In red-state Arizona, fervent supporters await Bernie Sanders’ visit

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Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Republican-dominated Arizona might seem an unlikely place for left-leaning Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to find votes, but what his supporters there lack in numbers they more than make up for in fervor.

The Vermont senator has evoked “an interest I have not experienced since I was in college in the ’60s,” said Lawrence W. Lee, a professional artist from Tucson, who had donated to the Bernie 2016 campaign 16 times through June 30, the most recent filing date with the Federal Election Commission.

Lee, 68, who said he has made even more donations since then, will be there with other supporters Friday night when Sanders comes to Tucson.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, is also scheduled to be there to give Sanders his first congressional endorsement – well shy of the more than 100 that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has received so far, according to published reports. Continue reading “In red-state Arizona, fervent supporters await Bernie Sanders’ visit”

Diamondbacks’ broken bats bring shade to local parks

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PHOENIX – Monsoon season in the Valley brought storms that damaged approximately 300 trees in local parks, according to Greg Bach, public information officer for Phoenix Parks and Recreation.

To help offset that, the Arizona Diamondbacks have teamed with the Arizona Lottery for the second year of their “Break a Bat, Plant a Tree” initiative.

Throughout the season, a tally was kept of every opposing hitter’s bat broken by Diamondbacks pitching. Every time a bat was broken, the Diamondbacks and Arizona Lottery made a donation to help provide desert-adapted shade trees for local parks.

Park fences and shade canopies also sustained damage during the monsoons, making the initiative even more important to the city.

“Giving something as simple as a tree, which many communities and budgets can’t afford anymore, we thought was a really simple way to get us into some communities where family is everything and it might make a difference,” Cindy Esquer, the Arizona Lottery’s community development manager. Continue reading “Diamondbacks’ broken bats bring shade to local parks”

Sun Devils in Alaska in pursuit of first NCAA win over Division I opponent

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Cronkite News

TEMPE — Sun Devil Hockey is in Alaska to face off against its first NCAA opponents, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves and the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, at the Kendall Hockey Classic this weekend.

“We’re thrilled to go up to Alaska and take on this exciting challenge,” head coach Greg Powers said before leaving on the team’s first road trip as an NCAA Division I program.

“I think it would be awesome to go in there and get two NCAA wins for this program so I think that’s what we’re all expecting,” senior captain Jordan Young said. Continue reading “Sun Devils in Alaska in pursuit of first NCAA win over Division I opponent”

Cronkite News Digest for Friday, Oct. 9

Here is the Cronkite News lineup for Friday, Oct. 9. If you have questions on news stories, please contact Steve Crane in the Washington, D.C., bureau at 202-684-2398 or, or Steve Elliott in the Phoenix bureau at 602-496-0686 or For business story questions, please contact Christina Leonard at 602-496-5241 or Questions on sports stories should be directed to Brett Kurland 602-496-5134 or Stories promised for today along with photos and links to multimedia elements will move on our client site at

Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Friday, Oct. 9”

House Republicans pledge unity as caucus falls apart over next speaker

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WASHINGTON – House Republicans said they were committed to bringing the party together Thursday, even as their caucus splintered in its search for a new speaker.

Republicans are looking for a replacement for House Speaker John Boehner, who announced suddenly two weeks ago that he would be stepping down from the job and leaving Congress at the end of this month.

But a scheduled vote Thursday was indefinitely put on hold when the front-runner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, announced just as suddenly that he was withdrawing from the race. His announcement came moments before a caucus vote. Continue reading “House Republicans pledge unity as caucus falls apart over next speaker”

House OKs bill giving tribes more control over mineral resources

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WASHINGTON – The House approved a bill Thursday that aims to streamline the process of licensing energy projects on tribal lands, by shortening the time for federal approvals and limiting public comment on environmental impacts.

The Native American Energy Act would also allow the Navajo Nation to enter into renewable mineral leases for up to 25 years without first getting approval from the Interior Department – one of several provisions in the 16-page bill.

Critics said the measure, which passed on a 254-173 vote, is environmentally irresponsible and would “gut” protections of the National Environmental Policy Act.

But supporters like Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, called the bill an important step to “empower” Native Americans, who backers said had asked for the authority granted in the measure. Continue reading “House OKs bill giving tribes more control over mineral resources”

Arizona health panel works to raise awareness on pediatric autoimmune disorder

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Too many children suffering from neurological autoimmune disorders lack access to resources to correctly diagnose them, a state lawmaker says.

“If we can create public awareness around the diagnosis of this condition then we can start to look at the appropriate treatment for the condition as well,” said Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek.

Making more Arizonans aware of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome was on the agenda Thursday as Carter, chairwoman of the House Health Committee, convened a committee of experts, advocates, state leaders and parents.

Continue reading “Arizona health panel works to raise awareness on pediatric autoimmune disorder”

Knight, Warren, Leuer shine in Suns first preseason game

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns came away with a victory in their preseason opener Wednesday night and three players in particular kept the crowd energized throughout the game – Brandon Knight, T.J. Warren and Jon Leuer.

The  Suns officially opened Talking Stick Resort Arena with a 102-98 preseason win over the Sacramento Kings, but only after a three-point attempt from Darren Collison to win at the end of the game fell short and into the hands of Leuer, one of the bright spots for the Suns in the game.

Brandon Knight selects the three

An ice-pack-covered Brandon Knight hobbled out of Rolle Activity Center in Flagstaff Friday to end training camp. But he suited up for the  Suns first preseason game against Wednesday.

Knight started and played the entire first quarter and led the Suns on a late run to close the gap on a 27-12 start by the Kings. Continue reading “Knight, Warren, Leuer shine in Suns first preseason game”

JPMorgan Chase provides $100K grant boost local business exports to Mexico

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Days after officials reached one of the most ambitious international trade deals in history, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on Thursday unveiled a plan that aims to make metro Phoenix a major player in foreign trade.

JPMorgan Chase awarded the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance a $100,000 grant to help implement the region’s new plan, which encourages small and midsize businesses to export goods and services to Mexico, Arizona’s largest trading partner. The initiative includes educational workshops and outreach programs.

For many local companies, the cost logistics of exporting can be daunting, said Curtis Reed, the Arizona market manager for JP Morgan Chase.

Continue reading “JPMorgan Chase provides $100K grant boost local business exports to Mexico”

Hayes getting closer to contributing to ASU defense

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TEMPE – When De’Chavon “Gump” Hayes arrived at Arizona State as a junior college transfer last season, the plan was for him to contribute at multiple positions on offense. Five weeks into the 2015 season, Hayes’ versatility is beginning to expand even more.

Having run the ball, caught passes and returned kicks and punts early in the season, the redshirt junior started practicing on the defensive side of the ball, at cornerback, last week. With almost two full weeks of practice at the position under his belt, Hayes is inching closer to seeing game action at the position as a defensive back.

“He is flat gifted as a cover guy,” ASU coach Todd Graham said after practice Thursday. “He’s very natural and instinctive, even though he’s learning what he’s doing.” Continue reading “Hayes getting closer to contributing to ASU defense”

CORRECTION to Oct. 2 story about spa industry increase

EDS: Clients who used a story slugged BIZ-Spa Industry Increases that moved Friday, Oct. 2, under MESA dateline are asked to use the following correction. An updated version of the story has been posted here. The error occurred in the 12th paragraph of the article.

MESA – In an Oct. 2 story about spa industry growth, Cronkite News incorrectly identified Mia Mackman’s title. She is the president and founder of the Arizona Spa & Wellness Association.

Westgate businesses relieved NHL season underway after Coyotes, Glendale standoff


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GLENDALE – When the Glendale City Council voted to terminate the city’s 15-year lease and arena management deal with the Arizona Coyotes during the summer, it looked as if the team might not take the ice at Gila River Arena at all this season.

No fans. No ice. No hockey.

However, the sides reached an agreement in July on a two-year deal that will keep the Coyotes in Glendale until 2017, and Saturday night the Coyotes will take the ice for their home opener when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

For some business owners in the nearby Westgate Entertainment District, the short-term resolution only provides temporary relief.

“We’ll be hoping that they stay here for a while,” said J.J. Girn, owner of Fresh Healthy Café. “We’re a little nervous about it, but hopefully something can be hashed out between the two sides.” Continue reading “Westgate businesses relieved NHL season underway after Coyotes, Glendale standoff”

Some Valley pet-store owners not worried about potential PetSmart and Petco merger

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SCOTTSDALE – Customers can browse organic food, peruse designer-quality clothing and enjoy the aroma of high-end shampoo wafting around the space at this luxury boutique in Scottsdale.

But this isn’t a high-class fashion boutique: It’s a store for dogs.

“These are our customers,” said Jackie Griffin, owner of the Oh My Dog! boutique and spa in Old Town Scottsdale. “Everything we do here is to service the dogs: If the clothes are comfortable, if they like the treats or if they are comfortable while being groomed.”

The business caters to people who want to spoil and pamper their pups. Griffin and her husband said business is good. They have expanded to a seven-person staff and have a waiting list for grooming clients. And Griffin predicted it will stay that way, regardless of recent headlines.

Rumors about a possible merger between big-dog players Phoenix-based PetSmart and San Diego-based Petco have circulated recently. Neither company has confirmed the move.

Continue reading “Some Valley pet-store owners not worried about potential PetSmart and Petco merger”

D-backs’ ‘Throwback Thursday’ campaign brought back rich memories for team, fans

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – In the fall of 2001, the Valley was painted purple and teal as the upstart Diamondbacks, just four seasons into their existence, were locked in a World Series battle with the storied New York Yankees.

Down by a run in the ninth inning of Game 7, Arizona’s Mark Grace started a comeback rally that would culminate in Luis Gonzalez’s World Series-winning broken-bat single. That game has been immortalized in Arizona sports history, along with the old purple-and-teal jerseys worn by the franchise’s only World Series winner.

“That uniform for me, represents one of the all-time great teams,” said Grace, now the Diamondbacks’ assistant hitting coach. “We were a great team and obviously beat a great team in the Yankees… so I proudly wear those colors.” Continue reading “D-backs’ ‘Throwback Thursday’ campaign brought back rich memories for team, fans”

Correction to Cronkite News story on bus strike protest

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    Note: Clients that used BC-CNS-Bus Strike, which moved Tuesday, Oct. 6, with a PHOENIX dateline, are asked to use the following story.

PHOENIX – In an Oct. 6 story about a protest by bus drivers objecting to a proposed contract, Cronkite News incorrectly identified a Valley Metro spokeswoman criticized in a statement by a union leader. The statement was made about Valley Metro spokeswoman Maria Hyatt.


MedAire Worldwide call center reduces necessity for emergency plane landings

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PHOENIX – Flying tens of thousands of feet above civilization may seem like a good reason to panic in the midst of a medical event, but MedAire Worldwide’s 24/7 remote medical assistance centers help passengers and airline employees cope during a crisis.

Paulo Alves, Global Medical Director of Aviation Health for MedAire Worldwide, says the Phoenix-based MedLink call center at Banner Health Good Samaritan Hospital is “a simple and well-oiled system” designed to analyze in-flight medical situations, evaluate the severity, and advise airline employees accordingly. Thus, reducing the necessity to divert planes for emergency landings.

“Our goal is to approach this problem of in-flight medical events from every possible angle,” he said.

Continue reading “MedAire Worldwide call center reduces necessity for emergency plane landings”

Arizona school district makes a dramatic advancement in water conservation

Cronkite News

PHOENIX – When the sprinklers come on in the Washington Elementary School District, you can bet the soil needs a drink.

The district has planted wireless irrigation controllers that measure moisture in the soil ensuring the system only turns on when it’s needed. No more watering during a rainstorm. The irrigation system is part of a 15-year contract with Midstate Energy, a performance contracting company that helps optimize facilities and lower costs.

In a 14-month period, from April 2014 – June 2015, the district saved $200,000 on its water bills in comparison to the previous 14 months. High efficiency equipment has been installed throughout the district schools, replacing 371 faucets, 322 toilets and 99 urinals, significantly reducing the gallons per flush as well as gallons per minute.

Continue reading “Arizona school district makes a dramatic advancement in water conservation”

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame player Gillom, Xavier College Preparatory reunite

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Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Standing in the rotunda of Xavier’s Activity Center, Jennifer Gillom heard students say “superstar” and “famous” as they walked by her after the bell rang.

“Not at all,” said Gillom, who played and coached in the WNBA and is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Grandmama” was simply home.

Gillom returned to Xavier College Preparatory in September as assistant varsity basketball coach, consultant to the basketball program and physical education instructor. This came five years after she departed as head coach of Xavier’s basketball team to focus on her coaching career in the WNBA and with USA Women’s Basketball.

“My heart and my mind has always been here at Xavier, and I knew I always wanted to return. But the timing had to be right as well, and I felt like the time is now because it’s another challenging time,” Gillom said of a Gators program that had gone 18-37 the last two years. Continue reading “Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame player Gillom, Xavier College Preparatory reunite”

ASU football not overlooking Buffaloes

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Cronkite News

TEMPE – The Arizona State football team has never lost to Colorado. Despite their perfect 6-0 all-time mark against the Buffaloes, the Sun Devils are not overlooking them this season.

Colorado (3-2, 0-1 Pac-12), is coming off of a 41-24 loss to Oregon, but this team is a far cry from the 2-10 squad from a year ago.

“Definitely an improved group from the teams that we’ve played in the past,” ASU offensive coordinator Mike Norvell said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for coach (Mike) MacIntyre, and the job that he does. (His) guys play extremely hard. They’re doing a great job of getting takeaways.” Continue reading “ASU football not overlooking Buffaloes”

Popular daily fantasy league sites restricted in Arizona

Cronkite News

PHOENIX – After six years of playing fantasy football with out-of-state relatives, Amber Salisbury was excited when her brother in Texas invited her to play FanDuel, a daily fantasy sports website offering cash prizes.

“I thought it was a fun way to make small bets and the possibility of getting a payout is better than not getting anything,” the Phoenix resident said.

Anthony Burkhardt of Chandler said the endless stream of commercials by FanDuel and DraftKings, a similar site, piqued his interest.

Continue reading “Popular daily fantasy league sites restricted in Arizona”