November 2013

Border Patrol Nabs Record Pot Haul

Border Patrol seized a record amount of marijuana on Monday. More than 20,000 pounds of pot were discovered at a port of entry near Nogales.

The large cache of marijuana is valued at more than $10 million. It was found hidden in a truck loaded with yellow squash. The Mariposa crossing point is used by commercial traffic, including trucks hauling Mexican produce into the United States.

Port director Guadalupe Ramirez called this seizure “very important” for him and fellow federal agents.

Scottsdale Adds Land To McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale has added more than 2,300 acres to its McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The city bought the land for more than $21 million at a state land auction on Tuesday.

Scottsdale was the only bidder. Including the newly-acquired land, the city’s preserve includes around 30,000 acres, more than 47 square miles. The city said its ultimate goal is to preserve about 34,000 acres. That is nearly a third of Scottsdale’s land area.

Four Arizona Schools Among National Blue Ribbon Recipients

Four Arizona schools were recognized as this year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The U.S. Department of Education honored Chandler Traditional Academy Liberty Campus, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School in Nogales, Sabino High School in Tucson and Xavier College Preparatory High School in Phoenix. They are among 286 U.S. schools recognized.  

The award is given for academic excellence and for progress in improving student achievement.

New Toolkit Helps Foster Parents

There is new help available for Arizonans thinking about becoming foster parents. 

The Department of Economic Security is teaming up with Magellan of Arizona to create what is being called the Foster Care Toolkit. The object is to explain what it means and what is required to be a foster parent. 

Shawn Thiele of Magellan said the toolkit contains information on community resources that may be needed by foster parents.

 "That would include things like food, medical, support groups or education groups and training," Thiele said.        

Gilbert School District OKs Apple Tax Break

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) — A Phoenix-area school board has signed off on a property tax break for a manufacturing plant planned by Apple Inc.

The Gilbert Unified School District board is now the eighth and final governmental units whose approval was necessary to extend a foreign trade zone to include the plant's site.

The unanimous vote Monday evening took place a week after the five-member board deadlocked on the issue.

At that time, two members voiced support, two expressed opposition and a fifth was undecided.

Katie Couric's Talk Show Travels To Arizona

The nationally-syndicated Katie Couric talk show "Katie!" came to Arizona to honor former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband former astronaut Mark Kelly.

The show also traveled to ArizonaStateUniversity to raise 1 million meals for the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Students came through with donated canned goods and other items. Fry’s Grocery Stores and Con-Agra helped the show surpass its goal, with 1.5 million donated meals.