/ Modified oct 27, 2020 4:30 p.m.

News roundup: Poll shows Biden has slight lead in AZ, local temperatures take sudden dip

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, Oct. 27.

Cases 240,122 | Deaths 5,891

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Arizona reported 1,157 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths.

Poll shows Democratic candidates have slight lead in AZ


A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by four points in Arizona. Biden and Trump polled 49-46, respectively. A poll from the same company earlier this month showed Biden with the same 49 points but Trump down by five instead of four. The difference seems to have come from voters abandoning the Libertarian candidate.

OH Predictive Insights also polled voters on the race for U.S. Senate Democrat Mark Kelly leads that race 50-45. That’s the same 5-point margin he led by earlier this month.

According to pollsters, 60% of the people polled had already voted. The poll has a 3.7% margin of error.

Arizona officials say Tuesday last day to mail ballots


PHOENIX — Arizona voters who have mail-in ballots still sitting on their kitchen table are being advised to put them in the mail by Tuesday if they want assurances they’ll make it to county election officials by Election Day. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to be counted. There’s no postage required for early ballots.

After Tuesday, voters are urged to drop their ballots off at an official drop box, county recorders office or a polling place. Locations can be found on the Arizona.vote website. An historic number of early ballots have already been returned.

Learn more here.

Your Vote 2020
Read more coverage of national, Arizona, and local elections at our 2020 elections portal, Your Vote 2020.

Local temperatures take sudden dip


Tucson's weather has swung from hot to cold in record time. The National Weather Service reports Tuesday morning's low of 32 degrees came just 11 days after the temperature last hit 100 degrees. Usually it takes three weeks or longer for temperatures to change that drastically.

Meteorologist Emily Carpenter says tonight's temperatures will also dip down into freezing territory.

"It's not going to be a widespread event. We kind of just want to cover the areas near washes that may dip in or around that 30- to 32-degree mark,” Carpenter said.

Outside the Tucson metro area, a "hard freeze" warning is forecast for parts of Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, meaning temperatures there may dip to 28 degrees overnight.

Despite the early freeze this year, Carpenter said Tucson may be in for a winter that's drier and warmer than usual, thanks to warm ocean currents in the Pacific, known as "La Niña."

Sonoran Trans Community, Allies Take To Hermosillo's Streets In First Pride March

Fronteras Desk

Transgender Sonorans and their allies took the streets of the Sonoran capital Hermosillo on Sunday during the community’s first ever pride march.

The historic march also came several weeks after the Sonoran Congress approved a measure allowing Sonorans to change their names and genders on official documents. That reform had been pushed by Sonora Trans, the organizer of Sunday’s march.

“We were really afraid that because it was first big trans pride march, that there wouldn’t be a response” to the call to march, said Alejandra Dominguez, vice president of Sonora Trans. “But we were surprised.”

She estimated that around 150 people showed up. Celebrating the reform’s passage was one purpose of the march, but so was demanding greater inclusion from Sonoran society, according to Dominguez.

Arizona reports 1,157 additional virus cases, 16 more deaths


PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Tuesday reported 1,157 additional known coronavirus cases and 16 additional deaths amid a continuing rise in cases. The state’s total cases rose to 240,122 and 5,891 deaths.

As of Monday, 861 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. Hospitalizations have ticked up to levels last seen in late August when Arizona was a national virus hotspot. Johns Hopkins University data shows the rolling seven-day averages for cases and test positivity also rose over the past two weeks.

Learn more here.

Navajo Nation: No new COVID-19 deaths for 7th day in a row


WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 63 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but no additional deaths for the seventh consecutive day. The latest figures released Monday bring the total number of cases to nearly 11,362 with the known death toll remaining at 574.

Tribal health officials say 121,827 people on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic started. In that same time, nearly 7,500 have recovered.

A shelter-in-place order, mask mandate, daily curfews and weekend lockdowns remain in effect on the Navajo Nation.

Learn more here.

Arizona Supreme Court explains education tax ruling


PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court says a trial court judge misconstrued an earlier court ruling when he blocked a voter initiative over the summer that the high court later revived.

The high court on Monday issued a written ruling explaining its reasons for reinstating the Invest in Education Act to the November ballot. It will appear as Proposition 208. The high court said the judge went much further than it intended in a 2018 ruling that blocked a similar initiative from appearing on that year's ballot.

The court also issued guidance clarifying how courts should review similar challenges in the future.

Learn more here.

Arizona education board makes Holocaust learning requirement


PHOENIX — The Arizona State Board of Education has voted to make learning about the Holocaust and other genocides a requirement for middle and high school students across the state, mirroring proposed legislation that failed.

KJZZ-FM reported that the board has added these subjects to the minimum course of study and competency goals and graduation requirements for Arizona students. Previously, these subjects were part of the board’s History and Social Science standards.

The House bill, sponsored in part by Aaron Lieberman, was introduced earlier this year but didn't go anywhere after the coronavirus pandemic cut short the legislative session.

Learn more here.

Phoenix mayor allegedly threatened; Given extra protection


PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has been provided extra protection after allegedly being threatened by a member of the city’s police department. A statement issued Tuesday by Gallego’s office said “the mayor’s office is aware of a credible threat made by a member of the Phoenix Police Department to harm the mayor. We are also aware an investigation is underway. Additional police protection has been provided to the mayor.”

Gallego has been Phoenix’s mayor since March 2019 and is up for reelection next month. Phoenix police say a criminal investigation is being conducted by Tempe police while the Phoenix Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau conducts the internal investigation. They say while the investigation is ongoing, the involved officer has been assigned to home.

Voting by mail isn't so easy on Native American reservations


MISSION, S.D. — Native American voting advocates say the slow-moving nature of mail on large reservations puts the people who live there at a disadvantage to getting their votes counted. They have launched a series of legal challenges in several states to gain accommodations for reservation voters, but with the election only days away, they are pressing people to figure out how to get their ballot counted as the coronavirus upends life in Native American communities.

As coronavirus cases surge across the Dakotas and Montana, voting groups have tried to get creative as they dodge the virus.

Learn more here.

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