Phoenix Elementary School Worker Arrested on Child-Porn Charges

Categories: Crime Blotter
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A college student working in a job-placement program at a Phoenix elementary school was arrested on child-porn charges.

Travis Kinkaid-Mata, 27, worked in the library at Phoenix's Longview Elementary School, near 12th Street and Indian School Road, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

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Yuma-Area Native Americans Blast Offer From Washington Redskins to Fund New Skate Park

Categories: News

Members of the Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe say they refused a "bribe" from the Washington Redskins organization, which tribal members say offered a blank check to build a skate park in their community.

One of the tribal members who's trying to secure funding for the skate park gave his account of a meeting with Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group that fights against the use of Native Americans as mascots, in sports and elsewhere.

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10 Worst Moments on the 2014 Campaign Trail in Arizona (Already)

Categories: Election 2014

We're still a month away from the primary election, but Arizona's politicians already have managed to turn campaign season into a full-blown circus.

Here are the worst missteps, mistakes, and bone-headed moves from candidates already this year:

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The U.S. Tries to Deport Not Protect Children Fleeing Violence in Central America

Andrew Pielage
Darlin Adonay Peña fled a hard life in Honduras and got a second chance in the United States.
Darlin Adonay Peña has a headache.

On a Wednesday afternoon in May, he takes a break from his job flipping burgers at a McDonald's on Central Avenue in Phoenix to sit down and talk, sipping a frozen caramel coffee drink and rubbing his almond eyes.

A brown rosary peeks from beneath his shiny black uniform. He's shaved both sides of his head, taming a few meticulous black curls atop with gel.

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Congressman Luis Gutiérrez of Chicago Calls Sheriff Joe Arpaio a Bully

Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a desperate man.

And a bully, says Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez.

"I am proud to stand with Mary Rose Wilcox and the people of Arizona who can see through the Sheriff's publicity stunts and are not intimidated by his bullying," Gutiérrez says in response to Arpaio "offering" to send armed militia posse members on Friday to "secure" a Town Hall on immigration reform hosted by Gutiérrez and Wilcox, a Congressional candidate in Arizona's Seventh District.

"I travel all over the country talking about immigration and gun-violence prevention, and I have never had any problem," Gutiérrez said in a statement. "My position on those issues is immensely popular with most Americans. But I have also never had a local elected official use taxpayer dollars to call on local anti-immigration activists and other opponents to bring guns and form a posse at one of my events."

Welcome to Arizona, Luis.

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Spikes Found Planted in the Ground on Forest Land Near Happy Jack

Categories: Crime Blotter
Coconino National Forest

Someone has planted foot-long pieces of rebar fashioned into spikes in the Coconino National Forest.

Forest Service officials say five of these spikes have been discovered near the Happy Jack area.

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Doug Ducey and the Stain of Simcox: Sources Say Accused Child Molester Chris Simcox Had Access to Families' Home Movies while Working for iMemories

Gage Skidmore
Doug Ducey has more than $100,000 invested in iMemories and was chairman of the board up till 2012; Simcox (inset) worked there till he was let go, two weeks before he was arrested

More than a year has passed since former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox was arrested on charges that he molested three minors, including one of his own daughters.

Simcox has refused a generous plea deal from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and so he bides his time in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's gray-bar hotel awaiting a trial, which may come this fall.

In May, things got worse for the man his enemies once dubbed "the Little Prince" for his imperiousness.

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Majority Want Deportation Sped Up for Central American Kids, Even Those Eligible for Asylum

Categories: Poll of the Day
Border Patrol's Nogales Placement Center.

A poll shows a majority of Americans want deportation proceedings sped up for the wave of Central American children showing up at the nation's border, including the deportation of kids who are eligible for asylum.

That poll was released today by the Pew Research Center, which showed that 53 percent of the people surveyed found it okay to deport kids faster, regardless of whether they have legitimate asylum claims.

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Major Reversal: Glendale Declares Support for Gaming on Tohono O'odham Nation's WV Land

Categories: Wild, Wild West

Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack, Mayor Jerry Weiers and Councilman Manny Martinez opposed the Tohono O'odham Nation's proposed casino.

In a room brimming with union trades workers wearing bright-orange shirts, the Glendale City Council reversed its long-held opposition to the Tohono O'odham Nation establishing a reservation and opening an resort-style casino just outside of the city limits.

Members of the TON sat in the front row, relishing yet another victory in their five-year battle with the City of Glendale, the State of Arizona, and sister tribes.

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Joe Arpaio Offers to Send Armed Posse to Mary Rose Wilcox Immigration Rally

Categories: News
Part of the flyer for Mary Rose Wilcox's upcoming immigration rally, with a quote from Congressman Luis Gutierrez.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered Mary Rose Wilcox "extra security" at her upcoming immigration rally, in the form of armed posse members.

Seeing as Arpaio and Wilcox have been feuding about as long as the Hatfields and McCoys, Wilcox was quick to reject the offer, saying it "reeks of an attempt to intimidate those of us who support immigration reform."

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Tucson's Arizona Daily Star Sets Up a Paywall

Categories: Media, Schmedia

Tucson's Arizona Daily Star has become the latest newspaper to charge readers for access to stories on its website.

The paper unveiled its "metered access" plan this week, along with a $13-a-month price-tag for online news only.

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Ed Moriarity, Lisa Aubuchon's Ex-Lawyer From Montana, Disbarred in AZ

Ed Moriarity, the Montana lawyer who represented former county officials including Lisa Aubuchon, David Hendershott and Joel Fox, has been disbarred in Arizona.
Ed Moriarity, the Montana lawyer who worked for Lisa Aubuchon, David Hendershott and Joel Fox, has been disbarred in Arizona.

A complaint by the State Bar of Arizona, followed by the July 15 disbarment order, explains that Moriarity knew claims by former Maricopa County officials Aubuchon and Hendershott were false, yet moved forward with a frivolous lawsuit against two Valley lawyers and other defendants.

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Ruben Gallego Raises More Than $400,000 for Congressional Race in District 7

Categories: Election 2014

Ruben Gallego with longtime civil rights leader Dolores Huerta.

Congressional hopeful Ruben Gallego, a former state lawmaker, is boasting a campaign war chest of nearly $435,000 from almost 1,500 political supporters -- more than $272,000 of that money has been collected April through June.

Gallego's camp, in a press statement, say he has more than $300,000 cash on hand going into the final two months of the campaign.

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Arizona's Wiretapping Rate Among the Nation's Highest

Categories: News
Dave Dugdale

Wiretapping rates in Arizona are among the highest in the nation.

The Pew Research Center ranked the states where the most wiretap authorizations were made last year, finding that Arizona's had the fifth-highest rate in the country.

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Arizona's Tax Department Catches $74 Million in Phony Refunds

Categories: News

The Arizona Department of Revenue prevented about $74 million in fraudulent tax refunds from being sent out, according to agency officials.

Five years ago, the agency reported stopping less than $2 million in payouts of phony tax refunds.

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Allison Clement and Ryan Reed Charged Again With Murder of 2-Year-Old Savannah Cross

Categories: Crime Blotter
Yumi Kimura

A year and a half after a 2-year-old girl was killed at an unlicensed Phoenix babysitting business, two people have been charged in the girl's death.

Allison Clement and Ryan Reed, the couple who ran the babysitting service, had previously been charged in Savannah Cross' death, but those charges were dropped in September.

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Tesla Installs Supercharger in Wickenburg for Trips From Phoenix to Las Vegas

Categories: Auto Shop

Tesla Motors has installed its eighth Supercharger battery-charging system in Arizona.

These Supercharger stations can provide Tesla vehicles with a half-capacity charge in about 20 minutes, which is roughly 16 times faster than typical public charging stations for electric vehicles.

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Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shoots Naked, Erratic Army Veteran

Categories: Crime Blotter

Matthew Hendley

An army veteran was shot and killed by a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy yesterday in Fountain Hills, the Sheriff's Office says.

David Brandstetter, 26, was walking naked in traffic at around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, prompting two calls to 911 as drivers swerved to avoid striking him, MCSO reports.

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Paul Babeu Supporter Organizing Murrieta-Style Protest in Oracle, Says Babeu Tipped Him Off (w/Update)

Thumbnail image for FeatheredBastard_RESIZE_VF.jpg

Update 5:13 p.m.: Director of Sycamore Canyon Academy tells me that he has "no date and time" associated with arrival of children. Says he is not aware of children coming on Tuesday. See full update below.

A longtime supporter of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says the sheriff tipped him off that 40 to 50 migrant kids would soon be placed in his community.

Oracle resident Robert Skiba believes that the minors will be bused by federal authorities to the Sycamore Canyon Academy on Tuesday.

He told me in an interview this morning that he first heard of the transfer from Babeu at an NRA women's leadership forum held in Tucson, where Babeu was the featured speaker.

"I was at a luncheon in Tucson last Thursday," Skiba explained. "And Sheriff Paul Babeu gave a beautiful speech on immigration.

"At the end of the speech, he looked at me and he said, 'Mr. Skiba, the government's going to put 40 Central American kids in your community in the very, very near future.'

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Democrats Think They Can Take Back Control of Arizona Legislature

Categories: Election 2014
Matthew Hendley

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee identified Arizona as a state where Democrats could either make significant gains or seize control of a state legislature.

Recall that just four years ago, Republicans won a super-majority, occupying two-thirds of the seats in both the Arizona House and Senate.

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