Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 15-17

Jul 17, 2022, 6:00 PM
A person receives a COVID-19 test at an Xpress Covid Testing site on January 07, 2022 in Houston, T...
A person receives a COVID-19 test at an Xpress Covid Testing site on January 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas. The Houston metropolitan area has seen higher active infection rates than most of the state of Texas. As of January 5, new daily cases throughout Texas have exceeded over 43,000. (File Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Many Arizona counties now have high COVID-19 community levels, a ranking said Arizona is the worst state to live in this year, and suspects in an Anthem armed robbery were arrested in California after car chase.

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

10 Arizona counties, including Maricopa, have high COVID-19 community levels

Ten of Arizona’s 15 counties now have high COVID-19 community levels, the state’s health department said Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update lists the following counties as having high COVID-19 community levels: Maricopa, Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma.

Maricopa, Mohave, Coconino, Gila, Pima and Cochise counties moved from medium to high in the past month, while Apache and Navajo counties already had high COVID-19 community levels.

Health officials recommend masks for public indoor settings where community levels of the virus are high, which is determined by COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past week and the disease’s impact on the health care system.

In annual rankings, CNBC says Arizona is worst state to live in 2022

CNBC released its annual rankings of best and worst states to live in 2022 — and Arizonans who love their home might disagree with the outcome.

For the second consecutive year, the business news outlet rated Arizona as the No. 1 worst state to live.

Meanwhile, Vermont got the nod as the best state in rankings that were published Thursday.

CNBC placed Arizona at No. 34 in its 2022 list of top states for business, which is based on 88 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness.

The best and worst states to live lists were compiled from the business rankings’ life, health and inclusion categories, including metrics such as crime rates, environmental quality, health care and availability of child care.

Suspects in Anthem armed robbery arrested in California after car chase

Two suspects in an armed robbery that took place at an Anthem jewelry store earlier this week were found in California after a car chase early Saturday morning, authorities said.

The suspects were identified as 22-year-old Mathew Jones and 18-year-old Helen Simmons, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Sunday.

They were taken into custody by the Huntington Beach Police Department after the vehicle pursuit and booked on various felony charges related to the armed robbery that occurred on Tuesday, authorities said.

Jones is being held on a $1 million bond, while Simmons is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Multiple GOP mayors, business owners backing Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona announced support from multiple Republican mayors and business owners ahead of an election that could tilt the balance of power in November.

Kelly announced a coalition known as “Republicans for Kelly” as he prepares to take on whoever wins the Republican primary election set to take place on Aug. 2.

The coalition is made up of nearly 50 Republicans and independents across Arizona who have put their support behind the state’s junior senator.

Among those who have backed the Democrat are mayors John Giles (Mesa), David Ortega (Scottsdale), Micah Powell (Eloy), Cathy Carlat (Peoria), Craig McFarland (Casa Grande), John Leech (Show Low), Karen Bond (Parker) and Jack Dillenberg (Jerome).

16-year-old boy found shot, killed inside vehicle in Phoenix

Police are investigating an early morning Phoenix homicide after a 16-year-old boy was found shot and killed in the driver’s seat of his car, authorities said.

Officers were called to the area near 27th and Missouri avenues around 4:30 a.m. about a shooting and reports of a vehicle that had been hit, the Phoenix Police Department said in a press release.

They found the teen, identified as Kevin Enriquez, dead in the driver’s seat from gunshot wounds.

There was also visible damage to the car from gunshots.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 15-17