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BC-AZ--Arizona News Digest, AZ

December 25, 2018

Good afternoon. Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Arizona.

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Phoenix bureau at 602-258-8934 or aparizona@ap.org.

This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Mountain unless specified otherwise. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES

YEAR END-TOP 10 STORIES

PHOENIX _ The death of longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain after a yearlong battle with brain cancer was the top story of the year in Arizona. McCain’s death brought worldwide attention as the Vietnam war hero and 2008 Republican presidential candidate was honored here and in Washington. McCain died at age 81 at his ranch near Sedona just over a year after he announced he had glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer that came with a dire diagnosis. SENT: 1,900 words with photos.

TRUMP BORDER WALL-FACT CHECK

HOUSTON _ President Donald Trump’s claims over Christmas that he had awarded 115 miles of new border wall construction in Texas appear to confuse work that’s already funded and underway. Trump tweeted on Monday, “I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas.” By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 570 words.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump says parts of the government will stay shut as long as Democrats refuse to build more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, seemingly dashing hope for a Christmas miracle that would soon allow several departments to reopen and employees to return to work. Asked when the government would reopen, Trump said: “I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open.” By Darlene Superville. SENT: 745 words with photos.

FOREST-DEAD TREES

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. _ Aerial surveys of national forests in Arizona and New Mexico show large swaths of dead trees following an unusually dry winter that aided pests such as bark beetles. Arizona saw its largest uptick in tree mortality since the early 2000s when about 1.7 million acres were affected. New Mexico saw a similar pattern, though surveys done earlier this year don’t account for an expected loss of pinon trees. By Felicia Fonseca. SENT: 650 words with photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ TEMPE-FIREWORKS: Tempe cancels New Year’s Eve fireworks show

_ EPA PERMIT-FOUR CORNERS POWER PLANT: EPA pulls permit for Four Corners plant to study concerns

_ AIR QUALITY-METRO PHOENIX: Regulators prohibit wood burning on Tuesday in metro Phoenix

_ BACKPAGE SENTENCING: Sentencing set for CEO of Backpage on conspiracy conviction

_ RABID FOXES: Arizona police respond to rabid fox calls in Flagstaff area

CHEEZ-IT BOWL PREVIEW CAPSULE:

PHOENIX _ California, TCU looking to close out 2018 season on a high note at Cheez-It Bowl after struggling to get there. The Horned Frogs had to win their regular-season finale to earn bowl eligibility. The Bears won two of their final three to become bowl eligible in their second season under coach Justin Wilcox. SENT: 400 words with photos.

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