Arizona governor hopefuls debate hot-button issues
Six Republican candidates for Arizona governor have debated over illegal immigration, education and the economy.
The hour-long televised debate on Monday featured candidates Ken Bennett, Doug Ducey, Christine Jones, Frank Riggs, Scott Smith and Andrew Thomas.
Topics ranged from the economy, to education, to immigration- an issue many of the candidates believe is the most crucial.
The primary will be held Aug. 26. The winner will face Democrat Fred DuVal in the general election in November.
Arizona Senators renew call to quickly deport kids
NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona's two U.S. senators are commending the Border Patrol amid news a massive Nogales facility will no longer be receiving immigrant children.
U.S. Sen. John McCain and Jeff Flake said in a joint statement Monday that agents provided good humanitarian relief and both renewed calls to pass legislation aimed at quickly deporting children.
Under a bill sponsored by the two senators, human smugglers would face harsher penalties and the number of immigration judges would increase.
A high-ranking Border Patrol official said last week the Nogales location was being phased out as the agency gets a better handle on the problem.
Nogales, a small city that borders with Mexico, last month had over 1,000 children who had been flown and bused from south Texas after border agents there became overwhelmed.
White House reports drop in minors crossing border
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border is dropping significantly.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says about 150 children daily - on average - were apprehended along the Rio Grande border in the first two weeks of July. He says that's down from an average of 355 per day in June.
President Barack Obama discussed the decline Monday afternoon with his homeland security team, including leaders from FEMA and the Pentagon. The White House says Obama's team committed to work aggressively to keep deterring illegal migration.
Obama plans to meet Friday with the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, three countries that are home to many of the children. The U.S. has been urging their governments to help stem the exodus of children.
Southwest retains low rankings in child welfare
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Southwest continues to earn dismal marks for child well-being, with New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada ranking in the bottom five of an annual national report card on education, health care and poverty.
New Mexico, which last year booted Mississippi from last place, moved back up to 49th in this year's Kids Count Data Book. The report cited a slight drop in child poverty, improvements in high school graduation rates and a drop in the teenage birth rate.
Mississippi fell back to the bottom in the annual report from Annie E. Casey Foundation. Nevada came in at 48th, mostly because of the number of children living in poverty, and Louisiana ranked 47th despite a number of across-the board improvements.
Arizona rounded out the bottom five as the report says its rate of children living in poverty has increased and support for programs to help has dropped significantly.
Report: Retaliation for complaints common at VA
WASHINGTON (AP) - A report by a private government watchdog says medical professionals across the country have pointed out problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, only to suffer retaliation from supervisors and other high-ranking officials.
The report says a pharmacy supervisor in California was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital.
The report compiled by the independent Project on Government Oversight is based on comments and complaints filed by nearly 800 current and former VA employees and veterans. The group says it received allegations of wrongdoing from 35 states and the District of Columbia after setting up a special website in May.
Arizona execution drug case heads to Supreme Court
PHOENIX (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled the state of Arizona cannot move forward with the execution of a death row inmate until it provides detailed information about the drugs intended to put him to death.
The decision prompted state officials Monday to say they will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Arizona had requested a hearing before a full 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a three-judge panel denied the state's initial appeal this weekend.
The state sought to argue it should be able to proceed with executing Joseph Rudolph Wood, convicted of killing his estranged girlfriend and her father.
Wood's execution was delayed by the three-judge panel, which said he had a constitutional right to know more about the methods of his execution.
Hours separate deadly Arizona plane crashes
SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) - Teenage brothers from Utah died in one of two fiery, small plane crashes in northern Arizona over the weekend.
Mohave County sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter says 19-year-old Daulton Whatcott was flying a single-engine Cessna that crashed just south of Interstate 15 near the Arizona-Utah border on Sunday. He and his 16-year-old brother, Jaxon, of Clinton, died en route to Mesquite, Nevada.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and another one near Sedona that happened just hours earlier.
Authorities recovered the remains of four people Monday from a rugged wilderness. Their identities haven't been released.
The Federal Aviation Administration says it is unsure of the flight plan for the single-engine Cessna that sparked a small fire when it crashed around 3 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters were working to extinguish the 25-acre fire.
DEATH-GIRL HIT BY CAR
Sheriff: Girl dies after being hit by car
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Pima County authorities say a 5-year-old girl has died after being struck by a car in the Tucson area.
The Sheriff's Department says the girl died Sunday at a hospital after being injured late Saturday.
She and her 7-year-old brother were crossing East Orange Grove Road near East Skyline Drive when she was hit.
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