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The share of energy produced by coal-burning power plants, like the Navajo Generating Station, shown here, would be reduced in favor of natural gas generation and renewable sources over the next 15 years under an EPA plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Arizona will ask federal regulators next week to rethink their June proposal that calls for the state to cut carbon emissions from power plants in half over the next 15 years. Read more» 1

Arizona’s standing as the state with the best rate of improper payments of jobless benefits in 2012-2013 is a sharp change from two years earlier, when the state’s improper payment rate of 20 percent was among the highest in the country.

Arizona had the lowest rate of improper unemployment insurance payments in the nation last year, which is a big improvement from two years ago when Arizona had one of the highest improper payment rates in the nation. Read more» 4

Eric Fitzer, center, of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, told a House committee that a bill that would open public land to renewable energy development could make Arizona the 'solar capital of the world' if the state could take advantage of available land.

Arizona could become the world's solar-energy capital - with some help from Congress, said Eric Fitzer, of the governor’s energy office. He and La Paz County Supervisor D.L. Wilson were supporting a bill to make it easier to develop renewable-energy on federal land. Read more»

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Henry Darwin testifies to a House committee on efficiency of regulators. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., said the Arizona DEQ has cut permit wait time by 60 percent through such efficiencies, while still protecting the environment.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has cut the time to process a permit by 60 percent, doubled the number of tank cleanings and made other gains by embracing private-sector policies where possible, Director Henry Darwin testified before a House committee. Read more»

Riders board the light rail at the University and Rural station in Tempe. Light-rail ridership has already reached numbers projected for 2020, said a report from the Arizona Public Interest Research Group, helping drive an overall mass transit increase in the state.

Public transit use rose across Arizona as the number of miles driven dwindled, according to a new report that called for shifting funds from “unnecessary” highway projects to mass transit. The report said bus and rail ridership grew across the state from 2005 to 2010, largely driven by increases in Phoenix and Tucson, while the number of miles driven has fallen. Read more»

Advocates say high rates of unemployment among people with disabilities is partly attributable to misplaced concerns among employers and worries by would-be workers – also often misplaced – that they will lose benefits if they take a job.

U.S. joblessness fell from 7.9 percent in 2012 to 7.1 percent in 2013, while it remained stubbornly above 13 percent for people with disabilities. Advocates said it is much the same in Arizona, where hesitation among both employers and would-be workers help keep the rate high. Read more»

Arizona saw the ninth-fastest growth in the nation in its 55-and-older population between 2010 and 2013, according to the most recent estimates from the Census Bureau. Advocates say a growing number of retirement-age residents can bring a need for new services, but also brings the demand for new businesses and can infuse money into local economies.

Arizona’s population is growing older, bringing new opportunities – and new challenges – to the state in coming years, advocates say. Those age 55 and older made up about 1.8 million people in Arizona in 2013, an increase of nearly 11 percent from 2010. Read more»

Kayenta resident Amanda Blackhorse began her fight against the Washington Redskins and what she considers its racist name in 2006. Opponents of the name won a victory this month, when the U.S. Patent and Trade Office agreed the name is disparaging.

Amanda Blackhorse said things have changed since a 2005 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins, when she and other protesters faced fans’ verbal abuse for having the audacity to suggest that the teams’ names were racist. Today, Blackhorse has President Barack Obama on her side. Read more»

Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin, center, testifies on the benefits of carbon sequestration on public lands. If ranchers could let their animals graze on public lands, she said, it would produce meat, milk and other products while helpihg the environment.

A Gila County supervisor touted the potential benefits of “holistic” carbon sequestration to a congressional subcommittee Wednesday, saying it could help ranchers and prevent massive fires at the same time. Read more»

The Supreme Court declined to hear Medtronic’s challenge to a lower court ruling that an Arizona man, who said he was paralyzed by one of the company’s medical devices, could sue. Medtronic had argued that the state-law claim was pre-empted by federal regulations.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a medical device manufacturer’s appeal of a lower court ruling that said an Arizona man could sue the company for claims that its device left him paralyzed below the waist. Medtronic had argued that federal rules pre-empted the state-law suit. Read more»

Arizona resident Amanda Blackhorse, in a 2013 photo, was one of five people to file a challenge with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, arguing that the name 'Redskins' is derogatory and cannot be trademarked.

Arizona resident Amanda Blackhorse was one of five people who challenged the Washington Redskins' right to trademark the team name, which opponents said is offensive. A board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed, but the team has vowed to appeal. Read more»

A server prepares guacamole at The Mission, identified by Livability.com as one of three restaurants that demonstrate the variety in Scottsdale’s dining options. Scottsdale was ranked as the second-best ‘foodie’ city in the country.

Culinary enthusiasts in Scottsdale can take pride, as their city was named the second-best city for "foodies" in the U.S. The top-10 list from Livability.com put Scottsdale just behind New Haven, Conn., for its restaurants, access to farmers' markets and other factors. Read more»

Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, right, speaks about the benefits of immigration reform for businesses and agriculture. He said reform could improve border security and prevent the exploitation of immigrants.

Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg called for fellow Republicans in the House to move forward with immigration legislation, saying reform would benefit the economy and create jobs. Read more»

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne, right, speaks on the importance of trade between Mexico and the U.S. at a Washington discussion, with General Electric Vice Chairman John Rice, left, and Alfa Chairman Armando Garza.

The time has come for an “elevated discussion” on the future of business relations between the United States and Mexico, including improvements to the border, according to a panel of business leaders and ambassadors from both countries. Read more»

Crews work on replacing signs on Interstate 10 at the 12th Street overpass in Phoenix. State officials are not worried about a disruption to road projects, despite a shaky outlook for the federal transportation trust fund.

The federal highway trust fund reimburses the state for about 75 percent of its road projects, but it's running out of money and set to expire. State officials say they do not foresee any problems now, but are keeping an eye on Congress as it works to renew the fund. Read more»

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