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Backers of wealth tax to fund Arizona kick off effort

PHOENIX (AP) — About 200 teachers and education advocates who support a proposal to raise taxes on wealthy Arizonans to boost school funding gathered at the Capitol on Monday. The Invest in Education Act is backed by Arizona's teachers union and progressive groups and would raise an estimated $940 million a year for schools. The initiative was refiled Friday after what proponents say were relatively minor changes prompted by a Legislative Council review. Backers need to collect nearly 238,000 valid signatures by July 2 to put the question on the November ballot. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has vowed no new taxes on his watch.


Lawmakers to fight military plan to retire some A-10 jets

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Some Arizona lawmakers intend to fight a plan by the U.S. Air Force to begin retiring parts of the nation’s fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets, which are part of a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. The Arizona Daily Star reports that decommissioning the jets is part of an Air Force objective to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs. Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s beginning later this year.


Tribal officer, suspect killed in eastern Arizona shooting

PINETOP-LAKESIDE, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say a tribal police officer and a suspect were killed in eastern Arizona after the officer responded to reports of gunfire near a casino. The Navajo County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the White Mountain Apache Tribe officer was called to a site near the Hon-Dah Resort-Casino south of Pinetop-Lakeside early Monday. Officer David Kellywood located a suspect and the two engaged in what was described as a “violent” physical altercation where the officer was shot. A second officer then arrived and shot the male suspect. The suspect and the officer were taken to a hospital where both died.


Phoenix police say man dead, 2nd wounded in shooting

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police say one man died and a second man was wounded when they were shot by a man who had followed them after they left a workplace. Police say in a news release that the dead man realized his vehicle was being followed early Sunday and turned into a west Phoenix cul-de-sac in an effort to elude the assailant. That's when they say 24-year-old Gabriel Munoz shot both men after they exited the vehicle. He has been arrested on a murder charge. Sgt. Tommy Thompson said 33-year-old Juan Damian Diaz died at the scene. The girlfriends of the suspect and dead victim had apparently been feuding.


USS Arizona crew member, Pearl Harbor survivor dies age 97

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — One of the remaining USS Arizona crew members who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor has died. Donald Stratton passed away in his sleep at his Colorado Springs home Saturday with his family in attendance. The 97-year-old veteran had been in poor health since contracting pneumonia in October. Stratton was one of the survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese aerial attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that killed 1,100 Arizona crew members. Following Stratton's death, Lou Conter and Ken Potts remain the last living members of the Arizona's crew.


Farmers push back against tracking data on groundwater wells

PHOENIX (AP) — The agriculture industry is pushing back against efforts in Arizona to track the amount of water being drawn from large groundwater wells in rural areas. State water officials say getting the data would help fill a gaping hole and help Arizona better plan for future water use. But the agriculture industry sees bills to install meters and submit annual reports, for example, as moves toward regulation. The Arizona Republic reports that the disagreements emerged during a recent meeting of a state-appointed commission that focuses on groundwater outside big cities. A dozen bills have been introduced in the Legislature this year to respond to falling groundwater levels in rural areas.


Phoenix police: 2 arrested in stabbing of man exiting a bus

PHOENIX (AP) — Police in Phoenix say two suspects have been arrested in connection with a stabbing of a 21-year-old man last month. They say 18-year-old Donovan Ames and 19-year-old Orion Warren were taken into custody Saturday night. Police say the Ames and Warren are being held on suspicion of armed robbery and aggravated assault. They say the victim was getting off a bus on Jan. 24 when one of the suspects grabbed him from behind stabbed him when he tried to get away. The suspects also allegedly stole the victim’s backpack. Police say the stabbing victim’s injuries weren’t life-threatening. His name hasn’t been released by police.


Former arms company engineer pleads guilty to weapons count

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A naturalized U.S. citizen from China who worked for 10 years for a Raytheon Corp. subsidiary as an electrical engineer has pleaded guilty to a federal arms exportation charge. Wei Sun pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Tucson, where Raytheon Missile Systems has a large defense plant that produces missiles. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, the 48-year-old Sun acknowledged taking a Raytheon laptop to China on a 2018 personal trip and acknowledged that it contained sensitive missile material. An indictment charging Sun did not allege he actually shared any of the information but merely taking sensitive weapons files out of the country without permission violates federal law on arms exports. Sentencing was set for April 28.