Good morning, Arizona. Here’s what to know to start the workday.
Conditions in the Valley will be sunny and warm, with a high of 84 and a low of 57.
On Thursday, expect more sun, as well as breezy conditions, with a high of 87 and a low of 59.
Then, just in time for our out-of-state visitors, temps will cool down heading into the weekend, showcasing the Valley’s famously mild March weather.
High temperatures Friday and Saturday will settle into the mid-to-upper 70s before returning to the low 80s Sunday and Monday.
LAWMAKERS TARGET CITIZEN INITIATIVES
Arizona lawmakers continued their effort yesterday to tighten standards for citizen initiatives, as a Senate committee approved a stricter legal standard for measures that voters want to put on the ballot.
The attempts continue today as lawmakers are poised to act on two more ballot-initiative proposals.
One of those bills, Senate Bill 1236, would require all paid petition circulators to register with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, submit monthly reports of which individuals are circulating petitions for pay and group petitions by circulator when submitting them to the secretary of state, among other provisions.
Critics say these efforts are an attempt to limit the ability of voters to enact laws the Legislature can’t, or won’t, pass. GOP lawmakers say they are about protecting the integrity of the initiative process.
DETAILS EMERGE ON ‘BEARIZONA’ LOCKDOWN
The man who led authorities on a high-speed chase Monday in a stolen car on a northern Arizona freeway fired his handgun several times, hitting a motor home and shooting at least once at a deputy during a foot pursuit, police said.
The chase prompted the evacuation of Bearizona wildlife park. It took more than three hours to evacuate about 200 people from the wildlife park after it was placed on lockdown.
The driver, 31-year-old John Freeman, was booked on charges including aggravated assault on a peace officer, drive-by shooting, vehicle theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. Freeman has a previous felony conviction from Oregon for vehicle theft and a warrant for drug-related charges in Kingman, Arizona, authorities said. No injuries were reported from the gunshots.
The chase began after a deputy had pulled Freeman over in a stolen SUV for a moving violation, police said.
TRUMP’S BUSINESS NETWORK REACHED ALLEGED RUSSIAN MOBSTERS
To expand his real estate developments over the years, Donald Trump, his company and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics — several allegedly connected to organized crime, according to a USA TODAY review of court cases, government and legal documents and an interview with a former federal prosecutor.
The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering. Read about them here.
FINAL FOUR IS SWEET HOMECOMING FOR TEMPE NATIVE
Oregon Ducks junior point guard Casey Benson is being inundated with ticket requests for the upcoming Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium.
That’s because friends, neighbors and relatives want to see the former Tempe Corona del Sol star cut down the nets in Glendale — again.
At Corona, he won three consecutive state championships (2012, 2013 and 2014) next door at Gila River Arena. And he still talks to his high-school coach, Sam Duane Jr., on a weekly basis.
“I couldn’t have written it any better,” Benson told azcentral’s Scott Bordow. “It’s pretty neat to have the chance to go win a fourth championship in Glendale.”
PHOENIX UNLOADS CITY-OWNED PROPERTY
Phoenix plans to dramatically shrink its portfolio of city-owned real estate after an internal review found the city doesn’t need at least 656 pieces of land that it owns.
That number includes hundreds more excess properties than officials previously acknowledged, and comes after an Arizona Republic investigation revealing widespread concerns about Phoenix’s land-management practices.
Among The Republic‘s findings: The city owns a substantial amount of vacant lots — about 1,400 individual properties covering 2.3 square miles with a combined assessed value of more than $150 million.
City officials now are ramping up efforts to dispose of the excess properties by selling the land or, if the parcel carries no value or shouldn’t be on the city’s rolls to begin with, transferring it to a different owner, azcentral’s Dustin Gardiner reports.
TODAY IN HISTORY
- 1943: World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began.
- 1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. (They were executed in June 1953.) The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” opened on Broadway.
- 1962: Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time. (Johnny Carson debuted as host the following October.)
- 1971: Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai (mee ly) massacre. (Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest.) A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were later commuted.)
- 1973: The last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
- 1984: Under cover of early morning darkness, the Baltimore Colts football team left its home city of three decades and moved to Indianapolis.
- 1992: Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledged experimenting with marijuana “a time or two” while attending Oxford University, adding, “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again.”
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2oxRjOd