Arizona

3:31am

Sat August 24, 2013
Law

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:32 am

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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7:42am

Mon August 19, 2013
Wildfires

In West’s Expanding Tinderbox, Questions About Development

Flames remain after the Black Forest Fire destroys a home June 12. The fire destroyed 509 homes, surpassing the Waldo Canyon Fire at 342 homes, as the most destructive fire in Colorado history.
Sgt. William Smith Fort Carson PAO - Creative Commons

9:25am

Sun August 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Family Rescued In Pacific After Sailing 'Where God Led Us'

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 12:59 pm

The Gastonguays hoped to reach the vast archipelago nation of Kiribati, part of which is shown in this 2001 photo.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

A leap of faith that sent an Arizona family bound for the South Pacific in a sailboat has returned them in an airplane after a harrowing ordeal at sea that saw them adrift and nearly out of food in one of the remotest stretches of ocean on the planet.

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1:58pm

Wed August 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Arizona Firefighter's Widow May Fight City Over Benefits

Juliann Ashcraft, wife of late firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, receives a U.S. flag during a memorial service in July. Ashcraft says the city has refused to pay full benefits for her husband's death, calling him a seasonal employee.
David Kadlubowski AP

The widow of a man who died fighting a wildfire this summer as part of a "hotshots" team based in Prescott, Ariz., says her attempts to be paid her late husband's lifetime benefits have been denied. The city's explanation is that Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was a seasonal employee, Juliann Ashcraft said Wednesday.

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3:11pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Around the Nation

From Cops To Lawyers, Indian Country Copes With High Crime

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Tuba City, Ariz., corrections supervisor Robbin Preston in front of the new jail on the Navajo Nation. The recidivism rate was so high, Preston couldn't keep track of it.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Arizona's Monument Valley is known for its red sandstone buttes and spires, but now it's notorious for something else: crime. The Navajo Nation is one of the most violent reservations in the country. According to FBI reports, over the past five years, more rapes were reported on the Navajo Nation than in San Diego, Detroit or Denver, among other cities.

The U.S. attorney's office tries to take on the most violent crimes, but it often lacks enough evidence to prosecute. And because of antiquated tribal codes, Navajo courts can only order someone to serve one year in jail.

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