Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Feb. 4-6

Feb 6, 2022, 6:00 PM
(Office of the Governor Doug Ducey Photo)...
(Office of the Governor Doug Ducey Photo)
(Office of the Governor Doug Ducey Photo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz died after being in a car-pedestrian collision earlier in the week, an explosion destroyed a Paradise Valley home and damaged nearby houses, and another Arizona woman has been accused of casting her dead mother’s ballot.

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

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz dies from crash injuries

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz died Saturday after sustaining serious injuries in a car-pedestrian collision earlier in the week, authorities said.

Judge Mroz was crossing the street in the area of 56th Street and Camelback Road on Wednesday around 9:15 a.m. when a black Hyundai struck her, police said. The driver of the car remained on scene.

At the time of her death, she’d been assigned to the criminal department of the Maricopa County Judicial Branch.

Phoenix home goes up in flames after explosion damages multiple houses

Firefighters responded to a fire call at a Paradise Valley home Saturday and found an explosion had blown up the home and damaged nearby houses, authorities said.

The fire was reported around 4:40 p.m. near 36th Street and Lincoln Drive.

Crews arrived and extinguished a majority of the flames, but were put in a defensive strategy to protect nearby houses, authorities said.

Although no injuries were reported, the original home was completely destroyed and several other houses were damaged.

Another Arizona woman accused of casting dead mother’s ballot

A woman from Cochise County was indicted for allegedly casting the early ballot of her dead mother during the 2020 election, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced on Wednesday.

Krista Michelle Conner faces one count of illegal voting and one count of perjury after she allegedly signed the envelope of her mother’s early ballot and sent it in, according to a press release.

Conner’s mother died one month before she signed the envelope, according to the release.

3 men arrested after allegedly giving out drugs from Phoenix auto dealership

Three men were arrested in January for allegedly distributing drugs from a BSG Auto Sales in Phoenix, authorities said.

Marco Ortiz, 31, Hiram Velasquez-Amarillas, 35, and Cesar Avila-Aguilar, 52, were charged with possession of dangerous drugs for sale, while Avila-Aguilar faces two counts of misconduct involving weapons, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a press release.

Investigators confiscated more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine, 4,000 fake M30 pills suspected to contain fentanyl, 14 firearms and two vehicles from the auto dealership, according to the release.

Maricopa County opens more COVID testing sites to meet demand

Maricopa County has opened up more free COVID community testing sites across metro Phoenix in response to an increase in demand.

Four new sites are available, including one at Ak-Chin Pavilion, located at 83rd Avenue between Thomas and McDowell roads, that is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day for PCR testing.

The county has also worked with its vendors to open PCR testing sites in Tolleson, Scottsdale and Gilbert, according to a Wednesday press release.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Feb. 4-6