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A federal appeals court overturned Adalberto Murguia-Rodriguez’s sentence in his conviction on marijuana charges. It said that even though Murguia-Rodriguez said he wanted to proceed in English, the trial judge improperly dismissed a Spanish-language interpreter at sentencing.

A divided federal appeals court Tuesday ordered a new sentencing hearing in a drug case in which the presiding judge dismissed a Spanish-language interpreter after the defendant said he wanted to proceed in English. Read more»

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Mesa, said he will not seek re-election this fall, a move likely to shake up what was expected to be a sleepy race in the heavily Republican 5th District.

Rep. Matt Salmon’s unexpected announcement last week that he will not seek re-election to Congress shook up what was expected to be a sleepy campaign in a solidly Republican district. Senate President Andy Biggs was the first to step in, announcing his candidacy less than a half hour after Salmon announced his retirement. Read more»

Members of the San Carlos Apache tribe came to Washington last summer to protest a copper mine proposed for Oak Flat, an area near Superior that they said is sacred to them.

Supporters of a copper mine proposed for Oak Flat have been given until Friday to make the case that the area, deemed sacred by the San Carlos Apache, should not be designated a historic site. Read more»

The sharply divided court said FBI agents could not be sued for failing to alert Pima County authorities to a threatened home invasion in Arivaca in 2009. That attack led to the death of a father and 9-year-old girl and the wounding of the girl’s mother.

A federal appeals court said Wednesday the FBI cannot be held liable for failing to tip Pima County police to a home invasion by a border militia group that killed an Arivaca man and his 9-year-old daughter. Read more»

Rep. Martha McSally’s aggressive fundraising gives her an edge over her competitors in the CD2 House race, but the district will likely still be competitive come November. Even so, national Democratic fundraisers have left Southern Arizona off their list of targeted districts. Read more»

San. John McCain had $5.1 million in his campaign bank account at the end of last year, well ahead of his challengers as he seeks a sixth term in the Senate.

McCain raised and spent more in 2015 for his re-election bid than all 10 challengers combined, ending the year with $5.1 million in the bank, according to the latest Federal Election Commission figures. Read more»

VA Secretary Robert McDonald, center, at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing where he told lawmakers staffing and filling vacancies is “one of the biggest issues we face, if not the biggest.”

Applications to the VA are down as much as 75 percent since problems uncovered at the Phoenix VA two years sparked probes that revealed systemic problems at the agency nationwide. Read more»

Advocates in Yuma said they coordinated efforts to reach out and bring information on Obamacare to parts of the community, and helped people navigate the paperwork. It paid off in the largest last-minute enrollment surge in the nation.

Yuma residents posted the highest enrollment gains in the country as open enrollment for Obamacare ended, surging 21 percent in the last week alone, government officials said Thursday. Read more»

Arizona had the steepest cuts in state support to higher education of any state in the nation over the last five years, at 27.3 percent, but the trend could be reversed in upcoming state budgets.

Arizona cut higher education funding deeper than any other state last year, capping a five-year period in which the state led the nation with a 27.3 percent cut from its support for colleges, but the 2017 fiscal budget could see a modest increase. Read more» 1

National average standardized test scores dipped from 2013 to 2015, while Arizona scores were level – but not enough to offset the state’s poor showing in school funding and student achievement gaps, a national report said.

Arizona student test scores stayed level from 2013 to 2015 while scores nationally declined slightly, but the state’s marginal gains were not enough to lift it out of the bottom ranks on a new national report card. Read more» 1

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell shares lunch with students at Cove Day School in Red Rock, one of two Navajo Nation schools that got 'long overdue' federal funds for renovation.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell delivered $45 million of “long overdue” construction funds Thursday for two long-neglected schools in the Navajo Nation, the last of 14 schools promised funding there 12 years ago. Read more»

Rincon High School senior Guadalupe 'Lupita' Romero, 17, was a guest of Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, at the State of the Union. Romero, a member of the Boys and Girls club of Tucson for seven years, was recently named youth of the year for her leadership activities.

While the rest of the nation watched from their living rooms, a handful of Arizonans had front-row seats to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. First lady Michelle Obama hosted two state residents, while Rep. Martha McSally brought a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson to Washington for the event. Read more»

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