Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014

Two women who were married in downtown Phoenix the day gay marriage was legalized in the state.
Two women who were married in downtown Phoenix the day gay marriage was legalized in the state.
Ray Stern

2014 was a big year for Phoenix news.

Below, check out the 10 biggest stories of the year:

10.) Green Acre Dog Deaths

Jesse and Maleisa Hughes, the owners of Green Acre Dog Boarding.
Jesse and Maleisa Hughes, the owners of Green Acre Dog Boarding.

It wasn't just the fact that 23 dogs died at a boarding facility in Gilbert this year, but the story evolved as four people involved with the facility were hit with criminal charges, including the son of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. Charges were dropped against the senator's son and daughter-in-law, due to possibly misleading testimony being given to the grand jury.

9.) Valley-Wide Flooding

Flooding on Interstate 10.
Flooding on Interstate 10.
ADOT

Phoenix faced the storm of the century this year, as a record amount of rainfall led to widespread flooding around the Valley.   8.) Execution of Joseph Wood

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
Matthew Hendley

Using a new mixture of lethal-injection drugs, it took two hours for the state to execute convicted murderer Joseph Wood earlier this year. The execution process went on for so long that an emergency court hearing was convened in an effort to end the execution. Wood eventually did die, although an independent report into the execution left the most important questions unanswered.

7.) Arpaio Taken Out of the Immigration Business

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
MCSO

A series of lawsuits and court decisions have essentially taken Sheriff Joe Arpaio out of the immigration business. Late last year, Arpaio's office was banned from racially profiling Latinos, effectively shutting down his infamous sweeps. Then, this year, the court's killed Arizona's "self-smuggling" law, which Arpaio utilized, then another lawsuit caused Arpaio to disband his Criminal Employment Unit, which notoriously raided businesses around the county to arrest undocumented immigrant employees.   6.) Doug Ducey Elected Governor

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
Matthew Hendley

Despite bringing significant baggage to the job, Republican Doug Ducey was easily elected governor in November.

5.) Killing of Rumain Brisbon

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
Dennis Gilman

In the wake of the Michael Brown killing by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, people in Phoenix protested after a white Phoenix police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man.   4.) SB 1062

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
Andrew Pielage

A bill thought by many to be anti-gay sparked huge protests at the state capitol, ultimately leading Governor Jan Brewer to veto the legislation.

3.) DREAMers Allowed to Drive

Last year, Governor Jan Brewer prevented young immigrants granted deportation relief by the Obama Administration from getting driver's licenses in Arizona. This year, those DREAMers are getting driver's licenses after the courts put a temporary ban on Brewer's executive order.   2.) Gay Marriage Legalized

Top 10 Phoenix News Stories of 2014
New Times

Since it was only a few years ago that Arizona voters easily approved a ban on gay marriage, it seemed that same-sex marriage in the state was years away. That turned out to not be the case, after a series of court rulings legalized gay marriage in Arizona.

1.) Arpaio Digs a Deeper Hole for Himself in Court

MCSO Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz.
MCSO Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz.

Last year, it seemed like the worst for Sheriff Joe Arpaio had already come in his racial-profiling case, in which the federal judge found that MCSO did indeed racially profile, and mandated dozens of changes to how MCSO operates. That court case has actually gotten worse for Arpaio, as he's now edging near criminal contempt charges, and one deputy's suicide has opened a door to a world of corruption at MCSO.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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