Cronkite News Digest for Thursday, Oct. 29

Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Thursday, Oct. 29. 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

Trump support among Latinos steady; still trails Democrats by far

WASHINGTON – Phoenix resident Rey Torres is “very happy to have been born into my culture” of a Mexican-American family – just don’t ask him if that means Democrats will be getting his vote this fall. Torres, a member of the Arizona Latino Republican Association, is a staunch defender of President Donald Trump. And he’s not an outlier: A Pew Research poll in June found 32% of Latino voters support Trump, while an Equis Research survey in September put support for among Latino voters in Arizona at 2%. But while polls showed some support for Trump, including growing support among young Latino men, they also reflect the fact that Latinos as a whole are still firmly in the Democrats’ camp. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Latino Leanings. 730 words. By Chase Hunter.

Files photos available.

Ducey defends decision to toughen rules for return to virtual schooling

WASHINGTON – State officials defended their decision Thursday to make it harder for Arizona schools to revert to virtual education in the face of surging COVID-19 infections. Gov. Doug Ducey said the decision to prohibit a return to online teaching unless three different criteria were met – the old standard was one of three – was made with input from “the superintendent of public instruction and education leaders.” But a statement from the Arizona Department of Education said Thursday that it “was not part of the decision-making process” on the change. It comes as new COVID-19 cases are surging in the state, with more than 5,700 new cases reported this week alone. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-COVID Schools. About 600 words. By Joycelyn Cabrera.

Photo, video story available.

FCC grants no-cost broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes

 WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission has granted broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes in what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called “a major step forward in our efforts to close the digital divide on Tribal lands.” The awards, announced last week, were the result of a “first of its kind” Rural Tribal Priority Window that gave tribes the chance to apply for and receive spectrum licenses at no cost. Those licenses – which can be used for high-speed wireless broadband – are usually auctioned off to the highest bidder. The licenses “will open the door to economic growth and allow tribal families to work and learn remotely, access telehealth services, and stay connected to loved ones,” Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, said in a statement Wednesday. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Tribal Broadband. 630 words. By Calah Schlabach.

File photo, graphic available.

7 common voting mistakes to avoid

PHOENIX – As Election Day looms, the biggest worry for many Arizona voters is whether their votes will be counted. Ballot rejection is a possibility. Voters may forget to sign mail-in ballots, use the wrong color ink to mark the ballot and mail an early ballot too late for delivery by Nov. 3. Thousands of Arizona residents have already voted, but it’s not too late for those who haven’t yet turned in early ballots or plan to vote in person Nov. 3. Data Orbital shows that nearly 2 million early ballots have been returned so far. Sophia Solis, spokesperson for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, Pam Fessler, a voting issues correspondent with NPR, and Diana Solorio, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, said common mistakes can be avoided.

Slug: BC-CNS Common Voting Mistakes, 1,150 words. By Alicia Moser.

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SPORTS

Coyotes at center of ‘cancel culture’ debate after cutting ties with draft pick Mitchell Miller

PHOENIX – The Arizona Coyotes’ decision to part ways with a draft pick accused in high school of bullying a classmate with developmental disabilities has put the organization at the center of a national debate about forgiveness and cancel culture. The Coyotes on Thursday renounced the rights to their 2020 fourth-round draft pick Mitchell Miller, 18, after more details surfaced about his role in the bullying of Isaiah Meyer-Crothers at an Ohio junior high school that led to a charge of assault in 2016. The Arizona Republic reported that Miller directed racial taunts at Meyer-Crothers, who is Black, and also forced him to eat candy that was in a urinal, according to a police report. “We have decided to renounce the rights to Mitchell Miller, effective immediately,” Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez said in a statement.

Slug: Sports-Coyotes Cancel Culture. 880 words. By Michael Gutnick.

Photo available.

Human (and dogs) grateful Phoenix parks have reopened during COVID-19 pandemic

PHOENIX – On Friday nights at Cesar Chavez Skate Park, Atlético Arizona United Latinos SC is one of the many groups seen playing soccer and enjoying the field’s recent reopening. “It’s very important for us to be out here. I think sports in a child’s youth is very important for them both physically and mentally,” said Manuel Bonilla, who formed the Valley soccer club in 2003 and has been anticipating a safe place for his players to play ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced area fields and parks to shutter. Since the Phoenix City Council voted to reopen its athletic fields and parks On Oct. 7, residents and sports teams have begun to enjoy some of the amenities. So have animal lovers, who have returned to one of the city’s 13 off-leash dog parks.

Slug: Sports-Revisiting Phoenix Parks, 671 words. By Frida Mata.

Photos available.

WEEKEND SPECIALS

#ChalkTheVote: Arizona families hit the sidewalks to encourage voting

PHOENIX – Divya Yoder and her family were out on the sidewalk in front of their home one recent Sunday, writing chalk messages to encourage their neighbors to vote. “Vote early,” one read. “United we stand,” read another. The Yoders weren’t the only family taking chalk to concrete with similar messages in recent days. Hundreds of Arizonans were doing the same, along with thousands of families across the country as part of #ChalkTheVote, which was created by the non-profit organization ParentsTogether to urge families to vote Nov. 3. Yoder, who’s of East Indian descent and the mother of two young boys, wanted them to understand the importance of voting – a right that isn’t available to everyone. “You know, we live in a community … and some of them don’t have the privilege and we make the decisions to vote for ourselves and for the ones around us,” said Yoder, who became a U.S. citizen six years ago and voted for the first time in 2016.

Slug: BC-CNS Chalk the Vote, 610 words. By Mitchell Zimmermann.

2 photos and a Soundclip available.

The problem with plastics: Production outpacing efforts to keep it out of rivers and oceans

PHOENIX – The production of plastic worldwide continues to drastically outpace efforts to reduce it, according to an international team of researchers at ASU and other institutes. Even with ambitious and rigorous global standards of recycling, managing and reducing waste, the amount of plastic produced around the world could grow to six times the current amount by 2030, the researchers found. “Seeing how shocked everyone was at the magnitude of the problem and how much action would be needed was a really special moment, a little bit scary,” said ASU graduate student Erin Murphy, who was part of the research team. “It isn’t often you feel that surprised by the scientific discovery you are making.”

Slug: BC-CNS Plastic Pollution Study, 1,265 words. By Alison Cutler.

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‘She couldn’t get her head above water’: Pandemic adds to challenges for family caregivers

PHOENIX – Before the pandemic, Toni Clayton’s days were sprinkled with lunch dates and card games with friends – welcome distractions from the day-to-day management of the debilitating disease that’s ravaging her 93-year-old husband, Royal. Then COVID-19 shut down the program Royal attended to help manage his dementia. And at 79, Toni has become his 24/7 caregiver. Even before the pandemic, the number of caregivers in the U.S. was on the rise. Most – 89% – are caring for relatives, and the most common problems in those who need help include general aging issues, mobility and Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The job is at once time-consuming and life-altering. Add a pandemic to the mix, with program closures and quarantines limiting interaction, and caregiving has grown even more grueling. People like Toni face increased hours and fewer breaks as they struggle to meet the physical and emotional needs of their loved ones.

Slug: BC-CNS Caregivers and COVID, 1,685 words. By Lauren Serrato.

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Separate and unequal: Pay gap affects women, minorities, families

PHOENIX – The pay gap is confoundingly stubborn: On average across the United States, women make 81 cents for every dollar a man makes, with the size of the gap varying based on a woman’s job, family status and race. In Arizona, women fare slightly better than the national data, making 84 cents for every dollar a man is paid. That places the state at No. 11 for the smallest gender wage gap, according to a 2020 study by business.org. When the wage gap is broken down by race, many women are making even less. Experts say barriers are larger for women of color and, although the pay gap may seem entrenched, there are solutions based on policy changes, individual behavior and company systems.

Slug: BC-CNS Women’s Pay Gap, 1,700 words. By Ayanna Muhammad.

Black advocates spotlight uneven rates of food allergies in children

PHOENIX – Thomas Silvera and Dina Hawthorne-Silvera lost their son, Elijah, when he was just 3. He had a severe anaphylactic reaction to a grilled cheese sandwich he was given at a day care center in New York City in 2017. Since then, the couple have run the nonprofit Elijah-Alavi Foundation to advocate for and provide resources to families living with food allergies. They are part of a small but powerful nationwide community of Black advocates working to help those coping with severe food allergies, especially families of color. Black children across the U.S. face disproportionate rates of food allergies – a fact the medical community has recognized just within the past 10 years.

Slug: BC-CNS Black Food Allergies, 1,045 words.  By Luke Simmons.

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As COVID adds hours and challenges, teachers look to Proposition 208 for more school funding

PHOENIX – Amid a pandemic that has prompted some teachers to leave their profession, Arizonans are considering a proposal to raise taxes for high earners to help schools pay for salary increases and hire more staff. Proposition 208 would add a 3.5% surcharge to taxable income above $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for couples, increasing the overall tax rate on any income over those thresholds to 8%. The move would potentially raise $830 million a year dedicated to the state’s Student Support and Safety Fund. With Election Day next week, debate over the proposal has intensified, with supporters saying education funding is more important than ever, given Arizona’s dismal spending on public schools and a pandemic that’s increased hours and brought new challenges teaching virtually. Critics agree that funding is needed but argue the surtax would derail the economy.

Slug: BC-CNS Prop 208, 1,040 words. By Anthony J. Wallace.

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Voters at Gila River Arena among million-plus in county to cast early ballot

PHOENIX – Nearly eight months ago, 17,125 hockey fans filled the seats of Gila River Arena to watch the Arizona Coyotes in their final home game of the season before a league-wide shutdown due to COVID-19 concerns. On Wednesday, the Coyotes and the community returned to Gila River Arena not to watch a hockey game, but to do their civic duty. Vote.

Slug: Sports-Coyotes Arena Voting. 800 words. By Michael Gutnick.

Photos available.

Election 2020
With the election approaching, Cronkite News is profiling the questions and the candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot:

THE WEEK’S NEWS

Arizona’s toss-up status gives voters clout, draws Trump, Harris to state

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris were back in Arizona campaigning Wednesday, the latest indicator of what one survey called the outsized impact of the state’s voters on the outcome of the election. The personal finance site WalletHub said Arizona voters have the fifth-highest electoral muscle this year, based largely on the state’s relatively newfound status as a toss-up. Political consultant Jason Rose said that may come as a surprise for a historically red state, but Democrats have a realistic shot at a second U.S. Senate seat and one or both legislative chambers. But a blue wave is still far from assured, which is why Trump campaigned in Bullhead City and Goodyear in an effort to “try to run up another few thousand votes, knowing that Arizona could be that close,” Rose said. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Hotspot Arizona. 690 words. By Rob Winder.

Photo, video story available.

As COVID-19 cases surge anew, some towns lift mask mandates

WASHINGTON – Payson Mayor Tom Morrisey thinks mask-wearing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 in his town – but he doesn’t want to force residents to do it. Payson is one of a number of local governments that have lifted facemask ordinances in recent weeks, even at infections in the state have started surging again, adding almost 4,500 new cases just since Sunday. One health expert said relaxing mask mandates now is “foolish” for local officials that want to reopen their communities because it could lead to surge that might bring on new, harsher shutdowns. Some cities, like Scottsdale, that lifted mandates are still subject to county orders, but Payson, Kingman and other towns are not. That’s just fine with Morrisey, who thinks mandates are “an overreach of government.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Masks COVID. 920 words. By Josh Ortega.

File photo, graphic available.

Air Trump: Costs of president’s trips to campaign events still hard to pin down

WASHINGTON – When Air Force One touches down in Arizona for President Donald Trump’s campaign visits to Bullhead City and Goodyear on Wednesday, it will be the jet’s 20th campaign stop in the past eight days. Who pays for those trips? You do. Maybe. Or maybe the Trump campaign does. Government watchdog groups say they cannot get a full accounting of expenses related to the president’s use of Air Force One, despite years of trying. “We should be able to have access to how our taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said an official with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, which learned this week that Air Force One costs $176,393 an hour to operate. That does not include other costs, such as Secret Service protection when the president travels. But it appears the Trump campaign has reimbursed only a fraction of those travel costs. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Air Trump. 830 words. By Josh Ortega.

Photo, graphic available.

Arizona lawmakers split as divided Senate confirms Barrett for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – Arizona conservative groups hailed the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, after a rushed vote that split the Senate along party lines Monday. Barrett’s confirmation comes less than six weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and cements a conservative majority on the high court for years to come – what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called a “decades-long effort to tilt the judiciary to the far right.” No Democrats voted for Barrett, who was scheduled to be sworn in Monday night. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., said she was happy to vote for “this highly qualified pioneering woman,” while Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said she voted no because of Barrett’s “inconsistent views on legal precedent.” Progressives worry that Barrett will vote to overturn the abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade, among others. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Barrett Vote. 870 words. By Claire Chandler.

Photo, video story available.

Judge denies early Pascua Yaqui voting site, ending years-long feud

WASHINGTON – The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will not get the early voting location it has been asking for since 2018, after a federal judge flatly denied the request he said would overburden an elections office “already stretched to its breaking point.” The ruling Thursday night by U.S. District Judge James Soto dealt the latest blow to Native voting rights advocates, who saw an appellate court last week reject a request to extend ballot deadlines for Navajo voters. Advocates for the Pascua Yaqui said that while they were disappointed with Soto’s ruling, it was important for the tribe to make its voice heard “even if a particular effort isn’t successful.” Contact Steve Crane with questions

Slug: BC-CNS-Yaqui Denied. 930 words. By Calah Schlabach.

File photo available.

Trump cites Arizona’s success fighting COVID-19, as cases start rising again

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump name-dropped Arizona early in Thursday’s presidential debate, claiming the “very big spike” in COVID-19 cases in the state is “now gone.” Except that it’s not. With new coronavirus infections in the state climbing again back again, after months of lowered numbers, state health officials are cautioning residents, “Don’t let down your guard.” New cases topped 1,000 twice this week, the rate of positive tests is up and hospitalizations are up – although currently well within the current capacity of hospitals. And officials would like to keep it that way, repeating reminders Friday to wear a mask, socially distance and take other measures to “keep our Arizona communities as healthy as they can be during this pandemic.” Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Trump COVID. 680 words. By Joycelyn Cabrera.

Photo, graphic available.

Report: Migrant deaths in the desert have reached seven-year high

WASHINGTON – Remains of 181 migrants were found in the Arizona desert through the end of September, 37 more than in all of last year and the most since 2013, according to the group Humane Borders. The rise in migrant deaths comes during a year of intense heat and little precipitation for Arizona – but also at a time when the number of people caught crossing the border has fallen sharply. Humanitarian groups and county officials along the border blame the rising deaths on years of border security policies that have pushed migrants toward riskier routes into the U.S. – along with this year’s harsh weather, expanded border security and COVID-19 health restrictions. Contact Steve Crane with questions.

Slug: BC-CNS-Border Deaths. 880 words. By Chase Hunter.

Photo available.

NOTICIAS DE LA SEMANA EN ESPAÑOL

Ofrecen ayuda financiera a negocios afectados por pandemia

PHOENIX – La pandemia ha dejado miles de muertes en Arizona pero también ha ocasionado problemas financieros a pequeños negocios, según recientes datos revelados por la Oficina del Censo. Desde principios de este año el desempleo alcanzó el 4.4 por ciento en febrero, dando un salto a 6.1 por ciento en marzo y 13.1 por ciento para el mes de abril, de acuerdo a datos de Arizona Commerce Authority.

Nombre: CN-NegociosAyuda. 424 palabras. Por Cinthya Aguilar y Adrik Vargas

1 foto disponible

Biólogo salvadoreño dedica su vida a la protección de aves

PHOENIX – La protección de la vida silvestre en Arizona ha sido la tarea de Edwin Juárez, un biólogo centroamericano que ha dedicado los últimos 15 años de su vida a esta misión en el Departamento de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Arizona. Juárez es el coordinador de la iniciativa de conservación de aves de AZGFD; gran parte de su labor es la protección de aves migratorias, con principal atención en la cotorra occidental.

Nombre: CN-Biólogo-Ave. 452 palabras. Por Carolina Lopez.

3 fotos disponibles.

THE WEEK IN SPORTS

Los Angeles just won NBA, MLB crowns, but COVID-19 puts parades  on hold

LOS ANGELES – In 2020, the Dodgers took the World Series, the Lakers became NBA champs and COVID-19 robbed Los Angeles sports fans of their chance to officially celebrate. But that didn’t stop thousands of Dodger fans from taking to the streets, drawing the ire of health officials already concerned about an impromptu Lakers celebration Oct. 11.

Slug: BC-CNS Dodger Fans React, 840 words. By Johnny Messiha.

1 photo available.

Neither youth nor pandemic can stop Xavier girls golf from winning 47th state title

TUCSON – The dynasty continues. The Xavier Prep Gators took home the girls golf state title at Omni Tucson National Tuesday, one year after being handed only their fourth championship loss since 1979 by the Pinnacle Pioneers. “This is our 37th state (title), and this was very satisfying. It came down to the end,” Gators coach Sister Lynn Winsor said.

Slug: Sports-Xavier Wins Title. 900 words. By Brandon Jones.

Photos available.

Brophy enters boys state golf tournament with confidence after recent Hamilton victory

TUCSON – The Brophy Prep boys golf team enters this week’s state tournament with an extra dose of confidence after winning the Duke Open at Rancho El Dorado in Maricopa recently and defeating rival Hamilton by five strokes. It was the Broncos’ first victory over the defending state champions this season after losing to Hamilton at the Antigua Invitational by 12 strokes and the Dobson Invitational by one shot. “We kind of think we proved to ourselves that we could beat Hamilton, which is our competitor going in the state,” Brophy senior Cameron Kaiser said. “The fact that our worst score on our team was 3-under-par just gives us a lot of momentum going into state and just more confidence in what we can do at state.”

Slug: Sports-Brophy Golf Favored. 1,200 words. By Brandon Jones.

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Arizona natives Cody Bellinger, Aaron Slegers represent opposite sides in World Series

PHOENIX Two Valley natives are representing teams on opposite sides of the World Series this year. Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was born in Scottsdale and attended Hamilton High School, is no stranger to the big stage, batting his way to a third Series appearance at the ripe age of 25. Aaron Slegers, the Notre Dame Preparatory graduate who pitches in relief for the Tampa Bay Rays, is experiencing his first trip to the Fall Classic.

Slug: Sports-Arizonans World Series. 900 words. By Cierra Luna.

File photos available.

Kyler Murray welcomes primetime with open arms, delivers another rich performance 

PHOENIX – Kyler Murray reportedly spent $95,000 on a gemstone-encrusted pendant in the likeness of martial artist Bruce Lee in March. While the Arizona Cardinals quarterback wasn’t wearing the pricey trinket during Sunday night’s sparkling 37-34 overtime victory against the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks, he produced a performance just as dazzling as his jewelry and as efficient as a Lee takedown.

Slug: Sports-Cardinals Follow. 1,000 words. By Rob Kleinfield.

File photo available.

Delay of game: Pac-12 players focus on learning while awaiting start to pandemic-shortened season

PHOENIX – Saturdays on the West Coast look and feel a lot different this fall. In a time when college communities from Tucson to Seattle, and everywhere in between, are accustomed to college football Saturdays, the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out nearly half of the typical season. And for a time, it appeared as if there would be no Pac-12 Conference football at all. With their season in limbo, the conference’s players were forced to watch as some of the country’s other premier leagues played actual games.

Slug: Sports-Pac-12 Patience. 1,100 words. By Nick Hedges.

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With recent victory, Joey Logano focused on NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The Hollywood Casino 400 marked the beginning of the semifinal Round of 8 for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. And with only two weeks remaining before a new champion is crowned, the once blurry Cup Series playoff picture began to come into focus thanks to an unlikely winner at Kansas Speedway on October 18. Joey Logano followed a yellow brick road to victory in Kansas, outracing Kevin Harvick to the line and punching his ticket into the Championship 4 at the first Cup Series finale to be held at Phoenix Raceway.

Slug: Sports-Logano Championship 4. By 600 words. By Cole Cusumano.

File photo available.

Even with backdrop of pandemic, Pinnacle girls take aim at state golf title

PHOENIX – Led by senior Katie Stinchcomb, Pinnacle High School beat some of Arizona’s best girls golf teams at the State Preview tournament in Laveen recently and served notice the Pioneers were ready to defend their Division I state championship Monday and Tuesday in Tucson. They will try to do it at an event that will have a decidedly different feel. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety measures are in place. Spectators at the Omni Tucson National Resort are limited to two per player, and they are required to wear masks.

Slug: Sports-Girls Golf Preview. 1,1,00 words. By Brandon Jones.

File photo available.

Ready for some football? Finally, so is Chaparral High after COVID outbreak

SCOTTSDALE – After its first three games were canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the Chaparral High football team will finally take the field Friday in a home game against the 0-3 Brophy Prep Broncos. Shut down for a 14-day quarantine after several players tested positive for COVID-19 two days before what was to be the team’s season opener on Oct. 2, the Firebirds were given the go-ahead from health officials to begin practicing last week. The season opener, said Chaparral coach Brent Barnes, has been a long time coming.

Slug: Sports-Chaparral Finally Plays. 993 words. By Brandon Jones.

Photos available.

Can Safford’s Gaethje 2.0 upset undefeated Nurmagomedov at UFC’s Fight Island?

Justin Gaethje will have to change his profession to “combat enigmatologist” Saturday night on Fight Island when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov — MMA’s hardest puzzle to solve. The saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, Gaethje broke two times in a row; first at the hands of Eddie Alvarez in December 2017 (KO loss) and then five months later against Dustin Poirier (TKO loss). Those losses convinced Gaethje and coach Trevor Wittman to fix the broken pieces. The result? An evolution. Justin Gaethje 2.0.

Slug: Sports-MMA Locals Preview. 1,000 words. By Chris Lopez.

File photo available.

Contracts, production trucks, national spotlight: ESPN showcases Hamilton, Saguaro

PHOENIX – High school athletes rarely get to look over their shoulder and have cameras with the ESPN logo pointed in their direction. For the unbeaten Hamilton and Saguaro football programs, they are among the lucky few who get to showcase their talent on the national stage by the biggest network in sports. Week 8 of the ESPN Geico High School Football Showcase features Hamilton vs. Saguaro Friday at 6 p.m. The game between the two Arizona powerhouses airs on ESPN2.

Slug: Sports-Hamilton Saguaro ESPN. 1,400 words. By Talia Massi.

Photo, video available.

Phoenix Rising hope to keep dreams of first-ever title alive 

PHOENIX – Just two wins away from their first-ever league title, the Phoenix Rising FC will host the El Paso Locomotive FC in the USL Championship Western Conference Final on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Casino Arizona Field in Scottsdale. A victory Saturday will put Phoenix in the league final on Nov. 1 against either the Louisville City FC or the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Phoenix’s game preparation this week was overshadowed by news of the return of coach Rick Schantz and the Rising’s unprecedented decision to voluntarily forgo the opportunity to host a championship match.

Slug: Sports-Phoenix Rising Preview. 876 words. By Aaron Bradley James.

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