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This Hour: Latest Arizona news, sports, business and entertainment

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Congressional race still has razor-thin margin

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - House Speaker Andy Tobin has a lead of fewer than 500 votes in his quest for the Republican nomination in a sprawling Arizona congressional district.

Rancher and oilman Gary Kiehne had 15,219 votes, compared with Tobin's 15,689. The race was too close to call a day after the election.

The winner will face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who is being targeted by national Republicans in the district that runs from Flagstaff to the northern Tucson suburbs.

State Rep. Adam Kwasman was running in third place.


Brewer's allies in Legislature survive challenges

PHOENIX (AP) - All nine Republicans in the Arizona Legislature who were targeted for their support of Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan survived their primary challenges.

The nine were dubbed "Legis-traitors" by conservative Republicans who said they abandoned the party's small government platform by joining with Democrats to approve the Medicaid plan in 2013.

They include Sen. Michele Reagan, who won a three-way GOP primary Tuesday in the race for secretary of state, and Rep. Bob Robson of Chandler, who fended off a challenge in his primary.

A group led by former state Sen. Frank Antenori targeted the lawmakers. Antenori says while they didn't oust any incumbents, 21 candidates they supported are moving on to the general election.

Robson says voters understood that what they did was important and rejected the critics.


Prescott man missing for a week is found dead

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a Prescott man reporting missing last week has been found dead.

Prescott police say the body of 49-year-old Terry Perna was discovered Wednesday afternoon about a quarter mile from where his new car was parked.

They say the body was found by Yavapai County Sheriff's Department bloodhounds about 50 yards north of Willow Lake Road next to a pile of rocks.

Police say it's unclear how long the body had been at that location and it showed no signs of trauma.

The county medical examiner took possession of Perna's body for an autopsy to try to determine the cause of death.

Perna lived near Willow Lake and was last seen at his home on Aug. 20. His friends say he suffered from physical health problems and mental illness.


Lengthy execution of Arizona inmate under review

PHOENIX (AP) - The three members of the team that will review an internal investigation of the lengthy Arizona execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood are former heads of other corrections departments.

The team from Carter Goble Lee, a private firm, will evaluate an investigation conducted by the Arizona Department of Corrections' Inspector General.

They will look at the nearly two-hour execution of Wood, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her father. Wood's attorney says the July 23 execution was botched, which state officials deny.

The team includes Ron Angelone, the controversial former head of the Virginia Department of Corrections and Kenneth McGinnis, who was in charge of the Michigan Department of Corrections when it was accused of mistreating female inmates and depraving them of adequate medical care by the federal government.


Police: Body found in canal in Gilbert

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a body has been found in a Gilbert canal.

Gilbert police say the body was located Wednesday afternoon in a canal near Val Vista and Williams Field roads.

They say the body hasn't been identified yet.

Police say clothing also was found in a canal that may have been from a runaway juvenile.

They say a 15-year-old boy went missing Tuesday night and was last seen near the same canal about 9 p.m.


Phoenix mom fighting to get custody of her 2 sons

PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix woman who left her two children in a hot car while she attended a job interview is fighting to prove she deserves permanent custody again.

Shanesha Taylor faced a criminal court judge Wednesday and has another court date Thursday.

The 35-year-old single mother must meet certain conditions in order to have the charges against her dismissed.

Taylor told the judge that she's weeks into a 26-week counseling program.

She also is establishing trust funds for the future education and child care needs of her 2-year-old and 8-month-old sons.

Taylor was arrested March 20 after bystanders reported seeing her children alone in her car in Scottsdale. Authorities say the temperature inside the car was above 100 degrees.

Taylor told investigators that she didn't have anyone to watch her children.


Authorities: State prison inmate in Safford dies

SAFFORD, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say an inmate at the state prison in Safford is dead and it appears to be a suicide.

Arizona Department of Corrections officials say 55-year-old Barry Wilkins was found unresponsive Wednesday morning by prison personnel at the Fort Grant unit.

They say staff began lifesaving measures that were continued by paramedics upon their arrival.

Medical personnel later pronounced Wilkins dead.

Corrections officials say the death will be investigated in consultation with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office.

Wilkins had been in the state prison system since September 2002.

He was sentenced out of Maricopa County on charges including burglary, theft, unlawful use of a means of transportation, criminal damage, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit card, criminal damage and resisting arrest.


Tolleson man accused in 2008 fatal home invasion

PHOENIX (AP) - A suspect is in custody in connection with a Phoenix home invasion that led to a death in 2008.

Authorities say 28-year-old Javier Murrieta of Tolleson was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder.

It's unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

Police say they were able to identify Murrieta as a suspect in the death of Jorge Estrada through the use of DNA analysis.

Murrieta allegedly was injured during the August 2008 home invasion and got blood on the back wall while he was trying to make his escape.

Murrieta told police he was at the scene, but never entered the home that was supposed to have either a large amount of cash or marijuana.

Witnesses say several men were seen leaving the home by jumping over the backyard wall.


Man accused of trying to sell stolen UofA tickets

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A man is in custody for allegedly trying to sell stolen season tickets to University of Arizona football games on the Internet.

Pima County Sheriff's officials say they received a report of a theft from a mailbox on Aug. 19.

The victim told authorities that some personal mail was stolen along with a set of high-value UofA season tickets.

Sheriff's officials say they received information Tuesday that the tickets were being offered for sale on Craig's List.

Undercover deputies were able to arrange a meeting with the seller and he was arrested.

Authorities say 27-year-old Emilo Pesina is being held on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property.

It was unclear Wednesday if he has a lawyer yet.


State court orders voting on college board seats

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court has ordered that the general election ballot in Maricopa County include two new at-large seats on the Maricopa County Community College District's governing board.

The ruling issued without comment Tuesday overturns a decision by the state Court of Appeals that the seats shouldn't appear on the ballot.

The mid-level court's July 23 ruling said a 2010 state law adding the two at-large seats violates the Arizona Constitution's prohibition against so-called local laws because the 2010 law applied only to Maricopa County.

The justices considered an accelerated appeal. Election officials had said they needed a decision by Sept. 5 to complete the November general election ballot.

Officeholders, education officials and activists filed the lawsuit challenging the law.

The district's board already has five members elected by districts.


Woman IDs dead, learns about Native beliefs

WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) - In the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate lies a dusty, barren field with a history largely unknown, even to locals.

Buried in the ground are the remains of mostly Native Americans who died at a medical facility in Winslow. The aluminum plates and crosses that once marked each grave site have been trampled on, washed away or carried off.

One woman has made it her mission to unearth the identities of the roughly 600 people buried there and help their families reconnect with their history.

Gail Sadler says she wants to restore dignity to the cemetery and build a monument to the deceased.

She's found that her Mormon beliefs about the value of one's ancestry haven't always matched up with beliefs on the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations.

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