VOL. 22  ISSUE NO. 4   |  january 27, 2016

By Linda Bentley | january 27, 2016

Council hammers through policies and direction during retreat

CAVE CREEK – On Monday council held a retreat, an informal session during which council may openly discuss matters brought forward by various council members, set policies and provide the town manager with direction.

The sparsely attended retreat, although agendized and open to the public, was not open for public comment.

By Linda Bentley | january 27, 2016

Councilman DiCiccio exposes city’s water rate hike for pay raises scam

Arizona Free Enterprise Club excoriates city for Prop. 104 waste, fraud and abuse

PHOENIX – Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio exposed the city’s scam back in 2010 when the city claimed it cut 305 employees but instead secretly transferred them to the Water Department and raised water rates to cover their pay.

Once again, the city has raised water rates to give employees raises.

Since fiscal year 2008/2009, Water Department employee compensation has increased by $16.8 million.

By Linda Bentley | january 27, 2016

U.S. State Department updates travel warning for Mexico

Resort areas and tourist destinations generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that is reported in the border regions

WASHINGTON – On Jan. 19, The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a new travel warning for Mexico, replacing the travel warning issued on May 5, 2015, cautioning U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to safety and security threats posed by organized crime groups.

Under its general warning, it stated U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery in various Mexican states.

january 27, 2016

Tucson Sector Agent Involved in Shooting

Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agent involved in shooting after struggle, suspect currently in stable condition.    

On Monday, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents tracked a vehicle suspected of being involved in cross-border narcotics trafficking southeast of Rodeo, New Mexico.  Agents subsequently encountered a truck, stuck in mud, with approximately 2,340 pounds of marijuana. 

Two suspects in the vehicle fled into the surrounding mountainous terrain near the New Mexico state line, east of Apache, Arizona.  Agents immediately gave chase and one agent caught up to one of the suspects.  The agent attempted to arrest the suspect and a struggle ensued.  Preliminary reports indicate that the suspect assaulted the agent during the struggle. 

january 27, 2016

Game and Fish Commission passes resolutions on burro management, land use

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved two resolutions, including one to address an “extreme overpopulation of burros” impacting the state’s wildlife, habitat and public safety, and another that bolsters the department’s efforts to ensure public access to public lands. The Commission passed the resolutions at its January meeting.

The resolution on burro management states that “the Arizona Game and Fish Commission recognizes there is an extreme overpopulation of burros in Arizona that negatively impacts wildlife, wildlife habitat and public safety.”

january 27, 2016

Governor Doug Ducey launches special team to help clear rape kit backlog

Team will produce recommendations for requiring testing of every rape kit, aid in ensuring justice for sexual assault victims

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey recently announced the members of the Arizona Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force, a bipartisan coalition of victims advocates, law enforcement officials and policy makers tasked with addressing the injustice of untested rape kits throughout Arizona.

Throughout the country – including Arizona – crime labs struggle to keep up with timely testing of the kits, resulting in a backlog of 2,300 untested kits in Maricopa County alone.

january 27, 2016

Hashknife Pony Express delivers the mail -- and the Old West -- to Scottsdale this Friday

The Pony Express endures as one of the most daring and romantic chapters of the American West.

That era comes to life this week across Arizona, culminating in a colorful, hoof-pounding mail delivery at high noon Friday, Jan. 29, in Downtown Scottsdale.

The public is invited to attend when more than two dozen members of the Hashknife Pony Express conclude their 200-mile horseback trek at the Passing the Legacy sculpture near the Marshall Way Bridge.

january 27, 2016

Fifteen current and former Arizona Game and Fish commissioners urge president to say no on monument designation

PHOENIX – The five-member Arizona Game and Fish Commission and 10 former commissioners have sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging that he not designate 1.7 million acres in northern Arizona as a new Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

Calling the proposed monument “a solution to a non-existing problem,” the commissioners said designating this large swath of land as a national monument could impose unnecessary rules and regulations, negatively impact outdoor recreation, and compromise the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s ability to manage and conserve wildlife.

january 27, 2016

Public aids in arrest of one of ROC’s Most Wanted Unlicensed Entities

PHOENIX – On Thurs., Jan. 21, 2016, one day after being added to Arizona Registrar of Contractors’ Most Wanted Unlicensed Entity List, the Gilbert Police Department arrested Juan Esteban Ordonez, 48 of Arizona, thanks to a member of the public recognizing his name.

On Wed., Jan. 20, 2016, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors added Ordonez to its Most Wanted Unlicensed Entity List based on a warrant for his arrest for Fraudulent Schemes and Theft, stemming from an Agency investigation.