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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Final Word: Best to enjoy fireworks handled by the pros

I was driving to my son's baseball game Saturday night. The thermometer in the car read it was 108 degrees outside.

I pulled into the Safeway parking lot to buy a third bag of ice (it melts before you can put it in the cooler) and I saw a crew setting up a tent where they will sell fireworks starting Monday.

I have to admit, I kind of wanted to kick the poles down. I know, the Fourth of July is next Friday.There is nothing like a great fireworks display on the Fourth. But can't we leave it to the professionals? Please?

It hasn't rained here in more than 100 days. We've already seen forest fires this season the size of which we don't usually see til July or August. (I know, we don't live in the forest but that grass around your house is dry. Really dry. And if you live near one of the mountain preserves, you're probably nervous enough WITHOUT sparklers and bottle rockets.)

A new Arizona law regulates the sale and use of fireworks, and most are banned. Legal fireworks must be of the "safe and sane" variety. They can't be projectiles and they can't go up in the air. And just because you can buy them, doesn't mean they are legal.

Needless to say, on the Fourth of July, they'll be going off in your neighborhood anyway. Better have your hose ready.

As silly as that sounds, it's the advice from the Phoenix Fire Department. Have a bucket or hose ready, if you feel you MUST light a fuse on something a legal firework. Also, if it's wrapped in brown paper, it's probably illegal.

If you must light something, make sure that the ashes are completely out before throwing them in a Dumpster, even if you have to soak them.

And never relight a device that doesn't go off, or try to explode something inside a glass container.

Here's what else Phoenix Fire said: When it comes right down to it, they'd prefer you don't buy them or use them at all. Leave it to the pros. That way, no one gets hurt and no one's house burns down. And no firefighters will put their lives in danger to save your house.

What's more patriotic than that??

About the Author

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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