Atheists Blast Jan Brewer for Her Creation of an "Office of Faith and Community Partnerships"

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Congressional candidate James Woods speaking out against Governor Jan Brewer's creation of an "Office of Faith and Community Partnerships."
Governor Jan Brewer's executive order creating the "Governor's Office of Faith and Community Partnerships" is not sitting well with some atheist and civil-rights groups.

Leaders of these groups, along with a couple of atheist politicians, delivered a letter to Brewer's office this morning, asking for certain "safeguards" and "balance" in the newly created office.

"Arizona is full of atheists, and Governor Brewer needs to understand this," American Atheists president David Silverman said at a press conference outside the state capitol this morning. "Governor Brewer needs to know when she puts together this office . . . that the faith portion of that excludes approximately a third of her state's voters."

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Prison Health Care Horror Stories Emerge From ACLU's Lawsuit Over Arizona Prison Conditions

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Dozens of allegations of widespread problems in the Arizona Department of Corrections' health care system were made public yesterday.

The claims come from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona's big class-action lawsuit against the state prison system, which claims that the ADC's health care services are wholly inadequate (to say the least), and is slated to go to trial this fall.

These new reports are from ACLU witnesses in the case, including several doctors and a longtime prison administrator, who got an up-close look at specific health-care issues in the prison system.

"The state is claiming that these are isolated incidents and these don't reflect the system as a whole, but these experts reports show that's simply untrue," ACLU of Arizona executive director Alessandra Soler tells New Times.

As one of the experts, Dr. Robert Cohen, described it in one of his reports, "[T]he ADC health care delivery system is fundamentally broken and is among the worst prison health care systems I have encountered."

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Arpaio Wants 21 Felony Counts Each for Four Suspects in Green Acre Dog-Death Case

Categories: News

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Image: Facebook
Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to see multiple felony charges for the suspects who let 23 dogs die in June at a Gilbert boarding facility.
Four suspects in the Green Acre dog-death case, including the son of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, should be charged with 21 felonies each, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said on Tuesday.

"I'm confident that we have the proper evidence" for criminal charges, Arpaio told reporters at the office's headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

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Phoenix-Area Storm Damage Forces Some People Out of Their Homes

Categories: News

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Ray Stern
Flooding yesterday near Val Vista Drive and U.S. 60 in Mesa.
The storm that caused record rainfall around Phoenix yesterday caused enough damage to force some homeowners out of their houses.

There's no way of telling exactly how many people were displaced from their homes because of flooding, but Red Cross officials tell New Times that a dozen people sought shelter from the Red Cross last night.

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Phoenix's Rainiest Day on Record Causes "Extensive Damage"

Categories: News

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Ray Stern
A storm that crossed through Arizona yesterday produced the rainiest day ever recorded in Phoenix history, plus caused plenty of damage along the way.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton declared a state of emergency to deal with "extensive damage" flooding did around the city, especially to homes.

Stanton said he and city management "have not put a budget on our response" to storm damage.

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Flooding From Record Rain in Phoenix Area Means Fun for Some, Problems for Others

Categories: News

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Images: Ray Stern
Ashley Hall and Lauren Ramsay were among the Mesa High School students turning Monday's flood into a water-recreation opportunity.
Monday's record rainfall in the Phoenix area spurred officials to warn parents against letting their kids play in standing water.

But with many schools closed across the Valley 'cause of the historic deluge, what else is there to do?

At Harmony Park in Mesa near Val Vista Drive and the U.S 60 freeway, which experienced some of the Valley's worst flooding, a group of happy Mesa High School students exchanged textbooks for rowboats and spent the morning splashing around.

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Storm Around Phoenix Causing Power Outages, Traffic Nightmares

Categories: News

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ADOT
Cars stuck in flooding on Interstate 10 around 43rd Avenue.
Welcome to Phoenix, where a few inches of rain have pretty much turned the city into Atlantis.

Rainfall records are on pace to be broken, schools have canceled classes, power outages are being reported, and cars are floating in the middle of the interstate.

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Chinese Woman at Center of Possible Arizona Data Breach Loses U.S. Citizenship

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Last week, we told you about a story from the nonprofit investigative journalism outlets ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting that explored how a Chinese national gained access to all kinds of sensitive records, such as the Arizona driver's license database, before he disappeared.

The meat of the story: ""[T]he people responsible for hiring [Lizhong] Fan say one thing is clear: The privacy of as many as 5 million Arizona residents and other citizens has been exposed."

It turned out that the Chinese nationals who became involved in Arizona were suspected by federal officials of being spies, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's former chief deputy David Hendershott was instrumental in connecting the Chinese nationals with a contract in law enforcement.

Now, it turns out that one of the key Chinese nationals in the story is losing her U.S. citizenship, according to the latest article from reporter Ryan Gabrielson.

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Striking Fast Food Workers Arrested in Phoenix Amid Large Police Presence

Categories: News, Protesters

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Ashley Cusick
Striking fast food workers gather in front of the McDonald's on North 24 Street, demanding the right to unionize and a $15 minimum wage.
Four protesters were arrested today in Phoenix at a rally focused on unionizing fast food workers and raising their wages.

The two women and two men were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing a thoroughfare, and failure to obey a police officer. All of the charges are misdemeanors.

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Tempe Church Grants Sanctuary to Immigrant Facing Deportation

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
Left to right: Reverend Eric Ledermann, organizer Erika Andiola, Mayra Canales, and Mayra's husband Luis Lopez-Acabal.
A Tempe church is giving sanctuary to a Guatemalan immigrant who's facing deportation as a result of a traffic stop.

Reverend Eric Ledermann of the University Presbyterian Church says Luis Lopez-Acabal can stay "as long as it takes" to avoid his deportation."

Luis is our neighbor who has been here for a long time," Ledermann says. "He has knocked on our doors and said, 'Help me.' We have offered that, and we want him to stay. I am a husband, I am a father or two children -- I cannot imagine being ripped away from my wife and family. I would do anything to stay with them."

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