Axios Phoenix

Picture of the Phoenix skyline.

We made it to Friday! How about some Beyoncé to kick things off?

Today's weather: A high of 103. Looks like we're done with rain for a few days, but we might see isolated thunderstorms on Sunday.

Situational awareness: The Associated Press called the Republican gubernatorial primary for Kari Lake last night. She will face Katie Hobbs in the November general election.

  • It also called the Democratic secretary of state race for Adrian Fontes. He will face Republican Mark Finchem.

Today's newsletter is 977 words — a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: Griner sentenced to nine years

Guards escort Brittney Griner from a Russian courtroom
Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom yesterday in Khimki, Russia. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was found guilty on drug charges by a Russian court yesterday and sentenced to nine years in prison.

  • Her sentencing concluded a trial that has captured the nation's attention and reached the highest levels of U.S. diplomacy, Axios' Ivana Saric reported.

What's next: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Moscow was "ready to discuss" a prisoner swap for Griner and Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan.

What they're saying: The conviction was met with swift condemnation from the Mercury.

  • "While we knew it was never the legal process that was going to bring our friend home, today's verdict is a sobering milestone in the 168-day nightmare being endured by our sister, BG," the Mercury said in a press statement. "We remain heartbroken for her, as we have every day for nearly six months."
  • The team said it has faith that the Biden administration will do whatever it takes to end Griner's imprisonment.

Several elected officials from Arizona expressed similar sentiments, with Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly saying in a statement to Axios Phoenix, "This sentence is completely unjust and again demonstrates how Russia has wrongfully detained Brittney Griner. I’ve worked with my colleagues to build support for her release, and am going to ensure that her safe return remains a top priority for the administration."

What else they're saying: U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) tweeted that Griner's conviction was "as unsurprising as it was unjust," and said, "It's clear that Russia sees Ms. Griner as a political pawn in their war in Ukraine."

  • U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton (D) wrote on Twitter that, "This trial was a sham from the very beginning — and today’s excessive, unjust sentence makes it clearer than ever that Brittney Griner is being held by Russia for purely political purposes."

Before last night's game between the Mercury and the Connecticut Sun, players met at mid-court and silently bowed their heads for 42 seconds — a nod to Griner's jersey number.

Full story

2. 🗣 Take down your signs, plz

A bunch of campaign signs at a street corner.
Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

Now that the primary election is over, we're going to get a little reprieve from campaign signs — for a bit.

Driving the news: State law requires candidates who won't be on the November ballot to remove their campaign signs by Aug. 17.

Yes, but: We expect candidates who will be competing in November's election to add more signs in the coming months.

Do they even work? Politicos debate whether these signs actually turn out voters.

  • But even without hard evidence of their benefit, candidates go all in, as we've seen on just about every street corner in the Valley the past few months.

👋 Jessica here: I was in Gilbert a few weeks ago and heard someone fantasizing about taking a blowtorch to all the signs on their street corner. I felt that on a spiritual level.

  • But don't do that. Removing or vandalizing political signs is a class two misdemeanor with a penalty of up to four months in jail and a $750 fine per sign.

3. 🥵 Extreme heat is hurting our sleep

Illustration of a scorched pillow.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Rising temperatures are chipping away at our sleep time, according to a study of global trends.

  • Beth Ann Malow, director of the sleep division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells Axios' Adam Tamburin the cascading effects of less sleep could put us at greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

Why it matters: Malow, who reviewed the research conducted by other scientists, says it shows how climate change affects our personal health in ways that can be hard to grasp.

Driving the news: Record-breaking heat waves worldwide have dominated this summer's weather.

  • The National Weather Service has issued several excessive heat warnings in Phoenix this summer.

What's happening: Excessive heat can inhibit sleep in multiple ways, Malow says.

  • It can stand in the way of activities like neighborhood walks and other exercise that promotes healthy sleep habits.
  • It can also make it harder to fall asleep because our bodies need to cool down as we doze.

🗨️ You tell us: What temperature have you been keeping your thermostat at during the night this summer?

4. Chips and salsa: An extra side of news

Illustration of the letters PHX spelled out in cacti.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏥 The Biden administration declared monkeypox to be a public health emergency. (Axios)

🛫 Thursday's monsoon storm knocked out a server at Sky Harbor International Airport, causing flight delays. (ABC 15)

🗳 Pinal County removed election director David Frisk from his position after some polling places races ran out of ballots Tuesday. County Recorder Virginia Ross resigned from office so she could be appointed election director. (AZfamily)

☕ Utah-based Beans & Brews Coffee House will expand into the Phoenix area with locations in San Tan Valley and Queen Creek. (Phoenix Business Journal)

Nicole Hazen, the wife of Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen, died at age 45 from complications related to glioblastoma. (AZcentral)

New jobs to check out

💼 See who’s hiring around the city.

  1. Head of Global Marketing Dopant and Deposition at EMD Electronics.
  2. Video Editor at NXG.
  3. Java Engineer at American Express.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 📆 Weekend events: Get your game on

Illustration of an animated neutral emoji changing into a smiling-with-sunglasses emoji.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? If you like video games, beer or football, you're in luck.

🎮 Game On Expo

When and where: 1-10pm Friday, 10am-10pm Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Cost: $35 on Friday, $45 on Saturday and Sunday ($20 for children 3-10).

Details: You can play the latest games, get reacquainted with your favorite classics, compete in an esports tournament and check out hundreds of expositions.

🏈 Cardinals Red & White practice

When and where: 1:30pm Saturday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Cost: Free, but you have to reserve a digital ticket.

Details: Go watch the Cards in one of their last public practices before preseason games begin next week.

🍺 Real Wild & Woody Beer Festival

When and where: 2pm Saturday at Bell Bank Park in Mesa.

Cost: $70.

Details: The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is celebrating 30 years of Arizona craft beer with the largest indoor beer festival in the Southwest.

😆 Celeste Barber

When and where: 7pm Sunday at Arizona Financial Theater.

Cost: $44.50 to $74.50.

Details: The Aussie comedian is coming to the Valley.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Jeremy won't be going to the Game On Expo, but he misses having enough free time to play video games.

☕️ Jessica is getting into working from coffee shops. Which ones should she try next?

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