Record numbers sign up for Obamacare health coverage in Arizona, U.S.

WASHINGTON - A record number of Arizonans signed up for health insurance this year under the Affordable Care Act, as enrollment in the program continues to rebound from the Trump administration's efforts to suppress coverage.


Building the future: Trade occupations encouraged as demand for skilled labor grows

PHOENIX – Trade labor jobs are in high demand across the U.S., with many companies desperate for skilled laborers. TradeUp! and West-MEC are handing middle and high school students hard hats and teaching them such crucial skills as electricians, welders and mechanics.

Electrical trade students at West-MEC in Buckey practice wiring light switches in class on Sept. 16, 2022. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Maricopa County’s ozone pollution is high and getting worse

PHOENIX – The EPA recently moved Phoenix up in ozone non-attainment levels, from marginal to moderate. City officials are worried they won’t meet attainment by 2024, when the restrictions get tight and some businesses may not be able to operate.

Maricopa County is failing the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest ozone standards. The EPA has has reclassified the county from marginal to moderate for non-attainment of ozone limits. (File photo by Kasey Brammell/Cronkite News)

Phoenix led the nation in inflation in 2022, but rise may slow in 2023

WASHINGTON – After a year in which the Valley saw the nation's highest inflation rate for metro areas, experts say consumers can expect inflation to ease in 2023 - but warn that it's not going away entirely.


Vietnamese EV survives Arizona’s heat, but navigating a tight U.S. market will be tougher

LOS ANGELES – Although it performed well in Arizona’s heat, the Vietnamese EV VinFast won’t have it easy competing against a cascade of new electric models on the way from established automakers, experts say.

The VinFast VF8 is coming to the U.S. in early 2023, company officials say, along with the VF9. Photo taken Nov. 17, 2022, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. (Photo by /Cronkite News)

It’s electric: ADOT planning a statewide network of EV chargers along interstates

PHOENIX – Thanks to federal funding, the Arizona Department of Transportation will receive millions to upgrade existing electric vehicle chargers and install new ones along interstate highways.

More electric-vehicle charging ports will be installed along interstate highways in Arizona as early as 2024. ChargePoint already has some charging stations, similar to this one in downtown Phoenix, along several interstates. Each station will have four or more fast chargers capable of charging most vehicles in about 30 minutes. Photo taken Dec. 1, 2022. (Photo by Jennifer Sawhney/Cronkite News)

Already struggling, farmers face another challenge with diesel shortage

As if this year hasn’t been rough enough on the agriculture community, with droughts and inflation, farmers can now add "global diesel shortage" to their hardship bingo card for 2022.


After overwhelming voter OK, political ‘dark money’ law hailed as model

WASHINGTON - It could be months before the impact of Proposition 211 is seen in Arizona, but experts are already hailing the new law aimed at exposing "dark money" in politics as a model for the rest of the nation.


Supporters: Debt collection act an important protection, but not a cure-all

WASHINGTON - Prop 209's backers say voter approval of the Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act will go a long way toward keeping people from being "forced out on the street" for medical debt. But they say consumers will still need to be on their guard.


Voters limited their own power to legislate, told state lawmakers to butt out

WASHINGTON - Arizona voters this fall made it slightly tougher on themselves when it comes to passing laws at the ballot box, but they also sent a strong message to state legislators - keep your hands off voter initiatives.


Fire districts face uncertain funding future after ballot measure’s failure

WASHINGTON – Voters said no to a plan that would have added one-tenth of a penny to the state sales tax to benefit rural fire districts, but firefighters warn that the need - and the threat to public safety - have not gone away.


SRP researches cloud seeding in White Mountains to create snow amid historic drought

PHOENIX – SRP is researching cloud seeding along the Mogollon Rim as Arizona continues to struggle with its worst drought in 1,200 years. The partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe could bring Arizona its first cloud seeding operation.

A turboprop Piper PA31T Cheyenne II airplane sits in storage. These twin-engine airplanes carry both hygroscopic and glaciogenic flares to use for cloud seeding. (Photo courtesy of Gary Walker/SOAR)