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First cases of coronavirus confirmed in Arizona's prisons

PHOENIX (AP) — The first two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among the 42,000 inmates in Arizona’s prisons, but authorities have declined to say whether any corrections employees have contracted the virus.  Advocates for prisoners say the discovery of COVID-19 in the prisons is a sign of bad things to come, given that inmates with compromised health live in close quarters. The first case was confirmed in a Tucson inmate who has been hospitalized since March 27. Another inmate at a private prison in Marana also tested positive. Across Arizona, more than 2,700 coronavirus cases with 80 deaths have been reported.


NTSB report on Arizona plane crash to shape Nevada lawsuits

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A federal investigation into a 2018 plane crash that killed all six people aboard says one of two pilots aboard the aircraft had drugs in his system and that the plane exceeded its weight limit. The single-engine plane crashed just after taking off from Scottsdale Airport in metro Phoenix to fly to the North Las Vegas Airport on April 9, 2018. A National Transportation Safety Board report said an autopsy found ecstasy and inactive cocaine metabolites in urine and blood samples from a student pilot but that no drugs were found in the other pilot. The report said the plane was over the weight limit.


Phoenix police: 2 fatally shot in reported robbery attempt

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police say two men fatally shot an apartment complex apparently had attempted to rob the occupants of an apartment. Those killed Tuesday were identified by police as 42-year-old James Putney and 31-year-old Robert Rojas. Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said said Putney was found fatally wounded in a common area of the complex and Rojas was found dead inside an apartment. Two uninjured also were in the apartment. Thompson said detectives determined that Putney and Rojas went to the apartment and tried to rob the occupants but were both shot by one of the occupants. The case is being submitted for review by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to decide whether charges should be filed in the deaths.


Cattle conflicts prompt killing of endangered Mexican wolves

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. wildlife managers have drawn the ire of environmentalists for killing four endangered Mexican gray wolves in an effort to get the predators to stop killing cattle in New Mexico. The latest deaths highlight a conflict that has persisted since reintroduction of the wolves began in the southwestern U.S. two decades ago. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the action was taken in March after hazing, diversionary food caches and other non-lethal means failed. Ranchers have seen a record number of cattle kills over the past year, but environmentalists say lethal management of the wolves is undermining the species' recovery.


Healthy baby elephant born at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Officials at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson are celebrating the birth of a baby elephant. Zoo officials say the baby was born Monday to Semba, a 30-year-old African elephant, and that it weighed nearly 300 pounds after 22 months of gestation. Officials described the baby elephant as  “healthy, standing and nursing.” The baby wasn’t given a name immediately. Semba has given birth before but zoo officials said during her pregnancy that she was being closely monitored through physical exams, blood work and ultrasounds. .The new calf expands the zoo’s elephant herd to six, including the baby’s parents, two older siblings and an adult female. The zoo is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Legislature extends recess, to re-assess at end of April

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature has informed members and staff that it will extend its recess and assess the coronavirus situation again at the end of the month. Lawmakers adjourned on March 23 after passing a bare-bones emergency state budget and hoped to reconvene on April 13 to finish the yearly session.  House Speaker Rusty Bowers said Tuesday in an email to members and staff that it will not yet be safe to reconvene. Bowers said he and Senate President Karen Fann would give members ample notice before they are called back into session.


Air Force to retire A-10 aircraft at Arizona base next year

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A member of Arizona’s congressional delegation says the U.S. Air Force plans to retire 42 A-10 aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base next year. The move would cut the base’s fleet of “Warthogs" in half. The Arizona Daily Star reports Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick identified the proposed cuts in letters to the Air Force and to U.S. House committees. Kirkpatrick says the move will bring serious harm to the economy in her community. A-10 pilots are trained and deployed at Davis-Monthan. The base east of Tucson had 83 Warthogs in its fleet as of Tuesday.


Page man arrested for urging killings of Navajo over virus

PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities in northern Arizona have arrested a man for writing a racist social media post accusing Navajo people of carrying the coronavirus and calling for their deaths. The Page Police Department announced Tuesday that 34-year-old Daniel Franzen was taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to incite an act of terrorism. Police say they received reports Monday of a Facebook post that urged people to use “lethal force” against the Navajo community because they were “100% infected” with COVID-19. Investigators say they traced the post to Franzen. He has been booked into Coconino County jail. The city of Page borders the Navajo Nation, the nation’s largest Native American reservation.