Cronkite News Digest for Friday, Nov. 25

A prosperous Black Friday to you! Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Friday, Nov. 25. If you have questions on news stories from the Phoenix bureau, please contact Managing Editor for Digital Julia Thompson at 602-543-4610 or, while questions about stories from our Washington bureau should go to Steve Crane at 202-684-2398 or Sports story questions can be directed to Paola Boivin at Clients who want to use Cronkite videos can find clean versions, and scripts, for download in a Dropbox – if interested, contact Allysa Adams at 480-580-5502 at for access. Stories promised for today, along with photos and links to multimedia elements, will post to our client site at


Move ’em out! Historic Old Tucson film studio has reopened after two years

TUCSON – It’s time again to step back into the Old West of Hollywood, with cowpokes and desperadoes, livery stables and a dirt main street lined with burnt adobe buildings. Historic Old Tucson, which was shut down by COVID-19 in 2020, reopened in October under new management. In April, American Heritage Railways won the bid to take over the one-time movie set and immediately began planning events to lure visitors to the southern Arizona landmark, including a revival of Nightfall for Halloween, Yuletide for Christmas, and Old Town Days.

Slug: BC-CNS-Old Tucson. 640 words. By Paloma Garcia.

6 photos available.


Six in a row? ASU football hopes to continue domination of Territorial Cup series against Arizona

TEMPE – Following a loss to Oregon State, residents and students in Tempe woke up to a typical but troubling rivalry week scene. Arizona State’s iconic “A” on Hayden Butte was vandalized with red and blue paint, sparking the flame for Friday’s in-state meeting. The Sun Devils will meet Arizona for the 96th time in this Duel in the Desert and will look to bring the Territorial Cup to Tempe for the sixth time in a row. In a disappointing season, ASU interim coach Shaun Aguano is trying everything to motivate his players. EDS: Story will be updated with final results.

Slug: Sports-Territorial Cup. 870 words. By Aayush Gupta.

Photo available.

‘Smooth’ ASU receiver Andre Johnson strikes right notes on football field and in rap music studio

TEMPE – Andre Johnson doesn’t think “passion” is the right word to describe his relationship with music, but it’s certainly close. The junior receiver at Arizona State has been producing and releasing rap beats on YouTube for almost a year now under the alias Dreddayy. Johnson is studying music production and business at ASU, and he’s set a personal goal of releasing two albums within the next five years. However, his listeners shouldn’t expect anything to happen during football season.  “I’ve been too locked into the season and everything,” said Johnson, who turned down potential collaborators this summer because they wanted to make music too close to the start of fall camp. (Note: Story will be updated with game score.)

Slug: Sports-Rapper Johnson. 890 words. By Gannon Hanevold.

Photo, music video and video story available.


Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series brings social justice issues, HBCUs to the forefront

PHOENIX – When the ASU women’s basketball team hosted Grambling State on Nov. 11, it was the first in a home-and-home series under a partnership between the Pac-12 Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, a league of historically Black colleges and universities. The Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series aims to provide athletes with education surrounding social justice issues in addition to creating a platform for competition between the conferences. Sun Devils coach Natasha Adair called the game “a great opportunity for us to learn, grow and then just grow together as one.”

Slug: Sports-Legacy Series. 1,430 words. By Brendan Mau and Nicholas Hodell.

2 photos available.

High school students learn about artificial intelligence and related career paths

TEMPE – The robots are taking our jobs! That fear of artificial intelligence, long heard in U.S. pop and tech culture, politics and even in some academic circles, is growing as AI technology becomes more prevalent. One Arizona company is doing its part to debunk common AI misconceptions by teaching the future generation of AI engineers. DriveTime, an online used-car dealership and finance company based in Tempe, partnered with the Mark Cuban Foundation this fall to host an AI Boot Camp for high schoolers. DriveTime’s Alec Evans the chance to demystify AI and say “‘You use it every day, you see it every day, you just don’t know that that’s what it is,’ can really open students’ minds to this new career opportunity.”

Slug: BC-CNS-AI Bootcamp. 1,220 words. By Justin Spangenthal.

3 photos, Google demo video and explainer video available.

‘We see value in you’: Arizona organization helps bridge gaps between foster kids and families

PHOENIX – An estimated 80% of the more than 400,000 children in foster care across the U.S. struggle with significant mental health issues. In Arizona, one nonprofit is working to help children persevere – by offering services for foster youth and parents alike.

Slug: BC-CNS Foster Care Disparities. 930 words. By Chase W. Drumgoole.

2 photos available.

Home away from home: Phoenix Rising set for next move near Sky Harbor

PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC fans are no strangers to change. After calling Wild Horse Pass home for the past two seasons, the team will once again be on the move after a five-year lease was recently approved for a new stadium north of Sky Harbor International Airport. Under the club’s current ownership group, the new location will mark the team’s third move. In 2017, Rising called Casino Arizona Field home. The franchise moved to the Wild Horse Pass location in 2021. Phoenix will play its first game in the new stadium next March during the 2023 USL regular season. A quick turnaround is possible. Casino Arizona Field, a pop-up facility located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was constructed in just two months.

Slug: Sports-Rising New Stadium. 811 words. By Ciaran Doyle.

1 photo available.

Asian District Night Market in Mesa showcases small businesses, draws 10,000 people

MESA – The Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce partnered with the recently named Asian District in Mesa to host the Asian District Night Market: Kamayan Festival, which showcased small businesses.

Slug: BC-CNS Asian Market Night, 135 words. By Drake Presto.

2 photos and 1 video (5:51 minutes) available.

‘Sentimental thing:’ Neon signs still cast an eerie glow, but mostly in museums

LOS ANGELES – The warm glow of neon is being preserved in cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Casa Grande. Some find it soothing reminders of yesteryear. Others just get a laugh out of some of it.

Slug: BC-CNS Neon Art Preservation, 1,045 words. By Fernanda Galan Martinez.

5 photos, 1 video available.

Price is right: Arizona Cardinals deliver most affordable fan experience, study says

PHOENIX – Home bittersweet home. Although State Farm Stadium has not been kind to the Arizona Cardinals, who have won once in their last 10 home games, it apparently treats its fans well. Research by Sidelines sports technology and digital media company lists the Cardinals first in the NFL for offered the most affordable fan experience. Calculations incudes the price of an average wholesale ticket, parking, a 16-ounce beer and a hot dog at stadiums for preseason and regular season games.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals Fan Experience. 840 words. By Derrian Carter.

Photo, chart available.


Hobbs presses steadily toward transition, even as challenges swirl

WASHINGTON – Ignoring challenges and election critics, aides to Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs pressed on toward a transition Wednesday, laying out the incoming administration’s priorities and promising she will be “a governor for all Arizonans.” That message was seconded by Gov. Doug Ducey, who met with Hobbs and congratulated her on “her victory in a hard-fought race.” It came as losing GOP nominee Kari Lake kept threatening a challenge of the election, and failed attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh has actually sued Hobbs and every county election official in the state. At least three races will have to go to a recount. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Hobbs Transition. 840 words. By Ryan Knappenberger.

2 photos available.

Heat the turkey, not the conversation: Surviving a post-election holiday

WASHINGTON – With elections barely in the rearview mirror, you can expect your Thanksgiving turkey to come with a side of your favorite controversial topics: Election security, abortion and the economy. But etiquette experts say it’s up to the host to make sure that food is the only thing heated at the holiday dinner table. And most people agree, according to a recent poll that said nearly two-thirds of Americans hope to avoid talking about politics while visiting family and friends this Thanksgiving. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Talking Turkey. 670 words. By Emilee Miranda.

Photo, Bailey and Brown videos available.

Hotel Heave-Ho: LA unsheltered could return to streets as Project Roomkey winds down

LOS ANGELES – For the past 19 months, the L.A. Grand Hotel and other hotels in the city have housed the unsheltered under a federal grant in the name of public safety during the pandemic.  Now, with concern about COVID-19 on the wane, authorities intend to lock the door on the remaining Project Roomkey participants at The L.A. Grand and another hotel by February. It’s a bitter reality to contemplate as winter nears and the holiday season is upon us.

Slug: BC-CNS LA Project Roomkey, 635 words. By Fernanda Galan Martinez.

1 photos available.

Turkeys gobble, but they don’t go cheap: Thanksgiving meal costs skyrocket

 WASHINGTON – Consumers will face “historically high” prices for their Thanksgiving meal ingredients this year, with experts urging them to plan ahead, look for deals and be ready to substitute traditional foods for something cheaper. The Arizona Farm Bureau’s annual market basket survey of the typical fixings for Thanksgiving estimates that a traditional meal for 10 will cost $71.88 this year, a stunning 45% increase from last year’s total bill of $49.62. That’s more than twice the increase nationally, with holiday meals expected to increase by 20% nationwide, to $64.05. It’s the first time since 2011 that Arizona prices are expected to be higher than the national average. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Costly Turkey. 810 words. By Haley Smilow.

Photos, graphic and video story available.

Two Arizona counties wait to certify votes; Arizona AG, superintendent races headed for recounts

All Arizona votes in have been counted, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, but two Arizona counties, Cochise and Mohave, will delay certification. The race for attorney general between Democrat Kris Mayes and Republican Abe Hamadeh and the race for superintendent of public instruction between Democrat Kathy Hoffman and Republican Tom Horne are within the margin to trigger automatic recounts. Mayes topped Hamadeh by just 510 votes, a margin of .02%, and Horne came out ahead of Hoffman with a .36% margin lead, about 9,100.

Slug: BC-CNS Election Count. 640 words. By Fernanda Galan Martinez.

File photo available.

Food banks get lesson in economics: More demand, less supply, higher prices

WASHINGTON – Arizona food banks head into the holiday season having to buy more food, at higher prices, for more clients, with fewer donations to help them pay for it. When they can get food at all. The struggles are the result of a perfect storm of events as the holidays approach: Soaring inflation has driven more people to food banks, which have to pay more to feed them while lingering supply chain issues have been made worse by an avian disease that has affected 50 million birds for poultry farmers. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Pricey Pantries. 770 words. By Emilee Miranda.

Photos, video story available.

Arizona pet-toy maker in the doghouse with Jack Daniel’s over spoof product

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether an Arizona manufacturer of pet toys infringed on Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 trademark with its Bad Spaniels Old No. 2 squeak-toy for dogs. VIP Products said no one would mistake their parody product, laced with dog poop humor, with the whiskey distillers products. But Jack Daniels said in court documents that while “everyone likes a good joke,” VIP Products “confuses consumers by taking advantage of Jack Daniel’s hard-earned good will.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Doggy Daniels. 820 words. By Tristan Richards.

Photos available.

Fact-check: Democratic Maricopa County attorney candidate says Arizona has world’s eighth-highest incarceration

The Prison Policy Initiative reported, based on data from 2020 and 2021, that Arizona would have the eighth highest incarceration rate in the world if it were evaluated as an independent nation. The state incarcerates 868 people per 100,000 residents. Other measures also rank Arizona high for incarceration rates. Other agencies measure incarceration rates across different times and with different methodologies. Therefore, finding any one definitive number is difficult.

Slug: BC-CNS Fact-check: Incarceration. 1,170 words. By Tori Gantz/Politifact.

Politifact meter graphic available.

Arizona students come to lobby as courts, Congress, fight over Oak Flat

WASHINGTON – Kiana Beazley, a Bear Clan member of the White Mountain Apache tribe, remembers the four days of ritual to celebrate her transition from girlhood to womanhood, surrounded by family and the presence of her ancestors on Indigenous land. Land where an apartment complex now stands. That loss is what led Beazley to join a group of Arizona high school students and alumni to Washington to lobby for a bill to block a copper mine proposed for Oak Flat, land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache. It came in a week when courts and congressional panels handed a string of setbacks to the Resolution Copper mine. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Oak Fight. 1,060 words. By Tori Gantz.

Photos, video story available.


CN2Go Thanksgiving edition: Voices from the Valley

In this special episode of CN2Go, people around the Valley share what they are thankful for this holiday season.

Slug: CN2Go. Runtime: 4:01. With Emily Mai.

Audio news briefing.

CN2Go: Phoenix police, GCU are building a shoeprint database

The crime lab at the Phoenix Police Department is developing a searchable database of shoeprints with the help of forensic science students at Grand Canyon University, and the World Cup opens with a tie for the U.S. men’s team.

Slug: CN2Go. Runtime: 8:29. With Damon Fairall.

Audio news briefing.

CN2Go: Election results still await certification in Cochise County

The Cochise County election board delayed certifying election results amid claims that the voting machines weren’t certified. A report from the Arizona Department of Health Services found the number of child drownings doubled in 2021. Arizona’s child vaccination rate has declined significantly in recent years, especially after the pandemic. In Glendale, the Glendale Glitters holiday lights show is back up for another season.

Slug: CN2Go. Runtime: 4:19. With Natalie Skowlund.

Audio news briefing.

CN2Go: How do cities in Arizona do their recycling?

In this special edition of CN2Go, Cronkite News’ Kenneth Rasmussen takes us across the Phoenix area to learn how different cities are tackling recycling.

Slug: CN2Go. (7:41). With Kenneth Rasmussen.

Audio news briefing.


Emprendedora mexicana venderá sus tamales en Super Bowl LVII

PHOENIX – Imelda Hartley cocina tamales en su casa en una olla gruesa de aluminio. Cada vez que levanta la tapa de la olla, el vapor y el aroma la transportan a su pasado en México. Los recuerdos de pobreza y abuso, en lugar de detenerla, le dan más fuerza para seguir adelante, asegura Hartley, una exitosa empresaria que reside en Phoenix y que fue seleccionada para vender su producto Happy Tamales en el próximo Super Bowl LVII.

Nombre: CNS-HappyTamales. 1146 palabras. Por Jimena Vera.

3 fotos disponibles.


Monday Night Fiesta: Mexico fans take over San Francisco 49ers- Arizona Cardinals game at Aztec Stadium

MEXICO CITY – A house is not a home. The Arizona Cardinals were supposed to adopt Estadio Azteca as their home field for their Monday night matchup against their division foe, the San Francisco 49ers. Yet the historic stadium changed ownership when the Niners faithful took over the 87,523-capacity stadium to help propel San Francisco to a 38-10 victory. From pre-to-postgame, the 49ers and their fans controlled the game’s tone and mood. Fans with scarlet and gold jerseys, Lucha masks and flags filled Aztec Stadium with thunderous cheers for what was meant to be the away team, and offered deafening boos for the assigned home team.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals in Mexico. 817 words. By Derrian Carter.

2 photos, video story available.

Phoenix Suns’ injury woes taking heavy toll, halt hot start

PHOENIX – Entering the 2022 NBA All-Star break, the Phoenix Suns had a 6 1/2 game lead over the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference. In a flash, both Chris Paul and Cam Johnson went down with injuries, and the No. 1 seed was in jeopardy. However, the Suns figured out how to compensate for those injuries and won 14 of their next 18 games to secure home-court advantage and the best regular-season record in franchise history. Nine months later, the Suns find themselves in a similar situation, missing the same two players. This time, the injuries are taking a toll.

Slug: Sports-Suns Injury Struggles. 990 words. By Tom Aizenberg.

Photo available.

Legends of ASU’s 1982-83 football team reflect on Fiesta Bowl victory, voice concern for today’s program

PHOENIX – The 1982 Arizona State Sun Devils, coached by Darryl Rogers and featuring future NFL players such as running  backs Darryl Clack and Alvin Moore, cornerback Mike Richardson, kicker Luis Zendejas and wide receiver Ron Brown, won their first nine games and rose to as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press rankings. That squad lost its final two regular-season games against Washington and Arizona, letting a Rose Bowl berth slip away, but bounced back to beat Oklahoma in the 1983 Fiesta Bowl. Members of that team recently gathered at a luncheon held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix to honor their Fiesta Bowl victory. They reminisced about that 1982 season, but also voiced concern about the direction they see the program going today.

Slug: Sports-Fiesta Bowl Team Reflects. 1,076 words. By Remy Mastey.

3 photos available.

As drama, finger-pointing unfold in Qatar, Phoenix soccers fans watch World Cup from afar

PHOENIX – A red, white, and blue sign attached to the windows on Monday afternoon at Crown Public House in downtown Phoenix read in all capital letters, “You’ll have more fun watching games here than watching games there.” Considering Qatar banned the sale of alcohol in its stadiums for this year’s World Cup and the United States fans in Phoenix were certainly enjoying two or three pints, that isn’t far-fetched.

Slug: Sports-World Cup Starts. About 1,000 words. By Raymond Belkora.

3 photos available.

Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown expected to drive ‘hard bargain’ for new deal with Arizona Cardinals

PHOENIX – The Cardinals are poised to hand wide receiver Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown a handsome contract extension. Brown’s initial production – and his aggressive agent working with leverage Arizona forfeited to acquire the 25-year-old – figures to bolster the payday.

Slug: Sports-Hollywood Brown Contract. 1,818 words. By Cole Topham.

File photo available.

From foodie to gamer, Hamilton’s Beach defined by more than volleyball

PHOENIX – Neomi Beach loves the taste of winning, but not more than trying a new recipe or getting a new high score in “Call of Duty.” In her free time, Beach tries different foods all over Arizona and comes home to try and recreate them. As her mother calls her a “mini chef,” she takes pride in not only how the food tastes but the aesthetics, too. Oh, and she is also a standout volleyball player, and the Hamilton High School product is headed to the University of San Diego.

Slug: Sports-Hamilton Volleyball Beach, 1,200 words. By Alexis Davis.

2 photos available.

At 17, Kylan Boswell already turning heads for the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team

TUCSON – After finishing his high school career at AZ Compass Prep, Kylan Boswell stepped onto the University of Arizona campus in late summer, just another 17-year-old freshman about to start college. Except Boswell isn’t like the other freshmen. He’s a five-star recruit who reclassified to enter college early and join the Wildcats men’s basketball team this season and is quickly turning heads.

Slug: Sports Boswell Arizona Men’s Basketball. 1,417 words. By Brendan Mau.

Photo available.

30 years and counting: Veterans, 9/11 responders reconnect at ASU football game

TEMPE – The first game is a blur, the details from 30 years ago not important. Bruce Snyder was Arizona State’s rookie coach, the conference was called the Pac-10 and the Sun Devils were trudging through a mediocre season. What matters, what sticks as if it were yesterday, is that a group with a number of American veterans came together and created a tradition that is still going strong three decades later. Two weeks ago, on a warm night in the desert, the group made a cross country trip to Tempe to watch the Sun Devils play Pac-12 rival UCLA on Nov. 5. The group included Al Fuentes, 71, a New York City Fire Department Captain during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Buried in rubble after the North Tower collapsed, he was rescued by firefighters hours later and survived.

Slug: Sports-Veterans ASU Football. 716 words By Dominic Hernandez.

2 photos available

Coyotes break the ice on growing youth hockey with 1st Stride event 

SCOTTSDALE – In the Valley of the Sun, hockey isn’t the most popular sport on the block. The Arizona Coyotes have made an attempt to change this, implementing a youth roller hockey program called “1st Stride Roller” in the Valley. Starting Oct. 11 in collaboration with the National Hockey League, Coyotes Hockey Development Hockey, USA Hockey and Behind the Mask and wrapping up last Saturday, the month-long instructional camp was built to offer an introduction to the sport of roller hockey to youth kids ages 5-9 in the area.

Slug: Sports-Coyotes First Stride. 555 words. By Collin Mitchell.

1 photo available.

Changing of the guard: ASU men’s basketball transfer Frankie Collins emerges as team’s leader

TEMPE – The short career of Arizona State men’s basketball starting point guard Frankie Collins came full circle Thursday night, when the Sun Devils took on his former team, No. 20 Michigan, in the Legends Classic championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After transferring from the Wolverines in the offseason, the sophomore Collins entered the contest averaging team-highs in minutes played (34), points (16) assists (4.8) and steals (2.3) over four games for the Sun Devils, one season after averaging only 2.8 points, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals in 11 minutes per game in the 31 games he played for Michigan.

Slug: Sports-ASU Frankie Collins. 1,942 words. By Brendan Mau.

File photo available.