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Report: Driving drops in Az as more ride public transportation

Public transit use rose across Arizona as the number of miles driven dwindled, according to a new report that called for shifting funds from “unnecessary” highway projects to mass transit. The report said bus and rail ridership grew across the state from 2005 to 2010, largely driven by increases in Phoenix and Tucson, while the number of miles driven has fallen.... Read more»

Homeland Security: Fewer Central American kids crossing border

Homeland Security officials said Tuesday that they have cut the time it takes to deport Central American adults and seen a sharp drop in the number of children trying to cross the border. Secretary Johnson said officials had reduced the time it takes to repatriate adults to Central America, from about 33 days to about four days now.... Read more»

From the editor

Calling candidate commentaries: Pols' op-eds wanted

Local political candidates are welcome to submit guest opinion pieces for publication. Here’s what we’re looking for, and what we’re not.... Read more»1

Analysis

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

Participants in the health care marketplace would be wise to shop around.... Read more»2

40 Mexican bishops taking 'intensive' exorcism course

Some 40 Catholic bishops in Mexico are taking an ‘intensive’ exorcism course led by an Italian priest who says he’s personally conducted 1,650 exorcisms.... Read more»2

Appeals courts offer conflicting rulings on federal health subsidies

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit threw the fate of an important part of the Affordable Care Act into doubt Tuesday. Meanwhile, just an hour later, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals came to the opposite conclusion – upholding the federal subsidies.... Read more»

County health chief: Migrant kids face greater health risk than public

The unaccompanied minors staying in Tucson continue to pose a “very low health risk to county residents,” according to an assessment released out by the Pima County Health Department. Rather, the health of the children at the end of a long and perilous journey is a concern, said health chief Dr. Francisco Garcia.... Read more»

Mexican shelters heeding call to aid desperate migrants

Carlos Solis was training to be a priest when he got a new calling – to help the Central American migrants who show up at his southern Mexican shelter on their way toward the U.S. The House of Mercy is one of 52 shelters on the route north, run by people, like Solis, called to help.... Read more»

Court upholds conviction of smuggler who held migrant for ransom

A federal appeals court Monday upheld the conviction of a human trafficker who was involved in a scheme to kidnap a young Honduran immigrant in Tucson and demand ransom from his mother.... Read more»

Last chance for input on Sabino Canyon plan

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for public input about new recreation plans at Sabino Canyon. The meeting will be held Tuesday at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center from 6-8 p.m.... Read more»

Sneak a peek at Sun Link streetcar

Politicians and longtime backers of the new Tucson streetcar system got a chance to ride Sun Link on Monday morning. The 3.9-mile, $197 million streetcar line will open to the public Friday, with free rides over the first weekend. (photos and video)... Read more»1

Analysis

Switching from a gas tax to a mileage-based user fee

The insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund threatens federal transportation programs. Implementing a mileage fee would provide robust funding for decades to come.... Read more»

Biggest insurer drops caution, embraces Obamacare

UnitedHealthcare, the insurance giant that largely sat out the health law’s online marketplaces’ first year, said Thursday it may sell policies through the exchanges in nearly half the states next year.... Read more»

New online tracking tool is virtually impossible to block

A new kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.... Read more»

Texas cities pushing back on border surge

City Councilwoman Heidi Thiess of League City swung into action shortly after she saw media reports of Central American children sleeping in detention centers along the Texas-Mexico border. She wrote a resolution barring any immigrant from being housed on an emergency basis in her city. A handful of Texas communities have followed suit.... Read more»

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