Author: Jessi

March madness: Arizonans head to Washington for busy weekend of marches

Andrew Howard Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 March madness: Arizonans head to Washington for busy weekend of marches WASHINGTON – Arizona residents Miguel Valladares and Amanda Blackhorse will be in Washington this weekend to join tens of thousands of others to march for a cause. But not the same cause. And not the same march. They are among the throngs expected to pack downtown Washington for three major marches in two days, capped by a parade Monday to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The demonstrations kicked off Friday with the 46th annual March for Life and the inaugural Indigenous People’s March. On Saturday, the Women’s March that brought hundreds of thousands to Washington to protest the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration will return with what is expected to be a much smaller – but still in the thousands – demonstration. Despite the multiple messages, Arizona residents who made the trip to the capital were still pumped for the opportunity to make their voices heard and were not worried about having that message drowned out by the other events. “This space is to celebrate us, I am in no way seeing these marches as competition,” said Alejandra Pablos, a Nogales native who has a speaking role at the Indigenous People’s March. “Our message will only be stronger as we hold on to our truth,” Pablos said in an email....

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Court: Tucson man wrongly jailed cannot collect for years behind bars

Andrew Howard Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 Court: Tucson man wrongly jailed cannot collect for years behind bars WASHINGTON – A Tucson man who spent 42 years in prison on 28 arson-related murder counts that were later vacated cannot now collect damages for the years he spent behind bars, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it took “no pleasure in reaching this unfortunate result,” but said the deal that allowed Louis Taylor to go free after decades in jail also prevents him from winning damages from Pima County. In a sharp dissent, Judge Mary Schroeder said the court’s ruling “magnifies an already tragic injustice” against Taylor, who was 16 at the time of the fatal fire at a Tucson hotel. “He was convicted on the basis of little more than (his) proximity and trial evidence that ‘black boys’ like to set fires,” Schroeder wrote of Taylor’s case. Timothy Stackhouse, one of Taylor’s lawyers, declined Thursday to comment on the ruling. Nancy Davis of the Pima County Attorney’s Office said the office would not comment on the case because it could go back to district court. Taylor was 16 in 1970 when a fire broke out in Tucson’s Pioneer Hotel, ultimately killing 29 people. Investigators said the fire was arson and Taylor was arrested for setting it, then...

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Citing discrimination, JC football players explain suit against MCCCD

Andre Simms Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 Citing discrimination, JC football players explain suit against MCCCD MESA — Saying the elimination of football has denied African-American players “their civil rights,” an attorney representing 11 of them met with media Thursday to express concerns about the motivation of the Maricopa County Community College District. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix in December, said the players have suffered “the indignity of discrimination” after the district eliminated football at all four of its community colleges that had the sport. The 11 Maricopa County junior college players believe the move violates federal law because African-American students, who make up 62 percent of players at the four schools, are disproportionately impacted by it. “We were approached by the players,” attorney Phillip Austin said. “It took a little bit of investigating to see if we had a case. “But after looking through documentation … we approached the district saying, ‘Hey we want to work this out’ and at every turn they rebuffed us.” Throughout the press conference, Austin reinforced that he felt he had sufficient evidence on the record to suggest that both a racial and an anti-sport bias was present in the governing board of the MCCCD. [related-story-right box-title=”Related story” link=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/01/17/maricopa-junior-college-football-players-sue/” image=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/enterprise_final-55-800.jpg” headline=”With no JC football left in state, 11 players file lawsuit alleging ‘racial bias’”] Going to court, however, is not...

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Cindy McCain battles human trafficking

Veronica Graff Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 Cindy McCain battles human trafficking PHOENIX – After her first experience of being trafficked for sex at 18, Megan went home and scrubbed her skin so hard she began to bleed. “I was so disgusted,” she said. Every day, at least three times a day, for the next four years, the man she called her boyfriend would sell her for sex—as if she had a quota to meet. Thrusting a needle full of heroin in her arm became necessary to function: “It was a matter of getting myself to be able to move,” she said. Megan, 23, is now in the care of the Phoenix Dream Center, a non-profit that cares for former sex-trafficking victims. Gov. Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, discussed their work to slow human trafficking and work with traumatized victims like Megan. Cronkite News does not identify victims of sexual abuse. Megan, who said she hasn’t used heroin for four months, plans to enroll in school and eventually become a math teacher. She wore a t-shirt reading “Straight Outta Hope Wing,” the fabric matching her ivory-coated nails. The Dream Center has helped more than 1,500 children and young adults affected by human trafficking, according to its website. As a border state, Arizona is a major hub for human trafficking around the world, according...

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No More Deaths volunteers begin trial among tensions with border authorities

Nicole Ludden Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 No More Deaths volunteers begin trial among tensions with border authorities Tucson – In a vibrant display of freshly-painted signs across the street from the courthouse, one man holds a tattered plastic sign that reads in bold letters, “Humanitarian aid is never a crime.” When Dan Millis was convicted and acquitted of one littering charge for leaving water along migrant paths in 2009, the same slogan was used to support his legal defense. In 2019, he stood in support of nine more volunteers now facing charges for their own humanitarian work. “I feel like it’s the same experience that I lived where you’re going about your business, trying to help people as a good samaritan, yet suddenly the government, out of nowhere, decides to prosecute you,” Millis said. Millis held the sign outside the Deconcini Federal Court Building in Tucson on Tuesday, supporting the humanitarian aid workers. Four of them began their trials this week as part of the eight misdemeanor charges brought against No More Deaths members in January 2018. Natalie Hoffman is charged with driving in a wilderness area on Aug. 13, 2017. Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick are all also facing charges of entering a wildlife refuge without a permit and abandonment of property. The defendants face a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a...

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