December 2013

Undocumented Families Of Military Personnel Can Obtain A Driver’s License

Some people who are not in the country legally are going to be granted Arizona driver’s licenses, even as the state continues to deny the privilege to DREAMers.  They are the undocumented relatives of those serving in the military, veterans and certain reservists. A program known as Parole in Place also allows them to qualify for work documents, the same as those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, for people who entered illegally as children and met certain conditions.

Ban On Wood-Burning Fireplaces And Stoves In Effect For Christmas Eve

Air quality authorities are making it official. Christmas Eve is a no burn day in MaricopaCounty. Spokesman Bob Huhn says that means wood-burning fireplaces and stoves are not to be used, due to atmospheric conditions that are expected to trap pollutants close to the ground.

“You know no one likes putting a damper on the celebrations this time of the year but we can’t ignore the real health impact our activities have on our neighbors’ health,” Huhn said.

New Study: Children In Low-Income Homes Have Distinctly Different Brain Scans

Children growing up in low-income homes often develop at a slower rate, according to a new study. Psychology Professor Seth Pollak of the University of Wisconsin says the research shows interaction between children and adults is critical for the child, but is often absent in low-income homes.

"A child feeling protected, a child feeling secure, a child being supported; a child being spoken to and interacted with in a way that provides the child more information and practice in communication and making sense," Pollack said.

Claims Likely To Derail Firefighter Benefit Effort

PHOENIX (AP) — Two key Arizona legislators said financial claims from the families of some firefighters who died in a wildfire this summer will likely sidetrack an effort to give extra benefits to survivors of part-time crew members.

House Speaker Andy Tobin and Rep. John Kavanagh both said the chances of pushing though a package to even out the full-time and part-time survivor benefits are in doubt. The families of part-time firefighters received far fewer benefits than full-timers.

Check Of Arizona Retailers Shows High Compliance Level

State officials said a check of stores across Arizona showed people are generally getting what they pay for, when they buy holiday items this year. Shawn Marquez is compliance director for the Department of Weights and Measures. He said they checked 695 items at 34 retailers and found 99.5 percent of them properly marked.   

“Artificial trees, prelit trees, wreaths, Christmas lights, you name it. Anything to do with Christmas, we inspected it," said Marquez.

Lopez Criticized For Delaying Resignation

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Sen. Linda Lopez is drawing criticism from colleagues for not leaving her post sooner after she conceded earlier this month that she has plans to retire.

Critics say the Tucson Democrat is staying on to pad her retirement benefits and that her decision puts Senate Democrats in a bind since she will likely leave before or at the outset of the upcoming legislative session.

Wilderness Society Honors Arizona Federal Land Managers

Two federal land managers from Arizona are being honored for their work in promoting conservation, while balancing multiple uses on Bureau of Land Management land. The Wilderness Society is honoring Kathy Pedrick for finalizing a statewide plan for smart development of solar and wind energy projects. Alex Daue of the Wilderness Society said the large projects will change the land forever.