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Arizona State University student Melissa Merrick sort trash into some of the 44 bins use for a study by ASU’s School of Sustainability.

Arizona State University student Melissa Merrick started her Wednesday pulling wires, plastic bottles and bags and anything else that could be recycled or reused from 6,000 pounds of garbage. All for research. Read more»

Leslie Robb, manager of a Chevron gas station and convenience store in Phoenix, said big lottery jackpots bring more in more customers, leading to more sales of items such as soda and chips.

As manager of a gas station convenience store, Leslie Robb said he’s noticed that people who come in glancing at the Arizona Lottery sign often make a detour to grab chips and a soda before plunking down money on tickets. That effect is more pronounced as Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots rise: In addition to increased lottery sales, he sees more customers and more extra purchases of this and that. Read more»

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, says that only Oklahoma and Alabama made deeper percentage cuts to K-12 education funding than Arizona during the economic downturn.

A liberal think tank said that only Oklahoma and Alabama made deeper cuts to K-12 education funding than Arizona during the economic downturn. It says Arizona reduced funding by an inflation-adjusted 17.2 percent from fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2014. Read more»

Catherine Ramirez, a security guard, says she plays Powerball for the big jackpots. The head of the Arizona Lottery says two record Powerball jackpots contributed to a record-breaking year in fiscal 2013.

The two largest jackpots in Powerball history, including one split by a Fountain Hills man, contributed to a record-breaking fiscal 2013 for the Arizona Lottery, its executive director said. Read more»

Arizonans were more likely than most to give political donations directly to a candidate than a political group, giving 60 percent of total donations to candidates in 2012. That was eighth-highest in the nation, a trend experts were hard-pressed to explain.

When Arizonans open their wallets to make a political donation, it’s more likely to go to someone they know than to a party or PAC, an analysis of federal campaign data shows. Read more»

Arizona joined the Justice Department and five other states to block the merger of Phoenix-based US Airways with Texas-based American Airlines. The $11 billion merger would have created the nation’s largest airline, but opponents called it anti-competitive and said it would hurt consumers.

Arizona joined a Justice Department lawsuit Tuesday to block the proposed merger of Tempe-based US Airways and American Airlines, saying the merger would eliminate competition and hurt consumers with higher airfares and fewer choices. Read more»

The court said it was not an invasive search for a drug-sniffing dog, at the direction of its handler, to put its paws on a truck and its nose against a toolbox where drugs were later found.

A federal appeals court Thursday overturned the 2011 conviction of an Arizona man caught with 150 pounds of marijuana in his truck, saying police withheld information about the reliability of the dog that discovered the drugs. Read more»

A study of auto insurance rates in 10 cities, including Phoenix, found that blue-collar. high-school-educated drivers were likely to face higher premiums than drivers with a college education or white-collar job.

A Phoenix driver with only a high school diploma could be charged as much as 12 percent more in auto insurance premiums than a plant supervisor with a college degree, according to a report released Monday. Read more»

A new Census Bureau survey said people in the Valley were twice as likely as the rest of the nation to consider their homes’ primary water source unsafe – even though health and environmental officials say there have been on water-quality violations in years.

Valley health officials insist that it’s safe to drink the water, but area residents don’t appear to be so certain. Read more»

Arizona homes are more likely to have a garage, a home office and a pool – and less likely to have a working fireplace, among other things – that homes in the rest of the nation, according to the 2011 American Housing Survey.

It’s no surprise that Phoenix-area homes are more likely to have a swimming pool, and maybe not so surprising that they have more garages than homes nationally. But fewer mice? Read more»

Students at Hugh E. Laird Elementary in Tempe, in this October photo, were allowed to taste-test school lunches last year in an effort by the school district to get students to eat more healthy food.

The federal government wants to target childhood obesity with new limits for calories, sugar, fat and sodium on snacks sold in the nation’s schools via the Smart Snacks in School standards announced last week. Most Arizona school officials welcomed the change, saying the state adopted similar nutrition standards for all school foods – including snacks – in 2006. Read more»

The wind-power farm proposed near Kingman has been scaled back from earlier versions, marked by purple dotted lines on the map, to protect neighbors and golden eagles in the area.

The Department of the Interior on Friday approved a 500-megawatt wind-power farm near Kingman, a project that could cost up to $800 million and bring hundreds of construction jobs to the Mohave County area. Read more»

The Yarnell Hill wildfire had burned over more than 8.300 acres by Monday and closed Highway 89, officials said.

Condolences and offers of assistance poured in from Washington, Phoenix and elsewhere Monday as the tragedy of the 19 Prescott-area hotshot firefighters killed in the Yarnell wildfire sank in. Read more»

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday let stand lower court rulings that blocked an Arizona law denying healthcare benefits to domestic partners of state employees. Gay-rights groups had claimed the policy discriminated against same-sex couples, a charge state officials disputed. Read more»

Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers joined other National League of Cities board members in Washington to urge Congress to fully fund the Community Development Block Grant program, which she said cities like hers depend on 'day in, day out.'

Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers was in Washington on Wednesday urging Congress to reverse “unconscionable” cuts to the Community Development Block Grants program, which helps more than 1,200 local governments. Read more»

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