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Feds: Sheriff’s Office ‘deeply rooted’ in racial profiling against Latinos (access required)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has always been fond of saying he’s accountable only to the voters.

But the U.S. Department of Justice took the first steps Dec. 15 toward making Arpaio answer to the federal government after unveiling the results of a civil rights probe that one investigator described as “the most egregious racial profiling in the United States.”

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Parks director headed for new job in Santa Barbara County (access required)

After two and a half years with Arizona State Parks, Renée Bahl will be leaving the agency in December for a new job in central-southern California’s coastal Santa Barbara County. Bahl came to the parks department when budgets were being slashed and the department was trying to determine which of the parks it was going to be able to keep open. Now, she said, the outlook is far rosier.

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AZ Supreme Court won’t block Mathis’ removal (access required)

The Arizona Supreme Court has rejected Colleen Mathis’ request to block her removal as Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission chair while the appeal of her ouster works its way through the court system.

Mathis can continue to appeal her decision, but will do so as the former IRC chairwoman, the court ruled on Tuesday.

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Report: Prisons have security lapses (access required)

The Arizona Department of Corrections’ oversight of private prisons has improved since a deadly, July 2010 escape, but the Office of the Auditor General also found the state-run prisons have their own security problems.

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Obama offers states more flexibility to meet No Child Left Behind

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama unveiled a waiver program Friday that opens the door for states to sidestep education obstacles in the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law. The new program gives states flexibility in the use of federal funds and on No Child Left Behind deadlines – as long as states adjust school policies to be more in line with the White House.

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