Associated Press

The percentage of adult Arizonans who smoke continues to drop.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says the percentage of smokers as of 2014 was at an all-time low of 15.3 percent. That's down a percentage point from the rate in 2013.

Tobacco prevention and cessation programs head Courtney Ward says the decrease continues a trend. She says factors behind that trend include an ongoing anti-tobacco media campaign and a 2007 tobacco tax increase approved by voters.

A tentative deal that settles a lawsuit brought by schools over the Arizona Legislature's failure to give annual inflation boosts will add about $3.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years.

The proposed settlement includes a new cash payment of $175 million to schools this budget year on top of $74 million in inflation funding the Legislature appropriated this year. Together that adds about $330 per student to the current $4,300 schools receive.

A college freshman charged in a fatal shooting on the Northern Arizona University campus has pleaded not guilty.

An international aid worker from Prescott who was killed while being held captive by the Islamic State group will be inducted into her college alma mater's hall of fame.

Northern Arizona University says the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will honor Kayla Mueller during homecoming weekend in a Hall of Fame Ceremony.

Mueller and three other alumni will be recognized during the Saturday ceremony, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Raul H. Castro Social and Behavioral Sciences building.

An NAU scholarship will be created in her name.

David KadlubowskI/The Arizona Republic

  Families of 19 fallen firefighters in north-central Arizona say they haven't seen money raised in their name by a Phoenix nonprofit organization.

The Arizona Republic reports that Prescott Firefighter Charities now is asking the Arizona Foundation for Charitable Support to stop using the Granite Mountain Hotshots' logo.

The foundation hasn't distributed funds from a 2014 golf tournament held in Prescott and a similar event held at a Scottsdale course last month.

Arizona Department of Transportation

The state is asking the federal government for $2 million to cover costs of repairs stemming from August flood damage to a northern Arizona highway.

The Department of Transportation says the request is for initial costs of reopening US 89A west of Marble Canyon and for long-term repairs to restore the highway to its original condition.

The department says heavy rain resulted in severe flooding at several locations along the highway.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit challenging how state legislative districts were drawn in Arizona in December.

The high court on Monday also has scheduled a voting rights case from Texas on the same day, Dec. 8.

Eleven Republican voters sued Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission after new legislative maps were adopted in 2012. They claimed Republican voters were illegally shifted from some districts to make them more likely to elect Democrats to the state Legislature on the premise of complying with the federal Voting Rights Act.

The number of abortions reported in Arizona is down.

A state report says there were 12,900 reported abortions performed in Arizona in 2014. That's down 3.7 percent from the 13,401 reported abortions performed in 2013 in Arizona.

About three-quarters of the abortions performed in 2014 involved surgical procedures, while the remainder used a medication-induced procedure.

Officials say one person is dead and three others are wounded following an early morning shooting at Northern Arizona University

The board overseeing Arizona's early childhood development program is opposing a plan from Republican legislative leaders to take some of its funding to support K-12 education.

The First Things First board announced its formal opposition to Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker David Gowan's plan on Wednesday.

Biggs and Gowan want voters to approve taking $200 million the program has in the bank next year and $75 million each year going forward to fund schools.