Associated Press

Mark Brodie

The Supreme Court threw out key provisions of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants Monday but said a much-debated portion could go forward on checking the status of suspects who might appear to be in the U.S. illegally.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices strongly suggested Wednesday that they are ready to allow Arizona to enforce part of a controversial state law requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they think are in the country illegally.

Liberal and conservative justices reacted skeptically to the Obama administration's argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check, and another provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without a warrant, part of Arizona law aimed at driving illegal immigrants elsewhere.

Warm, windy weather is raising the fire danger in the Mountain West.

Red flag warnings were in effect Thursday for much of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley as well as parts of Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

In western Colorado, the National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach up to 35 mph before the threat is expected to subside Friday afternoon. Humidities are also expected to drop below 15 percent there, making it easier for fires to spread.

The agency warns that simple burns on farms or ranches could easily get out of control.

A bill pending in the state Senate and pushed by the mining industry would shield cases of environmental contamination from civil lawsuits and penalties according to backers.

The Arizona Republic reports the bill headed for a final Senate vote Monday would allow companies to keep those cases secret. Supporters say it would be an incentive for corporations to voluntarily clean up ground and water contamination they discover on their properties.

A former CIA employee has announced her candidacy for Arizona's newly-drawn 9th Congressional District.

Leah Campos Schandlbauer said Monday that she's a conservative Republican and will ground her campaign in an unreserved defense of free markets and limited government.

Campos Schandlbauer is a mother of four. She recently resigned her job as operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, where she worked for more than a decade.

The 9th District includes Tempe and parts of Phoenix and Mesa.

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