ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 24-26

May 26, 2019, 6:00 PM
(Wildlife World Zoo Photo)...
(Wildlife World Zoo Photo)
(Wildlife World Zoo Photo)

A baby jaguar born at a West Valley zoo, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s completion of the Crack Cancer challenge and an officer-involved shooting in Phoenix.

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


Hello world! Baby jaguar born this week at West Valley zoo

A West Valley zoo welcomed a new member to its grounds Thursday — an adorable baby jaguar.

The yet-to-be-named healthy cub was born to Sara the jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park, carrying on the same black coloration as her mom.

Sara is receiving round-the-clock care at the Litchfield Park zoo while the baby has been enjoying bottles of formula. In the next few weeks, staff will introduce meat into her diet.

Sara spends 15 hours per day in her two-story habitat and will remain there full time once modifications are complete.

The jaguar species is considered “near threatened” by the World Wildlife Fund due to poaching and habitat destruction.


Arizona Sen. Sinema accepts Mac And Gaydos’ Crack Cancer challenge

Another popular Arizona figure has taken a raw egg to the face for a good cause.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Saturday followed through on the Crack Cancer challenge, egging herself after being challenged by Mac Watson and Larry Gaydos of KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos show earlier in the week.

Sinema went on to challenge former Arizona politician Matt Salmon and Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Secretary of State.

The viral challenge was started as part of Brain Cancer Awareness month by the Willie Strong Foundation, which raises funds to find treatments for pediatric brain cancer.

The challenge is similar to the wildly successful Ice Bucket Challenge that raised money and awareness to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But instead of getting doused with ice water, participants have an egg cracked on their heads.


Retired Rio Verde deputy chief killed in Buckeye crash

Authorities have identified a man who died in a Saturday crash in Buckeye as a retired deputy fire chief.

According to the Buckeye Police Department, 59-year-old Dep. Chief Eric Merrill was killed Saturday morning following a two-vehicle collision at Palo Verde and Yuma roads.

His son was injured in the accident, but the injuries are considered not life threatening. There was no update on the second person hurt in the crash.

Merrill had recently retired two weeks ago from the Rio Verde Fire District where he had served the district for 15 years.

Before that, Merrill had worked with Rural Metro Fire. He had a 40-year career in fire service.


One suspect in critical condition following an officer-involved shooting

An officer-involved shooting ended with one suspect in critical condition and no injuries to the officers near the corner of 35th Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix on Sunday morning.

One male suspect was shot, following a pursuit on foot after one woman was detained as the two suspects left an abandoned car in a convenience store parking lot.

According to Phoenix Police Sargent Jamie Rothschild, officers originally pursued the suspects after noticing that their car did not have a license plate.

“It was later learned that the suspect had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for violating probation and was a prohibited possessor,” Rothschild said.

Around 1:20 a.m., police followed the vehicle into the parking lot.

Before the male suspect reached the business area, he had turned around, pointed a gun at the officer in pursuit and told the officer to shoot him.

According to Rothschild, the officer only fired when he considered the suspect a threat to the people in the business complex.


Fatal crashes in Arizona over Memorial Day weekend declining

Memorial Day weekend is one of the deadliest holiday periods to be on the road, but a new study finds Arizona is one of the only states seeing a decline in fatal crashes.

The study by 1Point21 Interactive, a data visualization firm, shows fatal crashes were up by nearly 19% nationally during the four-day holiday from 2012 to 2017.

“But in Arizona, it actually showed a 21% decrease – so a pretty significant difference,” said Brian Beltz, research lead and content manager at 1Point21 Interactive.

According to the study, there were more than 2,500 fatal crashes from 2012 to 2017. Of those, 46 occurred in Arizona.

The study, conducted using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, comes as Memorial Day weekend is already proving to be deadly on Arizona highways.

Five people died Friday in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 40 near Kingman. The crash shut down westbound traffic for several hours.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona Secretary of State Latie Hobbs, left, the Democratic nominee for governor, and Kris Mayes, ...
Associated Press

GOP quiet as Arizona Democrats condemn abortion ruling

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Democrats vowed Saturday to fight for women’s rights after a court reinstated a law first enacted during the Civil War that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances, looking to capitalize on an issue they hope will have a major impact on the midterm elections. Republican candidates were silent a day after […]
16 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Gilbert Oktoberfest set for Oct. 15 at Gilbert Regional Park

An oompah band will welcome visitors to Gilbert Regional Park for this year's Gilbert Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 15.
16 hours ago
Pamphlets are seen on the counter at the Planned Parenthood Central Phoenix Health Center in Phoeni...
KTAR.com

Planned Parenthood launches $1.5M electoral campaign in Arizona

Planned Parenthood Votes launched a $1.5 million statewide electoral program in Arizona for the upcoming midterms.
16 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation)...
KTAR.com

Sunset Point Rest Area north of Phoenix on I-17 to close for renovations

The next phase of the Sunset Point Rest Area renovation starts Wednesday, when the facility will be closed to most vehicles until next year.
16 hours ago
(Pipistrel Aircraft Photo)...
KTAR.com

Mesa Airlines invests in planes for pilot development program

Mesa Airlines announced Thursday an investment of 29 planes for its pilot development program aimed at shrinking the shortage gap.
16 hours ago
(Twitter Photo / @PhoenixParks)...
Alex Weiner

Echo Canyon Trailhead at Camelback Mountain to close Monday for nearby roadwork

The popular Echo Canyon Trailhead at Camelback Mountain will be closed to the public Monday due to a repaving project in the area.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 24-26