The large part of Pinal County served by Johnson Utilities, in San Tan Valley and parts of Queen Creek and Florence, has had some problems for years. The Arizona Corporation Commission two years ago chose EPCOR, a Canadian-based company with extensive holdings in the United States, to become…

Pinal County, along with many governmental entities in Arizona and across the nation, has unfunded pension liabilities. The area of public safety retirement has been a challenge in Arizona because the nature of the job allows for earlier retirement, and the state’s system has had management …

Pinal County residents will be voting soon, and many of them will support the reelection of President Trump, who won Pinal by 18,000 votes four years ago. Many others will not, but some of those may be concerned about the direction of the government if Democrats make a clean sweep. This is e…

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Pinal County is part of multiple legislative districts. Much of it is in District 8, which includes most of Casa Grande, Coolidge, Florence and part of Eloy and San Tan Valley. Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, is up against the term limit and seeking to move to the Senate. Sen. Frank Pratt, R-Ca…

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The first of three presidential debates raged Tuesday night before moderator Chris Wallace, and most commentators, as well as many Americans, were quick to declare their favored candidate the winner. However, amid the uproar, which often was tough to watch, some things were interesting.

COVID-19 has affected just about everything in American life, and that includes the upcoming election. While there has been a general trend toward having fewer people run for the unpaid seats on school boards, the difficulty in circulating petitions this year has exaggerated that. Now a numb…

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The Casa Grande City Council on Monday made a tough decision to close down a longstanding irrigation district in the Evergreen area east of City Hall. The district had been run by the city for decades and repairs had been made. The problem this time, however, is bigger with a need for a new well.

No one could have predicted the changes brought on in 2020 by COVID-19. Life in Pinal County, Arizona, the United States and around the world has taken some dramatic turns. Daily routines have been altered severely, yet Americans are resilient and have sought to get back to normal, even if i…

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Arizona businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have closed permanently. Among the hardest hit are those that depend on serving customers on-site, including restaurants and bars. Gov. Doug Ducey has attempted to help businesses while keeping public health at front of mind.

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The city of Glendale has been aggressive about attracting big things, especially sports venues. Unfortunately, some of that play in the big leagues has presented problems. The Arizona Coyotes hockey team has been at odds with the city but has remained in the Glendale arena for now. The Cardi…

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The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has brought huge changes to many aspects of life, requiring improvised ways of doing things. In addition to falling in a presidential election year, the health crisis also coincides with the decennial census in the United States. Although the Census Bureau has a…

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Speculation abounds about when or whether a vaccine will end the COVID-19 pandemic. If one or more of the vaccines being tested is successful, that could come within months. Meanwhile, much has been learned about controlling the spread of the disease and treatment of those who have severe symptoms.

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2020 has had major protests about treatment of American minorities, especially since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protests have led to vandalism and removal of statues of people tied to the Confederacy and slavery, but it also spread to other American icons, even some of t…

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Many nations and nearly half of American states have abolished capital punishment, but some states and the federal government itself can still execute convicts. Such cases drag on for many years, and while that gives much protection against mistaken convictions, it makes the situation compli…

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The Arizona Supreme Court is working through its biannual job of reviewing challenges to ballot propositions for November. Last week it approved the Invest in Education measure, with changes from the version that failed to make the ballot two years ago. Challengers said that those signing pe…

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Use of electric vehicles in the United States represented 2% of the market in 2016, but projections have it at 22% only 10 years from now. That is a big jump, and it explains in part why Pinal County is becoming a hotbed for EV manufacturing. Both Lucid Motors and Nikola Corporation had plan…

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Arizona has had its share of problems with its retirement system for public safety employees, and more came to light recently with specifics about three settlements of sexual harassment claims against the former administrator of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System. Improvements hav…

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President Trump tweeted something last week and caused a controversy and distraction — which is no surprise. On Twitter, he speculated about a need to delay the Nov. 3 election. That was labeled as preposterous by observers on all sides. But as is usually the case, Trump was using his big st…

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Arizona’s primary election is a little earlier this year, falling on Aug. 4. Most municipal elections now are held at the same time. In Pinal County, there aren’t many contests in the primary, but there are a few, and some of the cities and towns have serious competition for council or mayor…

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COVID-19 shocked the nation and world with its damage to health, the economy and how people live and do things. It is still raging long after many leaders hoped it would be gone or seriously diminished. Yet it is clear that Americans need to get back closer to normal activity, even if that m…

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Many Pinal County voters get early ballots, and those have been mailed for the Aug. 4 primary election. Some no doubt have been returned already, but those not voting yet should remember to get them back well before election day, and that the primary is important because some offices will ha…

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Employees of some Pinal County businesses recently found out unemployment claims had been filed on their behalf. That presented a mystery to them and their employers because they were still working and had not filed the claims. Now, actions of the Arizona Department of Economic Security appa…

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Legislative District 8 covers much of Pinal County and part of Gila, taking in most of Casa Grande, part of Eloy, Coolidge, Florence and much of San Tan Valley. Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, is term limited in the House and seeking to move to the Senate. On the Democratic side is Barbara McGu…

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Arizona Democrats will see U.S. Senate challenger Mark Kelly unopposed on their primary ballot for Aug. 4. Republican incumbent Sen. Martha McSally is being challenged by Daniel McCarthy. While he has some strong conservative views that many Arizonans could support, he has little chance agai…

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In Minneapolis, four former police officers are charged in the alleged murder of George Floyd. Meanwhile, the head of their union stands firmly behind them. Another killing of a Black man in Atlanta has resulted in criminal charges. Across the nation, Americans of a wide range of viewpoints …

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Discussion at an annual state water conference was valuable, but it pointed out just how large is the challenge of planning for the future. The University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center brought together leaders involved in a diverse state’s differing situations. One thing much …

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After a few months of living with COVID-19, Pinal County, Arizona and much of the nation are gradually reopening and seeking to return to something more like normal. That has produced an uptick in coronavirus cases, and authorities have gotten more serious about rules seeking to control the …

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Deaths of black men at the hands of police officers have resulted in growing national concern and widespread protests. Those included peaceful protests in Pinal County cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 under the knee of a police officer who has since been ch…

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Decades ago, before Interstate 10 was overcrowded in Pinal County and it was new, there was a safety problem caused by blowing dust during the summer monsoon season. That problem has continued to the present day. However, new technology is addressing the issue on a key stretch of the highway…

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Many Arizonans have been spending their days at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with offices and recreation opportunities closed. That is changing rapidly, and various sites are opening up for summer, with some modifications. Meanwhile, the usual summer wildland fire problems have sta…

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A case unfolding in Kingman holds a clue to the violent protests shocking and troubling Americans. Matthew Wright, a 32-year-old follower of the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory, is charged with a list of crimes after he was arrested in a van blocking a road near Hoover Dam and carrying we…

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As Arizona and America are hoping to emerge from the huge setback that COVID-19 brought in various ways, it is clear that economic recovery is tied most of all to reopening of business. Yet Congress has appropriated vast sums of money to help people, including putting cash directly in their …

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Prosecutors have a way of recovering from criminals the proceeds they have generated from their enterprises. Seizing property and cash has been used effectively against organized crime and drug dealers. Such seizures have been done in Arizona for years, but sometimes they come from people wh…

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Rick Gibson retires from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension this week after a career of nearly 40 years in the Pinal County office. Besides helping countless people directly with gardening and landscape questions, he reached many thousands through a column he wrote for this news…

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Monday is the day we once again recognize those who have sacrificed their lives in America’s armed forces throughout our nation’s history, dating back to our fight for independence in the 1700s. Communities across the nation will — and should — pause for that reason. This year is different b…

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