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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.


Danny Miller/The Republic

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office failed to send out publicity pamphlets for next week’s special election to more than 200,000 households with multiple voters in all but Pima and Maricopa counties, her spokesman said Monday.

 

The error has prompted a Chandler attorney to prepare a request to the attorney general to postpone the May 17 election. Voters are being asked in Proposition 123 to boost withdraws from the state land trust to fund education and in Proposition 124 to overhaul the state police and firefighter pension system.

CDC

Valley Fever is named for California’s San Joaquin Valley, but the fungus that causes the disease actually originated in Arizona. That finding is the result of genetic testing performed by Flagstaff scientists.


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