Ex-Waymo driver accused of deliberately causing crash
PHOENIX (AP) — A man described by Waymo as a disgruntled former driver has been arrested on suspicion of deliberately crashing a passenger car into one of the company’s vans with self-driving capabilities. Tempe police say 31-year-old Raymond Tang was booked into jail Wednesday night and is facing felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal damage, and misdemeanor charges of endangerment and reckless driving. Waymo officials said Tang engaged in similar conduct last year that resulted in misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and criminal damage against him. Tang didn’t have an attorney when he made a brief initial court appearance.
MASSAGE THERAPIST ARRESTED
Phoenix massage therapist suspected of sex-related crimes
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona authorities have arrested a massage therapist on sexual misconduct charges after a customer alleges he used a hidden video camera to record customers. The 52-year-old Phoenix resident was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of multiple sex-related crimes, including one count of surreptitious filming and ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The Peoria Police Department says a customer at the New Serenity Massage/Pain Management Arizona company noticed a strange item plugged into an outlet in a massage room before discovering it was hidden video camera and contacting police. Online court records don't list an attorney for Miller who could comment on the allegations.
GUN FREE ZONES
Arizona Senate panel OKs city liability for gun-free zones
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Senate panel has approved a measure that would make government entities that don’t allow guns on their property liable if someone is shot on their premises. Republican Sen. David Gowan's proposal was approved over Democratic opposition Thursday. It would allow people to sue if they or loved ones are injured or killed after being barred from carrying weapons for self-defense on government property. The measure is the latest in a years-long series of pro-gun measures routinely approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature. GOP Sen. David Gowan says governments that set up gun-free zones must be liable if people are hurt because they can't defend themselves.
Activists removed from hearing on Arizona sanctuary policies
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Senate hearing on an effort to enshrine an existing ban on “sanctuary cities” in the state constitution erupted in shouting and immigrant rights activists were removed after calling the proposal racist. The measure brought warnings from Democrats about the return to “one of the darkest years in Arizona history” referencing the 2010 crackdown on illegal immigration in a law known as SB1070. Parts of that law were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Republican Sen. Sylvia Allen’s proposal to ask voters weigh in on the plan was approved along party lines.
Wyoming, Navajo coal company, agree to liability waiver
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials have reached an agreement with a Navajo tribal company that would give them authority to take the company to court to enforce environmental laws at two coal mines. Navajo Transitional Energy Company acquired the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming, and the Young's Creek mine in Montana, from Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy in a 2019 bankruptcy sale. As a sovereign tribal entity, the Navajo company couldn't normally be sued in state court. Wyoming and Montana officials have been negotiating limited waivers of sovereign immunity for NTEC as a condition for the company to eventually get state permits for its new mines. Negotiations between NTEC and Montana continue.
GOP-backed measure weakens Arizona's Voter Protection Act
PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans in the Arizona Legislature who have long chafed at a ban on changing voter-approved initiatives are moving to ask voters to allow them to do just that on measures affecting “public health or safety.” The proposal from Sen. Vince Leach approved by a Senate committee Thursday would gut a major part of the Voter Protection Act. That 1998 constitutional amendment approved by voters bars any changes to voter approved laws unless they “further the purpose” of the measure and get a three-quarter vote of the Legislature. Democrats opposed the measure. If the Legislature OKs it, it will appear on the November ballot
Arizona bill banning transgender girls from teams advances
PHOENIX (AP) — A bill to ban transgender girls and women from playing on spots teams that align with their gender identity is advancing in the Arizona Legislature. Republicans on the House Health and Human Services Committee advanced the measure in a party-line vote on Thursday following two hours of passionate testimony from people on both sides of the issue. Supports told lawmakers that it's unfair for girls to compete against athletes who carry male biological traits. Opponents say the measure effectively excludes transgender girls from participating in sports and learning the skills that come with it, such as teamwork and camaraderie.
Trump's Western swing to highlight Olympics, 2020 campaign