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A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the firearms conviction of a man arrested near the border, saying jury instructions may have erroneously led to his conviction of carrying a sawed-off shotgun.

A federal appeals court Monday overturned the firearms conviction of an illegal immigrant who was caught near Green Valley in 2012 with guns, cell phones, a large supply of food and a radio scanner. A new hearing has been ordered. Read more» 1

Sister Adele O’Sullivan said he was known as Mr. 280, a homeless man with chronic mental illness whose trips in and out of the hospital racked up bills of more than $358,000 over several years. But now, with supportive housing and a part-time job, his health issues are being treated, said the founder of a Phoenix charity. Read more»

A national scorecard on retirement preparedness scored states on how workers were saving, what costs they faced in retirement and what job prospects they had. Arizona scored a 4 out of 10 overall.

Fewer than 40 percent of private-sector workers in Arizona participate in a retirement plan through their work, and they have an average retirement savings balance of just $23,826. Read more»

A federal judge turned down Cochise Regional Hospital’s request that Medicare be forced to continue funding hospital operations. Without those funds, which were canceled in early July, the hospital said it would have to close after July 31.

Cochise Regional Hospital’s last-ditch attempt to keep its doors open has been rejected by a federal judge, who refused to order Medicare to keep funding operations of the Douglas facility. Problems cited by the agency included failure to monitor patients, lack of prescribed medications, failure to properly transport patients and an inability to troubleshoot malfunctioning equipment. Read more»

Nearly half of Arizona’s private-sector workers, more than 934,000 people, do not have access to paid sick leave, according to a report by a group pushing for such laws. More than 43 million people, accounting for about 39 percent of private-sector workers in the country, don’t have the ability to earn paid sick leave. Read more» 1

Michael Ronnebeck was back in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to crack down on repeat offenders in the immigrant population in order to prevent another killing like that of his nephew. Read more»

Partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, show up in a number of popular foods. But the food and Drug Administration has determined their health risks outweigh their benefits and is phasing them out over the next three years.

The Food and Drug Administration said last month that it plans to ban trans fats in most foods, giving companies until 2018 to reformulate their products or petition the FDA to allow the continued use of trans fats in their foods. Read more»

Howard, Daniel and Jean Somers, from left, before Iraq veteran Daniel killed himself in 2013 after a long-running dispute with the Department of Veterans Affairs over his mental health care.

Sgt. Daniel Somers’ work in Iraq was classified, so when he returned from the war and sought treatment for traumatic brain injury and PTSD he balked at a care in a group setting. Afraid he might reveal secrets, he asked for individual care. After two years with no resolution from the VA, Somers took his own life in 2013. Read more» 1

With the House and Senate set to take up bills to replace the No Child Left Behind Act, the White House released  a report showing a wide achievement gap between the top- and bottom-performing schools in each state.

A state-by-state report released by the White House showed a wide disparity in reading and math scores and in graduation rates, which led administration officials to urge Congress to address those problems in a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act. Read more»

An Obama administration proposal to expand overtime benefits to workers now classified as salaried employees could affect 5 million workers nationwide, and about 100,000 in Arizona.

The Department of Labor announced plans Tuesday to expand overtime guarantees to about 5 million salaried workers who are not now covered, including an estimated 100,000 white-collar workers in Arizona. Read more»

The Four Corners Power Plant will get a $160 million pollution-control upgrade as part of a settlement of a lawsuit over emissions at the plant.

Utility companies in Arizona and New Mexico will spend up to $160 million on new technology to cut harmful emissions from the Four Corners Power Plant, under a consent decree announced by the federal government Wednesday. Read more»

Washington Post reporter James Hohmann interviews Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, right, who talked about the city’s environmental successes and the need to fight for water rights.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton told a Washington panel Tuesday that Arizona is in a fight to make sure other states, particularly California, don’t take water “that rightfully belongs to the people of Arizona.” Read more»

Lezmond Mitchell, 33, is the only Native American on death row in the federal prison system, after his conviction for the murders of a 63-years-old woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter.

An appeals court Friday upheld a federal death-row inmate’s conviction and sentence in the grisly 2001 beating and stabbing murders of a woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter on the Navajo Nation. Read more»

Businesses and elected officials say a rash of bank branch closings in Nogales is making it hard for people to do business there and for companies to get needed capital.

Nogales officials hope that a meeting Tuesday between local banks and regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can help reverse a string of bank closings that have hamstrung businesses along the border. Read more»

Arizona’s structured English Immersion program aims to quickly teach non-native speakers the language by requiring several hours a day of English.

A federal appeals court Monday upheld a lower court ruling that said Arizona’s system for educating English-language learners does not violate the federal Equal Educational Opportunities Act. Read more»

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