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Liquor Department to close Fridays if more cuts occur (access required)

The agency in charge of regulating Arizona's liquor industry has reported it will have to lay off investigators, sell vehicles to save some money and close the office on Fridays to accomplish a 15-percent reduction in its budget. On top of that, Department of Liquor Licenses and Control warned that it is already experiencing "critically low" staffing levels.

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AHCCCS reports it might have to eliminate KidsCare (access required)

Lawmakers this year eliminated a health care program for middle-class parents, but now the state-run health insurance program for children is on the chopping block. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System has reported it would have to eliminate the KidsCare program if it is required to trim 15 percent of its budget in the 2010 fiscal year.

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Farmers, ranchers fear budget cuts to Agriculture Dept. (access required)

As Arizona continues to grapple with declining government revenue, the state's farming and ranching communities are warning that the Arizona Department of Agriculture has stretched its dollars to the limit. And the situation could grow worse, as Gov. Jan Brewer in September ordered state agencies to draft plans that predict the immediate effects on departments if their budgets are cut another 15 percent.

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Vanderpool wants to keep leading DPS (access required)

Roger Vanderpool hopes his performance as director of the state's largest police force will speak louder than his political history - two elections as Pinal County Sheriff as a Democrat and an appointment to his current post by a Democratic governor - when Arizona's Republican governor decides who will lead the department for the next five years.

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Bad blood over bad check leads to indictment of boxing promoter (access required)

Boxing manager Joe Diaz hopes the indictment of a Phoenix fight promoter leads to bigger fish - namely, former boxing commissioner and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Promoter Peter McKinn III was indicted Sept. 30 on five counts of forgery, theft, fraud and perjury stemming from a five-year-old dispute with Diaz. McKinn pleaded not guilty in an Oct. 8 arraignment.

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