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Author Archives: Gary Grado

District Court judge sentences Arredondo to probation (access required)

Artist's rendering of Rep. Ben Arredondo and his attorney at his Oct. 5 hearing. (Illustration by Maggie Keane)

Former Democratic lawmaker Ben Arredondo walked out of court Wednesday effectively a free man, having convinced a federal judge his lifetime of community service and failing mental and physical health justify no time behind bars.

Judge Frederick Martone, of U.S. District Court in Phoenix, placed Arredondo on three years of probation, including 18 months of house arrest, and ordered him to pay $540 in restitution.

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State prepares for debate on costly Common Core educational standards (access required)

money-education

Those who support Arizona’s new Common Core standards for math and English education say they help turn students into better thinkers and prepare them for college and the workforce.

Those who question the new standards say they could create added expenses for public schools, including new textbooks, teacher training and the need for new technology. They say the price tag, still undetermined, could be astronomical.

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Crandall offers new school security proposal (access required)

Sen. Rich Crandall (Submitted photo)

Sen. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, jumped into the school security fray today by announcing a proposal to raid extra Clean Elections funds to pay for more cops in schools and provide training for armed teachers and training school counselors to identify mentally unstable students.

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Arredondo argues for lighter punishment (access required)

Supervisors decide not to replace Arredondo

Former Rep. Ben Arredondo's attorney, Lee Stein, has filed a plea asking that the federal government’s use of “inflated” ticket prices would unfairly increase the severity of his bribery sentence. Stein argued that prosecutors should be using face value and season ticket values rather than what the FBI paid when they purchased the tickets from scalpers.

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Campbell offers comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence (access required)

Arizona House of Representatives Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, speaks as he offers a plan to push a $100 million school and community safety plan that would triple funding for school resource officers, add money for mental health treatment and require background checks on all buyers at gun shows, at the Arizona Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, Phoenix.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell’s ideas for preventing a mass school shooting in Arizona include more cops in schools, more money pumped into the public-health system and stricter gun laws.

With a school resource officer and an award winning school counselor to help him make his case at a Jan. 9 press conference, Campbell said the cost of his 12-point plan would be $261 million. That would come from cutting a prized school-choice program favored by Republicans - the School Tuition Organization tax credit – as well as changes to tax laws and money from a $676 million budget surplus.

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