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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 22-24

PHOENIX — The Arizona Republican Party censured Gov. Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain, state officials approved the first licenses for recreational marijuana sales and Carvana is hiring 1,000 full-time positions in Phoenix.

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

Arizona officials approve first licenses for recreational marijuana sales

Arizona officials on Friday approved the first 86 licenses for marijuana dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults for recreational use.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said six other applications submitted since the process began Wednesday remain under review.

The approved sites can start selling marijuana for recreational as soon as they are ready, according to an ADHS spokesman.

Fifty-six of the newly licensed dispensaries are in the Phoenix area.

Online auto retailer Carvana hiring for 1,000 full-time positions in Phoenix

Phoenix-based online auto retailer Carvana is looking to fill 1,000 full-time customer care positions in the Valley, the company announced in a press release on Friday.

The company said the positions will be on the customer care team, which answers questions, resolves issues, guides a person through the car-buying experience and serves as an advocate during the purchase and post-purchase process.

A high school diploma or GED is required for the role, but a Bachelor’s degree is highly preferred, along with internet access and the ability to work full-time hours including one weekend shift.

Positions can be applied for online.

Former Arizona Border Patrol officer sentenced after accepting $6,000 bribe

A former Arizona border patrol officer was sentenced to 30 months in prison last week after pleading guilty to bribery of a public official, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Arizona said in a press release.

Jose Rosalio Fuentes, 58, was convicted of accepting a $6,000 cash bribe in exchange for allowing an illegal alien into the United States at the Nogales port of entry in early 2018.

Fuentes allegedly knew that the alien was a convicted felon and proposed that individual come through during his shift.

Surveillance footage showed Fuentes on duty and in uniform pretending to swipe the alien’s identification card at the point of entry and then wave them through.

Arizona Republicans censure Gov. Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain

The Arizona Republican Party voted Saturday to censure a few of its most successful figures, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Cindy McCain — the widow of longtime Sen. John McCain — and former Sen. Jeff Flake.

The party also reelected Kelli Ward as the party’s chair, a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump who was a promoter of the theories of election fraud and filed several lawsuits that judges tossed out for lack of evidence.

Ducey, who was elected governor in 2014 and won reelection in 2018, was targeted for his restrictions on individuals and businesses in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. While not mentioned, Ducey also had a high-profile break with Trump when he certified Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

“These resolutions are of no consequence whatsoever and the people behind them have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had,” said Sara Mueller, Ducey’s political director.

Arizona passes 700,000 total COVID-19 cases, 12,000 deaths

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 8,099 new coronavirus cases and 229 additional deaths from COVID-19, pushing the pandemic totals past 700,000 and 12,000.

The state’s documented totals moved to 708,041 infections and 12,001 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

As of Thursday’s update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Arizona continued to lead the nation in cases per capita over the last seven days and regained the top spot for the death rate. On Wednesday, Arizona had been fourth in deaths per capita over the last seven days.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have been trending downward since spiking to record levels early last week.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

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