Monsoon batters Arizona, big lottery jackpot, concerns over missing Arizona woman: this week's top stories

It has definitely been a week of monsoon action for Arizona, but besides the monsoon, there were other stories from across the state, and around the country. Here's a quick look at what happened this past week.

1. Monsoon 2022: Storms, flash flooding continues for Arizona

Arizona continues to feel the impact of monsoon weather as a number of storms bring rain and flooding to various parts of the state.

Flash flood warnings, dust storm advisories, and severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued all week.

On Saturday night, the monsoon pounded the Valley, bringing rain, flooding and a dust storm. The sound of heavy rain poured on downtown Phoenix this evening and many storm drains couldn't keep up.

In Flagstaff, a canal filled with raging floodwaters in Doney Park. And U.S. Highway 89 was shut down in both directions due to flooding.

Flagstaff is having a rough monsoon, which won't officially end until the late September.

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2. Man arrested for child's brutal murder tells judge he needs to get out of jail to start new job

Aaron Trout

Aaron Trout (Courtesy: Michigan State Police)

In Michigan, a man accused of murdering a 2-year-old girl before dumping her badly beaten body at a hospital told a judge during his arraignment that he needs to be released from jail to start a new job.

Aaron Joseph Trout, 31, was arrested and charged with one count of murder in connection to the suspected beating death of a two-year-old girl, who was not his daughter. Prosecutors did not disclosure the nature of the relationship between Trout and the victim.

Appearing virtually in court, Trout told a judge that he needed to be released from jail to start a new job, Alpena News reported. The judge was not sympathetic and denied bond, citing Trout’s prior history of criminal assault, resisting police, failing to appear in court, and substance abuse.

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3. Mega Millions winning numbers: $1.28B Friday drawing

The winning numbers for Friday's $1.28 billion Mega Millions jackpot are 67, 45, 57, 36, 13 with Mega Ball number 14.

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is the second-highest prize in the game’s history, as estimated. It also stands as the nation’s third-largest lottery prize ever. 

A $1.586 billion Powerball game in 2016 was split between the buyers of three winning tickets, and a $1.54 billion Mega Millions prize in 2018 went to the buyer of a single ticket.

A single ticket bought in a Chicago, Illinois suburb won the jackpot.

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4. 10 times hitting the lottery jackpot ended in disaster: 'I wish I'd torn that ticket up'


Amid lottery fever, there was a tale of caution for whoever (or whomever) won the big jackpot.

Andrew "Jack" Whittaker Jr. became an instant celebrity after winning a record $315 million Powerball jackpot on Christmas night in 2002, and even flew off in a private jet with his family to appear on New York City morning television shows after hitting the jackpot.

Whittaker’s life quickly took a tumultuous turn as he began struggling with drinking and gambling. He was believed to be broke in the years leading up to his death.

"I wish I’d torn that ticket up," a sobbing Whittaker told reporters after the death of his daughter.

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5. As Mega Millions lottery reaches $790M, here's how to stay safe and secure if you win


Amid the Mega Millions fever, many people dreamed of striking it rich with help from the lottery. However, few actually know how they’d protect themselves if they actually won.

With that in mind, lottery boards, insurance companies and private wealth management advise lottery winners to take a few steps to keep their personal life and funds safe and secure, which includes, among other things, looking out for scams, getting professional advice, and securing the winning ticket.

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6. ‘My world had stopped’: Family grows concerned as Phoenix woman vanishes without a trace

A place of not knowing where your loved one is at this very moment: that experience is taking a toll on the family of Michelle Bernstein-Schultz. 

"It seemed as if my world had stopped. I couldn’t understand what happened." 

Michelle was last seen on June 29. Her mother, Patricia Yaloz, says she received a text message from Michelle’s boyfriend. The two lived together.

"I was in absolute shock. I asked him to call me and at that moment he didn’t. I waited a few minutes, asked him again, so I called the police to confirm that there was a report and there was," said Patricia. 

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7. No suspect found after reports of shots fired at Arizona Mills Mall, police say

Police say a suspect has not been found after an altercation led to reports of shots being fired at the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe.

Tempe Police say officers responded to the mall at about 6:30 p.m. on July 29 after receiving reports of a man with a gun. Additionally, people were posting to social media reporting an active shooter.

nvestigators say there was an altercation at a Starbucks inside the mall between a man and another person, which led to the man pulling out a gun and pointing it at the other person. Before police arrived at the scene, the suspect reportedly ran inside the mall.

Police said it's unclear if there were any shots actually fired, or if the reported loud noises came from the sounds of security gates closing.

The massive police response to the incident was due in part to the recent mass shootings happening around the country.

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8. Maryland man killed after Lyft driver ends ride on Dewey Beach highway: officials

A man was killed in a crash after being kicked out of a Lyft ride in Maryland.

The man, identified police as 43-year-old Sidney Wolf, was previously a Senior Policy Advisor for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to his LinkedIn page.

Delaware State Police Department reported the fatal crash happened after 1:45 a.m. on July 24. Wolf and five others hired a Lyft driver to pick them up and take them to their residence, according to the police report. Along the ride, there was some sort of disagreement between the Lyft driver and the passengers.

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9. Housing Market downturn

Housing markets that surged in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic and saw rapid rises in home prices are most susceptible to a housing downturn if a recession occurs, according to a new report by full service real estate brokerage Redfin. 

The housing market has already "slowed considerably" this spring as rising mortgage rates forced a lot of potential buyers out of the market, according to Redfin. A weekly survey of mortgage rates by Freddie Mac shows the 30-year rate at 5.3%.

Now, with fears of a continued economic downturn, the brokerage analyzed metros that are most susceptible to home-price declines if the country enters into a recession and which ones would be most resilient.

Phoenix and Tucson ranked number 8 and 10, respectively, on a list of markets that are most susceptible a housing downturn.

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10. Man dies after being set on fire near Glendale gas station, suspect arrested

A man who was lit on fire near a Glendale gas station has died, and police have provided new information on their arrest of a suspect.

In court documents released by police, the suspect, identified as Luciano Marquis Simmons, is accused of aggravated assault in connection with the incident, which happened during the early morning hours of July 3 in the area of 58th Avenue and Olive.

The victim, identified as 30-year-old Blake Angerer, died from his injuries, according to officials on July 26.

"In speaking with witnesses, they advised the suspect, later identified as Luciano Simmons, came into the Circle K and purchases gasoline," read a portion of the court documents. "Luciano filled up a water bottle of gasoline, and went to the area of the bus stop, which was located just northeast of the gas pumps."

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