News

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Following Last Night's Riots, Mayor Regina Romero Urges Public to Avoid Downtown Protest Tonight

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:16 PM

"I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence." - AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
  • "I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence."
Following a night of rioting in downtown Tucson, Mayor Regina Romero asked the public to avoid tonight's scheduled downtown protest.

Flanked by Police Chief Chris Magnus and several members of the African-Amerian community during an appearance at City Hall, Romero recommended going to a candlelight vigil set up by Jamar Anthony with D.J.s Against Hunger, youth activist Zion Givens, and Debi Chess Mabie at the Dunbar Pavilion on Monday night at 7 p.m. 

"I'm going to implore Tucsonans, those that what to effectively make a change to systematic racism in our city, to stay home tonight. Stay home tonight," Romero said. "Come on Monday, come to the Dunbar...we will be unified in our voice against violence."

Magnus said there will be more officers on the scene for tonight's protest and warned lawbreakers will spend the night in jail if arrested.

"We are deploying a significantly greater number of officers into the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods," Magnus said." We will be making physical arrests and individuals who commit crimes will not only be arrested, they will be transported to jail. They will be going to jail."

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Friday, May 29: What We've Covered Today

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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It's Friday! Let's take a look at the stories that we shared today.

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona surpassed 18K as of Friday, May 29, with an additional 702 new cases reported yesterday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • After more than two months closed, Casino Del Sol, Casino of the Sun and Estrella at Casino Del Sol will reopen to the public June 3 at 8 a.m., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe announced this week.
  • In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election.
  • Eliminating high fives, coaching in groups of 10 people or less and administering regular temperature checks are among the recommendations the Arizona Interscholastic Association is endorsing for high school athletes as they begin practice for the fall sports season.
  • In at least a dozen states, including South Dakota, Florida and Ohio, bills were introduced this year to make it harder for transgender minors to get medical treatment such as puberty blockers and other hormone therapies.
  • Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of county decisions and if they would have done anything differently.
  • After weeks of grim news as the pandemic tore through the Navajo Nation, the curve of positive COVID-19 cases has begun to flatten, President Jonathan Nez said Thursday.

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Navajo COVID curve flattens, but leaders fear post-holiday spike in cases

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK LIVE
  • Photo via Facebook Live
PHOENIX – After weeks of grim news as the pandemic tore through the Navajo Nation, the curve of positive COVID-19 cases has begun to flatten, President Jonathan Nez said Thursday.

The rate of hospitalizations peaked April 25, Nez reported during a town hall on Facebook Live, nearly a month ahead of the mid-May date projected to be the peak by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service projection rate.

“We did what it took, working together, all of us,” Nez said. “You stayed home, and that’s what brought these numbers – and the curve flattened.”

For weeks, the Navajo Nation has issued curfews and weekend-long lockdowns in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. An eighth curfew has been called for this weekend.

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Election 2020: Where the District 2 Board of Supervisor Candidates Stand on Restaurant Regulation and Other COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 3:30 PM

The Pima County Board of Supervisors has taken several steps in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Pima County, including voting on March 19 to close down all nonessential businesses, and later when the state reopened the economy, voting to implement and then revise new health regulations for restaurants and bars offering dine-in service once again.

The board’s decisions have been met with some criticism across the political spectrum, with some critics saying the county has not done enough and others saying it has gone too far, according to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

Democratic Supervisors Ramon Valadez, Sharon Bronson and Betty Villegas said they voted for the regulations to ensure public safety, while Republicans Steve Christy and Ally Miller say the new rules make it harder for beleaguered businesses to reopen. At the request of three GOP lawmakers, Attorney General Mark Brnovich investigated whether the county exceeded its legal authority by enacting the regulations but the AG’s Office dismissed the case on a legal technicality.

Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of those decisions and if they would have done anything differently. You'll find responses from candidates for District 3 here and candidates for District 5 here.

In District 2, which includes southern parts of Tucson and stretches down to Sahaurita, Supervisor Ramón Valadez is facing two challengers in the Democratic primary: former state lawmaker Matt Heinz and political activist Richard Hernandez.

Valadez said the closure of nonessential businesses within Pima County had the goal of making sure there were enough resources to deal with the impending increase in cases.

“Most people think we did the stay-at-home order to actually lower the amount of people that got the disease, and that’s part of it, but the truth is was we needed to make sure that the hospitals in our region had the capacity to handle any surge,” he said.

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Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Update for Friday, May 29: AZ Cases Top 18K; 885 Now Dead After Contracting Virus; ER Visits Hit a New High; Ducey Says Schools Will Reopen in the Fall; Arizonans Ready To Get Out and About, At Least a Little

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 9:15 AM

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona surpassed 18K as of Thursday, May 28, with an additional 702 new cases reported yesterday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had 2,234 of the state's 18,465 confirmed cases.

The coronavirus had killed 885 people statewide, including 185 in Pima County, according to the report.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 9,112.

Because symptoms can take as long as two weeks to appear after exposure to the virus (while some people can remain entirely asymptomatic), health officials continue to urge the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people, especially if you have underlying health conditions, and have advised people to cover their faces with masks in public.

• Two weeks after Gov. Doug Ducey lifted Arizona's stay-at-home order, Arizona hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of people hospitalized with COVID symptoms, as well as more people visiting emergency rooms. Today's Arizona Department of Health Services report shows that through yesterday, 931 Arizonans were hospitalized, a drop of 14 from yesterday's record 945. A record number of 667 people arrived at emergency rooms with COVID-like symptom on May 28, according to the report.

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• There's a big partisan divide on whether the state is reopening too quickly, but most Arizonans are ready to get the hell out of their houses, according to a poll out yesterday. Roughly 41 percent of voters surveyed by political consulting firm HighGround say the state is moving "too fast" to reopen and get back to business. But roughly 39 percent say the reopening pace is "just about right." Another 19 percent say they don't know.

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Despite that split, the poll found most Arizonans are ready to resume at least some of their normal activities. Three-fourths of those surveyed say they are at least probably ready to get back to hosting friends and family, 74 percent say they are probably ready to gather in groups of 10 or fewer, about two-thirds are probably ready to go shopping and nearly 60 percent are probably ready to go back to restaurants. More details here.

• Gov. Doug Ducey announced yesterday during a press conference that he expects Arizona schools to reopen in the fall. Ducey said he was working with Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, who will release details about the reopening on Monday, June 1. Arizona schools closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in mid-March, while students were out on spring break. Teachers delivered the final quarter's lessons online.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Thursday, May 28: What We've Covered Today

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 6:00 PM

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Happy Thursday! We're trying to stay cool as Arizona heats up, and we hope you are too. Here are the stories we've gone over today.


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 17,763 as of Thursday, May 28, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
When it comes to fake national holidays it's hard to top the one that celebrates charbroiled ground chuck on a toasted sesame bun.
Tribe aims to improve dental health by bringing smiles to the dental visit.
The Arizona Attorney General's office is closing the investigation requested by three state lawmakers into whether the Pima County Board of Supervisors violated Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order after approving new regulations to the county's health code.
Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of county COVID-19 decisions and if they would have done anything differently. Here’s what the candidates in District 3 had to say.
Don’t panic if you see fireworks tonight over the Oro Valley sky around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, it’s just the town testing this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display.
Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children.
Arizona cities and counties will get access to nearly $600 million in COVID-19 relief funding. Gov. Doug Ducey announced yesterday that the state will provide $441 million to local cities, towns and counties that did not receive funding from the federal government’s CARES Act earlier this year.
There's a big partisan divide on whether the state is reopening too quickly, but most Arizonans are ready to get the hell out of their houses, according to a poll out today.
Tucked away deep in the nearly 2,000-page Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act, is a section that will funnel money to defense and intelligence companies and their top executives, according to experts.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Banner Health launched virtual waiting rooms for its 300 clinics across the country.
Are you ready to rock? How about some swing dancing? Luckily, the Gaslight Music Hall has both queued up next month when Backroads Country Band and Vinyl Tap! perform in the drive-in concert series June 10 and 11, respectively.
The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is continuing to serve as a hub for local creatives during COVID-19 by allowing artists to "take over" their Instagram stories.
The Sundt Foundation donated $26,000 to two nonprofits in Southern Arizona working to address increased needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ducey Announces AZ Schools Will Reopen in the Fall

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 4:19 PM

Gov. Doug Ducey announced today during a press conference that he expects Arizona schools to reopen in the fall.

Ducey said he was working with Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, who will release details about the reopening on Monday, June 1.

Arizona schools closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in mid-March, while students were out on spring break. Teachers delivered the final quarter's lessons online.

New Poll: Arizonans Split on Whether the State Is Reopening Too Quickly But Eager To See Friends, Get the Hell Out of the House

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 2:45 PM

There's a big partisan divide on whether the state is reopening too quickly, but most Arizonans are ready to get the hell out of their houses, according to a poll out today.

Roughly 41 percent of voters surveyed by political consulting firm HighGround say the state is moving "too fast" to reopen and get back to business. But roughly 39 percent say the reopening pace is "just about right." Another 19 percent say they don't know.

Despite that split, the poll found most Arizonans are ready to resume at least some of their normal activities. Three-fourths of those surveyed say they are at least probably ready to get back to hosting friends and family, 74 percent say they are probably ready to gather in groups of 10 or fewer, about two-thirds are probably ready to go shopping and nearly 60 percent are probably ready to go back to restaurants.

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“Despite some pressure from a small vocal constituency, the slow and steady approach to reopening the state should be viewed as a success in the eyes of the Arizona electorate,” said HighGround CEO Chuck Coughlin said in an analysis of the polling numbers. “Granted there is still a significant portion of the state that believes things are moving ‘too fast.’ At the same time, many of them expressed a willingness to get back out in public to shop, eat, and visit friends and family."

On another major question, a slight majority—52 percent—are ready to send kids back to school in the fall, while about 14 percent say they probably are not ready and nearly 21 percent say they definitely are not ready to allow kids back in school. Coughlin said he expected those numbers would move as schools roll out safety precautions.

“Getting kids back into the classroom is the next critical step to re-ignite our economy," Coughlin said. "Voters understand this—parents with kids at home especially—and will be ready for that to happen starting this fall.”

The survey notes significant divides on the questions between Republicans and Democrats, as well as between younger and older voters and between women and men.

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On the political side: just over half (53.3 percent) of Republicans in the state say the reopening is moving along just about right, while 30 percent of Republicans say it is moving too slow. But among Democrats, nearly 70 percent say the state is reopening too quickly, while roughly one in four say it's just about right. Among voters outside of the two major parties, 42 percent say the state is reopening too quickly, while roughly 36 percent say it's just about right.

On the age side: 45 percent of voters 39 and younger say the reopening is going too fast, which is about 10 points higher than voters 50 and older. "I believe that reflects their own concern about the country’s economic recovery in relation to their own retirement plans," Coughlin said. "Time will tell if the younger, more progressive cohorts start to become more comfortable with reopening or if it truly is a more partisan response.”

On the gender side: 46 percent of women surveyed said the state was reopening too quickly, which was about 11 points higher than men.

HighGround's methodology:

The N=400 survey was conducted among likely voters 5/18 through 5/22. The poll surveyed likely Arizona 2020 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users. The partisan advantage was set at +4% GOP based on previous election trends and expected Presidential Election turnout. The margin of error is ±4.9%.

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