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AP Photo/Matt York

Voters across Arizona head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of education funding and pension overhaul measures at a special election.

The election will also test whether efforts Maricopa County took to avoid a repeat of the long lines seen during the March presidential primary worked. But another snag — the failure of the secretary of state to mail voter education pamphlets to at least 400,000 voters — has also marred the run-up to the election.

A federal judge has dismissed two counts in a lawsuit the Navajo Nation filed against clothing retailer Urban Outfitters Inc.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Black in New Mexico says the tribe didn't show that the "Navajo" mark is famous.

Black wrote Friday that few courts have found trademarks to qualify as "famous." The legal definition must be met to move forward with federal and state dilution claims.

Black says the "Navajo" trademark is more of a niche and not recognized as a household name in the United States.

Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


The Arizona Republic

One of the two ballot propositions Arizona voters will decide in tomorrow’s special election is Prop 124. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would reform the state’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.


KPHO/KTVK

A Chandler lawyer's request to have next week's special election postponed because hundreds of thousands of voters didn't receive their election guides in time was rejected Thursday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

The state's top legal officer said it was clear Secretary of State Michele Reagan's office violated the law, but there was no legal remedy available.

A frustrated Brnovich said cancelling the election would disenfranchise many more voters who have already cast early ballots than the more than 400,000 who didn't receive election publicity pamphlets.

Northern Arizona University will become a smoke- and tobacco-free campus beginning July 1.

NAU President Rita Cheng made the announcement Thursday.

She says the initiative reflects the school's strong commitment to wellness and public health and to create a healthy environment for students and staff.

Cheng says NAU's current policies prohibit smoking inside university buildings and vehicles.

But they don't address the health risks associated with secondhand smoke or the environmental issues caused by tobacco products.

Melissa Sevigny

A decade ago a dam came down at Fossil Creek, a tiny desert river tucked into the wilderness between Strawberry and Camp Verde. The decommissioning restored water to the creek’s rare travertine pools, but it also created a new problem: a flood of visitors. Now the U.S. Forest Service is working on a plan to save the creek from being loved to death. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation creating a comprehensive state policy on drone use that includes a ban on cities and towns making their own rules regulating the small aircraft.

Wednesday's action comes after Republican Sen. John Kavanagh, cities and towns and other groups negotiated on Senate Bill 1449. Businesses that hope to use drones commercially were pushing for uniform statewide rules.

An attorney for a woman accused of embezzling nearly $1.8 million from the former Show Low Fire District has declined comment.

Ron Wood filed a notice Wednesday to represent Natalie Cluff, also known as Natalie Bingham.

He says he hasn't received any documents in the case.

A grand jury recently indicted Cluff on multiple felony charges related to her time as an administrative manager overseeing finances at the Show Low Fire District.

She's scheduled for an arraignment Monday.

southwestdesertlover.wordpress.com

Many visitors know Chaco Canyon National Historical Park as a nexus of spiritual or at least archaeological energy. But these days many park advocates are worried about a different sort of energy: oil and gas production.


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