December 2013

NM Train Derailment Kills Three Railroad Workers

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a freight train derailment in southern New Mexico that killed three railroad employees when the train's locomotive plunged 40 feet down a ravine.

Police identified the three as 38-year-old Donald White, 60-year-old Steven Corse and 50-year-old Ann Thompson. White lived in Silver City, N.M., and Corse and Thompson lived in the northern Arizona community of Paulden. No other people were on the train.

Arias Fades From View As Case Veiled In Secrecy

PHOENIX (AP) — For months, Jodi Arias was a television staple, and practically every minute of her murder trial was broadcast live, but Arias has vanished from view since her trial ended in May, and the judge has done a complete about-face. She has shut the media and public out of nearly every hearing in the case and drawn complaints from First Amendment lawyers that she has gone too far.

Ex-US Rep. Rick Renzi Wants Bail During Appeal

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi is asking a federal judge in Tucson to allow him to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction on public corruption, money laundering and other charges.

Federal prosecutors are opposing the former Arizona congressman's request to delay the start of his three-year prison sentence. Renzi claims he has a good chance of winning a new trial or lesser sentence on appeal. Prosecutors disagree.

Renzi and co-defendant James Sandlin are set to report to prison in January. Sandlin was ordered to serve 18 months.

Late Week Promises Colder Weather

Arizona is going to see colder temperatures later this week. Mark O’Malley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that means Valley highs in the mid 50s starting on Thursday and lasting through the weekend.

“We’re looking at a very large storm system, which will affect the state later this week,” O’Malley said. “Temperatures in Arizona will turn markedly cooler.”

O’Malley said highs in the northern parts of Arizona will only be in the mid 20s by Thursday. He said the storm system will also bring rain and some mountain snow on Wednesday and Thursday.

Bighorn Sheep Released In Santa Catalina Mountains Dies

The Department of Game and Fish is investigating the death of one of the Bighorn Sheep recently released in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. Spokesman Mark Hart said the ram’s death could have been caused by a fall, a predator or by stress from the relocation.

“It’s possible that something known as capture-myopathy may have stressed the sheep to the extent it developed acute cahodosis, which can lead to heart failure,” Hart said.

Arizona Charter Schools Want More State Aid

Arizona’s charter schools want the same amount of state aid as the state’s other public schools. Under state law, charters are public schools, but they can be operated by private, for-profit organizations and are exempt from many of the rules governing traditional schools.

Attorney Kory Langhofer said it is unfair that charter schools cannot ask voters to approve bond issues and budget overrides to raise local tax money.      

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