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Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Stories by Howard

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Arizona hopes to convince teens to ‘Escape the Vape’

While purchase of tobacco and similar products is legal statewide at 18, two Arizona communities, Douglas and Cottonwood, have raised the age to buy and use these to 21.

Alarmed by the sharp increase of youth "vaping,'' state health officials are preparing a campaign they hope will scare teens from starting or, if it's too late for that, get them to quit.

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A word on the bird: Lower prices on turkey for consumers

PHOENIX -- A healthy supply of turkeys is going to make the cost of feeding the family Thanksgiving dinner a bit less expensive this year.

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Hoffman 54,000 votes ahead of Riggs for AZ schools chief

PHOENIX -- Democrats will take at least one statewide office for the next four years.

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Latest returns put Sinema ahead of McSally -- barely

The latest returns from the state's two largest counties has given Kyrsten Sinema the lead in her bid for U.S. Senate -- barely.

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Prescott’s Karen Fann selected Senate president

PHOENIX -- Newly elected House Speaker Rusty Bowers inherits a chamber where he can’t afford to alienate a single Republican.

Steve Gaynor leads race for Arizona Secretary of State

Political newcomer Steve Gaynor got the bid to be the Republican nominee after he knocked off incumbent Michele Reagan in the primary, capitalizing on a series of missteps she made in running prior elections.

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Early results show strong lead for Ducey in governor's race

PHOENIX -- Outmatched in funding and outmaneuvered, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful David Garcia failed Tuesday in his bid to oust incumbent Doug Ducey.

Early returns show Proposition 127 going down to defeat

PHOENIX -- A $31 million campaign by the state's electric utilities proved enough to keep voters from adopting a constitutional mandate that they generate at least half of their power from renewable sources by 2030.

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Republican Governors Association earmarks $9.6 million for Ducey campaign

PHOENIX -- Cash from outside groups is rivaling -- and in some cases exceeding -- what candidates for statewide office are spending on their own election campaigns.

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AG sues Prop 127 campaign for defamation

PHOENIX -- Claiming he’s been defamed, Attorney General Mark Brnovich is suing the backers of the Proposition 127 campaign.

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AG withdraws argument on marijuana extracts

Agency blames wording in legal filing

Fearing unintended consequences for patients, especially children, Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Monday withdrew his agency's arguments urging the Arizona Supreme Court to declare hashish and extracts of marijuana illegal in all situations.

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Board of Education rejects new public school standards proposed by outgoing state superintendent

PHOENIX -- The state Board of Education on Monday rebuffed a bid by schools chief Diane Douglas to adopt standards for public schools crafted by a Christian college for Arizona.

Arizona plans earthquake training drill Thursday

PHOENIX -- It’s not quite the “duck and cover’’ exercises of the 1950 s when school children were practicing to be prepared for nuclear attack.

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Longtime Arizona School Superintendent Carolyn Warner: 1930-2018

PHOENIX -- If it weren't for Bill Schulz, Carolyn Warner, who died Tuesday, could have been the first woman governor of Arizona.

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Prop 305 seeks to reverse AZ Legislature’s action on vouchers

But the more than 100,000 people who signed petitions to put Proposition 305 on the ballot now find they have to vote against it to get what they want: repealing legislation to expand who can get vouchers of taxpayer funds to attend private and parochial schools.

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Ken Bennett lacking campaign funds after loss

Ken Bennett found himself out of the running when he was trounced by incumbent Doug Ducey in the Republican primary in August.

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Gov. Ducey accuses Garcia of ‘rigging election’

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his claim that David Garcia tried to “rig” the election for a sales tax for education even though there is no evidence the Democrat gubernatorial hopeful had any role in crafting the measure.

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Lawmakers: Service tax ban is bad idea

To hear the proponents of Proposition 126 tell it, Arizona lawmakers are chomping at the bit to tax medical services, child care and even veterinary bills.

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Gov. Doug Ducey crows added jobs in second debate

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey repeatedly throws around the phrase that Arizona is “open for business” as both a commercial for the state and as proof his policies are what’s driving the state economy.

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Ducey defends voucher decision during debate

Gov. Doug Ducey defended his decision Monday to sign legislation to allow any student get a voucher of tax dollars to attend private or parochial schools, a measure that voters will decide in November whether to ratify even as they determine whether the incumbent gets another four-year term.

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Governor contends new law makes Prop 127 vote meaningless

It ultimately may not matter if Arizonans vote in November to require utilities generate more of their electricity from renewable sources.

Arizona jobless rate holds steady at 4.6%; U.S. average at 3.9%

The state’s economy continues to be propelled along by people wanting some new place to live or at least to fix up the one they way.

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Attorney General changes language on Prop 127 ballot

PHOENIX -- A key aide to Attorney General Mark Brnovich altered language of the ballot description of Proposition 127 that the state's top elections officer called "eyebrow raising'' and the lawyer for initiative organizers said is designed to help Arizona Public Service convince voters to reject it.

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Ducey open to reforms in charter schools amid reports of financial controversies

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey said he's open to the idea of reforms in how charter schools are operated, including how they handle their finances.

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School super candidates unite in opposition to Prop 305

The two contenders for state schools chief found one key area of agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

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Border Patrol union aligns with Ducey in gubernatorial race

The head of the local Border Patrol union is telling Hispanics they should not support David Garcia for governor simply because he also is Latino.

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New Arizona law keeps Libertarians off election ballot

For the first time in more than two decades, Arizonans won't have the option to vote for a Libertarian Party candidate for governor.

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Attorney seeks reversal on ruling that hashish not part of medical marijuana law

Attorneys for a Yavapai County resident are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision which makes criminals out of medical marijuana patients who choose to use edibles and liquids rather than smoking the plant's dried flowers and leaves.

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Riggs, Hoffman advance in race for superintendent of public instruction

The Republican Party finally has its nominee for superintendent of public instruction.

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Governor selects Jon Kyl to assume McCain’s Senate seat

PHOENIX -- Saying there’s no time for on-the-job training, Gov. Doug Ducey tapped former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to replace John McCain -- and become a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Court rejects bid to throw energy proposal off ballot

PHOENIX -- Arizonans are going to get a chance to decide whether they want to require utilities in the state to produce more of their power from renewable sources.

Michele Reagan ousted as Arizona Secretary of State

PHOENIX -- Incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan found herself unable to hang on to her office Tuesday as she spent the campaign defending herself from election day problems from years' past -- some of those not even her fault.

Garcia moves forward to general election vs. Gov. Ducey

PHOENIX -- An educator who couldn't defeat Diane Douglas for state schools chief two years ago is in line to be the Democrat who takes on incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in November.

Judge: Education tax on richest would affect other taxpayers

PHOENIX -- Voters will be told that a proposed income tax hike on the richest Arizonans to fund education also would affect taxpayers who earn a lot less.

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$650K dog bite verdict against sheriff’s office rejected by AZ Supreme Court

PHOENIX -- The state’s high court has thrown out the $650,000 verdict awarded by a jury to a former Pima County resident who was bitten and permanently disfigured by a sheriff’s department dog.

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GOP spending to back Ducey grows to more than $9M

PHOENIX -- The Democrats don’t even have a gubernatorial candidate yet.

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Ken Bennett claims state computer error denied him public election funding

PHOENIX -- Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Bennett is blaming Secretary of State Michele Reagan for coming up short of the $5 donations he needs to qualify for public funding.

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Judge to decide if ‘Dark money’ initiative can move forward

Subpoenaed petition circulators fail to show up for court

PHOENIX -- The question of whether voters get to decide whether to outlaw “dark money’’ could depend on whether a judge voids a law that throws a hurdle in the path of initiative organizers.

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Judge ruling allows voters to get final say on education tax initiative

A judge has slapped down efforts by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to block people from voting whether to hike income taxes on the rich to generate $690 million a year for education.

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Education tax hike on wealthy hinges on difference between ‘percent’ vs. ‘percentage point’

At a hearing Tuesday, both sides agreed that the Invest in Ed initiative would boost the tax rate on earnings above $250,000 a year for individuals and $500,000 from 4.54 percent to 8 percent. And what’s clear is that the mathematical difference between the two figures is 3.46.

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Governor adamant on need for for school safety bill

Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his push for a law to let judges take guns from some people considered “dangerous’’ even though it was that provision that killed pretty much his entire school safety plan earlier this year.

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Governor says Arizona law trumps papal decree on capital punishment

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey said he will obey Arizona law and not Pope Francis who has now declared that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases.

Despite threat to San Pedro, Court allows 7,000-home development to move forward

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court has given the go-ahead to a 7,000-home development near Sierra Vista even if it could dry up the San Pedro River.

Court rules mother of slain Mexican teen can sue Border Patrol for shooting

PHOENIX --- A federal appeals court Tuesday morning ruled the mother of a teen shot by a Border Patrol agent through the fence has a legal right to sue him and the federal government in U.S. courts for damages.

Appeals court throws out challenge to Native American Child Welfare Act

PHOENIX -- A court has thrown out a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children.

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Gosar changes social media policy; ACLU drops lawsuit

PHOENIX -- The American Civil Liberties Union has dropped its lawsuit against Congressman Paul Gosar, saying it now has assurances that constituents won’t be blocked from posting comments on his Facebook page he does not like.

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#InvestInEd claims lawmakers deliberately misleading voters

PHOENIX -- Saying voters are purposely being misled, organizers of the #InvestInEd initiative asked a judge on Friday to force lawmakers to recraft the description of the measure that will go to voters.

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Democrat gubernatorial candidates debate immigration, education

Kelly Fryer lashed out at her Democrat gubernatorial foes Tuesday for talking about ways to improve border security rather than dealing with the issue of immigration as a humanitarian problem.

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ARIZONA SCHOOL REPORT: New WalletHub study provides another low mark for state schools

Arizona schools are near the bottom of the barrel nationally when academics, class size and even student bullying are considered, at least according to a financial advice website.

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Lawmakers OK language for 2018 ballot measures

PHOENIX -- A Republican-dominated legislative committee decided Wednesday that voters don’t need to be told that if they approve a business-backed tax-limiting measure the state could be foregoing more than $5.2 billion a year in revenues.

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