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Defense bill could include $1.6 billion to start border wall

Democrats are blasting a GOP plan to allocate $1.57 billion to begin construction of a border wall with Mexico, by slipping that language into a critical defense funding bill. But there appears to be little else they can do to stop the funding language.... Read more»

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Hooked

Nearby border makes Tucson epicenter of Az’s heroin epidemic

A little more than an hour up Interstate 19 from the border, Tucson has become an epicenter of Arizona's heroin epidemic. A Cronkite News analysis of state data shows the five ZIP codes that saw the most overdoses between 2009 and 2013 were all in metropolitan Tucson.... Read more»

Jan. 8 memorial design finalists to be displayed Tuesday

The four finalists competing to design a permanent memorial dedicated to the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings will show their work and take feedback on Tuesday night. The January 8th Memorial Foundation reviewed about 60 submissions from architects around the world to narrow the list to four, including one firm from Tucson.... Read more»

Hooked

Heroin’s road to Az tests police, feeds growing demand

Traffickers will use any means to smuggle heroin into the United States. Their routes and techniques are constantly adapting, and law enforcement agencies are forced to adapt as well.... Read more»

McSally hiring former Giffords spokesman to head Tucson office

Confirming rumors swirling among Tucson's political class, a former aide to Gabby Giffords confirmed Friday evening that he will become director of U.S. Rep. Martha McSally's district office. C.J. Karamargin, who was a spokesman for Giffords before taking a post with Pima College, said in an email he'll go to work for the freshman Republican later this month.... Read more»5

Rogue Columnist

With Gov. Ducey, Az doubles down on broken political party

Commentary: Doug Ducey was elected governor of Arizona with a 36.24 percent voter turnout, the lowest in recent history. It may seem unfair to judge him so soon. But, no. The days when a GOP office holder was independent-minded are gone, replaced by a party ruled by a nihilist ideology. ... Read more»2

South, West get population boost from movers

New census figures show people have started returning to recovering housing markets in the South and West.... Read more»1

High-profile donors, familiar names top '14 campaign contributions

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and wrestling magnate Linda McMahon might make a funny trio for the setup of a joke, but what they actually have in common is their outsized funding of Arizona's 2014 campaign season.... Read more»4

Jan. 8: Bells mark 4th anniversary; Obama meets with Giffords

On the anniversary of an assassination attempt that nearly took her life, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, met with President Obama, who was in Phoenix to tout his housing programs. In Tucson, a small group of survivors marked the date at a bell-ringing ceremony at UAMC.... Read more»4

Sanchez 'confident' TUSD and state can reach agreement on ethnic studies

TUSD superintendent H.T. Sanchez said he is confident that the district and the Arizona Department of Education can find a fix for ethnic studies programs after a meeting Wednesday with newly installed state head of public education Diane Douglas. ... Read more»

Hispanic graduation rates signify looming troubles

In the United States, Hispanic students are almost twice as likely to drop out of high school as their peers. Locally in Arizona, where a growing number of Hispanics are already a sizeable chunk of the population, the trend in academic underachievement within the demographic is especially troubling.... Read more»2

Audit: Border drones costly, infrequently flown

The drone program operated by Customs and Border Protection costs far more than the agency estimates, flies far fewer hours than it should, and helps in a fraction of apprehensions along the U.S-Mexico border, according to an audit of the program. In a report released on Christmas Eve, the DHS Inspector General found that after eight years, the program has not achieved results, flying for only about 20 percent of the time expected. ... Read more»2

Ducey: 'Business at hand is expanding Az's economy'

Doug Ducey was sworn in as Arizona's governor on Monday. Here's the text of his address to the state:... Read more»2

Cochise County Sheriff's helicopter crashes near Benson

Two people were killed when a Cochise County Sheriff's Office helicopter crashed during a flight from Phoenix to the county late Wednesday afternoon. ... Read more»

Brrr-ring in the new year: Freeze warning for Tucson

The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures will fall well below freezing around Tucson overnight Thursday and Friday nights, with the mercury dipping into the 20s until things warm up around 9 a.m. Saturday. Check your plants, pipes and pets.... Read more»

Update: This little piggy goes wee, wee, wee, all the way home

The pot-bellied pig up for adoption at PACC has already found a home.... Read more»

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