Arizona Lottery has record-breaking sales year
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Lottery says this year marks the most tickets sold in its 33-year history.
Officials said Thursday that the Lottery generated more than $720 million in sales this fiscal year, a 4.5 percent bump over the previous year.
They say Lottery beneficiaries as a result have received more than $175 million in net funding over the past year.
The revenues for winners have risen 33 percent in the past five years.
Officials say retailers for the Arizona Lottery earned a record amount of $48 million in commissions during the year.
They say the increase in revenue is because of the popularity of Scratchers tickets.
Arizona Lottery revenue helps support several programs in education, health, business development and the environment.
Border patrol installs more rescue beacons
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The Border Patrol has installed 10 new rescue beacons in the southern Arizona desert.
The beacons allow migrants to push a red button that calls for help in the case of an emergency. The Border Patrol says the beacons help save the lives of migrants who get lost in the desert or wander too long.
The beacons are 30-feet-tall and solar powered. There are now 32 of them in the Tucson sector, covering most of southern Arizona.
Border agents rescued 142 people who called for help using the beacons from October to July 31.
CHILD ABUSE SENTENCE
Arizona man gets prison term for child abuse
PHOENIX (AP) - A man has been sentenced to 8 ½ years in federal prison for injuring an infant he was babysitting on the Gila River Indian Community.
Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Christopher Earl Terry also was sentenced Thursday to three years of supervised release following his prison term.
Terry previously pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse.
Prosecutors say Terry seriously injured the baby boy at a residence within the reservation west of Phoenix.
Details weren't immediately disclosed by prosecutors in the case.
In deciding the sentence, U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa rejected Terry's contention that he injured the child during rough play.
COMMISSION-ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Panel to make recommendations on access to justice
PHOENIX (AP) - A new commission will make recommendations on ways to improve access to justice, including use of Arizona's legal system and obtaining legal representation.
Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales ordered the formation of the Commission on Access to Justice, naming Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop as its chairman.
Other members include lower court judges, court officials and legal aid providers.
Bales set initial priorities that include helping people representing themselves in legal matters to get access and fair processing of family court and eviction cases. Another is encouraging law firms to provide free legal services or financial support for legal aid.
Winthrop says he also hopes to encourage more business involvement. He says a business can suffer when an employee is burdened by dealing with a legal matter.
Park Service waives entry fees for 98th birthday
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - The National Park Service turns 98 years old Monday and is waiving entry fees across the country in celebration.
Getting into the Grand Canyon and other national park units in Arizona will be free. Fees for camping, reservations, tours or use of concessions still apply.
Visitors who spent time in the park beyond Monday will have to pay the regular entrance fee for the rest of their stay.
The Park Service was established on Aug. 25, 1916 and includes 401 park units.
The agency plans to let visitors in free on two more days this year - National Public Lands Day on Sept. 27 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
Mercury's Brondello, Griner earn WNBA awards
PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix's Sandy Brondello is the WNBA's coach of the year for guiding the Mercury to a league-record 29 wins this season, and Mercury center Brittney Griner is the defensive player of the year.
The WNBA announced they'll receive their awards Friday night in Phoenix before the Mercury host Los Angeles in the Western Conference semifinals opener.
Brondello and Griner won in landslides. The first-year coach with the Mercury received 33 of the 38 votes. She finished ahead of Minnesota's Cheryl Reeve and Washington's Mike Thibault, who got two each. Atlanta's Michael Cooper got the other vote.
Griner had 31 of the 38 votes. Atlanta's Sancho Lyttle finished second.
The second-year star broke the league's single-season shot block record with 129, including 11 in one game against Tulsa on June 29.
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