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Distressed Districts: Two laws help schools deal with aftermath of financial mismanagement (access required)

Even in good economic times, school districts struggle to meet their financial obligations, leading a few to slip into receivership while others are victimized by various methods of fraud. But in an era of cutbacks in state spending and tight budgets, vigilance on where the dollars are going takes on even greater importance for schools, whose primary role is providing kids with a quality education.

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Knock on Wood (access required)

Environmentalists, the U.S. Forest Service and politicians thought they finally had a plan for thinning the state’s forests after years of disagreement.

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Air: What’s in a grade? (access required)

Although Maricopa County was assigned a grade of “F” for ozone pollution and a grade of “C” for 24-hour particulate pollution in the American Lung Association’s recently released 2012 State of the Air Report, air quality professionals contend that the simple letter grade doesn’t tell the entire story of the Valley’s air, and that progress has been made during recent years in reducing air pollution.

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Ducey says keys to economy are simplified tax code, getting government out of the way (access required)

Doug Ducey brought 13 years of experience running a business in the private sector, including time as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, to his post as Arizona state treasurer. Now, as he and his staff are responsible for managing the state’s $11.4 billion portfolio of taxpayer money on a daily basis, he shares what the state is — and is not — doing effectively in recovering from the Great Recession.

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Swinging out of a slump (access required)

As Californians Rob Owens and Ian Au-Yeung took in an early April spring training game between the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers at Peoria Sports Complex, they may have felt a bit more crowded by the fans this year at the ballpark.

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Milking the Sun: Zimmerman Dairy goes 100% solar – first in Arizona

Zimmerman Diary has been operating in Arizona for nearly 90 years, but its long-lasting success doesn’t mean its third-generation owners haven’t had to innovate to survive along the way. Facing rising costs, in March 2011 the Zimmermans installed a shiny new fixture they say will enable them to continue to stay in business regardless of electricity rates.

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