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May 2011 Archives

Don't Leave Children in Cars Unattended

During Phoenix's summer months, it is especially dangerous to leave your children in a car without supervision. Vehicles in the Valley can heat up quickly when there's direct sunlight and no ventilation. Temperatures inside of a hot car can reach up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, causing children to suffer from heatstroke.

According to The Arizona Republic, 49 children in the United States died of heat exposure while they were left in hot cars in 2010. The bodies of children heat up much faster than adults, as their thermoregulatory systems are less efficient than an adult's. So on average, a child's body temperature will warm 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's body temperature.

Judge Finds Jared Loughner Unfit to Stand Trial

It looks like Tucson shooting suspect Jared Loughner is not mentally competent to stand trial in the case involving the attempted murder of Rep.Gabrielle Giffords. The Arizona Republic reports that a federal court judge ruled today that the 21-year-old man, who has been accused of the shooting at a meet-and-greet event on January 8, does not have the mental capacity to understand the criminal charges and proceedings going on around him and is therefore unfit to stand trial.

So what happens now? Loughner won't exactly be getting away with anything just yet. He has been ordered to stay in a prison-like hospital in Springfield, Missouri to receive treatment so that his mental competency can be restored. It's possible, however, that Loughner could remain hospitalized indefinitely if he does not get well.

No Charges Filed Against Matthew Bohls After Fatal Shooting

ABC News reports that Matthew Bohls allegedly shot and killed a 56-year-old man on April 9 in Gilbert, Arizona. A person will typically face murder or manslaughter charges after a fatal shooting, but Bohls claimed that the shooting was an act of self defense.

At this time, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has stated that no criminal charges will be filed against the 23-year-old Bohls, as there is "no reasonable likelihood of conviction."

The Restrictions of Arizona's State Medical Marijuana Laws

Thanks to the passage of Proposition 203, Arizonians can now apply for a medical marijuana card if they're able to get written certification from their physician. However, medical marijuana patients still have restrictions on how much marijuana they can possess and cultivate. They're also not immune from federal marijuana laws.

According to FindLaw, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (ARS §36-2801 - §36-2819) only allows for cardholders to have up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana at a time in their possession. Cardholders can also cultivate no more than 12 marijuana plants and all cultivation must be done within 25 miles of a licensed dispensary.

Identity Theft on the Rise in East Valley

Don’t leave purses or handbags in plain view inside of unattended vehicles. Not only is this an easy way for a purse to be stolen, but it’s also a way that many people in the East Valley become victims of identity theft.

According to ABC News, at least 90 people have been confirmed to be victims of identity theft over the last several months in the area. Chandler police are now investigating an East Valley identity theft ring. The investigation reportedly began in December 2010, when people reported that there purses were stolen from their vehicles in daycare parking lots and city parks throughout Chandler. Within days, the Chandler theft victims apparently noticed inconsistencies with their checking accounts and credit cards accounts.

If you see campaign signs in an Arizona city that you don't agree with, it's best to ignore them and to not damage them or throw them away. Doing so, is illegal and can result in an arrest.

ABC News reports that Gilbert police officers saw Roberta "Bobbi" Smith removing signs that were put up by Steve Johnson, an activist who has voiced criticism of Gilbert Town Council. One of his signs that has been disappearing off the streets is a sign that reads "Shame on Gilbert" and directs people to the website ShameOnGilbert.org.

Phoenix Police Officers Kill Homicide Suspect

Two Phoenix police officers fatally shot 32-year-old Jeremy Michael Lundquist outside of his apartment last week, which could raise some questions in the community about policies and methods of law enforcement in the Phoenix community.

The Arizona Republic reported that Lundquist was the suspect that was believed to be responsible for the homicide of 30-year-old Jason Keagle on April 27. Lundquist reportedly pointed a gun at the police officers when the law enforcers identified themselves and tried to place him under arrest. The officers then fired their weapons and struck the suspect several times when Lundquist tried to run away. Police were also unable to provide a motive in the Keagle killing.

Christopher Linder Denied Pardon of Felony Conviction

Here’s some bad news for residents of Pawnee, Oklahoma and the town’s newly elected mayor Christopher Linder.

The Phoenix New Times reports that Linder asked The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency for a pardon on Tuesday for a felony crime that he committed in the state more than a decade ago. Linder was elected to be mayor of Pawnee just last month, but Oklahoma law prohibits a convicted a felon from holding office until 15 years have passed since the sentence is completed or the person receives a pardon. The Board apparently wasn’t so nice to Linder and denied him a pardon, which means that a special election will likely take place to find a new mayor in Pawnee.

Arizona Donut Owner Tong-Seng Luy Facing Criminal Charges

Tong-Seng Luy, the owner of a Yuma doughnut shop, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for failing to pay overtime wages to some of his employees, according to The Yuma Sun. A business owner will not typically face criminal charges after failing to pay wages, but in this case Luy has been accused of falsely reporting to the U.S. Department of Labor that all of his employees had been paid the total amount of back wages that were agreed upon.

Luy allegedly promised to pay $27,000 in back wages to eight employees, but then withheld the money over a two-year period. Now, the owner of Arizona Donut faces 10 counts of concealment by trick, making false statements to the U.S. Department of Labor and willful failure to pay overtime.

Twelve People Arrested at ASU Undie Run

It’s become an Arizona State University tradition for students to strip down to their underwear and run across campus on the last day of classes each May. This year, the annual undie run drew a crowd of an estimated 20,000 people at the May 3 event, as reported by The Phoenix New Times.

Yet this year’s undie run wasn’t completely crime-free. It’s been rumored that there were 12 arrests at the event, seven of which were alcohol-related. The arrests came after students were seen parading through the university’s Memorial Union. Assistant ASU Chief of Police Jay Spradling said through the Phoenix New Times that the students were seen tipping over trash cans and chairs, which prompted campus police to set off the fire alarms in the building and get everybody out of the building to assess the damage.

Following the death of Osama bin Laden, the authorities with the Arizona government feel that there is a greater need to increase security throughout the Grand Canyon state. According to the Associated Press, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has already stated that the public will see more police officers in city buildings, places of worship, light rail trains and at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Even with no specific security threats to respond to, major military bases in Arizona have also increased security. Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, for example, is checking its visitors to the base more closely, according to a spokesman from the station.