West Nile season gets early start in Maricopa

PHOENIX - Maricopa County officials have confirmed the year's first positive mosquito sample, marking an early start to the West Nile virus season.

The county reported mosquito traps had an increased number of mosquitoes last week, with one sample testing positive for West Nile. The county just experienced a wet winter, and as nighttime temperatures get warmer authorities say there likely will be increased mosquito activity.

Last year, Maricopa County reported 168 positive mosquito samples and 76 lab-confirmed human cases with two reported deaths. Pima County reported one person's West Nile death in 2012.

Experts say homeowners can prevent the problem by eliminating breeding sites in their yards such as standing water in potted plants, tires, birdbaths and other containers where water may collect. They also say backyard pools and decorative ponds need to be properly maintained.

Bird Cage Saloon returning to Prescott's Whiskey Row

PRESCOTT - The Bird Cage Saloon is rising from the ashes on Prescott's historic Whiskey Row, and its refurbished distinctive sign is back up to prove it.

The saloon was one of several businesses in a building that burned down on May 8, 2012.

The Bird Cage is now being rebuilt five doors south of its old location. Owners John and Debi Stamm hope to reopen their business by Memorial Day. The Bird Cage's 200-pound sign shaped like a bird cage was lifted Tuesday to the top of the front wall of the saloon's new home in a stucco and brick building.

The Associated Press