ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend Wrap-Up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from May 17-19

May 19, 2024, 6:00 PM

A large fire burns...

A large fire burns across Tonto National Forest. (Scottsdale FD photo)

(Scottsdale FD photo)

PHOENIX — From a hectic standoff in Surprise to a fire burning across Tonto National Forest, here are some of the biggest news stories in the Valley over the weekend.


Arizona House Democrat explains how ‘casita bill’ can help fight the state’s housing shortage

A new bill to address the state’s housing crisis is on its way to Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ desk.

The Arizona House passed House Bill 2720, also known as the “casita bill,” on Wednesday.

The law would require Arizona cities to allow accessory dwelling units, also known as ADUs. Specifically, cities would have to allow ADUs on the properties of single-family homes that are within a mile of “central business districts” in cities with populations exceeding 75,000.

The bill’s supporters say it could help address the state’s shortage of about 270,000 housing units.


Suspect identified in Surprise police standoff case that involved baby shooting and house fire

Authorities are investigating a house fire that broke out Friday afternoon after an armed standoff with a man accused of shooting a 6-month-old baby.

The suspect has been identified by police as 51-year-old Todd Christopher Marchetti. He was found dead inside of the residence where the standoff and fire took place, according to the Surprise Police Department.

Once it was safe to enter the house, authorities found the remains of Marchetti with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


Peoria Airpark project could create thousands of jobs, millions in revenue

Plans for a new regional airport and employment center in Peoria could generate nearly 8,000 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the municipality, according to a study released this month.

A new $150 million general aviation airport surrounded by an industrial corridor is part of Peoria’s plans to expand economic development in the West Valley and push growth farther north across thousands of acres of state trust land.


Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts

The Tonto National Forest issued a monthlong closure of the Cave Creek Ranger District as crews continue to fight the “Wildcat Fire,” officials announced overnight Saturday.

The closure, which covers more than 570,000 acres according to the US Forest Service, is expected to be in effect from 10 p.m. on Saturday through 6 p.m. on June 17.

Around 3 p.m., forest officials released a detailed recap of containment efforts that noted containment progress was at 0%. Among the resources utilized by crews were two helicopters (one large, one light), seven fire crews, 10 fire engines, one water tender and one medic crew. More resources were en route as well.


Man sentenced to life in prison for burying wife alive in grave north of Prescott

A man from Prescott was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for murdering his wife.

According to a press release, police in Yavapai County began an investigation after Sandra Pagniano disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 2017 during a contentious divorce from David Pagniano.

Sandra Pagniano’s body was eventually found gagged and bound in packing tape in a shallow grave in a remote area north of Prescott.

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Weekend Wrap-Up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from May 17-19