Clarence Dixon dies in Arizona's 1st execution since 2014
An Arizona man convicted of killing a college student in 1978 has been executed after a nearly eight-year hiatus in the state’s use of the death penalty brought on by a previous execution critics say was botched and difficulty that officials faced in sourcing lethal injection drugs.
Fire crews close in around massive New Mexico wildfire
Firefighters in New Mexico are taking advantage of diminished winds to build more fire lines and clear combustible brush near homes close to the fringes of the largest wildfire burning in the U.S. The blaze has charred hundreds of square miles of tinder-dry forest, destroying dozens of homes and triggering the evacuation of thousands across an expansive stretch of rural northeastern New Mexico.
Big progress on wildfires, but dangerous winds on the way
Firefighters have been making significant progress on the biggest wildfires burning unusually hot and fast for this time of year in the western U.S. But forecasters from the Southwest to the southern High Plains are warning of the return the next two days of the same gusty winds and critical fire conditions that sent wildland blazes racing across the landscape last week.
"A very chaotic situation': Crews tackle growing wildfires
Destructive Southwest fires have burned dozens of homes in northern Arizona and put numerous small villages in New Mexico in the path of danger, as wind-fueled flames chewed up wide swaths of tinder dry forest and grassland and plumes of smoke filled the sky.
Boy's body found in freezer; boyfriend of mother arrested
A note that a Las Vegas schoolgirl gave her teacher saying her mother was being held captive and thought the girl's brother was dead led to the discovery of the boy’s body in a garage freezer and the arrest of the mother’s boyfriend on murder and kidnapping charges.
Biden calls school chiefs, lauds defiance of anti-mask rules
President Joe Biden has called school district superintendents in Florida and Arizona, praising them for doing what he called “the right thing” after their respective boards implemented mask requirements in defiance of their Republican governors amid growing COVID-19 infections.
California and other parts of the West broil and burn
Firefighters working in searing heat struggled to contain the largest wildfire in California this year while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines.
Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain, GOP governor
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo Cindy McCain, wife of former Arizona Sen. John McCain, waves to the crowd after being acknowledged by Arizona Republican Gov. Arizona Republicans voted Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP officials who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)PHOENIX – Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. John McCain was censured by the state GOP in 2014 and went on to comfortably win a Republican primary over Ward and a general election. The self-described maverick, known best for his willingness to buck his party, had strained relations with the state party for much of his career but was consistently reelected by wide margins.
Arizona deemed 'hot spot of the world' amid virus surge
Ducey has rejected calls from health care leaders to tighten restrictions, arguing it would cause people to be out of work. “Faced with strict mitigation measures in place and states that have few or minimal mitigation measures in place all are experiencing the same thing,” Karamargin said. “The mitigation measures the state of Arizona put into place early on — they remain in place. Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the Biodesign Institute research center at Arizona State University, called the state “the hot spot of the world right now.” He believes at least one in 10 people actually has the virus. “I've never seen anything like this in all the years I’ve been part of health care,” White said.
'Lost connection' hampers Virgin Galactic's test flight
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A Virgin Galactic test flight Saturday ended prematurely as the spacecraft's rocket motor failed to ignite and it then glided down safely to its landing site in southern New Mexico. “After being released from its mothership, the spaceship’s onboard computer that monitors the rocket motor lost connection,” CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement. “As we do with every test flight, we are evaluating all the data, including the root cause assessment of the computer communication loss,” Colglazier said. It's unclear how soon another window will open for Virgin Galactic's next attempt at a powered flight to space. Virgin Galactic has yet to announce a firm date for its first commercial flight.
Virus cases continue climbing in US during holiday season
Employees schedule COVID-19 tests and prepare test kits at Primary Health Medical Group's clinic in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. A new daily high of nearly 228,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases was reported nationwide Friday, eclipsing the previous high mark of 217,000 cases set the day before, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There were 2,607 deaths reported in the U.S. on Friday. Johns Hopkins had previously reported Wednesday daily COVID-19 deaths at 3,157. “In less than a week, we went from exceeding 5,000 new cases reported in one day to exceeding 6,000,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina's health secretary.
States submit vaccine orders as coronavirus death toll grows
The state expects to get enough doses of new coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year to inoculate more than 383,000 health care workers and long-term care facility residents, the state’s health director said Friday. Ned Lamont said nursing home residents, along with front-line health care workers, will get the first doses in his state. Laura Kelly said the state’s vaccine plan calls for the first shots to go to front-line health care workers with a high risk of coronavirus exposure, including workers in nursing homes, as well as nursing home residents. In Ohio, health care workers and others caring for COVID-19 patients and emergency medical responders will be first in line for the vaccine, Republican Gov. “We’re in a very dangerous situation and ... we can’t let our hospitals get to the point where health care is threatened,” DeWine said.
Americans face new COVID-19 restrictions after Thanksgiving
Jonathan Eshnaur lugged his 32-inch TV to a Thanksgiving Day family gathering at his sister’s home in Olathe, Kansas, so he could watch football outside. Health officials are urging people to remain vigilant until a vaccine becomes widely available, which is not expected to happen for at least a few months. Health officials on Monday added 4,425 confirmed infections and 87 hospitalizations to the state’s pandemic tally since Friday. Rhode Island’s hospitals reached their COVID-19 capacity on Monday, the same day the state’s two-week pause took effect. In suburban St. Louis, a hospital official warned that hospitalizations could double in two to three weeks if people don’t quarantine after Thanksgiving gatherings.
Massive smoke clouds, thick air darken Western US skies
Despite the foreboding skies, there was little scent of smoke and the air quality index did not reach unhealthy levels. The sheer amount of smoke, the multiple layers of smoke above us in the atmosphere are combining to darken our sky, he said. Air quality warnings were issued throughout the Pacific Northwest, and people in communities from southern Oregon to north of Seattle have seen blood red skies and choking smoke. Gass said winds coming from the Pacific Ocean will likely continue to push the smoke across the West, worsening air quality. In Phoenix, the skies were finally blue on Wednesday after a cold front swept through the region, keeping the wildfire smoke west and southwest of Arizona.
Phoenix mandates wearing masks amid surge of virus cases
In an emergency meeting called by Mayor Kate Gallego, the Phoenix City Council voted 7-2 in favor of making masks or face coverings mandatory. With todays vote, the Phoenix City Council is moving forward to protect our community, Gallego said. Restaurants and other businesses will have the right to refuse service to people who do not wear masks or face coverings. The restaurant patrons must wear masks while entering and exiting or moving around in the establishments. As of Friday, multiple cities across the state from Tucson to Flagstaff announced their own mandates for people to wear masks in public.
Man arrested in shooting during Albuquerque statue protest
(Adolphe Pierre-Louis/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. A 31-year-old man has been arrested in a shooting that happened as protesters in New Mexicos largest city tried to tear down a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador outside the Albuquerque Museum, police said Tuesday. The shooting prompted the city to announce that the statue would be removed until officials determine the next steps. Police in a statement said detectives arrested Stephen Ray Baca and that he was jailed on suspicion of aggravated battery. In 1998, someone sawed the right foot off the statue an incident that weighed in the decision to stash away the statue. Tony Valerio, 65, rushed to the site after a neighbor alerted him that the statue was being taken down.