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Author Archives: The Associated Press

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Budget woes, recession challenge day-labor centers

Until a day-labor center opened nearby, jobseekers in Keenan Strand's north Phoenix neighborhood used to drink from people's hoses, urinate on walls and duck behind bushes to escape triple-digit heat while waiting for work. But the economic downturn is threatening the 6-year-old day-labor center and others like it around the country, leaving some advocates concerned that job seekers will return to neighborhoods and street corners in search of work.

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Pinal County sheriff’s jail commander resigns

FLORENCE - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says its jail commander has resigned and a sergeant has been placed on leave after allegations against them. Jail commander Joe McAuliffe was placed on leave July 1 during a review into allegations of deception and failure to disclose pre-employment information.

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Overusing groundwater threatens Arizona’s future

The director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources says the state has to stop its denial when it comes to water. "We're spoiled by cheap, easily available water and have been for a long time," Herb Guenther said. "We have a lot of water compared to other Western states. But we need to use it in a sustainable way."

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Hard times lead to more power cutoffs in Phoenix

Two Phoenix area electric utilities cutoff power to more homes in June of this year than in June of 2008. Hard economic times and higher rates led consumers to fall behind in their bills. APS raised average household monthly rates about $4.50 in December, and SRP raised its average bill about $4.70 in October.

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Mesa gets stimulus cash for cops

MESA - Mesa is set to receive about $6 million in stimulus cash to hire up to 25 additional police officers. However, City Manager Chris Brady and Mayor Scott Smith have concerns that even though the grant pays for the initial hire and some other related costs, it may create a burden on the city's budget.

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Former Ariz. cop revisits ‘hitman’ days in book

For Jack Ballentine, balancing work and family was sometimes a life-or-death struggle. The former Phoenix undercover officer remembers a "client" calling during his son's batting practice. As several kids waited nearby, the detective launched into his hitman persona, discussing how he could help his client wipe out his targets with two pounds of C-4 explosives.

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More older volunteers heed calling of Peace Corps

After a lifetime of work, 62-year-old Hazel Powell decided to leave her comfortable Scottsdale home and family behind for 27 months of deprivation and a hard job in Eastern Europe. The recently retired teacher left for Bulgaria, where donkey carts outnumber automobiles. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of the poor villagers she will live with.

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