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9:18 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Arizona in Brief: Ex-town clerk gets prison for stealing $32K from Pinetop-Lakeside

Leah Chavez (Arizona Attorney General's Office)

Leah Chavez (Arizona Attorney General's Office)

Ex-clerk gets prison for stealing $32K from Pinetop-Lakeside

PINETOP-LAKESIDE, (AP) — A former town clerk of Pinetop-Lakeside who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $32,000 from the eastern Arizona town has been sentenced to one year in prison.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday that 40-year-old Leah Chavez also must pay full restitution to Pinetop-Lakeside and be on probation for four years after serving her prison term.

A state grand jury indicted Chavez last August on 10 felony counts including theft, forgery and misuse of public monies.

She was arrested in the case last month and pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors say Chavez charged more than $16,000 on a Pinetop-Lakeside credit card in 2016 to pay for personal expenses such as shopping, car payments and home landscaping.

She also was accused of stealing more than $15,000 in cash from the town.

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Joseph Casey (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Autopsy: No sign of foul play on body found at Lake Pleasant

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say there was no signs of foul play or trauma on the body of a man found at Lake Pleasant near Phoenix and the tentative manner of death is accidental.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials say 34-year-old Joseph Casey was reported missing on June 21 after his car broke down at the lake about 35 miles or 57 kilometers northwest of Phoenix.

He reportedly was seen getting into a vehicle and trying to get a ride out of the desert to get help.

The decomposed body was found July 6 and the county Medical Examiner’s Office identified it as Casey’s on Monday.

Authorities announced Wednesday that an autopsy shows heat exposure was a significant factor in Casey’s death.

Toxicology results haven’t been released yet by the medical examiner’s

office.

Phoenix airport offers biometric scanners to shorten wait

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is integrating biometric technology that will ease the wait time for travelers willing to pay a fee.

Biometric screening company Clear unveiled kiosks with fingerprint and iris scanners Wednesday inside Terminal 4.

The privately-run scanners will be made available at some point at the other terminals.

Clear officials say passengers with a membership will move through a separate line where their identities would be verified with “the tap of a finger or blink of the eye.”

But they would still have to go through bag checks and metal detectors.

Annual membership costs $179. An additional family member can be added for $50 per year. Children under the age of 18 can enroll for free.

Sky Harbor is the 25th airport nationwide where Clear operates.

Strong winds severely damage 4 SRP transmission towers

WINTERSBURG (AP) — Four big electrical transmission towers on metro Phoenix’s far western outskirts must be replaced after being severely damaged by high winds.

Salt River Project spokeswoman Patty Garcia-Likens says the towers were damaged Sunday night by winds that may have topped 90 mph or 145 kph.

Jeral Estupinan, head of the National Weather Service’s Phoenix office, says the area’s radar coverage isn’t optimal but that 42 mph winds were reported 10 miles from the towers.

Garcia-Likens says the towers support SRP lines that connect with the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station but that SRP system redundancies meant that the damage didn’t affect customers or Palo Verde.

Garcia-Likens says crews have begun work to erect temporary replacement structures and that permanent replacements will be put up by early winter.