Fire burning in Coconino Forest
HAPPY JACK, Ariz. (AP) — Coconino National Forest officials said an 800-acre wildfire in northern Arizona is burning toward a highway and has forced a rock-climbing area to be evacuated.
Spokeswoman Heather Noel said no structures are threatened by the growing Jack Fire that was reported around 11:40 a.m. Saturday.
The fire is burning about 13 miles northeast of Happy Jack in a canyon near State Route 87. The rock-climbing area in Jack’s Canyon was evacuated and closed.
Noel said firefighters put a line around the right flank of the fire. Aircraft dropped retardant on the left side, and crews are trying to set up a line. About 90 firefighters were working into the night ahead of 24 mph winds expected this morning.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Arpaio celebrates 82nd birthday
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio celebrated his 82nd birthday on Saturday.
The six-term sheriff and his wife Ava appeared with deputies and posse members before the start of a morning law enforcement operation.
He said he remains in good health.
Last month, Arpaio announced that he wouldn’t enter the governor’s race and cited several sensitive matters in progress that require his attention, such as a court case in which his office was found by a judge to have racially profiled Latinos in its patrols.
Arpaio survived an unsuccessful effort last year to force a recall election against him and said he intends on running for a seventh term as sheriff in 2016.
His latest campaign finance report said his election committee currently has $1.4 million in contributions on hand.
No new leads in priest attack
PHOENIX (AP) — Police, armed with only a vague description of a suspect, are continuing to investigate a deadly priest shooting at a Roman Catholic church in Phoenix.
Sgt. Steve Martos said authorities have no new leads in Wednesday night’s shooting death of the Rev. Kenneth Walker and the beating of the Rev. Joseph Terra.
Martos said investigators are still processing evidence from the scene and in Walker’s car. They also plan to keep going door to door in the neighborhood in the hopes of finding more witnesses.
According to Martos, Terra, who remains in critical but stable condition, was able to provide “limited information.”
The investigation comes as Catholics around metropolitan Phoenix plan to attend Mass services on Father’s Day weekend.
The church plans to keep its regular Mass schedule today.
Tomato truck overturns on I-8
YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — More than a few rotten tomatoes are stewing on an Arizona highway.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said a trailer hauling a load of tomatoes overturned Saturday morning on Interstate 8, about 50 miles east of Yuma.
DPS said the incident occurred shortly after 3:30 a.m. in the eastbound lanes.
No injuries were reported.
Arizona Department of Transportation officials said one lane was blocked by the truck and crews were dispatched to clean up the scene.
ADOT said all lanes are now open.
ADOT cleaning crew arrested
PHOENIX (AP) — Nine janitorial workers suspected of using fictitious documents to get jobs and their manager were arrested in a raid of state office buildings in Phoenix.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the raid that resulted in the arrests of the Upright Commercial Cleaning employees was carried out Thursday night at Arizona Department of Transportation offices near the state capitol.
Arpaio said the nine workers are immigrants who aren’t in the country legally and the manager is a U.S. citizen suspected of having knowledge that the employees were using fake documents.
A message left at the business wasn’t immediately returned Friday afternoon.
The bust marks the 83rd business raid by Arpaio’s office since a state law took effect in 2008 that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring people who are in the country illegally.
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