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US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

PHOENIX (AP) — A U.S. judge in Arizona has issued a permanent order requiring the Border Patrol to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants within 12 hours of arriving at a detention facility. The order issued on Wednesday also bars the agency from holding migrants more than 48 hours if they've been fully processed. It applies only to eight Border Patrol stations in Arizona following a lawsuit that claims the agency holds migrants in overcrowded, unsafe and inhumane conditions.  The lawsuit alleged facilities are extremely cold, overcrowded and unsanitary, and conditions don't allow migrants to sleep. The Border Patrol says its facilities were designed for adults and short-term stays.


Arizona coronavirus patient remains in stable condition

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona health officials say a patient with coronavirus is continuing to recover under a home quarantine. The person, who is under 60 and has ties to Arizona State University in Tempe, remained in stable condition Wednesday, according to Maricopa County Public Health. People who have had close contact with the patient have not shown any signs to date of the illness known as COVID-19. A spokeswoman says most of them have passed the 14-day monitoring period without displaying any symptoms. The Arizona case was first reported Jan. 26. The virus has sickened more than 74,000 in China and hundreds worldwide.


Tucson City Council is opposing sanctuary cities ban bill

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Tucson City Council has voted to oppose controversial state legislation that would seek voter approval to enshrine an Arizona-wide ban on sanctuary cities in the state constitution. The Republican-led Legislature already has taken the first steps to pass the legislation for a constitutional ban on sanctuary cities, or jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The state already has an existing ban on sanctuary cities, implemented in 2011. The Arizona Daily Star reports that no local jurisdictions in Arizona meet the definition of a sanctuary city, and the city of Tucson overwhelmingly rejected a ballot proposition to become one in November. But law enforcement agencies in Tucson have adopted immigrant-friendly policies.


Reward being offered for info on javelina killing in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering a reward for information in the stoning death of a javelina in Tucson last week. Authorities say the animal was found dead Friday at Tanque Verde Elementary School and had been killed overnight. Game and Fish officials say the javelina's remains were surrounded by landscaping rocks covered with blood in the school’s courtyard. They say the javelina died from blunt-force trauma, and other evidence was found at the scene. Game and Fish officials say the department's Operation Game Thief program is offering a reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the killing.


Settlement approved in discrimination suit against Motel 6

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has given final approval to a $10 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleged Motel 6 employees in Phoenix shared private information of guests with immigration authorities. The suit says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents visited some of the guests at their motel rooms a day after they showed passports, driver's licenses or identification cards issued by the Mexican government to Motel 6 employees. Some were later arrested. Motel 6 has denied wrongdoing. Motel 6 also settled a similar lawsuit in 2019 in Washington state for $12 million.


Ruling: Workers' comp OK for cops' high-stress situations

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona court ruling stemming from a sheriff's deputy's encounter with a shotgun-wielding man says law enforcement officers can claim workers' compensation benefits if diagnosed with PTSD or other mental conditions because of extraordinary high stress on the job. The Court of Appeals ruling said mental injuries, illnesses or conditions don't qualify for worker' compensation “unless some unexpected, unusual or extraordinary related to the employment" was a substantial contributing cause. The state industrial commission had denied the claim of a Gila County deputy who had a shotgun pointed at his chest and face at close range by a man.


Wildlife managers investigate deaths of 3 Mexican wolves

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State and federal wildlife managers are investigating the death of three endangered Mexican gray wolves found last month in Arizona. Officials with the wolf recovery team did not release any details about the circumstances of the animals' deaths or the specific areas where they were found. One of the wolves was a female that belonged to the Saffel Pack. The other two were single females. Officials also reported that wolves were found to be responsible for seven livestock kills and two nuisance incidents in January. The wolf reintroduction program covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico.


House bill gives non-violent offenders time off for classes

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona House committee approved a proposal giving all non-violent state prisoners time off their sentences if they work or take drug treatment or major self-improvement courses. Republican Rep. Walt Blackman has worked on the proposal for two years and has faced opposition from tough-on-crime lawmakers. But the legislation he crafted passed the Judiciary Committee without opposition Wednesday and now heads to the full House for a vote. Those serving time for drug-only offenses currently can get out after serving 70% of their sentences, but all others must serve at least 85% of their term. Blackman's proposal allows non-violent inmates to earn up credits that could cut their sentences to 65%.