Hanzal trade shows Coyotes’ Chayka downside of job

  • Slug: Sports-Hanzal Trade, 281 words

Cronkite News

GLENDALE – Less than a year into his role as Coyotes general manager, John Chayka is learning about the downside of his job.

Trading popular players.

“It sucks,” he said. “Kind of mixed emotions. Like I said, it’s kind of miserable and I hope to never go through this again.”

Continue reading “Hanzal trade shows Coyotes’ Chayka downside of job”

Arizona lawmaker wants to allow people to shoot rat and snake shot within city limits

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Snake Bill,520
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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – It’s been illegal to fire a weapon within city limits in Arizona since 2000.

One state representative wants to tweak that law – commonly referred to as “Shannon’s Law” – and add an exemption for people to shoot rat or snake shot.

Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale, sponsored the bill. He did not return requests for comment.

Charles Heller, a spokesman for gun-rights group Arizona Citizens Defense League, supports the bill and said shooting snakes has been a long-time practice in Arizona. He also said he believes there is no controversy behind it.

However, Bryan Hughes, a herpetologist with Rattlesnake Solutions, said House Bill 2022 may pose problems.

“It’s a huge opportunity for new accidents,” Hughes said.

Continue reading “Arizona lawmaker wants to allow people to shoot rat and snake shot within city limits”

Childcare program allows refugee parents to focus on much-needed classes

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Refugee mothers and fathers face various barriers when they arrive in the U.S. with their children.

Finding childcare in order to attend educational classes is one of the biggest issues.

Long wait lists, expensive fees, and the fear of handing their children over to those they don’t know lead many parents – mothers in particular – to skip these much-needed classes on language, finances and job readiness.

Nicky Walker, development manager at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said the organization noticed there were classes that moms weren’t attending, and realized it was because of the lack of childcare available to them.

Continue reading “Childcare program allows refugee parents to focus on much-needed classes”

Cronkite News Digest for Monday, Feb. 27

Here is the Cronkite News lineup for Monday, Feb. 27. If you have questions on news stories, please contact Steve Crane in the Washington, D.C., bureau at 202-684-2398 or steve.crane@asu.edu, or call the Phoenix bureau for Kevin Dale at 602-496-5168 or kevin.dale@asu.edu or Venita James at venita.hawthorne.james@asu.edu or 602-496-5280. For business story questions, please contact Christina Leonard at 602-361-5893 or christina.leonard@asu.edu. Questions on sports stories should be directed to Brett Kurland at bkurland@asu.edu or 602-496-5234. Stories promised for today along with photos and links to multimedia elements will move on our client site at cronkitenews.asu.edu/clients.

Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Monday, Feb. 27”

CORRECTION to Feb. 24 story on Jan. 8, 2011, memorial bill

EDS: Clients who used a Cronkite News story slugged “Tucson Memorial Bill” that moved Friday, Feb. 24, under a PHOENIX dateline, are asked to use the following correction. The error occurred in the 10th graf of the original. A corrected version of the story has been posted here.

PHOENIX – A Feb. 24 Cronkite News story on a bill to help fund a memorial to the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings in Tucson misstated the facility where one of the victims was treated. Pam Simon was treated at the University Medical Center.

Trump message the same, but Arizona conservatives still like hearing it

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Arizona CPAC,750
  • Photos available (thumbnails, captions below)

Cronkite News

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. – If President Donald Trump was looking for a welcoming crowd, he found it Friday at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference.

“It’s exciting,” said Mitchell Manley, 18, a student at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy and one of those who packed the ballroom to cheer on Trump, the first president to speak at the annual convention since President Ronald Reagan did so in 1981.

It had the feel of a campaign rally, with the crowd breaking into chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A.” and “lock her up.” Trump’s speech hit on familiar themes, attacking the “fake news” media, renewing his get-tough immigration promises, including building a border wall, and defending the Second Amendment – and the crowd ate it up. Continue reading “Trump message the same, but Arizona conservatives still like hearing it”

Bill would create memorial for 2011 Tucson shooting

  • Slug: Tucson memorial bill. About 680 words.
  • Photo available

EDS: A previous version of this story misstated the facility where one of the shooting victims was treated. Pam Simon was treated at University Medical Center in Tucson. The story below has been corrected. Clients who used previous versions of this story are asked to run the correction that can be found here.

Cronkite News

“I remember Jan. 8, 2011, absolutely as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was very cold and the sky was absolutely blue. I heard a popping sound and found myself face down on the pavement. In that brief amount of time, a bullet had passed completely through Gabby’s brain and Gabe lay just inches from where I lay, but he was lifeless.”
– Pam Simon, Tucson shooting survivor

PHOENIX – Several Arizona legislators support a bill to create a memorial honoring survivors and victims of a day of horror in Tucson, when a man started shooting during a congressional meet-and-greet in a grocery-store parking lot.

U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Tucson, and 12 others were injured and six people died. Giffords, who was shot in the head, resigned from Congress and became an activist for gun control.

Members of the Arizona House moved forward this week with HB 2436, a bill that would match state money with private donations to help fund a memorial in Tucson.

“It has incredible historical significance. It really is a testament to the way that Arizona came together in a time of tragedy,” Crystal Kasnoff, executive director for Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation said. Kasnoff called the shooting “an attack on democracy.” People at the rally tackled the gunman, who was convicted and sentenced to seven life sentences.

Continue reading “Bill would create memorial for 2011 Tucson shooting”

Lollipops teach students what segregation feels like during Black History Month

  • Slug: Schools teach Black history. About 970 words.
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Cronkite News

SCOTTSDALE – Mackenzie Leblanc frowned at her lollipop in disappointment, trying to figure out why students in the group across from her were rewarded with the good lollipops – the ones with bubble gum in the middle – for doing the same exercise she had just completed.

Students in Heather Robinson’s eighth-grade social studies class at Desert Canyon Middle School were, perhaps for the first time in their lives, experiencing segregation during an exercise Robinson called the “Illusion of Race.” Whether students got the good lollipops or the less-desired candy depended on what month they were born, a way to demonstrate rewards that were based on random privilege rather than fairness.

Robinson taught the lesson during Black History Month to show her students the foundation of segregation is receiving unequal treatment for things people have no control over, such as skin color.

“Sure, we have our own lollipops,” Leblanc said. “But even if you have some privileges, if they’re not the same as what everyone else has it makes you upset.”

Schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District, which has a small enrollment of African American students, and the Laveen School District, with a much higher enrollment of black students, each offered different approaches to teaching Black History Month.

Continue reading “Lollipops teach students what segregation feels like during Black History Month”

Grand Canyon coach Stankiewicz and son together with Antelopes

  • Slug: Sports-GCU baseball, 465 words
  • No photo


Cronkite News

PHOENIX — A new season means new players and new goals, but for Grand Canyon baseball coach Andy Stankiewicz, a familiar face graces the clubhouse.

His son’s.

Freshman Dane Stankiewicz and the 2-1 Antelopes open a three-game series at Wichita State today.

Despite Dane’s accomplishments at Gilbert High School, where he batted .307 his senior season while playing shortstop and second base, Andy didn’t want their relationship to cloud his judgment.

Continue reading “Grand Canyon coach Stankiewicz and son together with Antelopes”

The Suns say goodbye for now to forward P.J. Tucker, who was traded to Toronto

  • Slug: Sports-Suns Tucker, 540 words
  • video available on youtube, linked  below

Cronkite News

PHOENIX — He was so close.

P.J. Tucker thought he had slipped past the NBA trade deadline Thursday, despite rampant rumors that the Phoenix Suns would move him.

As the clock ticked toward the deadline at 1 p.m. MST, Suns swingman Devin Booker looked at him and, according to Tucker, said, “I told you, you weren’t going anywhere.”

Those proved to be fateful last words as Tucker jumped into the shower, presumably safe and ready to head with his teammates to Chicago. Then he learned from a mob of those same teammates that he had been dealt.

Continue reading “The Suns say goodbye for now to forward P.J. Tucker, who was traded to Toronto”

State officials welcome feds’ reversal of transgender students rule

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Arizona Transgender,870
  • Photo, Ducey video clip available (thumbnail, caption below)

Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Arizona officials Thursday welcomed the federal government’s reversal of an Obama administration rule that required equal access to school facilities for transgender students, arguing that communities are better able to handle the issue locally.

State advocates for transgender individuals were not immediately available for comment Thursday, but national groups worried that the Trump administration decision could have “horrible repercussions” on transgender students.

But educators in Arizona said they do not see a threat on the horizon. Continue reading “State officials welcome feds’ reversal of transgender students rule”

Ducey, other governors hope feds cede power to states under Trump

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Ducey CPAC,580
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Cronkite News

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. – Gov. Doug Ducey joined other Republican governors who told an appreciative crowd of conservatives Thursday that the Trump administration presents a chance for state and local officials to take the reins back from the federal government.

Ducey joined Republican Govs. Matt Bevin of Kentucky, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin to tell thousands of excited “patriots” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference how states are “reclaiming America’s promise.”

“We can really make a difference at the state level,” Ducey said during the morning session, then proceeded to explain his success in reducing taxes and balancing the state budget – a theme echoed by most of the others on the panel. Continue reading “Ducey, other governors hope feds cede power to states under Trump”

Court: Maricopa County worker’s talk with reporter was not protected speech

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Attorney Speech,660
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Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office did not violate the First Amendment rights or employee contract of a former worker it terminated following comments she made to the Arizona Republic.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lower court’s finding that the attorney’s office improperly fired Maria Brandon in retaliation for a statement she made to a reporter on a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department case she was working on.

The court also reversed the lower court’s finding that county risk management officials had interfered with Brandon’s employment contract by asking the attorney’s office to reassign some of her cases to other lawyers in the office. Continue reading “Court: Maricopa County worker’s talk with reporter was not protected speech”

McSally faces tense crowd at town hall near Tucson

  • Slug: BC-CNS-McSally Town Hall,600

Cronkite News

SAHUARITA – More than 250 people gathered at a town hall on Thursday to pepper U.S. Rep. Martha McSally with questions about immigration, health care and President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

Like many of her colleagues across the nation, McSally faced a tense crowd as congressional members return to their districts during a recess. The event, which ran about 90 minutes, was held at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, south of Tucson.

Hundreds of people couldn’t get into the event, including protesters who pressed up against the church’s glass doors and shouted, “We’re still here” and “Do your job!”

Those who did get into the building expressed their agitation on a variety of subjects. Residents submitted more than 700 questions online prior the town hall, but audience members had priority.

When asked about the Trump administration’s performance thus far, she called it a “bumpy rollout.”

“Many things technically could have run better,” she said.

Continue reading “McSally faces tense crowd at town hall near Tucson”

Hispanic-focused tech business wins PHX Startup Week competition

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Street Competition,270
  • Photo available (thumbnail, caption below)

Cronkite News

PHOENIX – A Hispanic-focused software company beat out nine other local startups on Wednesday to win a $50,000 investment in the first Street Pitch event as part of PHX Startup Week. The competition shut down a portion of Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

OYE! Business Intelligence, a software company that focuses on Hispanic customer conversations, assists companies that want to tap that customer base. Eric Diaz, co-founder and presenter for the company, described how some Hispanic customers may interact with products differently, such as calling loved ones “Osito Charmin” or “little Charmin (toilet paper) bear.”

Continue reading “Hispanic-focused tech business wins PHX Startup Week competition”

Arizona scientists play key role in NASA’s new Webb telescope

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Webb Telescope,1100
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Cronkite News

TUCSON – The next generation of space telescopes will launch next year, and two Arizona scientists helped create critical instruments attached to the telescope that they hope will detect the beginnings of the universe.

The James Webb Space Telescope will launch from French Guinea, the culmination of a joint venture between NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, various private space exploration companies and University of Arizona scientists.

The telescope is ambitious in its design, its goals and its launch. It will go farther into space and capture more information than any other space telescope so far. Workers will have to fold it up to fit in the rocket because its 18 beryllium-gold mirrors are larger than its rocket.

Marcia Rieke, one of the key scientists, describes the goals of the launch: “(We want to find) the first universes to form after the Big Bang, and if we should be so lucky, to prove an exoplanet is Earth-like.”

Essentially, they want to see whether there’s the potential for life on other planets.

Continue reading “Arizona scientists play key role in NASA’s new Webb telescope”

$2.1 million grant allows Tempe company’s virtual simulator to help train police statewide

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Police Simulator,900
  • Photos available (thumbnail, caption below)

Cronkite News

TEMPE – The man standing in front of me pants as he holds a gun to a blindfolded woman’s head.

I’m told to diffuse the situation, so I begin telling the man to put the gun down. He yells obscenities. The woman cries. Out of sight, a baby wails.

After 15 seconds of trying to get the man to drop his weapon, he shoots the woman, then points the gun directly at me. Before I can put my finger on my weapon’s trigger, he shoots.

I failed my mission at Tempe-based VirTra, a company that has developed a multi-screen virtual training simulator now used by police statewide. The Arizona State Legislature approved a $2.1 million grant to install and maintain seven of the simulators throughout Arizona.

Company officials said their training facilities differ from traditional police training simulators because they’re more realistic, using more screens surrounding the trainee, live interaction and additional physical “stress.”

Continue reading “$2.1 million grant allows Tempe company’s virtual simulator to help train police statewide”

Latino comics use humor to highlight issues in Trump era


  • Slug: BC-CNS-Latino Comedians,931
  • Photo available (thumbnail, caption below)

Cronkite News

TEMPE — Tired of being typecast in Latino nights and Cinco de Mayo specials, comedian Nick Guerra, 34, kept his material free of any references to his Hispanic heritage early in his career, but the 2016 presidential election changed his mind.

“I talk about it [now] because I’m tired of people looking at Mexicans like they’re dense, less intelligent, more of a punch line,” Guerra said.

A kid who grew up in south Texas, Guerra went from working small comedy clubs to appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last year. He said he’s a “very specific kind of Latino.”

Continue reading “Latino comics use humor to highlight issues in Trump era”

McSally, critics hold dueling town halls, amid claim GOP dodges voters

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Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Facing charges that she was dodging constituents, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, will be at a town hall Thursday – the same day that a group of critics has scheduled a separate town hall that McSally spurned.

The dueling town halls come as Democrats press a national campaign painting GOP lawmakers as reluctant to face voters angered by President Donald Trump and the repeal of Obamacare – anger that has boiled over at some town hall meetings around the country.

A spokesman for McSally said she agreed to attend a Thursday town hall in Sahuarita that will be hosted by the Green Valley News simply because “it fits into her schedule.” Congress is on recess this week so members can return to their districts. Continue reading “McSally, critics hold dueling town halls, amid claim GOP dodges voters”

Legislator wants to add computer coding to Arizona’s public and charter schools

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Coding Bill,870
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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Recognize this language? ¿Cual es su nombre?

How about this one? { console.log(“Name: “ + myString); }

The first one is Spanish. The next, although those are English words, is JavaScript, a computer language.

Computers are everywhere, from microwaves to phones, from cars to the international space station. They may have different functions, but they run on the same thing: a coding language.

A bill, introduced by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, would mandate that public and charter schools provide one hour of coding instruction once between grades 4 to 12. Kavanagh said it’s critical for students to learn the language – even if it’s only one session – so they can better compete for jobs in today’s world.

However, some legislators don’t believe a state mandate is the right approach.

Senate Bill 1136 has passed the Senate, and it’s headed to the House of Representatives.

Continue reading “Legislator wants to add computer coding to Arizona’s public and charter schools”