ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 23-24

Sep 24, 2023, 6:09 PM

Downtown Phoenix skyline...

View of the downtown Phoenix, Arizona city skyline as seen from South Mountain Park, August 28, 2018. (Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

(Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Activists played a role in the arrest of a Chandler woman accused of animal cruelty, an Arizona woman was arrested for trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the country and a Tempe police officer will compete in the Miss USA pageant.

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


Activists played key role in arrest of Chandler woman accused of abusing special needs dogs

The Chandler Police Department arrested an Arizona woman Friday on suspicions of animal cruelty, officials said.

April McLaughlin, 48, is facing 55 charges of animal cruelty. Her arrest followed weeks of social media activism from a network of animal rights advocates.

Rebecca Arizmendi, a board member of Texan shelter Yaqui Animal Rescue, led the charge.


Arizona woman indicted for trying to smuggle almost 95 pounds of meth from Mexico

A federal grand jury indicted an Arizona woman last week for trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the country, officials said.

Rosa Villanueva, 39, faces two counts: possessing meth with the intention to sell and importing drugs into the country, according to a Friday announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Villanueva, who was from Somerton in Yuma County, allegedly tried to smuggle the drugs on Aug. 16.


Tempe police officer to compete in Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona

A Tempe police officer will trade in her badge for a crown next week when she competes in the Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona.

Candace Kanavel will try to win Miss USA at the annual event, which is being held in Reno, Nevada, on Friday.

Kanavel will be the first police officer to walk the pageant runway.


Eastbound Loop 202 reopens after for multi-car crash leaving 1 dead

Eastbound Loop 202 reopened after a fatal multi-car crash Sunday morning, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The roadway reopened around 9:30 a.m.

Authorities closed eastbound traffic on Loop 202 near 32nd Street early Sunday after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car while attempting to render aid to others from a prior collision.


Phoenix sandwich shop owner still feels weight of fight over Zone homeless encampment

The longtime owner of a downtown Phoenix sandwich shop near the Zone homeless encampment is still feeling the weight of a four-year battle even though the city finally was ordered to finish the job of cleaning up the area.

“It’s still hard. There’s still a long road to go, you know,” Joe Faillace told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Thursday, a day after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ordered Phoenix to abate the public nuisance of the Zone by Nov. 4.

Faillace has owned Old Station Subs at Jefferson Street and 13th Avenue for nearly four decades. The restaurant is a block away from the Human Services Campus, a collaboration of partner organizations at 12th Avenue and Madison Street that provide services to people experiencing homelessness.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 23-24