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CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — A police officer was fatally injured Friday when he was hit by a suspected drunken driver, becoming the second officer from the Chandler Police Department to be killed in motorcycle crashes this week.
Officer David Payne, 37, was stopped at a red light about 1 a.m. when a vehicle struck his motorcycle from behind, police said. The impact threw Payne's motorcycle through the intersection.
The other driver drove away, but officers stopped him a short time later and took him into custody, police said. The driver had an 11-month-old baby with him, police said.
Payne's death followed the death of another Chandler officer Tuesday. Officer Bryant Holmes, 34, was riding his motorcycle to work when he was struck by an SUV that ran a red light, authorities said. The 20-year-old driver stopped.
"It's been a very difficult week for the department," Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said. "We have lost two exceptional and talented officers in a matter of three days."
Police said the suspect in Friday's crash that killed Payne was believed to be impaired by alcohol and driving on a suspended license.
"This is not an accident," said Sgt. Joe Favazzo, a police spokesman. "This is a crash ... It was 100 percent avoidable."
Brian Yazzie, 31, of Tempe, was arrested and jailed on suspicion of manslaughter, endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.
A Chandler police spokesman, Detective Seth Tyler, said he didn't know whether Yazzie has an attorney yet.
Payne was a seven-year veteran of the Chandler department and a member of its drunken-driving enforcement unit. "His passion was to remove impaired drivers from the roadways," Duggan said.
Payne was also a member of the Arizona Army National Guard, and he served in Iraq in 2007-2008.
Arizona is now one of 21 states in the country where drivers pay less than $3 a gallon for fuel on average.
LD 18 voters deserve the opportunity to cast an informed vote, but Jeff Dial is depriving voters of that opportunity by dodging ALL LD 18 Senate Debates, including the Clean Elections Debate. His opponent, Janie Hydrick, on the other hand, has appeared at the debate venues, and answered, at length, any and all questions from debate moderators and audience members. Her answers have shown her to be the candidate who embraces the moderate values of LD 18 residents.
LD 18 voters deserve the opportunity to cast an informed vote, but Jeff Dial is depriving voters of that opportunity by dodging all LD 18 Senate Debates, including the Clean Elections Debate. His opponent, Janie Hydrick, on the other hand, has appeared at the debate venues, and answered, at length, any and all questions from debate moderators and audience members. Her answers have shown her to be the candidate who embraces the moderate values of LD 18 residents.
Students from elementary schools across the East Valley will receive additional lessons about nutrition and health this winter as part of a free annual program organized by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona lawmakers are considering taxes on electronic cigarettes as a way to help cover a $1 billion budget shortfall, a central Arizona weekly has reported.
"It's one option of many that we should look at at the Legislature," said state Democratic Rep. Stefanie Mach of Tucson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. "It certainly isn't going to come close to the amount of money that we need to make up the deficit, but any little bit helps."
Some legislators are lighting up at the idea of taxing e-cigarettes to cover a huge deficit expected by fiscal year 2017, but how to regulate the devices has been a source of debate.
Legislators in dozens of states last year were faced with bills related to electronic cigarettes. Two states have already enacted "sin taxes" on them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. On the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration has struggled since 2011 to implement rules on how to categorize and regulate them as well as liquid nicotine.
Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, of Fountain Hills, told the Arizona Capitol Times taxing e-cigarettes could discourage people from using them in an effort to quit smoking.
"The e-cigarettes, I am told, are not nearly as damaging to the body as tobacco is, and part of the reasoning for the tobacco tax is to compensate society for the additional costs in medical care that smokers cause," said Kavanagh, who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee and running for a Senate seat.
The financial impact for Arizona from e-cigarette taxes is difficult to determine since proposals vary and cigarettes have about $2 in additional taxes per pack.
Arizona so far hasn't enforced many restrictions on the electronic devices. Last year, the state made it illegal to sell them to minors. But Attorney General Tom Horne recently said e-cigarettes do not fall under the Smoke Free Arizona Act. Thus, patrons can smoke them inside restaurants, bars and other public places. However, cities such as Tempe have banned them.
The battery-powered devices heat liquid nicotine and create a vapor that the user can inhale. They are available at most convenience stores and "vape shops."
Ben Denny, who works at a downtown Phoenix vape shop called Butt Out, said the industry would be open to some reasonable taxes but not to the same degree as cigarettes. The growing e-cigarette community would likely fight any legislation that advocated otherwise.
"Nobody serious is even getting close to claiming that (e-cigarettes) do similar harm (as smoking tobacco), so by attempting to tax them the same way, lawmakers are making a claim nobody else is making. And really, they're just saying they want to bring in more money," Denny said.
Climate change and global warming are two things that seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. But John Purchase, a retired physicist and engineer, said not many people know what they’re talking about.
On a night where individual records were supposed to take center stage, it was the team-first approach of Tempe High that propelled the Buffaloes to a 38-26 victory over the Moon Valley Rockets.
Authorities say one person has been found dead after a fire in Mesa.
PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona have fallen to their lowest level since January 2013.
Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday that the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $3.04 a gallon. That's almost 10 cents lower than last week.
This week's national average is $3.07 per gallon, down by more than 8 cents from last week.
Triple-A analysts say prices should remain low, barring unforeseen circumstances.
The East Valley area (Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction and Queen Creek) has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $2.93 a gallon, and Flagstaff has the highest at $3.36.
Missouri has the lowest average gas prices among states in the continental U.S. at $2.78 a gallon with California having the highest at $3.45 a gallon.
The price to fill the pump in Arizona sustained a significant decline thisweek, especially at East Valley stations.
Phoenix Mud Run
Three area teams remained ranked, with Ironwood Ridge holding the highest as the No. 3 team in Division 2. Pusch Ridge is eighth in Division 5, although they have their playoff berth wrapped up. Both the Nighthawks and CDO can clinched Sectional titles, and the automatic bids that accompany them this week with wins.
Charges have been dropped against one of three men accused of alcohol-related violations in connection with the fatal fall of an Arizona State University student.
Three armed suspects are on the loose after a shooting Wednesday in Tempe.
Veterans looking for help receiving their benefits can use the additional resources provided at an upcoming event in Chandler.
PHOENIX (AP) — Republican congressional candidate Wendy Rogers will not meet Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in a televised debate.
Rogers' campaign staff informed producers for the Arizona PBS show "Arizona Horizon" in an email on Monday morning that she would not be participating in the 5:30 p.m. Monday debate.
Rogers, Sinema and Libertarian Powell Gammill are running for the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Tempe and parts of Scottsdale, Phoenix Chandler and Mesa.
Sinema and Gammill are set to appear for the debate.
Horizon producers said they delayed the debate after Rogers' campaign said she was unavailable in September. She did participate in a televised debate before the August Republican primary.
Rogers' campaign spokesman James Harris would not say why Rogers will not attend.
Congressional District 9 candidates Kyrsten Sinema and Powell Gammill will debate each other tonight on Eight, Arizona PBS.