Latinos working frontline jobs powered U.S. economy during peak of pandemic, report says

  • Slug: BC-CNS Latino GDP,715 words.
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By Kristen Apolline Castillo
Cronkite News

LOS ANGELES – Latinos played a crucial role in keeping the U.S. economy humming during the peak of the pandemic, a new report says.

As state and city governments mandated COVID-19 related shutdowns across the country, both Latino and non-Latino workforces saw declines, but as time went on, the Latino force bounced back faster.

As a group, Latinos contributed $2.8 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2020 – more than the gross domestic products of the United Kingdom, India or France, according to a Sept. 29 report from the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University. Continue reading “Latinos working frontline jobs powered U.S. economy during peak of pandemic, report says”

Fact-check: Republican Arizona secretary of state candidate aims to end mail-in voting option for millions

  • Slug: BC-CNS: Fact-check Mail-in Voting. 905 words.
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By Renee Romo
Politifact

If your time is short

  • Arizona Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem backs absentee voting only for people who physically can’t make it to the polls.
  • He introduced a bill, which ultimately did not pass, that would allow voting by mail only in a few circumstances.
  • The bill would have eliminated an early and mail-in voting option that does not require any excuse that is used by millions of voters.

Adrian Fontes stated on September 22, 2022 in a debate: Mark Finchem “wants to strip Arizona’s citizens of their capacity to vote by mail.”

Continue reading “Fact-check: Republican Arizona secretary of state candidate aims to end mail-in voting option for millions”

Tempe plans to reopen long dormant water reclamation plant amid grinding drought

  • Slug: BC-CNS Tempe Water Reclamation, 570 words.
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  • Audio story here, credit Athena Ankrah/Cronkite News)

By Cole Januszewski
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The Kyrene Water Reclamation Facility, built in the late 1980s and closed by budget cuts in 2010, is being brought back online as a part of Tempe’s response to the ongoing drought. The plant will collect and recycle wastewater, used mainly to recharge aquifers beneath the city. Continue reading “Tempe plans to reopen long dormant water reclamation plant amid grinding drought”

Former Phoenix police official explains secrecy around union contract negotiations

  • Slug: BC-CNS News21 Police Contracts, 545 words.
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  • 1 audio story here, credit Nathan Collins.

By Nathan Collins
News21

PHOENIX – Activists across the country say police labor unions can play an outsized role in determining – and sometimes thwarting – police reform proposals.

Critics say one of the biggest problems is the lack of transparency during contract negotiations between unions and the cities the officers serve. Continue reading “Former Phoenix police official explains secrecy around union contract negotiations”

Cronkite News Digest for Wednesday, Oct. 5

Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Wednesday, Oct. 5. If you have questions on news stories from the Phoenix bureau, please contact Managing Editor for Digital Julia Thompson at 602-543-4610 or julia.thompson.1@asu.edu, while estions 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 Managing Editor for Broadcast/Executive Producer Heather Dunn at 602-430-8764 or at  hdunn4@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 Wednesday, Oct. 5”

ASU president lauds interim football coach despite USC loss – but he won’t halt search

  • Slug: Sports-Crow ASU Football,550 words.
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By Shayan Moghangard
Cronkite News

LOS ANGELES – Arizona State University President Michael Crow praised interim head coach Shaun Aguano and the Sun Devils football team despite Saturday’s loss to USC, but said the search for a permanent coach will continue.

“I was very excited about the game,” Crow said Tuesday in a visit to the ASU California Center in Los Angeles. “I thought coach Aguano did a fantastic job.“

But despite his praise, Crow gave no indication he will cut short the search for a permanent head coach to replace Herm Edwards, who resigned last month after an upset loss to Eastern Michigan University.

“We are still a ways from that,” Crow said in response to speculation on who the next head coach will be. Continue reading “ASU president lauds interim football coach despite USC loss – but he won’t halt search”

Sky Harbor to build taxiway overpass with federal funds to support growing air traffic

  • Slug: BC-CNS Sky Harbor Improvement, 600 words.
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  • 1 audio story below, credit Yoori Han/Cronkite News.

By Shane Brennan
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Sky Harbor International Airport is planning upgrades to its runway space with a new taxiway overpass backed by federal funds from the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted last year.

The project is funded in part through the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Joe Biden signed in November, which will allocate $194 million to these improvements at Sky Harbor, one of the busiest airports in the country. Continue reading “Sky Harbor to build taxiway overpass with federal funds to support growing air traffic”

As Arizona recovers from pandemic, Black entrepreneurs still face challenges

  • Slug: BC-CNS Black Entrepreneurs, 975 words.
  • 1 video here, credit Annie Lavino/Cronkite News.
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By Scianna Garcia
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Fernanda Sayles found her love for baking at age 10, when she started making banana pudding for her family in south Phoenix.

At the time, Sayles never would have imagined she’d someday own a successful business selling desserts in Mason jars.

Her success didn’t come easy though, as she began FernDiggidy Sweets & Treats in 2015 with only the resources she had in her kitchen. Continue reading “As Arizona recovers from pandemic, Black entrepreneurs still face challenges”

Casino divide: Tribes split as California voters consider online sports betting

  • Slug: BC-CNS California Gambling Expansion, 725 words.
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By Kristen Apolline Castillo
Cronkite News

LOS ANGELES – California voters next month will decide between two competing ballot measures involving sports betting that would dramatically alter legalized gambling in the state, a struggle that underscores the have and have-not divide between the state’s native tribes.

The newest chapter of this long-standing divide comes more than a year after Arizona legalized online sports wagering. Now, California may follow suit with Propositions 26 and 27 on the Nov. 8 ballot. Continue reading “Casino divide: Tribes split as California voters consider online sports betting”

Afghan refugees, many with uncertain immigration status, struggle with daily life

  • Slug: BC-CNS Afghan Refugee Struggle, 985 words.
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By Alexia Stanbridge
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Thousands of Afghan refugees who have come to the United States to escape the Taliban over the past two decades struggle with day-to-day tasks like finding jobs, opening bank accounts and getting driver’s licenses.

Of particular concern to many is their parolee status, which allows them to remain in the U.S. for no more than two years. But bipartisan legislation introduced in August in Congress would grant Afghan refugees permanent legal status, allowing them to avoid the lengthy asylum process and possible deportation. Continue reading “Afghan refugees, many with uncertain immigration status, struggle with daily life”

Murals paint memories of those lost to police violence across the U.S.

  • Slug: BC-CNS News21 Murals Honor Victims, 1,020 words.
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  • 2 videos here and here, credit Laura Bargfeld/News21

By Laura Bargfeld
News21

SALT LAKE CITY – The day before the Fourth of July, Rae Duckworth walks the perimeter of several industrial buildings painted with the faces of loss. Small wooden planters of paper flowers, stones with handwritten names and glistening pinwheels mark the pavement. She pulls weeds and picks up trash, tending to memories.

“These are all my friends,” Duckworth said of the nearly 30 faces, mostly Black and Hispanic, portrayed in the murals.

On this block of city-owned industrial buildings, artists in 2020 painted the murals to commemorate people killed by police across the country. Some friends and families of the victims have set up small memorials in front of them, written messages telling them to rest in peace and calling for justice. Continue reading “Murals paint memories of those lost to police violence across the U.S.”

Petition to block voucher law falls short; application deadline extended

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Vouchers Safe,980
  • 2 file photos, video story available (thumbnails, captions below)

By Tori Gantz and Ryan Knappenberger
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – The secretary of state’s office is still counting, but it had seen enough by Friday to say that a petition drive to block expansion of the state’s school voucher program fell short of the required signatures.

The announcement by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that Save Our Schools Arizona failed to collect the 118,823 signatures needed, means that HB 2853 can take effect. That made Friday a “joyous day” for supporters of the universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Continue reading “Petition to block voucher law falls short; application deadline extended”

Can ASU beat mighty USC? Maybe – if they make these football moves

  • Slug: Sports-ASU vs USC, 825 words.
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By Shayan Moghangard
Cronkite News

LOS ANGELES – Right about now, Arizona State University may be wishing it had a Sun Devil version of the Trojan horse.

Sun Devil football is facing stiff odds in its matchup Saturday with the University of Southern California at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The Trojans, led by head coach Lincoln Riley, are ranked sixth in the Associated Press and Coaches polls going into the Week 5 Pac-12 bout. ASU is miles from being ranked in either poll.

“I don’t expect ASU to win, to pull off an upset is pretty improbable, but I do think that ASU can come out of the Coliseum feeling pretty good about themselves,” said Brad Denny, who covers Sun Devils football for 3TV/CBS 5 in Phoenix. Continue reading “Can ASU beat mighty USC? Maybe – if they make these football moves”

Letter of the law(s): Prosecutors confused by conflicting abortion laws

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Abortion Confusion,900
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By Haley Smilow
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Whatever their position on abortion rights, the Arizona county attorneys who would be responsible for enforcing the state’s abortion law all acknowledge that they will do their best to follow it.

Except that they’re not all sure what the law currently is.

A Pima County Superior Court judge ruled last week that the state’s 1901 law criminalizing most abortions was back in effect, after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision recognizing a right to an abortion.

Judge Kellie Johnson’s ruling came just one day before a new state law allowing abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy was scheduled to take effect, on Sept. 24. Continue reading “Letter of the law(s): Prosecutors confused by conflicting abortion laws”

‘Good Samaritan’ bill aims to allow cleanup of abandoned, leaking mines

  • Slug: BC-CNS-Abandoned Mines,800
  • 2 photos, video story available (thumbnails, captions below)

By Emilee Miranda
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Arizona could have as many as 100,000 abandoned mines, many leaching toxic minerals into the state’s waterways, but state environmental officials said cleanup has been hampered by the fear of litigation.

That’s why Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Misael Cabrera was testifying Thursday in support of a proposed federal “good Samaritan” law aimed at addressing the issue. The bill would let organizations step in and clean up long-abandoned mines without fear of the legal liability that could have attached to their now-absent owners. Continue reading “‘Good Samaritan’ bill aims to allow cleanup of abandoned, leaking mines”