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Robert Herr, an Army veteran who became homeless, received help from the private group U.S. Vets in Phoenix. As a result, he has temporary housing and a job.

More than 2,200 veterans are homeless in Arizona on any given night, making up one of every five people on the street. Now state and private organizations are joining a national effort to make help available. Read more»

Judge Roger Carter Olson stands in a Pinal County courtroom. He is the presiding judge for Pinal Superior Court and he will face retention – instead of election – in 2012 should he decide to stay in his position.

Thanks to Pinal County’s jump in population over the last decade, voters will decide whether to retain sitting judges rather than directly electing them. Any vacancies on the bench will be filled through appointment, not election. Read more»

Miledis Juan, a 25-year-old Dominican with a teaching degree, cannot find work as a teacher because she was denied access to her birth certificate. Juan lives with her husband, Henry Claude Joseph and 1-year-old son, Henry Alberto – who also was denied a birth certificate.

Over the past seven years, the Dominican government has re-written its constitution, re-interpreted old laws and passed new ones, effectively eliminating birthright citizenship. Today, a child born in the Dominican Republic is no longer automatically a citizen; citizenship goes only to those who can prove they have at least one documented parent. Read more»

Sgt. 1st Class Vern West plays the taps to honor fallen Vietnam soldiers and those still missing in action.

Veterans organizations in Arizona see marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam conflict as an opportunity to rectify that. Vietnam veterans now make up the largest portion of veterans in the state, and through efforts like the dinner, groups are working to show them gratitude. Read more»

A 17-month operation has shut down a smuggling ring, connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, that moved more than $33 million worth of drugs each month through Arizona. 76 were arrested, and 60,000 lbs. of marijuana were seized, along with 108 weapons and $750,000. (with videos) Read more»

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said laws he authored will help voters make more informed decisions about retaining those serving on the Arizona Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. An opponent says the laws, which require lists of judges’ decisions to be posted online, are a thinly veiled attempt by conservatives to oust liberals.

Come election time in 2012, voters will have online access to more information about state appellate judges when they decide whether to retain them, thanks to two new laws. Read more» 1

Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s state historian, is shown in his office at Scottsdale Community College in 2009.

Marshall Trimble has been educating in and out of the classroom since 1969 on everything from Geronimo’s surrender to how the city of Tombstone got its name. Appointed state historian by Gov. Fife Symington in 1997, he travels the state, talking, joking and singing about Arizona history with his smooth Western voice and infectious grin. Read more»

For the community of the Lake Havasu City, the Colorado River is an economic lifeline.

Some leaders in western Arizona are pushing for a new congressional district that encompasses the Colorado River along the California line. Critics say the district would be too large, and encompass urban areas that would undermine its rural character. Read more»

Lattie F. Coor, founding chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona.

More Arizonans say they are participating in civic activities like interacting with neighbors and contacting public officials, according to a report released at a conference Friday by a nonpartisan research organization. Read more»

UMOM New Day Centers has received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant to help veterans’ families facing homelessness. Veterans are at greater risk for homelessness, and a VA official says the $545,000 grant is an acknowledgment that programs to date have focused on individuals rather than families.

Thanks to federal grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Arizona organizations can help more veterans’ families avoid eviction and find permanent places to live, as well as connect with financial help and health care. Read more»

Retired Army Col. Joseph Abodeely, president of the Arizona Military Museum, explains an exhibit.

The Arizona Military Museum earned the title of Arizona Legacy Project as part of the state’s centennial celebration. With that in mind, the Centennial Commission has developed an exhibit that will highlight military campaigns from an Arizona perspective. Read more»

The “Blue Ox,” shown above, would serve as a command center in the event of a major emergency in Arizona. The giant trailer was on hand during Vital Connection, a exercise testing the ability of various agencies to communicate in the event of disaster.

Forty government, tribal and volunteer agencies are participating in Arizona’s largest-ever communications testing exercise to ensure that they can stay in contact during a disaster. Read more»

An audience connected by video reacts to the CNN/Tea Party Debate in Tampa, Fla.

As the presidential hopefuls took part in the CNN/Tea Party debate in Tampa, Fla., roughly 175 Arizona voters sat in front of CNN cameras as a satellite audience. Read more»

Larry Tiffin, owner of Tiffin Aviation Service in Nogales, stands by a Cessna 340 on the airport’s runway. About 20 to 30 foreign students train at his school each year.

One of Arizona’s most haunting connections to 9/11 is the fact that at least one hijacker received flight training in the state. The federal government has since tightened screening of international flight students, which means flight schools must monitor those students more closely. Read more»

Manuel Cruz, executive director of Abandoned Mine Safety, and a City of Globe technician survey the mine after detonating dynamite to fill it in. Cruz’s organization relies on private funding to fill in the open shafts, a threat to public safety.

A new nonprofit is digging into the task of closing the 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona. About 10,000 have been pinpointed, and the vast majority of those are considered threats to public safety. The Mine Inspector’s Office has only enough funding to close a small fraction of those mines each year. Read more»

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