Florence votes to take land in copper mine dispute
FLORENCE - The Florence Town Council has voted to begin proceedings to take more than 1,100 acres from a private company in a dispute over a proposed copper mine.
The council voted 7-0 this week to "exercise its power of eminent domain" and take 1,187 acres from Curis Resources.
Curis wants to build a controversial underground copper mine off Hunt Highway in Florence, southeast of Phoenix.
Governments can confiscate private property for public use, but usually a payment must be made to the owners.
Private-property owners have sued to keep governments from taking over their land.
Curis officials say their mining plan will create jobs in a depressed community. Florence officials say the project could hurt the town's drinking water.
Universities create jobs, legislators are told
PHOENIX - Arizona's public universities benefit the state's economy by attracting and partnering with businesses, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in direct and indirect expenditures each year, officials told state lawmakers Wednesday.
In a presentation to the Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee, Mike Proctor, University of Arizona vice president of regional development and global initiatives, focused on the UA's relationship with the defense and technology industries. He noted the defense industry accounts for tens of thousands of jobs in Southern Arizona.
Proctor said the university has created several educational programs aimed at meeting the needs of the defense industry. For example, he said, the UA recently added a master's of arts in international security studies and a bachelor of applied science in meteorology.
Proctor called universities "unique social institutions" that can empower both students and communities to create opportunities through innovation.
Tribal manager of Skywalk files Chapter 11 bankruptcy
FLAGSTAFF - The Hualapai tribal corporation that managed the Grand Canyon Skywalk has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a federal judge upheld a $28 million judgment in favor of the Las Vegas developer who built the glass bridge.
Economic growth good; factory orders surge
WASHINGTON - In U.S. economic reports Wednesday:
• Strong auto sales, better hiring and a continued housing recovery helped the U.S. economy grow in January and February throughout the country, says a survey by the Federal Reserve.
The survey noted that 10 of the Fed's 12 banking districts reported moderate or modest growth, while the Boston and Chicago districts reported slow growth.
• Orders for machinery and other factory goods that signal business investment surged 7.2 percent in January over December, the Commerce Department said.
• A private survey by payroll processor ADP shows businesses added a solid number of jobs in February - 198,000 of them.
Associated Press; Cronkite News Service