December 2013

Did You Know: I-17 Tree Mysteriously Decorated Every Year

The holiday season is about celebrations and gift giving surprises. Well, there is a surprise Arizonans receive every holiday season. You may have noticed it on the way to northern Arizona.

It has become an unofficial holiday tradition in Arizona. A juniper tree in the middle of Interstate 17, decorated every year for the holiday season. Did You Know the tree has been trimmed for about 30 years, and who does it is a mystery?

Glendale's Financial Situation Spells Trouble

The city of Glendale’s financial situation is not a great one right now. A recent Wall Street Journal article even referred to Glendale in a similar context to Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy protection. The city will have some big decisions to make before the next fiscal year starts on July 1.

Tom Duensing is Glendale’s new finance director. He explained how he is focusing on dealing with the problem.

Going Behind The Scenes At Cold Stone Creamery

You know, sometimes journalism can be a rocky road. I mean, you sometimes have to really mint a complicated turn of phrase and…

Okay Steve, we get it. You’ve got ice cream on the brain, but there is a good reason for it, at least this time. We recently had what was easily the toughest assignment of either of our careers, touring and tasting our way through the heart of Cold Stone Creamery. But, never fear, they did not just let us loose among the pints.

Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Found Outside Nogales Home

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — Federal authorities say they have shut down a drug-smuggling tunnel discovered in a backyard shed in southern Arizona.

Members of the Nogales Tunnel Task Force developed information that a drug-smuggling tunnel was located at a Nogales house about 1 and a half miles north of the international border. Authorities discovered the tunnel entrance in a backyard shed.

Flags At Half-Staff To Honor Fallen Ariz. Soldier

PHOENIX (AP) — Flags at state government buildings are being flown at half-staff Friday to honor an Arizona soldier killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The soldiers killed when their Black Hawk UH-60 went down Tuesday included Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman. The 35-year-old was from Scottsdale. He was based at Fort Riley, Kan.

The Fort Riley-based 1st Division Combat Aviation Brigade sent some 2,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in August for a nine-month deployment.

Gov. Jan Brewer ordered that state buildings' flags be lowered until sunset.

Ariz. Commerce Authority CEO Gets Bonus Near $69K

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Commerce Authority is awarding its CEO a nearly $69,000 performed-based bonus on top of her $250,000 salary.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the authority's executive committee decided that CEO Sandra Watson met enough of her preset goals to make her eligible for nearly all of a possible $75,000 bonus. Those goals included attracting jobs and capital investment to Arizona, obtaining matching funds for a branding campaign and securing federal grants.

Dry Storm Expected Through This Weekend

A winter storm is moving through Arizona on Friday. Robert Rickey of the National Weather Service in Flagstaff said however, it is a fairly dry storm, meaning massive amounts of precipitation are unlikely.

“Between three to eight inches of snow is expected for locations above 6,000 feet, and along the eastern Mogollon Rim in Yavapai County,” Rickey said.

The system is expected to continue through the day on Friday but will be mainly out of Arizona by Saturday.