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STORMY WEATHER

Storm leaves areas of metro Phoenix without power

PHOENIX (AP) - A severe monsoon storm left thousands in metropolitan Phoenix without power.

Some residents woke up Sunday to find Saturday night's storm had left a trail of uprooted trees and downed utility poles.

Utility officials say more than 33,000 people across Phoenix had no electricity.

Arizona Public Service says 23,000 of its customers lost power.

APS spokesman Steven Gotfried says 2,600 customers were still without power Sunday afternoon and it was unknown when power would return.

Salt River Project says nearly 10,000 households initially lost power late Saturday.

SRP spokesman Scott Harelson says most of the outages were relegated to eastern suburbs, including Mesa, Apache Junction and Queen Creek.

OFFICER ROBBED

Off-duty Buckeye police officer robbed at gunpoint

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police say an off-duty Buckeye police officer was robbed while he was managing a convenience store.

KPHO-TV reports that the incident happened Saturday afternoon at the La Esquina Market at the corner of Alta Vista Road and South Montezuma Street in south Phoenix.

Police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson says the officer was working behind the counter when an armed man entered and pointed his gun at the victim's face.

Thompson says the two exchanged gunfire, but it appears nobody was injured.

Police say two young children were nearby and are being treated as witnesses.

Police are searching for the robber.

Buckeye authorities are investigating the officer's actions and use of a weapon.

BURGLARY-HOME ALONE

13-year-old burglary victim gets day with police

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Tempe police are calling a 13-year-old boy who was home alone when two burglars broke in a hero.

KTVK-TV reports police treated Alexis Holden on Saturday as the "Hero of the Day."

Officers let Alexis ride in a police car and see how the department operates.

He also got to meet the 911 dispatcher who handled a call from his mother about the burglary.

Police say the intruders broke in Tuesday and told Alexis to cover his eyes while they looked for valuables.

Alexis later ran out and yelled when his mother returned home. Both fled the home and called police.

The robbers, described as young and black, are still on the loose.

Authorities believe Alexis' home was one of three targeted in the same apartment complex.

COUNTING BALLOTS

Election officials seek to avoid 2012 delay

PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County elections officials are trying to cut down on provisional ballots and speed up results in this year's races.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the Maricopa County Elections Department is to avoid a repeat of 2012, when provisional ballots prolonged an official count by nearly two weeks.

County Recorder Helen Purcell says many voters used provisional ballots two years ago because they didn't vote with an early ballot.

Purcell says voters thought the early ballots were samples and threw them out.

Now, early ballots will be packaged in yellow envelopes.

Provisional ballots are seen as the reason that results in the last statewide election took an additional 14 days.

ARIZONA-ANIMAL MASSAGE

Lawsuit says animal massage isn't vets' work

PHOENIX (AP) - A group of Arizona animal massage therapists says it shouldn't require a license from the state because it is not practicing veterinary medicine.

Three animal massage practitioners are jointly suing the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, arguing state regulators are unconstitutionally preventing them from doing their jobs.

The board filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal and both sides presented arguments July 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

It's not known when the judge will make a ruling.

The case has raised the issue of whether animal massage should be considered veterinary medicine.

The plaintiffs say the statute defining veterinary medicine is overly broad and that animal massage is a separate discipline.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office argues the board has a legitimate interest in public health and safety.

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