Author: Jessi

‘Like the chain saw’: Drones have become a lifesaving tool for fighting wildfires

Anton L. Delgado Friday, July 19, 2019 ‘Like the chain saw’: Drones have become a lifesaving tool for fighting wildfires MIAMI – The whir of aerial drones provided a distinct soundtrack to the month it took to contain the Woodbury Fire, which ranks as the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona history. The fire burned nearly 124,000 acres of the Superstition Wilderness and the Tonto National Monument, difficult terrain that made putting firefighters on the ground a dangerous move. [related-story-right box-title=”Related story” link=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/06/14/maroon-fire-management-challenges/” image=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MaroonFire-1-800.jpg” headline=”Volcanic soil, old artillery shells challenge crews managing the Maroon Fire”] “Our main value is firefighter safety and public safety,” said Dick Fleishman, a fire information officer for the Coconino National Forest. “We’re not going to put people in this ground where we can barely get them in and out of there.” That leaves the creation of situational awareness, scale-mapping and infrared imagery to unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones. In the past eight years, the number of federal drone flights has grown to 10,342 in 2018 from 260 in 2010, according to the Department of Interior. In Arizona, drone usage has increased by 184% in the past two years. Justin Baxter, a drone fire operations specialist, and his three-man team flew a Matrice 600 (M600) during the Woodbury Fire, which broke out June 8 about 5 miles northwest of Superior. The blaze is 100% contained,...

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Two Arizona Democrats vote for impeachment, others take pass – for now

Miranda Faulkner Thursday, July 18, 2019 Two Arizona Democrats vote for impeachment, others take pass – for now WASHINGTON – Four Arizona Democrats had previously called for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, but an impeachment inquiry vote this week took a surprising turn when just two of those four voted for it. Phoenix Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton, who had both called for impeachment, joined 330 other lawmakers who voted to table an impeachment resolution Wednesday. Stanton was not available for comment Thursday. But Gallego said while he still supports impeachment, he did not think the resolution presented this week was the right vehicle for it. “I believe that the House should open an impeachment inquiry to fully examine the broad range of Trump’s conduct and wrongdoing,” Gallego said in a statement released Thursday by his office. “That should be our next step.” Gallego has previously said an impeachment inquiry would be “a necessary step to ensure that we get to the bottom of Trump’s wrongdoing” documented in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling and possible obstruction of justice that followed. It was also the findings of the Mueller report that led Stanton in May to call for impeachment, a decision he said did not reach lightly. “I accept that this conclusion will be unpopular with some, but it is the right thing...

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Puerto Ricans in Valley demand island governor’s resignation over offensive messages

Taniyah Williamson and Tanner Puckett Thursday, July 18, 2019 Puerto Ricans in Valley demand island governor’s resignation over offensive messages PHOENIX – Members of the Valley’s Puerto Rican community gathered Wednesday at the state capitol to demand the resignation of Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who has been under pressure since the leak of private chat messages exchanged by him and members of his staff. A PDF released last week by Puerto Rico’s Center of Investigative Journalism contains 889 pages of posts, including homophobic and mysognistic messages directed at politicians, community members and celebrities. Some messages made light of victims of Hurricane Maria, which killed an estimated 3,000 people in September 2017 and devastated the island. The Puerto Rican government officially reported 64 deaths from Maria, which left thousands without power for months. “I think this was the last straw,” said Glenda Velez, who took part in the Arizona demonstration. “After the hurricane, Puerto Rico has suffered so much and it has been so traumatic. I think people say, ‘Oh, but we’ve had incidents like this before.’ Yes, that’s right, but I think people are just tired.” The governor’s chat thread is just the latest scandal for Rosselló, who took office nine months before Maria struck. The FBI arrested two of his former senior officials July 10 on suspicion of fraud, sparking demands for the governor to step down....

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Phoenix Rising chasing history as Dollar Beer Night returns

Owain Evans Thursday, July 18, 2019 Phoenix Rising chasing history as Dollar Beer Night returns TEMPE – Sometimes, a win can be worth more than just a win. “It’s very important to be remembered,” Phoenix Rising captain Solomon Asante said. “To make history is very important. So we are making everything possible like you saw today at training. We are doing everything possible for tomorrow’s win so that our name will be written in the record book and then people will remember us.” Rising has won nine straight matches, one short of FC Cincinnati’s league record of 10 set last season. They can tie that record at Friday’s Dollar Beer Night when they host Austin Bold. [related-story-right box-title=”Related Story” link=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/06/11/phoenix-rising-dollar-beer-night/” image=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PhoenixRising-Beer-1.jpg” headline=”Beer factor: Phoenix Rising’s recipe for success includes hops, barley”] “Austin beat us 1-0 when we were there,” coach Rick Schantz said. “We set out this year that we would try to get four points minimum off of every team in the league, and the best we can get is three against Austin. “The rest of the stuff is, well, it’s pressure from the outside world. It’s not what’s important to us.” Schantz later backtracked slightly, admitting that the team wants to be remembered, and that he understands the gravity of the achievement involved. The team has made it this far in no short part due to the...

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