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Are struggling community banks prepared for a new threat? (access required)

Most community banks in Arizona are losing money, lending is down, and a veteran banker concedes that every day is a challenge. It was a little too challenging for two Arizona banks, which were closed by state and federal regulators Aug. 14. A third bank is operating under federal orders to improve what were found to be “unsafe and unsound banking practices.”

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Growth industry: Native American farms reclaim heritage, expand operations (access required)

Agriculture was big business long before the first Spanish conquistador, Franciscan friar or American wagon train reached the Valley of the Sun. Centuries of canal-building, first by the Huhugam, followed by their descendents the Akimel O'odham people (also known as Pimas) and their Pee-Posh, or Maricopa, neighbors, brought life-giving water from the Gila, Salt and other local rivers to fertile fields of corn, beans, squash, tobacco, lima beans and cotton.

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On cattle guard: Ag officer investigates crimes against livestock (access required)

Scanning the laptop bolted to a stand in the cab of his pickup, Darrell Hale ran down the list of complaints. Topping it was a call about horses with oozing eye infections. The call was made to Hale's employer, the Arizona Department of Agriculture. He's one of nine livestock officers in the agency's Animal Health and Welfare Program, all reporting to the state veterinarian.

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GOP sends 3 measures to 2010 ballot

Three proposals to amend the Arizona Constitution will be heading to the 2010 ballot for voter consideration after gaining final approval from Republican lawmakers during a session dominated by the state's financial crisis.

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Brewer’s bill signings overshadowed by tax plan? (access required)

Considering the internecine warfare that has been the hallmark of Jan Brewer’s tenure as governor, some Republicans may have been tempted to forget why they were so happy when Janet Napolitano left. But one look at the scores of conservative bills Brewer signed may be enough to jog their memories.

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