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WELFARE CHECK-DOGS RESCUED

5 dogs found dead in Tucson home, dozens of others rescued

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say about 45 dogs have been rescued from a Tucson home where five other canines were found dead. Pima County officials say the animals were taken from the home after a welfare check. They say many of the dogs were only in fair condition. Most of the puppies were showing signs of upper respiratory infections and one puppy had open wounds. Authorities say the conditions in the home were unsanitary with an extreme build-up of waste. They have talked to the woman who owns the home, but her name hasn’t been released. The Pima Animal Care Center is evaluating the animals. They will not immediately be available for adoption.

IMMIGRATION-TOWN EMERGENCY

Arizona town calls state of emergency over migrant arrivals

PHOENIX (AP) — A small town in Arizona has declared a state of emergency over the number of asylum seekers being dropped off within town limits. Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs made the declaration on Tuesday and said the town does not have the resources to fund or support migrants. The town has a population of 2,000 people and is about 75 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The declaration came after Border Patrol agents on Monday dropped off 16 people, including young children, at a town park. Riggs said he and his wife drove the families to Phoenix. The mayor has called for help from Maricopa County and the state. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

After 3 days with no COVID deaths, Navajo Nation reports 2

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 10 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths. It was the first deaths reported by the tribe after three days without any coronavirus-related fatalities. The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s numbers to 30,021 cases and 1,235 known deaths since the pandemic began. The Navajo Nation had a soft reopening last week with 25% capacity for some businesses under certain restrictions.  Still, mask mandates and daily curfews remain on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Tribal health officials say nearly 197,000 vaccine shots have been administered so far.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ARIZONA

Arizona governor says no beef over rejected fed vaccine site

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey says there is no turf war after Arizona rejected a proposed federal government-supported COVID-19 vaccine site. The Republican governor says working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on setting up a community vaccine center in Pima County would not be as efficient as simply allocating more doses to the state. The decision has drawn some criticism from Pima County, where officials voted unanimously for the federal site. The issue somewhat overshadowed Ducey’s touting Wednesday of Arizona officially expanding vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older. Newly available appointments this week at state-run sites in Phoenix and Tucson were snapped up within 20 minutes. 

EDUCATION TAX

Arizona panel advances measure cutting Proposition 208 taxes

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona House committee has advanced a measure that would let successful business owners avoid paying a 3.5% income tax hike approved by voters last year to boost school funding. Republicans on the House Commerce Committee advanced the bill in a party-line vote Wednesday. The measure would eliminate a third or more of the funding from last year’s Proposition 208, which boosted taxes on income above $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. The bill would affect the owners of certain types of businesses that don’t pay corporate taxes. Instead, their profits are taxed through the owner’s income tax returns. 

AP-US-BIDEN-IMMIGRATION

Biden taps VP Harris to lead response to border challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the migration challenge at the U.S. southern border. She also is tasked with working with Central American nations to address root causes of the problem. Biden, in delegating the matter to Harris, is seeking to replicate a dynamic that played out when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Obama turned to Biden early in his first term to lead the White House effort to draw down U.S. troops in the intractable war in Iraq. With the move, Biden hopes to show he’s taking the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border seriously.

SEX EDUCATION-ARIZONA

House panel OK’s tighter school sex education rules

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona parents would have to opt-in to specific discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation or HIV in sex education classes under a proposal approved by a House committee. Schools would also be barred from providing any instruction before 5th grade under the bill advanced Wednesday over opposition from minority Democrats. Republican Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix says her proposal is designed to give parents more oversight of what their children are being taught and shield young children from inappropriate material. Democrats argued it is an attack on LGBTQ students and puts young students at risk of abuse by barring instruction on topics like “good touch-bad touch.”  

BILL SIGNINGS

Arizona governor signs online dating, fertility fraud bills

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that allows lawsuits against a fertility doctor for secretly using their own sperm or ovum to impregnate a woman. The Republican governor also signed another bill requiring online dating services to inform members if they have been in contact with a member who has been banned for fraud. The proposals were among 37 bills the Republican governor signed into law on Wednesday, including three Ducey called “responsible” criminal justice reform measures. 



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