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IMMIGRANTS-GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

Crackdown on immigrants who use public benefits takes effect

PHOENIX (AP) — Advocates say new guidelines that disqualify more people from green cards if they use government benefits is prompting droves of immigrants to drop government social services. That even includes citizens and legal residents who may be entitled to the benefits but fear they will be kicked out of the U.S. Advocates are scrambling to find other options to fill the needs of a traditionally low-income population. They predict that the Trump administration guidelines taking effect Monday will result in extreme hardship for many. The government says the rule will help make immigrants more self-sufficient and protect American taxpayers.

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS-EQUALITY

Senate OKs redistricting rules over Democratic objections

PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans in the state Senate have given initial approval to a measure that would ask voters to limit the population differences between Arizona’s 30 legislative districts. The measure by Sen. J.D. Mesnard would require the state’s redistricting commission to create districts with a maximum difference of 5,000 people. A 10% difference is considered constitutional, meaning districts can now vary by about 20,000 people. Democrats opposed the measure and argued the change would greatly affect the ability of tribes and minority communities to elect representatives of their choice. The Senate debated the measure Monday, and it still needs a formal vote.

WATER RESCUE

Arizona off-roading family, dog saved from raging flood

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona family and their dog narrowly avoided being swept away after their mini sports utility vehicle got stuck in rushing floodwaters. Dramatic video from Saturday night's rescue shows the family of five holding onto the roll cage of the SUV in Sycamore Creek in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix. A witness says the SUV tried to cross the creek and went underwater. The owner of an off-road vehicle recovery service threw a winch cable to the SUV and the man who had been driving it caught the cable after several throws. There were no injuries.

FATAL SHOOTING-VICTIM ID

Phoenix police ID man found fatally shot in car in homicide

PHOENIX (AP) — Police in Phoenix have identified a man who was found fatally shot in his car and say it’s a homicide case. They say 34-year-old Anthony Salinas was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday morning. Officers responded to a west Phoenix location about a shooting and reported finding a man inside a parked car with gunshot injuries. Police say information about the homicide is limited because of lack of witnesses. They still don’t have any suspect descriptions as of Monday.

UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR-PLEA

Phoenix woman pleads guilty to contracting without a license

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a Phoenix woman has pleaded guilty to contracting without a license. The charge stemmed from a 2018 Arizona Registrar of Contractors investigation that found 47-year-old Jennifer Careccia contracted to remodel an investment property in Fountain Hills. Investigators say the victim met Careccia at an open house where she claimed to have done the remodel. The victim didn’t buy that property, but later bought another house Careccia says she was paid more than $80,000 to remodel and list. Careccia finished the project, but the property owner was unhappy with the quality of work and a lack of accounting for where more than $5,500 was spent. Careccia was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay up to $5,000 in restitution to the property owner.

BACKPAGE-TRIAL

Trial set for founders of Backpage.com in case over sex ads

PHOENIX (AP) — An Aug. 17 trial has been scheduled for the founders of Backpage.com in what federal authorities have described as a scheme to knowingly publish ads for sexual services and launder money earned from the ads. Founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin and the four employees of the classified advertising site have pleaded not guilty to the charges.   Additionally, the site’s chief executive and sales and marketing director have pleaded guilty.  Backpage.com is accused of ignoring warnings to stop running advertisements promoting prostitution, sometimes involving children, because the site has brought in $500 million in revenues since its inception in 2004.

COAL-HEATING HOMES

Tribes turn to other heat sources after coal mine closure

POLACCA, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo and Hopi families in northeastern Arizona that have long relied on coal to heat their homes are looking to other sources after last year's closure of a coal mine. The Kayenta Mine shut down after decades of supplying the Navajo Generating Station. The Navajo and Hopi tribes shared in the coal royalties. Tribal members also had access to the coal, regularly loading the long-burning fossil fuel into pickup trucks or buying it from roadside vendors. Now they're having to travel farther for coal, switching to firewood or even burning household items to stay warm.

PETS TASK FORCE

Pima County task force to target animal hoarding cases

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A new task force will focus on decreasing cases of animal hoarding across Pima County. The Pima Animal Care Center and other community organizations will meet Tuesday to discuss how to help overwhelmed pet owners before they get to the point of hoarding. Center officials say animal hoarding is not necessarily the number of pets in a home but whether or not the owner can actually support them, the Arizona Daily Star reports. Animal services director Kristen Hassen says the task force wants to change how hoarding cases are handled. They will work with pet owners and connect them with community resources.