Author: Jessi

After seven weeks apart in Arizona, migrant family reunited in D.C.

Bryan Pietsch Thursday, July 19, 2018 After seven weeks apart in Arizona, migrant family reunited in D.C. WASHINGTON – With a bouquet of roses and open arms, Miguel Calix waited nervously at Washington-Reagan National airport Tuesday night for his wife, daughter and stepdaughter to arrive on a flight from Phoenix. “I feel nervous,” Calix said as he stood in the airport’s Terminal C, waiting for their American Airlines flight. “I never thought I would see her again.” His wife, Wendy Rosio Santos Aguila, and her daughters, ages 3 and 16, were arrested June 1 at the Arizona border, where they sought asylum from their native Honduras. The mother and daughters were separated two days later and held in Arizona immigration facilities. “I was scared when immigration told me I would be separated from my mom,” Francis Valeria Quintanilla Santos, the 16-year-old, said Tuesday. “I didn’t know what would happen to her.” Francis and her sister, 3-year-old Alisha Calix Santos, were two of the thousands of children separated from their parents at the border this summer under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for border enforcement. A Customs and Border Protection official said last month that a total of 2,342 immigrant children were separated from their parents at the border between May 5 and June 9. President Donald Trump has since reversed that separation policy in the face of widespread...

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No earmarks? No problem. Pork-barrel spending still rising, report says

Sarabeth Henne Thursday, July 19, 2018 No earmarks? No problem. Pork-barrel spending still rising, report says WASHINGTON – Pork-barrel spending more than doubled over the past year, with the federal government allocating $14.7 billion to fund 232 earmarks, according to a report released Wednesday by Citizens Against Government Waste. The annual Congressional Pig Book said lawmakers continue to win earmarks – spending approvals that circumvent regular budgetary processes – even though they were supposedly prohibited by Congress in 2011. Some critics have said that ban has helped increase gridlock in Washington by taking away the horse-trading that used to be part of the process of legislating. But lawmakers on hand for the release of the latest report said the soaring numbers are all the more reason to push for a permanent ban on earmarks, which Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, called the “gateway drug to spending addiction” for lawmakers. “Some people think that in order to grease the skids and make Congress work better and the parties to work better that you need these items to basically get agreement,” Flake said. “This notion that if you have a bunch of earmarks you can speed the appropriations process just doesn’t wash. All it does is leverage more spending.” The Pig Book, now in its 26th year, cited everything from a $2.7 billion appropriation for 20 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to...

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New Arizona law helps combat PTSD among first responders

Jennifer Magana Wednesday, July 18, 2018 New Arizona law helps combat PTSD among first responders PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday signed the “Officer Craig Tiger Act,” which provides more counseling services to public-safety officials who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder because of their experiences on the job. The law is named after a Phoenix police officer who was forced to shoot an assailant in 2012 and later took his own life as a result of undiagnosed PTSD. But the program is available to officers or firefighters who experience stressful situations from child abuse to witnessing the death of a colleague or near-drownings. “The death of Officer Tiger was a profound tragedy and deeply wounding loss,” the governor said. “All of us can and must move forward with action to make sure that our amazing officers and firefighters receive the help and care they need and deserve.” Ducey in 2016 signed legislation creating the Traumatic Event Counseling Program for first responders, which provided up to 12 counseling visits per traumatic event, but the new law covers up to 36 visits with a licensed treatment professional. Also, first responders will not lose pay or benefits if they are deemed unfit for duty, and their employers cannot require them to use paid time-off to attend counseling. According to the World Health Organization, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. Public-safety employees...

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Arizona is among top states that utilize renewable energy, report says

Jéssica Alvarado Gámez Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Arizona is among top states that utilize renewable energy, report says PHOENIX – The Environment Arizona & Policy Center released a report on Tuesday that focuses on how well the nation is utilizing renewable energy. Arizona has dramatically increased renewable energy production since 2008, the report said, and ranks high in several categories. Renewable energy is within reach, according to a news release from Environment Arizona. “The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give Arizonans the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level,” Bret Fanshaw, solar program director, said in the statement. Environment Arizona, a nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to protecting the state’s air, water and open spaces, is part of the larger nonprofit Environment America. if(“undefined”==typeof window.datawrapper)window.datawrapper={};window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”]={},window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].embedDeltas={“100″:905,”200″:660,”300″:576,”400″:542,”500″:542,”700″:500,”800″:483,”900″:483,”1000”:483},window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].iframe=document.getElementById(“datawrapper-chart-wU5kq”),window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].iframe.style.height=window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].embedDeltas[Math.min(1e3,Math.max(100*Math.floor(window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].iframe.offsetWidth/100),100))]+”px”,window.addEventListener(“message”,function(a){if(“undefined”!=typeof a.data[“datawrapper-height”])for(var b in a.data[“datawrapper-height”])if(“wU5kq”==b)window.datawrapper[“wU5kq”].iframe.style.height=a.data[“datawrapper-height”][b]+”px”}); This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability , a new multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News , Arizona PBS , KJZZ , KPCC , Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal . Subscribe to Cronkite News on...

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Tribal leaders tell Senate voting barriers are persistent, systemic

Bryan Pietsch Tuesday, July 17, 2018 Tribal leaders tell Senate voting barriers are persistent, systemic WASHINGTON – Native Americans have been “systematically denied access to fair representation” as a result of persistent barriers to voting, advocates and tribal leaders told a Senate roundtable Tuesday. Witnesses told the informal meeting of senators from the Indian Affairs and Rules committees that tribal voters face a range of challenges, from language barriers, to restrictions with mail-in ballots and lack of access to voting locations. Many of those issues are rooted in “blatant discrimination,” one speaker said. “We should not have to talk about blatant discrimination,” said Jackson Brossy, the executive director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. “Here we are in 2018. We still face many, many unacceptable barriers to voting for Navajo people.” Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, said those barriers represent what he called an “insidious” effort to suppress the Native vote more than 50 years after passage of the Voting Rights Act. “To this day … many states and local jurisdictions have found new, more insidious ways to impose barriers on Native access to the ballot box,” Udall said, “from voter ID laws to inadequate polling and registration sites, to lack of availability of Native language ballot materials.” The Navajo Nation was just one of the tribes represented at the hearing, which featured Native American representatives from Alaska to...

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