Weekend wrap-up: Biggest Arizona-related stories from Sept. 15 weekend
PHOENIX — The weekend has officially come to an end, wrapping up several days that were full of Arizona-related events.
Here are the most newsworthy Arizona-related events that happened during the weekend of Sept. 15.
Sen. John McCain introduces bill to protect transgender troops
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Friday that aims to protect transgender troops by preventing the Department of Defense from removing active service members based solely on their gender identity.
McCain introduced the bill with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Susan Collins (R-Maryland) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).
If it was signed into law, the bill would prohibit the Department of Defense from “involuntarily separating, or denying the reenlistment or continuation in service in the Armed Forces of currently serving transgender service members solely on the basis of the member’s gender identity,” among other things.
It was introduced in response to a ban from President Donald Trump, who declared in July that the U.S. will not “accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” but effectively left the door open for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to come up with a formal policy to implement the ban.
McCain again touched on the subject during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, saying that both transgender people and Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival recipients who are serving in the military shouldn’t be prohibited from serving.
Arizona search and rescue unit returned home after hurricane duty
Members of the Arizona Task Force One, an 80-member urban search and rescue unit from the Phoenix Fire Department, returned home on Saturday after serving in Texas and Florida for 21 days to assist with cleanup and rescue efforts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The team members were greeted by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, city council members and fire department employees at a Phoenix Fire Department facility in southwest Phoenix.
The team helped rescue 17 adults and children and four dogs who were flooded from their homes in Katy, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston-area town. The team members were also sent to Albany, Georgia, to assist with Hurricane Irma duty.
Report finds Arizona’s imports from Mexico up 25 percent
A recent report from the University of Arizona found that Arizona’s imports from Mexico were up nearly 25 percent in July compared to the same time last year.
Arizona brought in $541 million in imports from Mexico in July of this year, a 24.87 percent increase over the same time last year.
The growth also continued a three-month pattern of an increased amount of imports from Mexico to Arizona. Imports in May and June were also up 11 and 21 percent, respectively, over the same time last year.
Wild jaguar spotted on video roaming in southern Arizona
Wildlife conservationists have released new video footage showing what is believed to be one of three jaguars to be seen in the United States in the past few years.
The jaguar, which the Arizona Game and Fish Department said is a male, was spotted this summer in the Chiricahua Mountains near Willcox.
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- New Arizona law helps combat PTSD among first responders