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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 5-7

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An apology from Starbucks following an incident with Tempe police, former Arizona public schools chief Diane Douglas accusing her successor of promoting pedophilia and a growing brush fire reportedly started by a remote control airplane.

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


Starbucks apologizes to police for incident in Arizona shop

Starbucks apologized after an employee reportedly asked six police officers to leave or change their location in one of the company’s shops in a Phoenix suburb because another customer reported feeling unsafe.

Starbucks said it has “deep respect for the Tempe Police Department” and was apologizing “for any misunderstanding or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place” during the July 4 encounter.

The Tempe Officers Association said the officers had just bought their drinks and were standing together before their shift started when a barista made the request for a customer.

Association President Rob Ferraro called it perplexing that someone would feel unsafe when officers are around.

“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019,” the association said in a tweet.

The Police Department said it hoped the incident was an isolated incident.


Diane Douglas says successor and sec. of state promote pedophilia

Former Arizona public schools chief Diane Douglas accused her successor and the secretary of state of promoting pedophilia.

In a Facebook post last week, Douglas said she believed the “medically & scientifically accurate” sex education guidelines that current Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman supports are an effort to “get kids to be accepting of sex with adults.”

Douglas also said two pride flags Secretary of State Katie Hobbs hung briefly at the Capitol building late last month were promoting pedophilia.

“That’s deeply offensive and appalling, and in no way should this be acceptable,” Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

This came after Hoffman proposed changing the state’s sex education guidelines to be medically and scientifically accurate. The changes were proposed during an Arizona State Board of Education meeting last month.

Hoffman said the proposed changes were meant to “clean up outdated language” that was at least 30 years old.


8-year-old boy dies from strangulation while playing on a zipline

An 8-year-old boy who was strangled while playing on a zipline on June 25 was confirmed dead by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.

The incident occurred near the boy’s home near 212th Avenue and Elliot Road in Buckeye.

MCSO said that the boy was confirmed dead on June 27, two days after the incident.

According to MCSO Spokesperson Calbert Gillett, an investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.


Brush fire affecting traffic in north Phoenix near Cave Creek Road

A brush fire started by a crashed remote control airplane is affecting traffic in north Phoenix near Cave Creek Road and Sonoran Parkway, according to authorities.

Cave Creek Road north to Jomax Road is closed because of the 50-plus acre fire and Phoenix Police is advising people to stay away from the area if possible.

Phoenix Fire said an individual interviewed at the scene admitted his small remote control airplane crashed at around 2:30 p.m. and started the fire, which has jumped Sonoran Parkway and was up against Cave Creek Road.

No structures are currently being threatened and no evacuations have been made, but that could potentially change, according to authorities.

Fire units from Scottsdale, Glendale, Daisy Mountain, Rural Metro and Guadalupe are also assisting with the brush fire.

The fire, first reported around 3 p.m., is burning through a wash and was upgraded to a third alarm.


MCSO: Man arrested, bit by K-9 after stealing ATV, starting brush fire

A man in his 30s was arrested and bit by a K-9 Sunday after allegedly stealing an ATV and starting a brush fire in Sun City West, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said the man, who was considered dangerous, stole an ATV Sunday afternoon before starting the fire near 143rd Avenue and Jomax Road.

The man, whose identity hasn’t been released, was bit by an MCSO K-9 upon being taken into custody and is being evaluated for injuries.

Those who remain in the area are advised to use caution since deputies and fire personnel are still in the area, according to MCSO.

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