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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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Judge sets date for SRP records hearing

Salt River Project and a pair of Arizona municipalities will face off in court over a public records dispute in February. A Maricopa County judge on Dec. 2 set a hearing date of Feb. 17. The two sides will debate whether the quasi-governmental utility company is subject to the state's public records law. Prescott and Prescott Valley have filed two public records requests with SRP, and the utility has refused to turn over the documents.

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Sports authority cuts back on obligations

Youth sports activities are expected to take a hit after the state sports authority announced a funding scale back. Along with youth leagues, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority is holding back funds for renovating spring training facilities in Scottsdale and Tempe.

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