Deliberations resume in Arias trial penalty phase
PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix jury deciding whether Jodi Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or death has resumed deliberations.
The case went to the panel Tuesday afternoon, and jurors deliberated for about an hour before adjourning for the day. They resumed Wednesday morning.
The deliberations come after Arias spoke to jurors in the penalty phase of her murder trial, asking them to spare her life. She says she'd use her time in prison to bring about positive change, including helping recycle trash and raising money for victims of domestic abuse.
Arias later talked to The Associated Press and other media outlets, saying she believes she "deserves a second chance at freedom someday."
The same jury earlier this month convicted the former waitress of first-degree murder for killing her lover in 2008.
Horne is OK with new Bisbee civil unions measure
BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) - A spokeswoman says Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne won't sue Bisbee to try to block final approval of the southern Arizona city's revised ordinance on civil unions.
Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says Horne thinks the revised ordinance is "fine," believing it addresses his concerns.
The Bisbee City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to formally propose a scaled-back version of the ordinance.
That sets the stage for a June 4 vote by the council on whether to approve the measure.
Bisbee officials rewrote an earlier version after Horne threatened to sue over provisions that Horne said were in conflict with state law or went beyond the city's authority.
Arizona Senate advances bills for religious groups
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Senate has passed a trio of bills that seek to lower taxes for religious institutions and make it easier for people to sue over the First Amendment.
The Republican majority in the GOP-led Senate brushed aside Democratic concerns to pass Wednesday Senate Bill 1178, House Bill 2645 and House Bill 2446.
The first bill allows people to sue over potential violations of religious freedom. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for approval.
The second bill allows religious schools to avoid providing unemployment benefits to private school teachers.
The third bill allows churches to avoid paying property taxes on vacant land.
Democratic Sen. Ed Ableser of Tempe told lawmakers that the bills go against Christian doctrine, which encourages believers to put the needs of others first.
Service for Phoenix officer to be held Saturday
PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix police officer killed in a hit & run accident Sunday will be buried Saturday following a funeral service the same day.
The department says the service for Officer Daryl Raetz will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria.
Immediately following the service, Raetz will be interred at Phoenix Memorial Park.
Raetz was fatally injured when struck by a vehicle while at the scene of a DUI stop.
House Republicans promote 20-week abortion ban
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans who oppose abortion are promoting legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
These Republicans want to move ahead despite recent court decisions that have struck down similar state laws. And the GOP lawmakers are taking on their own leadership, which has shown little desire to have votes on contentious social issues.
GOP Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona says he believes there's a "good chance" that his bill would see action in the full House this year.
Franks and others says the legislation would gain momentum from the recent murder conviction of a Philadelphia abortion provider in the deaths of 3 babies who were born alive and then killed.
Police keep sides apart during immigration protest
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PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police stepped in to keep things peaceful outside Sen. John McCain's office when pushing and shoving began between some immigration legislation opponents and counter protesters.
The Arizona Republic reports that several officers who already were on hand reacted to the pushing and shoving by moving to stand between the groups to keep things from escalating.
No one was arrested during the protest Tuesday.
The opponents of the legislation pending in Congress were taking a turn in demonstrating outside McCain's office.
Supporters of legislation to change immigration laws have held events there for months.
McCain is among senators championing the bill.
Auction begins for former presidential jet
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - An auction for an airplane that was once part of the presidential fleet is underway.
The U.S. General Services Administration says the blue & white DC-9 was part of the Air Force Two fleet and at one point may have served as Air Force One, a plane used by the president.
The plane is currently being stored at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Federal officials say serious buyers can schedule appointments to inspect the plane.
The starting bid in the auction that finishes May 30 will be $50,000.
GSA area property officer Randy Patterson says he's received dozens of inquiries. He says some want to put the plane back in the air while others seem to be more interested in its spare parts.
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