Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, left, accepted the Sheriff's Office command flag from outgoing Sheriff Ralph Ogden, center, during a change-of-command ceremony held at the Yuma County Fairgrounds in Yuma on Friday.


Longest-serving sheriff in Yuma County to retire

YUMA - Yuma County Sheriff Ralph E. Ogden is the longest-serving sheriff in the history of the county, but in just a few days he's retiring. Now in his fifth term, Ogden has spent the past 20 years as the highest-ranking law enforcement person in the county and 42 years with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.

The title Ogden has held for so long is now going to his former undersheriff, Maj. Leon Wilmot, who will take his place in January.

Although he is stepping down as sheriff, Ogden isn't ready to end his four-decade-long career in law enforcement just yet, saying he will take over as the deputy director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program on Jan. 1.

Judge dismisses lawsuit by activist against Pearce

A federal judge has dismissed an immigration activist's lawsuit accusing former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce of illegally barring him from the Senate buildings.

U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone ruled Thursdaythat activist Salvador Reza was properly barred from the Senate buildings by Pearce after security officials identified him as a person who was disruptive at a hearing.

Martone's ruling said Reza produced no evidence to back up his allegation Pearce barred him because he is Mexican-American. The judge also wrote that Pearce's actions were reasonable given his role in maintaining decorum in the Senate.

Reza was among vocal protesters attending a Feb. 22, 2011, Senate hearing on immigration bills. The next day, police arrested Reza on suspicion of trespassing, but he was never formally charged.

Not-guilty pleas entered in day-care death of tot

A Phoenix couple who ran a child-care business out of their home have pleaded not guilty to felony child-abuse charges in the death of a young girl.

Maricopa County prosecutors said Ryan Reed, 27, and Allison Clements, 28, were arraigned Friday. Their next scheduled court appearance is on Feb. 12.

The couple was arrested in the Dec. 11 death of 3-year-old Savannah Cross. The girl had numerous injuries, and Reed allegedly admitted striking, kicking and roughly grabbing the child numerous times, Phoenix police said.

Clements reportedly told detectives she witnessed the abuse but did nothing to stop it.

Arizona man accused of racial assault

A Cornville man is in custody in connection with an alleged racially motivated assault last December, Northern Arizona authorities say.

Logan Spude, 25, is being held without bond on suspicion of aggravated assault, intentional injury to another and disorderly conduct, Yavapai County sheriff's officials said.

Detectives discovered Tuesday that Spude is incarcerated at the Camp Verde Detention Center on unrelated charges.

Marvel Warren, 61, was assaulted in the parking lot of a bar in the Village of Oak Creek on Christmas 2011, witnesses have said. Warren, who is black, told deputies a man yelled racial slurs at him and then punched him in the face, causing serious damage to his right eye.

It took months of interviews to identify Spude as a suspect, detectives said.

Foster parents seek vaccination rule change

PHOENIX - A group of parents barred from adopting or fostering kids in Arizona's child-welfare system because they won't vaccinate their own children are pushing for changes in state law.

Susann Van Tienderen and Gina Apilado claim the state violates its own rules by refusing to consider potential foster families whose biological children have medical exemptions from immunization rules. Both women's families want to adopt children from Arizona foster care.

State lawmakers Sen. Nancy Barto and Rep. Debbie Lesko met this month with officials from the state Department of Economic Security, which oversees foster-care licensing. They said they're drafting companion bills that would eliminate the vaccination requirement as a licensing condition to become a foster parent. The y plan to introduce the bills during the session that begins Jan. 14.

Department of Economic Security officials said the rules are meant to protect foster children who may not be completely immunized, The Arizona Republic reported.

The Associated Press