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Arizona’s four-year public universities have raised tuition by 80.6 percent, most in the nation, in part to make up for recession-driven budget cuts. The increase amounted to $4,493 per student on average.

Arizona had the nation’s steepest per-student cuts in state aid to higher education and the highest rates of tuition increase from pre-recession funding levels until today, according to a new report. Read more»

Phoenix high school student Shelly Ortiz, left, was interviewed on C-SPAN in Washington with other winners of the cable channel’s StudentCam contest, which invites students to make a video about an issue they think Congress should address.

Three students at Metropolitan Arts Institute turned concerns about treatment of mental health in the U.S. - an issue that affected some friends - into a short documentary on the topic. That work has been recognized as one of five national winners in a C-SPAN contest. Read more»

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval unveiled signs last month on the planned Interstate 11 along its route near the Hoover Dam.

Supporters of the proposed Interstate 11 met Wednesday in Washington where they expressed optimism about the future of the long-discussed highway that could link Phoenix and Las Vegas – and possibly beyond. Read more» 1

The Dream Act Coalition rallied outside the White House with renewed calls on President Barack Obama to halt deportations, as deportations under his administration surpassed the 2 million mark.

A previous rallying cry of “not one more” deportation became a chant of “2 million is too many." Arizonans were among several dozen people who rallied at the White House, renewing a call on the president to halt deportations as long as immigration reform is stalled. Read more»

Patrick Gonzalez, a climate change scientist with the National Park Service, said a likely increase in future wildfires is among the many changes in the Southwest that could be brought on by climate change.

Arizona saw some of the sharpest increases in average annual temperatures in the Southwest over the 20th century. The drier, hotter conditions not only affect water supplies but have led to conditions that make it more likely the region will experience more wildfires, according to a panel of climate experts. Read more»

The Four Corners Power Plant recently shut down three of its five coal-burning generators, but will continue using locally mined coal to fire the remaining units for the next 25 years under a proposal currently being studied.

Conservation groups are worried that a proposed expansion of coal-mining at the Four Corners Power Plant could reverse recent environmental gains at the plant that last year was on a list of dirtiest in the country. Read more»

Waterfowl stop at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. A bill in Congress would expand the refuge by swapping 80 acres of federal land in California for 40 acres of private land abutting Cibola in La Paz County.

The bill would swap 80 acres of federally owned land in California's Riverside County for 40 acres of private farmland abutting the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in La Paz County that is important habitat and wintering grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife." Read more»

Pratheepan Gulasekaram, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said the proposals put forth Monday are designed to be 'agnostic' when it comes to a person’s immigration status.

Backlash against get-tough immigration laws like SB 1070 led to a climate that makes it possible to push for alternative immigration reforms, activists said, including in-state tuition and driver's licenses. Those plans were attacked by critics as "practically amnesty." Read more»

Roger Murray, with brother Robert, was sentenced to death for the 1991 murders of two people during the robbery of a gas station in Grasshopper Junction near Kingman.

A federal appeals court Monday upheld convictions and death sentences for two brothers in the 1991 slayings of a pair of store owners in Grasshopper Junction near Kingman. Read more»

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chair of the Democratic National Comittee, cited Arizona repeatedly Tuesday for what she said were failures of the national Republican Party to expand its appeal to minorities and women.

A year after the Republican Party unveiled plans to attract women and minority voters, a national Democratic leader insisted the GOP is still “out of touch,” citing the party’s actions in Arizona as examples. Read more» 1

Glen Canyon was one of the national parks in Arizona that closed in October’s partial federal shutdown. The government says spending at national parks in the state fell $27 million that month as a result, with most of the hit at the Grand Canyon.

The one-month drop in spending was the second-largest in the nation, trailing only California, the National Park Service said. Most of the decline came from the Grand Canyon, which saw spending fall $17 million in October compared to the same month in previous years. Read more» 1

A rewrite of the Voting Rights Act would free many states from federal pre-approval of their voting laws, but supporters note that it could also force scrutiny of states that had not been covered in the past, if they commit voting rights violations in the future.

The rewrite of the Voting Rights Act currently being debated in Congress would free Arizona from nearly 50 years of strict federal oversight to changes in its voting laws. While Arizona and other states will be out from under the federal microscope for now, the proposed change to the law would let them be drawn back in. Read more»

Herminia Gallego, center, was among those arrested Monday at an immigration protest at the White House.

Herminia Gallego and Gerardo Torres have seen so many friends and family arrested on immigration charges that the Arizona residents decided it was time to take action – by getting arrested themselves. They were among the 32 protesters arrested Monday outside the White House at a rally urging President Barack Obama to use his executive power to halt deportations of all immigrants. Read more»

Two Lighthouse Solar employees install solar panels on a Colorado house in 2011. A new report says installation continued to be the largest job sector in solar-related industries last year.

Arizona posted the second-highest number of solar-industry jobs in the nation for the second year in a row in 2013, despite losing1,242 jobs from a year earlier, according to a new report. Read more»

Attorney General Eric Holder, here in a 2012 photo, said the Justice Department will treat legal same-sex marriages the same as any other marriage in cases handled by the agency, even if it is in a state – like Arizona – where such marriages are not recognized.

The Justice Department was ordered Monday to start treating legal same-sex marriages the same as any other marriage, regardless of whether the couple lives in a state – such as Arizona – that does not recognize such unions. Read more»

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