The water supply in central Arizona is spread increasingly thin, especially when seen on a long-term basis as a drought continues. Decades ago, Valley cities began buying farmland to secure alternate sources, although some of the land later was sold off. Now there is talk of a long-term leas…

Some people remember floods that devastated Pinal County in 1983 and 1993, especially the earlier one, which covered the then-small community of Maricopa with mud and destruction. In the early 2000s, Maricopa began developing into one of the county’s largest cities, and planning resulted in …

It’s 2021 and with the change in calendar comes full implementation of Arizona’s ban against texting while driving. Actually, the law started nearly two years ago without teeth to enforce it, and hopefully it has had some effect already. Even at that, it was long overdue because of oppositio…

A 3-2 majority of the Arizona Corporation Commission last week approved the sale of Johnson Utilities, shortly before two new members are seated on the ACC at the beginning of the year. The decision was somewhat controversial, but it brings a tough problem to closure. And the decision was ap…

Florence long has welcomed the presence and employment of state prisons and at one time was the state’s main prison location. The town got a shock early this year with Gov. Doug Ducey’s announcement that the old Florence Complex would close. Now, however, there is a bright side.

As we’ve said before, Gov. Doug Ducey has caught it from both ways as he has sought to lead Arizona through the pandemic of 2020. Now a state legislator, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, is pushing a resolution that would strip away Ducey’s March 11 emergency order for dealing with C…

News about COVID-19 mostly has turned to distribution of the first vaccines, when they will be administered and priority of who gets them. That certainly is bringing hope for an end to the global pandemic. However, distribution to the general population is a few months away, with caution and…

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The fact that COVID-19 greatly affected 2020 is a constant topic of conversation. Now multiple vaccines are being rolled out and promise to get the world pretty much back to normal within months. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in cases in many areas, probably pushed by cold weather an…

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2020 has taken a toll on just about everything, and businesses have had to adapt to survive. That includes even the edgy newer ones like Uber and other ride-hailing companies. In fact, Uber already was working for future success by thinking about the possibility of self-driving vehicles and …

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News about pending approval for multiple vaccines for COVID-19 is exciting the world. The scientists associated with drug companies apparently have done something that many thought impossible, and done it years earlier, with the help of the federal government. Now Americans and people around…

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The pandemic of 2020 has affected all aspects of society. The economy in Pinal County and across the nation has been hit hard, but it is recovering because of help from the federal government and the resourcefulness of our market-driven system. Calls are being heard for a new stimulus from C…

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Remember last spring when many people were hopeful that the pandemic would ease before Easter? Well, Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, and we are seeing another upswing in COVID-19 cases. Holiday decorations and sales seem to come out earlier every year, but perhaps that is getting a b…

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Pinal County, the United States and much of the world have been seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Some of the reasons listed are more people being indoors and carelessness about exposure as weariness over the pandemic grows after eight-plus months. Some good news surfaced last week, howeve…

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Arizona soon will have legal recreational marijuana after approval by about 60% of voters in a high-turnout election. As we’ve said before, this carries some negatives for our society, including greater use by vulnerable young people, who can suffer permanent harm, and hazards on the roads. …

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A majority of the Arizona Corporation Commission, which sets utility rates, is being determined as votes are counted from last Tuesday’s election. Running in first place is Democrat Anna Tovar, followed by two Republicans, appointed member Lea Marquez Peterson and primary write-in qualifier …

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Pinal County voters have joined those around the country in once again deciding on who will represent them at various levels of government. As expected, Pinal gave a strong margin of victory to President Trump, but the state’s early win for Joe Biden was a key factor for a change in the Whit…

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Many Pinal County students have been returning to classrooms despite the plague of COVID-19. That is just part of the process of trying to return to a normal, yet more careful, life, but it is a big part. State officials monitoring the situation have found something missing — a large number …

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Pinal County residents and others across the country have, for the most part, learned to live with the threat of COVID-19. But now is not the time to be overconfident, especially since students have been returning to classrooms and numbers are ticking upward here and in many places.

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We are moving forward in a new normal. The old normal will not return anytime soon unless there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, which certainly is a possibility. Meanwhile, the economy, education and daily life are dealing with the new normal. And there has been an uptick in cases late…

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Most Americans have grown weary of politics and COVID-19 this year, so it was nice to have some news last week that rose to a higher level — actually hundreds of millions of miles. A spacecraft designed at the University of Arizona apparently grabbed a sample from an asteroid after circling …

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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…

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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 …

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COVID-19 and extreme partisanship have made the Nov. 3 election season surreal. Some states have chosen to take mail-in voting to extremes that are likely to cause extended counting and problems that will end up in court. In Arizona, however, many people vote by mail in a proven system that …

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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.

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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.

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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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