Author: Jessi

Diamondbacks’ Adam Jones comes face to face with his history: the Orioles

Brady Vernon Monday, July 22, 2019 Diamondbacks’ Adam Jones comes face to face with his history: the Orioles PHOENIX – For most baseball fans, seeing Adam Jones in anything besides orange and black was an adjustment. Jones spent 11 years with the Baltimore Orioles before arriving in the desert on a one year, $3 million deal with the Diamondbacks. Entering Monday, Jones has played in 90 of the Diamondbacks’ 100 games this season with a .267 average, 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. In the 101th game of the season on Arizona’s schedule, Jones will do something he hasn’t done since 2007: play against the Baltimore Orioles. The five-time All-Star ranks fifth in hits (1,781) and ninth in games played (1,613) in Orioles franchise history. His biggest impact in Baltimore is reflected by his Silver Slugger Award and four Gold Gloves. In six of his seasons for the American League East ballclub, Jones earned the Orioles’ Heart and Hustle award. “I know we’re playing the Orioles and I’m sure there’s a heavy group of Oriole fans who will be coming to the ballpark today. Whether it’s local fans or maybe some traveling cross country,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “That right there speaks volumes about what he (Jones) probably meant to that community and he’s transitioned that to us. He’s given us the exact same thing he gave them...

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50 years later, Arizona still plays a big role in exploring the universe

Melissa Robbins Monday, July 22, 2019 50 years later, Arizona still plays a big role in exploring the universe PHOENIX – The press release that went out on July 6, 1969, began: “The United States will launch a three-man spacecraft toward the Moon on July 16 with the goal of landing two astronaut explorers on the lunar surface four days later.” That astronomical task, which was stated in the plainest of terms, would be completed only 14 days later, eight years after President John F. Kennedy set the goal to send astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade. As many as 600 million people watched worldwide, in some cases clamoring for a glimpse in a Sears display window , as Neil Armstrong descended the ladder of the Eagle and became the first human being to touch the powdery surface of the moon. Buzz Aldrin, close behind, was the second. But before Armstrong and Aldrin touched down on a dusty, rocky volcanic surface 240,000 miles from home, they traversed a more familiar dusty, rocky volcanic surface for practice: Arizona. Arizona scientists and educational institutions have since assisted with a number of NASA missions, and as science continues to peel back the layers of the cosmos, Arizona’s involvement in these projects only seems to deepen. “We’re (ASU) pretty much covered throughout the solar system,” said David Williams, deputy...

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Phoenix Sky Harbor switches to desert landscape to save water, money

Amanda Slee and Tanner Puckett Monday, July 22, 2019 Phoenix Sky Harbor switches to desert landscape to save water, money PHOENIX – Some of the landscaping at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has changed from front-lawn green to desert tan. The airport recently finished replacing nearly 11 acres of turf with native flora as part of a water conservation project that’s expected to save nearly half a million dollars a year. The landscaping approach is known as xeriscaping, which uses native, drought-resistant flora arranged in ways that promote efficient water usage. The airport project incorporated 435 water-sipping trees, 75 saguaros, 275 other large cactuses and about 2,900 plants and shrubs for groundcover, according to a release from Sky Harbor. The xeriscaping project is expected to save the city $400,000 annually, in addition to reducing water usage by more than 5 million gallons per year. “You see in people’s houses, you see it in other natural landscaping because it fits here,” Sky Harbor public information officer Greg Roybal said. “I think the water services director said it best when she said we honor our environment when we plant things that belong here.” The redesign, completed in June, is part of the airport’s 2015 Sustainability Management Plan , which aims to reduce water consumption by 10% by 2020. Sky Harbor currently uses an average of 30 million gallons of water per...

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Arizona school districts can’t find enough bus drivers

Chloe Jones Monday, July 22, 2019 Arizona school districts can’t find enough bus drivers PHOENIX – Bus driver shortages in Arizona districts are not a new problem, but in recent years the situation has become more dire. On any given school day, Mesa Public Schools, the largest district in Arizona, is short about 80 bus drivers, according to Scott Thompson, assistant superintendent. And Mesa isn’t alone. Glendale, Payson and Prescott school districts have confirmed shortages as well. [related-story-right box-title=”Related story” link=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/05/02/ganado-navajo-bus-driver/” image=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/busdriver1800.jpg” headline=”Bus of dreams: Ganado driver hopes to inspire students with snapshots, words of greatness”] Thompson said one of the biggest struggles when it comes to recruiting drivers is the low pay. Right now, Mesa Public Schools can only afford to pay $13 an hour. Arizona’s minimum wage will be $12 an hour next January. “It’s a job that has a lot of requirements to it,” Thompson said. “And when you can walk down the street and get a job at Circle K for $12 an hour, I look at that, and I might say, ‘I don’t want to go through all that training. I can go get a job for maybe a little less, but it’s an easier job.’” Thompson said routes for students in special education tend to be smaller, with just one or two students on each bus, making it a bigger challenge to transport...

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