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The characteristic milky blue of the Little Colorado River where it meets the darker waters of the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. The Little Colorado River is the largest tributary of the Colorado.

The decades of compacts, laws, contracts and regulatory guidelines that are supposed to manage bordering states’ use of the Colorado River have come to be known collectively as the “Law of the River.” But the Law of the River could soon bump up against the laws of physics. Read more»

Despite differences between their tribes, Zuni Tribe Council Member Gerald Hooee Sr., left, and Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize told lawmakers that they want to work out a deal to divide a former Army base that sits between their tribal lands in New Mexico.

Navajo Nation and Zuni tribal leaders Thursday asked the federal government to step in and mediate a dispute over how to divide an inactive Army base that sits between the tribes’ lands in New Mexico. Read more»

Gregory Scott Dickens, 47, argued that he should not have been sentenced to death for the 1991 murders of a married couple at a reststop outside Yuma, since another man did the shooting and he was only the getaway driver.

A divided federal appeals court Friday ruled that lower courts did not act unreasonably or erroneously when they convicted Gregory Scott Dickens in two 1991 rest-stop murders east of Yuma. But the three-judge panel did order a new hearing, saying he should be allowed to raise arguments that he was poorly represented by his attorney at sentencing. Read more»

An appeals court turned down Roger Scott’s claim that he was not adequately represented in his trial for the 1989 murder of 4-year-old Christopher Milke. He was convicted and sentenced to death in the case.

A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected convicted child killer Roger Scott’s request for a new sentencing hearing based on his claim that he did not have adequate representation at trial. Read more» 1

The Pascua Yaqui tribe has the right as a sovereign nation to determine its membership, a right most other tribes already enjoy, said Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio. He told a House committee that more than 800 tribal members cannot be added to the tribe’s rolls because of an outdated law concerning membership.

Pascua Yaqui tribal leaders asked a House committee Tuesday for the same right that most other tribes already enjoy – the ability to decide who’s a member of their tribe. Read more» 1

In 2010, Virginia spent an average of $10,597 per public grade school student, like those shown here, compared to $7,848 spent per pupil in Arizona in the same year.

Arizona had the third-lowest per-pupil spending on public elementary schools in the country in 2010, topping only Utah and Idaho. Arizona schools spent an average of $7,848 per grade school student in that year, well below the national average of $10,615 per pupil. Read more»

Fueled by state budget cuts to higher education, tuition increases of 49 percent at the University of Arizona and 44 percent at Arizona State University landed the two schools in the top 20 for tuition hikes from 2008 to 2010. Read more» 1

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, shown here in an October photo, has expressed support for a bill that would settle Indian water-rights claims, but the measure has run into public opposition and it was rejected by the Navajo Council.

Navajo lawmakers voted Thursday to reject a congressional plan to settle tribal water-right claims in the Little Colorado River basin, capping months of debate by the tribe. Read more»

Arizona students face a battery of standardized assessments over their careers, with mastery of different subjects being tested at different grade levels.

School officials boasted that nearly 72 percent of Arizona fourth-graders scored “proficient” or above on a state reading assessment in 2010. A year later, a national assessment put the number of proficient fourth-grade readers at just 26 percent. So do Arizona administrators have a math problem or a reading problem? Neither, it turns out. Read more» 1

Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa, shown in a January 2011 file photo, has generally expressed support for the water rights settlement pending in the Senate for the Hopi and Navajo people.

Hopi lawmakers gave new life Thursday to a congressional plan to settle the tribe’s water-rights claims in the Little Colorado River basin, apparently backtracking from a vote last week to reject the plan. Read more»

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill that would bar the Tohono O’odham Nation from operating a casino on tribal lands in Glendale. The Senate has yet to consider the measure.

Tohono O’odham leaders vowed to continue their fight for a Glendale-area casino after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill blocking their plans Tuesday. Read more»

Opponents of the proposed Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale accuse the tribe of going 'reservation shopping' to find a potentially lucrative casino market. Supporters say the tribe has done everything by the book.

The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill to block a proposed Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale, after an emotional debate Monday in which each side accused the other of setting a dangerous precedent. Read more»

John Yellow Bird Steele, president of the Oglala Sious Tribe, testified that the Internal Revenue Service is “over-extending its authority” with its audits of tribal activities.

Tribal officials asked a Senate committee Thursday to block taxation by the Internal Revenue Service of government benefits to the tribes and their members. Read more»

Arizona high schools have increased their graduation rate by 24 percentage points in the last decade, the biggest increase in the country, according to a national report released Friday. Read more»

Assistant Education Secretary Eduardo Ochoa, Western Association of Schools and Colleges President Ralph Wolff and the New America Foundation’s Amy Laitinen, from left, endorse “competency-based” learning if it can be done while maintaining quality.

Rio Salado Community College and Arizona State University were cited Thursday as schools that are taking tentative steps toward “competency-based education." Read more»

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