Top 10 Most-Read Phoenix News Stories of the Year (So Far ...)
Senator Jeff Flake
In June, Republican Senator Jeff Flake's 15-year-old son Tanner was caught playing the iPhone game "Fun Run" using the name "N1ggerKiller."
The teenager's offensive gaming screen name was just one of the offensive slurs he used. His Twitter account also includes statements of someone being a "faggot," and calling a friend a "Jew" for taking credit for good jokes. Oh yeah, he also created a video in which he pretends to commit suicide.
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The Tucson Police Department says a 22-year-old high school teacher's aide was involved in a sexual "incident" involving six male students.
Police reportedly discovered a video of the incident, which was filmed by one of the six students involved.
That teacher's aide was identified as 22-year-old Clarice Lee.
Brendan McDonough, the sole survivor of a fire disaster that killed 19 Arizona firefighters, had sincere remorse in a 2010 vehicle-burglary case, according to a probation officer's report.
The pre-sentence report depicts a motivated, young father-to-be who deserved a second chance after a crucial lapse in judgment and who fretted that his felony conviction might ruin his chance to become a full-time firefighter.
McDonough, who at 21 was an experienced team member and fire-science student, was acting as fire spotter with the Granite Mountain Hotshots just before the tragedy. It was his third season with the team.
The Gilbert mother who shoved feces in her 10-year-old son's mouth and shoved his toothbrush in his anus, among other abuses, has pleaded guilty in the case as part of a plea deal.
Jennifer Barnes pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse, but the other 11 charges were dismissed.
A Phoenix mother admitted to killing her 6-day-old baby girl because she "had too many kids already," police say.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, the woman, 36-year-old Nina Koistinen, had prior run-ins with Child Protective Services and previously had said she wanted her children "to go to heaven in a vehicle accident that appeared intentional."
According to police, Koistinen's husband found his 6-day-old daughter, Maya, unresponsive inside their home, near 56th Street and Thunderbird Road, on the morning of April 8.
Comedian Doug Stanhope, a Bisbee resident, helped raise more than $100,000 for a woman whose house was destroyed in the Oklahoma tornado this past May.
Stanhope tells New Times he started raising funds for Rebecca Vitsmun after her widely-seen interview on CNN, in which anchor Wolf Blitzer asked her if she "thank[ed] the Lord" for her family's decision to leave their house before it was destroyed by the tornado, and Vitsmun gave a response that became an instant classic -- she's actually an atheist.
Phoenix police say a man was killed on New Year's Eve after being accidentally shot by his sister, who was playing with a gun while the two were posing for photos.
Judging by the previous photo to the right of now-deceased 22-year-old Manuel Ortiz, this situation is not incredibly hard to believe.
In fact, that's just one of several Facebook pictures involving Ortiz and guns willingly held to his own head.
In March, a Phoenix woman was accused of shoving a vibrator into her 2-year-old son's anus, and doctors told police that surgery would be required to remove it.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, 21-year-old Rickesha Burns called police reporting that her son was bleeding from his anus.
Burns said she didn't know what happened.
We all know the Danish tale about the emperor whose men and subjects stroke him in admiration over his new clothes. Of course, as the story goes, the emperor is actually naked.
Instead of questioning the obvious, everyone basks in a collective ignorance. Until a little boy in the crowd shouts that the emperor has no clothes.
This past January, the Reverend Al Sharpton was that little boy -- exposing Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's vacant rhetoric about President Barack Obama acting like a "king" and "dictator." Sharpton also revealed the nonsense of Babeu's pledge to defy what the sheriff describes as Obama's unconstitutional executive orders regarding gun control.
An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for the current session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads.
Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his "secular humanist tradition" and even quoted author Carl Sagan.
"Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads," Mendez said. "I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state."
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