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Arizona DUI enforcement nets 582 arrests

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona highway patrol officers, sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers arrested 582 people on suspicion of driving under the influence during the holiday weekend.

State highway safety officials released the statistics Monday.

While there were fewer traffic stops overall compared to last year, more people were arrested for both misdemeanor DUI and extreme DUI, which includes those cases where a suspect's alcohol level is greater than 0.15 percent.

There were also more drug-related DUI arrests, with 103 this year compared to 85 in 2013.

The number of under-21 liquor law citations also jumped substantially this year from 31 to 218.

At Lake Havasu, Mohave County deputies say they nabbed two people who were allegedly operating boats while under the influence and issued 10 boating safety citations over the weekend.


Phoenix police investigate theft at youth center

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police are investigating the theft of thousands of dollars of sporting and camping equipment from a youth center.

The theft happened at the Refuge Youth Center on Deer Valley Road over the Labor Day weekend. Surfboards, tools and camping equipment were among the items taken from a locked trailer kept at the center.

Refuge organizer Dan Brodeur tells KPHO a chain link wire and a lock were cut the night of the theft.

The center relies on donations and host recreational events and trips for children from throughout the Valley in exchange for good grades at school and good behavior at home.

An emissions testing facility next door may have caught the crime on surveillance video, but police have yet to release a copy of the video.


This year's Tucson gem shows generated $120M

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tucson officials say the hidden treasure from this year's gem shows has been the amount of revenue.

City tourism officials say a new economic impact study released last week of this year's Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase shows $120 million in spending was generated.

According to Visit Tucson, that is 20 percent more than in 2007.

The two-week showcase, which runs in January and February, draws thousands of visitors to more than 40 sites in the region. Typically, dozens of individual gem shows take place at hotels, resorts and exhibit halls.

The report indicates the bulk of spending came from show owners, exhibitors and buyers.

The study was conducted by FMR Associates in Tucson. The company has done the same study in 2000 and 2007.


ASU-Thunderbird merger not yet complete

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Staffing and debt may delay a planned merger between Arizona State University and Thunderbird School of Global Management.

The Arizona Republic reports that ASU officials are concerned about inheriting debt from Thunderbird, which has faced financial struggles recently.

ASU President Michael Crow said at a meeting last week with ASU faculty that it still had to be determined how many members of Thunderbird's faculty would remain.

Thunderbird, which was first established in Glendale in 1946, abandoned a proposal earlier this year to partner with a for-profit educational company.

Officials announced in July an agreed letter of intent, outlining the terms for ASU to acquire Thunderbird.

Crow says it would take a few months for the deal to be finalized.


Arizona divers search for missing boater

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Divers with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office are searching for a boater who went missing at Lake Pleasant.

Authorities say the dive teams searched part of the lake Sunday night after receiving an emergency call. Witnesses told authorities the man had been sleeping on the back of the boat when he apparently fell into the water.

There was a party on the lake, and sheriff's deputies requested that the vessels remain in place Sunday while they searched the area. The divers resumed their search Monday morning.

Sheriff's spokesman Joaquin Enriquez says authorities are still considering the man missing since they don't know whether he might have boarded another boat.

Authorities have not identified the 31-year-old man.


Police: 4 people bit by out-of-control dog

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) - Bullhead City police say a dog owner ended up in the hospital and three other people were bit while trying to break up a dog fight.

Police spokeswoman Emily Fromelt says emergency crews arrived at a home Saturday afternoon in response to a call about multiple dog bites.

The dogs' owner, 66-year-old Jeanne Hardy, was bit on her arms and had to be taken to the hospital. Her brothers and a neighbor were also bit.

Police say the biting dog was extremely aggressive when an animal welfare officer went to pick it up for a mandatory quarantine. It tried to bite officers and nearly freed itself from two catch poles, so officers used stun guns to place it into a kennel. The dog later died.

Police say the owner had a total of four unlicensed pitbulls.


Motorcyclist dies while in Mohave County custody

LITTLEFIELD, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a motorcyclist who died after being arrested following a traffic stop in the Arizona Strip region was facing a felony warrant out of California.

Mohave County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Trish Carter says deputies in the Littlefield area spotted 44-year-old Michael John O'Connell traveling on a motorcycle Friday night. The motorcycle didn't have a license plate.

Deputies tried to stop O'Connell. He abandoned the bike and ran into the desert.

Carter says deputies found him in some brush and used a Taser twice after he allegedly became combative. He stopped breathing while being led in handcuffs to a patrol car.

The cause of his death is unknown. An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday.

Carter says the warrant naming O'Connell alleged several counts of lewd or lascivious acts involving a child.


Despite rain, Tucson remains in a moisture deficit

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Despite a wet month across much of southern Arizona, Tucson is still in the red when it comes to summer moisture.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the city has received more than 3 inches of rain since the season began June 15. The average for the season is 4.79 inches.

Still, rain has fallen in above-normal amounts in Nogales, Douglas, Bisbee, Safford, Willcox and Sierra Vista. In fact, parts of Sierra Vista near the Huachuca Mountains recorded up to 7 inches of rain in August alone.

Forecasters expect the rain to return this week.

University of Arizona climate scientist Mike Crimmins says patterns are favoring more moisture in September. Tucson averages 1.29 inches of rain in September, but he says tropical storms can boost that tremendously.

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