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Jan Brewer 'relieved' to see Yanira Maldonado released

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she was "relieved" to hear that a 42-year-old Goodyear woman has been released from a Mexican prison.

Yanira Maldonado had been held on a drug smuggling charge that was dismissed after a court reviewed the case. She was able to leave Mexico on Friday.

"Our staff was in contact with the administration south of the border, and working here north of the border," Brewer said. "We are just so relieved that it worked out and that she's home safely with her family."

Brewer went on to say that the family "can now put this chapter of their life behind them," and Maldonado's case should be a lesson for all Americans.

"I think it's really important for all Americans to remember that, when any United States citizens travel abroad or leave this country, that they realize that they don't take their United States Constitutional rights and privileges with them," she said. "When we travel abroad, we need to be careful wherever we travel."

Brewer said she has tried to call Maldonado at least 12 times since this morning's release, but has not been able to get through to her.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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