Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from March 12-14

Mar 14, 2021, 6:00 PM
(ADOT Twitter photo)...
(ADOT Twitter photo)
(ADOT Twitter photo)

PHOENIX — Snowfall across northern Arizona on Saturday evening shut down portions of multiple highways for hours, Arizona’s largest marijuana dispensary is opening its first Phoenix location and construction to repair Phoenix’s Seventh Street bridge that was damaged by a fire will begin Monday.

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

Snowstorm shuts down parts of several highways in northern Arizona

Snowfall across northern Arizona shut down portions of multiple highways on Saturday evening, with some remaining closed until the morning hours of Sunday.

Long stretches of major routes Interstate 17, Interstate 40 and State Route 89A were closed starting at around 4 p.m. Saturday amid “extreme winter weather” and weather-related crashes, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

I-17 northbound between SR 179 and Flagstaff, along with SR 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, finally reopened just before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

While parts of I-40 reopened throughout the early morning hours, the highway didn’t fully reopen until 9:15 a.m. as drivers were left stranded for long periods of time on the snowy stretch of the highway.

Mint Dispensary opening first Phoenix location, offering edibles to vaccinated

Arizona’s largest marijuana dispensary is opening its first Phoenix location on Monday and is offering freebies in celebration.

Mint Dispensary will open its third Valley location on the northwest corner of Cave Creek and Bell roads.

Free uninfused food including tacos and cake will be served in the parking lot of the 5,000-square-foot location from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The dispensary is also offering a promotion throughout March for those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone 21 or older who presents a vaccination card will receive a free infused edible.

Construction on Seventh Street bridge in Phoenix to begin on Monday

Construction to repair the Seventh Street bridge that was damaged by a fire on Feb. 28 will start on Monday.

The structure suffered severe damage during the fire, with approximately 35% of the bridge needing to be removed and rebuilt, a City of Phoenix press release said.

The city is currently working on infrastructure that is placed at the bottom of the Salt River which will support the reconstruction efforts.

Traffic will be restricted on Seventh Street between Broadway Road and Interstate 17 during the construction project, the release said.

Arizona Department of Gaming reports decrease in tribal contributions

The Arizona Department of Gaming reported a decline in tribal gaming contributions for the third quarter of the 2021 fiscal year.

The 4% decrease, which totaled more than $17.6 million in contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund, was compared to the third quarter of 2020.

Around $8.5 million of the funds was allotted to the instructional improvement/education fund while another $4.2 million went to the trauma and emergency services fund and $1.2 million to the wildlife conservation fund.

The decrease in revenue comes as casinos continue to struggle amid the on-going pandemic.

Man found dead on South Mountain trail in Phoenix on Saturday

A man was found unconscious by authorities on a South Mountain trail in Phoenix on Saturday evening.

Rescue teams recovered the man’s body at the Corona Trail around 6:00 p.m., according to a release.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man was found nearly 1.5 miles away from the trailhead, according to the release.

Authorities said the trail is considered moderate to difficult and does have some steep elevations.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from March 12-14