Associated Press

12 News

An Arizona state lawmaker says the U.S. Forest Service has agreed not to immediately remove and possibly auction up to 100 wild horses from the Tonto National Forest along the Salt River northeast of Phoenix.

Rachel Leingang/Arizona Capitol Times

  The Arizona Court of Appeals has declined an expedited review of a judge's dismissal of Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas' lawsuit against the state Board of Education.

Douglas attorney Stephen Tully said Tuesday that means she will have to file a normal appeal once Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Patricia Starr issues a final order in the case.

Charlie Leight/The Republic

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to ask the federal government to approve major changes to the state's Medicaid insurance plan designed to encourage recipients to better utilize services and possibly cut state costs.

The plan to be formally announced Monday applies to able-bodied adults who don't provide care for small children, about a quarter of the state's 1.7 million Medicaid recipients. They would be charged co-pays for some services and required to pay 2 percent of their income into a health savings account.

 A battle over how former Gov. Jan Brewer funded the expansion of the state's Medicaid program is finally going before a judge.

Lawyers will argue about the constitutionality of Arizona's hospital "bed tax" in a Phoenix courtroom Thursday. The case that could determine whether 350,000 residents remain covered under the state's Medicaid expansion.

The case hinges on whether the assessment is a tax that should have been passed by a 2/3 vote in the state Legislature or a fee that can be passed by a majority vote.

  The Arizona Snowbowl has a new member of its ownership team.

The ski resort near Flagstaff announced Tuesday that Durango, Colorado, businessman James Coleman has become part of the Arizona Snowbowl Limited Partnership. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The partnership had planned to close on a deal last year to sell the ski resort to Coleman. But one of the owners, Eric Borowsky, says many of the partners wanted to stay involved with the Snowbowl.

The partnership bought the ski resort in 1992 for $4 million.

Lawmakers on the Navajo Nation have approved legislation to tax alcoholic beverages sold in the tribe's casinos.

The 3.25 percent tax is expected to raise $73,000 a year. The revenue would go into a fund administered by the tribe's Division of Public Safety to combat drunken driving on the reservation.

Tribal officials say the tax is directed on retailers and distributors, but consumers are responsible for paying it.

People legally can buy alcohol and drink it only in tribal casinos and at a tribal marina at Lake Powell in Page.

Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP

 

  Navajos voted Tuesday to loosen language requirements for their top leaders, eliminating the need for them to be fluent in Navajo and giving voters more discretion in who can hold elected office.

A New York man suspected of placing numerous threatening phone calls to Flagstaff, Arizona, schools has been arrested.

Viktor Lisnyak, of Staten Island, New York, was arrested on July 17. He faces five counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce.

Officials say Lisnyak, who is 29 years old, made calls between March and May in which he threatened to kill school children. He made the calls to two elementary schools, one middle school and a preschool, police say.

NASA

  Mankind's first close-up look at Pluto did not disappoint Wednesday: The pictures showed ice mountains on Pluto about as high as the Rockies and chasms on its big moon Charon that appear six times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Especially astonishing to scientists was the total absence of impact craters in a zoom-in shot of one rugged slice of Pluto. They said that suggests that Pluto is geologically active even now and is being sculpted not by collisions with cosmic debris but by its internal heat.

  A judge has granted the state Board of Education's request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas over authority to oversee and fire the board's staff.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Patricia Starr ruled Tuesday that part of Douglas' suit was a "political question" inappropriate for a court to decide. The judge also said other parts of the suit were too abstract to warrant a court ruling.

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