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Fixing Pinal County’s No. 1 road problem seems to be on the way to resolution now with a major Interstate 10 appropriation from the Legislature and a chance at federal funding both likely. But anyone driving in growth areas knows that is not the only problem. As we said last month, the fact …

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Adding an extra lane on both sides of Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Chandler has been a goal for years. Recently the traffic problems are much worse, compounded by drivers taking risks for themselves and others by weaving in and out. In recent years, progress in planning the expansio…

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Fires have been burning near Flagstaff and Prescott, frustrating firefighters trying to get control and causing evacuations. Arizonans are accustomed to summer forest fires, but this is starting out as a bad year, considering that we’re still in April. We are in a decades-long drought, and c…

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Arizona’s senior U.S. senator, Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat who has proven to be a moderate, has a way of being right on issues. The latest is her call to further develop the domestic oil supply. This is something that has been under attack since Day 1 of the Biden administration. Gas prices h…

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The Casa Grande Elementary School District board on Tuesday decided on a 3-2 vote to switch to a Monday-Thursday school week next year. The main reason stated was to be more attractive to employees. Whether the decision is best for students and ultimately the district remains to be seen, but…

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The Arizona Office of Tourism had what seemed like a pretty good idea in the form of a bill in the Arizona Legislature that would have allowed the office to sell some of its creative projects. The state Senate, however, put it on the shelf Wednesday, and that seems wise as the issue gets mor…

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Illegal immigration has surged in the past year-plus, but it could go much higher if the Biden administration is allowed to relax the “Title 42” rule, started under Donald Trump, that requires asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico. The only reason the rule has been extended this long is that ther…

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School funding always is a big issue when the Legislature is in session, and this year certainly is no different. Education takes up about half the state budget, and despite the fact that serious gains have been made in recent years, big needs remain. Now legislators have rolled out a major …

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The city of Casa Grande for a few years has planned to expand its marketing efforts. The idea is to raise the 2% tax on hotel rooms by about 3%, and some time was taken to get hotel owners on board and let them know how they would benefit. Meanwhile the pandemic slowed things down. Now the i…

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Arizona has seen more traffic deaths lately, and it is not just because more people are getting back on the road after the pandemic. A concerted effort will be needed to reverse the trend. Better driving certainly would help, but that is not likely to happen without more enforcement.

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Pinal County is growing rapidly, and there is no end in sight. With that comes a greater tax base and more dollars, but also a need for more county services. County government has added some shiny new buildings, not just in the county seat of Florence but in other areas. The time when a new …

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The importance of reading ability in obtaining a good education is well documented. Efforts to improve school achievement levels in Pinal County have gone on for a long time, and that is more important as jobs become more technical. Now those potential jobs are much more plentiful than in th…

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The Casa Grande City Council reluctantly said goodbye to curbside recycling nearly three years ago, ending a decades-old program that had been a model for the state. About 24% of residents had been participating, according to a city estimate. But the city had run into a problem of lack of bu…

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After a wait of more than four years, a 4-3 ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court has blocked the half-cent sales tax passed by Pinal County voters in 2017. This comes after tens of millions of dollars already has been collected and held for resolution of a lawsuit. It also comes as roads in t…

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Superstition Vistas is the name of a huge chunk of state land in northern Pinal County that developers have been eying for years. When we say huge, it’s almost the size of Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe and Chandler combined. It is generally between Apache Junction and Florence, east of Queen Creek an…

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Many of us remember the earlier days of the internet when connections came from dialing up on a phone line. That was before using the internet became such a key part of our lives. Unfortunately, some rural areas of Pinal County still have substandard connectivity. Pinal County government is …

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The Casa Grande Elementary School District is considering a move to a four-day school week as a means to attract and retain teachers and support staff. That certainly is an important consideration, and it has been in the past when the district and state have tried to do it with increased pay…

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The amount of crime in many places, especially major cities, has become a national disgrace. Much of it is tied to lax policies on enforcement dictated by politicians. Crime has become a national issue and the pendulum is swinging back, although it has a long way to go. In New York City a re…

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The Arizona Legislature is busy with many things during its current session, but leadership is prioritizing removal of a cap that would prevent schools from spending much of the revenue they already have and have budgeted for in the fiscal year ending in June. This issue is something of a fl…

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Chaos at the southern border and a flood of immigrants and drugs that increased starting last year has some states complaining and talking about what they can do to reverse the situation. Arizona and Texas are two that have been at the forefront of this talk. Now Arizona’s attorney general h…

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A drought in the West and more people coming to Arizona bring frequent commentary about potential water shortages. That certainly makes sense, but a recent report provides a new perspective by saying that current water usage in the state is slightly below what it was in the 1950s.

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Catalytic converters have been on motor vehicle exhaust systems for decades. When they first came out they were received poorly because of their negative effect on fuel economy. Now, however, most people don’t even think about them, and they have helped in cleaning the air.

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Amid a national dialogue about elections, Arizona has a track record of running them well. Early voting has become very popular among Arizonans, and the state does it right by having a system where the ballots must be requested through an early voting list and then verified when they come in…

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Almost everyone dislikes getting unsolicited sales calls on the phone. The cost of making them is relatively small and some are successful, so that’s why they continue. The calls long have been a problem with traditional home land lines, and many have migrated over to cellphones as well. Som…

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Golf has been a very popular sport in Arizona for a long time. Many winter visitors and year-round residents love it. There is a trend, however, for younger people to show less interest. Combine that with the issue that there are so many golf courses in newer developments and water is more e…

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Casa Grande Union High School, its students, alumni and staff experienced a magical season that ended last month with an undefeated state championship. The Cougars have gone through long dry periods in terms of football success, and all connected with the school and in the larger community s…

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Forest fires have been a big concern in summers for years, and now also in the winter. Much focus is put on a long-standing drought with a connection to climate change. Meanwhile, Arizona has sought to prevent fires by thinning forests. Now the federal government is giving that more emphasis…

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Use of illegal drugs, long a big problem in the United States, has gotten bigger. Of course smuggling is driven by demand, but availability is connected to price, and that is a major factor as well. Legalization of marijuana in many areas has led to increased smuggling of more dangerous drug…

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Arizona’s maverick Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, confirmed what many suspected Thursday when she said she would not vote to blow up the Senate filibuster tradition to pass sweeping legislation to federalize elections. Sinema has come in for much criticism in her own party while drawing…

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Gov. Doug Ducey, starting his last year in the office and making his last state of the state address, put a focus on water that could have a long-term beneficial effect. Water is a tough challenge in the desert Southwest that calls for innovation and investment, and Ducey’s ideas fit in that…

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The U.S. Census Bureau completes its new count every 10 years, but the work goes on over a long period. Those aware of the process in local communities know that there is early preparation and recruitment of volunteers and paid staff. The effort continues for a while, then the results come o…

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The first numbers are in for Arizona’s new legal sports gambling enterprise, and they aren’t very good. The state says there are explanations, which is likely true. The biggest question is: Will more success come eventually at the expense of many who can least afford it.

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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has drawn new congressional and legislative maps for the next 10 years and they are a long way from the preliminary grid maps that the panel started with. At that phase, Pinal County essentially had its own congressional district, something th…

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Mark Brnovich is entering his final two years of eight as Arizona’s attorney general and, term-limited in that elected job, is seeking to move on to the U.S. Senate. He has been aggressive in pursuing what he believes to be the interests of his constituents and obviously not shy in seeking t…

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Pinal County has some wide open spaces, but they are shrinking because of development and a huge influx of people. Dumping of trash in the desert long has been a problem, and of course the potential is greater with more people. However, those in cities are basically forced to be part of a re…

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Fall is when football becomes a major interest in America, and that dates back before the last century. The game is played at several levels from youth leagues through high school, college and professionally. Casa Grande Union High School is more than 100 years old, and the sport long has dr…

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As we’ve said before, serving on a school board is an important but often thankless job. In some districts, seats go unfilled in elections and appointments are needed by the county superintendent. Recently, however, school boards have been in the spotlight. In one case, they are the subject …

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Much of Arizona’s history is tied to the mining industry. Although mining is still developing in the state, some of the old towns where it occurred early in the 20th century or before are just that, “old,” if not actual ghost towns. Meanwhile, people are flocking to Arizona because they have…

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Seeds of Hope has been a leading charitable organization since its founding decades ago. For the past 16 years, it has been led capably by Mark Vanderheyden as executive director. Leading a nonprofit that seeks to help as many people as possible on a limited budget takes a special kind of pe…

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One of the last chapters of the Johnson Utilities saga is nearing its end with the announcement that a class action lawsuit is being settled. While the water and wastewater utility serving San Tan Valley and parts of Florence and Queen Creek now is owned and operated by Canada-based EPCOR, c…

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Many people serve on school boards in Pinal County, doing an important and often thankless job with no pay. Controversial issues sometimes arise, but the board members generally work together collegially, in spite of the fact they do not agree on everything. That has been true for decades at…

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