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Farmworker visas more than doubled in Arizona, U.S. in recent years

The number of H-2A visas issued to agricultural workers in Arizona has more than doubled in the past five years, mirroring a national increase in the temporary “guest worker program” for noncitizens.... Read more»

40MW solar plant north of Tucson powers ASU, PayPal

Electricity from a new $90 million solar power plant in Red Rock will be underwritten by PayPal's operation in Phoenix, and Arizona State University. The facility, next to an existing natural-gas plant about 35 miles north of Tucson, was dedicated this week.... Read more»

Photos

Border Patrol recruits: Wild horses, tamed by prisoners

Long before the desert sun has had a chance to heat the dusty prison yard, some 20 inmates at an Arizona state prison begin quietly tending horses. Both the men and the horses are still learning how to live behind fences. Prisoners in the Wild Horse Inmate Program train mustangs that will eventually be adopted by the Border Patrol.... Read more»

Tequila makers, volunteers lift endangered bats off the mat

An unusual alliance of researchers and tequila makers have helped rescue a crucial American Southwest pollinator known as the lesser long-nosed bat from the brink of extinction, according to U.S. wildlife managers who want the bat removed from the endangered and threatened species list. ... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Monsanto hearings tempt wrong kind of fate

Pima County's Monsanto hearings will not be five teachable moments about the virtues of a deal with the ag company. It's just five chances to piss people off. ... Read more»

Arizona still a power in solar industry, despite gains by other states

Arizona currently ranks second in total installed solar capacity after California, the nation’s undisputed leader. More than 100 solar facilities are operating or under construction here, and could have a large effect on our economy, with the potential to attract a skilled workforce.... Read more»

Pima County schedules 5 public meetings on Monsanto

Pima County is having five meetings this month to allow more citizen feedback and let Monsanto respond to complaints about its controversial plans for a greenhouse near Marana. ... Read more»3

San Carlos Apache, environmentalists battle Oak Flat copper mine bid

Oak Flat in Eastern Arizona lies in the midst of an environmental and economic controversy. The San Carlos Apache revere the federally owned land. Environmentalists consider it a sanctuary. Climbers, hikers and campers gravitate there for recreation. And Resolution Copper covets the rich veins of ore running beneath the surface.... Read more»

Environmentalists criticize proposed jaguar recovery plan

Environmental groups are criticizing the details of a proposed jaguar recovery plan released Monday by the Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing the plan is too weak to protect the species from extinction. Two wild male jaguars recently spotted in Southern Arizona are the only known jaguars in the country.... Read more»

OSHA's wall of shame: with limited staff, safety agency targets 'severe violators'

Six years into the Severe Violator Enforcement Program – the broadest workplace safety initiative launched under President Obama – more than 500 businesses are on its list of bad actors. They include giants such as DuPont and International Paper as well as more than 300 construction firms. But the effort faces an uncertain future under the Trump administration.... Read more»

The facts on Trump’s EPA nominee

Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has made some questionable claims related to global warming, fracking and the Clean Power Plan.... Read more»

Officials confirm wild jaguar spotted in Huachucas is new to Arizona

A male jaguar snapped by a trail camera near Ft. Huachuca "has not been seen previously in Arizona," state Game and Fish Department officials have confirmed. Another wild jaguar photographed in Southern Arizona, "El Jefe," has not been seen in more than a year.... Read more»

Big companies in legal scrapes turn to science-for-hire giant Exponent

Exponent, Inc., is a publicly traded giant in litigation defense and regulatory science. It’s a go-to destination for major industries with liability problems – even as it is derided by critics as a hired gun whose findings are for sale. Among other facilities, the company has a 147-acre vehicle test track in Phoenix.... Read more»

Sky Harbor had 24,247 noise complaints in 2015 after flight-path shift

Neighbors of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport filed 24,247 complaints about noise at the facility in 2015, one of the highest rates among airports studied in a recent George Mason University report.... Read more»

With 'sustainable' bighorn herd in Catalinas, G&F says no more mtn lion killings

With a population of more than 80 bighorn sheep back at home in the Santa Catalinas, Arizona Game and Fish is now taking a more hands-off approach. The biggest change, announced this week, is that the agency will no longer hunt and kill mountain lions which prey on the sheep in the mountains just north of Tucson.... Read more»

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