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Trusted local news leader for Prescott, Arizona & surrounding communities since 1882
1:54 AM Wed, July 18th

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Howard Fischer, For the Courier

Stories by Howard

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Ducey raises nearly $791K in recent quarter

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey continues to accumulate campaign funds in his bid for another four years in office.

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Judge declares mistrial in former utility regulator’s bribery case

A federal judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the Arizona Corporation Commission bribery case.

Initiative aims to tax wealthy for K-12 education money

An initiative proposing to pay for education improvements by hiking taxes on only the most wealthy.

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Juror’s actions could lead to new Corpcom trial

PHOENIX — The admission by a juror in the Arizona Corporation Commission bribery trial that she made some notes at home and brought them to deliberations could lead to a new trial even after all the testimony has been heard.

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Initiative aims to tax wealthy for K-12 money

An initiative proposing to pay for education improvements by hiking taxes on only the most wealthy also appears to remove a small income tax break available to those with fewer financial resources, who are just trying to keep their income even with inflation.

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Hearing officer urges Corp Comm to take over Johnson Utilities

A state hearing officer is recommending the Arizona Corporation Commission seize control of Johnson Utilities away from the current management, at least temporarily, and install its own manager.

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Court: USGS not liable in fatal 2012 copter crash over Verde

The failure of a federal agency to mark an overhead cable does not make the government liable for the death of a helicopter pilot who flew into it, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

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Judge to decide on voting law measure

A judge will decide whether lawmakers have an absolute right to ask voters to approve two changes in law in a single act, even if they may only want one of them and not the other.

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Shooter wants documents from sexual harassment investigation

An ousted state lawmaker may be able to get documents from a sexual harassment investigation that House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has so far refused to make public.

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Ducey touts achievements at border

With a staged backdrop of seized guns, drugs and even DPS officers with dogs, Gov. Doug Ducey brought together federal, state and local law enforcement Wednesday who praised his leadership on border security.

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State attorneys ask Arizona Supreme Court to toss petition law challenge

Attorneys for the state and Republican legislative leaders are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to rebuff efforts by various organizations to void a statute that could make it harder for voters to propose their own laws.

Anti-discrimination law challenged by Christian law firm in Arizona Supreme Court

A Christian law firm is making a last-ditch effort to convince the state’s high court that businesses — at least some of them — have a constitutional right to refuse to sell their services and products to gays.

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Reshaped Supreme Court could leave Arizona abortion laws up to governor

PHOENIX — The president’s choice for a new Supreme Court justice Monday means the ability of Arizona women to terminate a pregnancy likely depends on who is elected governor in November.

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U.S. Supreme Court to start next session with Arizona age-discrimination case

The ability of a tiny Arizona fire district to fire its two oldest employees takes center stage in Washington as the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments the first day of its new session, possibly with a new justice already seated.

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Petition effort to legalize recreational pot comes up short

Arizonans aren’t going to get a chance to decide whether they want to legalize recreational use of marijuana, at least not this year.

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Want sway? Ballot arguments due Wednesday

Got an opinion on whether to hike income taxes on the most wealthy?

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‘Outlaw Dirty Money’ ballot measure would mandate disclosure of political donors

Will campaign have enough signatures?

Arizonans may get a chance to decide whether they want to find out who is trying to influence their elections.

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Corporation Commission director resigns over conflict of interest

The executive director of the Arizona Corporation Commission is out after utility regulators found out that his wife is working, at least indirectly, for Arizona Public Service.

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Group seeking surcharge on wealthy for K-12 funding submits petition signatures

Supporters of more money for K-12 education said Thursday there’s a reason they are taxing only the top 1 percent of Arizona wage earners to pick up the entire cost: it’s politically expedient.

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Lawsuit aims to block state from enforcing ‘ballot harvesting’ come election season

PHOENIX — A new lawsuit seeks to block Arizona from enforcing its ban on “ballot harvesting’’ for the upcoming election, claiming the state has no legal authority to regulate who can and cannot deliver someone else’s mail.

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Realtors aim to ban service sales tax

PHOENIX — Arizona Realtors formally launched their bid Tuesday to ask voters to ban state lawmakers from ever taxing services, even if it also would reduce or eliminate taxes on other necessities — or even if legislators say the revenues are needed.

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Union gives up on dialysis initiative

A California union has given up on its plan to ask Arizona voters to impose new service and cost restrictions on companies that perform dialysis.

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Arizona Court of Appeals ruling threatens to make criminals out of certain medical marijuana patients

A new ruling from the state Court of Appeals threatens to make criminals out of medical marijuana patients, who choose edibles and drinks rather than smoking the drug and the dispensaries that prepare and sell them.

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Lawmakers want to take advantage of new online tax power

Key state lawmakers want to take advantage of a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which lets states collect online sales taxes. But they don’t want it to be a new burden on taxpayers here.

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Descriptions of ballot measures spark political quarrel

Democrat lawmakers accused their Republican colleagues Thursday of hiding relevant information from voters about upcoming ballot measures. The Democrats complained that there are key provisions in two measures that will be on the November ballot that are not included in the explanations that will be provided to voters in official ballot pamphlets.

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Relief down the aisles: prices at the grocery store drop average of 2.5%

PHOENIX — Arizona shoppers can expect to find a bit of relief at the grocery store.

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Clean Elections ballot measure’s description may be flawed, mislead

Prop. 306 actually would take power from commission

PHOENIX — Members of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission voted Friday to sue the Legislative Council for what commissioners claim is an effort to mislead voters about an upcoming ballot measure.

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Supreme Court clears way for Wendy Rogers to run for Congressional seat

PHOENIX — Republican Wendy Rogers is entitled to run for Congress despite flaws in her nominating petitions, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

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Rep. Stringer tries to put immigration remarks behind him

Hoping to put the controversy behind him, Rep. David Stringer came to Phoenix Wednesday to tell a group of African-Americans that he is working on issues of interest to their community, and his comments last week about immigration and assimilation were misconstrued or misunderstood.

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Challenge to Rogers’ CD 1 candidacy taken to Arizona Supreme Court

PHOENIX — Wendy Rogers has no right to have her name on the Republican ballot for Congress because her nominating petitions were flawed, a lawyer for political foes is arguing to the Arizona Supreme Court.

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Texting ban for teens with learner’s permits takes effect Sunday, July 1

Come Sunday morning, July 1, Arizona won’t be only one of two states that has no restrictions on the ability of motorists to use their cell phones while driving.

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Regulator calls for 80 percent renewable energy by 2050

PHOENIX — With a renewable energy initiative ready to be filed next week, a state utility regulator is filing his own proposal, one that electric companies are likely to find more attractive.

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Political foe launches last-ditch effort to keep Shooter off August primary ballot

PHOENIX — A political foe of Don Shooter is making a last-ditch effort to keep the ousted former state representative from even trying to make a political comeback.

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Judge rules Wendy Rogers can run for Congress

Wendy Rogers can run for Congress in the Republican primary despite an error on her nominating petitions, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith ruled Thursday.

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Gov. Ducey won’t debate Bennett before Aug. 28 GOP primary

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t debate his Republican foe, with an aide calling Ken Bennett a “fringe’’ candidate despite the fact he was elected secretary of state in 2010.

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Ducey vows to keep troops at Arizona, Mexico border

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t withdraw National Guard troops from the border even though he objected to President Trump’s policy of separating children from their families.

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Embattled Rep. Stringer picks up GOP support

Embattled Rep. David Stringer has picked up an ally in defense of his comments about the effects of immigration: his Prescott Republican seatmate.

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Kirkpatrick wins lawsuit that tried to knock her off ballot

Congressional hopeful Matt Heinz has failed in his bid to knock one of his competitors off the ballot.

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Judge rules Shooter qualified to run for Senate

Dismisses alternate address outside district

Don Shooter is a resident of Yuma and is legally qualified to make a bid for a political comeback to be a senator from the legislative district that he has represented before, a judge ruled Friday.

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State, Yavapai unemployment rates drop again; increase in construction employment continues

Arizona’s jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 4.7 percent last month, driven in large part by an unusually strong showing in the state’s construction industry.

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Attorney: Facebook block lawsuit versus Rep. Gosar is flawed

No one is currently blocked from his Facebook page

A congressional attorney is asking a federal judge here to toss out a lawsuit demanding that Rep. Paul Gosar be barred from blocking them — or anyone — from his Facebook page.

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Out-of-state students have no right to sue over ‘Dreamers’ tuition

Out-of-state students, who paid full tuition at Arizona universities, have no right to sue for refunds even though the schools were charging less to people not here legally, an attorney for the Arizona Board of Regents contends.

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Ducey allies seek to block Bennett from Republican Primary

Political allies of incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey are going to court to keep him from having to face a challenger in the Republican primary.

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Arizona Republican Party calls on Rep. Stringer to resign

Citing his comments on immigrants and immigration, the Arizona Republican Party is calling on Rep. David Stringer to resign.

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Rep. Stringer: immigration an ‘existential threat’ to US

A first-term Prescott lawmaker is warning that immigration “represents an existential threat to the United States’’ and needs to be curtailed before the country is irrevocably altered.

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Lawsuit claims Kirkpatrick ineligible to run for Congress

A new lawsuit seeks to disqualify Ann Kirkpatrick from running for Congress from Southern Arizona, charging that she improperly – and illegally – mislead people who signed her nominating petition.

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Jurors allowed to view key piece of evidence in Pierce bribery trial

U.S. District Court judge rejects defense arguments that email evidence is protected by marital privilege

Jurors will get to see what could prove a critical email that prosecutors say should help show that Gary Pierce purposely sought to conceal a land deal at the center of a bribery case.

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Ducey opposed to Arizona ratifying Equal Rights Amendment

Since Illinois' lawmakers voted last month to ratify the amendment, only one more state is needed for the Amendment to be included in the U.S. Constitution

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey is not in favor of Arizona becoming the state that finally puts the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution.

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Lawsuit claims Don Shooter not eligible to run for LD 13 seat

PHOENIX — A Republican contender for state Senate is trying to short-circuit a bid by ousted Rep. Don Shooter to get back into the Legislature.

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Groups seek to void Arizona initiative law

Several organizations are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to void a law they say will make it more difficult for groups like theirs to put initiatives on the ballot.

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