PHOENIX OFFICERS SHOT
3 Phoenix police officers shot on city's north side
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say three Phoenix police officers were shot Sunday night on the city's north side. Sgt. Mercedes Fortune says in an email that the officers were injured in the 23800 block of North 40th Drive, near Pinnacle Peak Road. She had no other details. KNXV-TV reports the shooting took place at 7:10 p.m. The TV station says that a suspect is barricaded in a home near the site of the shooting.
Leader of Arizona’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic quits
PHOENIX (AP) — A woman who has been a key figure leading Arizona’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has resigned. Wendy Smith-Reeve had been director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management until her resignation was accepted by Gov. Doug Ducey on Saturday. Smith-Reeve says in her resignation letter that her role had been taken over by the governor's staff and other agencies and that the governor wasn't following the state emergency response plan. Arizona health officials said Sunday that the state now has tallied at least 919 coronavirus cases and 17 deaths. Pima County officials reported its second coronavirus death in two days and sixth overall while the Tohono O'oldham Nation tribe near Tucson reported its first positive test.
Arizona governor signs stripped-down $11.8 billion budget
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a stripped-down emergency state budget that contains $50 million in spending to help tenants, homeowners and small businesses weather the coronavirus crisis. The $11.8 billion spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1 essentially contains no other new spending beyond required inflation adjustments and raises for teachers. It passed the state Senate last week and the House on Monday. The $50 million of virus-related funding includes money to prevent evictions and foreclosures, provide homeless services, assist small businesses and pay for food bank operations. It also includes longer welfare payments and a waiver from work requirements.
Tribes say persistent efforts pay off in massive stimulus
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribes say their persistent efforts to be included in a massive stimulus bill to respond to the new coronavirus have paid off. Tribes have been lobbying Congress to help address shortfalls in an already underfunded health care system that serves Native Americans. They secured $10 billion in the bill that President Donald Trump signed Friday. Most of it is set aside as a relief fund that will be distributed based on need. More than $1 billion will go to the federal agency that provides primary health care for more than 2 million Native Americans. The Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest has been hardest hit by the virus with more than 90 confirmed cases.
What's essential? In France: pastry, wine. In US: golf, guns
The coronavirus pandemic is defining for the globe what's essential and what things we really can't do without, even though we might not need them for survival. Attempting to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They're also restricting citizens from leaving their homes. Whether it's Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there's general agreement on what's essential: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns. But some activities reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists.
Texts, not door-knocks: Census outreach shifts amid virus
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The coronavirus has waylaid efforts to get as many people as possible to take part in the census. The outbreak and subsequent orders by states and cities to stay home and avoid other people came just as the census ramped up for most Americans two weeks ago. Nonprofits and civic organizations leading census outreach efforts are now pivoting from in-person activities to digital strategies. Texting campaigns and social media are replacing knocking on doors and rallies. The coronavirus has pushed back the deadline to wrap up the once-a-decade count, which determines how much federal money goes to communities.
Arizona forest proposes using fire as tool for restoration
FREDONIA, Ariz. (AP) — Forest officials in northern Arizona have plans to use prescribed fire to help with restoration efforts in an area north of Grand Canyon National Park. The Kaibab National Forest is seeking public comments on a proposed vegetation management project that would span more than 43 square miles. Managers are calling for using prescribed fire and managed wildfires in combination with mechanical thinning to treat the area. Officials say the goal is to make the forest more resilient by creating conditions better able to withstand the effects of climate change and severe wildfire.
Arizona governor OKs bill giving closed schools flexibility