‘Overwhelming’ demand on first day of $349 billion small-business aid program

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Paycheck Protection,830
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By Christopher Scragg
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Banks and small businesses reported an overwhelming volume of calls and some confusion Friday as the Small Business Administration launched the first phase of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package in the face of COVID-19.

The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program aims to help small businesses weather the economic crisis with loans that can be forgiven if companies use the money to keep workers on the payroll throughout the coming months of social-distancing. Continue reading “‘Overwhelming’ demand on first day of $349 billion small-business aid program”

19 years ago, Bob Brenly made Diamondbacks debut, showed what rookie manager could do

  • Slug: Sports-Brenly Diamondbacks Debut, 986 words.
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By Kerston Corns
Cronkite News

With the sports world on hold, Cronkite News will take a daily look at this day in sports history and reflect on some of the biggest moments in Arizona sports.

PHOENIX – On Opening Day in 2001, the Diamondbacks were a team loaded with veteran players and the dynamic one-two punch of ace pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.

The biggest question around the team might have been how their most important rookie would perform. Continue reading “19 years ago, Bob Brenly made Diamondbacks debut, showed what rookie manager could do”

COVID-19 in Arizona: Hair salons, massage parlors, other businesses ordered to close by 5 p.m. Saturday

  • Slug: BC-CNS Arizona Coronavirus Update, 915 words.
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By Farah Eltohamy
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – More Arizona businesses face closure with a revised order from Gov. Doug Ducey, who is calling on salons, barbers, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, spas and other previously exempt businesses to cease operation by 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.

Mayors in Arizona voiced criticism of the state’s list of essential services in recent weeks, Cronkite News reported. Ducey, in a press release Friday afternoon, updated his executive order to redefine those services the state considers essential.

Although the state vowed to keep public parks as open to the “greatest extent as possible,” amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene will close. That includes splash pads, basketball courts and even park restrooms. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Arizona: Hair salons, massage parlors, other businesses ordered to close by 5 p.m. Saturday”

ASU launches drive-thru testing for essential workers after weeklong delays

  • Slug: BC-CNS ASU Drive-Thru Testing, 435 words.
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By Hannah Foote
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – After more than a week of delays, the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute began its drive-thru testing for COVID-19 on Thursday, and it will not be open to the general public.

Testing is reserved for selected essential workers, including first responders and hospital workers who face exposure more frequently, according to Joshua LaBaer, the ASU Biodesign Institute executive director.

“If we were to lose them it would threaten routine operations so we’re getting involved with them,” he said. “A lot of these folks have to work either in tight spaces or work in groups, so if one of them were to get sick they could infect others and that would be a problem for everybody.” Continue reading “ASU launches drive-thru testing for essential workers after weeklong delays”

In era of COVID-19, virtual reality could change how world plays, consumes sports

  • Slug: Sports-COVID Virtual Reality, 885 words.
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By Rob Werner
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – With the sports world at a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, one platform may change how fans take in sports for years to come.

Virtual reality could serve as a way to provide fans with experiences previously thought only possible at in-person events.

During the first session of a two-part virtual conference called World Comes to Congress, sports media executives spoke about the spread of the new coronavirus and how it continues to shape our media landscape.  Continue reading “In era of COVID-19, virtual reality could change how world plays, consumes sports”

Arizona broadcasters McConnell, Schulte and Bloom adjusting to a world without sports

  • Slug: Sports-Arizona Sports Broadcasters, 900 words.
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By Alex Weiner
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – March 12 was an odd day for many people, including Arizona Coyotes broadcaster Matt McConnell.

The NHL had canceled morning skates, but the Coyotes were still slated to take on the Vancouver Canucks that night at Gila River Arena. McConnell met with his broadcast partner, Tyson Nash, and producer Graham Taylor at a Starbucks in Desert Ridge Marketplace to discuss the game plan, but it was becoming evident that they may not need one.

That has become a reality for Arizona’s top broadcasters, including the Suns’ John Bloom and the Diamondbacks’ Greg Schulte, who are dealing with a world without sports because of the COVID-10 outbreak. Continue reading “Arizona broadcasters McConnell, Schulte and Bloom adjusting to a world without sports”

Struggling in silence: Latinas face higher risk of postpartum depression

  • Slug: BC-CNS Latina Postpartum Depression, 655 words.
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By Jordan Elder
Cronkite News

MESA – Bringing home a new baby is supposed to be a happy time. Parents spend months preparing the nursery, stocking up on diapers and formula, and waiting excitedly for their tiny addition.

But Christina Loya-Moreno would lie awake at night while her husband and baby slept. For a while, she didn’t think much of it.

“Then it had kind of a spiral effect – the anxiety, the depression, the crying – and that’s when I knew something wasn’t right,” Loya-Moreno said. “But I didn’t know what postpartum depression was at that time.”

Postpartum depression is one of many conditions that fall under the umbrella of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. It has long been referred to as the “baby blues,” which are mood swings, anxiety and insomnia up to two weeks after giving birth.

One in seven mothers will struggle with these symptoms more severely and for longer periods of time. That is postpartum depression, and some women are more likely to suffer than others. Continue reading “Struggling in silence: Latinas face higher risk of postpartum depression”

Cronkite News Digest for Friday, April 3

Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Friday, April 3. If you have questions on news stories from the Phoenix bureau, please contact Executive Editor Christina Leonard at 602-361-5893 or christina.leonard@asu.edu, while questions about stories from our Washington bureau should go to Steve Crane at 202-684-2398 or steve.crane@asu.edu. Sports story questions can be directed to Paola Boivin at paola.boivin@asu.edu. Clients who want to use Cronkite videos can find clean versions, and scripts, for download in a Dropbox – if interested, contact Executive Editor Christina Leonard at christina.leonard@asu.edu for access. Stories promised for today, along with photos and links to multimedia elements, will post to our client site at cronkitenews.jmc.asu.edu/clients. Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Friday, April 3”

New jobless claims shatter week-old records in state, across nation

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By Christopher Scragg
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – New jobless claims continued to soar to record heights in Arizona and the nation, with state filings jumping from the then-record 29,333 claims two weeks ago to 88,592 last week.

They were among the 6.6 million unemployment claims nationwide last week, twice the 3.3 million of a week earlier. While the numbers are staggering, Arizona economists say they probably do not include all the people out of work and may be “just the top half of an iceberg which has still many claims to come.” Continue reading “New jobless claims shatter week-old records in state, across nation”

Down for the count: Tribes’ Census response lags far behind state, U.S.

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By Joshua Gerard Gargiulo
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Tribal response to the 2020 Census badly trails state and national rates, according to Census Bureau data, with the already-challenging task of counting in tribal areas further complicated by the arrival of COVID-19.

U.S. and Arizona response rates to the questionnaire that went out in mid-March were hovering around one-third of the expected total by the end of the month. But the highest response rate for an Arizona tribe is just under 22%, and many more of the state’s tribes are at or below a 1% response rate. Continue reading “Down for the count: Tribes’ Census response lags far behind state, U.S.”

ASU cancels May commencement due to coronavirus, joining NAU, UArizona

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By Jamie Landers
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Arizona State University will conduct spring graduation ceremonies online rather than in person to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, upending a storied tradition where graduates stride across a stage before beaming families and friends and the ASU community to celebrate earning their diplomas.

ASU President Michael Crow’s announcement on Thursday was not unexpected, given the state’s two other universities and colleges across the country already have decided to forego or delay commencement ceremonies. Crow vowed to make the virtual experience a celebration and said May graduates also could choose to walk in December or next year.

Still, the news cast a pall over some seniors and their families who are already grappling with enormous life shifts in the wake of the pandemic, which has ground much of the economy to a halt, shuttered sports and entertainment events, spurred panic buying at grocery stores and prompted acts of charity and social good. Continue reading “ASU cancels May commencement due to coronavirus, joining NAU, UArizona”

On the verge of something special, GCU beach volleyball’s season upended

  • Slug: Sports-GCU Beach Volleyball, 930 words.
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By Griffifn Fabits
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Grand Canyon University’s beach volleyball program was on the doorstep of making school history, with all the pieces falling into place for the Lopes to contend for a national title in May.

Then, like so much in society during 2020, GCU’s dream season was derailed by something with far more historic significance.

The COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “On the verge of something special, GCU beach volleyball’s season upended”

One year later: The demise of the AAF through a player’s eyes

  • Slug: Sports-Rewind AAF Demise, 650 words.
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By Carson Field
Cronkite News

TEMPE  – Tuesday, April 2, 2019, was an ordinary day for defensive lineman Dylan Wynn and his Arizona Hotshots teammates – until it wasn’t. 

It turned out to be doomsday for the Alliance of American Football and the Hotshots.

The Hotshots, one of eight teams in the newly formed AAF, played their games at Sun Devil Stadium and coaches and players were housed at a vacant dormitory in the Valley. Continue reading “One year later: The demise of the AAF through a player’s eyes”

Chaparral’s Adams ready for new journey with Royals after spring training homecoming

  • Slug: Sports-Chaparral Adams Royals, 1,100 words.
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By Christopher Gleason
Cronkite News

SURPRISE – During his sophomore year at Chaparral High School, pitcher Chance Adams was in line to earn a spot on the varsity team. However, he injured himself in an off-field incident, relinquishing his hard-earned opportunity to play at a higher level that season.

“He pulled a bonehead stunt and broke his thumb on a longboard hanging onto a car,”  said Jerry Dawson, Adams’ coach at the time. “When he came back after the injury and I found out about it, I handed him his nameplate and told him, ‘May as well hang onto it for another year.’ That was when I think he really got sick of that stuff.”

“(Dawson) said some words that I probably can’t repeat,” Adams recalled.  “He just told me to be smarter.” Continue reading “Chaparral’s Adams ready for new journey with Royals after spring training homecoming”

COVID-19 in Arizona: Detainees call for immigration courts to halt in-person hearings

  • Slug: BC-CNS Arizona Coronavirus Update, 1,145 words.
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By Grace Lieberman and Velvet Wahl
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – A group of immigrant detainees have filed suit against U.S. officials, alleging federal inaction during the COVID-19 outbreak endangers those in detention and violates the Constitution.

In a lawsuit filed March 30, four Cuban asylum seekers and one green-card holder facing deportation accused the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review and Immigration and Customs Enforcement of violations, KJZZ reports. The plaintiffs argue that the organizations are ignoring warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the risks of in-person court hearings, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs argue immigration courts should follow the precedent set by prisons, which halted in-person court hearings, to minimize the possibility of infection. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Arizona: Detainees call for immigration courts to halt in-person hearings”

ASU’s Brinson Pasichnuk helped build culture, rewarded with NHL contract

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By Jenna Ortiz
Cronkite News

TEMPE – Brinson Pasichnuk recalls when he first realized he wanted to play in the National Hockey League.

“I think (Sidney) Crosby said a quote. I heard it when I was young. It said, ‘Imagine waking up everyday and your job isn’t work,’” the ASU senior defenseman said. “It’s not the exact quote, but imagine going to play hockey every day for your career. How could you not fall in love with that?”

Pasichnuk became the second Arizona State hockey player to agree to terms on an NHL contract after reaching an agreement on Monday with the San Jose Sharks. He will be the first ASU player to sign an NHL deal as a free agent. Continue reading “ASU’s Brinson Pasichnuk helped build culture, rewarded with NHL contract”

‘It’s a weird mindset’: Canadian swimmer reflects on delay of Summer Olympics

  • Slug: BC-CNS Olympic Dream Delayed, 850 words.
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By Valerie Gonzales
Cronkite News

LOS ANGELES – Athletes everywhere are refocusing and reworking their training regimens now that the 2020 Summer Olympics have been pushed back a year.

One of them is Canadian swimmer Taylor Ruck, 19, of Scottsdale, who took off a year from Stanford University to train for Tokyo.

“The only thing that’s changing is based on what the coaches say about what we will do for the next blocks of training. I don’t really ask them what that looks like,” Ruck said in a recent phone interview with Cronkite News. “I think they are waiting to tell us when the other meets will be, and what meets we will be using to train in preparation for the Olympics.”

The games being moved to 2021 will give athletes an extra year to train and prepare, which could be beneficial. Continue reading “‘It’s a weird mindset’: Canadian swimmer reflects on delay of Summer Olympics”

CORRECTION to April 1 story on COVID-19

EDS: Clients who used a Cronkite News story slugged BC-CNS-COVID-19-in-Arizona that moved Wednesday, April 1, under a PHOENIX dateline are asked to run the following correction. The error occurred in the lede of the original. A corrected version of the story has been posted here.

PHOENIX – An April 1 Cronkite News story on the impact of COVID-19 failed to specify that 3.3 million new job claims were made across the U.S., not just Arizona.

COVID-19 fears close Grand Canyon National Park after weeks of pressure

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By Jessica Myers
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The National Park Service abruptly closed Grand Canyon National Park on Wednesday, bowing to weeks of pressure after health officials expressed “extreme concern” about the potential for spread of COVID-19 in the park.

The park has been open with reduced services – and no entry fee – for two weeks as the number of coronavirus cases have spiked in the state and the nation and as public health officials have enacted increasingly strict limits on gatherings and public activities. Continue reading “COVID-19 fears close Grand Canyon National Park after weeks of pressure”

EPA defends plan to ease compliance requirements in face of coronavirus

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By Jessica Myers
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The Environmental Protection Agency this week defended its plans to waive some environmental compliance requirements in the face of the coronavirus, insisting the temporary policy is “not a license to pollute.”

Environmentalists were not convinced, repeating charges that the “pretty outrageous” policy, first announced last week, creates a “catch me if you can” situation for polluters. Continue reading “EPA defends plan to ease compliance requirements in face of coronavirus”