Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Dec. 27-29
The opening of popular fast-food restaurant Jollibee in Chandler, an airport hotel coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor and an update on Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen.
Here are some stories that headlined the news cycle, both locally and nationally, over the weekend.
After White Castle finally opened an Arizona location and took the Valley by storm, Jollibee joined the party and held a grand opening for its first Arizona location this weekend in Chandler.
Jollibee, the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines, celebrated the grand opening at Germann and Gilbert roads at 7 a.m. Saturday.
According to a company Facebook post, the first customer got in line on Christmas, three nights before the opening.
In addition to chicken, the chain has a diverse menu, with options such as hamburgers, spaghetti, palabok, shanghai rolls and steamed rice.
A hotel will be arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
The city of Phoenix will begin soliciting companies for a property on the corner of Buckeye Road and 24th Street during the first quarter of 2020, city spokeswoman Krishna Patel told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email on Thursday.
The hotel will be part of a future airport transportation center and will be adjacent to a future PHX Sky Train terminal.
Once the city picks a vendor to build, manage and operate the hotel, there will be a more clear timeline on when it will break ground and expect to open, according to Patel.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Friday upheld the suspension of Assessor Paul Petersen, who faces charges of human smuggling related to an alleged adoption scheme, and moved to have him removed from his elected office.
The board also used the special meeting to disclose “shocking” and “disturbing” messages in which Petersen threatened parents whose babies he was trying to adopt out.
The messages were part of a supplemental report on the board’s investigation into whether Petersen had been fulfilling his duties overseeing the office that determines the value of Phoenix-area properties for tax purposes.
After each supervisor expressed disgust with Petersen’s behavior, the board unanimously voted to uphold their Oct. 28 decision to suspend Petersen without pay from his $77,000-a-year position for 120 days.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office will issue an opinion next month on whether new fees on Uber and Lyft rides at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport violate the state’s constitution.
“When you’re the people’s lawyer, you’re on the side of the taxpayers,” Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show on Thursday. “You need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to hold whoever it is accountable.”
After the Phoenix City Council approved the controversial fees earlier this month, state Rep. Nancy Barto responded by filing an SB 1487 complaint.
The north Phoenix Republican’s complaint required the attorney general to investigate the constitutionality of the fees and make a determination within 30 days.
If there’s a constant for Arizona parents, it’s what they like to name their children.
Liam was the state’s most popular baby name for a boy for a fourth consecutive year while Olivia overtook Emma as the top baby girl name in 2019, according to a preliminary list from the Arizona Department of Health Services.