Category: Cronkite News

Not just the Ivies: Students send AP scores to community colleges

Sarah Dinell Thursday, May 21, 2015 Not just the Ivies: Students send AP scores to community colleges WASHINGTON – Advanced Placement exams and community colleges. They go together like… well, they never seemed to go together. But that may not exactly be the case, according to numbers from the College Board, the organization that administers the AP tests that students across the country started taking this week. The rigorous high school tests are more often associated with high-achieving students who can boost their grade-point averages or earn college credits through the courses and exams. But College Board data show that 4 to 5 percent of students who take the tests in Arizona regularly ask to have their scores sent to community colleges in the state. AP Testing- Arizona | Create infographics (Graphic by Sarah Dinell) Experts said they were not surprised by the numbers, saying the increasing popularity of community college as an affordable alternative to – or a start on – a four-year college degree is probably what’s behind the practice. “It doesn’t really surprise me that you have a fair amount of people who send their AP scores to a community college,” said Neal McCluskey, the associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom . “It’s recently been the case that people will look to do their first year or two at a community college...

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Parent fights unsuccessfully for more than ‘blood money’ in child’s death

Jessica Boehm Thursday, May 21, 2015 Parent fights unsuccessfully for more than ‘blood money’ in child’s death WASHINGTON – Erin Holmes got $250,000 she didn’t want, “blood money” her husband didn’t want to spend. The money came from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for her son, Jacob, who died in 2002 from a brain condition after receiving his measles-mumps-rubella and varicella vaccines. Holmes filed a claim and was quickly awarded the “worst money” she’d ever received. See related: Critics say vaccine injury fund has strayed from original purpose Vaccine injury fund tops $3.5 billion as patients fight for payment Has the ‘anti-vaxx’ movement made vaccine talk impossible? “It’s just kind of like, they hand you this check and it’s done,” said Holmes, whose son went through six months of seizures and hospital visits before he died. “I can’t even describe the feeling. They’re like, ‘Oh, well, we’re sorry we killed your kid. Here’s some money.’” Holmes didn’t want the money – but as an “angry parent” she wanted to do something more. So she reached out to a lawyer in Las Vegas who told her that the money she collected from the compensation program was “Jacob’s money” – and she could still sue for her own suffering. “You can sue for yourself and so that was the loophole that he found,” said Holmes, a resident of Pahrump, Nevada. She...

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Arizona among highest states in nation for deaths by cops

Nihal Krishan Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Arizona among highest states in nation for deaths by cops WASHINGTON – Arizona was fourth-highest among states for the number of people killed by police over the last two-plus years, with 93 individuals being killed in that time, according to a comprehensive national database of such incidents. The database , Fatal Encounters, said that despite being the 15th-largest state in terms of population, Arizona trailed only California, Florida and Texas for killings by police in 2013, 2014 and the first few months of 2015. Illinois, by comparison, has twice as many people as Arizona but had only 55 police-related deaths since 2013 in the database. Data compiled by the website Fatal Encounters showed that Arizona was consistently among the states with the highest number of people whose deaths were caused by police. Click on map for interactive graphic. (Cronkite News graphic by Nihal Krishan) “It surprises me a little bit that a small Western state like Arizona has so many police killings,” said Brian Burghart, president of Fatal Encounters. The site is run by Burghart – whose day job is editor of the Reno News & Review – and gathers its data on police killings from crowdsourcing, paid researchers and through public record requests. Every reported death is fact-checked by Burghart and backed up with a public record or an article in the...

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Despite gains, Phoenix falls in ranking of energy-efficient cities

Soyenixe Lopez Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Despite gains, Phoenix falls in ranking of energy-efficient cities WASHINGTON – Phoenix has made improvements in its energy efficiency policies but still fell three spots in a national ranking, as other cities made “impressive jumps” and surged ahead, according to a report released Wednesday. The second biennial ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy of the largest 51 cities in the nation saw Phoenix slip from 15th to 18th place, despite finishing among the leaders in some areas rated by the council. “Phoenix is still pretty strong,” said ACEEE research analyst David Ribeiro. “It’s doing well in various places being a leader in energy efficiency and local government operations.” Falling Phoenix The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked 51 cities’ energy efficiency in five areas. Phoenix got 44 points out of 100, dropping from 15th place two years ago to 18th today. The city’s scores: Local government operations: 11.5 of 15 points Communitywide initiatives: 3 of 10 Building policies: 11 of 29 Energy and water utility policies: 9.5 of 18 Transportation policies: 9 of 28 Overall score: 44 out of 100 possible But Ribeiro said Phoenix could not keep pace with impressive gains by other cities such as Washington, D.C., which jumped from seventh to third overall in the rankings. Despite those gains, Ribeiro said most of the cities still...

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Hunters tell House, don’t restrict sportsmen on federal lands

Jamie Cochran Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Hunters tell House, don’t restrict sportsmen on federal lands WASHINGTON – Sportsmen called on a House panel Wednesday to support a sweeping proposal that they said would guarantee hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting rights on federal lands for future generations. The 13-part Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act covers everything from ivory possession and use of lead shot to a requirement that federal agencies adopt a policy of ‘open until closed’ for hunting on public lands. “The overarching purpose behind the SHARE Act is quite simply to ensure access to opportunity for hunters, shooters and anglers,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane in written testimony prepared for the hearing. “According to polling, the No. 1 reason we lose hunters and anglers is ‘not enough access’ to quality places to hunt or fish,” he said. But critics at the hearing before two House Natural Resources subcommittees said the bill – still in draft form for Wednesday’s meeting – would remove environmental protections to solve a problem the doesn’t exist. “This … will destroy habitat and water quality,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson. “Is there a problem that we need to solve here?” Similar versions of the bill have passed the House in each of the last two sessions of Congress but have yet to win final approval. Supporters said passage is overdue, arguing...

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