ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 16-18

Sep 18, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 25, 2022, 1:57 pm

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)

PHOENIX — A long-awaited Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange opened Friday in Gilbert, an Arizona Democrat accused a lawmaker of using misogynistic behavior and profane language and a human smuggling suspect led law enforcement on a chase with two children in her vehicle.

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


Long-awaited Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange opens at Lindsay Road in Gilbert

East Valley motorists have a new way to get on and off the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Gilbert.

After 20 months of construction, the Arizona Department of Transportation opened the Lindsay Road interchange in time for Friday morning’s commute.

The new freeway access is expected to improve the flow of traffic in the growing town’s Central Business District.


Arizona Democrat accuses fellow state lawmaker of misogynistic behavior

An Arizona Democrat on Friday publicly accused a fellow state lawmaker of using misogynistic and profane language when talking about her to other officials and lobbyists.

District 3 Rep. Alma Hernandez of Tucson posted a letter to social media with the allegations against District 4 Rep. Brian Fernandez of Yuma, calling it “the sad duty of having to report one of our own.”

Hernandez wrote that Fernandez “has seemed to embrace a very Trumpian attitude towards me. He refers to me as a ‘fat f- – -‘ and that he ‘hates me’ multiple times … in public with other elected officials and lobbyists, many who have called me to explain they were not part of that behavior.”


Human smuggling suspect caught in Phoenix after chase had her 2 young kids in car

A human smuggling suspect led law enforcement on a chase from Eloy to Phoenix early Friday while her two young children were in the vehicle, authorities said.

The incident started around 2 a.m. on Interstate 10 at mile marker 204 near Toltec Road when deputies attempted to stop a Dodge Charger driving erratically, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

A gray Hyundai traveling with the Charger twice tried to run the pursuing deputy off the road, PCSO said. Deputies shifted their pursuit from the Charger to the Hyundai.


Human remains found in container triggers Phoenix homicide investigation

Phoenix police are investigating a homicide after human remains were found inside a container Saturday morning.

Officers received a call around 6:45 a.m. about a deceased person found north of Phoenix near Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway, the Phoenix Police Department said in a press release.

Police are investigating the events that led up to the incident.


6 Arizona schools, including 4 in the Valley, earn Blue Ribbon designation award

Six schools in Arizona were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools on Friday by the U.S. Department of Education.

In Maricopa County, four schools received the exemplary high performing schools honor; Notre Dame Preparatory High School, Weinberg Gifted Academy (Chandler Unified School District), Cherokee Elementary School ( Scottsdale Unified School District) and Vista Del Sure Accelerated Academy (Laveen Elementary School District).

The recognition, a widely known symbol of exemplary teaching and learning, is based on a school’s general performance or improvement in closing achievement gaps in student subgroups, the Department of Education said in a press release.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 16-18