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Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot Uzi

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The accidental killing of an Arizona firing range instructor by a 9-year-old girl learning to shoot an Uzi unleashed a storm of criticism and anger, with much of it aimed at her parents.

But the ex-wife and children of instructor Charles Vacca say they harbor no ill feelings toward the girl and her family. Instead, they feel sorry for the child and want to write her a letter to comfort her.

Vacca's ex-wife, Anamarie, told The Associated Press by phone Friday she has not spoken to the girl or her parents since the accident Monday, but her children want to write the letter.

Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl when she squeezed the trigger at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.

The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and the 39-year-old Vacca was shot once in the head and died.

The identities of the girl and her family have not been released.

Prosecutors say they do not plan to file charges.


Tucson police: 1 seriously hurt in Tucson shooting

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tucson police are investigating a shooting in which a person was reportedly seriously wounded.

No arrest has been made in the shooting which Sgt. Pete Dugan says occurred Friday morning in a northside neighborhood near North First Avenue and East Fort Lowell Road.

Dugan says motorists should avoid the area.

Dugan says the victim has life-threatening injuries but no further details on the shooting have been released.

Salpointe Catholic High School is in the vicinity and has been locked down as precaution.


Area burned by eastern Arizona fire closed

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) - Forest officials say a closure in an area affected by a wildfire in eastern Arizona's White Mountains should not get in the way of campers' plans.

The U.S. Forest Service says the closure of a small area south of Vernon began Friday in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The closure prohibits campers from an area damaged by fire last June.

Officials say most parts of the forests remain open for recreation activities.

The San Juan Fire burned more than 8 square miles two months ago.

Anyone caught violating the closures could face a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in prison.

Only people with a Forest Service permit or authorized by the agency to do business in the area will be permitted in the closed off area.


US official airs 'myths' on Colorado River water

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A top federal water administrator says several myths stand in the way of broad agreements needed to deal with increasing demand for water in the drought-stricken and "over-allocated" Colorado River basin.

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle told a "Business of Water" conference on Friday in Las Vegas on there's no one-step way to avoid the possibility of cuts in water deliveries to states including Arizona and Nevada in the next few years.

She says it'll take multiple, incremental efforts

Castle is a top federal water administrator.

She says other myths are that cities just need to stop wasting water and that water is too valuable to use on farms.

Castle says cooperation is needed on all sides, and myths can be dangerous if they lead people to complacency.


New York dairy co-op gets school yogurt contract

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - New York's Upstate Niagara dairy cooperative will supply its Greek yogurt to public schools in three states under a federal school lunch pilot program.

Sen. Charles Schumer says Friday that a U.S. Department of Agriculture contract calls for the Buffalo-based co-op to provide 142,700 pounds of Greek yogurt to schools in New York, Arizona and Tennessee through December.

Upstate Niagara is a farmer-owned co-op consisting of 360 family-owned dairy farms in western New York.

New York's dairy industry is the third largest in the nation and has been undergoing a yogurt boom in recent years with the opening of several new plants. The New York Farm Bureau says the state produced an estimated 740 million pounds of yogurt in 2013, more than triple the 2007 output.


Brothers re-create Arizona steam car ride

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Two brothers have completed a drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon in a vintage steam car.

Chris and Nick Howell say their restored Toledo Steam Car reached the canyon's South Rim around sunset Wednesday, but not without a little help.

Their vehicle had to be towed during some stretches because of rough roads and because they were falling behind schedule. They also had to deal with a flat tire and other mechanical issues.

The Toledo is what Los Angeles photographer Oliver Lippincott used when he attempted the same 60-mile drive in 1902.

The British siblings re-enacted the drive over two days with multiple stops.

Chris Howell says the experience made for an emotional first visit to the Grand Canyon.

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