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Sheriff's Cop Runneth Over
The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy was alcoholically impaired when he struck and killed a pedestrian with his car on the evening of Saturday, April 20. But DPS investigators decided that the deputy, Detective Thomas Shorts, wasn't at fault. After all, one doesn't expect to find scantily clad pedestrians on Interstate 10.

Shorts was heading westbound on I-10 at Ray Road when his Chevrolet hit Cedric Hall, who was on foot in the slow lane. Hall was thrown up and over the car, damaging the Chevy's windshield. DPS says Hall died instantly from head trauma. The investigators report that the victim was wearing only a pair of pants that were hanging around his ankles.

Although DPS says Shorts wasn't at fault in the accident, it still arrested him for driving while impaired. Shorts hasn't been formally charged with anything, however, because the results of his blood test won't be available for a month. In the meantime, Shorts is back on the job--at least, that is, until the county attorney receives a report of the incident from DPS. Sheriff's spokesman Sergeant John Kleinheinz says no disciplinary action against Shorts will be considered until it's known whether the county attorney plans to file charges.

Little is known about Hall. DPS says the 28-year-old's last known address was in San Diego. Hall's body was shipped to Alabama, where he has relatives.

Apparently, Hall's death wasn't the uppermost thing in Shorts' mind after the accident. When DPS officer Randy Reaves questioned the detective about a woman at the accident scene who appeared to be injured, Shorts said that she had been hurt in another, unrelated accident. But upon questioning the woman, Reaves discovered that she had, in fact, been Shorts' passenger. The Flash has a word of caution for Detective Shorts: It's not nice to lie to cops.

It Can't Be Unpatriotic, It's an Ad
Sharp-eyed motorists might have wondered last week if Norwest Bank was firing a salvo in favor of freedom of expression in the debate over the use of the American flag in art. A billboard facing southbound traffic on the Black Canyon Freeway depicted an Old Glory in the shape of a checkbook, with a pen lying on top of it. Above this subversive image ran the legend: "Home of the Free."

By late last week, however, this ad had been replaced by one depicting a plain blue checkbook, also with a pen--this one read "Free Checking. Honest." According to Norwest marketing director Steve Thompson, neither the initial billboard nor the revision had anything to do with the flap over the flag exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum.

"It was taken down because it went up too early. The billboard company had it ready before we were ready for it to go up," Thompson says. The Stars-and-Stripes checkbook will be back, he says, around Memorial Day. "We're giving away checkbook covers with the American flag on them. Our campaign with the flag is in part to offer that account, but mainly it's to celebrate the flag."

Tell it to the American Legion, pal.

Execs Rotten to Decor
Governor J. Fife Symington III and America West CEO William A. Franke are pals. One of their many shared ambitions is to have the swankest executive suites in Arizona.

The Fifester's $1.7 million remodeling project features a marble spiral staircase. The Flash hasn't seen the executive offices of America West in Tempe--unlike the Governor's Office, the airline isn't required to disclose its decorating expenses--but airline officials confirm that they've remodeled parts of their headquarters, including the second floor, where the executive offices are located.

America West spokesguy Gus Whitcomb and senior vice president C.A. Howlett were nearly speechless when a New Times reporter inquired about the refurbishment. Whitcomb says the remodeling was necessary because a bigger boardroom was needed, and the landlord paid part of the expenses.

Whitcomb says, "I don't know who your source is, but I think that if you were ever to visit the offices you'd see that 'opulent' is far from an accurate description of the executive floor."

Funny. That's just what the Fifester's flacks said.
Feed The Flash: voice, 229-8486; fax, 340-8806; online, flash@newtimes.com


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