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Here are the biggest Arizona-related stories from Thanksgiving weekend

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHOENIX — Whether you were cooking up a storm ahead of Thanksgiving or waiting in hours-long lines to score the best deals on Black Friday, we know you were busy this holiday weekend.

If you weren’t able to keep up with the news over the weekend, no worries: Here are some of the biggest Arizona-related stories from the Thanksgiving weekend.


Phoenix ties record for hottest day on Thanksgiving

The city tied the daily and Thanksgiving record-high temperature of 87 degrees this holiday, a record that has held since 1950, according to the National Weather Service.

The warm temperatures also came during a long rainless streak. The last time Phoenix recorded measurable rainfall was Aug. 23.

Landfill search for missing Phoenix woman’s body passes halfway mark

A search of a Phoenix-area landfill has passed the halfway mark without finding any sign of a missing 34-year-old woman believed to be a homicide victim.

Phoenix police completed the fifth week of what could be a nine-week search begun Oct. 23 for remains of Christine Mustafa.

Crews have examined nearly 6,000 tons of material, said Sgt. Alan Pfohl, a police department spokesman, and have not yet “located anything of evidentiary value.”

Teen spends second Thanksgiving with Mesa family after viral exchange

A Valley teenager who went viral on social media last year after accepting a stranger’s invitation for Thanksgiving dinner has gone back for seconds.

In a Twitter post, Jamal Hinton said he spent a second Thanksgiving with a woman who he had a viral exchange with last holiday.

Hinton posted the tweet with a series of photos showing him and Mesa resident Wanda Dench at Thanksgiving dinner together for two years in a row.

More than $100,000 spent to fix Arizona school funding error

The Arizona Department of Education spent more than $100,000 to fix errors that led to the misallocation of millions of dollars in federal funding, and the cost could rise.

The department paid $105,000 for an outside auditor to identify the problems in the allocation process. Washington, D.C.-based Afton Partners helped education officials prepare allocations for the fiscal year 2018.

ASU rescinds award given to Charlie Rose amid sexual harassment claims

Arizona State University announced it rescinded an award given to former CBS News anchor Charlie Rose after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.

In an email, Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said the school was rescinding Rose’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, which was given to him in 2015.

Callahan called the action “unprecedented” and said it was “taken with the utmost seriousness and deliberation.”

Lawsuit claims Arpaio pursued 2014 animal cruelty case to hurt Flake

A federal lawsuit set to go to trial next month marks the latest legal action brought against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio over allegations that he pursued a trumped-up criminal case to get publicity and embarrass an adversary.

The political opponent in this case? U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

One of Flake’s sons filed a malicious-prosecution lawsuit, saying Arpaio pursued felony animal cruelty charges against him and his then-wife in a bid to do political damage to the senator and gain publicity.

Thrillist crowns local rock group Meat Puppets as Arizona’s best band

The Arizona-based rock group Meat Puppets took home the title of Arizona’s best band, according to Thrillist.

Meat Puppets was formed by Phoenix-based artists Curt Kirkwood, his brother Cris and Derrick Bostrom in 1980. Curt was the band’s vocalist and guitarist, while Cris played the bass guitar and Bostrom was on drums.

The website said while the Meat Puppets may “not have the hits of an act like Alice Cooper or the chops of a group like Calexico, their combination of punk ideals, eclectic taste, and untamed spirit speaks to the mysterious character of the Southwest.”

“While blending country, hardcore, and psychedelic rock, the Meat Puppets have endured longer than many of their SST Records peers of the 1980s, crafting a quirky legacy — and a lengthy discography — that’s difficult to pin down but impossible to deny.”

Report: Arizona’s drug, alcohol, suicide death rates to climb by 2025

Death rates in Arizona from drugs, alcohol and suicides could grow by 38 percent over the next decade, a recent report found.

The report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to predict that the death rate for all three combined would rise from 55 Arizonans per 100,000 in 2015 to 75.8 per 100,000 by 2025.

That would be the eighth-highest rate in the nation in both years, the report said, even though the rate of increase in Arizona would be slightly slower than the nation as a whole.

Mesa to allow private businesses to place sponsorships on fire trucks

Private businesses will be allowed to sponsor health and safety messages on fire trucks in Arizona’s third most populous city.

The Mesa Fire and Medical Department said sponsors will be allowed to place decals on fire trucks and receive trading cards with images of the vehicles and the sponsor’s business logo.

Deputy Chief Forrest Smith said the department will be “very particular” in accepting particular sponsors but that the department hopes the program will generate about $250,000 to help reduce budget cuts.

Phoenix to see cooler temps this week after Thanksgiving heat record

After seeing record-tying temperatures on Thanksgiving, Phoenix is excepted to usher in slightly cooler weather leading up to the first week of December.

According to the National Weather Service, Phoenix is expected to see temperatures in the 80s with breezy conditions on Monday before welcoming highs in the 70s for the rest of the week.

Cronkite News’ Andrew Nicla and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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