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Tue, Dec. 07

Briefs | Unlicensed Phoenix dentist arrested again in Yavapai County

BLACK CANYON CITY, Ariz. – A dentist previously charged with doing illegal dental work in the Phoenix area has been arrested for the same crime in a neighboring county.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said 69-year-old Denis Froehlich was taken into custody Thursday night at his Black Canyon City home for practicing dentistry without a license and aggravated assault. His wife was also arrested.

A search warrant for the home turned up weapons, meth and heroin-related items and dental items including Novocain.

The couple are being held at a Camp Verde jail. It wasn’t immediately known Friday if they had an attorney.

Authorities say two victims accused Froehlich of leaving them disfigured and in serious pain. Froehlich touted himself as a retired dentist who could work out of his home.

One victim said Froehlich removed 13 teeth and the other said he put in 11 dental crowns. In both cases, he allegedly refused to complete the work.

Sheriff’s deputies learned Froehlich was on probation for committing similar acts on an elderly man in Maricopa County. In 2019, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office charged him with fraud and working unlicensed.

Froehlich’s license was pulled in 2013 for failing to respond to the state dentistry board about accusations of patient abandonment and substance abuse.

Man stuck in Arizona storm drain saved after he waves arm

GLENDALE – A man who got stuck inside a metro Phoenix storm drain was rescued on Thursday after people passing by saw the man waving his arm from the drain, officials said.

The people stopped to see if the man needed help, Glendale Fire Department spokeswoman Ashley Losch said, and man inside the drain "said he was stuck so they called 911."

The man appeared OK after he climbed up a ladder that firefighters lowered into the drain but was taken to a hospital for a thorough examination, Losch said.

The man told firefighters he was having a “bad day" when he entered into the storm drain system about two days ago at a park about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from where he was found, but authorities couldn't confirm his account, Losch said.

The name of the man, said to be in his 30s, was not made public.

Losch said some sections of storm drains are particularly dangerous because they have low oxygen levels.

Arizona Supreme Court OKs wastewater districts consolidation

PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld utility regulators’ decision to allow consolidation of several communities into a single wastewater service district with rate increases or decreases in different parts of the new district to make them uniform.

The justices’ ruling Friday said rates approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission for the consolidated district don’t violate a state constitutional provision barring discrimination in rates paid by customers and locations in similar circumstances.

The case involved districts in Maricopa and Mohave counties that EPCOR Water Arizona Inc. consolidated into one district.

The Sun City Home Owners Association and a state consumer advocacy agency had intervened in the regulatory case, opposing full consolidation and pushing to keep separate rates for the service areas.

The Sun City group appealed the commission’s decision to the state Court of Appeals. It ruled for the commission and said the commission properly considered the case and that the approved rates weren’t discriminatory.

The Supreme Court agreed but overturned with the lower court’s finding that the commission’s acts should be presumed to be constitutional.

2 shot dead in argument among neighbors on suburban street

MESA – Police say an argument among neighbors erupted in violence in a suburban Phoenix community, resulting in the shooting deaths of two people on a residential sidewalk.

Mesa Police Department said Friday that 41-year-old Justin Keith Peterson was arrested in connection with the killing of 39-year-old Ivana D. Liversedge during the argument shortly before midnight Thursday.

Police are still investigating the killing of a second person, 54-year-old Shawn M Conner. He was also shot on the sidewalk during the late night argument.

Liversedge and Conner were acquaintances who got into an argument with Peterson and his wife before the shooting occurred.

Police said Peterson’s wife at this point is considered only a witness.

A charging document filed in the court case against Peterson said investigators were told he had been involved in a casual romantic relationship with one of the victims and a witness to the shootings.

The argument resulted from a falling out among them, the document reported.

Ducey appoints House chief clerk, 3 others, as judges

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday appointed three people to the Maricopa County Superior Court, including the chief clerk of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Jim Drake has been chief clerk of the House since 2015 and previously was a deputy secretary of state from 2009 to early 2015. He worked as rules attorney and in other staff jobs for the House from 1996 though 2009.

The chief clerk oversees behind-the-scenes operations of House floor sessions, issues parliamentary advice during debates and deals with other legal matters.

Drake has a law degree from the California Western School of Law and earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Arizona.

Also appointed to judgeships were Ashley Villaverde Halvorson and Keith Miller. The three new judges replace retiring judges Roger E. Brodman, Connie Coin Contes and Karen A. Mullins.

Halvorson is currently a partner at Jones Skelton & Hochuli and primarily defends insurance companies in complex litigation. She also handles personal injury and wrongful death cases and has served as a pro tem judge. She earned her law degree and an undergraduate degree in political science at Arizona State University.

Miller is currently in private practice at the law firm Fennemore Craig and practices in business litigation and before state and local agencies. He was an assistant Arizona attorney general in the office’s federalism unit from 2015 to 2019 and then worked in the environmental enforcement section as counsel to the Department of Environmental Quality.

Miller earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and history from Hillsdale College.

Drake is an independent, Halvorson a Democrat and Miller a Republican.

Earlier this week, Ducey appointed Joseph Clark to the Navajo County Superior Court.

Clark has spent his career as a prosecutor with the Navajo County Attorney’s Office, and in 2014 started the office’s veterans court.

He earned his law degree at Pennsylvania State University. He earned an undergraduate degree in political science from Mary Washington University while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps 2000-2004.

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