PHOENIX - From AirDrops containing "violent, pornographic content" to the surge in COVID-19 cases, it has certainly been a busy week. Here's a list of some of our top stories from the first full week of 2022:
1. Mesa teen sent violent, pornographic content to high school students via Apple's AirDrop feature, police say
Mesa Police officials say an 18-year-old suspect used an iPhone to distribute several photos and videos displaying porn to six students.
According to police, the suspect, identified as Quade Valentino Spencer, used AirDrop, a feature for Apple devices to exchange files, to send videos and photos depicting pornography or violence to students in another classroom.
2. El Mirage man fired rifle 21 times into the air on New Year's Eve, police say
Police say An El Mirage man has been arrested for reportedly firing his gun into the air nearly two dozen times on New Year's Eve.
Witnesses reportedly saw 27-year-old Michael Sais shooting into the air several times. When police arrived at the man's home, they found multiple shell casings on the porch.
3. 'It's going to crush the system:' Hundreds of Arizona health care workers demand COVID-19 mitigation policy
With over 16,000 cases of COVID-19 reported on Jan. 8, more than 1,000 healthcare workers from across the state have signed an open letter urging proactive COVID-19 mitigation measures, including enforcing mask mandates in classrooms and expanding testing sites.
"It's going to crush the system, and so we are trying to figure out how to re-empower our healthcare workforce and thinking about an open letter. Our whole entire community needs to be able to speak up and be heard," said Dr. Bradley Dreifuss.
4. Did you see it? B-52 bomber on the move from Arizona to Oklahoma City
A piece of American history was on the move, and it was spotted across parts of the Mesa and Gilbert area.
The B-52 bomber plane wa being moved from a boneyard in Pima County to a new home in Oklahoma City, where it will be used to develop a new generation of B-52s.
5. Arizona to close Florence prison, transferring thousands of inmates to Eloy
Arizona is proceeding with plans to close one of its two large state-run prison complexes in Florence and transfer more than 2,000 inmates to a private facility in Eloy.
The Arizona Dept. of Corrections says this is a step towards deactivating the prison, which is expected to cost more than $500 million to keep open over the next three years.
6. $1M Powerball ticket sold at Phoenix Circle K
Officials say the $1 winning ticket matched five numbers, but did not match the Powerball.
7. Uber driver stranded on I-95 buys teen passenger hotel room, offered new job
An Uber driver who was one of many people stranded for hours this week along a portion of Interstate 95 in Virginia, is being praised for his determination to get his young rider home safe — and was even offered a new job after going above and beyond.
DaVante Williams drives Uber and Lyft on the said, and his story was shared by Uber in a tweet, which wrote: "Not all heroes wear capes."
8. Family says Texas woman scammed them out of nearly $10K in fake adoption
A family traveled more than 1,000 miles from Ohio to Texas to adopt a baby boy, only to return home empty-handed finding out they’d been scammed.
Breanne Paquin and her husband have spent the past few years battling infertility, so they decided on private adoption. Eventually, the couple's lawyers sat them down and told them he believed they had been scammed.
"The lawyer and my husband actually went out to one of her last known addresses which happened to be family members of hers. They spoke with her family, who said they did not think she was pregnant at all, and they said her mom was completely fine and not in the hospital," Paquin said.
9. As I-17 shooting investigation continues, victim's sister aims to shed light on her brother's case
Phoenix Police officials say a man suffered non-life-threatening injuries following a shooting along the I-17 in Phoenix on Jan. 4.
Days after the shooting took place, the victim's sister spoke out about the incident, saying that the shooting was random, and calling on Phoenix Police to take action.
"He was shot by a random person, and this person needs to be caught. Justice needs to be done." the victim's sister said. She did not want to be identified due to fear of retaliation.
10. New COVID-19 variant named IHU discovered in France
A new COVID-19 variant named IHU has been detected in France.
The variant was found to have infected 12 people, and the cases have been linked to travel to Africa.