ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 1-3

Jul 3, 2022, 6:00 PM

The late Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords were selected to receive the Presiden...

The late Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords were selected to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on July 7, 2022. (Getty Images Photos)

(Getty Images Photos)

PHOENIX – A prominent pair of Arizona political figures will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Mesa police fired shots at a suspect early Saturday after they allegedly fled during a traffic stop and an underused public tennis court at a Phoenix park has new life after being transformed into a skate plaza.

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


John McCain, Gabby Giffords to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

A prominent pair of Arizona political figures, the late Sen. John McCain and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week, the White House announced Friday.

McCain, who died in 2018, and Giffords are among 17 Americans chosen by President Joe Biden to receive the honor on July 7.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the White House said in a press release.


Mesa police shoot at suspect who allegedly fled traffic stop; suspect outstanding

Mesa police fired shots at a suspect early Saturday after they allegedly fled during a traffic stop, authorities said.

The incident happened around 1:45 a.m. near McLellan Road and Country Club Drive when an officer attempted to remove the driver from the car during a traffic stop, the Mesa Police Department said in a press release. The reason to attempt to remove the suspect is unknown at this time.

When police tried removing the driver, the vehicle fled westbound at a high rate of speed, which is when the officer fired toward the driver, police said.


Phoenix opens skate plaza to replace tennis court at Perry Park

An underused public tennis court at a Phoenix park has new life after being transformed into a skate plaza.

The Perry Park Skate Plaza on 32nd Street south of Thomas Road debuted its beginner-level ramps and obstacles during a grand opening ceremony Tuesday morning.

“Parks are essential to community health, and this skate plaza will give kids and families in this community a safe place to skate and spend time together,” City Councilman Carlos Garcia said in a press release.


CO+HOOTS co-working community opens in Mesa at Benedictine University

A new CO+HOOTS co-working community for entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and students opened Thursday in Mesa.

The space is located at Benedictine University on Main Street and Hibbert, in the Downtown Mesa Innovation District.

The facility is a public-private partnership involving the city, the university and CO+HOOTS.

It will be the home of the CO+HOOTS Institute for Entrepreneurship, where Benedictine University students can work alongside experienced entrepreneurs.


Hot weather, clear skies forecast for Valley over Fourth of July weekend

People likely won’t have to worry about the monsoon season putting a damper on Independence Day celebrations in the Valley, but temperatures will continue to be in the triple digits.

A high temperature of 103 degrees is forecast for Monday on the Fourth of July, according to the National Weather Service.

Independence Day celebrations started Friday night and run through Monday, and the closest patriotic event to you can be found on KTAR News’ Fourth of July map.

People should be able to see the fireworks with no problems as mostly clear skies are forecast for each night, with winds hovering around 5-10 mph.


Memorial service for fallen Yavapai County sergeant to be held at arena

A memorial service for fallen Yavapai County Sgt. Richard Lopez was scheduled for next week at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

The service, which is set to begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, is open to the public, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

Lopez, 51, was shot while pursuing a theft suspect Tuesday afternoon in Cordes Lake. He died after being airlifted to a Phoenix hospital.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 1-3