Former ASU swimmer joins athletes urging protection from sexual assaults

Former Arizona State University swimmer Jancy Thompson said the sexual abuse she suffered for five years at the hands of her coach for USA Swimming “lives in my bones” to this day.

That pain brought Thompson to Washington, where she joined 12 other former athletes who survived sexual abuse. They shared their stories Wednesday and called on Congress to enact stronger protections for young athletes.

Protesters for, against Kavanaugh stage spirited, largely civil rallies

Senators heard the conflicting stories Thursday of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who accused him of assault, but protesters outside the hearing seemed to have already made up their minds.

Hundreds of anti-Kavanaugh protesters and a smaller number of supporters rallied at the Supreme Court and around Capitol Hill for hours of spirited, but mostly civil, debate.

Flake calls for civility, open minds at hearing for Kavanaugh, Ford

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he has not made up his mind on allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and he urged fellow senators to keep open minds when Kavanaugh and one of his accusers testify Thursday.

Flake’s plea on the Senate floor came on the eve of a highly anticipated Judiciary Committee hearing where Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh will be the only witnesses – witnesses, Flake said, who have been “dehumanized” by those seeking political gain.

Potential buyer for Navajo Generating Station out, plant closure likely

The investment firm that was interested in buying the Navajo Generating Station broke off its pursuit this week, making the closure of the plant next year and the loss of hundreds of jobs appear more likely.

Avenue Capital subsidiary Middle River Project said in a letter to Navajo officials Thursday night that it has not been able to get commitments from customers to buy enough power for a “workable operating paradigm” for the plant.

Grijalva, Bishop craft surprise deal to save fund for public lands

A House committee unanimously approved a surprise, bipartisan plan to save a popular land conservation fund Thursday, just weeks before it was set to expire.

Reauthorization of the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund had stalled as the Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and the panel’s senior Democrat locked horns over it.

But Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, came together this summer to begin hammering out the agreement that was approved by the committee Thursday.

Democrats push back against GOP plan to change Endangered Species Act

Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday that Trump administration efforts to revamp the Endangered Species Act disregard science and ignore the impact that climate change is having on wildlife and their habitats.

The House and Senate members were pushing back against plans by Republicans, who say the act is no longer useful and needs to be modernized – efforts that Democrats claim will do nothing more than gut the law.

Navajo group takes protest against coal-fired power plant to Manhattan

A group of Navajo environmentalists on Monday took their fight against the Navajo Generating Station to Manhattan, where they protested outside the offices of an investment firm that might save the coal-fired plant.

Bundled in boots, coats and layers, the group rallied outside Avenue Capital Group for several hours, standing without umbrellas in a cold New York rain and chanting, “Coal is dead,” and “Avenue Capital, we want renewable.”

After years of increases, Arizona 2019 health premiums likely to drop

After several years of double- and triple-digit increases in health insurance premiums, Arizona could see premiums fall more than 4 percent in 2019, one of only 11 states looking at a drop, according to a new analysis.

It’s a sharp turnaround for Arizona, a state where a premium increase of 116 percent in 2017 was cited by President Donald Trump as proof that the Affordable Care Act needed to be repealed.

For Tucson native, being even small part of McCain rites is ‘humbling’

Growing up, Tucson native Joshua Carrigg learned about Arizona Sen. John McCain when his family talked about McCain’s service to the country as a politician and veteran.

So it was a “humbling” experience when Carrigg, now Army 1st Sgt. Carrigg, served as non-commissioned officer in charge of the military detail that received McCain’s casket when it arrived Thursday night at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Court agrees man could face torture, death if returned to El Salvador

A federal appeals court overturned an immigration board’s decision to deport an Arizona man to his native El Salvador, rejecting the board’s “glib characterization” that murders, beatings and home invasions did not constitute persecution.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that Moris Alfredo Quiroz Parada had provided substantial evidence that he faced persecution in his home country.

McCain discontinues cancer treatment, a year after diagnosis

Sen. John McCain has discontinued treatment for the deadly brain cancer he has been living with since last summer, his family announced Friday.

The six-term Republican announced his diagnosis of glioblastoma in July 2017 and has already beaten the odds against the very aggressive form of cancer. It can be particularly hard on patients older than 50 – McCain’s 82nd birthday is Wednesday.

Critics call reported school gun plan ‘absurd,’ misuse of federal funds

A reported plan to let local schools use federal funds to buy guns and gun training sparked an immediate backlash from Arizona advocates and educators, who called the idea “absurd – and dangerous.”

The Department of Education said in a statement Thursday that it would not comment on “hypothetical scenarios,” after news reports that Secretary Betsy DeVos was considering a plan to let states use Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to arm and train educators.

Ducey, Arizona sheriffs join White House event defending ICE agents

Gov. Doug Ducey told a White House audience Monday that border officers put their lives on the line to defend residents of Arizona, which he called an “epicenter” of human trafficking and drug cartel activity.

Ducey was one of a handful of state and local officials invited by President Donald Trump to the White House event to honor immigration and border officials in the face of calls by some to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.