KNAU and Arizona News

Ryan Heinsius

UPDATE, 5:40 p.m. MST:

Authorities have identified a man they say was killed by police after firing a series of shots in Flagstaff and threatening people.

The shooting of 26-year-old Verl Bedonie happened during the Monday morning commute in a residential area a few blocks from downtown Flagstaff.

Police Sgt. Margaret Bentzen says Bedonie repeatedly ignored commands to drop his weapon.

At one point, she says Bedonie tried to carjack a vehicle and held the driver at gunpoint, demanding he be taken to Phoenix.

ArizonaLeisure.com

Tonto National Forest officials have issued a temporary closure at the Pioneer Pass Campground in the Pinal Mountains because of repeated bear sightings.

Forest officials announced Thursday that the area closure order is effective immediately.

They say the purpose of the closure order is to protect visitors, employees and contractors while Arizona Game and Fish workers try to capture a bear that has been hanging around the area.

The closed area includes the Pioneer Pass Recreation Area and all associated parking areas, bathrooms and developed recreation sites.

Melissa Sevigny

Ponderosa pine seedlings are more likely to sprout and thrive in mechanically thinned forests, a new study out of Flagstaff finds.


Mark Henle/The Republic

A ruling by a federal judge keeps in play a temporary ban on executions in Arizona.

But it also lets condemned prisoners press forward with a lawsuit protesting the way the state has used the death penalty.

A 27-page ruling Wednesday night by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dismissed parts of a suit by seven death-row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona.

It seeks more transparency in the state's execution process and comes as Arizona is facing difficulties in getting lethal-injection drugs.

John Kees

Hundreds of miles of open land in Arizona are being replaced by human development. That’s according to analysis by the think-tank, Center For American Progress. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports.

A former Navajo Nation lawmaker convicted in a scheme to divert tribal funds to his children has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Mel Begay was taken into custody immediately following Tuesday's hearing in Window Rock District Court.

His sentence also included nearly $38,000 in fines and restitution and 1,000 hours of community service.

A jury convicted Begay earlier this year on 10 criminal counts in an investigation into the Navajo Nation Council's use of a now-defunct discretionary fund.

12News

The fate of a plan that would pump $3.5 billion in new money into Arizona's K-12 school system over 10 years was hanging by a thread late Tuesday.

Voters statewide were backing Proposition 123 by slightly more than the 50 percent it needs to win. Maricopa County and many smaller counties had completed counts of Election Day ballots late in the night.

That means final results won't be known until Wednesday at the earliest, and likely later in the week.

NPS

The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has announced his retirement. Dave Uberuaga will step down next month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes after a federal investigation of sexual abuse within the park’s river district.

A federal judge has dismissed two counts in a lawsuit the Navajo Nation filed against clothing retailer Urban Outfitters Inc.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Black in New Mexico says the tribe didn't show that the "Navajo" mark is famous.

Black wrote Friday that few courts have found trademarks to qualify as "famous." The legal definition must be met to move forward with federal and state dilution claims.

Black says the "Navajo" trademark is more of a niche and not recognized as a household name in the United States.

Northern Arizona University will become a smoke- and tobacco-free campus beginning July 1.

NAU President Rita Cheng made the announcement Thursday.

She says the initiative reflects the school's strong commitment to wellness and public health and to create a healthy environment for students and staff.

Cheng says NAU's current policies prohibit smoking inside university buildings and vehicles.

But they don't address the health risks associated with secondhand smoke or the environmental issues caused by tobacco products.

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