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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    Bad check writers could face felony charge

    PHOENIX – The House Judiciary committee passed a bill yesterday that could make it a class-6 felony to write a bad check over $5,000.

    Senate bill 1134 specifies that the issuer of the check can be prosecuted if he or she fails to pay the full amount of the check and other fees within 60 days after receiving notice that the check did not process.

    “”A misdemeanor is just not enough dread,”” said the sponsor, Sen. Marsha Arzberger, D-Willcox. “”The prosecutor just doesn’t have enough force to be able to collect.””

    The county attorneys in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties approached Arzberger after several residents lost tens of thousands of dollars by receiving bad checks.

    Currently, writing a bad check in any amount is a class-1 misdemeanor, which can result in six months in jail or a $2,500 fine, or both. A class-6 felony can result in up to two years in prison, a $150,000 fine or both.

    The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting action on the House floor.

    Summit calls for harsher anti-gang laws

    PHOENIX – Rising gang crime in Arizona has some lawmakers alarmed that the violence might spin out of control – which made them call for tougher laws to curb the violence.

    In an anti-gang summit March 20, the House speaker Rep. Jim Weiers, R- Phoenix, and two other lawmakers picked the brains of about 20 law enforcement officials from around the state, to find out what is needed to gain control over gang-related crime.

    There are about 20,000 gang members in Arizona, the Department of Public Safety estimates. This is up from about 15,000 in 1996 and just over 10,000 in 1992.

    Tucson has about 4,000 gang members who soon will be registered in a database, according to the Department of Public Safety.

    The summit officials, who came from agencies including the Pima and Maricopa County Attorney’s Offices; the Greenlee, Yavapai and Maricopa county sheriff’s departments; and the Mesa, Buckeye and Tucson Police Departments, called for more funding and stricter laws, such as weapon restrictions or stiffer penalties for known gang members.

    Weiers vowed to take their concerns seriously and establish a task force that would look at each issue individually, so legislation could be introduced this session.

    Lawmaker wants safer amusement rides

    PHOENIX – Amusement rides in Arizona operate widely unregulated, with little or no oversight on inspections or accident investigation.

    In an attempt to step up safety regulations, Rep. John Nelson, R-Litchfield Park, introduced House Bill 2200, which would allow Arizona cities and towns to require proof of insurance and annual inspections before issuing event permits to ride operators.

    Because communities would not be forced to adopt new rules under the measure, critics of the bill question whether it will trigger any changes that would make the state’s rides safer.

    But some ride owners say they already take voluntary safety precautions in addition to what is required by a certain town or city.

    One of them is Laveen-based Ray Cammack Shows, a large company that provides rides for the UA Spring Fling and the Pima County Fair in April.

    Ray Cammack already has stringent safety standards in place and supports the bill to foster overall ride safety in Arizona, a spokesman said.

    Nelson’s bill is awaiting action on the Senate floor.

    – compiled by Djamila Grossman

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