economy

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Arizona’s second-largest labor union is urging Congress to pass a bill that would block a massive copper mine in central Arizona. The controversial project is slated for Oak Flat, an area considered sacred by many tribal members in the Southwest. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Orpheum Theater

For more than a year now, the live entertainment industry has struggled to hang on as the COVID-19 pandemic brought gigs and revenue to a grinding halt. A federal grant program called the Save Our Stages Act, part of the American Rescue Plan, was supposed to help. But to date, none of the more than $16 billion has made it to local venues. That’s because the system crashed shortly after the program launched last month when thousands of eager people tried to apply online. The Small Business Administration says it’s back up and grants should start going out at the end of the month, good news for many in the music, theater and film industries. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with Susan Walter, general manager of the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, about the pressures she’s faced this last year trying to stay afloat and hopeful.


Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool

Governor Doug Ducey says Arizona will no longer accept federal COVID-19 unemployment benefit funds for workers impacted by the pandemic. It’s part of the governor’s plan announced Thursday to boost hiring in the state. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


SearchNet Media from Tucson, Arizona

It’s been one year since Arizona restaurants and gyms shut their doors due to state-mandated closures at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny checked back in with some Flagstaff businesses to see how they’ve fared during a difficult year.


UACJ Whitehall

Flagstaff officials say an aluminum automotive parts manufacturer has selected the city to build the company’s fourth production plant.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a conservation package that includes a bill to ban new uranium mining claims on more than a million acres near Grand Canyon National Park. Proponents have long argued uranium extraction threatens the canyon’s watershed and environment along with the public health of the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai tribes. Democratic Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva has spearheaded several attempts to make federal protections permanent near the park. He spoke with KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius about the newest bill and the legacy of uranium mining.


AP, file

The Arizona House has voted to raise Arizona’s super-low $240 maximum weekly unemployment benefit to $300 at the start of 2022 and impose a small increase in employer insurance premiums to pay for the increase. 

  

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

The U.S. Forest Service has released the final environmental review for a controversial land exchange in Arizona.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

A tribal group in Arizona has filed a lien and temporary restraining order to try to block a federal land exchange. They say a proposed copper mine threatens a sacred site on the Tonto National Forest. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Calexico/courtesy

Independent live music venues in the U.S. were among the first businesses to close at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ll also be some of the last to open, and that’s put thousands of clubs and theaters on the cusp of going under, and has left scores of employees and touring bands without income. A bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate aims to throw the industry a lifeline by providing $10 billion in federal grants to pay rent, mortgage, payroll and other expenses venues have accumulated as nearly all their income has dried up. Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is a co-sponsor of the Save Our Stages Act and spoke with KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius.


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