87 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix and Beyond: Super Bowl Guide

Categories: List This

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Hey there, Phoenix! We're rolling out the grassy green carpet in honor of the biggest event to hit town since - well, since the last Super Bowl rolled through. The 49th annual celebration of all things professional football promises to be the grandest yet, and Phoenix New Times has it all mapped out. From parties and Super Bowl-centric events to must-do restaurants, bars, shopping and attractions, we've got you covered.

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Obamacare Enrollment in Arizona Already More Successful Than Last Year

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Images Money/Flickr

Arizonans have signed up for national healthcare to the tune of 169,178 since November 15, and time's a-ticking for anybody else who wants coverage. Open enrollment ends February 15.

The latest statistics are encouraging. Governor Doug Ducey may have called the Affordable Care Act "a monumental failure" and "one of the worst laws ever signed by an American President," but a report released earlier this month from the Department of Health and Human Services says otherwise.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: Party Time

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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, it's party time. Enjoy!

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Judge Permanently Blocks Arizona From Denying Driver's Licenses to DREAMers

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Matthew Hendley
Alessandra Soler of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona speaks to the press in 2012, along with attorneys and DREAMers, after filing a lawsuit challenging Brewer's denial of driver's licenses for DREAMers.
A federal judge has sided with the challengers to Arizona's denial of driver's licenses to young immigrants shielded from deportation by Obama's executive action.

Last month, the DREAMers began obtaining their first Arizona licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban put in place by former Governor Jan Brewer.

Today, Arizona U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell issued a judgment for the plaintiffs in the case, a group of immigrants-rights activists, and permanently enjoined any official in the state from enforcing Brewer's 2012 executive action.

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Measles Case in Maricopa County Linked to Disneyland Outbreak

Categories: Health

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Tuxyso
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of measles in the county, which is being linked to an outbreak in Disney theme parks in California.

The woman with measles in Maricopa County wasn't identified by county officials, but the woman, in her fifties, has since recovered. However, there's a possibility that she spread the disease, which officials say is the most contagious on earth.

Officials in California yesterday announced the total number of people obtaining measles from this outbreak was 59, not including the Arizona case, and the disease was still spreading.

"Cases are now being identified in persons who have no links to Disney," California Center for Infectious Diseases deputy director Dr. Gil Chavez said in a press conference yesterday.

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Arizona Fugitive and Recent Kidnapping Victim Guido Puccini Molested Girl in '92, Report Says

Categories: Perv Alert

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Guido Jesus Puccini, a.k.a. Jose Querbino Puccini of Florida, escaped justice for 23 years after being convicted for kidnapping and sexually abusing his step-daughter. He faces a court hearing in Maricopa County this morning.
Guido Puccini, the Florida man whose kidnapping last month led to his arrest as an Arizona fugitive, escaped justice for 23 years.

In 1992, Puccini admitted to having sex with a young girl, molesting her repeatedly and telling her "this is what people do when they love each other," according to a faded Mesa police report reviewed by New Times.

He was convicted by a Maricopa County jury of kidnapping and attempted child molestation, even though he fled the state before his trial. We published a blog post about Puccini's arrest after a Florida TV news station broke the story.

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The NPS Says It's Promoting Competition, but a Grand Canyon Concessionaire Claims Otherwise

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Airwolfhound/Flickr

There's a complicated legal situation at the Grand Canyon these days because a private concessionaire, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, has accused the National Park Service of mismanagement.

Trying to follow the situation without an economics degree or a legal dictionary is tough so we're going to break it down for you:

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Arizona Bills Would Mandate Police Body Cameras, External Reviews of Shootings

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Chris Yarzab
A Democratic state representative is proposing mandatory body cameras on every police officer in the state, plus external reviews of any police shootings.

Representative Reginald Bolding, who represents parts of Phoenix, announced the legislation yesterday in response to constituent concerns about police shootings in Arizona and elsewhere.

"After having conversations in the community . . . there's been a call for public trust, transparency, and accountability on behalf of the law enforcement agencies," Bolding tells New Times.

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ASU Officer Stewart Ferrin Not Fired as Expected, Has Leave Extended, Says Lawyer

Categories: ASU

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Ray Stern
ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin, seen here speaking at Saturday's pro-police rally in Scottsdale.
Arizona State University Police Officer Stewart Ferrin wasn't fired as expected today, and it sounds like it's possible he may get a reprieve.

Ferrin whose high-profile, video-recorded arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore caused a public-relations nightmare for the university, will be employed for at least a little while longer, his lawyer, former Arizona U.S. Attorney Mel McDonald, tells us tonight.

"He's had his leave extended," McDonald says.

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Jail Video-Visitation Systems, Like Those in Maricopa County, Blasted in Report

Categories: News

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MCSO
Sheriff Joe Arpaio using one of the video-visitation machines.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has really trumpeted its new video-visitation system for jail inmates, but such systems are heavily criticized in a new report from incarceration policy researchers.

According to a national look at the systems by the Prison Policy Initiative, this "technology is poorly designed, does not work well, and makes a trying time for families even more challenging."

MCSO just recently rolled out the video systems that replace in-person jail visits, as part of a contract with a company called Securus Technologies.

"There have been a lot of complaints about Securus," Prison Policy Initiative researcher Bernadette Rabuy tells New Times. "We tried ourselves to do a Securus video visit, and it wouldn't work for some reason."

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Arpaio's End Game: Judge Snow Sets the Sheriff's Contempt Hearing for April, but Joe Has Some Tricks Up His Sleeve

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Gage Skidmore
Arpaio: A slow decline seems inevitable

Would it surprise you one iota if I told you that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has boasted of investigating federal Judge G. Murray Snow and his family, according to some very credible sources?

I doubt it, particularly if you've been in Maricopa County for any length of time and have not had your head up a camel's hindquarters.

After all, this is the same sheriff who has a 22-year history of ginning up criminal charges against his enemies, opening their mail, tailing them, investigating them on bogus accusations, arresting them without cause, implicating them in bizarre conspiracy theories, and otherwise violating their civil rights under the color of law.

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Katherine Cooper, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, Had Ex-Con as Live-In Boyfriend

Categories: Judge and Jury

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oneworldsee.org
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper's live-in boyfriend of two years is a convicted sex offender under indictment for extortion in New York.

After Donna Rossi, reporter for Channel 5 News, (KPHO-TV) broke the story on Monday, Cooper issued a brief statement saying she's booted her boyfriend out and hadn't known of his criminal past.

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"Yes Means Yes" Law Proposed by Some Arizona Lawmakers

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Nick Schweitzer
Some Democratic Arizona lawmakers have proposed a "yes means yes" policy at the state's universities that would require clear consent for any sexual activity.

A similar proposal was passed into law in California in an effort to combat what's been called a growing problem of sexual assaults on college campuses.

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Litchfield Park Woman, 75, Who Tried to Run Over Neighbor: "My Life Is Almost Over"

Categories: Senior Living

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Ray Dumas via Flickr
A 75-year-old Litchfield Park woman was arrested on Monday for trying to run over a neighbor with her SUV.

She admitted that she "hated" him and wanted to scare him, court records state.

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Phoenix Bus Strike Averted

Categories: News

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Wikimedia
Concerns about a possible bus-driver strike in Phoenix have been put to rest, now that union heads and the city's contracted bus service have come to an agreement.

A possible strike has been looming for a couple of months now, as members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 last month rejected the collective bargaining agreement offered by First Transit Inc. The company had called the proposal its "best and final offer," although the drivers' union voted against going on strike.

Today, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced that both sides finally came to an agreement, thus effectively ending the threat of a strike.

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10 Most Expensive Cars Sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015

Categories: List This

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Barrett-Jackson
Some serious cash was dropped on cars at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale last week.

Below, check out the top 10 money-getters of this year's auction:

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Charlie Hebdo, Dennis Gilman and How Pro-Cop Thugs Resemble Muslim Terrorists

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In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings, I've heard a lot of lame talk, sometimes from very intelligent people, about how the terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly reveals the general intolerance of Islam, particularly when compared to (supposedly) enlightened Western democracies.

American commentators have been emphatic on this point, overlooking the intolerance of home-grown extremists toward those who speak their piece.

The 1968 slaying of Martin Luther King, Jr., by a white supremacist comes to mind, since today is MLK Day.

Add to that, the terror that the self-proclaimed "Christian" organization known as the Ku Klux Klan imposed on blacks, Jews, immigrants and anyone who opposed it.

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ASU Student Dies in Rappelling Accident

Categories: News

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Katelyn Conrad
A 21-year-old Arizona State University student died on Saturday in a rappelling accident near the Salt River.

A Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman says Katelyn Conrad died from a 150-foot fall while rappelling in an area near the Coon Bluff Recreation Area, which is a popular access point for people who go tubing on the Salt River.

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10 Signs You've Lived in Phoenix Longer Than Most

Categories: List This

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It's no secret that Arizona has one of the nation's highest levels of transplants, which means many people have short memories of Phoenix.

Below, find 10 signs that you've probably lived in Phoenix longer than most:

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Pro-Police Demonstrators Clash With Protesters at Scottsdale PD Headquarters; W/Video

Categories: News

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Ray Stern
The mood became heated for a time during today's rally for police at Scottsdale police headquarters, which included a counter-demonstration.
A Scottsdale Police Department parking lot became the arena for a dust-up today between pro-police and anti-police brutality demonstrators.

We're talking shoving, shouting, bullhorns, goose-stepping, leather-wearing cop-biker club members, plus the police chief, mayor and professor-busting college Officer Stewart Ferrin, all within a few feet of each other.

See our photo, videos and more details below.

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