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The Gierisch mallow, which is found only in Mohave County, Arizona, and Washington County, Utah, has been declared endangered by federal officials, who want to designate 12,000 acres as critical habitat for the desert flower.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Gierisch mallow endangered Tuesday, and proposed more than 12,000 acres in Arizona and Utah as critical habitat for the desert wildflower. Read more»

White Mountain Apache Chairman Ronnie Lupe, left, looks on as Interior Secretary Sally Jewell signs a water-rights agreement with the tribe. Also on hand were Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, and former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.

The federal government and White Mountain Apache tribe signed a “historic” water-rights agreement Tuesday that the two sides said will guarantee water for the tribe and benefit Phoenix water users as well. Read more»

An architectural rendering of the proposed Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale.

A U.S. House committee gave overwhelming approval Wednesday to a bill that would block development of a Tohono O’odham casino on land the tribe bought inside Glendale. The bill would reverse years of failed legal challenges to the project, which opponents say violates a 2002 agreement among tribes not to build new casinos in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Read more» 14

Boats cruise on the Colorado River’s Lake Havasu, where part of the local economy is reliant on the tourism and boating industries the river attracts.

A new report claims that property values could decline along with projected decreases in the level of the Colorado River, as demand on the river outpaces supply of water in it. Read more»

The 'Cowtown monitor,' an air-quality monitor in the City of Maricopa, has routinely recorded the highest levels of large particulate matter pollution in the state, topping federally acceptable levels, according to the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that air-quality in western Pinal County has improved enough to meet a federal standard for soot and other particles. Read more»

The northern Mexican gartersnake, like the narrow-headed gartersnake, is being threatened by the loss of its streamside habitat and by competition from nonnative species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has targeted hundreds of thousands of acres in Arizona and New Mexico that it wants to designate as critical habitat for two endangered gartersnakes. The service said that the northern Mexican gartersnake and the narrow-headed gartersnake need to be protected because they are threatened by loss of habitat and by competition from nonnative species. Read more»

After lunch and musical entertainment at the 'Kids’ State Dinner,' Phoenix’s Alexandra Nickle and the other 53 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge toured the White House’s kitchen garden.

Phoenix fifth-grader Alexandra Nickle wants to be a “graphic artist and dog shelter owner” when she grows up, but it was her cooking creativity that landed her in the White House on Tuesday. The "Kids’ State Dinner" included remarks from Haile Thomas, a Tucson seventh-grader who was last year’s Arizona entrant in the healthy cooking challenge. Read more»

Several Arizona tribes filed legal briefs in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl in support of the father, a Cherokee fighting a South Carolina couple for custody of his daughter. But the Supreme Court ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not bar the girl’s adoption.

Arizona experts said the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against a Native American father who was fighting to stop his daughter from being adopted may only have “muddied the waters” for future cases. Read more» 1

The Navajo Generating Station in northeastern Arizona is powered by millions of tons of coal mined annually at the nearby Kayenta mine.

Federal energy officials unveiled a plan Tuesday to offer up to $8 billion of loan guarantees for development of cleaner-burning fossil-fuel technologies. Read more»

Senate custom dictates that home-state senators OK a confirmation hearing for federal judicial nominees, but neither Sen. Jeff Flake, left in this file photo, nor Sen. John McCain have done so for Rosemary Marquez.

It has been two years since President Barack Obama nominated Rosemary Marquez to a vacant federal judgeship in Arizona, but the Senate has so far refused to give her a nomination hearing. Staff for Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake offered only a “no comment” this week when asked about Marquez. Read more» 1

Robert Lemke was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of theft and then pleading guilty to murder in a Tempe incident. A federal court rejected his claim that prosecutors pursuit of his case constituted double jeopardy.

An appeals court Wednesday rejected an Arizona prisoner’s claim that he could not be tried for murder during the commission of a robbery after jurors “impliedly” acquitted him of the robbery and deadlocked on the murder. Read more»

Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes, left, with then-Secretary Ken Salazar in 2012. Salazar announced the framework in December for the $1.9 billion lands buy-back program detailed Tuesday.

The Interior Department announced details Tuesday of the 10-year, $1.9 billion buy-back of “fractionated” lands from Native American tribes and tribal members that could be worth tens of millions in Arizona. Read more»

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said he was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s ruling, but vowed to continue to work to reinstate the state’s requirement that proof of citizenship accompany a voter registration form.

Voting-rights advocates hailed the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration, but Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett vowed to reinstate the requirement. Read more» 1

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. on the field at Nationals Park before the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. The game raised more than $300.000 for D.C.-area charities.

Democrat vs. Republican. It sounds like the definition of partisanship, but Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., hopes Thursday’s congressional baseball game can show the way to greater bipartisanship in Washington. Read more»

An artist’s rendering of the concentrated solar power plant proposed for SolarReserve’s plant near Quartzsite. The system uses a field of reflectors to focus sunlight on the top of a central tower, heating fluids inside to create steam and generate electricity.

Federal officials gave a green light Monday to a proposed 100-megawatt solar-power plant near Quartzsite, a project that supporters say could create 438 short-term construction jobs and 50 full-time jobs. Read more»

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