Phoenix Police Detective Shot in the Leg; Suspect Fatally Shoots Himself

Categories: News

Yumi Kimura
A Phoenix police detective was shot in the leg Thursday night by a convicted felon who committed suicide before he could be arrested.

The detective, 10-year veteran Bryan Cuthbertson, was with another detective in the gang-enforcement unit Thursday night near 34th Avenue and Roosevelt Street when they tried to make contact with 31-year-old Salvador Acevedo, who was on a bicycle.

As the detectives got out of their vehicle to talk to Acevedo, he ran behind the detectives' vehicle and started shooting at them, police say.

"This just goes to prove that what we're facing in our city right now . . . is gangs, guns, and drugs," Police Chief Daniel Garcia says. "This suspect is an example of what we're facing at this point."

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"Pregnant Man" Thomas Beatie Stalked Estranged Wife With GPS Tracker, Cops Say

Categories: Crime Blotter

"Pregnant man" Thomas Beatie has been arrested on suspicion of stalking his estranged wife.
Thomas "Pregnant Man" Beatie has been arrested in Phoenix on suspicion of stalking his estranged wife with a GPS tracker.

Beatie, a woman who underwent a sex change in 1997, became famous a few years ago because of eyebrow-raising pictures of a pregnant body beneath a bearded, male-looking face. "He" since has had three children.

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Obama's Executive Action on Immigration Historic, but Leaves Many Behind

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If you do the math, you will understand why the mood at the Arizona Capitol in downtown Phoenix last night, where activists gathered to watch President Barack Obama's historic immigration speech, was one of resignation, and for some, sadness.

The White House estimates that Obama's much-anticipated executive action will cover more than four million undocumented immigrants in this country, allowing them to live and work free from fear of deportation, in a temporary status that can only be made permanent by an act of Congress.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: This Isn't GQ

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 found some inmates you'll never see on the pages of GQ magazine.

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Obama's Executive Action on Immigration Legal, No Matter What Teabaggers Say

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If the White House was betting that Republicans would overreact to President Obama's impending announcement tonight on immigration, where he's expected to outline a plan that will extend deferred removal to some 5 million undocumented immigrants, boy, were they right.

For instance, Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, proud representative of Sand Land know-nothings, is all for risking a government shutdown over the president's executive action, and has stated that Obama's move will be "unconstitutional" and an "impeachable offense."

Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and all of the usual wingnut suspects are in full panic mode, crying for Obama's head. (You know, like normal.) And Republican U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has warned darkly of "instances of anarchy" and "violence" to come from Obama's executive order.

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Solana Solar Plant Produces Less Energy Than Advertised, But That's Expected, Says APS

Categories: Solar Energy

Ray Stern
The Solana solar plant near Gila Bend has delivered less electricity than expected in its first year of operation. (Photo from 2013, before plant was operational.)
The $2 billion Solana concentrated solar plant in the desert near Gila Bend is off to a slow start, producing less electricity than it might in the future.

Now in operation for slightly more than one year, Solana has delivered about two-thirds of the annual amount of electricity expected to be received in the future, say officials with Arizona Public Service.

Utility officials and the plant's builder say they anticipated it would take time for the plant to work out initial problems.

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Border Patrol Sued for Allegedly Stifling Protests at Southern Arizona Checkpoint

Categories: News

Bill Morrow
A pair of southern Arizona residents have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Border Patrol, claiming the agency is stifling its attempts to monitor and protest a Border Patrol checkpoint in their town.

Peter Ragan and Leesa Jacobson are members of a community organization called People Helping People, which, among other things, monitors the practices of Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint in Arivaca. Their lawsuit claims they have been "subject to harassment, intimidation, and retaliation by agents at the checkpoint" -- to the point that they believe their First Amendment right to engage in political speech has been violated.

"Arivaca residents have to drive through this checkpoint every day, and every time they have to answer to an armed federal agent," Jacobson says in a statement released by the ACLU of Arizona. "That's not how this country is supposed to work, but as long as the checkpoint is here I want to do everything I can to document abuses and protest the ongoing militarization of our communities and the border region."

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DPS: Truck Driver in Deadly Five-Car Crash Showed No Remorse, Was on Pain Meds

Categories: News

Paul and Sarah Troupe.
Truck driver Brian Knoll was under the influence of pain medication and showed no remorse after causing a deadly five-car freeway crash Wednesday morning, officials say.

Knoll's Freightliner -- fully loaded with a trailer full of pavers -- was traveling north on Interstate 17 about 6:45 a.m. when it plowed into 22-year-old Paul Troupe's silver sedan, causing it to explode in flames.

The impact killed Troupe, injured his wife, and caused a chain reaction that injured four other motorists.

Court records released this morning show Knoll, 54, of Phoenix, tested positive in a preliminary urine test for an opiate-based narcotic and that his behavior was oddly indifferent after being told at least one crash victim was dead.

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Diane Douglas Recall Campaign Gains Momentum

Gage Skidmore
Diane Douglas
A week after David Garcia conceded to Diane Douglas, a campaign to recall the state's new schools chief already is well under way.

The effort is led by Anthony Espinoza, a public school teacher, and Max Goshert, an aquatic safety instructor with the Red Cross. The two had discussed their concerns about Douglas before the election, and they were shocked when she won. So Espinoza started a Facebook page demanding a recall shortly after election night. It had a simple description: "Diane Douglas is not fit to lead as the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona."

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Obama Immigration Plan Could Spare 90,000-Plus Arizona Residents From Deportation

Categories: News

White House/Pete Souza
UPDATE November 21: Now that the president has outlined his plan, the Migration Policy Institute estimates 136,000 people in Arizona will be shielded from deportation. That includes 97,000 parents, and an additional 39,000 people who will be eligible for the expanded provisions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

President Obama hasn't yet outlined the details of his executive action on immigration, but based on what's been reported so far, it could protect 90,000 people in Arizona from deportation.

The New York Times has reported that the major part of Obama's plan is to allow the unauthorized immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children to remain in the country and work without the threat of deportation.

The Migration Policy Institute today released a detailed report of the unauthorized population in the country, which shows 92,000 unauthorized immigrants living in Arizona with U.S. citizen children.

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President Obama Making Announcement on Immigration Plan Tomorrow

White House/Pete Souza
President Obama is going to outline the details of his executive action dealing with immigration tomorrow evening.

"Tomorrow night I'm going to be announcing here from the White House, some steps that I can take to start fixing our broken immigration," Obama said in a video released on Facebook.

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Pro-Pot Activist Billy Hayes Faces Serious Prison Time but Doesn't Know When to Quit

Andrew Pielage
Billy Hayes
Billy Benjamin Hayes Jr., 39, is one of the state's most vocal marijuana activists.

Few people welcomed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act when voters passed it in 2010 more than Hayes. The lanky father of three is a marijuana enthusiast, a grower for nearly his whole life who imbibes regularly, whether by smoking, vaporizing, or eating.

His name often is seen in Internet forums of the Arizona Department of Health Services, the agency that oversees the medical-marijuana program. Having learned just enough law to be dangerous during an eight-month stint in prison on a marijuana-possession violation, he's sued the federal government (unsuccessfully) over the law's 
"25-mile rule," which limits where patients can grow marijuana, and helps his pro bono pot-activist lawyer, Tom Dean, write court motions.

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Green Acre Lynch Mob: Joe Arpaio Leads Media and Public on Mission of Vengeance Against Jeff Flake's Son

Dennis Gilman; Gage Skidmore
Montgomery caved to emotion in the Green Acre case, Arpaio has skillfully exploited it.

I rarely look to politicians for common sense, but I thought Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery had stumbled onto some at a press conference in September, when he addressed the situation at the Green Acre Dog Boarding facility in Gilbert.

Montgomery explained that he'd just received the voluminous results of an investigation by the Sheriff's Office into the deaths of more than 20 dogs at the business in June. Hyperthermia and suffocation have been offered as reasons for the deaths.

The canines expired after getting left overnight in a locked, crowded room where the air conditioner was not working properly.

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Arizona's Biggest Companies Graded on LGBT Equality

Categories: News

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil-rights organization, today released its grades of LGBT equality at nearly 1,000 of the nation's largest corporations, including several in Arizona.

While more than 300 companies across the country earned a perfect score for the LGBT-related policies they have in place, none of those companies is based in Arizona. The top-scoring Arizona businesses were U.S. Airways and the Snell & Wilmer law firm, both of which earned scores of 90 out of 100.

Liz Halloran, a spokeswoman for the HRC, tells New Times that the scores for Arizona companies -- an average of 78 -- are still "absolutely" a good sign.

"It indicates that these companies have some good, inclusive policies in place," she says.

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Sky Harbor Airport Passenger Found With 92 Pounds of Weed in Checked Luggage

One of the weed bags ready to fly to Pittsburgh.
A passenger on a flight out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport tried to check luggage containing 92 pounds of marijuana, according to the TSA.

A TSA spokesman says the Phoenix Police Department was contacted once agents made the discovery.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, 39-year-old Lauretta Blanton had actually spread the load among three checked bags, and two of the bags actually made it onto the plane.

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Arizona's Unauthorized Immigrant Population Decreasing

Gordon Hyde
Arizona is one of 14 states where the population of unauthorized immigrants decreased from 2009 to 2012, according to data released today by the Pew Research Center.

According to the organization's analysis, Arizona's unauthorized immigrant population dropped from around 350,000 people to 300,000 people. Only New York and California had larger decreases.

"There were really big drops in the number of unauthorized Mexicans in the country between 2007 and 2009, and since then, there have continued to be decreases in the Mexican population," Pew Research Center demographer Jeffrey Passel tells New Times.

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Phoenix Cop's Suicide Has City Leaders Looking at Police PTSD Issues

Categories: News

The suicide of Phoenix police officer Craig Tiger has city management taking a look at its policies and training regarding post-traumatic stress disorder issues.

City Manager Ed Zuercher has announced the assembly of a panel to review the city's policies, at the request of the police unions, which have blasted Police Chief Daniel Garcia for his handling of Tiger's case.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) and the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association (PPSLA) announced Monday that they're going to hold votes of no confidence against Garcia. PLEA president Joe Clure said Garcia has "zero credibility" with Phoenix police officers on the issue of PTSD.

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Phoenix Police Union Calls for No-Confidence Vote Against "Tyrant" Police Chief Daniel Garcia

Categories: News

The unions that represent Phoenix police officers are ready to get rid of Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) and the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association (PPSLA) announced today that they're going to hold votes of no confidence against Garcia. The unions have had various complaints about Garcia over the past few years, and they say the recent suicide of Officer Craig Tiger was the last straw.

"The men and women who daily serve the citizens of this community and who daily put themselves in harm's way deserve a true leader that understands the concept of servant leadership," PLEA president Joe Clure says. "Not a tyrant that uses intimidation and bullying tactics and whose idea of leadership is coming up with new programs, gimmicks, and catch-phrases every other month."

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10 Stereotypes About Phoenix That Are Totally True

Categories: List This

There are stereotypes about every major American city, and in Phoenix, a whole lot of those stereotypes are actually true.

Below, find 10 Phoenix stereotypes that are (mostly) based on facts:

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Same-Sex Weddings Could Bring $54 Million to Arizona's Economy, Study Shows

Categories: News, The Gays

New Times photo illustration/photo Evie Carpenter

A study released this week argues that the legalization of same-sex marriage--and through it, the increased number of same-sex weddings--will bring an additional $54 million to Arizona's economy each year.

The study, conducted by the personal finance group NerdWallet, also found that same-sex marriage would bring more than $2.5 billion dollars to the national economy.

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