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Even if Congress OKs ‘doc fix,’ rural hospitals face other challenges

House members repeatedly patted themselves on the back Thursday for passing a permanent fix to a broken Medicare funding formula, after years of “kicking the can down the road.” ... Read more»

Looking to save money, Peoria school district considering four-day week

What sounds like a student’s dream – three-day weekends every week – is a possible solution to a Phoenix-area school district’s budget woes. ... Read more»1

Snags showing in Ducey’s 'secret police' inspector general plan

Changes are coming to Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed state government watchdog following criticism about transparency and accountability. While the governor said the office would "shine a light" on corruption, critic called it a "secret police" plan. ... Read more»1

Capitol roundup: Kill Common Core, limit abortion & require church attendance?

The Legislature is well into the homestretch with a goal to wrap up the session before Easter still in its sights. This led to busy days and long nights at the Capitol this week. ... Read more»1

County Attorney won't charge students in alleged Flowing Wells plot

Five Flowing Wells High School students arrested last week for allegedly planning to kill another student won't face charges, authorities said Friday. The Pima County Attorney's Office announced that there is not sufficient evidence to prove the students conspired to murder a fellow student.... Read more»1

Snake oil? Experts say snakebite kits don't work, delay care

For those heading into rattlesnake territory, a snakebite kit – often featuring an illustration of a viper ready to strike – may seem to offer a measure of safety. But experts say they can do more harm than good. “If you’re snakebit and you’re relying on this to save your life, you’re wasting your time completely." ... Read more»

Wetter months mean more prey, but not necessarily more rattlesnakes

After seeing more rain than usual during the cooler months, Arizona has plenty of vegetation to feed the rodents and birds that rattlesnakes love to eat. But that doesn’t mean more rattlesnakes now that temperatures are warming up, experts say. That may happen in a couple years, but not until rattlesnakes fat and happy from plentiful food live to make baby rattlesnakes.... Read more»

Undocumented workforce slowly donning white collars

While unauthorized workers remain overrepresented in jobs such as farming, cleaning, construction and food service, they are gradually moving into management and professional jobs, according to a new report. Even so, hit hardest by the recession, undocumented workers remain twice as likely to be blue-collar than U.S.-born workers.... Read more»

Census: Tucson tops 1 million; Maricopa second in growth in U.S.

Metro Tucson topped 1 million residents last year, while Maricopa County and metro Phoenix posted some of the nation’s largest population gains between 2013 and 2014, according to new Census Bureau estimates.... Read more»1

Businesses mixed on costs, benefits of plastic vs. reusable bags

Advocates for reusable bags say they’re cheaper in the long run. But those who favor plastic bags say the reusable bags are significantly more expensive. Like many controversial topics, the “real” cost may depend on how you look at the issue.... Read more»1

Many national, int'l pilots train at Arizona flight schools

Experts say it’s not surprising the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed into the French Alps earlier this week, trained in Arizona. Many organizations, including Lufthansa, the parent company of GermanWings, send their pilots here.... Read more»

$500K in hard drugs seized at Nogales crossing

Nogales-area Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $500,000 in hard drugs in multiple smuggling incidents over the past week, including one attempt by a 13-year-old girl to smuggle methamphetamine in the United States. ... Read more»

Guest opinion

Kirkpatrick: Grand Canyon Watershed Nat'l Monument can work for everyone

Arizonans are a spirited, strong-willed bunch. But there is something we all agree on: From hikers to hunters, from tribal nations to tourism authorities – we love the Grand Canyon. This is why I am working on an effort to designate the Grand Canyon Watershed as a national monument.... Read more»

1000px: Smoother sailing on repaved roads

As part of Pima County's pavement preservation project, crews from Granite Construction overlaid 2 inches of asphalt on North Painted Hills Road on Wednesday. Nearby, city-funded crews were busy ripping up West Ironwood Hill Drive in preparation for a new paving job.... Read more»

Air Force chief of staff quietly visiting D-M

The chief of staff of the Air Force has been quietly visiting Tucson over the last few days. Gen. Mark Welsh, a former A-10 pilot, recently clashed with U.S. Rep. Martha McSally over the Air Force's plans to phase out the attack plane, including those based at Davis-Monthan.... Read more»1

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