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Valley&State Week in Review |
A LOOK AT LOCAL NEWS THAT HAPPENED AS YOUR WEEK UNFOLDED
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burglary. Garcia was accused of pushing the victim and causing her to fall into a wall and then to the ground.
4. PHOENIX’S FIRST FEMALE FIRE CHIEF PRESENTED For the first time in Phoenix history, a woman will lead the city’s Fire Department. Acting City Manager Ed Zuercher has chosen Kara Kalkbrenner, a 30-year veteran of the department, to take over for outgoing Chief Bob Khan, who is retiring Feb. 28 to care for his ailing father. Kalkbrenner is a native Phoenix resident and joined the department as a firefighter in 1984.
5. MARICOPA COUNTY POT-DISPENSARY ZONING EASED
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
1. Wounded soldier humbled by time in Capitol spotlight Cory Remsburg, a decorated Army Ranger from Gilbert, was an honored quest of President Obama for the State of the Union address. Remsburg, 30, who was wounded by an explosive device in Afghanistan, and his father, Craig, were among 24 guests invited to sit in the Capitol gallery with first lady Michelle Obama. President Obama introduced and praised Remsburg and all those who serve in uniform at the end of his speech.
2. INTERNET VIDEO RAISES POLICE USE-OF-FORCE CONCERNS IN MESA A video posted Thursday on YouTube.com appears to show police officers striking a man and slamming his head into the ground as they attempt to take him into custody in a Valley roadway. In the video, two men in black vests with the words “POLICE” emblazoned on the front and
back strike a man in the head multiple times as he’s pinned face down on the blacktop. A Mesa Police Department patrol vehicle is visible in the frame When reached Thursday evening, Det. Steve Berry, a Mesa police spokesman, said officials are aware of the video, but “have not had a chance to thoroughly review the video, read the reports or make any evaluation as to the circumstances of the arrest.”
3. SENTENCING SET FOR EX-ASU DEFENSIVE BACK A March 13 sentencing was scheduled this week for a former Arizona State University defensive back convicted of attempted sexual assault of a 21-year-old woman. Andres Rafael Garcia faces up to 17 years in prison for his guilty pleas in December to attempted sexual assault and third-degree
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a zoning ordinance allowing medical-marijuana dispensaries in Maricopa County’s unincorporated areas, winding down more than two years of resistance in the face of an adverse Superior Court order. The new ordinance, approved on a 4-0 board vote Wednesday, allows medical-marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites to open in non-residential areas under county zoning control. Dispensaries will be allowed in commercial zones that are farther away from residential areas and in industrial zones. Cultivation facilities will be allowed in industrial zones.
6. NEW REGIONAL PARK AND RIDE SERVES 3 ROUTES IN SCOTTSDALE Scottsdale’s first regional parkand-ride lot and the largest in the city by far, opened this week. Scottsdale constructed the lot at a cost of about $8.5 million. The project was funded mostly by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with the rest from Federal Transit Administration grants and local sources.
7. GILBERT TRANSPORT OFFICER ACCUSED OF THREATENING WIFE WITH HANDGUN A Gilbert police detention-transport officer was arrested on suspicion of threatening his wife with a handgun after the couple argued about financial issues in downtown Scottsdale, according to records filed in McDowell Mountain Justice Court.
8. SAFARI PARK ADDS 15 ACRES TO WILDLIFE WORLD ZOO The Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park opened its Safari Park, expanding the zoo to more than 80 acres. The 15-acre Safari Park boasts a tram ride, a restaurant, 20 new animal exhibits with 20 new species and an expanded lion habitat, which in about a month will feature the first white lion in the Southwest.
9. SURPRISE COUNCIL AGAIN VOTES TO APPOINT JIM BIUNDO Jim Biundo, 79, has been appointed for the second time to a Surprise City Council seat. He will represent District 2, which primarily covers the Sun City Grand community.
10. TUCSON COUPLE FACE NEW IMPRISONMENT CHARGES IN PINAL COUNTY A Tucson couple was indicted in Pinal County on Friday after they were accused of imprisoning the woman’s three daughters inside their southern Arizona home between 2011 and 2013, according to court documents. Fernando Richter, 34, and his wife Sophia, 32, have both been charged with kidnapping and child abuse in a Pinal County grand jury indictment handed up earlier this month.