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UpClose with Harold ‘Hal’ Fish (access required)

Five-and-a-half years ago, Harold "Hal" Fish shot and killed a man while hiking in northern Arizona. The event launched a change in the state's self-defense laws, drew national attention and made him a martyr among fervent supporters of the Second Amendment.

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UpClose with Paul Babeu (access required)

In a landmark year for Democrats across the country, Paul Babeu defied the trends that have kept Pinal County blue for generations. Babeu in 2008 became the first Republican elected to countywide office in Pinal County history. His goal, he said, was to make the Pinal County Sheriff's Office more efficient and to earn back the trust he felt the department had lost with the public.

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UpClose with House Chief Clerk Norman Moore (access required)

When House Speaker Kirk Adams banged the gavel at 3:33 p.m. on Nov. 23 and closed the fourth special session of the 49th Legislature, he also may have brought the end of the final floor session for Norman Moore. Moore has served as chief clerk in the House of Representatives since 1992, when his predecessor Jane Richards retired. The chief clerk is responsible for supervising the bill process and floor proceedings.

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UpClose with David Cavazos (access required)

Perched in a corner office on the 12th floor of Phoenix's downtown headquarters, David Cavazos has a bird's eye view of the city's growing amenities, including Arizona State University's downtown campus, Chase Field, the US Airways Center and the Sheraton Hotel - all of which have emerged since he moved to Phoenix in 1987.

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UpClose with Alessandra Soler Meetze (access required)

On the wall of Alessandra Soler Meetze's office hangs an illustrated guide to the Bill of Rights in colorful cartoon drawings. One of the drawings shows a police officer morphing through a television in a living room as a family reacts in horror. Beneath it are the words, "No unreasonable search or seizure."

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UpClose with John Halikowski (access required)

The Arizona Department of Transportation is facing what it calls a "perfect storm." Tax revenue is declining as people license fewer vehicles and travel less. Meanwhile, the state is dipping into transportation money to help cope with the budget deficit. The department, as a result, is taking drastic measures to address a $100 million shortfall in its budget, including closing rest areas and possibly some offices of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

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UpClose with Ken Chapa (access required)

Ken Chapa, 33, is to the go-to guy for productions that want to film in Arizona. His title is film office manager in the Arizona Department of Commerce. It's a role that requires wearing many hats. He markets the tax-credit incentives available to production companies that film in Arizona. (Another Commerce employee crunches the numbers.) He breaks down scripts for location possibilities and helps film companies scout locations - or refers them to local scouts who can, in addition to working with them to secure filming permits across the state.

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UpClose with Thayer Verschoor (access required)

Sen. Thayer Verschoor, a Republican from Gilbert, returned to the Senate after a tough primary last year. One of the most conservative members of the Legislature, he fought hard for the repeal of the state equalization property tax. That battle was lost this year after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill carrying the repeal language.

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UpClose with Ken Cheuvront (access required)

While others prefer to be diplomatic, Sen. Ken Cheuvront speaks his mind without sugarcoating it. When Janet Napolitano resigned her post as governor early this year to become President Obama's secretary of Homeland Security, the Phoenix lawmaker was quite blunt in his criticism of her decision. "Janet always does what's good for Janet," he said.

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UpClose with John Munger (access required)

Though it's been nearly 25 years since John Munger directed the Arizona Republican Party, he has always remained a part of the political arena. The Tucson attorney has served as president of the Arizona Board of Regents and chairman of the Pima County GOP, and was known to political junkies in the Old Pueblo for his frequent appearances on the TV show "Arizona Illustrated."

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