Category: Cronkite News

AIA’s handling of playoff game scheduling after storm hits Prescott Valley draw criticism

Joseph Caulo Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 AIA’s handling of playoff game scheduling after storm hits Prescott Valley draw criticism PHOENIX – Scheduling decisions surrounding basketball tournament games in Prescott Valley, which was hit by a severe winter storm, have left many coaches and fans critical of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. The governing body of high school sports in the state announced Wednesday it would continue with plans to hold semifinal and championship games in the 1A and 2A divisions despite weather forecasts calling for significant snowfall to hit the area. On Friday morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first playoff game was to start, the AIA reversed its decision, saying they feared for the safety of the 13 schools already in the area to make it to Findlay Toyota Center and that they should say in their hotels. Later in the day, the AIA changed course again and said weather had improved and that all but three games would be playing in the Prescott Valley Friday and Saturday. “I get that there are more schools in the Phoenix area, but that doesn’t mean you have to totally disregard the northern schools,” said Adam Lopez Falk, a high school basketball fan from Holbrook. “We asked the 1A and 2A teams to join a conference call on Wednesday morning, before the weather advisory, to discuss postponing the tournaments,” AIA spokeswoman Shay...

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As fentanyl seizures rise, so do safety concerns around the deadly drug

Luv Junious Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 As fentanyl seizures rise, so do safety concerns around the deadly drug WASHINGTON – Compared to the tons of marijuana and the thousands of pounds of heroin that are confiscated at the border in a given year, the couple hundred pounds of fentanyl that were seized in Nogales recently may seem trivial. Don’t tell that to Erica Curry of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix office. “In Arizona in 2018, DEA and our law enforcement partners have seized 445 pounds of fentanyl,” Curry said, “which is roughly enough to kill 75 million people.” That’s because experts say that as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a fatal dose. With more than 450,000 milligrams in a pound, that’s as many as 225,000 fatal doses in theory. DEA spokesman Melvin Paterson puts it in perspective this way: If you put fentanyl in a salt shaker, there would be enough of the drug in one shake to kill. “We know that 2 milligrams for the average person that’s not using any type of opioids, that would be a deadly or lethal dose,” said Patterson, of the DEA’s Washington office. Customs and Border Protection officers in Nogales made the largest fentanyl seizure in the agency’s history in late January when they confiscated 254 pounds of the drug valued at $3.5 million. The fentanyl was hidden, along...

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Ducey’s budget would add $56 million to day care subsidies for low-income families

Nicole Hernandez Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 Ducey’s budget would add $56 million to day care subsidies for low-income families PHOENIX – When Gov. Doug Ducey released his multimillion dollar budget proposal last week, he included $56 million in subsidies for day care, saying it would make such care more affordable for low-income families and expand its reach to about 29,000 children. “We’re going to move from the back of the pack to right in the middle, and then we’re also going to let about 5,000 other children have these subsidies that don’t have them today,” said Christina Corieri, the governor’s senior policy adviser. The state pays subsidies to day care centers to cover part of a child’s tuition, allowing qualifying families to choose a government-funded center. But the subsidies have stagnated even as day care costs have risen. The budget injection is meant to narrow the gap. Families sometimes are forced to walk away from a day care center when the subsidy program doesn’t provide enough financial help, a day care administrator said. “It’s hard. As soon as they walk in, we know we are going to have to have the talk,” said Kelly McCready, administrator of Kreative Kampus in central Phoenix. Without the option of licensed day care providers, she said, some parents rely on friends, family members or acquaintances – who aren’t trained – to watch their...

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Ending the stigma: Mental health in college sports

Jacob Lev Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 Ending the stigma: Mental health in college sports Arizona in Focus is a podcast from Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Each season we dive deep into a particular topic or story to bring you stories you haven’t heard elsewhere. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud . Mental health is a touchy subject for many. For athletes, issues can arise from high expectations, injury, or just overall poor play. Expectations are high to perform well on a daily basis. Giac-Thao (Alisia Tran), a psychologist at Arizona State, Gabe Bourland, the director of Sports Performance at Grand Canyon University, and TJ Vernieri, a former University of Connecticut football player, share their thoughts. All will talk about not just how to break the stigma but also how colleges are helping these student-athletes overcome the distress they might be experiencing. In a brief statement from Tran, she mentions that these 17- and 18-year-old athletes have cardboard cutouts of their faces. Twenty years ago, that wasn’t the case. These young athletes now have sky-high expectations to perform at the standards that 30-year-old athletes face. It could be a recipe for disaster. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you or someone you know is having trouble, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Available 24 hours a...

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