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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
12:02 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

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Howard Fischer, For the Courier

Stories by Howard

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#InvestInEd group says lawmakers misleading voters in education tax

PHOENIX — Saying voters are purposely being misled, organizers of the #InvestInEd initiative asked a judge on Friday to force lawmakers to recraft the description of the measure that will go to voters.

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Attorney for border patrol agent, who killed teenager, argues against retrial

PHOENIX — The attorney for a Border Patrol agent, who killed a teen by firing through the fence, contends his client can’t be retried after a jury deadlocked on the question of whether he is guilty of manslaughter.

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Study: Arizona schools continue to rank low

New study from WalletHub comes as education takes center stage in political races

PHOENIX — Arizona schools are near the bottom of the barrel nationally when academics, class size and even student bullying are considered, at least according to a financial advice website.

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Arizona predicted to add 540,000-plus jobs by 2026

State economists predict Arizona will add 542,975 new jobs by 2026.

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Democrat gubernatorial debate focuses on Ducey’s shortcomings

The three Democrat gubernatorial hopefuls worked Thursday night to refute Doug Ducey’s narrative that job and population growth shows what a great job he is doing.

Judge won’t block renewable energy vote

Arizonans can’t be blocked from voting on a renewable energy proposal solely because organizers may have violated some state election laws, a judge ruled Tuesday.

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ACLU drops lawsuit against Gosar for blocking voters from social-media accounts

PHOENIX — The American Civil Liberties Union has dropped its lawsuit against Congressman Paul Gosar, saying it now has assurances that constituents won't be blocked from posting comments on his Facebook page he does not like.

Sweeping number of new Arizona laws kick in Friday, Aug. 3

A number of new Arizona laws, which will kick in Friday, Aug. 3, take aim at a wide range of issues in the state.

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New Arizona laws take effect Friday, from abortion and credit scores to eggs and child marriage

Come this Friday, women who want an abortion will be asked new questions; consumers can have their credit frozen for free; Grade A eggs can stay on the shelf longer; and 15-year-olds won't be able to legally marry.

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Democrat gubernatorial candidates debate immigration, education

PHOENIX -- Kelly Fryer lashed out at her Democrat gubernatorial foes Tuesday for talking about ways to improve border security rather than dealing with the issue of immigration as a humanitarian problem.

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Arizona utility, California billionaire battle over renewable energy measure

PHOENIX — The attorney for the state’s largest utility said Monday that Arizonans should be precluded from voting on a renewable energy mandate because they were not told when signing petitions that a California billionaire is behind the measure.

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Judge to rule on Clean Elections ballot wording

A claim that lawmakers are giving voters a flawed explanation of a measure on the November ballot drew a skeptical reaction Friday from the judge hearing the case.

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Judge won’t block regulators from seizing control of utility company

A federal judge refused Thursday to block state utility regulators from seizing control of Johnson Utilities, at least for the time being.

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Court: Arizona couple owes $15M in taxes for sale of radio stations

A nearly two decade-old sale of some Tucson radio stations is coming back to bite the former owners in the wallet.

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce sues to stop education tax proposal

The fate of whether voters get to decide on an income tax on the wealthy to help pay for public education could depend on what math a judge decides is appropriate.

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Ducey’s call to end legislative immunity gets chilly response

PHOENIX — A call by Gov. Doug Ducey to repeal the so-called “legislative immunity’’provision of the Arizona Constitution is getting a chilly reception from several senior lawmakers.

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APS parent company looking to block voters from imposing renewable energy mandates

The parent company of the state’s largest electric utility filed suit Thursday in a bid to block voters from deciding if they want to impose new renewable energy mandates on power companies.

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Arizona jobless rate increase stays put for now

Continued strong growth in the construction industry helped keep the state’s jobless rate from increasing last month.

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Ducey: Troopers must cite, arrest bad-driving lawmakers

Saying legislative immunity is being abused, Gov. Doug Ducey directed that police officers under his control have the authority to cite -- and if necessary arrest -- lawmakers whose bad driving is more than just simple speeding.

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Reagan: Arizona has election system it can be ‘proud of’

The contest for secretary of state could boil down to whether voters believe that things are being better run now in the office than they were two years ago.

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Pinnacle West files suit to block renewable energy vote

The parent company of the state’s largest electric utility filed suit Thursday in a bid to block voters from deciding if they want to impose new renewable energy mandates on power companies.

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Anonymous-spending group leaders file lawsuit to block anti-'dark money' initiative

Campaign contributors attempting to block voters from making the practice illegal

Officials of two organizations known for anonymous spending on political campaigns filed suit late Thursday to keep Arizonans from voting on a measure that would make the practice illegal.

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Judge approves ‘clean elections’ measure for November ballot

Arizona Supreme Court to be asked to intercede

Arizonans will get a chance to vote in November on whether they want to alter the powers of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

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Pinnacle West, APS spend millions to influence elections

The state’s largest electric utility already has set aside close to $11 million to make elections this year come out the way it wants.

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Influential groups pay for Arizona ballot measure arguments

Arizona voters will be inundated with nearly 500 arguments about why they should support or oppose the seven different measures that will be on the November ballot.

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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.