October 2013

In Mexico Reforms, Arizona Businesses See Gold

Arizona business leaders see opportunity as Mexico explores reforms to its energy and education infrastructure. Boosting international trade is the focus of a meeting Tuesday hosted by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

“The Olympic medalists – Mexico, Canada and China – it’s very important that our elected officials continue to look for ways to improve our relationships with those countries,” said Glenn Hamer, who heads the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Crowd Gathers In Phoenix To Protest Deportations

PHOENIX (AP) — About 250 people are gathered at the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix with a goal of stopping future deportations.

The protesters marched roughly a mile from a downtown Phoenix park to the ICE office that was closed Monday. Many federal offices are closed due to the federal Columbus Day holiday.

The protesters chanted "no more deportations" and "shut down ICE."

Organizers say they want deportations stopped so that families can stay together.

Tucson Ordinance Requires Companies To Collect Abandoned Shopping Carts

The president of Tucson’s Chamber of Commerce expects positive changes from a new city ordinance that fines companies for failing to pick up abandoned shopping carts within three days.

Michael Varney said both cart thieves and retailers share blame.

“Retailers have expressed no interest at all in pursuing legal action against these customers so that leaves us in a little bit of a quandary,” Varney said. “The neighborhoods obviously don’t care about any of that; they just want these things gone.”

Jack-O'-Lanterns Could Attract Wild Animals

Halloween is just around the corner, and Jack-o'-lanterns are appearing on porches, but they could bring an unwanted scare, especially if you live in Tucson.

The Arizona Daily Star said putting a pumpkin in front of your house could attract javelinas, coyotes and even bears. The Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends putting any vegetative decorations indoors to avoid conflict with wild animals.

Violent Crime In Flagstaff Down, Property Crime Up

Violent crime is down in Flagstaff by 11 percent. That includes assault, robbery, rape and homicide.

According the Arizona Daily Sun, the Flagstaff Police Department said they were able to reduce the number of sexual assaults by cracking down on alcohol related offenses, but they were not able to reduce the amount of property crime. There have been 25 arson cases in Flagstaff this year which is up 47 percent from last year.

Grand Canyon Reopens

Grand Canyon National Park reopened this weekend after a deal to reverse one of many effects of the federal government’s partial shutdown.

Clarinda Vail manages hotels in northern Arizona. She wants to see a law that makes it easier to keep the park open if another shutdown happens.

“If a shutdown happens again, to where it’s just automatic that the state and private entities can say ‘okay, we’ll come in and fund it,’” Vail said.

Vail said the Grand Canyon and other national parks and monuments have been pawns in the battle over the shutdown.

John McCain Addresses Government Shutdown

The United States federal government remains partially shutdown as the country fast approaches the debt limit that allows the country to pay for its financial obligations. Arizona Senator John McCain spoke to CBS’s "Face the Nation" Sunday. He was asked why House Republicans were so determined to tie negotiations to the Affordable Care Act.

“I think the very extreme dissatisfaction that many people feel, there was already fertile ground because of those many members of the House that were elected in 2010 on the promise that they would repeal and replace Obamacare,” McCain said.

East Valley Debris Fire Put Out

A debris fire that ignited on a county island in the East Valley last Wednesday has been put out. The fire was burning through a large pile of organic waste, like palm fronds and tree stumps, on land north of the Loop 202 between Alma School and McKellips.

Colin Williams is with the Rural/Metro Fire Department. He says on Thursday, crews discovered that the top layer of the pile was burning, but there was a lot of unburned fuel underneath the flames.