Category: Cronkite News

Johnson: Border is tighter, but ‘new threats’ to homeland security loom

WASHINGTON – The number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally has stopped growing for the first time since the 1980s, another sign of the success of border-security efforts, the head of Homeland Security said Thursday. In a wide-ranging speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said illegal immigration is down, border security is up and the word is getting out to would-be border crossers. “Put simply, it’s now much harder to cross our border and evade capture than it used to be, and people know that,” he said. But Johnson added that the department “can and should do more to invest in the security of our borders.” And he said the agency needs to be vigilant about new threats that could be posed by homegrown extremists, like those who are leaving the U.S. to join foreign militants like ISIS. “People who leave their own country … link up with some extreme elements and then return to this country,” Johnson said of Westerners who join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant Islamist army currently waging war in those countries. “In many respects, that’s the terrorist threat that I worry most about because it’s the hardest to detect,” he said. Johnson said he thinks the FBI “does a pretty good job” of tracking such individuals. But, he said, “we need to...

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Nonprofit organization helps advance delivery method of blood donations

PHOENIX – CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: One Arizona nonprofit takes blood donation to a new level. Flights For Life flies blood donor deliveries to hospitals all over the state. I joined one of the pilots on a quick journey to help save lives. JAY OLSEN/FLIGHTS FOR LIFE PILOT: We are on a platelet run to Show Low today. CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Jay Olsen is one of the voluntary pilots for Flights for Life. In his free time he delivers blood wherever it’s needed. JAY OLSEN/FLIGHTS FOR LIFE PILOT: We will be flying to basically every place in the state that has a trauma center. CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Flights For Life has been operating in Phoenix since 1984. The nonprofit organization transports human blood 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Last year pilots flights for life completed more than 1,000 missions delivering close to 19,000 pints of blood throughout the state. CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: After receiving the platelets from United Blood Services, Olsen takes off from Falcon Field Airport for Show Low. After a 40-minute flight he lands, delivers the blood, then it’s back to Mesa. The total round trip is only about two hours, a short amount of time to help save someone’s life. CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Sue Thew with United Blood Services says that with the help of Flights For Life, it takes a fraction of the...

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Valley high school elects Arizona’s first sustainability student officer

PHOENIX – COLTON KROLAK/CRONKITE NEWS: One Valley high school just elected the state’s first sustainability officer. Cronkite News reporter Sierra Oshrin visited the Phoenix Bioscience High School for a look at its eco-friendly plans. CLARISSA SMITH/FIRST AZ HIGH SCHOOL SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER: You know your job is done when you’re no longer needed SIERRA OSHRIN/CRONKITE NEWS: That’s what Clarissa Smith, a senior at Phoenix Bioscience High School, says about sustainability. The Bioscience High School incorporates sustainability into all aspects of education. And the projects they’re working on are pretty high tech. SIERRA OSHRIN/CRONKITE NEWS: One of those projects includes the aquaponic system. JORGE CANO/MEMBER OF E-TECH CLUB: In the bottom barrel you have fish, it’s tilapia. What a tilapia does is when it poops, there’s nitrogen in that poop. So you take that nitrogen and run it through a system and the water is going to be pumped up here, and the tank gets filled. When there’s enough water this lever gets pulled down and the water is released. Here you’re going to have all of your plants that are being fed by the nitrogen. And the same plants feed the fish. So it’s a sustainable system. Just with running water. SIERRA OSHRIN/CRONKITE NEWS: The aquaponics system will eventually use the energy from another student-made project known as a solar charging station. This charging station will provide enough electricity to...

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School scales down football team to make the most of their student body

PHOENIX – ELLE JOHNS/CRONKITE NEWS: Smaller schools can still pack a big punch on the football field. As Cronkite News reporter Lacey Darrow shows us, one program is scaling down its team and field to make the most of its student body. LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Thanks Elle, I went to Glendale Prepatory Academy and checked out how it is adapting the classic game of football to fit with their small school. LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: It’s a hot afternoon in Glendale, but that doesn’t stop the Glendale Prep varsity football team from putting on their helmets and getting in some practice. They have a big weekend ahead. KYLE WESTERLIND/OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR GLENDALE PREP FOOTBALL: This weekend we are traveling to Bagdad, Arizona, to play the No. 1 team in the state. LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: At a glance, the Glendale Prep varsity football team looks the part of a typical high school football team, but the difference as head coach Jamie self explains is … JAMIE SELF/HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: About three people. LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: In Arizona, smaller schools like Glendale Prep and their opponent Bagdad High School play with only eight men. This allows schools in the state who might not have the numbers to fill an entire 11-man team the opportunity to play just like a bigger school. Although the game is played the same, there are some differences between...

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Sky Harbor delay in construction causes costly consequences for the city

PHOENIX – CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: A delay in construction at Sky Harbor is having costly consequences on the city. The delay is extending the project’s timeline and the budget. Cronkite News reporter Sydney Schuman talked with a city official to find out more about these changes. SYDNEY SCHUMAN/CRONKITE NEWS: Talks about construction on Sky Harbor’s Terminal Three have been in the works for almost a year and a half, but one week ago council members decided to delay that construction by two weeks, which will cost taxpayers an additional $1.9 million. JIM WARING/VICE MAYOR OF PHOENIX: Well I didn’t decide to delay it I actually voted to move the project forward. The four of us did; Thelda Williams, Sal Diciccio, Bill Gates and myself voted to move the project forward. Five other members, including the mayor, voted to delay the project. SYDNEY SCHUMAN/CRONKITE NEWS: The $650 million project was supposed to break ground on Monday, but Councilman Michael Nowakowski suggested the delay, citing concerns about cost and that construction would disrupt airport travel during the holidays and Super Bowl. He asked for more time to review the project. Waring thinks these concerns should have been aired a long time...

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