How Arizona Looks to the Rest of the Nation, Thanks to SB 1062

Categories: Back in Arizona

If Arizona's anti-immigrant law wasn't enough to tarnish the state's reputation, the state's "religious freedom" bill already is causing plenty of damage.

Despite a huge outpouring of opposition toward the bill from Arizona residents, business groups, and even Republican lawmakers not in the state Legislature, the state's once again being painted as the land of hatred, thanks to Senate Bill 1062.

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Gangs of Chihuahuas Are Not Running Maryvale

Categories: Back in Arizona
By Matthew Hendley

Several national news-media outlets are claiming that gangs of stray Chihuahuas are "terrorizing" or "taking over" the West Phoenix neighborhood of Maryvale.

With tales of packs of up to a dozen Chihuahuas attacking children as they walk to school, we decided to check it out firsthand.

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Arizona's Anti-Gay Law Similar to Russian Law, Yale Professors Say

Categories: Back in Arizona
New Times

A Washington Post opinion piece penned by a pair of Yale University law professors argues that anti-gay legislation enacted in Russia isn't that different from laws in some American states.

Russia's ban on promoting homosexual propaganda in front of children isn't that different from the so-called "no promo homo" laws in eight states, including Arizona, the authors argue.

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Louis Taylor Is Free After Four Decades in Prison for Burning Down A Hotel

Categories: Back in Arizona
louis taylor.jpg

After nearly 42 years in prison, Louis Taylor is adjusting to the world as a free man. 

Taylor cried Wednesday morning when talking about his new found liberation and says he took a hike and even ate some fast food to help him readjust to society. 

"I'm kind of overwhelmed," he says, "but I'm free. That's the most important thing."

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Police Charge Christopher Chevalier With Hit and Run Death of Anna Blaze

Categories: Back in Arizona
Phoenix Police Department

Police have arrested a man they suspect was the driver during a fatal hit and run accident weeks ago. 

Phoenix PD have charged Christopher W Chevalier with manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

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Guns, Drones, But What Was the Most Important Thing at the Border Security Expo?

Categories: Back in Arizona
Weston Phippen
Cyclops Manikin

Yesterday marked the end of the 7th annual Phoenix Border Security Expo, and we should all feel much, uh, safer knowing that the 180 companies attending have devoted so much time and resources to keeping our border safe from low-grade pot and immigrants.

The companies set up individual booths like lemonade stands at the Phoenix Convention Center to peddle their ideas and products. Everything from armored vehicles, drones, portable all-in-one-thermal-infrared-high-resolution-cameras that can nearly read the expression on a person's face from a mile away, to LED flashlights.

See Also:

Guns, Drones, But What Was the Most Important Thing at the Border Security Expo Slideshow

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Police Chief Daniel Garcia Cautiously Assure Local Safety in Response to Newtown Shooting

Photo by Matthew Hendley
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia (at podium), along with (left to right) city Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Mayor Greg Stanton, City Manager David Cavazos, and Assistant Police Chief Jim Piña.

City of Phoenix officials cautiously assured the safety of kids in city schools this afternoon, after 27 people -- including 20 children -- were reportedly shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

See also:
-More Than Two Dozen Dead Following Shooting at Newtown, CT Elementary School

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Arizona's Rep Way South of the Border? It Sucks!

Categories: Back in Arizona
Just back from a fast-pitch softball tournament in, of all places, the wildly endless sprawl known as Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"You have much hate in your part of the world, right?"--Brazilian woman
They say that about 20 million people live in Sao Paulo, which makes it one of the world's largest metropolitan areas. 

During "down time" from the games, which was about 90 percent of the trip, we bounced around the city in search of samba, steak (suspension of our skimpy red-meat eating habits was mandatory) and other adventures.

For the record, nothing we did (or can recall at this point) has to "stay in Sao Paulo," a la Las Vegas.

Brazilians for the most part are a friendly and lively bunch, and love to converse in English with their American guests whenever possible.

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Mikhail Drachev, Suspect in Police Informant's Murder, Extradited to Arizona

Categories: Back in Arizona

Image: MCSO
Mikhail Drachev, indicted for the 2001 murder of a police informant, was extradited from Canada to Arizona on Sunday.
​Phoenix detective Tom Britt listened intently on the phone in late 2001 as his informant, Konstantin Simberg, told him about stolen human growth hormone. Then came the scream.

Simberg, 21, was found dead near Fossil Creek a couple of days later.

Two of the murder suspects were soon caught and later convicted; a third, Mikhail Drachev, managed to elude authorities for five years. Drachev, now 27, was captured in Canada in 2007 after his girlfriend, to whom he'd lied about his identity, turned him in.

The former Tempe resident and Russian immigrant lost his years-long battle to avoid extradition, and on Sunday was flown in from Canada and picked up at Sky Harbor by Phoenix detectives working with the FBI. Police seek charges of murder and kidnapping.

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