his jefe's feet.

Dressed in civilian attire, Palmer, who once helped manage the MCSO's now-defunct Human Smuggling Unit, explained that when federal Judge G. Murray Snow issued an order December 2011, enjoining the MCSO from enforcing civil federal immigration law, he thought all deputies at MCSO should receive training regarding it.

Palmer described the 2011 order as a "180-degree" turn from the HSU's policy of detaining Latinos based on suspicion they were in the country illegally.

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Suns' Morris Twins Charged With Felony Assault

Categories: Suns

The Phoenix Suns' Markieff and Marcus Morris face felony assault charges stemming from a beating that landed a man in the hospital in January.

According to police, the Morris twins were among a group of five men who assaulted 36-year-old Erik Hood outside a high school basketball tournament in Phoenix. The Morris twins have known Hood since their early high school days, and apparently have held a grudge against Hood since 2010, because of a text message sent to the twins' mother.

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Lower Tuition for "Dreamers" Won't Cost Taxpayers, Regents Chairman Says

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/Flickr
A controversial proposal before the Arizona Board of Regents to offer a lower tuition rate to some undocumented immigrants would not be subsidized by taxpayers, board chair Mark Killian told New Times.

Under the plan, outlined in a the agenda for the board's next monthly meeting May 4, undocumented immigrant students, who are currently charged out-of-state tuition rates, would pay 150 percent of in-state tuition. To qualify, immigrants must have attended an Arizona high school for at least three years and be approved for postponed deportation status under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The 150 percent rate is roughly equivalent to universities' per-student expenses, Killian said.

"We were very careful," he said. "The people of Arizona voted not to subsidize these students and we're not about to violate that."

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Old Sky Harbor Flight Paths Had Less Impact, Data Shows

Categories: News

Dmitry Kalinin/Flickr

Phoenix is once again throwing its support behind the pre-September 18 departure flight paths out of Sky Harbor Airport. The decision comes after the city Aviation Department modeled multiple alternatives, calculated the noise impact each would have, and proved that the original paths are in fact the least disruptive options.

At a special City Council meeting late last week, Chad Makovsky of the Aviation Department, and an aviation consultant, Tom Cornell, presented the results of their modeling experiment. Through very telling visuals, they explained how the changes the FAA has proposed in recent weeks would result in more noise for residents.

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Phoenix Man Caught on Video Killing a Convenience Store Clerk

Categories: Crime

Phoenix PD
A Phoenix man was caught on camera fatally shooting a Circle K clerk Saturday night, police say.

After police sent out stills from the video over the weekend, two people called police identifying the shooter as 35-year-old Seth Martin, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

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"Driving While Black" Arrest Leads to Lawsuit Against Tempe

Categories: News

A man who says he was pulled over for a case of "driving while black" in Tempe plans to file a lawsuit against the city.

Anderson Jean-Louis, 29, recorded his encounter with Tempe police after being pulled over for playing his music too loud. Mind you, Jean-Louis was pulled over for playing music too loud while cruising down the city's bar street, Mill Avenue, on a Friday night.

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Arizona University Students Resigned to Pay More

Categories: Education

John M. Quick/Flickr
University Drive, Tempe, Arizona.
Arizona university students aren't exactly happy to pay more tuition, but during a public meeting with the Board of Regents last evening, many said they support proposed price increases in the name of maintaining quality amid deep cuts to state funding.

"It's not students' fault and it's not the administration's fault that the state chose to divest in our education," said Isaac Ortega, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. "But now we have to find a way to share the pain."

Presidents at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University have proposed about a 4 percent bump in tuition for resident undergraduate students. At U of A, which lost $28.5 million in the state's latest budget deal, that brings charges up $446 to $11,403. Students at NAU will pay $10,358 to offset the loss of $17.3 million in taxpayer support.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow plans to keep in-state tuition flat at $10,157, but charge students a one-time $321 fee to help fill in the $53 million gap the Legislature carved out of the budget. The institution is trying to keep tuition and fees as "low as possible," he said. "Even with these adjustments," in-state tuition prices "are highly value oriented."

All plans increased costs for out-of-state students by between 4 and 15 percent.

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