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The number of valley fever cases in Arizona dropped dramatically last year, a change that state health officials attribute to a change in testing methods but possibly other factors also.
With the hustle and bustle of over 80,000 students, workers, and faculty at Arizona State University — one of the nation’s largest universities — making it through one day without waste is nearly impossible.
When the stock market crashed in 2008, most Americans, one way or another, were badly hurt. But not all. Barack Obama’s then chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, saw it as a golden opportunity to jump-start the new administration’s agenda.
Climate change and global warming are two things that seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. But John Purchase, a retired physicist and engineer, said not many people know what they’re talking about.
PHOENIX (AP) — A manufacturer of sapphire glass that Apple Inc. uses in iPhones told a bankruptcy court Friday that it wants to shut down a Mesa factory that was once touted as a big job creator for Arizona.
GT Advanced Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. In a bankruptcy court filing Friday, the company outlined its plans to wind down operations at the Mesa factory by the end of the year along with a second facility in Salem, Massachusetts — a move that would leave hundreds of people out of work.
"This drastic step is necessitated by GTAT's liquidity crisis and the ongoing cash burn from its operations at these locations," the company said in a court filing.
The request to wind down operations at the locations is contingent on the court's approval. GT Advanced Technologies' stock was down about 35 percent Friday, trading at 84 cents. The stock's 52-week high is $20.54.
The bankruptcy and ensuing effort to shut down the factory mark surprising turn after state, local and business leaders previously bragged that the plant would be a major boost to the Arizona economy.
Gov. Jan Brewer had hailed Apple's decision to open the plant in Mesa, calling it a sign that the Arizona's efforts to provide a pro-business climate were paying off. The state has cut business taxes and created several incentives designed to lure new manufacturing businesses in the past several years.
At full production the companies expected 700 workers to run the plant.
Now, GT wants to begin winding down operations.
It is a complicated process that will involve keeping dozens of workers on staff to monitor furnaces where the sapphire grows into boules that can sell for $20,000.
Apple currently uses sapphire glass for camera lenses and its fingerprint-reading home button on many new iPhones, and has announced its use on two of three planned models of the iWatch. The Mesa plant fueled speculation that Apple might use sapphire glass in future iPhones, but the newly released iPhone 6 does not use sapphire for its main screen.
Apple has advanced GT $429 million to outfit the plant out of $578 million it agreed to pre-pay when it struck the deal with the company last November. The company also made a bankruptcy court filing Friday that seeks to end the agreements with Apple.
Apple and the city of Mesa did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment. The company said earlier in the week that it is "focused on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT's surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps."
In a statement, GT said it realizes the difficulties caused by a plant closing but needs to make the right financial decisions following the bankruptcy action.
"While we continue to explore all options with regards to our Mesa and Salem facilities, we recognize and regret the impact that the actions outlined in our bankruptcy court filings of this morning may have on valued GT employees," the company said.
Q: Why are you running
Q: Why are you running?
Q: Why are you running?
A: I have lived and worked in our district for over 20 years. As an engineer and small-business owner in the aerospace and defense industry, I have seen many of the jobs in my industry leave our state. A priority, for me, is job creation. As a legislator, I will be able to articulate the capabilities and talents of our citizens to attract and retain high-technology jobs in our state. As a former vice president of a manufacturing company, I have learned the leadership skills necessary to manage productive and resourceful teams. I am interested in seeing Arizona thrive, not just survive. I am confident that I can effect positive change towards that end.
Q: Arizona is predicted to be among the fastest-growing states in terms of job growth in the coming years. What can Arizona do to accelerate the growth and what industries should it target, especially for residents of your district?
A: The opportunity to represent our district would allow me to request the commerce committee. My business experience spans both small and large businesses, and I have worked with many disciplines including manufacturing, procurement, engineering and management. Our district hosts high-technology successes such as Microchip, Intel and Honeywell. My experience in that industry would be useful in identifying potential new businesses from out of state. Having worked in both business sectors, I know that opportunities exist for improvement and growth in our state.
Q: Given the state’s decision to back out of the PARCC test, should Arizona continue to follow Common Core standards? If not, what standards should the state implement for its students?
A: I support local school control in the hands of the parents — a child’s first educator — and our local teachers. I trust Arizona teachers, parents and administrators to set the standards, oversee and teach our children, not the federal government. Reducing federal overreach will allow for more money to go into the classroom and for the recruiting and retention of teachers.
A major obstacle to the implementation of Common Core is that it was not field tested prior to implementation. Additionally, Common Core is expensive to transition into. Since we have limited education dollars to spend, I think that spending money on an unproven system is risky to our children’s education. Higher standards, everyone agrees on. We want to set standards so that we have a workforce attractive to employers. I choose Arizonans for that job.
Q: The approval of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid funding was a contentious issue in 2013. Now with a year gone, was the decision by Brewer and the Legislature the correct decision for Arizona?
A: When the numbers for the actual costs get reported after the first year of implementation, we will have a better grasp of this program’s success. For the first three years of the expansion program, the federal government has promised to cover 100 percent of medical costs for the newly eligible Medicaid enrollees. Given this, the remaining cost to Arizona for the first year alone is projected to be $154 million. We can gauge the reports to the estimates and adapt based on the figures, including evaluation proposals that were not originally discussed, if necessary. Arizona’s last Medicaid expansion has demonstrated that cost projections are often incorrect as the cost of the Prop. 204 population was projected to be $389 million, and actual costs were $1.623 billion. President Obama has already proposed cutting the promised reimbursement rates and with significant fiscal challenges facing the federal government, reimbursements are not guaranteed. I am concerned that Arizona will end up with the entire bill and that would quickly put pressure on the services the state provides at significant risk.
Q: Given recent protestations about “dark money” affecting political campaigns, is there a problem with the campaign finance system in Arizona? Similarly, would you vote to present campaign finance reform legislation to voters in the next two election cycles?
A: Dark money refers to the influx of large amounts of money into political campaigns by corporations, business associations, unions and wealthy individuals who do not wish to be publicly identified. Political consultants funnel these undisclosed funds into a number of organizations, including many nonprofit corporations. Donors may not wish to be identified for fear of retaliation in their business climate. Enforcing disclosure may have a stifling effect on public participation and freedom of speech. Proponents of disclosure believe the public should be informed of who is financing the ads and for the donors to stand up for what they believe. Arizona has historically had low limits for candidates — that invited out-of-state groups to get involved. As a legislator, we can make this irrelevant by: 1) restrict money from outside groups or 2) lift limits on ordinary candidates, giving them the opportunity to compete with the outside groups.
Q. Why are you running?
Bridgestone Corporation is venturing into producing rubber from a new source at a brand-new biorubber process research center in Mesa. The plant is already in operation but will host a grand opening on Sept. 22.
The question of whether more tax cuts will restore the Arizona economy to pre-recession levels has become a key issue in this year's gubernatorial contest.
The state's high court is being asked to decide when groups attacking politicians up for election have to disclose who is financing the effort.
If good weather, lots of seniors and a host of recreation options are important for you, then Arizona communities are a good place to retire. At least that's according to a matrix of indicators built by WalletHub, a personal finance web site that looks at such things.
Candidates for governor and their allies have so far spent close to $16 million in the race to come out on top this coming Tuesday in the Republican primary. And that's what we know about.
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission on Thursday threw out separate complaints alleging collusion between two gubernatorial candidates and independent groups trying to defeat their foes.
(Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about “snowbirds” in the Valley of the Sun).
NAPA, Calif. — It's a warm day in the Napa Valley and the summer sun that turns the region's plump grapes into prized cabernet sauvignon is beating down on the Odette Estate winery.
Where do central Arizonans go for a quick, out-of-state escape? Families with younger kids often go west to San Diego, hedonists south to Rocky Point, Mexico, and those who like to be active in mountains and canyons can go north to Moab, Utah, a kind of Disneyland for the outdoorsy set.
Mayor Mitchell’s and the Tempe City Council’s definition of a “sustainable” city is, according to an interview with Gabrielle Olson in ASU LightWorks, “… creating the smallest ecological footprint possible — producing the lowest quantity of pollution possible, efficiently using land; composting used materials, recycling, or converting waste-to-energy — thus minimizing the city’s overall contribution to climate change.”
Arizona has a higher percentage of individuals who have applied for deferred action than any other states, according to a new report.
Saying they have jurisdiction, members of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission refused Thursday to kill an investigation into whether a commercial aimed at Scott Smith was really designed to undermine his gubernatorial bid.
Near Mpumalanga, South Africa, are the marvelous and mysterious Echo Caves. Rediscovered in the last century and turned into a tourist site, these caverns are home to a truly remarkable ecosystem. One of the more amazing species found there, is its famous and unique wild fig trees. As far as plant life goes, these fig trees appear to be normal run-of-the-mill fruit bushes. What makes them so famous is the unseen: Their roots. Researchers and spelunking scientists have followed the roots of these trees deep into Echo Caves — 400 feet deep to be precise — the deepest known root system in the world.
Matthew Nelson was trekking along in the Santa Rita Mountains, just southeast of Tucson, when he came upon a little brown sign on the trail.
The state of Arizona is giving away free gas caps.