Latest Arizona news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. MST

EX-ATHLETE ABUSE LAWSUIT-TRIAL

Judge OKs trial against UArizona over abuse complaints

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit related to the handling of abuse complaints against a former University of Arizona student-athlete will proceed to trial. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the former football player is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated assault against two ex-girlfriends. Officials say both women filed lawsuits against the school after reporting Orlando Bradford, claiming university officials knew he was abusive toward another student and failed to take action. The lawsuits say the university violated their federal Title IX rights. A trial date has not yet been determined.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-ARIZONA RALLY

Trump schedules campaign rally in Phoenix on Feb. 19

PHOENIX (AP) — President Donald Trump has scheduled a campaign rally in Arizona on Feb. 19, just under a month before the state's presidential primary election that will have only Democrats going to the polls. Trump's campaign said in an announcement late Friday that the evening rally will be held at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The Arizona Republican Party is not participating in the March 17 presidential party. The campaign's announcement said Trump “has delivered on his promises and he looks forward to celebrating those successes with the great men and women of Arizona." Arizona has long been a Republican stronghold but Democrats made inroads in 2018 midterms.

PRISON SHUTDOWN-COUNTY JAILS

Counties not on board with Ducey plan to transfer inmates

PHOENIX (AP) — Most of Arizona's 15 counties say their jails wouldn't be able to accommodate state inmates who could be moved from an aging state prison that Gov. Doug Ducey wants to close. Ducey in January proposed closing the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, which is over 100 years old and which needs repairs estimated to cost between $150 million and $400 million. Ducey's plan would have some of the prison's more than 3,800 male inmates go to private prisons and others to county jails. The Arizona Republic reports that officials in counties that expressed an interest in taking state inmates years ago said recently either that that's no longer the case or that they've have to consider the matter anew.

BOOKS-LATINO LITERATURE

Focus turns to Latino authors amid 'American Dirt' debate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Latino activists say they hope the controversy around the novel "American Dirt" brings more attention to recent and overlooked works by Latino writers. Advocates say these books rarely get the attention of the general public since publishers don't promote them liker other works by white writers. Latino advocates last month took to social media to complain about “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins for its alleged stereotypes about Mexican immigration. Advocates suggested on Twitter and Facebook works by Latino authors that boosted sales. Houston-based Arte Publico Press publisher Nicolas Kanellos says some of his books by immigrant writers have sold out.

ELECTION 2020-EMBRACING TRUMP

Oregon candidate, once a Trump critic, now embraces him

BEND, Ore. (AP) — In 2018, the Republican party's candidate for governor of Oregon painted himself as a centrist, criticized President Donald Trump's environmental stance and said he didn't want to be linked to divisive national figures. Knute Buehler lost. Now, Buehler is running for a seat in Congress in a district covering a conservative swath of Oregon, and has taken Trump into a tight embrace. Buehler's campaign video features Trump at a rally and touring a border wall, with Buehler declaring that he opposed impeachment.  Buehler's turnaround underscores how Republican candidates across the country have been wrestling with opposing strategies: Cozy up to Trump, or distance themselves and risk losing an election.

SKELETAL REMAINS-CHILD ABUSE

More abuse charges against couple accused of concealing body

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix couple charged with child abuse and concealing skeletal remains at their home two years after their daughter was last seen alive has been indicted on additional charges. The indictment that became public Friday adds two child abuse charges each against Rafael Loera and Maribel Loera. The couple hasn't been charged in the death of Ana Loera, who hadn’t been seen since 2017.  The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said prosecutors will decide whether to file additional charges once the cause of death has been determined. Court records didn't list attorneys who are representing the Loeras.

ASU REAL ESTATE LAWSUIT

Regents win fees, costs in court case over real estate deal

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge has ordered one part of state government to reimburse another part for $982,000 for legal costs in a court case stemming from a real estate development. Tax Court Judge Judge Christopher Whitten's ruling in favor of the state Board of Regents follows Whitten's November ruling against Attorney General Mark Brnovich's lawsuit challenging a deal between Arizona State University and hotel developers. The Board of Regents prevailed in November when Whitten ruled that Brnovich’s office filed the lawsuit after a one-year statute of limitations expired. Brnovich argued the deal was an unconstitutional gift to developers. He plans to appeal Whitten's rulings on the suit and the legal costs.

ARIZONA-HELIUM EXPLORATION

Environmentalists drop lawsuit over federal oil, gas leases

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An agreement to drop a lawsuit over federal oil and gas leases in eastern Arizona won't do much to stop companies from exploring for helium in the region. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved a trio of leases last September in Navajo and Apache counties. The agency later suspended them after environmentalists went to court and argued the bureau failed to adequately analyze the potential impacts. A bureau spokeswoman says the agency hopes to start environmental reviews this year. Meanwhile, the companies that won the leases say they'll work on other nearby parcels.