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Stephen Rayleigh, a member of the unmanned aerial vehicle club at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, also helped develop a minor that started in August at the school.

The drone minor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott aims to prepare students to build and fly unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs, or drones – for a commercial market that doesn’t yet exist. Read more»

Matt Culbertson of Tucson’s Cyclone Autonomous Design group opens the company’s Cyclone 6 unmanned aircraft, or drone, in preparation for deployment.

After the high-profile shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010, Scott Rollefstad felt he had to do something to help keep other agents safe. So the Tucson resident headed to his garage and, after several months of tinkering, emerged with a backpack-sized surveillance drone. Read more»

Arizona’s safety inspectors are some of the least-experienced in nation, according to a report this month by the GAO. More than half of the 18 safety inspectors who were on the job at the time of the report had been in their positions for less than five years. Read more»

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, had raised more than $330,000 and had more than $300,000 in campaign cash on had as of March 31, according to finance reports.

The election season is barely behind them, but freshmen Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, have both raised more than $300,000 toward possible re-election bids in 2014, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Southern Arizona Rep. Ron Barber has raised nearly $300k himself. Read more»

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to include protections in any immigration reform bill for same-sex couples to sponsor partners to immigrate to the U.S., just as straight couples can.

Sponsors of a comprehensive immigration reform bill said no one would be happy with all parts of the bill and a hearing Monday seemed to bear that out, with some in the day-long session saying the bill goes to far and other saying it does not go far enough. Read more»

Rep. Ron Barber, D-Tucson, and his predecessor, Gabrielle Giffords, at an event to name a Capitol room in honor of former Giffords’ aide Gabe Zimmerman. He was one of six killed in the 2011 shooting in which Barber, Giffords and 11 others were wounded.

Minutes after he shared a stage with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said he still plans to oppose a bill supported by Giffords that calls for expanded background checks for gun buyers. The pair appeared together as Vice President Biden helped dedicate a room in the Capitol Visitor Center for slain aide Gabe Zimmerman. Read more» 6

'Freedom in the 50 States' measured scores of categories to come up with a ranking for all states on their overall freedom. Arizona finished 11th in the latest ranking, an increase of 12 positions from the 2009 report.

Arizona has a reputation as a state full of mavericks and independent thinkers, but a couple of academics have bad news for state residents. We’re No. 11. Read more»

The campaign of Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, shown in a 2012 file photo, took 'full and ultimate responsibility for the unintentional inaccuracies' that led to a Federal Election Commission fine. The campaign discovered and reported the error.

The Federal Election Commission has fined Rep. Trent Franks’ campaign committee $14,000 for failing to report spending of more than $300,000, mostly on mailings, from 2009 to 2011. Read more»

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors, Valley residents who say they have been a couple for decades, rallied in support of same-sex marriage as the Supreme Court considered arguments over Proposition 8, a California law banning such unions.

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors have been a couple for more than 50 years, but at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court they called Tuesday their “moment in history.” “Why is it because we’re two women, our love is not recognized?” asked Bailey, a featured speaker at a rally in support of same-sex marriage Tuesday, when the high court began two days of hearings on the issue. Read more»

US Airways CEO Doug Parker, left, and American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton testify before a Senate subcommittee on the planned merger of their airlines, which they said would benefit consumers. Among the benefits, they said, are the possibility of more international flights to Phoenix.

The CEOs of American Airlines and US Airways told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday that not only would a merger of their airlines not hurt Phoenix, it could bring more international flights to the city. Read more»

Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, left, and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne defend Proposition 200 on the steps of the Supreme Court. Horne said that states have the burden of ensuring that voters are citizens, and the Arizona law makes that possible.

The Supreme Court seemed split over whether strict voter-registration laws like Arizona's Proposition 200 are needed to prevent voter fraud, or whether they render a national voter law useless. The justices sharply questioned both sides in the hearing. Read more»

Teresa Ornelas said it took careful planning to get her Tempe business, promotional product company Great Impact! Inc., through the recession. But like half the women business owners in a new survey, she now looks for steady business growth in the next five years.

Almost half of female business owners in Arizona look to hire and expand their companies in the next five years, a new survey shows. The optimistic report comes as new national figures showed the jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent in February, the lowest in four years. Read more»

Arizona requires proof of citizenship for someone who registers to vote using a state form. But courts have said federal registration forms – which require a statement of citizenship, but not proof – trump the state standard.

To Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, the state law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration is “common sense,” not a burden. To opponents, Arizona’s Proposition 200 is just another obstacle that would restrict access to the polls for the young, elderly and minorities. Read more» 1

Hundreds rallied outside the Surpreme Court in support of a section of the Voting Rights Act that requires states with history of discrimination – like Arizona – to get federal approval for any change in voting laws. An Alabama county is challenging the law in the high court.

Hundreds gathered on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to rally in support of a federal voter-protection law that governs mostly Southern states with a history of discrimination, including Arizona. Read more»

A US Airways executive repeated assurances in Washington on Tuesday that the company plans to maintain a significant corporate presence in Phoenix after its proposed merger with Texas-based American Airlines. Read more»

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