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Judge upholds 20-year ban on new uranium mines near Grand Canyon

A federal judge Tuesday upheld the U.S. Department of the Interior’s 20-year ban on adding new uranium mines on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon, rejecting a claim by a coalition of mining industry groups that the move is a violation of their rights.... Read more»

Poll: Western voters oppose giving federal lands to states

A poll says 52 percent of voters in eight Western states don’t think federal lands should be shifted to state control. An Arizona bill to do that was vetoed in 2012, but Utah law calls on the federal government to cede lands there by Dec. 31. Few expect that to happen.... Read more»2

Center for Biological Diversity

Enviros threaten to sue feds for not protecting pygmy owl

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Defenders of Wildlife this week filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for not protecting the owl under the Endangered Species Act. The groups also object to the wording in the agency’s policy restricting the owl from receiving protection.... Read more»1

Largest-ever tribal settlement sees $554M to Navajo

The tribe’s 2006 lawsuit originally sought $900 million for what it called the federal government’s decades of mishandling royalties from oil, gas, coal, uranium and other mineral leases it held in trust for the tribe. The settlement was hailed as a “victory for tribal sovereignty.”... Read more»

Huckelberry hardball: 'Pay this bill or we'll kill these dogs'

Pima County fired back at Tucson’s refusal to pay for increased animal-shelter costs Wednesday, with a Chuck Huckelberry memo that’s reminiscent of a 1973 National Lampoon cover. The county administrator said if the city doesn’t want to pay more for the Animal Control Center, then Tucson can choose to put strays to sleep — and hire someone to do it.... Read more»2

House panel asked to approve water-rights deal for Hualapai, Freeport

The Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2014 would guarantee some water rights for the Hualapai Tribe, allow Freeport Minerals Corp. to continue operating its Bagdad copper mine and provide the state with lands for wildlife protection, supporters said.... Read more»

Clean Air-Blue Skies plates becoming the domain of electric cars

When Jim Stack bought his Ford Focus electric plug-in, his passion to keep emissions out of the air was broadcast to the world. He can even drive across the country and not pay a penny in driving costs. Stack is part of an exclusive club for two reasons: having a plug-in electric vehicle and being able to sport a blue-and-white license plate entitling him to use the HOV lane even when it’s just him in the car.... Read more»

State officials urge Congress to continue aid to counties with large federal lands

Local leaders from Arizona and other states urged Congress to safeguard the payment in lieu of taxes, which reimburses counties for untaxable federal land and is vital to county budgets.... Read more»

City establishes sandbag drop-off

If your preparations for the “hurricane that wasn’t” have left you with a pile of sandbags you don’t know what to do with, the city of Tucson has an answer. A drop-off location has been set up at the Ward 5 Council office, 4300 S. Park Ave.... Read more»

Update: Weather Service lifts flood watch for Tucson

The path of Tropical Storm Odile has shifted to the east, and the National Weather Service has lifted a flash flood watch for Tucson. Heavy rains have fallen on Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, which remain covered by a flood advisory.... Read more»

Free sandbags going fast as Odile approaches

Officials have given out more than 18,000 free sandbags, and are having 60,000 more delivered from Phoenix. In preparation for heavy rain from tropical storm Odile, authorities are giving out free sandbags to residents who want to protect their homes. Raytheon sent employees home early, and several school districts have called off after-school activities.... Read more»1

All that rain had little impact on Phx reservoirs

Those who endured last week’s record-breaking rain in the Valley won’t get much of a payoff at their taps. That’s because the storm didn’t have a measurable effect on area reservoirs.... Read more»

Filling sandbags: Phx mayor urges preparation for next big storm

After last week’s record rainfall, Phoenix officials are monitoring weather reports as Hurricane Odile moves north in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. Mayor Greg Stanton said that officials are working together so that Phoenix is as prepared as it can be, adding that last week’s storm gives him confidence it will be.... Read more»

Enviros prepare lawsuit to force wolf recovery plan

The Center for Biological Diversity says it intends to sue over what it calls inadequate action to re-establish the Mexican gray wolf in the Southwest. The groups say a lawsuit would force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a workable recovery plan for the species.... Read more»1

9/11

Former Arizonan and firefighter recalls days at Ground Zero

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, former Arizonan Robert Sebold — a volunteer firefighter and EMT — watched the attacks on the World Trade Center on TV and knew he had to do something. The former soldier packed up his gear, put on his firefighter turnout clothes, then boarded a bus and headed for Ground Zero.... Read more»

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