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Jan 24, 2013

In Arizona, controversial sheriff’s posse watches over schools

CAVE CREEK, Arizona (Reuters) – Retired salesman David Bennett sits in a patrol car, armed with a semi-automatic Glock pistol and a shotgun, watching as parents drop off their children at a kindergarten in a desert community a few miles north of Phoenix.

Bennett is volunteering his time to join a posse organized by controversial lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”

Jan 10, 2013

Giffords gun control group wants $20 million for 2014 elections

WASHINGTON/PHOENIX (Reuters) – A new gun control group led by Gabrielle Giffords, the former U.S. congresswoman wounded in a Tucson shooting rampage, wants to raise $20 million for the 2014 congressional elections, matching the National Rifle Association’s spending in last November’s elections, the group’s treasurer said on Wednesday.

Giffords and her husband, former U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly, have turned to Houston trial lawyer and Democratic donor Steve Mostyn to act as treasurer. He gave $1 million of his own money to help kick start a campaign launched on Tuesday calling for what Giffords and Kelly describe as common-sense measures to curb gun violence.

Jan 1, 2013

Ten states raise minimum wage, rates up 10 to 35 cents/hour

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Ten states kicked off the new year with a minimum wage rise of between 10 and 35 cents, modestly boosting the incomes of nearly 1 million low-paid workers.

The rises went into effect on Tuesday in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Dec 22, 2012

Feature: Poverty and fear of gangs drive young immigrants to U.S.

/PHOENIX, Arizona (Reuters) – Diego Canil Ordonez was just 16 years old when he realized he needed to get out of Guatemala after gang members arrived at the store where he worked to shake down his boss for money.

His boss didn’t show up for work the next day, but the gang members did. They demanded cash from Canil Ordonez, who had seen his job at the store as a step up after spending years shining shoes to support his family, starting at age 9.

Dec 22, 2012

Poverty and fear of gangs drive young immigrants to U.S.

/PHOENIX, Arizona (Reuters) – Diego Canil Ordonez was just 16 years old when he realized he needed to get out of Guatemala after gang members arrived at the store where he worked to shake down his boss for money.

His boss didn’t show up for work the next day, but the gang members did. They demanded cash from Canil Ordonez, who had seen his job at the store as a step up after spending years shining shoes to support his family, starting at age 9.

Dec 6, 2012

Norwegian BASE jumper killed near Grand Canyon

PHOENIX (Reuters) – A Norwegian man plunged about 1,000 feet to his death when his parachute failed to open after he struck a vertical cliff and spiraled out of control during a recreational “BASE” jump near the Grand Canyon, authorities said on Wednesday.

Eiliv Ruud, 37, was with two other BASE jumpers from Norway who were planning to jump at Salt Trail Canyon, in northern Arizona, on Tuesday, said the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

Dec 6, 2012

Los Angeles sheriff to stop turning over low-level offenders to immigration

By Tim Gaynor

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles County sheriff will no longer honor federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants nabbed for low-level crimes like petty theft and graffiti after new state guidelines noted the practice is voluntary, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced the change a day after California’s attorney general issued a directive, welcomed by immigration activists, that compliance with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests was discretionary.

Nov 29, 2012

Two tickets share record $588 mln U.S. Powerball win

PHOENIX, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Winning tickets bought in
Arizona and Missouri matched numbers drawn for a record
Powerball lottery jackpot of $588 million, the Multi-State
Lottery Association said.

Holders of the two winning tickets in the Wednesday night
draw will share an estimated $385 million after tax if they opt
to take it as a lump sum. Alternatively, the $588 million can be
paid out to them as annuities over three decades, the
association said.

Nov 15, 2012

Human error, weather caused fatal South Dakota air tanker crash

By Tim Gaynor

(Reuters) – A combination of human error and a severe “microburst” during a thunderstorm caused a military air tanker to crash while fighting a South Dakota wildfire in July, killing four airmen, according to an accident report released on Wednesday.

The U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed on July 1 while battling a blaze near Edgemont, South Dakota, killing four North Carolina Air National Guard airmen. Two others were seriously injured.

Nov 15, 2012

Immigration U-turn has Hispanics seeing “light at end of tunnel”

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Ricardo, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, sets off each day before dawn looking for casual work in construction not knowing if he will return home to his wife and three children or get snared in an immigration sweep. Lately, he feels the pervasive fear slowly lifting.

Ricardo, 46, is among millions of Latino immigrants who, regardless of their immigration status, feel fresh optimism this week over newfound Republican willingness to consider immigration reform to avoid further alienating Hispanic voters who proved key to re-electing President Barack Obama.

    • About Tim

      "I cover immigration and southwest border issues for Reuters. I am based in Phoenix and have been in my current role since 2006. I previously covered northern Mexico and worked as a general news reporter in Central America."
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