The Range

Final Judgment

Looks like Lourdes Lopez won't be filing any motions any time soon. The Arizona Supreme Court let stand a disciplinary commission ruling that Lopez be disbarred in the wake of her entanglement with Dr. Bradley Schwartz, the former ophthalmologist who was convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his one-time business associate, Dr. Brian Stidham, in October 2004. The morning daily notes that Lopez has 30 days to wrap up her outstanding cases.

During the sensational Schwartz trial, we learned that Lopez had a stormy relationship with the philandering Schwartz, whose mad schemes got Lopez into trouble on a federal-prescription drug rap that ended her career as a county prosecutor and, ultimately, her law practice. Lopez also said that Schwartz had often talked about planting child porn on Stidham's computer or hiring someone to kill him, but she didn't inform authorities of her crazy boyfriend's plans until after the murder-for-hire was carried out.

Schwartz is now serving 25 years to life in prison.

Meet the New Bosses

Two new Tucson City Council members, Democrats Regina Romero and Rodney Glassman, were sworn into office on Monday, Dec. 3, in a special ceremony at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Romero replaces outgoing Councilman José Ibarra in westside Ward 1, while Glassman replaces outgoing Councilwoman Carol West in eastside Ward 2.

Republican Mayor Bob Walkup, who faced only token Green Party opposition in the November election, was sworn into his third term, while Democrat Shirley Scott began her fourth term in southeast-area Ward 4.

Error Message

The virtual fence still isn't working! The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the latest news agency to note that Project 28, the effort to develop a network of radar and video cameras along the border near Sasabe, continues to be beset by bugs. Although the system was supposed to be operational last summer, the Boeing Co. has been unable to work out all the glitches to the satisfaction of the Department of Homeland Security. Company officials say that they've spent twice the $20 million they're being paid to make the program work as part of a demonstration project, but hope to have the virtual fence up and running soon.

Red October

The latest update from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows that the Arizona economy continues to tank. In the month of October, tax revenues of $683.6 million were nearly $80 million below the forecast and 6.4 percent below collection in October 2006. For the first four months of the '08 fiscal year, revenues have fallen nearly $227 million below the forecast.

State officials have said the shortfall for the fiscal year could top $800 million.

Healthy Contribution

Legendary land speculator Don Diamond wrote a great, big $15 million check for a new children's hospital at University Medical Center. The new facility, to be named Diamond Children's Medical Center, will take up the top three floors in a six-floor, $200 million expansion of UMC, which will also include a trauma center and emergency room.

UMC officials say the pediatric hospital will feature 116 beds, as well as a library, a meditation room, a healing garden and family spaces for parents and siblings of sick children to gather, use computers or have a snack.

UMC still needs to raise an additional $40 million to complete the children's hospital.

'Tis The Season

The UA football team wrapped up another rough season by falling to Arizona State, 20-17. The loss left the Wildcats with a final overall record of 5-7 and a Pac 10 record of 4-5. No bowl game this year!

In brighter UA sports news: The men's basketball team easily wiped out Cal State Fullerton, 91-65, last Wednesday, Nov. 28. They then beat No. 9 Texas A&M 78-67 last Sunday, Dec. 2, after trailing by 12 points at halftime. Acting coach Kevin O'Neill remains in control of the team, although Lute Olson--who remains on his enigmatic "leave of absence"--continues to be sighted around McKale Center.

In pretty much unrelated news that we bring you in our unceasing efforts to suck up to the boss: The Stanford football team won its big rivalry game--known as the Big Game--against Cal, 20-13.

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