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The Education Department granted Arizona's request for flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Arizona was one of seven states granted a temporary waiver Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. Read more»

A firefighter keeps an eye on the Rock Fire that broke out July 31 and is burning south of Tusayan. The blaze is expected to continue burning to the northeast over the next fews days.

Costs to battle wildfires will consume almost all of the U.S. Forest Service budget in 10 years unless Congress changes the way firefighting efforts are funded, the agency warned Wednesday. Read more»

Dr. Katherine Mitchell, right, and Dr. Lisa Nee, who blew the whistle on Veterans Affairs facilities in Phoenix and Illinois, testify to a Senate committee on veterans care issues.

A doctor who blew the whistle on problems at the VA hospital in Phoenix testified Thursday that some things have improved since last year’s revelations, but whistleblower retaliation is alive and well. Read more»

The crowd listens to speakers at a Capitol rally against a plan to swap Oak Flat, considered sacred by the San Carlos Apache, with a mining company.

The protest to preserve Oak Flat turned heated Wednesday as San Carlos Apache tribal members, rallying at the Capitol, vowed to do whatever it takes to reverse a deal to turn Oak Flat over to a mining company. Read more»

San Carlos Apache drummers lead a group of protesters in songs of prayer in Washington, where they were lobbying to block mining at their sacred land of Oak Flat.

A caravan of San Carlos Apache members sang and prayed in Washington Tuesday for the preservation of sacred sites in southeast Arizona. Read more»

Low pay and respect are driving teachers from the field and leading fewer into it, at a time when a quarter of Arizona teachers are nearing retirement age.

Arizona officials say there are at least 1,000 vacant teacher positions to fill, with just weeks left until the school year starts around the state. It’s not the first time school districts have found themselves scrambling to hire teachers in Arizona, where officials say low salaries, lack of support and high turnover rates combine to make summers a stressful time for administrators. Read more»

A girl gets lunch from a summer nutrition site run by St. Mary’s Food Bank at the Maryvale YMCA. After school is out for the summer, the percentage of children getting free lunches plummets from levels served during the school year.

Arizona had the nation’s biggest drop in kids getting free summer meals between 2013 and 2014, a time when most states saw increases in the number of children reached. Read more»

Nia Thomas, 10, at the White House, where the Tucson girl took part in the fifth annual Kids’ State Dinner.

Some people are excited to attend a White House state dinner. Most would be thrilled to see their signature dish on the menu. Not everyone tops off the day by skipping through the White House kitchen garden. But Nia Thomas is not everyone. The 10-year-old Tucson girl was one of 55 grade-schoolers invited to the Kids State Dinner on Friday. Read more»

A firefighter on the Sitgreaves Complex Fire in the Kaibab National Forest in 2014. A July 13, 2014, lightning strike started the blaze, which burned 11,080 acres.

Where supporters say the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 will reduce wildfires, critics say the bill guts environmental regulations and promotes high-risk logging. Read more»

Some of the 1,200 plebes inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy this week as the would-be class of 2019, learning one of their first lessons – the right way to salute.

A number of Arizona residents raised their right hands Wednesday and took the oath to began their careers at the U.S. Naval Academy. They are among about 1,200 incoming midshipmen who began the six brutal weeks of plebe summer, a sort of academy boot camp before they start their studies in the fall. Read more»

Yuma County Water Users’ Association General Manager Tom Davis testifies to a House committee about the need to repair aging federally owned water infrastructure in Arizona.

Tom Davis said the West’s aging water infrastructure is beyond patching and in need of “major replacement and rehabilitation” – but that can’t happen until federal officials inventory the problem. Read more»

Abby Jensen, shown here lecturing in a University of Arizona law school class, says is the only attorney to have appeared before the Arizona Supreme Court as both a man and a woman.

On gender-specific holidays like Father's Day, transgender parents who are more comfortable identifying as mom may still get a card and gift for dad from their kids. Read more»

A GPS-generated map, like this one, shows were Paciano Lizarraga-Tirado was arrested by Border Patrol agents, who marked the coordinates as 31.75846, -11.14192. A court said such maps are not hearsay evidence in a trial.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a Google Earth map generated from GPS coordinates of an arrest was not hearsay and could be admitted in the trial of a man accused of entering the country illegally. Read more»

Apache County crews thin the forest near Greer in this 2012 photo, by cutting down small trees and low-hanging limbs. Experts say forest management like this is one key to preventing wildfires.

A house panel gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill aimed at reducing catastrophic wildfires on federal lands by better managing forests before fires and quickly restoring them afterward. Read more»

A firefighter conducts a prescribed burn at the Big Windy Complex fire near Galice, Oregon, in this file photo from August 2013.

Federal officials said Tuesday they will be “ready when fire strikes,” but raised concerns over funding for the upcoming wildfire season and the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires in the drought-stricken West. Read more»

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