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Weekend wrap-up: The biggest Arizona-related stories

(Yelp Photo)

PHOENIX — A busy Arizona weekend included ASU police warning against suspected sex traffickers, Gov. Doug Ducey announcing a teacher raise and Harkins adding a neat lobby upgrade.

Here are some of the biggest Arizona stories from the last few days.


Gov. Doug Ducey to increase teacher pay by 20 percent in two years

After weeks of protests, walk-ins and threats of strike, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced teachers will receive a 20 percent pay raise over the next two years.

There will be a one percent raise in fiscal 2018, nine percent in fiscal 2019 and then a five percent raise in both the fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

The average teacher pay in the state is $48,723, according to Ducey. It is expected to reach $58,130 by 2020.

The national average is currently around $58,000.

The money comes from redirecting the $400 million in cuts Ducey promised to restore to school districts over four years.

San Diego-based Donut Bar to open new location in Scottsdale

A San Diego-based donut shop is expanding to the Valley.

Donut Bar is known for its unique twist on the popular breakfast pastry. From pretzel-shaped donuts to a grilled cheese donut, unique combinations and flavor are what makes Donut Bar so prominent.

It’s also a bar, by the way.

Dnout Bar was named the best overall donut shop in California by Thrillest.

ASU police warn of suspected sex traffickers targeting college parties

A bulletin on the Arizona Police Department’s Facebook page warned students of the growing trend at other universities that involved suspected sex traffickers targeting college parties.

The suspected traffickers would allegedly persuade victims into prostitution with the use of threeats or promising exposure to the campus community.

Students are being asked to practice safety with friends and on social media, and to trust their instincts and avoid situations or unfamiliar places that may compromise safety.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 181 reported sex trafficking cases in Arizona last year, 159 of which involved females.

Anyone with additional information or those who have been a victim of sex trafficking were asked to contact the Arizona State Police Department.

Zillow is now buying and selling houses in the Phoenix area

The online real estate list service Zillow is expanding its Instant Offers program to the Valley this spring.

It will allow home sellers to receive an offer within two days of going on market, according to a release.

The program is intended to be an option for sellers who prioritize a quick sale over receiving maximum value for their home.

Phoenix will be the third city to use this program. In 2017, Las Vegas and Orlando became the first two test markets.

Statistics from the testing showed the majority of sellers who requested an Instant Offer ended up selling their home with an agent.

Harkins Theatres adds lobby bars in $150 million construction upgrades

Harkins Theatres will spend more than $150 million on upgrades – including in-lobby bars.

The addition of the adult beverages will help Harkins compete with AMC, which has location that already offer the drinks. Harkins, headquartered in Scottsdale, is the largest privately-owned theater chain in the nation.

“We will be relentless in each situation, to ensure that we have the superior theater with the superior amenities,” said owner Dan Harkins in a press release.

Other upgrades include new lounger seats, reserved seating, new screens, laser projections and audio systems.

Upgrades at the Scottsdale 101 location have already been unveiled. Construction at Chandler Fashion 20 and Arrowhead 18 was nearly complete.

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