Valley Fever's 12 Most Popular Arizona News Stories of 2012
It seems like every year there's one local story that defines the news more than others. Last year, it was the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson (which we got a horrific reminder of with the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary). This year, as far as actual readership goes, it was by far the scandal involving Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
Photo by Jamie Peachey
But each month had it's own particularly popular story with readers. We've done the math and gathered those stories in one place for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
By James King
Where to start...
Well, the good news is there's an outside chance that Thurman McGriff didn't actually get a blowjob from a puppy. However, according to police, at the very least, he whipped out his penis in public and simulated oral sex, using the pooch's mouth as the (ahem) pleasure center, in front of a 9-year-old boy.
According to court records obtained by New Times, police were called to the 1100 block of West Pima Street in Phoenix about 4:15 Saturday afternoon in response to a report that a man was exposing himself in public.
When police arrived, they found two witnesses -- an adult and a 9-year-old boy -- each of whom told police they saw the suspect (later identified as McGriff) exposing himself while holding a black and brown puppy.
By Monica Alonzo
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu turned a nearly hour-long press conference to address allegations of threats that he and his attorney made to Babeu's ex-boyfriend into a parade of people defending his right to be gay.
He asked a slew of his own employees and friends to the microphone to offer him their unyielding support, trying to spin the situation he finds himself in into a media attack on his homosexuality -- which until he confirmed it today was something he never talked about publicly. Indeed, many people New Times spoke with were amazed to learn that the tough-talking, right-wing Republican lawman is gay.
By Matthew Hendley
There you have it -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio actually thinks the President of the United States got into the White House using a forged birth certificate.
Yes, the year is 2012, and yes, New Times and several dozen other media outlets spent countless hours listening to and reporting on a "birther" conspiracy theory facilitated by Joe Arpaio.
Not only is the president's birth certificate a forgery, according to Arpaio, but his Selective Service card is also a fake, and his real immigration records have been hidden or destroyed as part of this conspiracy.
By Matthew Hendley
Two illegal immigrants were shot and killed near Eloy after being "ambushed" by an unknown number of people in camouflage getup, police say.
According to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the call came into the Eloy Police Department around 10:30 p.m. about shots being fired at an "illegal alien smuggling load."
The sheriff's department, along with Eloy police, Coolidge police, and Border Patrol agents, found one person dead in the bed of the pickup truck, and another person was found dead in a nearby wash.