Ousted ASU Hockey Player Goes Viral For Pushing Woman’s Wheelchair Down Stairs

Ousted ASU Hockey Player Goes Viral For Pushing Woman’s Wheelchair Down Stairs

By Corinne Murdock |

A former Arizona State University (ASU) hockey player went viral for a video that depicts him pushing a woman’s wheelchair down the stairs at a bar in Pennsylvania. He is now under investigation by his current university for the act.

The player, Carson Briere, now plays for Mercyhurst University’s team in Erie, Pennsylvania. ASU’s hockey team dismissed Briere after the 2019-20 season, his first, due to violations of undisclosed team rules. Briere admitted in an interview with College Hockey News that his dismissal was due to “too much partying.” ASU has consistently ranked as one of the top party schools in the nation over the years.

“I was just going out; I wasn’t taking hockey seriously. It wasn’t anything bad, it was just not being committed to hockey, I was more committed to having fun at school,” said Briere. “Too much partying, that’s probably the best way to put it.”

The individual who posted the video claimed to know the owner of the wheelchair. The user disclosed that the wheelchair owner was a woman who had to leave her chair at the top of the stairs and be carried down the stairs to reach the restrooms.

According to the original poster, the wheelchair owner reportedly plans to take legal action.

Briere’s father is Daniel Briere, a former NHL hockey player and interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. The elder Briere began his career in Phoenix with the Coyotes, where Briere was born. Briere committed to ASU in 2019. 

The original poster behind the viral post helped organize a GoFundMe to raise funds for a new wheelchair. As of this report, the crowdfunding effort had raised over double its $1,500 goal.  

Later the same day after the video was posted, Mercyhurst University issued a statement promising an investigation.

“Late this afternoon, Mercyhurst University became aware of a disturbing video in which one of our student-athletes is seen pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a local establishment,” stated the university. “Our Office of Student Conduct and Department of Police and Safety are investigating.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Teachers Union Group Falsely Claimed That Public Schools Don’t Discriminate

Teachers Union Group Falsely Claimed That Public Schools Don’t Discriminate

By Corinne Murdock |

Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ), a teachers union activist group, falsely claimed that public schools don’t discriminate.

SOSAZ claimed that the state’s universal school choice program was “taxpayer-funded hate” targeting LGBTQ+ children and families. They then claimed that public schools are accepting of all students.

“Public schools accept ALL students, which is why public funds belong in public schools,” stated SOSAZ.

Former Senate President Karen Fann responded to SOSAZ with a reminder that public schools do discriminate against Christians. Fann was likely alluding to the controversy with Washington Elementary School District (WESD), in which governing board member Tamillia Valenzuela — a self-identified neurodivergent queer furry — led a crusade to purge Christians from WESD. 

“Wrong but we do know some public schools don’t like Christian teachers,” wrote Fann.

Valenzuela said during a board meeting last month that Arizona Christian University (ACU) didn’t align with WESD priorities because of their Christian beliefs. As a result, WESD terminated its contract with ACU to have university students complete their teaching and practical coursework at one of WESD’s campuses.

After the board voted to end its contract with ACU, Valenzuela published a celebratory post.

“I am so happy to announce that our board unanimously decided to no longer continue the partnership with Arizona Christian University,” said Valenzuela. “Thank you to our community members who made their voices heard.”

SOSAZ responded to Fann by condemning Christian schools who don’t enroll students that advocate for or practice sinful lifestyles such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, pornography, and transgenderism. SOSAZ specifically highlighted Dream City Christian School, launched through Turning Point Academy Association and Valley Christian Schools.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sued WESD last week for its contract cancellation with ACU, alleging unconstitutional religious discrimination. ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman asserted that WESD was forcing ACU to choose between its religious beliefs and career opportunities for its students.

“Washington Elementary School District officials are causing irreparable harm to ACU every day they force it to choose between its religious beliefs and partnering with the area’s public schools,” said Cortman.

During last Thursday’s board meeting, Valenzuela claimed that those opposed to her crusade against Christians were actually bullying LGBTQ+ students. Valenzuela also claimed that sexuality exploration fulfilled one’s humanity, and that true Christianity accepted sin. 

“There is a difference between acceptance and tolerance, and members of our society have been merely accepted, merely tolerated for their existence. We have watched as our children have been bullied for having autonomy,” said Valenzuela. “Know what Christ’s teachings were: it was love, it was acceptance. It was not cursing people out on Facebook and Twitter, it was not spreading misinformation.”

Valenzuela was also responsible for having all board members put their preferred pronouns — in English and Spanish — underneath their names on the dais. On her board member Facebook page, Valenzuela advocated for GLSEN: the organization attempting to sexualize minors.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Petersen And Toma Challenge Hobbs’ Death Penalty Decision

Petersen And Toma Challenge Hobbs’ Death Penalty Decision

By Daniel Stefanski |

Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ propensity for politically motivated decisions continues to lead to drawn-out fights with the Republican-led Legislature.

On Wednesday, Republican legislative leaders, Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma, filed an amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court over the governor’s controversial action to halt the execution of Aaron Brian Gunches.

A press release from the State Senate Republican Caucus stated that “the legislative leaders filed an amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court to support the victim’s sister, who submitted a petition for special action last week asking the court to direct the Governor to carry out the warrant issued earlier in the month to execute Gunches.”

In announcing his filing with the state’s high court, President Petersen said, “Right now, victims’ rights protected under the Arizona Constitution are being threatened by the Governor and the Attorney General. It’s incredibly disturbing to see them unwilling to enforce the law and are siding with the most vile individuals convicted of carrying out the most heinous crimes in our state. Furthermore, the Executive Branch is clearly undermining the very foundation of separation of powers by attempting to override the statutory process adopted by the Legislature and affirmed by the Judiciary. This is a dangerous precedent to set by our newly elected Governor.”

The Senate President and the House Speaker argue that “the Governor’s unilateral executive decision threatens bedrock principles of separation of powers by usurping the statutory process established by the Legislature and affirmed by the Judiciary,” that “the decision willfully defies this Court’s mandatory order – signaling to all Arizonans that the Governor is not subject to this Court’s jurisdiction and is, in fact, above the law,” that “the Governor has effectively provided a reprieve of Gunches; death sentence without complying with the statutory limitations on her limited clemency power,” and that “the Governor’s action violates Arizona’s Victim’s Bill of Rights, stripping the victim, Ted Price’s sister, of any finality in this decades-old murder case.”

Senate President Pro Tempore, T.J. Shope, signaled his approval of the court filing, writing, “I agree 100% with President Warren Petersen on this. If we are truly caring less about the victim and their family than the criminal, we are in for years of pain and high crime.”

Petersen and Toma conclude their filing with the following plea for the Arizona Supreme Court to force the state to execute the condemned murderer: “Absent clear and specific delegation of authority from the Legislature or the Judiciary, the Executive cannot rule by fiat and choose which statutes or court orders to follow. The Governor’s actions here set a dangerous precedent, opening a Pandora’s Box and inviting litigation every time she disagrees with a jury’s verdict, a court order, or other statutory mandates passed by the Legislature.”

The saga over Gunches execution started in late-2022, when former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Arizona Supreme Court for a warrant of execution. After the January 2 transition of power to Katie Hobbs and new Attorney General Kris Mayes, the state desperately attempted to reverse the actions that set Gunches’ execution process into motion. These efforts proved to be unsuccessful, however, when the high court did, in fact, grant the warrant of execution, ordering the state to put Gunches to death on April 6. The governor refused to comply with the court-issued warrant, stating that the State would not be seeking to carry out the execution at this time. Hobbs’ decision triggered court filings from Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell and Petersen and Toma.

The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to take expedient action in this case with a life and a court-imposed date of execution hanging in the balance.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Teachers Union Protests Parent Hotline For Reporting Inappropriate Materials

Teachers Union Protests Parent Hotline For Reporting Inappropriate Materials

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, the state’s teachers union protested against the Arizona Department of Education’s newly-launched hotline for parents to report inappropriate class materials.

The Arizona Education Association (AEA) had educators and activists march around the state capitol and ADE building, holding signs and chanting. Some signs read, “Stand with Educators,” and “Stop the Attacks.”

AEA also issued a letter on Wednesday to ADE Superintendent Tom Horne. The activists delivered a copy of the letter to the ADE office following a short speech outside the building. The AEA characterized the hotline as another political game.

The body of the letter is reproduced below:

Consider this an open invitation to visit Arizona schools and meet with educators. Come see for yourself the hard work, expertise and passion that go into each day. The constant attacks, along with low wages and underfunded classrooms, are causing far too many of our colleagues to leave the profession and the state. Our students and our schools deserve better. Take down the ‘hotline.’ Stop the attacks and stand with us.

Horne told Fox News on Wednesday that he was aware of the hotline’s unpopularity with certain groups, and criticized the teachers that participated in the protest. The superintendent implied that those teachers protesting were opposed to transparency and accountability.

“I served 24 years on a school board, and our rule was anybody could come in and watch the teaching, and the teachers never complained because they were proud of what they were doing, so those who are protesting, maybe they are not so proud of what they’re doing,” said Horne.

ADE launched the hotline last Tuesday. The department clarified in a corresponding press release what qualified as inappropriate school lessons: those focused on race or ethnicity, rather than individuals or merit; promoting gender ideology; social-emotional learning (SEL); or sexual content. ADE cited our reporting as an example of those committed to teaching inappropriate materials, in which AZ Free News documented over 200 educators who signed onto a statement proclaiming that they would teach outlawed materials like Critical Race Theory (CRT) even if banned.

ADE stated that the hotline represented their administration’s commitment to transparency and empowering parents.

Under former Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, ADE’s commitment to transparency looked slightly different. As AZ Free News reported in January, the former administration neglected the state’s school choice program: it had less than one-third of the staff designed to run the program and nearly 171,600 unfulfilled expense requests, despite receiving millions in additional funding for hiring and operation expansions.

AEA President Marisol Garcia claimed that the hotline would invite harassment of educators, and allow for accusations to be vulnerable to open records requests.

“Inviting the harassment of educators, without due process at their local level, with the ability of these ‘accusations’ to be FOIA’d?” asked Garcia. “As if nothing bad is going to happen here?”

Teachers union members and supporters filled the Capitol following the march.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Arizona Legislators Warn Public Of Ranked Choice Voting Pitfalls

Arizona Legislators Warn Public Of Ranked Choice Voting Pitfalls

By Daniel Stefanski |

As the threat of a Ranked Choice Voting ballot measure grows, Arizona lawmakers are increasing their warnings about the future of elections under this proposed new system.

This week, the Arizona Freedom Caucus released a statement to note its members’ extreme disapproval over the prospects of Ranked Choice Voting governing future elections: “The Arizona Freedom Caucus unequivocally opposes Ranked Choice Voting.  The problems with RCV are numerous and well-documented, the least of which is the erosion of the one-citizen, one-vote principle which has long guided American elections.  In jurisdictions where it has been tried, RCV has caused the exact outcomes which election integrity legislators have sought to eliminate, such as disenfranchisement, voter confusion, delayed results, and the unnecessary complication of our elections process.”

The Caucus announced its formal support for the passage of HB 2552 and SB 1265.

HB 2552, sponsored by Representative Austin Smith, passed the House on March 1 with a 31-28-1 vote. On February 28, SB 1265, sponsored by Senator Anthony Kern, passed the Senate with a 16-13-1 vote.

Ranked Choice Voting is most prominently featured in Alaska, where voters rank their preferences in each election until one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. If RCV were to be successfully pushed by special interest groups in the 2024 election, Arizona’s primary and general elections would be effectively eliminated in favor of this new progressive system.

According to the Pew Research Center, “62 jurisdictions nationwide have adopted the voting method” – and more are on the way in the near future, including the attempt to airdrop it into Arizona.

Representative Smith issued the following statement in the Arizona Freedom Caucus’s press release: “Ranked Choice Voting is an unmitigated disaster as seen recently in Alaska and local municipalities races. Arizona—Maricopa County specifically—already has a bad record of voter tabulation and counting process. Between voter confusion, high rates of ballot exhaustion and the difficulty of tabulating the results, RCV increases voter disenfranchisement, distrust in the process and deters candidates from taking stances on issues important to every Arizonan. The bottom line is RCV is a scam that destroys integrity in elections.”

Senator Kern also provided a quote for the release, saying, “RCV may not always result in the candidate with the most first-choice votes winning the election. I am aware that there are groups in Arizona advocating for RCV, but this will only lead to chaos, and we must ensure that our constituents have easy and fair access to the ballot box.”

Another Freedom Caucus member, Senator Justine Wadsack, also weighed in on the Ranked Choice Voting debate: “RCV introduces voter disenfranchisement perpetrated by its ‘exhausted ballots’ because the effect is the silencing of significant portions of the electorate. Exhausted ballots are those that do not rank any continuing candidate, contain an overvote at the highest continuing ranking, or contain two or more sequential skipped rankings before its highest continuing ranking.” 

The Arizona Freedom Caucus, along with other Republican members of the State Senate and House, hosted a press conference on Wednesday, at 11:00am, in the Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing Room to announce their formal opposition to Ranked Choice Voting. These efforts take place under the unfriendly shadow of the Ninth Floor of the Arizona Executive Tower, where the legislation has little chance of being signed into law by Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.