December 2013

Search Crews Looking For Missing Hiker In Sedona

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) — Crews in northern Arizona continue to search for a hiker missing since last week near Sedona.

Coconino County Sheriff's officials said 22-year-old Thomas Lang was last seen Wednesday at the Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon. Lang was carrying a sleeping bag, guitar and a backpack but did not take a cellphone or food. He did have plenty of water, and his family says he has no known medical issues.

Mailboxes Broken Into In Southern Arizona Town

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — Police in the southern Arizona town of Oro Valley are investigating some mail thefts.

They say mail was stolen from a "significant number of mailboxes" in southern and northern Oro Valley although they do not have an exact number. The thefts occurred between Saturday and Sunday near Seasons Loop and Sterling Avenue, Heatherglenn Place and Legacy Place and Eton Drive and First Avenue. Police said a pickup truck was seen in the area where the mailboxes were broken into.

Arizona Gas Prices Are Flat

Gas prices in Arizona are basically the same this week as last, even as the national average rose more than three cents.

Arizonans this week are paying an average of $3.14 a gallon. That is also pretty close to what it was last year at this time. It is more than a dime cheaper than the national average.

Tucson drivers pay the cheapest average price in the state, while Flagstaff has the highest.

Navajo Nation Council Tables Coal Mine Proposal

Members of the Navajo Nation Council have tabled a proposal that would allow disputes over a coal mine to be settled in state, rather than tribal courts. 

Council members tabled the proposal on Monday. It involves disputes over a mine in northwestern New Mexico, according to the Farmington Daily Times, but the proposal was delayed after discussion about whether a super majority of council members’ votes was needed to pass it.

CPS Assigns Thousands Of Ignored Cases

Nearly half of the child abuse and neglect cases previously ignored in Arizona have now been assigned to investigators. Child Protective Services is now looking into just shy of 2,900 cases.

That is the word from the so-called CARE Team, which Gov. Jan Brewer appointed to oversee the more 6,500 cases that were not investigated by CPS over several years. The team is led by the head of the state's Juvenile Corrections department, Charles Flanagan.

Court Allows Class Action Suit In Gay State Workers Case

Lesbian and gay employees of the state of Arizona are now part of a class-action lawsuit over whether their domestic partners are eligible for health benefits.

In 2009, Gov.Jan Brewer signed a law reversing an earlier decision to extend benefits to the partners of state workers. Brewer’s decision was put on hold by a judge. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, sending it to a full trial.