Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 27-29
PHOENIX — 43 alleged sexual predators were arrested across the Valley as part of an undercover operation, Democrat Aaron Lieberman suspended his campaign for governor of Arizona, and an amenity-filled apartment community opened in Tempe.
Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
Federal and local authorities teamed up to make dozens of arrests as part of an undercover operation targeting alleged sexual predators in metro Phoenix, authorities said Friday.
Forty-three people were arrested as part of Operation Spring Fling, which focused on hotel and street prostitution, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced.
Almost all of the suspects were accused of soliciting sex acts. Some were booked on counts of child sex trafficking, drug possession and weapons misconduct.
Operation Spring Fling was a partnership involving Homeland Security Investigations, which is ICE’s main investigative arm, and the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Surprise police departments.
Aaron Lieberman, a former Arizona State Representative for the 28th district, announced on Friday that he is suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of Arizona.
Lieberman said in a statement that he joined the race last summer because of his care for Arizona but does not see a realistic path to victory.
“I owe it to all the people who have so generously supported our campaign to be honest with them about what the path ahead would look like,” Lieberman said in a statement.
“Electing a Democratic governor and ensuring that Kari Lake gets nowhere near the governor’s office will be a top priority of mine over the next few months. For every person who supported this campaign, in so many different ways, I will be forever grateful.”
His departure leaves Marco Lopez and Katie Hobbs in the race for the Democratic nomination.
A new amenity-filled apartment community started welcoming residents in Tempe this month.
Parc Broadway is a four-story, 324-unit gated complex at Broadway Road and Roosevelt Street, just east of Hardy Drive.
It offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts ranging from 632 to 1,262 square feet.
Rents run from $1,670 to $2,755 a month.
The apartments have 14-foot ceilings, granite counter tops, USB charging ports, pre-installed Wi-Fi modems, private balconies and in-unit washers and dryers.
The body of a man evading police was recovered from Tempe Town Lake Saturday morning, authorities said.
Officers responded to a verbal domestic fight early Saturday at Tempe Beach Park near Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, the Tempe Police Department said in an email.
One of the adults, who has not been identified, had outstanding warrants against him and ran from police, police said.
He jumped into the lake and authorities entered into an hourlong search at the lake for him.
The man’s body was found at 11:22 a.m. by Tempe Fire’s Dive and Rescue Team near the Tempe City of the Arts.
Gila River Arena has opened a sensory room for people who need the service during events at the Glendale venue.
The Ella Dean sensory room opened May 15 near section 106 and has bean bag chairs, fidget toys, a bubble wall and a quiet atmosphere for guests to relax if they are experiencing sensory overload.
The room was opened in collaboration with KultureCity, a nonprofit that focuses on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities, such as autism, dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Our communities are what shape our lives and to know that Gila River Arena is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” Uma Srivastava, KultureCity’s executive director, said in a press release.