State & Local

Homicide No. 54 breaks 15-year-old record in Tucson

The Associated Press

Homicides have reached a 25-year high in Tucson.

Matthew Miller, 24, was fatally shot early Saturday after an argument at a midtown apartment, police said.

It was Tucson's 54th slaying this year, breaking the 1970 record for homicides in the city.

Christopher Elkins, 24, was being held on a $1 million bond at Pima County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder in the case, police said.

The 1970 record of 53 homicides included 28 people killed in an arson fire at the old downtown Pioneer Hotel.

There have been 77 homicides within Tucson city limits and unincorporated areas of Pima County this year, compared with 51 in all of last year, according to authorities.

Gramm campaign picks up support

The Associated Press

PHOENIX Republican presidential hopeful Phil Gramm picked up the endorsement yesterday of Arizona Senate Majority Leader Tom Patterson to add to his already hefty stack of state political leaders' endorsements.

Patterson, R-Phoenix, said he chose to back Gramm because of his conservative values and because Gramm is the only GOP candidate who could beat Clinton.

''The way to beat Bill Clinton is to be the greatest possible contrast with him,'' Patterson said.

In turn, Gramm praised Patterson, Gov. Fife Symington and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who stood by his side Saturday at a news conference held at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

''I'm proud to have anybody in Arizona or the country to judge me by Tom Patterson, or your great governor or Senator McCain,'' he said.

Commission seeks wolf's reintroduction

The Associated Press

PHOENIX The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has endorsed a plan to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf around the White Sands Missile Range in south-central New Mexico.

After hearing reports from Game and Fish Department biologists and public comment for five hours Saturday night, commissioners voted 3-2 on its recommendation which will be forwarded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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