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Stories by Andrew Knochel

Advocates: Community planning key in obesity fight

With sedentary lifestyles contributing to a national epidemic of obesity, state health officials are looking to local governments to plan communities that encourage residents to be more active. That includes incorporating ways to promote daily exercise in general plan updates.... Read more»0

Looming Super Bowl drives efforts to toughen Az sex trafficking laws

With the clock ticking down to the 2015 Super Bowl, nonprofits and advocates are already working to raise awareness about sex trafficking and persuade lawmakers to toughen laws. Advocates say that sex trafficking increases around sporting events, and the Super Bowl in particular. That was a consideration when a committee appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer made recommendations for new laws and policies in September.... Read more»0

More than veggies growing in community gardens

Community gardens proliferating around the country are giving people an opportunity to connect, experts say. At a central Phoenix garden, participants say they build contacts as well as trade gardening tips. ... Read more»0

Revised outlook for 2014 calls for 59,000 new jobs across Az

Arizona will add 59,000 jobs in 2014, with the growth rate increasing from 2 percent in the two years prior to 2.3 percent, according to a report by the state’s Office of Employment and Population Statistics.... Read more»0

Possibility of Avra Valley interstate highway route revs up concerns

Interstate 11, a proposed commerce and trade route from Las Vegas to the Mexican border, could be built in Avra Valley, just west of the Tucson Mountains.... Read more»2

Counties: 1,400+ hit by AG ruling on voting/citizenship proof

At least 1,400 Arizonans would be allowed to vote only in federal elections under a rule announced this week by Attorney General Tom Horne, according to a survey of county election officials.... Read more»1

Group: Technology helps people dramatically cut down on driving

Smartphone apps saying when the next bus is coming and ride- and bike-sharing services are among innovations enabling Arizonans to drastically cut down on driving, a public interest advocacy group reported Tuesday.... Read more»0

Sex-trafficking task force wants tougher laws against johns

A task force Gov. Jan Brewer assembled to address human trafficking plans to recommend laws toughening penalties for johns in child prostitution cases and raising public awareness of the problem.... Read more»1

Transportation agency joins Army program connecting vets with jobs

On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Transportation held a ceremony where they joined the Partnership for Youth Success, which helps match those entering the Army with job opportunities after their service.... Read more»0

Ex-Mx pres Fox: 'Total advocate' for legalizing drugs

“Leaders commit” to resolving issues such as reforming U.S. immigration policy, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Thursday during a visit to Arizona. Fox, who served as Mexico’s president from 2000-2006, also said he’s become a “total advocate” for legalizing drugs.... Read more»1

Opponents of new election law say they have sigs to force statewide vote

Voter-advocacy groups seeking a referendum to overturn a sweeping new state election law delivered more than 146,000 petition signatures Wednesday to the Secretary of State’s Office. Needing 86,405 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, leaders said they had more than enough to put the issue to voters in November 2014.... Read more»1

New state law requires drug testing for taxi, limousine drivers

Since he began driving a taxi here 17 years ago, Shah Muhsin said firms employing him as a contractor have required him to get drug tests. That’s why he supports a state law taking effect Friday requiring all taxi and limousine drivers to be drug tested when hired or engaged as contractors and to be tested every year after that.... Read more»0

Work on track to dedicate state World War II memorial Dec. 7

Behind a fence outside the State Capitol, Secretary of State Bennett points out the pedestal on which a 70-ton gun barrel from the USS Arizona will rest. He said everything is on track, from fundraising to donations of time and material, to dedicate a World War II memorial featuring guns from the Arizona and USS Missouri on Dec. 7.... Read more»0