Latest from Mackinley Lutes Adlhoch
Jobless benefits expand next month, but advocates worry it’s not enough
TEMPE - Arizona unemployment benefits will expand next month to cover workers who are not now eligible, to last longer than before and to pay more in weekly benefits to some jobless workers. But advocates say that while the change is welcome - it's probably too little, and too late.
Court upholds real-world conviction in case that used virtual currency
TEMPE - A federal court said that laundering money with virtual currency is still a real-world crime, upholding five money-laundering charges against an Arizona man who took more than $160,000 from undercover agents who claimed it was from drug deals and exchanging it for bitcoin.
Driving’s down – and that’s driving down insurance claims, premiums
TEMPE – Social distancing may drive you up the wall, but it could be also drive down your car insurance. With fewer cars on the road, claims have dropped as much as 90% in major cities, and most insurers have responded by pledging rebates, credits or direct payments to customers as a result.
Seder-in-a-box and drive-in church: Worship during social distancing
TEMPE - Seder in a box, drive-in services and televised Masses are just some of the ways religious leaders are coping with social distancing guidelines as they try to celebrate some of the most-important holidays on the religious calendar, with Easter, Passover and Ramadan all in April.
Kirkpatrick says Air Force targets Davis-Monthan for bulk of A-10 cuts
TEMPE - The Air Force plans to retire 42 A-10 aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson next year, according to a state lawmaker, a move that would cut the base's fleet of the storied "Warthogs" in half.
Officials call for Grand Canyon closure to help stem coronavirus spread
TEMPE - Arizona lawmakers joined local and tribal officials Tuesday calling on the Interior Department to reverse its "reckless" decision to keep Grand Canyon National Park open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arizona jobless claims skyrocket, as coronavirus starts to hit economy
TEMPE - Nearly 30,000 Arizonans filed unemployment claims last week, more than eight times the average weekly rate of 3,500 claims before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, state officials said Tuesday.
Despite COVID-19, poll officials report steady turnout, smooth voting
TEMPE - Polling officials around Arizona said voting in the state's presidential preference primary Tuesday was decidedly calm in the midst of a decidedly anxious time in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with high turnout but generally smooth operations..
Officials say primary voting will go on, with COVID-19 precautions
TEMPE - The Democratic presidential primary will be held Tuesday as scheduled, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has driven some other states to cancel in-person voting, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said in a statement Monday.
Grape news: Verde Valley close to becoming a designated wine region
WASHINGTON - Wine drinkers may soon be able to reach for that Verde Valley vintage, if local wineries and vineyards have their way. Their application to make the Verde Valley a federally recognized American Viticultural Area is nearing approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Schools scramble to evacuate more students from coronavirus hot spots
WASHINGTON - Universities across the state are scrambling to bring students home from study abroad programs in countries with a high number of cases of COVID-19, the flu-like disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but it hasn't always been a smooth process.
Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Phoenix double-murderer
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence for Phoenix double-murderer James McKinney, rejecting his argument that he should have been sentenced by a jury and not by the Arizona Supreme Court.
Coronavirus victim out of quarantine, officials see ‘no risk’ of spread
WASHINGTON - The Maricopa County individual who tested positive for novel coronavirus has been released from quarantine after receiving multiple negative tests for the virus, the Maricopa County Public Health Department said in a statement Friday.
DHS waives more regulations to speed construction of border wall
WASHINGTON - The Trump administration took another step toward expediting construction of a border wall Tuesday, announcing it is waiving federal contracting regulations to fast track construction in four states, including Arizona.
Arizona middle school students compete to plan the cities of the future
WASHINGTON - They have four-, 10- and 20-year plans for their own lives, but the three Maricopa Wells Middle School students in Washington this week for an engineering competition were also looking farther down the road - to what a sustainable Salt Lake City might look like in 100 years.
Arizona officials keep an eye out, as Defense budget again targets A-10
WASHINGTON - Arizona officials said they will fight to make sure that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base does not take a hit as a result of the Pentagon's decision to retire 44 A-10 fighter jets, a mainstay at the Tucson base.
Blasting for border wall is typical of feds’ neglect of tribes, leaders say
WASHINGTON - Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris said the "controlled blasting" in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, for a border wall that will ultimately cut through his reservation, is just the latest example of the federal government ignoring its duty to consult with tribes.
Arizonans among surprise Trump guests for State of the Union address
WASHINGTON – A young boy from Scottsdale and the parents of slain Prescott native Kayla Mueller were among President Donald Trump's surprise guests for his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Guesting game: Lawmakers send messages with State of the Union guests
WASHINGTON - One veteran of State of the Union addresses says the guests are "often as interesting as what's on stage." Arizona lawmakers got that message, bringing guests to President Donatd Trump's speech to highlight issues ranging from health care to immigration and border security.
Trump vows ‘positive’ State of the Union; analysts aren’t so sure
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Tuesday's State of the Union Address will have a "very, very positive message." But with the speech coming a day after the Iowa caucuses and a day before the Senate votes on his impeachment, some experts expect to see a more partisan address.
Coronavirus hits AZ: Officials confirm case in Tempe, one of five in U.S.
PHOENIX – A Maricopa County resident who recently returned from Wuhan, China, is one of five confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the U.S. That person was identified as a "member of the ASU community," but officials would not say whether the patient is a student or employee.
Tucson voters handily reject sanctuary city proposition
TUCSON – Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly defeated Proposition 205, which would have declared Tucson the state's first sanctuary city. The vote came amid warnings from the Trump administration of possible federal sanctions costing the city millions of dollars.
Census officials will work to accurately count all communities in 2020
PHOENIX – Census officials emphasized improvements in accuracy for 2020 to reduce historical undercounts of minorities.