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Weekend wrap-up: Biggest Arizona-related stories from past weekend

Cindy McCain, long active in the fight against human trafficking, told a Senate committee that miscommunication between federal agencies and Indian Country is "pretty much standard" when it comes to sex trafficking (Photo by Adrienne St. Clair/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX — It’s that time of the week again, when we reflect on what happened over the last couple of days.

If you live in Arizona, you were among the few who did not have to change back their clocks for Daylight Savings. Instead, spend that time catching up on some of the news from this past weekend.

Here are some of the biggest Arizona-related stories from this past weekend.


Cindy McCain refutes online rumor that John McCain is leaving Senate

Cindy McCain, the wife of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), took to Twitter to deny an online rumor that her husband would step down from the Senate.

“Contrary to popular belief [John McCain] is doing fine and has no intention of resigning,” she tweeted, adding the hashtag “crackpots.”

John McCain has been receiving treatment in Arizona for an aggressive form of brain cancer, though he has remained active both online and introducing bills.

Woman accuses Arizona judge of sexually abusing her for 12 years

An Arizona judge was being investigated on allegations of sexually abusing a girl from when she was 13 until she reached adulthood, the Associated Press has learned.

The alleged victim, now 25, told investigators last year that Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller touched her genitals and buttocks repeatedly and also showed her pornography, according to a police report obtained by the Associated Press.

The woman said she and the judge knew each other before the alleged abuse occurred but the Associated Press is not identifying her because it generally does not name alleged sexual assault victims.

Deputy James Allerton, the spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, confirmed that an investigation of the judge is underway but declined further comment on the probe and the allegations.

Flake, McCain criticize Trump plan to raise tariffs on steel, aluminum

Both Arizona senators criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States.

In a statement, Sen. Jeff Flake said the hike was bad news for the American economy and that he would move to block it immediately.

“Congress cannot be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster,” he said. “I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy.”

Sen. John McCain said Trump’s claim that imported metals could be threatening national security was not accurate.

“President Trump’s contention that steel and aluminum imports are threatening our national security and defense industrial base is simply not supported by the evidence,” he said in a statement. “According to the Department of Defense, U.S. military requirements for steel and aluminum each represent only about three percent of U.S. production.”

Buckeye police: Human bones discovered in Buckeye field

An investigation is underway after bones were discovered at a Buckeye farm.

Officials identified the remains as human but are unsure whether they are from an adult or child.

The bones were found near State Route 85 and Interstate 10 in a field.

Mesa records subpoenaed in US probe of police shooting

Mesa police records have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department in a civil rights investigation involving a former officer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Texas man last year, authorities said.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury found Philip Mitchell Brailsford not guilty of second-degree murder on Dec. 7.

Mesa police said in a statement that they’ve been asked to provide all documentation surrounding the Jan. 18, 2016, shooting and will comply and provide any records requested.

Calls to Brailsford’s attorney for comment weren’t immediately returned.

Hamilton High principal, athletic director will not return to school

Two officials at Hamilton High School in Chandler, where allegations of football team hazing have plagued the campus, have been permanently reassigned away from campus, the school district notified parents in a letter.

Principal Ken James and athletic director Shawn Rustad will not be coming back next school year but will still be employed by the Chandler Unified School District, according to the letter.

Signed by Superintendent Camille Casteel, the letter read, in part:

“Specifically, after weighing the matter carefully, a decision has been made that Mr. James and Mr. Rustad will not return to Hamilton High School, but will continue employment at the District level. A primary consideration for the decision was the best interest of the school, including the desire to avoid any further disruption.”

Rabies discoveries are becoming more common among Arizona’s wildlife

Reports of rabid wildlife in Arizona have been more frequent in 2018 than years past with 34 reported cases of Rabies in multiple types of animals.

The figures since the beginning of the calendar year follow a record setting 2017 when 24 confirmed cases of rabid foxes quadrupled figures from 2016, when the state reported just six.

So far in 2018, foxes have accounted for 14 of the 34 total cases of rabid animals.

Sen. Jeff Flake: Trump’s attacks on press at risk of becoming ‘normalized’

President Donald Trump has not backed down from his attacks on the free press and some Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), have argued that they are at risk of becoming “normalized.”

During an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press, Flake said the president’s comments are at risk of becoming “normalized and we take as normal what is abnormal.

“We should never normalize this kind of behavior, particularly from the president of the United States,” Flake said. “So I think it does real damage long term to the political culture. It really does.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

KTAR News 92.3

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