Arizona's coronavirus death toll now at 64 with 2,269 cases
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say Arizona now has 2,269 confirmed cases of coronavirus with the death toll at 64. The state Department of Health Services released the updated numbers Sunday morning. Every county in the state has diagnosed coronavirus cases. About half of the state’s cases and deaths have been in Maricopa County, which includes most of metro Phoenix. President Donald Trump on Saturday approved Gov. Doug Ducey’s request for a major disaster declaration. The approval opens the door for the state to receive additional federal assistance.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MEDICAL WORKERS-ISOLATION
Doctors, nurses leave homes to protect families from virus
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Countless doctors and nurses who face an increased risk of exposure to the coronavirus are moving away from their families to protect them. Health care providers have moved to campers, hotel rooms, tents, garages and other temporary housing as they risk exposure to a virus that has claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide. Some hotels have offered them free rooms, and social media is full of efforts to match medical professionals with housing. The extra layer of isolation means those on the frontlines are sacrificing even more, as they can't be with loved ones for emotional support during this stressful time.
CHILDREN DROWNING CHARGES
Parents of children who died in creek-crossing face charges
GLOBE, Ariz. (AP) — Local media reports say the parents of children who died after they were swept away by floodwaters are facing criminal charges . Daniel and Lena Rawlings face the charges in Gila County in connection with the deaths of the children on Nov. 29 after they were swept away when the truck they were in was trying to cross surging flood waters in Tonto Creek. KSAZ-TV and Azfamily.com report that Daniel Rawlings, the father of the Colby and Willa Rawlings, is being charged with 10 counts of reckless manslaughter and child or vulnerable adult abuse. The TV stations say court records show the mother, Lacey Rawlings, is facing seven counts of child or vulnerable adult abuse.
Police: Man found fatally shot at Phoenix apartment complex
PHOENIX (AP) — Police in Phoenix say they are investigating a homicide but have little information to go on yet. They say a 25-year-old man was found fatally shot about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at an apartment complex. Police say the man had a gunshot wound and died after being taken to a hospital. The victim’s name hasn’t been released yet. Police say they have found no suspect or possible motive for the shooting yet. Detectives are continuing to investigate the case.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-HOSPITAL THEFT
Police arrest hospital aide in thefts of equipment, supplies
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Police in Arizona say a housekeeping employee has been fired from his hospital job after being arrested on suspicion of stealing personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies in recent weeks as the coronavirus outbreak unfolded. A Prescott Police Department spokesman says 49-year-old Keith Brown of Prescott was arrested Friday at Yavapai Regional Medical Center on suspicion of one count each of theft and fraud . The spokesman says that was after police found numerous items valued at $1,700 in Brown’s vehicle and residence. The items recovered included gloves, hand sanitizer, surgical scrubs, wash clothes, paper towels,, masks, bleach cleaner, toilet paper and an automatic hand sanitizer. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Brown.
AIR NATIONAL GUARD
Tucson-based Air National Guard unit getting new commander
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — One of the Arizona Air National Guard’s two major units is getting a new commander. Guard officials announced Friday that Col. Col. Jeffery L. Butler on Monday will assume command of the 162nd Wing based at Tucson International Airport from Brig. Gen. Andrew J. MacDonald. The wing has approximately 1,800 personnel and its main mission to train pilots to fly F-16 fighters. Butler is an Air Force Academy graduate who served for 10 years with the U.S. Air Force before joining the 162nd in 1998. He recently has been the wing’s vice commander. The 162nd normally would have a formal ceremony for the change of command but none is planned in this instance due the coronavirus outbreak.
Arizona Senate campaigns get creative amid virus scare
PHOENIX (AP) — Martha McSally is volunteering at the Salvation Army. Mark Kelly is using his background as an astronaut to entertain kids stuck at home. The global pandemic that is shaking up life is also forcing Arizona’s U.S. Senate candidates to reinvent the political playbook when voters are much more concerned about staying healthy and paying the bills than they are with politics. Rallies and door-to-door campaigning have been replaced by telephone town halls and pleas to donate to charity. The race is a top-tier contest that will help determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Government lawyer named as new Grand Canyon park leader