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‘Brutal’: Record-setting heat wave hits Arizona in the first week of June

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‘Brutal’: Record-setting heat wave hits Arizona in the first week of June


PHOENIX (AZFamily/AP) — Phoenix set a record high temperature on Thursday, followed by a record high low temperature on Friday.

“When we see those maximum numbers happening more frequently we do need to pay attention to that because that means it can happen again,” said Arizona State Climatologist Erinanne Saffell.

Since Arizona began measuring temperatures in 1895, Saffell says the average temperature has risen about 2.5 degrees.

A study published this week found that the earth is warming at a record rate.

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The group of 57 scientists from around the world used United Nations-approved methods to examine what’s behind last year’s deadly burst of heat.

They said even with a faster warming rate, they don’t see evidence of significant acceleration in human-caused climate change beyond increased fossil fuel burning.

The start to June for Phoenix this year was the third hottest in recorded history.

“It feels like it’s getting a lot hotter, a lot hotter than last year,” said Gabriel, an Arizona native.

As for what’s expected for the whole summer? Soffell actually has some good news.

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“It’s going to be hot, but I don’t expect it to be as hot as it was last July for example when we were breaking records all over the place,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Arizona

Family believes their mother died from Arizona's heat after her car broke down

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Family believes their mother died from Arizona's heat after her car broke down


Heat deaths in Maricopa County have reached six so far this year, and another 87 are under investigation.

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A family believes one of those victims was their mother who died after her car broke down on a day when the high reached 112 degrees.

After living in the Valley for two decades, the family of Angela Dwight believe she underestimated how far she was from home, especially in this Arizona summer heat.

Saturday, June 15, started out like any other day for Angela. She was working the morning shift as the head line cook at Denny’s, something she’s done for five years.

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She was heading home when she got a flat tire.

“We had gotten a text from her just saying she was upset. They didn’t have a spare, and she was like, ‘just deal with the tow truck, and I’m going to walk home, I’m going to get home.’ And then that’s the last we heard from her,” Maddie Dwight, her daughter, said.

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Her daughter Lillian Dwight was at work as the afternoon hours went by. When the sun went down, she knew something was wrong.

“I got home, and I just saw my dad pacing about, like, ‘I’m really concerned. I’m really worried. I’m afraid she’s not OK,’” Lillian said.

She called 911 and the search began. The Goodyear Police Department sent out patrol cars, drones and K-9 officers, using Angela’s clothes for her scent.

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“It just kept escalating and escalating until eventually they got a helicopter and even that didn’t pan out,” Lillian said.

The family believes Angela’s phone died because her location stopped pinging.

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“We have her on the Life360 app or her location. It had stopped at a certain point, which was helpful for trying to find her, but after that and nobody could call, her phone would go straight to voicemail,” Maddie explained.

Angela’s body was found the next morning, on June 16.

“We’ve lived here our whole lives, and we hear all this about the heat. Every year it’s so brutal. And, you know, she just probably wasn’t thinking. I mean, the heat makes you do crazy things,” Maddie said.

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Her daughters want to keep other families from experiencing this pain.

CLICK HERE FOR HEAT RELIEF TIPS FROM MARICOPA COUNTY

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“Always have supplies and just a backup plan because she doesn’t have one. And that’s where it ultimately fell apart,” Lillian said.

Her kids say her car didn’t have air conditioning, and she was in her work uniform – black long sleeves and pants – which they believe contributed to her death.

Click here to help the family by donating to their GoFundMe.

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Arizona Transportation Board approves plan to improve highways

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Arizona Transportation Board approves plan to improve highways


PHOENIX — The Arizona Transportation Board has approved a five-year transportation facilities construction program plan that will run from 2025-29.

The program will bring pavement and bridge improvements and expand several highways across the state, according to a press release.

The $8.2 billion program puts importance on improving highway pavement and bridge infrastructure throughout greater Arizona that includes areas outside of Maricopa and Pima Counties.

The plan provides more than $2.5 billion for these improvements during the next five years. This amounts to an average investment of $500 million per year to preserve, rehabilitate and replace pavement and bridges, according to a release.

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The program provides $800 million over five years for projects that improve highway safety, efficiency and functionality, such as intersection improvements, smart technology, freight mobility and signs, signals and lighting.

Which highways will see improvement?

The plan will allocate $780 million for projects that widen highways or improve interchanges across the state, including:

  • Improving the US 93 between Wickenburg and I-40 in Kingman, including expanding three segments of the highway from two to four lanes. The US 93 improvements include the widening project near Wickenburg, along with new projects near Cane Springs, Vista Royale and Big Jim Wash.

  • Widening the two-lane section of State Route 260 in the Lion Springs area between Payson and Heber-Overgaard. This will complete a four-lane divided highway along the SR 260 corridor.

  • Constructing a new I-40 interchange at Rancho Santa Fe Parkway in Kingman.

In Maricopa County, the program will provide $2 billion in construction projects in conjunction with the Maricopa Association of Governments. Those projects include:

  • Widening Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande. The I-10 Wild Horse Pass Corridor will have four projects, including the construction of the I-10 Bridges over the Gila River that began this spring.

  • Extending Loop 303 between Van Buren Street and Maricopa County 85.

  • Providing new HOV ramp connections between I-10 and Loop 101.

  • Reconstructing the intersection of Grand Avenue, 35th Avenue and Indian School Road to separate traffic.

In Pima County, in coordination with the Pima Association of Governments, the program includes $849 million toward:

  • Improvements to I-10: Kino to Country Club, which includes building a new interchange at I-10 and Country Club Road, reconstructing the interchange at Kino Parkway and widening I-10 in the area.

  • Reconstructing the I-19 interchange at Irvington Road.

The program also includes $57 million for airport projects throughout Arizona, according to the release.

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More information on the program is online.

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Ranking Cardinals Extension Candidates

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Ranking Cardinals Extension Candidates


ARIZONA — The Arizona Cardinals approach 2024 as a year with potential to continue their well-documented rebuild under the guidance of general manager Monti Ossenfort, a process that began with a 4-13 mark after the dust settled in 2023.

Several big names have departed and tough decisions have been made across the board to set Arizona up for future success. Those evaluations and conversations will continue into training camp, preseason and eventual regular season play for the Cardinals – who now have a healthy Kyler Murray at the helm.

There’s a handful of big names set to depart from Arizona after 2024, and it’ll be quite interesting to see how the Cardinals handle those respective players and storylines that follow possible extensions.

Here’s our list of top extension candidates for Ossenfort to mull over as we approach the dog days of summer

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