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Reporter O'Dell leaving Daily Star, taking Republic gig

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Reporter O'Dell leaving Daily Star, taking Republic gig

Reporter Rob O'Dell, who's covered City Hall and done computer assisted reporting for the Arizona Daily Star since 2005, is moving north of the Gila.

O'Dell is taking a position as a CAR reporter for the Arizona Republic.

"It's a great opportunity," O'Dell said Tuesday, confirming the move.

"I was really impressed with the Republic when I was up there," he said. "But I have nothing but good things to say about the Star, too."

O'Dell will cover "federal-, state- and county-government accountability, elections and politics, real estate, the border and
immigration," he said, quoting the Republic's job posting.

O'Dell will begin reporting for the Republic in early August. He said he's not sure when his last day in the Star newsroom will be.

O'Dell, whose reporting focused on city budget issues and Rio Nuevo politics, was moved off the city beat back in October, and assigned to cull through databases and government records.

That reshuffling saw reporter Rhonda Bodfield picking up O'Dell's city reporting. She left the Star in March to take a communications position at Tucson Medical Center.

Recently, the newspaper hired Yuma Sun reporter Darren DaRonco to cover city and county government.

In another recent move, the Star's design director, Mike Rice, was hired away from the newspaper last month. He's now the features design director for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Last July, the Star axed 52 staffers, including about 15 from the newsroom.

The Star's parent company, national newspaper chain Lee Enterprises, was able to refinance its crushing $1.1 billion debt through a packaged bankruptcy filing in January.

Lee stock dropped by 70 percent over a few months at the end of last year, and at one point was trading in the 60-cent range. It closed Tuesday at $1.62. In 2004, the company traded at $49.

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