ASU President Slams Ducey's Proposed Cuts to Higher-Education Funding

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ASU
Arizona State University president Michael Crow released a public statement slamming Governor Doug Ducey's proposed cuts to higher-education funding.

Ducey was elected on a promise to get the state in better financial shape, and more than half of the money in budget cuts Ducey is proposing comes from higher education, which isn't making Crow happy.

"As presented, the Governor's recommendation for state investment in higher education signals to the state and the nation that higher education is a low priority in Arizona," Crow's statement says, later adding, "In other words, Governor Ducey has recommended that Arizona's public universities again shoulder the primary responsibility for balancing the state budget."

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Video: Massive Funeral Procession for Hells Angels Member Shot and Killed in Phoenix

Categories: News

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SantoFilms10/YouTube
There was a massive funeral procession over the weekend for Patrick Eberhardt, a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club who was shot and killed earlier this month.

Eberhardt was among a group of six bikers wearing Hells Angels insignia on their clothing who were riding on Bell Road toward 15th Street when the shots were fired on the night of February 7.

Eberhardt and another man were hit, and Eberhardt, a member of the Hells Angels' Cave Creek chapter, died as a result of his injuries.

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Hundreds Rally Against Education Budget Cuts at Arizona Capitol

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Elizabeth Stuart
Stacey Jenner has been teaching special education in Peoria for 13 years, but, because of repeated cuts to Arizona's K-12 education budget, her paycheck has grown just $8 since the day she signed on.

When the mother of two learned that Governor Doug Ducey's Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget proposal slashes per-pupil spending by about $120 per student, something inside her broke.

"I love my job," she said. "But this makes me want to leave teaching."

Jenner and about 250 others rallied at the capitol doors Wednesday evening, marching around the palm-tree-lined courtyard shouting, "Education costs money! Ignorance costs more!" "No if ands or buts! No more budget cuts!"

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Enchanted Island Amusement Park, Formerly Kiddieland, Closing?

Categories: News

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Wikimedia
The Enchanted Island Amusement Park in Phoenix's Encanto Park may close on May 31.

The owners of the park -- which originally was called Kiddieland when it opened in 1948 -- posted the news on Facebook today.

However, city officials say it's not closing.

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No Serious Violations at Gun Range Where 9-Year-Old Fatally Shot Instructor

Categories: News

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DoD
State workplace-safety investigators didn't recommend any serious safety citations against an Arizona gun range where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed an instructor last year.

The 9-year-old girl was being instructed on how to fire the gun at a gun range called Sam's Shooters Emporium II in White Hills, a town between Kingman and Las Vegas. The viral video of the incident showed exactly how the girl lost control of the firearm, although the video cut off a split-second before shooting instructor Charles Vacca was shot.

Although the gun range wasn't hit with serious citations, an inspection by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health does outline several problems that led up to the fatal accident.

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16-Year-Old Girl Shot and Killed in Phoenix

Categories: News

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Telly Allen
A 16-year-old girl was shot and killed while sitting in the passenger seat of a car in Phoenix on Friday night.

Niani Allen was with three other people in a car that was stopped at a red light at 67th Avenue and Broadway Road when an SUV pulled up alongside them, and a passenger in the SUV opened fire on the car.

The alleged shooter, 18-year-old Jason Lindsey, later told police he started shooting at the car after the driver "shouted gang-related jargon" at him, and said he didn't know Allen was in the car, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

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Would a Texting Ban Make Arizona's Roads Safer?

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Paul Oka/Flickr

For nine years running, state senators Steve Farley and Andy Biggs have been duking it out over a ban on texting while driving.

Farley, who's authored a proposal annually since 2007, insists that Arizona needs a law to pressure people to quit texting behind the wheel -- a habit that's comparable to driving drunk. While 84 percent of drivers agree it's perilous, according to a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Safety, about three in 10 people still do it.

"We need to strengthen the cop in all of our heads," the Democrat from Tucson says. "People won't stop until they know they're in danger of getting busted."

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ASU Study Challenges Teen Gang Stereotypes

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Chris Yarzab/Flickr

Everything you've heard about teen gangs is wrong.

That's the basic conclusion of a new study from Arizona State University.

"You think gang and you think 'boys in the hood', urban, minority boys living in bad neighborhoods," said Gary Sweeten, an associate professor of criminology and co-author of the report, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health this week. "But that's actually not where most of these gang members are coming from."

While poor minorities are more likely to join gangs, the majority of gang members are non-Hispanic whites who don't come from impoverished homes, Sweeten found. Nearly 30 percent are girls.

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Arizona Prison-Reform Settlement Approved by Judge

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Big-time reforms are in store for Arizona prisons after a federal judge approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 34,000 prisoners in the state.

The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Prison Law Office over the conditions at Arizona's prisons was set to go to trial last year, but this settlement prevented the trial, as the state has agreed to a variety of health care and prison-condition reforms.

At the time the settlement was reached in October, David Fathi, the director of the ACLU's National Prison Project, told New Times, "It's one of the largest, if not the largest settlement in a prison-conditions case in recent years."

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Diane Douglas Doesn't Prevent "Fired" Employees From Returning to Work

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas isn't immediately escalating the feud she caused by attempting to fire two employees of the Arizona Board of Education last week.

Douglas' move was overturned by Governor Doug Ducey last week, as Ducey said legal counsel advised him Douglas didn't have the power to fire those employees. Douglas fired back at Ducey, her fellow Republican, and reporters waited outside the Board of Education offices yesterday morning to see if the two "fired" employees had any problems going back to work.

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