Protesters Chant "Fuck the Police" in Solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri (Video)

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It is a true irony that at a time of historically low violent-crime rates in America, so many Americans are critical of police nationally.

According to a recent Pew Research Center/USA Today poll, Americans by a 2-to-1 margin say cops across the country "don't do a good job in holding officers accountable for misconduct, treating racial groups equally, and using the right amount of force."

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Ineptitude of Joe Arpaio's Former Chief Deputy on Display in Possible Massive Data Breach

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
A story this week from the nonprofit investigative journalism outlet ProPublica explores how a Chinese national gained access to all kinds of sensitive records, like the Arizona driver's license database, before he disappeared.

"[T]he people responsible for hiring [Lizhong] Fan say one thing is clear: The privacy of as many as 5 million Arizona residents and other citizens has been exposed," the story states.

And we'll give you one guess which local law-enforcement agency is at the center of the controversy.

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Labor Day Weekend DUI Patrols: Phoenix, East Valley, West Valley, and Much More

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Scott Davidson
Drunk driving is bad.

With that out of the way, here's where police will be setting up "saturation patrols" around the Valley, looking for impaired drivers this weekend:

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Florence Mayor Tom Rankin's Son Arrested -- Again -- In Connection With Dealing Drugs

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Monica Alonzo

While his father presides over Florence Town Council meetings, Thomas J. Rankin Jr. is accused of slinging drugs in town.

Rankin Jr., known in his hometown as Tom Tom, was arrested this week by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force, several local news outlets have reported.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: Goofy Gang

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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 extraordinarily goofy people among our alleged offenders. Enjoy.

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Boy Scouts Worried About New Day-Hiking Rules at Grand Canyon

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Image: Ray Stern
A new permit fee and restrictions for day hikers below the rim of Grand Canyon could "crush" travel plans for some Boy Scouts, a leader for the organization warned.

On Thursday, the National Park Service published new rules for what it calls "extended day hiking" and rim-to-rim trips by non-commercial groups, stating the changes were necessary because of the impact of the increasingly popular activity. The rules include obtaining a $175 permit -- a large increase from the previous price of "free" -- and limits on the number of hikers from each group.

Schools, church groups and hiking clubs are the most likely to be affected.

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Tohono O'odham Nation Breaks Ground at Site of West Valley Resort and Casino

Categories: Wild, Wild West

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TON Chairman Ned Norris hugs Councilwoman Norma Alvarez, a casino supporter from Day 1.

Officials from West Valley cities, including Peoria, Tolleson, Glendale, gathered with leaders from the Tohono O'odham inside a white air conditioned tent in the middle of a dusty, vacant field this morning.

They were there to break ground on the West Valley Resort and Casino -- a momentous ceremony taking place more than five years after the project was announced.

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Doug Ducey Supporters Waste No Time Getting Attack Ad Against Fred DuVal on TV

Categories: Election 2014

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Fred DuVal makes children sad, according to this hit ad on TV.
Supporters of Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey aren't taking Democratic challenger Fred DuVal lightly.

With the primary election barely over, Ducey supporters had a DuVal hit on TV, spending more than a half-million dollars to slam DuVal -- a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents -- for college tuition hikes.

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Primary Day 2014: Bums Bounced, Dems Given Openings to Exploit

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Primary day 2014 was a beautiful day for moderation in Arizona politics.

A perfect day? Hardly, but disappointments in the Republican field offer opportunities for Arizona Democrats in the general election.

Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith's second-place finish to state Treasurer Doug Ducey was anticipated, though the severity of the trouncing -- a 14-point spread for Ducey -- was not, even for Ducey, who called it a "pleasant surprise" during one post-primary interview.

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Valley Police Chiefs Address Mental Health in the Wake of the Michelle Cusseaux Shooting

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery (at lectern) flanked by several local police chiefs.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery brought together several Phoenix-area police chiefs yesterday to explain how the departments are handling encounters with mentally ill people.

Of course, this comes on the heels of the shooting of Michelle Cusseaux, a 50-year-old mentally ill Phoenix resident who was fatally shot August 14 by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra after, police say, she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility.

"Just Monday in my city, we spent 8 1/2 hours negotiating with a subject there were never any criminal charges on, yet he clearly was in crisis," Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier said. "His girlfriend called us, his mother called us, he had a house full of weapons. He threatened to kill himself. He threatened to kill officers that responded. [Responding officers] spent hour after hour trying to communicate -- talk."

Unlike Cusseaux, the man holed up in Surprise lived through his encounter with police.

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Poll: Republican Nominee Doug Ducey Enters Gov's Race Tied With Democrat Fred DuVal

Categories: Election 2014

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Fred DuVal (left) and Doug Ducey, Arizona's gubernatorial candidates

On Election Night, Public Policy Polling released a survey of Arizona voters revealing that a general election race between Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey and the Democrats' Fred DuVal would be even matched -- at least in the beginning.

It gives hope to Democrats trying to gain leverage in a very Republican-leaning Arizona.

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Fear of Ferguson: PPD Chief Garcia's New Stance on Officer Shootings Rings Hollow

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Phoenix Police Department video
PPD Chief Garcia, speaking of Michelle Cusseaux's mother: "I could see the hurt in her face, and her words...touched my heart."
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia waxed eloquent during an unusual Saturday press conference, where he announced that the Arizona Department of Public Safety would be tasked with the criminal investigation of the shooting death of Michelle Cusseaux.

Four police officers responded to Cusseaux's West Phoenix apartment on August 14, ostensibly to pick her up and take her to get mental-health care. At one point, according to the Phoenix Police Department, Cusseaux, 50, emerged from her residence brandishing a hammer.

Subsequently, Sergeant Percy Dupra, a 19-year veteran of the force, shot Cusseaux, who was taken to a hospital, where she died.

At the press conference, Garcia spoke of his face-to-face meeting with Cusseaux's mom, Frances Garrett, a couple of days earlier.

The chief said "the hurt in her face" and Garrett's words "touched my heart."

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Groundbreaking Ceremony Tomorrow for Tohono O'odham Nation's WV Casino

Categories: Wild, Wild West

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An artist rendering of the Tohono O'odham Nation's proposed West Valley casino

It's been decades in the making, and tomorrow, the Tohono O'odham Nation is hosting a groundbreaking groundbreaking for its West Valley Resort and Casino.

The private ceremony, which will include tribal and local government leaders, comes just weeks after the City of Glendale and the Nation reached a formal agreement to work together on the resort-style casino project.

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Race for Schools Chief: Huppenthal and Thomas Out, Garcia and Douglas In

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Ashley Cusick
Huppenthal and family at last night's Republican primaries gathering.
After a spring marred by his controversial blog posts and accusations of racism, State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal lost his bid for reelection in last night's Republican primary.

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Ruben Gallego, Quickly Ascending Political Star, Likely Heading to Congress

Categories: Election 2014

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Monica Alonzo
Ruben Gallego and his wife, Kate, celebrating victory.

Ruben Gallego's political star has ascended quickly in Arizona politics.

Last night, the 34-year-old beat out a politically connected and well-known Democrat in a race for Arizona's 7th Congressional District.

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Four Arizona Lawmakers Likely Bounced From Legislature in Primary Election

Categories: Election 2014

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Wikimedia
Arizona's old Capitol building.
Four Arizona lawmakers appear to have lost their primary races.

Three Democrats and one Republican are losing races in which all or nearly all of the voting precincts have reported their results, and each lawmaker facing a loss is doing so under different circumstances.

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Andy Tobin Leads Gary Kiehne in CD1, While All Other Congressional Match-Ups Are Settled

Categories: Election 2014

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Former Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin.
The morning after Arizona's primary election, there's still one race to be settled among the state's nine congressional districts.

Former Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin has a lead of just a couple hundred votes over Gary Kiehne in the battle to take the Republican nomination in Arizona Congressional District 1, which is currently occupied by Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.

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Arizona Primary Recap: Doug Ducey In, Tom Horne and John Huppenthal Out

Categories: Election 2014

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Matthew Hendley
State Treasurer Doug Ducey, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor.
State Treasurer Doug Ducey cruised to an easy win Tuesday night for the Republican nomination for Arizona governor and will take on Democrat Fred DuVal in November.

The results were not so good for another pair of Republicans in state government -- scandal-plagued Attorney General Tom Horne lost his primary to former Arizona Department of Gaming director Mark Brnovich. John Huppenthal, the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction who was caught up in a scandal of his own this year, lost big to primary challenger Diane Douglas.

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Tom Horne Refuses to Concede as Mark Brnovich Declares Victory in AG Race (w/Updates: Horne Finally Concedes at 11:47 a.m.)

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Mark Brnovich, claiming victory Tuesday night in the Arizona GOP primary for AG

Please see updates and Horne's concession statement at the end of this post.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne stubbornly refused to concede as his Republican primary foil, former state gaming director Mark Brnovich, did a victory lap Tuesday night at the Hyatt in downtown Phoenix, where GOPers gathered to watch returns roll in.

Brnovich opened up an early lead against incumbent Horne after the polls closed and never let go as the evening wore on.

By early today, with 1,519 of 1,566 precincts reporting statewide, Brnovich was besting Horne by six percentage points, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's website.

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APS' Alleged "Dark Money" Toward Two Candidates Looks to Have Paid Off

Categories: Election 2014

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Image: Ray Stern
Doug Little and Tom Forese appear to have won in a four-way GOP primary race for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Arizona Public Service's apparent "dark money" spending for two Arizona Corporation Commission members appears to have paid off.

Four Republican candidates were vying for two open seats on the commission in Tuesday's primary election, and the two who APS allegedly preferred were comfortably in the lead.

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