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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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Feds mum on Arpaio’s upcoming crime sweep (access required)

In response to the loss of his agreement with the federal government that authorized his agency to enforce immigration law on the streets, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pushed up the date of his next crime suppression sweep to Oct. 16 and said he would deliver any illegal immigrants found by his deputies to the Border Patrol. Federal officials aren't saying how they will react if he makes good on his vow.

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Authorities investigate Kartchner Caverns break-in

Intruders broke into the crown jewel of Arizona's state park system over the weekend, leaving a trail of minor damage in one of Kartchner Caverns' most fragile caves, authorities said Oct. 13. Suspects forced a door open through the lower portal of the cavern sometime during the night on Oct. 11, officials said.

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Bare-bones Revenue Department would eliminate audits (access required)

An unintended consequence of a veto last month means the state agency tasked with collecting taxes is on the verge of laying off more than half of its staff, barring a budget fix to allow access to all of the money lawmakers gave it earlier this year. Anthony Forschino, the agency's assistant director, said the layoffs would still allow the Department of Revenue to function, but in a bare-bones manner.

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