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Casa Grande Union High School, its students, alumni and staff experienced a magical season that ended last month with an undefeated state championship. The Cougars have gone through long dry periods in terms of football success, and all connected with the school and in the larger community s…

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Forest fires have been a big concern in summers for years, and now also in the winter. Much focus is put on a long-standing drought with a connection to climate change. Meanwhile, Arizona has sought to prevent fires by thinning forests. Now the federal government is giving that more emphasis…

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Use of illegal drugs, long a big problem in the United States, has gotten bigger. Of course smuggling is driven by demand, but availability is connected to price, and that is a major factor as well. Legalization of marijuana in many areas has led to increased smuggling of more dangerous drug…

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Arizona’s maverick Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, confirmed what many suspected Thursday when she said she would not vote to blow up the Senate filibuster tradition to pass sweeping legislation to federalize elections. Sinema has come in for much criticism in her own party while drawing…

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Gov. Doug Ducey, starting his last year in the office and making his last state of the state address, put a focus on water that could have a long-term beneficial effect. Water is a tough challenge in the desert Southwest that calls for innovation and investment, and Ducey’s ideas fit in that…

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The U.S. Census Bureau completes its new count every 10 years, but the work goes on over a long period. Those aware of the process in local communities know that there is early preparation and recruitment of volunteers and paid staff. The effort continues for a while, then the results come o…

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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has drawn new congressional and legislative maps for the next 10 years and they are a long way from the preliminary grid maps that the panel started with. At that phase, Pinal County essentially had its own congressional district, something th…

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Mark Brnovich is entering his final two years of eight as Arizona’s attorney general and, term-limited in that elected job, is seeking to move on to the U.S. Senate. He has been aggressive in pursuing what he believes to be the interests of his constituents and obviously not shy in seeking t…

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Pinal County has some wide open spaces, but they are shrinking because of development and a huge influx of people. Dumping of trash in the desert long has been a problem, and of course the potential is greater with more people. However, those in cities are basically forced to be part of a re…

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Fall is when football becomes a major interest in America, and that dates back before the last century. The game is played at several levels from youth leagues through high school, college and professionally. Casa Grande Union High School is more than 100 years old, and the sport long has dr…

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As we’ve said before, serving on a school board is an important but often thankless job. In some districts, seats go unfilled in elections and appointments are needed by the county superintendent. Recently, however, school boards have been in the spotlight. In one case, they are the subject …

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Much of Arizona’s history is tied to the mining industry. Although mining is still developing in the state, some of the old towns where it occurred early in the 20th century or before are just that, “old,” if not actual ghost towns. Meanwhile, people are flocking to Arizona because they have…

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Seeds of Hope has been a leading charitable organization since its founding decades ago. For the past 16 years, it has been led capably by Mark Vanderheyden as executive director. Leading a nonprofit that seeks to help as many people as possible on a limited budget takes a special kind of pe…

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One of the last chapters of the Johnson Utilities saga is nearing its end with the announcement that a class action lawsuit is being settled. While the water and wastewater utility serving San Tan Valley and parts of Florence and Queen Creek now is owned and operated by Canada-based EPCOR, c…

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Many people serve on school boards in Pinal County, doing an important and often thankless job with no pay. Controversial issues sometimes arise, but the board members generally work together collegially, in spite of the fact they do not agree on everything. That has been true for decades at…

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Congressman Paul Gosar has offended many people and contributed to the 22% approval rating of Congress, but his censure over a cartoon on social media no doubt will lead to more rancor and partisanship. He is only the eighth member of the House to be censured since the beginning of the 20th …

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Arizona has faced death and destruction from forest fires for a long time, and government has a huge cost of fighting fires annually. For a decade, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative has sought to thin forests and find a use for the wood. It has not been highly successful, and now the U.…

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The pandemic affected Pinal County in many ways, more than just the sickness and death that occurred. The economy was difficult, especially for small businesses and many workers. The tourism industry was affected severely. This year seems more normal, however, and winter visitors are back in…

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Drawing of new congressional and legislative districts is moving along steadily. While the map still is evolving, it will be finished by the end of the year. As it stands now, Pinal County will be far from the unified territory it was early in the process and which local leaders long have ad…

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Multiple vaccines literally have been lifesavers in the COVID-19 pandemic. They have slowed the spread and saved countless lives. However, some people object to vaccines or forced vaccination. Politics has played a harmful role, with politicians on both sides making statements that have disc…

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Arizona has been criticized for years for its level of education funding. Efforts have been made to raise that in recent years, and Gov. Doug Ducey has provided leadership. Meanwhile, schools were hit hard by the pandemic, although one-time federal funding has flowed in. Now, however, an unu…

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United Way of Pinal County is celebrating 40 years of helping residents help others in their communities. During that time, countless organizations and individuals have received assistance, and much of it has been needed severely. The organization has sought to target funding to places it wo…

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Pinal County continues to grow rapidly, and not just in its cities. The best example of that is San Tan Valley, which would be Pinal’s largest city if incorporated. But other places are growing as well. One of those is Gold Canyon, where a study backed by the Pinal Board of Supervisors no do…

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A daylong event at Lucid Motors in Casa Grande Tuesday meant major celebration for the city, Pinal County and Arizona. Guests got an up-close look at something many had anticipated for years, luxury electric vehicles being manufactured and scheduled to be delivered to the first buyers this month.

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Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 have given Americans and people around the world much freedom. At the same time, many people have resisted taking them, and most have that right. Meanwhile, countless people have had COVID and recovered, although some have had serious illness and many have died.

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Salt River Project is a quasi-governmental entity that provides water and electricity to major parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area. It was founded more than a century ago out of necessity and has been a major player in the growth of the Valley. In recent decades SRP’s need to generate mor…

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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has released grid maps, its preliminary attempt at new congressional and legislative districts for the next 10 years. These are done with the idea of advancing the discussion on what changes are needed. But they also show the growing size and …

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Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission is busy drawing lines for legislative and congressional districts, in a time crunch aggravated by a pandemic-driven delay in getting census numbers. Meanwhile, some local entities in Arizona will have to do the same thing. Some cities have voter…

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The Pinal County Board of Supervisors in a 3-2 vote last week turned down $3 million-plus from the federal government to “improve vaccine equity.” Without getting into the national debate over “equity” vs. “equality” and what that means, the vote points out the complexity of a world that con…

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As Arizona and America celebrate Labor Day on Monday, the country continues to emerge from a devastating blow to the economy from COVID-19. Over a long period, especially last year, many people were unable to work or had to do so at home. The federal government provided much assistance, but …

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Road-building takes a long time, as most people know from the planning to widen Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Chandler. A brand new freeway takes even longer. However, the Arizona Department of Transportation last week finalized an environmental study for the “North-South Corridor,” …

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Police departments are under more scrutiny these days, even as officers’ jobs get tougher amid violence, especially in urban areas. Phoenix, a major city and metropolitan area, is no exception and is facing an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department over allegations of excessive force a…

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Casa Grande has grown not only in population, but its area has expanded greatly in recent decades. Now it takes longer to get some places, and walking often isn’t possible. With that comes a certain demand for public transportation, which always is a challenge for cities because of its cost …

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Houses continue to rise rapidly in Pinal County, making some of the official U.S. Census numbers released days ago a surprise. Some cities and towns did not increase as fast as expected in population, and some actually fell below previous estimates. And that followed a shock to the state in …

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Operating a landfill is more difficult than it used to be. Part of the reason is that environmental concerns are always front and center. And there is no such thing as closing up shop and walking away; federal law and regulations are very stringent on what is involved in closing a landfill.

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