Cronkite News Digest for Thursday, Sept. 17

Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Thursday, Sept. 17. 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.

TODAY’S NEWS

Arizona officials work to boost census responses with time running out

WASHINGTON – A federal judge could decide next week whether to force the Census Bureau to extend its 2020 count for another month, but state and local groups working to ensure a high response rate said they are taking no chances. Gov. Doug Ducey, at a news conference with Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham on Thursday, urged Arizonans to “run through the tape over the next 13 days.” Dillingham added that the bureau has sent an additional 450 enumerators to Arizona to help complete the count there. But as of Wednesday, Arizona had the eighth-worst census response rate in the nation, with 87.9% of state households having responded to a count that could end in as little as two weeks. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Count Down. 780 words. By Olivia Munson.

2 photos available.

Black and brown people at a crossroads as COVID-19 vaccine trials seek participants

PHOENIX – As researchers race to produce an effective COVID-19 vaccine, medical professionals are urging Latinos and Black people, who are at higher risk of contracting and dying from the disease, to participate in clinical trials. But because of a long history of racism and unethical experimentation, people of color may be hesitant to roll up their sleeves. For a vaccine to be effective, public health experts say, trials should have participation reflective of the makeup of the country – and nonwhite people make up about 40% of the country’s population older than 18, according to the Census Bureau. Because Black, Native American and Latino people are all nearly 3 times more likely than white people to contract the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, experts say coronavirus vaccine trials must reflect that overrepresentation.

Slug: BC-CNS Vaccine Trials Mistrust, 1,280 words. By Daja E. Henry.

2 photos available.

Arizona expected to clear over the next few days, but smoke could return

PHOENIX – The smoke over Arizona is expected to clear this week, but meteorologists say it could return as wildfires fueled in part by climate change continue to scorch large swaths of Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Scientists predict new wind patterns will move the smoke east and encourage clearer skies and higher temperatures in Arizona, while Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and other cities in the Northwest will continue grappling with air quality, considered among the worst in the world. “The atmospheric patterns are such that we’ll probably see less smoke … for a while compared to what we’ve had,” said meteorologist Austin Jamison with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “The smoke really has been high aloft, not at the ground level” in Arizona.

Slug: BC-CNS Smoky Arizona, 600 words. By Danya Gainor.

Tribes rush to beat deadline on COVID-19 relief funds – funds they say were delayed

WASHINGTON – Spending $177 million may not seem like a problem, but it is a challenge for Navajo Nation leaders who could lose those funds if they don’t find projects that can be completed by the end of this year. The funding is the last part of $714 million the tribe got as part of the COVID-19 relief bill known as the CARES Act. Tribal government has already allocated $537 million for everything from personal protective equipment to frontline worker pay to infrastructure , including solar power and water delivery projects. Navajo President Jonathan Nez said the money can’t solve all the problems for his tribe, but it’s “a start to bring in some needed economic and community development to combat any virus that comes … now or into the future.” And even though there’s a bill in Congress to extend the Dec. 30 deadline to use the money, Nez said he’s not going to hold his breath but will “do our very best” to beat the deadline. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Funds Rush. 980 words. By Claire Chandler.

File photo available.

SPORTS

Puerto Rican heritage important to Desert Edge standout Steven Ortiz Jr. 

PHOENIX – Puerto Rico is known for many things. Arroz con habichuelas, a spicy red-beans-and-rice combination, and tamale-like pasteles. Music artists Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez also hail from Puerto Rico. In sports, Puerto Ricans have historically excelled in baseball and boxing but American football is one sport in which they have not made much of a mark. Steven Ortiz Jr., a talented senior cornerback at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, hopes to help change the perception Puerto Ricans have about football and elevate the sport in the eyes of  young people there.

Slug: Sports-Puerto Rico Ortiz. 1,600 words. By Edwin Perez.

Photos available.

With his coach as his caddie, ASU’s Kevin Yu steady in third U.S. Open appearance

PHOENIX – Arizona State has a rich history of producing professional golfers and competing on the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson, John Rahm and Paul Casey each have made their mark at the highest level, further cementing the foundation of ASU’s golf program. That legacy continues to grow as current ASU golfer Chun An “Kevin” Yu looks to make his mark in his third straight appearance in the U.S. Open Championship. And he’ll be doing it with ASU men’s golf coach, Matt Thurmond, carrying his bag. “I’m honored that he would choose me to be his caddie,” Thurmond said. “Honestly, I’m really nervous and I feel a lot of pressure.”

Slug: Sports-U.S. Open Yu. 700 words. By Michael Gutnick.

File photo available.

Signing of Damion Lowe strengthens defense, creates possible dilemma for Phoenix Rising

PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC announced its signing of Jamaican international defender Damion Lowe Wednesday, but the center-back may have limited availability when the United Soccer League Championship playoffs kick off in October. Rising coach Rick Schantz announced Tuesday that the team brought Lowe in on a trial basis earlier in the week. The news of the actual signing followed less than 24 hours later.

Slug: Sports-Phoenix Rising Lowe. 660 words. By Aaron James.

File photo available.

Retired doctor walking to all 30 MLB ballparks for patient safety

PHOENIX – David Mayer is on a mission, a longstanding quest to prevent those from dying at the hands of medical mistakes. A retired doctor and CEO of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Mayer’s decades-long crusade has him criss-crossing the continental United States, meeting those dealt the unimaginable blow of losing their loved one to an error. This past year, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mayer’s desire to help others intersected with one of his life’s greatest passions. The passion of baseball. “Last February, when the pandemic was really starting to rear up, many of us in healthcare saw what was going to happen,” Mayer said. “We were very concerned and not being at the front lines anymore, I sort of felt helpless.” Since the discussion with his wife Cathy, Mayer, 67, has taken to the streets walking across the country.  With a childhood passion for baseball, Mayer settled on the goal of reaching all 30 MLB ballparks to raise awareness for patient safety.

Slug: Sports-Doctor Walks Ballpark. 730 words. By Jack Santo.

Photos available.

WEEKEND SPECIALS

‘Nothing we saw coming’: Arizona sports card market takes off during pandemic

PHOENIX  – The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged businesses across Arizona, but not all sectors are hurting. In fact, some have actually benefited from the coronavirus as people stayed at home. Home improvement stores have seen sales spike from do-it-yourself projects. Garden supplies have flown off the pallets. Games and puzzles have sold at a brisk pace. And the sports trading-card industry has experienced a marked uptick in sales and activity since the start of the pandemic earlier this year as many locked down at home returned to favorite hobbies. “Once everyone was forced to stay inside, we saw this outpouring of interest in sports cards and trading cards,” said Emily Kless, communications manager at The Topps Company, a leading producer of sports trading cards and collectibles.

Slug: Sports-Trading Card Sales. 1,100 words. By Nick Hedges.

Four photos available.

Arizona nonprofits boost aid to help refugees deal with the pandemic

PHOENIX – Refugees living in Arizona are struggling to navigate the impacts of COVID-19. In response, nonprofit organizations boosted assistance programs after they noticed more refugees losing their jobs or having their hours cut. Families say they also are struggling with complicated government aid applications written in a language in which they may not be fluent. There are 82,982 refugees in Arizona, many of whom work in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, which makes it more challenging to make ends meet. Organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Iranian American Society of Arizona, and the Refugees and Immigrant Communities for Empowerment have stepped in to help bring crucial information and resources to refugee families in need.

Slug: BC-CNS Refugees and COVID, 1,115 words. By Sarandon Raboin | Luce Foundation: Southwest Stories Fellowship.

3 photos available.

Affirmative action on California’s ballot again, echoing Arizona’s debate in 2010

LOS ANGELES – Support is growing in California’s pro sports community for  Proposition 16, which would lift the ban on affirmative action – proactive policies adopted by governments and institutions to increase participation by historically disadvantaged minority groups – that  voters approved in 1996. If approved in the Nov. 3 general election, Prop 16 could change the makeup of collegiate and even professional teams. Last month, seven California pro teams – the Earthquakes, NBA Warriors, NFL 49ers, NHL Sharks, NISA Roots and MLB’s Giants and Athletics – issued a statement in support the repeal of Proposition 209. Critics say Prop 209 protects equal rights and should stand.

Slug: BC-CNS California Prop 16, 1,045 words. By Shane Dieffenbach.

Deaf students at Arizona school will learn virtually, but not without obstacles

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, students are adjusting to their new normal when it comes to online classes, virtual events and social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease. But for deaf and hard of hearing students in Arizona public schools, as well as for many more enrolled in private schools, these adjustments introduce new barriers to communication and learning. Last year, according to the Arizona Department of Education, 1,622 deaf or hard of hearing students were in public schools. Sequoia Deaf School, part of the Edkey Inc. charter school group in Mesa, had 52 students enrolled in grades K through 12 for the 2020-21 school year. Its experience navigating the pandemic illustrates some of the challenges deaf students face, such as difficulty reading lips and faces behind masks, the shorter attention spans of young deaf students and the loss of their nurturing school community.

Slug: BC-CNS Deaf School and COVID, 1,500 words. By Katelyn Keenehan | Luce Foundation: Southwest Stories Fellowship

1 video, 1 photo and daily COVID-19 graphic available.

Migrants hope to work legally in Panama, but some jobs are off-limits

PANAMA CITY, Panama – It’s just before 9 a.m. when Pilar Figueroa rings the buzzer outside the CASALAT law office in Panama City. As a recent immigrant from Venezuela, she does not have permission to work in Panama. On this mid-March morning, she hopes to change that. The law office provides only one service: helping migrants apply for work permits, the certification necessary for those who want to work legally in the country. “If you don’t (work), you will die of hunger,” said Figueroa, who was a professor of education for over 30 years at the Universidad de los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela. But getting a work permit isn’t always easy. Even if migrants get one, they may not be able to practice their trained professions. To protect job opportunities for Panamanians, the government restricts the types of jobs foreigners can hold and reserves 56 professions only for Panamanian-born or naturalized citizens, including professors, teachers, doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, architects, accountants, pharmacists and law enforcement officers.

Slug: BC-CNS Panama Work, 2,760 words. By Katherine Sypher | Cronkite Borderlands Project

6 photos available.

We 22: ASU athletics leaders act to empower Black student athletes

PHOENIX – Ignited by systemic racism, 22 Black leaders in ASU Athletics decide to take collective action to educate and empower a new generation of athletes beyond the field. The pledge, We 22, calls for “intentionally fighting to ensure the next 4 days, 4 months, 4 and 40 years are vastly different from the past 400.”

Slug: BC-CNS We 22 Empowerment, about 1,200 words. By Connor Van Ligten.

Bye-bye bipartisanship: Unity after 9/11 attacks feels like a relic in 2020

WASHINGTON – In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, lawmakers from both parties gathered on the steps of the Capitol and began singing “God Bless America” in a spontaneous moment of solidarity that briefly offered hope in a national crisis. That was then. This is now. Experts and tourists alike said Friday they found it hard to imagine such a scene repeating itself today, when the country is deeply divided and “fractured.” One longtime Washington watcher said that if 9/11 happened today, you wouldn’t have all of Congress on the Capitol steps because “we would have 250 of them back in their offices writing impeachment resolutions.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Bye Bipartisanship. 770 words. By Caroleina Hassett and Mythili Gubbi.

Photo, video story available.

THE WEEK’S NEWS

Long shots: If COVID-19 vaccine arrives, Arizonans may not be ready to try it

WASHINGTON – The head of the CDC told a Senate panel Wednesday that limited amounts of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available as early as November – but that doesn’t mean Arizonans are willing to try it. A poll this week of likely Arizona voters showed them evenly split, with 38% saying they would get vaccinated and 38% saying they would not. Those numbers are in stark contrast to a new national survey in which 60% were willing to get the vaccine. It comes as Centers for Disease Control Prevention Director Robert Redfield testified on “Operation Warp Speed,” the vaccine-development program that he said could have the first batches ready, in very limited amounts, before 2021. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Vaccine Vacillation. 760 words. By Joycelyn Cabrera.

File photos planned.

ASU researchers developing coronavirus test that could get results in 10 minutes

TEMPE – Arizona State University researchers are working on a home-based coronavirus test that could deliver results within 10 minutes rather than 24 to 48 hours, university officials announced Wednesday. Researchers want to create a rapid, saliva-based test that can “quickly determine whether the virus is present,” said Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the ASU Biodesign Institute, which is overseeing its COVID-19 research and testing efforts. ASU leaders also said the infection rate has remained steady since Labor Day, but the next seven days will determine whether the long weekend led to a rise in overall cases. However, the university will not follow the lead of UArizona, which has asked students to shelter in place until Sept. 29.

Slug: BC-CNS ASU COVID, 625 words. By Sierra Poore.

1 photo and 1 graphic available.

Ivanka Trump stumps for father, attends business roundup hosted by Ducey

PHOENIX –  Ivanka Trump on Wednesday in Arizona made a case for her father’s reelection, saying President Trump is committed to business deregulation, tax cuts and supporting businesses through a pandemic. She also spoke at a business roundtable hosted by Gov. Doug Ducey, where business owners and leaders from across Arizona thanked Ivanka Trump and the administration for loans given out by the CARES Act, crediting the loans with saving their businesses as shutdowns that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Slug: BC-CNS Ivanka in Arizona,  615 words. By Ray Alonzo.

2 photos available.

Report: Arizona teens were paid to file social media posts for campaigns

WASHINGTON – Facebook and Twitter this week restricted accounts of some Arizona teens for running fraudulent profiles and spreading misinformation, reportedly as part of a paid effort by Phoenix-based Turning Point USA to post pro-Trump, anti-Democrat messages. Calls seeking comment from Turning Point were not immediately returned Wednesday, but another Arizona firm tied to the project, Rally Forge, defended the posts as “honest and sincere political activism in the 21st century.” Experts and political analysts said the campaign, first reported in the Washington Post, is not surprising considering the increasing influence of the internet on elections. The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden declined to comment on the reports, as did a senior adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign, before adding, “I do love Turning Point.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Troll Farming. 730 words. By Catherine Fusillo.

File photos planned.

Feds reaffirm decision to list Western yellow-billed cuckoo as threatened

WASHINGTON – Federal officials Wednesday said the Western yellow-billed cuckoo should still be a threatened species, rejecting an appeal by miners, ranchers and other groups that claimed the bird no longer needs protection. Critics claimed that the original 2014 decision to list the bird as a separate species was flawed, and argued that it has since shown an ability to adapt to other habitats. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined tha<a href=”https://cronkitenews.jmc.asu.edu/clients/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Image-from-iOS2-scaled.jpg” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”><img class=” wp-image-97339 alignleft” src=”https://cronkitenews.jmc.asu.edu/clients/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Image-from-iOS2-scaled.jpg” alt=”” width=”149″ height=”93″ /></a>t the bird still faces threats from loss of habitat, encroachment and changes to waterways, among other problems, and that it would become endangered without protection. It could also lead to a gap in the species’ range spanning “seven entire States and substantial portions of five additional states in the United States, and six states in Mexico.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Cuckoo Review. 530 words. By Allen Awfe.

File photo available.

State pushes flu vaccinations to avert flu and COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’

WASHINGTON – Just over two in five Arizona adults got a flu shot last year, a number state officials are desperate to improve on before the onset of both influenza and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this fall. State officials late last month announced plans to increase Medicaid funding for flu shots, let some pharmacists administer the shots and make them available along with COVID-19 testing in an effort to head off a surge on hospitalizations from one or both of the viruses. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Two Flus. 990 words. By Joycelyn Cabrera.

Photo, graphic available.

On anniversary of 2001 hate crime, Sikhs still struggle for understanding

WASHINGTON – Balbir Singh Sodhi was helping with the landscaping outside his Mesa gas station on Sept. 15, 2001, when he was killed in a drive-by shooting by a white gunman, enraged by the 9/11 attacks days earlier. The shooter, Frank Roque, thought he was targeting a Muslim. But Sodhi was a Sikh, who wore the turban and beard his faith required. He is considered by many to be the first victim of a hate crime post-9/11. But not the last. Almost 20 years later, advocates say, the fear and the attacks remain and Sikhs and Muslims both still struggle for understanding. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Attack Anniversary. 800 words. By Olivia Munson.

4 file photos available.

System could help tribal members past – one – voter registration hurdle

WASHINGTON – Advocates said a new policy that lets Arizona residents without traditional street addresses register to vote online is not perfect – but it’s a vast improvement over the old process. The change lets would-be voters with nontraditional addresses register online with the use of “plus codes” – latitude- and longitude-based location codes that can be used to identify homes without street addresses. That’s a particular problem in Arizona’s tribal areas, where just 18% of Native Americans have home mail delivery, one report said. But it’s also just one of 10 common barriers tribal members face when registering, the same report said. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Addressing Voting. 660 words. By Calah Schlabach.

Photo available.

Trump courts Arizona Latinos, considered critical in this battleground state

PHOENIX – With polls showing him trailing in the state, President Donald Trump stopped in Phoenix on Monday to woo a key demographic that could make or break the November election and determine whether Arizona flips from red to blue: Hispanic voters. His appearance at a Latinos for Trump roundtable at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa came just days after Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, virtually addressed Hispanic business owners in the state. The back-to-back events illustrate just how big a role Arizona’s Hispanic voters – and the state itself – are expected to play on Election Day.

Slug: BC-CNS Trump Arizona Latinos, 990 words. By Daja Henry.

3 photos available.

Court halts Trump plan to exclude undocumented migrants from census

WASHINGTON – A federal court Thursday blocked President Donald Trump’s plan to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census, calling the order a clear violation of the law the would cause lasting damage. Arizona advocates welcomed the ruling in the case, in which the city of Phoenix was one of numerous government and private plaintiffs, with one attorney calling it a victory over the president’s usual “fear-mongering.” When he issued his order in July, Trump said it was aimed at keeping states with large numbers of undocumented immigrants from gaining congressional seats. While the advocates predicted a win, advocates on both sides of the case said they would be surprised if the administration does not appeal up to the Supreme Court. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Census Citizens. 960 words. By Chase Hunter.

File photo available.

As smoke chokes the West, California governor calls wildfires direct result of climate change

California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for more drastic measures to be taken to combat the effects of climate change, during a press conference he gave Friday while standing in the damage left behind by the North Complex Fire. The wildfires along the West Coast continue to burn, with smoke beginning to impact surrounding states.

Slug: BC-CNS Smoky Western Wildfires, about 700 words. By Kiara Quaranta.

Photo available.

NOTICIAS DE LA SEMANA EN ESPAÑOL

Drástico verano para la vida silvestre de Arizona

PHOENIX – Las temperaturas del verano en Phoenix, Arizona alcanzaron los 110 grados Fahrenheit por cincuenta veces consecutivas hasta el 28 de agosto de este año, de acuerdo al Servicio Meteorológico Nacional . La ola de calor afectó grandemente a varias especies de animales silvestres reporta el Departamento de Pesca y Vida Silvestre del estado.

Nombre: CN-Calor-VidaSilvestre, 365 palabras. Por Adrik Vargas/Cronkite Noticias

5 fotos disponibles

1 video aquí.

Presidente Trump corteja voto hispano en Phoenix

PHOENIX – Con encuestas que no lo favorecen, el presidente Donald Trump llegó a Phoenix el lunes para cortejar a un sector demográfico clave que podría decidir las elecciones de noviembre y determinar si Arizona cambia de rojo a azul: los votantes hispanos. La participación del mandatario en una mesa redonda con el grupo Latinos por Trump en Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, se dio justo después de una visita virtual de la candidata a la vicepresidencia por el partido demócrata Kamala Harris. La candidata habló con empresarios hispanos del estado.

Nombre: CN-Trump-Phoenix. 1114 palabras. Por Daja Henry/Cronkite Noticias.

1 foto disponible

THE WEEK IN SPORTS

The Peddy cure: Guard’s game-winning shot is antidote in Mercury victory

PHOENIX – After stepping out from being backstage for years, Shey Peddy finally got the center stage spotlight Tuesday night.. With all eyes on her, the Phoenix Mercury guard hit a buzzer-beater 3-pointer that knocked her former team out of the playoffs. Peddy’s shot gave the Mercury an 85-84 win and a second-round playoff berth while eliminating the Washington Mystics, who had cut Peddy earlier this season. This defining moment in Peddy’s career is something that she has spent years working for after not making her WNBA debut until seven years after being drafted out of Temple University.

Slug: Sports-Shey Peddy Mercury. 700 words. By Averi Roberts.

Video available.

Hopkins, Murray steal show, but Cardinals GM Keim earns praise, too

PHOENIX – While the Arizona Cardinals were led by second-year quarterback Kyler Murray and newcomer DeAndre Hopkins Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara, another performance stood out amid the absentee crowd. The one belonging to Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim. Keim delivered a trade for the ages in March when he sealed a deal that sent then-Houston Texans superstar Hopkins and a fourth-round pick to the desert in exchange for running back David Johnson — and Johnson’s $11.2 million cap hit — and a second-round pick, in addition to a 2021 fourth-round selection.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals Keim. About 1,100 words. By Rob Kleifield.

File photo available.

Unified Cardinals opt to stay in locker room during national anthem

When the “Star-Spangled Banner” echoed in a fanless, smoke-shrouded Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the Cardinals remained in the visitor’s locker room. Following George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in May, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray announced he would kneel during the national anthem in protest of social injustice. Instead, the Cardinals made the united decision to sit out the pregame tradition and remain in the locker room, Arizona cornerback Bryon Murphy said.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals Take Stand. 630 words. By Amna Subhan.

File photo available.

Rising together: Phoenix FC welcomes fans back amid COVID-19 pandemic 

SCOTTSDALE – Signs of a new normal in Valley sports were apparent even in the parking lot outside Casino Arizona Field Friday night at the first Arizona professional sporting event to take place before a live crowd since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world. Cars of fans attending the Phoenix Rising FC and Las Vegas Lights match were parked at least 6 feet apart, taking social distancing to new extremes. Attendees arrived wearing their Rising jerseys as usual, but they also wore protective masks or scarves as they entered the stadium. Some of those mandatory items carried the team brand, too. It was a mostly joyous atmosphere. But there were a few books, too.

Slug: Sports-Rising Atmosphere. 840 words. By Edwin Perez.

Five photos available.

In climate that prompted fans boos in NFL opener, Cardinals mulling pregame tone

PHOENIX – Thursday night’s NFL opener in Kansas City marked the resumption of professional football games in America. It also marked the start of a regular season that is bound to be unlike any other in the history of the sport. Pregame narratives for the clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans focused heavily on social injustices happening throughout the country. Commercials emphasized the ongoing fight against excessive police force, and perpetual racism. Fans booed a moment of unity. Meanwhile, he Arizona Cardinals said this week they are still mulling what to do during Sunday’s pregame.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals Quick Out. 2,500 words. By Rob Kleifield.

File photos available.

NASCAR playoff teams prepare for Phoenix Championship Weekend by fine-tuning at Richmond

PHOENIX – The vast desert landscape of Phoenix Raceway and the lush greenery around Richmond International Raceway are 2,269 miles apart. Although each track has unique characteristics, NASCAR Cup Series playoff teams have had Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 in Virginia circled on their calendars since the 2020 schedule was released. When it was revealed at the end of 2019 that Phoenix Raceway would be the site of NASCAR’s Championship Weekend in November, the sanctioning body developed new car modifications to enhance the level of competition on 1-mile tracks.

Slug: Sports-NASCAR Phoenix Prep. About 1,000 words. By Cole Cusumano.

File photo available.

Pages through screens: ASU women’s basketball delivers readings of books through recordings

The Arizona State women’s basketball team partnered with the Washington Elementary School District in National Read a Book Day, recording their readings instead of meeting in person. “Teachers across the country, and certainly in the Valley, just have to be creative right now, in terms of trying to help keep their students interested,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said.

Slug: Sports-ASU Basketball Books. About 400 words. By Jeffrey Horst.

File photo available.

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