Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from April 21-23

Apr 23, 2023, 6:00 PM

(Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP)...



PHOENIX — A Saudi-owned alfalfa farm had their water permit revoked, a black bear was sighted in southern Arizona and Democrats will not override a veto of a home-cooked foods bill.

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

Arizona revokes water permits for Saudi Arabia-owned alfalfa farm

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes announced that drill permits for a Saudi Arabia-owned alfalfa farm in La Paz County have been revoked.

Two deep-water wells were approved for Fondomonte Arizona LLC eight months ago, which Mayes called “unconscionable” given the state’s need to preserve water.

“For too long, our state leaders have been asleep at the wheel while this crisis has only grown,” Mayes said in a tweet. “Well, with new state leadership and the ever-increasing urgency of the issue, now is the time for the state government to get serious about regulating groundwater across Arizona.”

Mayes said last week in a letter to the Arizona Department of Water Resources that there were inconsistencies in the permit applications and urged the department to scrutinize any new applications from Fondomonte.

She called for improved coordination between the Arizona State Land Department and ADWR.

Officials warn Arizona residents about bears after sighting in southern part of state

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is warning the public to be aware of bears following its first confirmed report of a black bear for 2023 in the southeastern part of the state.

The bear, estimated to be two or three years old and to weigh 150 pounds, was spotted April 12 foraging garbage near Peppersauce Canyon, which is about 40 miles northeast of Tucson.

Black bears usually emerge from semi-hibernation in March, according to a press release issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Arizona Senate Democrats say they won’t provide votes for veto override of home-cooked foods bill

Arizona Senate Democrats on Friday said they would not supply the votes for a veto override of a home-cooked foods bill.

Gov. Katie Hobbs on Tuesday vetoed HB2509, which would have expanded the types of homemade food Arizonans could legally sell.

Hobbs cited food-borne illness concerns in her veto letter, sentiments echoed by Democrats.

“Senate Democrats will not be providing the required votes needed to override Governor Hobbs’ veto of HB2509,” Democratic leadership said in a press release.

Hot air balloon ride company moving Valley operations to new Glendale facility

A regional hot air balloon company is moving its local base to the West Valley as it completes its fourth decade in business.

The Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Company recently broke ground on a 14,000-square-foot facility near Northern and 103rd avenues in Glendale, the company said in a press release Thursday.

The entrance will feature a steel entry element inspired by a balloon burner, and the venue will include a gazebo space for hosting weddings and other special events.

Here’s what Phoenix says it’s doing about ‘Zone’ homeless encampment

The city of Phoenix on Friday released details about how it will address the downtown homeless encampment known as the Zone, which is the subject of a court order.

The Zone is the tent-filled area around the Human Services Campus, a collaboration of partner organizations that provide services to people experiencing homelessness at 12th Avenue and Madison Street.

Much of Phoenix’s unsheltered population is concentrated in the Zone, and the city has been accused of ignoring its responsibility to maintain the area and enforce laws there.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photos/Over Easy)...

SuElen Rivera

Over Easy breakfast restaurant to open new location in Chandler

Popular breakfast restaurant Over Easy is expanding in the Valley with the opening of its latest location later this month. 

7 hours ago

Celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk — who stars on Netflix's 'Queer Eye' as the interior desig...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Bobby Berk’s exclusive deal with fast-growing builder includes Phoenix metro homes

Celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk has entered into an exclusive design and model home collaboration, including in metro Phoenix.

7 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Brandon Gray

Construction on The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria underway

Construction on The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria has started, the shopping center owner Vestar announced in a press release Friday. 

1 day ago

(Tim Hacker/ Mesa Public Schools)...

ADHS offering free drinking water lead screening for schools, child care facilities

The Arizona Department of Health Services is offering free drinking water lead screening opportunities for schools and child care facilities as part of a nationwide program.

1 day ago

Arizona Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (Arizona State Legislature and Pixabay Photos)...

Brandon Gray

Arizona Rep. Stahl Hamilton violated House rules by hiding bibles, Ethics Committee finds

The Arizona House Ethics Committee released its findings Friday on an ethics complaint filed against State Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton.  

1 day ago

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Hobbs vetoes bill requiring schools to limit transgender students’ bathroom access

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed Republican-sponsored legislation to restrict use of public school restrooms by transgender students.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from April 21-23