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Yuma Sun (Newspaper) - October 23, 2009, Yuma, Arizona FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2009 50 CENTS ART SMART! Gallery kicks off season/Bl See video of the largest precision airdrop at Yuma Proving Ground at YumaSun.com Today's high: 92� Details on CI 4 Budget gap just shy of $2 billion Official proposes using special funds to close economic shortfall BY HOWARD FISCHER CAPITOL MEDIA SERVICES PHOENIX - Arizona voters need to give lawmakers permission to raid some special funds to get the state out of its immediate financial hole, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday. And they need to do it soon. The proposal by Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, came as a panel of economists con-cluded that the gap between revenues and expenses for the current fiscal year is now just shy of $2 billion. Just days ago, Gov. Jan Brewer pegged the shortfall at $1.5 billion. Kavanagh said some of that can be made up if Brewer finally agrees to sign legislation with close to $500 million in budget cuts that had been agreed to previously. But those cuts never occurred, lost in the middle of gubernatorial vetoes over other things in the same legislation. And Kavanagh said he's Staying aware Diana Cotney (at right), a resident at Crossroads Mission, reads the stories written on shirts by domestic violence survivors before the vigil. Cotney came in support of friends at the mission who are recovering from home abuse. PHOTOS BY JARED 00RT/YUMA SUN In honor of those lost to domestic violence and to celebrate with those who have survived, the Yuma County Attorney's Office Department of Victim's Services hosted a domestic violence vigil Thursday night at West Wetlands Park. The event drew close to 100 survivors and their families in addition to case workers who deal with abuse. Balloons with messages and the names of those who died due to domestic violence were released into the air after Thursday night's vigil. Diane Umphressi executive director of Amberly's Place, said she's seen 117 cases just last month dealing with domestic abuse. Survivor Roxy Mendez (above) shares her experience dealing with an abusive boyfriend who, at one point, threatened to kill her. The experience gave her the courage to help others and drove her to pursue a career in law enforcement, recently graduating from Arizona Western College in that field. Estrella Fitch (right), advocate for the Yuma County Attorney's Office, hugs a victim during the vigil. Fitch attended the vigil to . support the victims she works with as well as to help raise awareness about violence behind closed doors. willing to put a measure on the same ballot asking voters to approve some sort of temporary sales tax hike. But he said there is no way that levy could raise enough by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. A one-cent surcharge on the state's 5.6 percent sales tax generates about $80 million a month. Even if the election were in February - possibly the earliest date at this point - tax collections could not begin until March 1, meaning only about $320 million in new cash to plug that $2 billion hole. What can raise a lot of cash, quickly, is raiding the special funds that are now off-limits to lawmakers. Kavanagh singled out in SEE GAP/A12 YPG hosts largest precision airdrop Event brought participants from 17 nations BY JAMES GILBERT SUN STAFF WRITER YUMA PROVING GROUND - The largest precision airdrop demonstration held anywhere in the world was conducted in the skies above the proving ground throughout the day Thursday. The Precision Airdrop Technology Conference and Demonstration (PAT-CAD) 2009 is essentially a trade show for research and developers, military personnel and defense contractors to share and show off their latest airdrop technologies. "It is an opportunity for folks to see what all the different technologies out there are," said YPG commander Col: Thomas Payne. "It is also an opportunity for researchers and developers to see if there is some technology out there that they haven't heard about." Precision airdrop technology uses on-board Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or guidance from a computer to deliver pay-loads or personnel to a specific location. Held every two years, this year's PATCAD brought together 15 allied nations at YPG: Spain, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Norway and the United States. Over 450 people are expected to have attended the conference. This is the fourth time, YPG has hosted the conference, which started in 2001. It is held every two years at YPG. It started on Monday and is expected to end SEE AIRDR0P/A12 Patrol: Cooler weather attracts smugglers BY JOHN VAUGHN BAJ0 EL SOL EDITOR The arrival of fall and lower temperatures may also be ushering in the season of drug and immigrant smuggling in the Yuma area. In three cases over the past week, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 830 pounds of marijuana carried on foot by smugglers from Mexico, the patrol said. Street value is more than $664,000, said Yuma Sector spokesman Agent Shaun Kuzia. In the most recent of the smuggling attempts Tuesday night, a group of smugglers were surprised by agents as they tried to carry 360 pounds of pot worth nearly $300,000 across the border about 30 miles west of LukevLUe. The smugglers fled into nearby mountains but left behind burlap sacks they had fashioned into backpacks for carrying the pot, the patrol said in a news release. Agents tracked the group but determined it had returned to Mexico, the release said. SEE SMUGGLERS/A12 AWC invaded by bugs Don't worry; they're preserved BY WILLIAM ROLLER SUN STAFF WRITER They may be the world's most plentiful creatures and many call them pests, but to a biologist, insects are both fascinating to study and beautiful to admire. That is why the Arizona Western College science department was so bugged out Thursday, when five collectors shared their treasured specimens in a display at the Agricultural & Science Building. The exhibit began four years ago as something only for collectors, but the collectors wanted to spread the excitement of Arizona's rich wildlife habitat, said John King, professor of biology. "The beauty and diversity of insects is what attracts me," King said. "And besides, we're all biologists here, so we like SEE BUGS/A12 A wnma a ROOFINB* INSULATION Serving Yuma For Over 60 Years Call A Roofing S/)cc/a/is/ Today 928-783-9084 REDUCE THE JUICE & SAVE MONEY $1,500 Rebate Take $1,500 off your Federal Income BUSINESS COST HIGH? Your profit losses may be OVER YOUR HEAD! Look up and save money now. Roofini Tax this spring with the Weatherization Rebate.( ROC# 069354 C-42 070448 L-42 Mm 0763780700507
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