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Biden administration invests in Arizona’s semiconductor industry ahead of the 2024 election

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Biden administration invests in Arizona’s semiconductor industry ahead of the 2024 election


As the standoff between Chinese and U.S. trade continues, President Joe Biden’s administration is seizing the opportunity to invest in a key battleground state ahead of the 2024 election by granting direct funding and loans to advance the production of semiconductor chips in Arizona.

In March, the Biden administration announced that the Department of Commerce reached a preliminary agreement with Intel to provide $8.5 million in direct funding and $11 billion in loans under the CHIPS and Science Act. The money would go toward expanding the California-based tech company’s facilities in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio and Oregon. Intel has a large presence in Arizona with four semiconductor factories built and two more under construction.

Then, in April the administration announced a second preliminary agreement with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, commonly referred to as TSMC, to expand two already existing projects in Arizona and add a third.

Also, Micron recently received a $6.1 billion for their projects in New York and Idaho and Samsung received $6.4 billion for their project in Texas through the CHIPS and Science Act.

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Semiconductors, a crucial piece for technology like electric vehicles, have become a focal point in trade conflict with China. The CHIPS and Science Act was passed in 2022 to combat U.S. reliance on East Asia for semiconductors. It laid out $52.7 billion for semiconductor research, development and manufacturing.

The investments by the Department of Commerce are projected to bring thousands of jobs to Arizona in manufacturing and construction. The White House estimates that TSMC will bring over 25,000 jobs to Arizona and Intel estimates their project will bring another 10,000 jobs.

“Thanks to my CHIPS and Science Act — a key part of my Investing in America Agenda — semiconductor manufacturing and jobs are making a comeback” Biden said in a written statement.

Companies invested in Arizona ahead of CHIPS Act awards 

CHIPS funding landing in Arizona is no coincidence. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) played key roles in getting the act passed in 2022 by acting as chief negotiators.

“The goal of the chips and science act is to bring microchip manufacturing back to America and at the same time create really good paying jobs and strengthen our supply chains,” said Kelly in a press release following the announcement of the investment to Intel.

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Kelly, who sits on the committees for Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works, was a top recipient of contributions from the electronics manufacturing industry in the 2020 and 2022 election cycles. He has received $2.5 million over the course of his career in Congress, which began with his 2019 campaign. He won that election and entered office that year.

Sinema accepted $553,000 since her first congressional campaign in 2012, trailing behind Kelly. She served three terms in the House and was elected to the Senate in 2019. She announced her decision not to run again last month.

Intel and TSMC were among the top spenders who lobbied on electronics manufacturing and equipment in 2023. Intel spent about $6.9 million while TSMC spent nearly $3 million. In the first quarter of this year, both companies continued to lobby, with Intel spending $1.6 million and TSMC spending $690,000.

Companies are not required to disclose specifics of how this money was spent but an OpenSecrets analysis found that nine lobbyists for Intel and eight lobbyists for TSMC lobbied the Department of Commerce in 2023.  Each company had eight lobbyists lobbying the department in the first quarter of 2024.

Arizona’s role in the 2024 election

With 11 electoral college votes up for grabs, Arizona could be crucial to Biden’s reelection campaign. Biden narrowly won the state by .03% in 2020.

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Biden’s campaign is the top recipient of contributions from the electronics manufacturing and equipment industry. Intel ranks ninth among those contributors, with individual donations adding up to $40,000.

Intel has also invested in Arizona’s toss-up Senate race, an election that could determine whether Democrats retain their slim majority. Likely Democratic candidate Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) received over $7,000 in individual donations this cycle. He is also one of the top recipients of money from the electronics manufacturing industry for this cycle with contributions topping $257,000. He is largely outraising his likely opponent, Kari Lake, who has only received about $25,000 from the industry.

This story was originally published on May 9, 2024, by OpenSecrets, and is republished here with permission.



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‘Consummate professional’ Tommy Splaine shines for Arizona baseball in big moments

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‘Consummate professional’ Tommy Splaine shines for Arizona baseball in big moments


Among players who have appeared in at least 25 games this season, Tommy Splaine’s .237 batting average is at the bottom of the list for Arizona. It’s also by far the lowest of his three years at Arizona, having hit .271 as a freshman and .287 last season.

But where the junior first baseman lacks in raw numbers he more than makes up for in big plays.

It was Splaine’s single in the bottom of the 9th inning that scored Emilio Corona to give Arizona the Pac-12 Tournament title over USC on Thursday night, part of a 2-hit game that also featured a single to open the 8th when the Wildcats scored twice to tie it.

Splaine had five hits in the four Pac-12 Tournament games, tied for second most on the team. And his previous late-game dramatics were key to Arizona winning the conference’s regular season title and pulling off several of its astounding eight walkoff wins.

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“It’s funny because Tommy can have some at-bats where there are strikeouts and he’s not doing much,” UA coach Chip Hale said afterward. “But it seems like when the the game’s on the line he has his best at-bats.”

That statement describes Splaine’s season—and that game—to a T. He was 2 for 4 against USC, striking out the first two times as the Wildcats were being no-hit, yet during the late innings he came through.

Splaine has struck out 56 times this season, three more than in his previous two years, while walking just seven times. His swing has been in constant adjustment, starting from the fall when hitting coach Toby DeMello started working with him to try and draw more power from his 6-foot-5 frame.

“Starting in the fall, I started working with some different stuff,” Splaine said. “As the season has gone on obviously, it didn’t go as I wanted it to but my coaches and I have been just working hard just to keep improving and just sticking with it really.”

Overall, the season has been a disappointment for Splaine, who after spending 2023 sharing catcher duties with Cameron LaLiberte was moved to 1B. He’s been stellar there, with a .988 fielding percentage and just five errors in over 400 chances, but because of the hitting struggles he hasn’t started every game; true freshman Andrew Cain got some starts at 1st with Splaine coming in late as a defensive replacement, but there hasn’t been any complaining from the vet.

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“If he was a professional I’d say he’s a consummate professional because he has not let any of his struggles at the plate affect him on defense,” Hale said. “That’s why he’s out there. He holds down that infield, and I’m just so happy that it was him that got the winning hit.”

Splaine’s five home runs are a career high, but he last hit one out April 24 at New Mexico State. Since then he’s had nine hits, all singles, but he’s found other ways to contribute down the stretch as he’s been part of the last three walkoffs.

Against Washington State he led off the 11th inning by getting hit by a pitch and ended up scoring the winning run in that 7-6 victory, part of a run of a school-record 11 consecutive Pac-12 victories. Then, in the regular-season finale Splaine was first to the plate in the 9th after Oregon State took a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning.

What did he do? Like he has more than anyone else on the Wildcats (12), Splaine was hit by a pitch. That’s happened 29 times in his career, 10th-most in school history.

A one-out walk to Maddox Mihalakis put Splaine in scoring position, and he crossed the plate as the tying run just ahead of Mihalakis on Brendan Summerhill’s walkoff 2-run double to win the conference title.

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“I just really wanted to pull through for this team,” Splaine said. “We all love each other.”



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2024 Arizona football season countdown: 95 days to kickoff | ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com

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2024 Arizona football season countdown: 95 days to kickoff | ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com


To get ready for the upcoming Arizona football season, All Sports Tucson offers a countdown, which will include history notes and a look ahead to the season — a good way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against New Mexico on Aug. 31 in the start of the Brent Brennan era.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS PREVIOUS DAYS IN THE COUNTDOWN

A LOOK BACK — NO. 95 CLEVELAND CROSBY

Arizona Daily Star clipping in 1979 of Cleveland Crosby.

With it being the 95th day until kickoff between the Lobos and Wildcats, the best player to wear No. 95 for Arizona is defensive tackle Cleveland Crosby (1978-79). He was a Purdue transfer who had 13 sacks in two years with the Wildcats. He was a second round draft pick in 1980 but his NFL career never flourished because of injuries. He also played for the Houston Gamblers of the USFL and remained in the Houston area. He is retired in Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

NO. 95 IN 2024 — DT Keanu Mailoto

Keanu Mailoto

Mailoto, a 6-foot-5 and 300-pound defensive tackle, is a redshirt junior who played three games during the 2023 season. He made one assisted tackle in the 42-18 win over Utah. Before he came to Arizona, Mailoto made 19.0 tackles during the 2022 season at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. He recorded a season-high four tackles at Fullerton College in the final game of the 2022 season. Recruited to Arizona by former defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen and tight ends coach Jordan Paopao.

NOTE

Arizona defensive line coach Joe Seumalo (Arizona Athletics photo)

Mailoto will be coached by new Arizona defensive line coach Joe Seumalo, who has 22 seasons of NCAA Division I experience coaching defensive linemen. Ten of his players went on to play professional football. Oregon State’s Stephen Paea was the 2010 Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Seumalo was a defensive lineman at Hawaii who played for Dick Tomey in 1985 and 1986 before Tomey left to Arizona in 1987. Seumalo’s children are very active with football. Andrew is in his sixth season as the defensive line coach at Lafayette College, Isaac is in his eighth NFL season as an offensive guard with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jessi (a daughter) is the Player Personnel Coordinator at the San Francisco 49ers, and Noah recently completed his career as a linebacker at Oregon State. 

THEY SAID IT

“Honestly, he just allows us to play our game. He wants us to elevate by not thinking as much and obviously just going.” — Defensive lineman Dominic Lolesio told KGUN-TV about his new coach Joe Seumalo

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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Bear attacks Arizona teen watching videos inside cabin

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Bear attacks Arizona teen watching videos inside cabin


ALPINE, Arizona — A bear walked into a cabin through an open door and attacked a 15-year-old boy who was watching YouTube videos, authorities say.

A news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department says the teen suffered injuries to his face and arm in the attack Thursday night. The boy was treated at a hospital for his injuries.

“This really could have been a lot worse,” the boy’s mother, Carol Edington Hawkins, tells NBC News. “We’re still in disbelief that this happened, but we’re also feeling very blessed.” She said the door had been left open to allow cool air inside.

Wildlife officials say the teen, named Brigham, was sitting inside the cabin when the black bear, estimated to about 3 years old, entered and attacked. It briefly left the cabin and chased Brigham’s 19-year-old brother, Parker, but then entered the cabin again and again swiped at Brigham, injuring his arm.

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When wildlife officials arrived at the cabin, they were able to quickly locate the male bear and kill it, the news release says. The carcass will be examined and tested for disease.

The injuries to Brigham were not life-threatening but he is receiving shots for rabies as a precaution, reports say.

“So many miracles worked together to keep Brigham safe. … Not many kids can say they got in a fight with a bear and came out on top,” Hawkins writes in a post on Facebook.

This is the 16th recorded bear attack on a person in Arizona since 1990. Two of the attacks were fatal, the most recent occurring last year.

“Black bears are predatory animals and should always be considered unpredictable and dangerous,” the news release says.

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