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Stories by Mary Shinn

Swords to plowshares: Experts see farming as next big use for drones

Drones numbering in the tens of thousands will be in the skies by 2030, the FAA predicts. But where some may fear precision weapons or flying spy cameras, Steve Markofski sees flying tractors. ... Read more»0

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UAV degree: Colleges offering courses in drone design

The drone minor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott aims to prepare students to build and fly unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs, or drones – for a commercial market that doesn’t yet exist.... Read more»0

Drone business lifting off in Az, heightening concerns

After the high-profile shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010, Scott Rollefstad felt he had to do something to help keep other agents safe. So the Tucson resident headed to his garage and, after several months of tinkering, emerged with a backpack-sized surveillance drone. ... Read more»0

Az safety inspectors have among highest turnover in nation

Arizona’s safety inspectors are some of the least-experienced in nation, according to a report this month by the GAO. More than half of the 18 safety inspectors who were on the job at the time of the report had been in their positions for less than five years.... Read more»0

Tough races just past, Congress freshmen already stocking up cash

The election season is barely behind them, but freshmen Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, have both raised more than $300,000 toward possible re-election bids in 2014, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Southern Arizona Rep. Ron Barber has raised nearly $300k himself.... Read more»0

Immigration bill criticized for going too far – or not far enough

Sponsors of a comprehensive immigration reform bill said no one would be happy with all parts of the bill and a hearing Monday seemed to bear that out, with some in the day-long session saying the bill goes to far and other saying it does not go far enough. ... Read more»0

Flake, Giffords part ways on background check bill

Minutes after he shared a stage with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said he still plans to oppose a bill supported by Giffords that calls for expanded background checks for gun buyers. The pair appeared together as Vice President Biden helped dedicate a room in the Capitol Visitor Center for slain aide Gabe Zimmerman.... Read more»6

Land of the free? Report says Az trails 10 states in overall freedom

Arizona has a reputation as a state full of mavericks and independent thinkers, but a couple of academics have bad news for state residents. We’re No. 11.... Read more»0

FEC fines Franks’ campaign committee $14,000

The Federal Election Commission has fined Rep. Trent Franks’ campaign committee $14,000 for failing to report spending of more than $300,000, mostly on mailings, from 2009 to 2011.... Read more»0

Arizonans join rallies at Supreme Court for, against same-sex marriage

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors have been a couple for more than 50 years, but at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court they called Tuesday their “moment in history.” “Why is it because we’re two women, our love is not recognized?” asked Bailey, a featured speaker at a rally in support of same-sex marriage Tuesday, when the high court began two days of hearings on the issue.... Read more»0

Airline CEOs assure senators merger will benefit consumers

The CEOs of American Airlines and US Airways told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday that not only would a merger of their airlines not hurt Phoenix, it could bring more international flights to the city.... Read more»0

Supreme Court questions Az’s voter registration law

The Supreme Court seemed split over whether strict voter-registration laws like Arizona's Proposition 200 are needed to prevent voter fraud, or whether they render a national voter law useless. The justices sharply questioned both sides in the hearing.... Read more»0

Survey: Women business owners in Az see hiring, growth

Almost half of female business owners in Arizona look to hire and expand their companies in the next five years, a new survey shows. The optimistic report comes as new national figures showed the jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent in February, the lowest in four years.... Read more»0

Arizona’s voter registration law heads for Supreme Court review

To Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, the state law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration is “common sense,” not a burden. To opponents, Arizona’s Proposition 200 is just another obstacle that would restrict access to the polls for the young, elderly and minorities.... Read more»1

D.C. rally demands voting-rights protection in states like Az

Hundreds gathered on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to rally in support of a federal voter-protection law that governs mostly Southern states with a history of discrimination, including Arizona.... Read more»0

US Airways official repeats assurances about Phx jobs after merger

A US Airways executive repeated assurances in Washington on Tuesday that the company plans to maintain a significant corporate presence in Phoenix after its proposed merger with Texas-based American Airlines.... Read more»0

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