Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

AZ Community Starts New Year Waterless

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023   

Arizona residents in the Rio Verde Foothills community started off the new year with no water after being cut off from the city of Scottsdale as part of emergency water conservation measures while the state endures a drought. Many in the unincorporated 2,000-home Maricopa County community are now left to get creative to capture and conserve water as no permanent solution is in sight.

John Carroll, a resident of Rio Verde Foothills, said the situation is a "nightmare." He visited the fill station in Scottsdale where commercial water haulers used to fill up and said it now sits empty. Carroll said people he knows topped their tanks off in December to start the new year as close to full as possible. While water consumption rates vary from household to household, Carroll said there is one certainty. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

"One thing, people are doing is going to laundromats instead of washing clothes at home," Carroll said. "I have even heard of people that went out and bought gym memberships just so that they can go take a shower in the gym."

Carroll said capturing rain water has always been a good conservation measure. Now he said it's crucial for Rio Verde Foothills residents to be able to do daily tasks like flushing toilets, washing items and irrigating their lawns.

Carroll said water haulers are quoting water delivery prices about 145% higher than December prices. He said the water haulers are driving longer distances to smaller fill stations which limits the number of people they can serve, thus driving up the price so they can still make a profit. The water utility company, EPCOR, is in the process of trying to get water to the community.

Carroll said that potential solution likely will come with its own challenges and take a number of years to implement.

"If EPCOR is the solution, everybody, even the people from the water district, 'OK we are going to get water - that's a good thing.' It is just the big unknown is one, will it get approved, and two, what happens in the interim? There is just no interim plan."

Carroll is hoping for a solution sooner rather than later.


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