Good morning, Arizona! Here’s what you need to know to start the day.
Enjoy it while it lasts: Forecasters say the high temp for the Valley will ebb to 91 degrees today before making its inevitable climb to triple digits.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix is predicting a high of 99 degrees by Sunday, but hasn’t ruled out the chance the temperature will hit 100 for the first time this year.
The historic average high temperature for this week ranges from the mid- to upper 80s, according to the Weather Service.
NAU SHOOTING VICTIMS TO TAKE STAND
Testimony is expected to continue today in trial of Steven Jones, a former NAU student who is accused of first-degree murder in the death of student Colin Brough and aggravated assault against three other students. Jones is claiming self-defense.
Victims Nick Prato and Kyle Zientek are expected to take the stand today in Coconino County Superior Court in Flagstaff. The two were wounded by Brough in the melee.
Return to azcentral after 8:30 a.m. to see a live stream from the courtroom.
FORMER PATRIOT, KILLER HERNANDEZ HANGS HIMSELF
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found hanged by a bed sheet in his jail cell early Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.
Hernandez, 27, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to a statement released by the DOC.
Last Friday, Hernandez was found not guilty for the double murder of two men on a Boston street in 2012.
Hernandez was at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass, at the time of his death. He was found guilty in April 2015 of first-degree murder in the death of Lloyd two years prior. Lloyd, a former friend who dated the sister of Hernandez’s longtime fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, was shot several times by the same kind of gun security footage showed Hernandez possessed.
YESTERDAY AT THE CAPITOL
Arizona’s leaders had a busy day as the legislative season winds down.
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLERS ACCUSED OF SEX ASSAULT
Two former Mountain Ridge High School students are accused of sexually assaulting a fellow member of the wrestling team during a tournament in Holbrook last December, officials said.
Allegations surfaced, a Deer Valley Unified School District official said, when the guardian of the teen who said he was attacked contacted the school administration more than a week after the trip.
The two students were disciplined by school officials and are no longer at the Glendale school, according to Monica Allread, a spokeswoman for the Deer Valley Unified School District.
The investigation is being handled by the Holbrook police, and records in the case are expected to be released today.
PETSMART SWALLOWS KIBBLE SELLER
Phoenix-based PetSmart has agreed to acquire Chewy, an online retailer of pet food and other products.
The transaction will extend PetSmart’s capability and reach, allowing it to offer a wider selection of products and services. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.
Chewy’s position in the online pet-retail segment complements PetSmart’s footprint in physical stores. PetSmart has more than 55,000 employees at more than 1,500 stores across North America.
HOW DOES ARIZONA’S TAX BURDEN STACK UP?
You might be griping if you just submitted a check for a large income-tax bill, but Arizonans pay lower overall taxes than Americans generally, according to a new study.
Arizonans on average work 105 days each year to pay all combined federal and state income taxes, plus payroll, sales, property and other outlays, reports the Tax Foundation. This means Tax Freedom Day fell on April 15 this year in Arizona. For the nation overall, Tax Freedom Day will arrive eight days later, on April 23, reflecting higher tax rates and other factors elsewhere.
MINUTECLINICS TO SERVE PHOENIX VETERANS
Veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System can now get immediate medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries from CVS MinuteClinics under a pilot project announced Tuesday.
The program will be open to about 120,000 veterans, enabling them to call VA triage nurses and, if their symptoms qualify, receive an appointment within two hours at one of the drugstore chain’s 24 clinic outlets in central Arizona.
“This partnership shows we are seeking improvements at Phoenix VA, and seeing improvements at Phoenix VA,” Sen. John McCain said. “It will serve as a model for the nation.”
TODAY IN HISTORY
- 1775: The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
- 1897: The first Boston Marathon was held.
- 1935: The horror film “Bride of Frankenstein,” starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester, had its world premiere in San Francisco.
- 1943: During World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against the Nazi.
- 1951: Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”
- 1977: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
- 1993: The 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
- 1995: A truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh was later convicted of federal murder charges and executed.)
- 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope; he took the name Benedict XVI.
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