Passing a new state budget in the spring is normally the apex of the Legislature’s annual efforts, allowing members to leave the Capitol. They had more incentive this year, however, with the growing coronavirus concern. Legislators passed a “skinny” budget early last week and departed, with …

Spread of the new coronavirus has come with a widening awareness and also a growing shutdown of much of American life. Closure or slowdowns in offices, entertainment venues, meetings, churches and travel are bringing much of the country to a halt. People are learning to live more at home.

Casa Grande and Pinal County have become accustomed to major economic development projects, but the one that came to PinalCentral Monday clearly is a major one. The number of jobs does not rival the potential of Lucid Motors and Nikola Motor Company, but the overall impact on the area will be huge.

Mayoral and city council candidates in Pinal County and elsewhere are circulating petitions and organizing their efforts in anticipation of the August primary and November general election. Meanwhile, county, legislative and congressional candidates are running too, as we work through the pr…

The Casa Grande Union High School District is planning a special honor for students who do community service. Superintendent Steve Bebee recently outlined the program, called the Superintendent’s Challenge. Students will be recognized with a “varsity letter” the way athletes are if they do 5…

Almost no one wants to pay higher taxes, and Arizona lawmakers have made raising them difficult. Meanwhile, the state’s gasoline tax has not been raised since 1991, as construction costs have risen along with traffic and vehicles have become more efficient, which means a fill-up yields less …

America went through a period of social change beginning in the 1960s. During that time, left-wing thought and speakers on college campuses led the charge. Now, society has changed so much that conservative or moderate thought is unwelcome on many college campuses. What once were places wher…

Everyone knows that operating an airport is expensive, and major ones like Sky Harbor International collect revenue from various sources, starting with the airlines and extending down to rental car companies, vendors and parking, which steadily increases in price. Phoenix operates the airpor…

The Arizona Legislature every year deals with many decisions and challenges. This year, a key one is deciding what to do with a surplus of money. While that is an enviable position compared to many years, finding a compromise no doubt will be difficult. The best answer certainly will be a mi…

A Pinal County case has led to a bill in the Legislature that would standardize enforcement of noise complaints. While sponsor Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, is seeking to protect constituents like the owner of Hitching Post restaurant in Apache Junction from unequal enforcement, the bill also…

Arizona Public Service Co. has announced a plan to be carbon neutral within 30 years. While three decades is a long time, implementing the plan will be a challenge. The end result, however, will be beneficial. This plan differs significantly from the one that California billionaire Tom Steye…

Years after a slow recovery from the Great Recession began, the economy is roaring under President Trump's corporate tax cut and reduced regulation. Employment is at historic highs, and with that, the state treasury is brimming with cash. This follows several years when cut after cut had been made.

Water use in Arizona’s most populated areas has been in the news because of lengthy negotiations that were required over the prospects of reduced supplies from the Colorado River during a chronic drought. News coverage during that time apparently has prompted state legislators to look more s…

The federal government last week launched a test program to collect DNA from people in immigration custody and send it to the FBI criminal database. The plan is to make the program go nationwide. This brought immediate objections because permanent residents with “green cards” and asylum seek…

The Casa Grande City Council took a big step Monday toward implementing Mayor Craig McFarland’s longstanding idea of setting up a marketing office in conjunction with the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce. The plan, heard by the council but not acted on yet, involves raising the city h…

These days we often hear many people lack the spirit of sacrifice and service that made America great. Perhaps it is true, in a time when modern conveniences make that seem less important. But that spirit certainly does exist, as shown by many in dangerous and challenging circumstances. All …

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich obviously takes his job seriously and, along with that, takes an aggressive view of enforcing the law and protecting the public. Many Arizonans appreciate this approach, and they re-elected him last year to a second four-year term.

Arizona, with more than 40,000 state prison inmates, has gained more with the growing population. Unfortunately, with more equality between the sexes, women are committing more crimes, even though they trail the men by a large number. But two years ago Arizona was adding an average of five w…

The long-awaited FBI inspector general’s report was released Monday, and both sides of the debate over President Trump found something to cheer about. Michael Horowitz said the bureau was not affected by bias, a position that many people find impossible to believe. However, he also found 17 …

Americans constantly consume food obtained from supermarkets and restaurants, include the fast food and drive-thru variety, and they are greatly dependent on the quality of the products, specifically their lack of contamination. Authorities at various levels of government inspect the product…

Lucid Motors held a “ground-building” ceremony Monday at its plant site on the west side of Casa Grande. Focusing on the planting of a tree, it was different than the traditional lineup of executives and politicians turning dirt with gold-painted shovels. But the company’s plans are differen…

After a years-long wait, the Arizona Department of Water Resources last month released its new model for the Pinal Active Management Area, which includes much of the county but not the northern part. Not having the model had affected development planning, but its specifics raised many questi…

Veterans Day last week was a fitting time to mark the official start of creation of a memorial to Pinal County veterans because, like the day itself, it will recognize the sacrifices made by residents of the county. The project 10 years in the making had its groundbreaking at the site provid…

Phoenix, the state capital and Pinal County’s much larger neighbor to the north, is struggling with what to do about its recycling program, months after Casa Grande faced up to the same issue and decided to end curbside pickup after years of providing the service. Actually, cities and other …

The death of a pedestrian last year in Tempe after being struck by a self-driving Uber test car had an element of mystery. That has been cleared up by a new federal report. As acknowledged earlier, the woman was not seen as a pedestrian. However, the reason she was not seen that way by the c…

Americans traveling in Mexico always knew they were in a very different place, although the experience generally was enjoyable. More recently, cartel violence has resulted in many deaths, but they were often attributed to criminals killing each other. Now the situation has reached a new leve…

The 2020 election season is gearing up. That’s exciting for political junkies but not so much for many Pinal County residents who grow tired of being bombarded with messages. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when we see new reasons to regret the fact that Arizona’s founders saw fit to inclu…

The city of Casa Grande is once again grappling with problems in the alleys and talking about an end to trash pickup there. Residents of some older neighborhoods might not realize that much of the city has no alleys and Casa Grandeans living there are accustomed to wheeling trash containers …

Seeing court action pending in other states, Arizona is suspending its efforts to require Medicaid recipients to work if they can. The plan had been for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to require work, volunteering or education for about 120,000 people. While the idea seems t…

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