"Dreamers" Allowed to Pay In-State Tuition

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
In a 2013 protest against this lawsuit, young people from Phoenix set fire to copies of their high school diplomas outside the Attorney General's office.
Many Arizona residents who were brought to the country illegally when they were children will be allowed to pay in-state tuition at Maricopa County's community colleges.

Former Attorney General Tom Horne had filed a lawsuit several years ago to prevent the Maricopa Community College system from offering in-state tuition rates for the so-called "dreamers," arguing the immigrants were not lawfully present in the country, thus ineligible under state law to get the lower tuition rate.

Current AG Mark Brnovich continued to pursue the lawsuit, but a county judge sided with the "dreamers" yesterday, saying that the federal government has indeed granted these people the lawful presence to get the tuition benefits.

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Peoria 2-Year-Old Shoots Himself in the Face

Categories: News

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Vladimir Dudak
A 2-year-old boy in Peoria shot himself in the face last night after finding a gun in his parents' bedroom.

Peoria Police Sergeant Shari Howard says the boy is alive, and in stable but critical condition at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

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Yarnell Homeowners' Lawsuits Dismissed

Categories: News

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Matthew Hendley
The remnants of one home after the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Lawsuits brought by people who lost their homes in the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire have been dismissed.

The suits alleged that negligent firefighting led to the destruction of dozens of homes, blaming the Arizona State Forestry Division for "unthinkingly and incompetently react[ing] to events."

Of course, 19 firefighters died while battling this blaze, and a wrongful-death lawsuit's still pending.

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East Lot for Phoenix Homeless Closing May 15

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Miriam Wasser

After months of Phoenix and Maricopa County officials promising that the East Lot will remain open indefinitely, the asphalt parking lot that's served as a de facto overflow shelter for up to 400 men and women in downtown Phoenix is officially closing.

"The East Lot's last night of providing low demand shelter will be the 14th (closing the morning of the 15th)," Lindsey Roberts, Communications Manager of the Central Arizona Shelter Services, writes to New Times.

CASS--which also runs a 470 bed shelter on the Human Services Campus across the street--has operated the East Lot since April 2013, at the behest of the Phoenix Police Department, who saw opening it as an opportunity to keep both the neighborhood and hundreds of homeless men and women safe. Though philosophically no one thought it was a good idea, crime rates dropped dramatically, and many people suddenly had a relatively safe place to sleep at night. (The CASS-operated Men's Overflow Shelter, the original "temporary solution," was at capacity every night, and had been for years.)

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Congressman Gallego Calling for U.S. to Allow "Dreamers" in the Military

Categories: News

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Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego is pushing for the government to allow young people who were brought to the country illegally as children to serve in the military.

Gallego plans to do this by offering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act encouraging the Department of Defense to allow people to serve if they've been granted deportation relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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FAA Getting Scathing Letter from Phoenix Officials

Categories: News

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.sarahwynne./Flickr

Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher has sent a strongly worded letter to the FAA, admonishing the agency for falsely characterizing its intent to work with the city and correct the noise problems associated with last year's flight-path changes at Sky Harbor Airport.

"I regret to say that the FAA has lost the confidence of the Phoenix community, and the city cannot participate in a process that cannot deliver meaningful analysis," Zuercher wrote.

His letter came in response to FAA Regional Administrator Glen Martin's April 14 letter to the city, which many criticized for its insulting tone and distortion of facts. In the letter, Martin accused the city of not being an active participant in its Performance Based Navigation Group tasked with adjusting the flight paths out of Sky Harbor Airport, and comprised of FAA officials/technicians and representatives from the city and airlines. The group has met three times, most recently April 13.

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Congressman Gallego Calling for Debt-Free College Education

Categories: News

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Ruben Gallego/Twitter
Congressman Ruben Gallego (center).
Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego is sounding the horn on the significant amount of debt faced by students after they graduate from college.

"You should be able to go to a public university and graduate debt-free or as nearly debt-free as possible," Gallego said this morning at his office in Phoenix.

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Geology Buffs Vow to Bring Back Mining Museum Despite Governor's Veto

Categories: News

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cobalt123
Children pan for gold at the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in 2007.
A group of geology enthusiasts are rallying the public after the governor vetoed a bill that would have reopened the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, which has been shuttered since 2011.

Senate Bill 1200, sponsored by Senator Gail Griffin (R-Hereford), passed nearly unanimously in both the Senate and the House.

Long-time museum supporter Dick Zimmerman is convinced the governor would have jumped on board, too -- if he only understood how important the institution is to the community. So he, along with a group of former museum volunteers, curators, teachers, and parents, has launched a website memorializing the museum with photos of children peering into display cases filled with thousands of minerals, crystals, and fossils, digging through wheel barrels of rocks, and panning for gold.

"Since we can't get through to the governor directly, we're going to have to make the people of Arizona aware of this and get his attention that way," said Zimmerman, a retired aerospace engineer who lives in Tempe.

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Phoenix to Study Feasibility of City ID Cards

Categories: News

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Azwatchdog
The Phoenix City Council approved on Wednesday the study of a city identification card.

The idea behind such an ID card is to provide identification to those who don't have a government-issued ID, mainly unauthorized immigrants.

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Old Sky Harbor Flight Paths Had Less Impact, Data Shows

Categories: News

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Dmitry Kalinin/Flickr

Phoenix is once again throwing its support behind the pre-September 18 departure flight paths out of Sky Harbor Airport. The decision comes after the city Aviation Department modeled multiple alternatives, calculated the noise impact each would have, and proved that the original paths are in fact the least disruptive options.

At a special City Council meeting late last week, Chad Makovsky of the Aviation Department, and an aviation consultant, Tom Cornell, presented the results of their modeling experiment. Through very telling visuals, they explained how the changes the FAA has proposed in recent weeks would result in more noise for residents.

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