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Manning bows out of AG race (access required)

After months of flirting with a run for office, Phoenix attorney Michael C. Manning announced that he will not run for attorney general. Manning announced his decision in a letter on Dec. 8. Manning said he believes he would win the race, but decided against a run over concerns about what would happen to his law firm, Stinson, Morrison, Hecker LLP. He said a number of colleagues presented him with a signed petition about a month ago, asking him not to run.

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Highway money on states’ radar

States are hoping that a job-creating initiative to be outlined by President Obama on Dec. 8 will include billions of dollars for infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, recession-worn Michigan may be ineligible for $475 million in federal highway money next year because it can't find $84 million in matching state funds.

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ADOT pledges to plow roads during storm

Despite a $100 million deficit, the Arizona Department of Transportation vows to keep roads in northern Arizona plowed and safe during a winter storm that is expected to hit Arizona this week. ADOT road crews plan to be out in force plowing at the same pace as last year.

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Stricter regs needed for medical pot

Supporters of an effort to legalize medical marijuana in Arizona have taken steps to avoid some of the problems that have riddled California since voters there passed Proposition 215 in 1996. Californians approved a seven-paragraph initiative that protects physicians, caregivers and medical marijuana patients from prosecution. But it led to a massive outgrowth of doctors who prescribe the drug for just about any malady.

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Wired informant useful in investigation of boxing promoter

Perhaps lunch hour at a busy restaurant wasn't the best time to wire an informant for a meeting with an investigative lead. The noise of all those customers made it hard for detectives to understand just what Mary Rose Wilcox had to say. As it turned out, Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor and former boxing commissioner, didn't say much anyway.

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Arizona’s tough-on-crime stance costs big bucks (access required)

Crime in Arizona has dramatically declined this decade, but the number of Arizonans in prison continues to climb and has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2002, thanks in part to the creation of new crimes and tougher sentencing guidelines. Supporters of the tough-on-crime approach say the figures show that the laws are doing what is intended: making Arizona safer by keeping dangerous criminals behind bars. But critics say that idea defies research and the state can't afford to continue the trajectory, especially in a time of fiscal crisis.

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