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Valley & State

  • Motorist who aided wounded trooper recalls fear, confusion

    PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona man who helped a wounded state trooper said Friday he was afraid and confused when he saw three bodies and pulled over on a freeway.Authorities say another motorist had just shot and killed a man who wounded Trooper Edward Andersson early Thursday on Interstate 10 west of Phoenix.Brian Schober, a 44-year-old systems engineer, told The Associated Press that he saw the trooper's vehicle parked in a traffic lane marked with flares when he first came upon the nighttime scene.He said he didn't think twice about stopping when the motorist who had shot the attacker flagged him down."It looks wrong with a civilian flagging down a car when there's an officer there — something's wrong," Schober said, recalling his reaction. "But what can I do? There's no time to think."The former volunteer emergency medical technician said both wounded men were on the pavement along with a woman who authorities say was fatally injured after being ejected from the attacker's vehicle when it rolled over earlier.

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to release budget proposal

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is set to release his budget proposal as he puts firm numbers behind policies he outlined in this week's State of the State address.The budget to be revealed Friday and is expected to pump new cash into K-12 schools.Just how much the Republican governor commits to new education spending is being closely watched. He rolled out 15 new or expanded education initiatives in Monday's address to the Legislature.They included teacher raises, bonuses for teacher that commit to low-income schools and expanding all-day kindergarten.Ducey isn't expected to have a lot of free cash, with the state surplus for next year expected to be less than $50 million.The governor's office plans to live stream the 2 p.m. release. The website is www.azgovernor.gov/budget

  • Passing driver kills man who shot Arizona officer in ambush

    PHOENIX (AP) — A man who shot and wounded an Arizona state trooper along a remote highway and then started slamming the helpless officer's head into the pavement as the two struggled was shot to death by a passing driver, authorities said.Trooper Edward Andersson, a 27-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety, was shot in the right shoulder and chest early Thursday morning in what authorities called an ambush and was in serious but stable condition after surgery at a Goodyear hospital."My trooper would not be alive without his assistance," DPS Director Frank Milstead said of the driver who stopped.Arizona has a "defense of third person" law that allows someone to use deadly force against another who is threatening or injuring a third person. It was not unusual that the passing driver was armed in this gun-friendly state with loose regulations."Arizona was open-carry before it was a state," Charles Heller, co-founder of guns-rights group the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said of laws allowing people to carry firearms in public. "If you see a guy walking down the street in Tucson, Arizona, with a gun on, you don't think much of it. It's natural."The drama unfolded at an early-morning rollover wreck on Interstate 10 in the desert west of Phoenix that ejected and killed a woman. Authorities believe the man who shot Andersson was driving the car that crashed.

Nation/World

  • Trump makes his first Washington trip in weeks

    NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump is making his first Washington trip in weeks Tuesday, as his inauguration festivities approach and his focus turns to the nation's capital.Trump planned to fly in for a dinner honoring Tom Barrack, his longtime friend and head of the Inauguration Committee. The president-elect will return to New York after the dinner. He'll make his final trip to Washington on Thursday to attend a concert at the Lincoln Memorial and to stay, as is custom for incoming presidents, at Blair House, the presidential guest quarters, the night before he's sworn in.In New York on Tuesday, Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. Trump has criticized the cost of Boeing's Air Force One program."We made some great progress to refine requirements for Air Force One, to streamline the process, to streamline certain features, all of that will lead to a better airplane at a lower cost," Muilenberg said after the meeting. He said Trump "is doing a good job as an agent of business" and added that more conversations would be forthcoming. He did not set a timeline on settling on a final price tag.Trump's comments on Twitter and to news organizations threatened to overshadow the pomp and circumstance of Friday's inauguration.On Tuesday, the president-elect continued his attacks on Rep. John Lewis, whom he berated Saturday for challenging his legitimacy to be the next president. Trump said that the veteran African-American congressman from Georgia had wrongly claimed that it would be the first inauguration he's missed since 1987.

  • GM to add or keep 7,000 US jobs, make $1B factory investment

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in U.S. factories and add thousands of new white-collar jobs, measures that have been in the works for years but were announced Tuesday after criticism from President-elect Donald Trump.In all, the Detroit automaker said it will create or keep 7,000 jobs in the next few years, including about 2,000 at factories. Another 5,000 new positions will be created at its auto financing arm and to develop advanced technology, electric and autonomous vehicles and information technology.Trump has demanded the auto industry build more cars in the U.S. GM said these latest actions have been in the works since well before the election, although spokesman Patrick Morrissey acknowledged it's a good time to announce new jobs in the U.S. Trump will be sworn in as the nation's 45th president Friday."There's no question there is an emphasis on job creation in the U.S. right now," he said. "This is good timing for us to share what we are doing."Morrissey said most of the new positions would be in Michigan, with exact locations to be revealed at a later date. The long-planned new white-collar jobs will come in the next two or three years.GM said the factory investment will create or keep around 1,500 jobs at unspecified factories. In addition, 450 new pickup truck axle-making jobs that will be moved to Michigan from Mexico. GM also said an unidentified company that will make parts for the next-generation pickups will move 100 jobs from Mexico to Michigan.

  • DeVos likely to push school choice as education secretary

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Charter schools and school choice are expected to be a major focus of education policy under the new Trump administration.Betsy DeVos, Trump's choice for education secretary, has spent over two decades advocating for school choice programs, which give students and parents an alternative to traditional public school education. Her confirmation hearing was scheduled for Tuesday evening.Here is a look at the main players, concepts and controversies surrounding school choice.__CHARTER SCHOOLSCharters schools are funded with taxpayers' dollars, but run by private organizations bound by various charters. Because they are operated privately, charter schools have more freedom to choose their own curriculum, staff and budget. Charter schools have expanded dramatically in the United States over the past two decades from fewer than 2,000 schools, or 2 percent of the total number of schools across the country in 2000, to about 6,700 schools or some 7 percent in 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The number of students enrolled in charters has risen from 500,000 in 2000 to 2.7 million in 2014.

Featured columns

  • Online scammers use bait to lure victims

    “You must update your account now”, “You just won a Grand Prize,” “The IRS has a refund waiting for you,” “There’s a problem with your order,” “Here’s a 15% Coupon,” “Click Here”.Sound familiar? In the cyber world, these words are used as “bait” – lures by con artists and scammers using emails, phone calls and texts that are all designed to separate you from your cash, your passwords, your social security number, your security questions or your very identity.These kind of lures are referred to as “phishing” schemes and they work almost every single time. Cybercriminals are always concocting new and creative ways to easily trick victims into handing over their money or sensitive data. When it comes to computer safety, the main line of defense is not technology, it’s YOU!Criminals pose as a person or familiar organization that you trust and/or recognize. They may hack a friend’s computer and their email account and then send mass spam emails which appear to come from them. They may pose as your bank, a credit card company, a charity or someone in authority. Or, they may pose as a State or Gov’t agency - such as the IRS. Criminals go to great lengths to create websites that appear legitimate, but contain fake log-in pages.Just remember: No legitimate organization – not your bank, not your credit card company, not the IRS – will ever ask for sensitive information through unsecured methods, such as emails. Nor will they send unsolicited emails or make calls with threats of lawsuits, fines, arrests or jail time.Scam emails and fake websites also can infect your computer with Malware without you even knowing it. Malware often gets onto your computer by you clicking on tainted links in emails and opening up email attachments. The malware can give the criminal access to your device, enabling them to access all your sensitive files, your address book and even track your keyboard strokes, exposing login information.

  • Difference between traditional, Roth plans lies in how the money is taxed

    Looking at retirement accounts, two modifiers – “traditional” and “Roth” – dominate much of the discussion.They apply to individual retirement accounts and corporate 401(k) savings plans, as well as 403(b) savings plans for nonprofits.The difference lies in how the money is taxed:• In traditional accounts, taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn – presumably during retirement, when the account holder might be in a lower tax bracket. After age 70.5, account holders must take an annual, taxable required minimum distribution (RMD).• In Roth accounts – named for the late Sen. William Roth Jr. – the money is taxed up front, but then earns interest and appreciates tax-free.Roth accounts also have more flexible rules for withdrawals. There are no RMDs. In fact, Roth plans don’t require any withdrawals until the account holder dies.

  • Prepare for online voting for RCSCW board election

    By now, you have probably heard that Sun City West owner members will have the opportunity to vote online in our local election for the first time in the community’s nearly 40year history.This service has been a long time coming, as many of our residents have been requesting it for quite a while. But like any technological change, this one required us to overcome some internal hurdles first, which we are wrapping up this winter so everything is in place for the election.There are two primary hurdles — creating umbrella IDs for those who own more than one property and ensuring each of our owner members who wants to vote online has an email address on file for us.We are creating investor IDs for those who own multiple properties. This will not affect most of you. For those it does affect, you will see new numbering schemes for your additional properties. Also, we will not need to print additional rec cards for you, as we can look up any of your additional properties easily under the new numbering scheme.The second challenge — ensuring everyone who wants to vote online (this will be the only way to vote early) has an email on file with us.Please note, just because you have signed up to receive e-news does not mean you have registered your email for online voting. The databases are separate because our e-news requires you to opt-in through a program that keeps our e-blasts compliant with federal laws. If you are using the online golf portal, we have your email on file.

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