Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Dec. 25-27

Dec 27, 2020, 6:00 PM
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council released coronavirus relief funding for utility bills, police identified a victim in a Christmas Day shooting and coronavirus metrics continue to reach pandemic highs in Arizona.

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.

Phoenix approves $2M in aid for utility bills amid coronavirus pandemic

The Phoenix City Council recently approved $2 million of funding for a program to help residents with delinquent utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.

Administered by the Human Services Department, the Project Assist program provides financial assistance to low-income households by resolving past-due water, trash and sewer bills for those going through hard times.

Eligible customers include people who have missed multiple payments within the last 18 months, customers who have made multiple monthly partial payments in the last 18 months or those who have signed up for deferred payments, according to the release.

Phoenix police identify victim in Christmas Day shooting

Phoenix police said 18-year-old Tyler Cardiel was shot and killed around 6:30 a.m. near 83rd Avenue and Indian School Road on Friday.

Cardiel was found with a gunshot wound on the roadway and pronounced deceased at the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.

2 killed in car collision on Indian School Road in Phoenix

Two people died as a result of injuries sustained in a collision on Saturday morning.

Phoenix police said 27-year-old Wilder Uriel Diaz-Gomez and 18-year-old Yahir Uriel-Diaz were killed when they were struck by a sedan near Indian School Road and 31st Avenue.

The 23-year-old driver of Chrysler sedan was hospitalized with serious injuries, according to police.

The investigation is ongoing.

Downtown Nashville explosion knocks communications offline

A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city’s airport.

Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad. The RV exploded shortly afterward.

Police believe the blast was intentional but don’t yet know a motive or target, and Drake noted that officials had not received any threats before the explosion.

Arizona reports 1,296 new coronavirus cases, 3 more deaths

Arizona health officials reported 1,296 new coronavirus cases and three additional deaths on Sunday.

The state’s documented totals increased to 494,337 COVID-19 infections and 8,427 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients reached 4,190 on Saturday, after a decrease from the all-time high of 4,226 on Thursday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 988, setting a record for the third time in the last four days.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Dec. 25-27