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Briefs | Arizona reports 423 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths

Arizona reported 423 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, June 16. State Health Director Dr. Cara Christ is pictured. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

Arizona reported 423 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, June 16. State Health Director Dr. Cara Christ is pictured. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

PHOENIX – Arizona authorities on Tuesday reported 423 additional COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths from the virus. In all, Arizona has reported 887,569 cases and 17,779 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

The number of people statewide hospitalized because of COVID-19 is 509. Of those, 120 are patients in the ICU.

As for vaccinations, more than 6.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in Arizona to date. More than 3.4 million individuals, or 48% of the eligible population, have gotten at least one dose. More than 3 million have been fully vaccinated.

Reginald Bolding joins race for Arizona Secretary of State

PHOENIX (AP) – House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding announced Monday that he's running for Arizona Secretary of State.

Bolding, a Democrat, has represented District 27 since 2015 and was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014.

He's entering a growing field of candidates seeking to replace Katie Hobbs, who has been Secretary of State since 2019 and announced her run for governor earlier this month.

Five Republicans already have announced their candidacy for Secretary of State including state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale and Rep. Mark Finchem who represents parts of Pinal and Pima counties.

Former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, announced his candidacy for Secretary of State last week.

Fontes said in a tweet Monday that he welcomed “Bolding’s voice as a leader for the people in his district.”

Bolding, a staunch supporter of voter rights, opposed a recent measure passed by the Legislature that allows the removal of people from Arizona’s Permanent Early Voting List if they didn’t cast a ballot in the two previous voting cycles.

4 dead after head-on crash of big rig, car near Wickenburg

WICKENBURG (AP) – Four people were killed and another seriously injured after a passenger car collided head-on with a big rig near Wickenburg early Monday, authorities said.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said the crash occurred about 12:30 a.m. after the car reportedly swerved into the path of the semi-truck on U.S. 93 northwest of Wickenburg.

They said the driver and three passengers in the car died at the scene and a fourth passenger was hospitalized while the semi-truck driver suffered minor injuries.

The names, ages and hometowns of the four people killed weren’t immediately released.

DPS officials said the crash closed U.S. 93 between Interstate 40 and State Route 71 for about six hours.

Wickenburg is about 54 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Body of man who may have drowned in Salt River is recovered

PHOENIX – The body of a man who may have drowned in the Salt River last weekend has been recovered, authorities said Monday.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials said the man was swimming with friends near Water Users Recreation Site in Tonto Basin around 2 p.m. Sunday and went under the water and never resurfaced.

Teams of deputies searched for the man by air, ground and boat before drivers took over and the body was the body was recovered Sunday night.

The name of the man wasn’t immediately released Monday. The Water Users Recreation Site has been popular with kayakers and tubers for decades.

Navajo Nation reports only 1 new COVID-19 case, no deaths

WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation is reporting only one new COVID-19 case and no deaths.

Tribal health officials said it only confirmed one case as of Monday night.

The total number of virus-related deaths on the Navajo Nation remains 1,340. The total number of reported cases stands at 30,927.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says the mask mandate will remain in place, especially as concern grows over virus variants.

More than half of residents on the reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah eligible to get vaccinated are fully vaccinated. Health facilities offer vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment.

Judge OKs $15M settlement over rape of incapacitated woman

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has approved a $15 million settlement against a doctor in a lawsuit filed by the parents of an incapacitated woman who was sexually assaulted and later gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care center, marking the last of several deals to resolve legal claims over the rape.

The settlement made on behalf of Dr. Phillip Gear, who cared for the woman for 26 years while she lived at Hacienda Healthcare, was deemed reasonable Thursday by a judge. Gear’s insurer, however, has argued it has no obligation to pay the amount, arguing in part that the doctor’s policy didn’t cover claims arising out of a sexual act.

Other settlements were previously made over the sexual assault. The state of Arizona, which contracts with companies like Hacienda to provide services to people with developmental disabilities, settled the case with the family last summer for $7.5 million.

Dr. Thanh Nguyen, who cared for the woman in the months before the surprise birth in December 2018, and a medical group also resolved claims against them last summer for an undisclosed amount. And Hacienda Healthcare agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount before the woman’s parents filed their lawsuit in late 2019.

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