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    PNS Daily News - December 19, 20140 


    Among the stories featured on our Friday rundown; President Obama reported to be ready to take executive actions concerning Cuba; North Carolina marks another year without an execution; and Congress makes it easier for people with disabilities to save.

Public News Service - Southwest

PHOTO: No longer a scary sight? Utah's economy may benefit from lower gas prices, but climate and air quality may take a hit if Americans are driving more. Photo courtesy of Calif. Environmental Protection Agency.

SALT LAKE CITY - Low gas prices may be helping the economy by giving Americans some extra money in their pockets, but they may also have an unfortunate side effect. More driving means worse air quality, in Utah and across the nation, according to Dr. Brian Moench, president, Utah Physicians for a H ...Read More

PHOTO: Arizona's energy-efficiency standard, which requires utilities to reduce their overall energy usage by 22 percent by the year 2020, could be removed if the Arizona Corporation Commission approves a proposal it's considering tomorrow. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

PHOENIX - The Arizona Corporation Commission is scheduled to hear a proposal tomorrow that would basically end the mandatory energy-efficiency standards for utilities in the state. That's according to Diane Brown, executive director, Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). She says the ener ...Read More

PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is taking action to uphold a lower court ruling that overturned Arizona's law preventing some young immigrants from getting drivers' licenses. Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol.

PHOENIX - The U.S. Supreme Court is supporting a lower court ruling allowing young immigrants in Arizona to get driver's licenses. The high court refused to stay a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which overturned Arizona's denial of licenses to immigrants who have statu ...Read More

PHOTO: Colorado may have to return the $30 million collected so far from the tax on recreational marijuana because of the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR law. Photo credit: Meghan Barkley/Flickr.

DENVER - At least $30 million has been generated so far by Colorado's special tax on the sale of marijuana, but some "fine print" in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) law may force the state to refund the money marijuana sales have generated, instead of it going to schools. According to Propositi ...Read More

PHOTO: Fewer people are dying from fall-related injuries in New Mexico, but according to a recent report the state ranks sixth in the nation for fall-related deaths. Health officials say regular exercise can prevent falls by helping build muscle and balance. Photo credit: City of Tucson, Arizona.

SANTA FE, N.M. - Falls are the leading cause of unintentional-injury deaths in New Mexico, but according to a recent report from the Department of Health, the state's fall-related death rate has fallen 10 percent in recent years. Robin Swift, section manager at the Office of Injury Prevention at th ...Read More

PHOTO: Arturo Hernandez Garcia's daughters recently visited Washington to fight against their father's deportation. Photo courtesy of Rev. Anne Dunlap

DENVER - Millions of immigrants nationwide are waiting to see if they qualify for President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents program, which was announced last month. Arturo Hernandez Garcia is among them. He has been in "sanctuary" at the First Unitarian Society of Denver for almost two months. ...Read More

PHOTO: Arizonans can enroll for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act at events in Phoenix and Tucson on Saturday, as the first open-enrollment deadline is Monday. Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Events are planned in Phoenix and Tucson on Saturday to enroll people in health-insurance coverage as the first Affordable Care Act deadline looms. Americans have until Monday to register for insurance if they want their policies to take effect Jan. 1. Esteban Camarena, an outreach ...Read More

PHOTO: Dallas is part of a group of the nation's largest school districts adopting an antibiotic-free policy for chicken served on cafeteria menus. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr.

DALLAS - The menu is changing - some say for the better - at some of the nation's largest schools, as chicken raised with antibiotics is getting the boot. The districts that are moving to "antibiotic-free" chicken are part of the Urban School Food Alliance. Its members include the Dallas Independen ...Read More

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