February 2013

Unless action is taken by Congress, the once-vague threat of sequestration  — a broad $85 billion across-the-board series of spending cuts —  will become reality. The countdown ends Thursday at midnight.
February 26, 2013
The Morris K. Udall Post Office in Tucson processed outgoing mail for the last time Friday, and U.S. Representative Ron Barber is upset about it.  Barber strongly opposes the Postal Service decision to close this mail processing center and send all outgoing mail in southern Arizona to Phoenix.
February 26, 2013
After years of budget cuts, officials at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, north of Payson, are starting to look at repairing and updating facilities.  Currently the park is operating solely from gate fees, but this year Governor Jan Brewer’s proposed budget designates $2 million of Arizona lottery money to help state parks make improvements.
February 26, 2013
A bill approved Monday in the Arizona Senate, would make it a felony for members of a political group to submit a voter's ballot on their behalf, although a family member could still deliver the vote.
February 26, 2013
Governor Jan Brewer was among several state leaders who met Monday with President Barack Obama to go over the pending sequester budget cuts, due to take effect Friday.  She says the president urged the governors to pressure their congressional delegations to avoid the cuts, but the Republican governor says she's not likely to do that.
February 26, 2013
State lawmakers are moving to narrow the list of animals people can legally claim they need for assistance, and bring wherever they go. You might think only service dogs would be in this category, as they assist the blind with navigation, aid those with disabilities in retrieving medications and assist with balance and stability.
February 26, 2013
The punishment for the abuse of Arizona's fireworks laws would be reduced, under a bill approved by the state House.  It makes violations a petty offense, rather than the current misdemeanor.  But, the idea doesn't sit well with Yuma Democrat Lisa Otondo.
February 26, 2013
The Arizona House has taken the first steps toward restricting the use of isolation rooms, in public schools.  A bill by Representative Kelly Townsend, to require a parent's permission before putting a child in isolation, has won preliminary approval in the House.
February 26, 2013
The Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in surveys. The chief of the agency's racial statistics branch says months of public feedback and census research concluded that few black Americans still identify with that designation and view the term as offensive and outdated.
February 26, 2013
New recommendations from a government advisory group suggest that healthy older women shouldn't bother with relatively low-dose dietary supplements.  While nutrients are crucial for healthy bones, specialists advise getting as much as possible from a good diet.
February 26, 2013

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