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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from April 19-21

(Arizona Snowbowl)

An explosion that sent eight fire fighters to the hospital, an extended ski season at Arizona Snowbowl and an upcoming appearance from a major “Game of Thrones” star.

Here are some stories that headlined the news cycle, both locally and nationally, over the weekend.


Explosion in Surprise sends 8 fire fighters to the hospital

Eight fire fighters were sent to the hospital after suffering injuries from an explosion at the McMicken Energy Storage facility in Surprise on Friday night.

Four fire fighters from the Surprise Fire-Medical Department and Peoria Fire Department were sent for evaluation.

One Peoria fire fighter suffered critical injuries and underwent emergency surgery. He is now in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. Two others from Peoria suffered serious injuries, while the fourth was discharged from the hospital on Friday.

None of the injuries suffered to the four Surprise Fire-Medical Department fire fighters were life threatening.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.


Record guests in March allows Snowbowl to extend season into May

Temperatures in Phoenix are nearing triple digits, but there’s still time to escape north and enjoy winter.

Arizona Snowbowl announced Friday the resort would remain open into May, tying the longest season in recorded history.

The ski resort plans to operate April 26-28 and May 3-5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The decision comes after a record-breaking March in which the resort had a 30 percent increase in skier visits compared to last season.

Snowbowl has received 332 inches of snowfall this season, the second most in the past 21 years.

Snowbowl hasn’t yet decided on a closing date for this season.


‘Game of Thrones’ star to appear at Phoenix Fan Fusion in May

Ever want to meet the kingslayer? Maybe shake his good hand? Well, you’re in luck.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister in HBO’s hit show, “Game of Thrones,” is set to appear at Phoenix Fan Fusion in May.

Coster-Waldau will appear at the convention Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 24th, 25th and 26, respectively.

A photo op with Coster-Waldau at the convention, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, costs $80 as does an autograph.

Tickets for the convention start at $20 on Thursday, $30 on Friday, $45 on Saturday and $35 on Sunday. A full-event pass goes for $85.


Phoenix Zoo picks name for baby giraffe born in March

The Phoenix Zoo’s newest baby giraffe finally has a name, and it is as cute as you could imagine for a month-old giraffe.

The giraffe, born March 22, is named Moshi. Why Moshi? It means “smoke” in Swahili.

The zoo said Moshi is doing well, spending time in the giraffe barn and an outdoor side yard where she is bonding with her mother, Sunshine, and the rest of the female giraffes.

There still isn’t an official date for when Moshi will be introduced into the Savanna habitat, but it could be soon.


Scottsdale cabbie arrested on DNA evidence from 2016 sex assault case

An arrest was made in a three-year-old sexual assault case that was once closed as inactive but reopened in November.

Abbas Shemisawi was arrested on Tuesday after a crime lab matched Shemisawi’s DNA to a profile found in the victim’s dress and underwear.

According to authorities, the incident occurred in August 2016 when at the end of a night of drinking in Scottsdale, the victim woke up on a couch in an apartment she had never been in before.

Police were called to the scene by the tenant of the apartment – a male – who said he had forgotten to lock his apartment door the night before.

The victim said that she had no recollection of how she got there and later realized that she was no longer wearing underwear.

Two days later, investigators swabbed the tenant of the apartment for DNA samples after the victim feared that she was raped or had become pregnant on the night she woke up there.

After the results from the apartment tenant’s DNA swab were determined not a match from semen samples on the victims dress, the case was closed.

That is until November 2018 when after the semen from the victim’s dress was uploaded into a database was found to be a match with Shemisawi from an incident in April 2017 in the same area.

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