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COLORADO RIVER BASIN

Advocate: Colorado River Basin states need to cut water use

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A longtime water conservation advocate says Arizona and the other Lower Colorado River Basin states need to cut their water use more and faster. The Arizona Daily Star reports Sustainable Waters president Brian Richter says Arizona, California, and Nevada need to slash total water use by 18% from their 2000-2018 average to bring Lakes Mead and Powell into a long-term state of balance. He says the decrease would push the river’s falling reservoirs into sustainability. His remarks come despite last year’s approval by all Colorado River basin states of a drought plan that will reduce water use some but not nearly that much in the short term.

LIBRARY-HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

Tucson library offering homeless patrons food, resources

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Like many city libraries, the library in downtown Tucson is a crucial refuge for people experiencing homelessness. But staff at the Valdez Main Library want to be even more of a resource for such men and women. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the library is now more than a year into its On the Streets program where librarians hold monthly meetings and homeless patrons can get a meal and connect with services. The program highlights a growing trend of public libraries providing social support in their communities.

FIRE CHIEF-EMBEZZLEMENT

Arizona ex-fire chief pleads guilty to theft charges

YUCCA, Ariz. (AP) — A former fire chief accused of embezzling $40,000 from his Arizona district has pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft.  The Kingman Daily Miner reports Matthew J. Young entered his plea last week in connection with charges of theft and misuse of public monies. Young was indicted in July after he allegedly turned himself in to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and admitted to stealing about $40,000 from his department’s bank account from last January through July. According to investigators, Young used funds allegedly embezzled from the Yucca Fire District to purchase several guns, 3D printers, two boats and other items. He is scheduled to be sentenced at a Jan. 31 hearing.

NAVAJO-TRANSMISSION LINE

Navajo maintains electric line that carried coal-fired power

KAYENTA, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is spending close to $2 million to maintain access to a transmission line that once carried power from a coal plant to western states. The Navajo Generating Station near Page shut down in November. The tribe acquired a 500-megawatt transmission line as part of an agreement with the owners of the power plant. The tribe recently approved the use of $1.9 million to pay for the annual costs of the line. The money goes to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says the tribe could use the transmission line or market it.

TRAIL DEATH-TUCSON

Arrest made in investigation into remains on Arizona trail

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona authorities investigating human remains found on a Tucson-area hiking trail have arrested a man on suspicion of auto theft of a vehicle belonging to a missing Oklahoma man. The Pima County Sheriff's Department says 21-year Daylan Jacob Thornton is a “person of interest" in connection with the remains found Tuesday in Pima Canyon. The identity of the person who died hasn't been established. Court records don't list an attorney for Thornton who could comment on the allegations. An autopsy didn't immediately establish a cause of death. Three mountain lions were found feeding on the remains but officials say they don't believe the animals killed the person.

T25-ARIZONA ST-ARIZONA

No. 25 Arizona routs rival Arizona State 75-47

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Zeke Nnaji had 17 points and 11 rebounds, helping No. 25 Arizona open the Pac-12 season with an overpowering 75-47 win over rival Arizona State. The Wildcats had a size advantage inside and outscored Arizona State 50-18 in the paint. Arizona also outscored the Sun Devils 25-9 in fast-break points to quickly turn the rivalry game into a rout. Arizona State shot 31%, went 3 for 21 from 3-point range and was 8 of 19 on free throws.

SUSPICIOUS DEATH-MISSING KIDS

Idaho man's home searched for wife's death, missing stepkids

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) — Authorities have searched the home of an Idaho man linked to the suspicious death of his first wife and the disappearance of his two new stepchildren. On Friday, investigators executed a search warrant on Chad Daybell's house where his first wife Tammy Daybell was found dead in October. Chad Daybell married a woman named Lori shortly after. The search warrant was also in connection to the disappearance of the second wife's children, 7-year-old Joshua Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who haven't been seen since September. The parents initially said the youngest was in Arizona but police believe that was a lie. Authorities haven't said why they got the warrant or what they found.

UNIVERSITY TRAVEL EXPENSES AUDIT

Audit: University president spent $40K in policy violation

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A state audit has found that Northern Arizona University paid more than $40,000 in travel expenses for President Rita Cheng and her husband that did not comply with university policies. The Arizona Republic reported that the audit found Cheng spent more than $30,000 on business- and first-class airplane tickets to Russia last year. The audit says the university did not follow travel policies established by the Arizona Board of Regents or the university. University officials say they believed they were following all policies and were unaware they were not properly documenting expenses. The audit recommended improving review and documentation procedures.