Hot Links: Speeding Tickets, Shootings, and Unemployment

The Department of Public Safety is considering lowering fines for criminal-speeding tickets. Because of budget cuts, the DPS says it doesn't have enough officers to enforce the criminal tickets, and recommends all tickets be reduced to civil violations. That means all fines would run about $180, as opposed to the $235 base fine for a criminal-speeding ticket...Two suspects are at large after a man was shot in the stomach in south Phoenix. Police say there was an argument at the La Bamba bar, and the altercation led to the shooting. After chasing down a vehicle that turned out to be stolen, police were told by witnesses that the occupants were not involved in the shooting. The suspects at large are described as two Hispanic males...The Pinal County Sheriff's Office at the San Tan Valley substation has closed but will be reopening at a new location next month. The new facility, in the Fry's Shopping Plaza at Combs and Gantzel roads, will open March 6, and will include an interview room and secure detention area...

More than 82,000 Arizonans are on unemployment, and their long-term benefits could end if the U.S. Senate doesn't pass a benefits-extension bill. The bill is expected to pass, but cancellation notices warning that March 6 could be the final payout may hit mailboxes as early as Thursday. Extended unemployment benefits were originally set to expire on December 31...Police say a Buckeye man shot his teenage neighbor and raised his rifle at Maricopa County sheriff's deputies. The man, in his 50s or 60s, then barricaded himself in a storage unit. The teenager was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening leg wound; the suspected shooter was found dead inside the storage unit after several hours...A police helicopter reportedly made an emergency landing in a Phoenix neighborhood Tuesday night. The pilot landed in the area of 12th street and Northern Avenue after seeing an overheating oil light. Mechanics are investigating the problem. No injuries were reported, and traffic was not affected. 

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea