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Stories by Diannie Chavez

COVID-19 on track to be leading cause of death in Arizona in 2021

COVID-19 claimed almost 15,800 lives in Arizona this year, putting it on track to be the leading cause of death in the state in 2021 - a change from 2020, when the virus was the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.... Read more»0

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Fentanyl, COVID-19 help drive overdose deaths to record 12-month high

The COVID-19 pandemic and a growing unsafe drug supply combined to push overdose deaths up by 27.6% in the U.S. over a 12-month period from 2020 to 2021, a surge in deaths that was matched in Arizona. ... Read more»0

Arizona lags in prenatal care, but ranks well in infant deaths, preemies

Arizona outperformed the nation on its rates of premature births and infant deaths, despite having some of lowest rates of prenatal care among the states, according to a recent March of Dimes report that describes “maternity care deserts” in southern Arizona.... Read more»0

Arizona saw 10-fold jump in catalytic converter thefts; 2nd-most in nation

Theft of catalytic converters – the part of a car’s exhaust system that changes toxic gases to less-harmful emissions – is surging across the country and in Arizona, with cases making a a 956.4% increase from last year, second in the nation only to Colorado.... Read more»0

‘Remain in Mexico’ migrant policy resumes, even as feds and Az advocates vow to end it

The Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy will resume, even as DHS vowed to continue working to end the program it is now being forced to reinstate. Opponents of the policy urged the Biden administration to terminate the “inhumane and illegal” program.... Read more»0

Court: Higher water charge for Maricopa public housing not discriminatory

A federal appeals court said Friday that the Maricopa Domestic Water Improvement District can charge more in upfront fees to public housing residents, even though the policy disproportionately affects minority customers and single mothers. ... Read more»0

Arizona lawmakers split as House OKs $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

Arizona lawmakers split on party lines late Friday night as the House voted 228-206 to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate and now goes to the president for his signature - but the $1.85 trillion Build Back Better bill still on hold.... Read more»0

Arizona officials vow to fight White House workplace vaccination mandate

Just hours after the Biden administration issued regulations Thursday to require that businesses mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers, Arizona officials were vowing to fight what one called a “direct attack” on personal liberty. ... Read more»0

Protesters take sides, as Supreme Court takes up Texas abortion law

The future of abortion rights was not strictly the issue before the Supreme Court when it took up Texas’ strict abortion law Monday, but that was not evident from the scores of protesters who gathered outside the court. ... Read more»0

Arizonans join rallies in D.C. urging action on Build Back Better plan

Hundreds of protesters, including several from Arizona, gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to demand that Democrats fulfill promises on childcare, healthcare and immigration reform by taking action on President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. ... Read more»0

Obamacare enrollment in Arizona rose by 40,000, with more gains likely

More than 40,000 Arizonans signed up for Affordable Care Act health insurance in the six-month special enrollment period earlier this year, and advocates expect the numbers to keep rising in the enrollment period that opens next month. ... Read more»0

Court upholds death sentence for Arizona man who burned ex-roommate to death

An appeals court Thursday rejected an Arizona death-row inmate’s argument that his sentence was unconstitutional because his crime, burning a former roommate to death, was committed in a brief window when the state was revising its death penalty law. ... Read more»0

Navajo president backs bill to protect Native American voting rights

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez urged a Senate Judiciary subcommittee to support the Native American Voting Rights Act, which would set minimum federal requirements for voting on tribal lands, including early voting, mail-in balloting, ballot collecting and ID standards.... Read more»0

Citizenship applications backlog leaves thousands with cases pending

More than 11,000 U.S. citizenship applications currently pending in Arizona - nearly double the backlog of 6,307 cases at the end of 2015 - and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the backlog comes from delays caused by pandemic service reductions last year.... Read more»0

DHS to end workplace raids, turn focus on companies exploiting workers

Reversing a Trump-era policy, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that it will stop raiding workplaces to search for undocumented immigrants and will focus instead on “unscrupulous employers who exploit the vulnerability” of undocumented labor.... Read more»0

Biden reverses Trump cuts to national monuments, restores Bears Ears

President Biden restored Bears Ears National Monument to its previous 1.36 million-acres footprint Friday, reversing a Trump-era decision to cut as much as 85% of the Utah site valued for its environmental, archeological and tribal treasures.... Read more»0

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