Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 22-24

Jul 24, 2022, 6:00 PM
(File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona collected a record $4.1 million in fees from sportsbooks in May, a newborn baby was taken to the hospital after being left on the doorstep of a Mesa home, and Apache Junction police shot at a man who allegedly evaded officers after a bar stabbing.

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

Cold streak for Arizona sports bettors in May leads to record state payout

Arizona bettors hit a cold streak in May, when the NBA playoffs were in full swing, leading to a record windfall for the state.

Arizona collected $4.1 million in fees from sportsbooks in May, the most in a month since event wagering became legal last year, gaming officials announced Friday.

The state gets paid an amount based on adjusted gross event wagering receipts, which is total handle minus payouts and promotional credits.

The rate of payouts fell in May — meaning gamblers were less successful — even though the action was also down, leaving a bigger pot subject to state fees.

The total handle for May was $461 million, down from April’s $513 million. But sportsbooks paid out only $405 million in May (about 88% of the bets) after paying out $482 million in April (94%).

Newborn baby taken to hospital after being left on doorstep of Mesa home

A newborn baby was taken to the hospital Friday after being left on the doorstep of a Mesa home, authorities said.

The Mesa Police Department received a call from a woman at about 11:20 a.m. that she found the child outside her residence near 56th Street and McKellips Road, spokesman Richard Encinas said during a press conference.

The woman said she heard someone ring the doorbell about five minutes before she checked her doorstep, Encinas said.

The child, who Encinas said is maybe a day old, is believed to be in good health but was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

“We were thankful she was home and actually opened the door,” Encinas said.

Police are unsure why the baby was left on the doorstep of the neighborhood, which is a community for those ages 55 and up.

Apache Junction police shoot at man allegedly evading officers after bar stabbing

A man faces charges after attempting to evade police following a bar stabbing that left three people injured in the East Valley early Saturday, authorities said.

Officers responded to reports of three people stabbed at a bar around 1:30 a.m. near Idaho Road and Superstition Boulevard, the Apache Junction Police Department said.

The victims were taken to a hospital, where two remained in stable condition and the other left before staff could assess their injuries.

Four people suspected to be involved in the altercation left in a vehicle before officers stopped them one block away, police said.

Three people were detained, while one, identified as 41-year-old Weston James, allegedly fled in the vehicle, dragging an officer a short distance.

Another officer fired at James, allowing the officer being dragged to release himself, police said.

James allegedly fled toward Canyon Lake and rammed one Pinal County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and one Apache Junction Police Department vehicle.

He was detained and taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Authorities said charges are pending.

2 East Valley men found guilty of investment fraud after scamming people out of $1.2M

Two East Valley men were recently found guilty of investment fraud after scheming people out of $1.2 million, authorities said Thursday.

Jeffrey D. McHatton, 68, of Chandler, and Robert B. Sproat, 60, of Mesa, were convicted last week by a jury on 10 counts of securities fraud, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.

A third person, 56-year-old Robert Moss of Gilbert, previously plead guilty for his involvement in the case and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

The three men from 2012 to 2014 enticed people to invest the money for the recovery of various minerals, such as diamonds and gold, from foreign countries, authorities said.

Tonto National Forest latest in Arizona to roll back all fire restrictions

The Tonto National Forest on Friday became the latest in Arizona to roll back all fire restrictions due to lowered danger brought on by monsoon storms.

The forest northeast of the Valley joined the Coconino and Prescott national forests in having no restrictions.

Tonto National Forest moved from Stage 2 to Stage 1 restrictions on Monday.

“Even though fire restrictions are lifted, we still need the public to practice campfire safety and to make sure their vehicles are routinely inspected to prevent roadside fires from occurring,” Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth said in a press release.

“The Tonto is a special place and we all need to do our part to keep it that way for generations to come.”

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 22-24