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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
6:03 PM Fri, Oct. 19th

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Howard Fischer, For the Courier

Stories by Howard

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Jobless rate up slightly in Arizona to 4.7 percent

PHOENIX — The state’s jobless rate is up one-tenth of a point and stands exactly where it did a year ago. And it’s now a full point higher than the national figure.

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Chispa Arizona launching $2.8M ad campaign for Kennedy, Sears’ ACC bid

If money is speech, the state’s largest electric utility is not going to have the only voice this year in trying to affect who gets elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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Gov. Ducey, GOP outspending Garcia for re-election bid

PHOENIX — Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey is burying his Democratic foe in a landslide of dollars.

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Fight over Prop 127 becoming most expensive in state history

PHOENIX — Tom Steyer has spent more than $18 million so far in his bid to convince Arizonans to support a constitutional mandate that half of all electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

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Rep. Martha McSally accuses Senate opponent Sinema of ‘treason’

Hoping to remind voters of her foe’s history, Republican senatorial contender Martha McSally said Monday that Kyrsten Sinema, her Democratic foe, is guilty of “treason.’’

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Scientist: ‘It turns out Arizona is earthquake country’

Preparedness drill scheduled for Thursday morning

PHOENIX — It’s not quite the “duck and cover’’ exercises of the 1950 when school children were practicing to be prepared for nuclear attack.

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Gov. Ducey signs executive order for autonomous cars in Arizona

PHOENIX — Four years after allowing companies to test driverless cars on Arizona streets, Gov. Doug Ducey is moving to make the state the center of testing for the next generation of autonomous automobiles.

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Carolyn Warner, Arizona political legend, dies at 88

PHOENIX – If it weren't for Bill Schulz, Carolyn Warner, who died Tuesday, could have been the first woman governor of Arizona.

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Clean energy supporters spending $3.6M on ads calling Brnovich ‘corrupt’

Supporters of a renewable energy ballot measure have opened up a new front in their bid to get it approved: an expensive attack on Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

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Prop 127 split is without evidence

Public health advocates urged voters this week to support a renewable energy mandate on the November ballot even though not one of them could say how much of a difference it actually would make in ground-level air pollution.

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Prop 305 seeks to reverse Legislature’s action on vouchers

PHOENIX — It seems a bit out of Alice in Wonderland. But the more than 100,000 people who signed petitions to put Proposition 305 on the ballot now find they have to vote against it to get what they want: repealing legislation to expand who can get vouchers of taxpayer funds to attend private and parochial schools.

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Don Shooter seeking info that led to his ouster from state House

Denied what he wants by attorneys hired by the state House, Don Shooter now is asking a judge to force them to cough up the entire investigative report that led to his ouster and all the documents that led to its production.

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Bennett comes up short in donations needed to qualify for public funding

PHOENIX — Ken Bennett found himself out of the running when he was trounced by incumbent Doug Ducey in the Republican primary in August.

Attorney aide asks federal judge to enforce prohibition of Israel boycotts

Claiming “irreparable harm,’’ a top aide to Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked a federal judge Tuesday to let Arizona continue enforcing its prohibition on boycotts of Israel by companies with public contracts while the state appeals her ruling.

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Ducey points finger at Garcia for ‘rigging’ education sales tax election

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his claim that David Garcia tried to “rig” the election for a income tax for education even though there is no evidence the Democrat gubernatorial hopeful had any role in crafting the measure.

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U.S. Supreme Court keeps uranium ban in place surrounding Grand Canyon National Park

PHOENIX — In a major victory for environmental groups and the Havasupai Tribe, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by mining interests to overturn a 20-year ban on extracting uranium from about a million acres around the Grand Canyon National Park.

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Prop 126 supporters want constitutional ban on taxing services

PHOENIX — To hear the proponents of Proposition 126 tell it, Arizona lawmakers are chomping at the bit to tax medical services, child care and even veterinary bills.

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Gov. Ducey finds himself on the defensive in Tucson debate

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey repeatedly throws around the phrase that Arizona is “open for business” as both a commercial for the state and as proof his policies are what’s driving the state economy.

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Trump tariffs causing food prices to drop in Arizona, US

Like ham? Prices could be dropping, courtesy of President Trump. Julie Murphree, spokeswoman for the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, said the trade war with China has resulted in that country putting new tariffs on U.S. pork products.

Maricopa County Superior Court judge tosses out-of-state tuition lawsuit

Out-of-state students who paid full tuition at state universities won’t be getting a refund.

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Governor candidates Ducey, Garcia, Torres face off in televised debate

PHOENIX — Democrat David Garcia lashed out at incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday for signing legislation last year to let all students take advantage of a voucher program now reserved for students with special needs.

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AZ education advocates want Diane Douglas’ academic ideas rejected

PHOENIX — A parade of teachers, parents and others lined up Monday to ask the state board of education to reject efforts by state schools chief to alter — and they believe dilute — academic standards.

Prop 306 about clean elections, but there’s a veto in there too

A measure put on the November ballot by Republican lawmakers could determine how much Arizonans actually know about who is trying to influence political campaigns.

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Even if measure passes, state utility companies can ignore Prop 127 by paying fine

PHOENIX — It ultimately may not matter if Arizonans vote in November to require utilities generate more of their electricity from renewable sources.

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Corporation Commission hopefuls split on energy proposition

Democrat Sandra Kennedy said Thursday there would be no need for voters to impose a renewable energy mandate if state utility regulators would do their job.

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Congressional candidates battle over ‘good American, Mexican-ness’

PHOENIX — Congressional hopeful Nick Pierson lashed out at incumbent Raul Grijalva, charging “he’s not a good example of a Mexican, not a good example of a Mexican-American, and he’s not a good example of an American.’’

State’s jobless rate holds steady at 4.6 percent

The state’s economy continues to be propelled along by people wanting some new place to live or at least to fix up the one they way.

Prop 306 not only about clean elections; there’s a veto in there

A measure put on the November ballot by Republican lawmakers could determine how much Arizonans actually know about who is trying to influence political campaigns.

Changes now to voter registration would cause chaos, judge says

A federal judge has refused to order Secretary of State Michele Reagan to immediately update voter registration addresses of 384,000 Arizonans who have moved since the last election.

Motion to have border patrol agent’s trial changed

Federal prosecutors are urging a judge to dismiss a bid by Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz to have his new trial moved to Phoenix, saying there’s no reason to believe he would get a fairer trial -- and a more impartial jury — than he would in Tucson.

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State Senator: Lawmakers need to mandate oversight of charter school operations

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey said he’s open to the idea of reforms in how charter schools are operated, including how they handle their finances.

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AG Brnovich alters language of ballot description for Prop. 127

PHOENIX — A key aide to Attorney General Mark Brnovich altered language of the ballot description of Proposition 127 that the state’s top elections officer called “eyebrow raising’’ and the lawyer for initiative organizers said is designed to help Arizona Public Service convince voters to reject it.

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Education advocates trying to oust 2 Arizona justices

Decision on education tax hike proposal draws ire of some

PHOENIX — Upset with a ruling that knocked a tax hike for education off the ballot, some education advocates are trying to get voters to turn one or two Supreme Court justices out of office in November.

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Hoffman, Riggs oppose Prop 305 for school vouchers

PHOENIX — The two contenders for state schools chief found one key area of agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

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Voters won’t see Libertarian on ballot for governor

PHOENIX — For the first time in more than two decades, Arizonans won't have the option to vote for a Libertarian Party candidate for governor.

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Polls: Race to replace Flake in Senate a toss-up

PHOENIX — Three new polls this past week show the race to replace Jeff Flake in the U.S. Senate is pretty much a toss-up.

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Chino Valley resident fights medical marijuana decision in state Supreme Court

Attorneys for a Chino Valley resident are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision which makes criminals out of medical marijuana patients who choose to use edibles and liquids rather than smoking the plant’s dried flowers and leaves.

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Federal appeals court upholds ban on ‘ballot harvesting’

PHOENIX — Calling the lack of evidence of fraud irrelevant, a divided federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Arizona's ban on "ballot harvesting.''

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Border Patrol union steps into race for Governor; beware of those who ‘cuss out’ law enforcement

PHOENIX — The head of the local Border Patrol union is telling Hispanics they should not support David Garcia for governor simply because he also is Latino.

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Federal appeals court sets Oct. 3 hearing on ballot harvesting ban

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court is going to give a Democratic activist one last chance to be able to argue that she and others should be able to “harvest’’ ballots in the upcoming general election.

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Former attorney general weighs in on McCain seat

John McCain’s first congressional chief of staff and the former Republican state attorney general is weighing a bid to win his seat when it becomes available again in 2020 — as a Democrat.

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Nominee for superintendent of public instruction announced

PHOENIX — The Republican Party finally has its nominee for superintendent of public instruction. Final unofficial vote tallies show former California Congressman Frank Riggs with 124,666 votes, edging out Bob Branch who has been involved in teaching educators. Branch wound up with 124,307 votes.

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Report: More than 1,500 teacher vacancies in Arizona

Nearly one in four teaching vacancies that school districts had this year remain unfilled four weeks into the academic year.

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State Supreme Court rejects last-ditch effort to ban ‘dark money’

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court late Aug. 29 rejected a last-ditch effort by supporters of a ban on “dark money’’ in political races to put the issue to voters in November.

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Arizona counties in control when it comes to special lease deals with companies, state Supreme Court says

PHOENIX — Pima County did nothing wrong when it did not seek bids for a site that ultimately became the World View high-altitude balloon launching site, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

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Regents ordered to hand over climate emails, records by UA researchers

PHOENIX — An organization that questions the role of humans in climate change is going to get access to the emails and records of work done by two scientists at the University of Arizona in its bid to argue that their research is flawed.

Woman’s sentence overturned for ‘duress’ defense

Pima County prosecutors are prepared to make another bid to convict a Tucson woman of child abuse despite a state Supreme Court ruling throwing a legal hurdle in their path.

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Court rejects bid to throw energy proposal off ballot

PHOENIX — Arizonans are going to get a chance to decide whether they want to require utilities in the state to produce more of their power from renewable sources.

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Maricopa will not seek to keep polls open; woes should not delay election results

PHOENIX - Maricopa County won't seek to keep the polls open late tonight despite problems getting some of them open this morning.

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Judge gives GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bennett 4 more hours to qualify for campaign funds

PHOENIX -- Ken Bennett got four more hours to gather more donations to qualify for public funding for his gubernatorial campaign.