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This Hour: Latest Arizona news, sports, business and entertainment

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Arizona's McCain: Execution was torture

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

The Republican who represents the conservative state told Politico that he supports capital punishment for certain crimes but felt Wednesday's execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood was a "bollocks-upped situation."

The execution has renewed debate about the death penalty. But Arizona lawmakers say the debate is not likely to have an impact on practices in the state.

It took Wood nearly two hours to die after he received a lethal injection with a combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone. He spent more than 90 minutes gasping for air every five to 12 seconds before he finally stopped breathing.

Arizona has suspended executions while an investigation is conducted.


Bigger wolf habitat in Arizona, New Mexico sought

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Federal officials want to expand Mexican wolves' potential habitat beyond its current small range along the New Mexico-Arizona border.

The proposal released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would extend the territory for releasing and relocating wolves deeper into the two states and as far south as the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, the proposed habitat would stop at Interstate 40 on the north, not extending as far as the Grand Canyon region as some environmentalists and scientists advocated.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that wolves wandering north into the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff or Grand Canyon National Park and beyond would be removed.

The proposal is subject to 60 days of public comment.


Strip club endorses Democratic pastor for Congress

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona strip club has endorsed a Democratic candidate for Congress. And the candidate, Rev. Jarrett Maupin, says he's happy to have the support of The Great Alaskan Bush Company of Phoenix.

The Arizona Republic reports the strip club recently announced its endorsement on a sign that reads: "Jarrett Maupin for Congress 'The Rev.'"

Maupin, who calls himself a member of the Progressive Christian Coalition, says employees voted to back him because he supports affordable student loans and all-day kindergarten.

Maupin is running in a close race for the 7th District seat against three other Democrats to replace retiring longtime U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor.

But he can't vote for himself because he was convicted in 2009 of lying to the FBI in a case involving then-Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.


Arizona man sentenced in dog bestiality case

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona man who deputies say engaged in sex acts with a dog has been sentenced.

KTVK-TV reports that Christopher Jackson was sentenced this week for two counts of bestiality and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Maricopa County sheriff's officials say the 49-year-old Chandler resident and two women engaged in sex acts with a dog.

The bestiality investigation began after Jackson was arrested in September on aggravated assault charges in another case. Jackson allegedly branded his initials on his then-girlfriend's genitals.

Sheriff's investigators say a search of Jackson's home uncovered a video implicating him and the two women.

Investigators also reported finding a branding tool and butane torch in Jackson's house.


Rabbits' deaths at boarding facility investigated

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is investigating the deaths of two rabbits at a Gilbert pet boarding facility where more than 20 dogs died recently.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his office executed a search warrant late Thursday at the Green Acre boarding facility after a passer-by reported seeing two dead rabbits in the backyard.

Phoenix had record heat Thursday for the date - 116 degrees.

The facility is already under investigation in the dogs' deaths. They died after being kept overnight in a room where the operators said the air conditioning went off after a dog chewed through wires.

According to a search warrant document, a doctor who examined some of the dead dogs said they apparently died from heat stroke or suffocation. Tests continue into those deaths.


Police: Dad left boy, 2, alone to look for wife

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona man is facing charges after police said he left his 2-year-old son alone to look for his wife while armed.

KNXV-TV reports that Kaleb Gage Pence was arrested this week in Phoenix following a relative finding the boy alone.

According to police, the 21-year-old Pence was spotted riding his motorcycle around an apartment complex and wearing a sidearm and carrying a riffle.

Police say Pence told apartment officials he was undercover and showed a badge that said "officer."

Pence's 2-year-old son was later found home alone by Pence's grandfather.

Pence was taken into custody and faces charges of impersonating a peace officer and child abuse.

It was not known if he had an attorney.


Marshals Service: Tennessee mother, daughter found

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a missing Tennessee child and her mother have been found in northern Arizona and that the child has been reunited with her father.

The U.S. Marshals Service says 24-year-old Erin Street and her 5-year-old daughter were located in a Flagstaff women's shelter on Wednesday.

The Marshals Service says Street was sought on by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office on a felony warrant alleging custodial interference.


Obama asks Central American leaders for help

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.

He says they all have to deter the flow of children across the border because the situation is putting the children and their families at risk.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met at the White House with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Obama said children without a proper claim to stay will be returned to their countries.

He said the U.S. will turn back border crossers not because of a lack of compassion but because the U.S. is a nation of laws.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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