Category: Cronkite News

Wednesday’s forecast: First day of spring should be a warm one

Lauren Schieler Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Wednesday’s forecast: First day of spring should be a warm one PHOENIX – It should be a beautiful first day of spring Wednesday as temperatures in metro Phoenix jump above average into the low 80s. Our average high temperatures for this time of year are in the mid- to upper-70s, but it has been an atypical winter of above average rain and below average temperatures. The chance for rain Wednesday evening and into Thursday sits at about 30 percent, but for the majority of the state, the next seven days should remain dry. And be sure to check out the “super equinox moon” Tuesday night – the third and last supermoon of 2019. A supermoon is a full or nearly full moon that coincides with lunar perigee, the point in the moon’s elliptical orbit when it’s nearest the Earth. Instead of 238,000 miles from our planet, the moon will be 226,000 miles away, making it appear percent 30 percent brighter and up to 14 percent bigger. Follow us on Twitter...

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Esports in high school: A closer look at newest AIA sanctioned activity

Christian Thurley Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Esports in high school: A closer look at newest AIA sanctioned activity 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. Check out the rest of our episodes here , and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud . In this podcast, Christian Thurley speaks with Coronado High School athletic director Brandon Larson, as well as the school’s instructor for the esports team and gaming club, Austin Nichols, about the recent decision by the Arizona Interscholastic Association to move back the inaugural esports season to fall 2019. Among the topics addressed are the difficulties that were faced trying to get the season started in the spring and why the season was ultimately moved back. The AIA is introducing two games for its inaugural season: Overwatch and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Many schools around the Phoenix metropolitan area will only participate in Smash Ultimate out of concern about introducing first-person shooter games to a school environment. Nichols said that esports has the potential to be “on the level of other AIA sports like football and basketball in terms of popularity.” Tune in to hear what the future of gaming will look like in Arizona. This podcast contains audio from Blizzard...

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High snowpack could temporarily stave off Colorado River water shortage

Luke Runyon Tuesday, March 19, 2019 High snowpack could temporarily stave off Colorado River water shortage GREELEY, Colo. – High snowpack in the southern Rocky Mountains this winter will likely stave off a shortage declaration in the Colorado River watershed in 2020, relieving pressure on water managers attempting to navigate future scarcity. New data from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation models show a lessened risk of a key Colorado River reservoir dropping far enough to trigger the first shortage declaration. Snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin is at 138 percent of the long-term median, a level not seen in mid-March since 1997. Forecasts for Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border have improved since early February, with the reservoir expected to see 92 percent of average inflow through the end of September. But federal officials are quick to remind people that one wet winter won’t solve the Southwest’s structural water problems. “These developments may lessen the chance of shortage in 2020,” said Reclamation Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp in an emailed statement. “However, one near- or even above-average year will not end the ongoing extended drought experienced in the Colorado River Basin and does not substantially reduce the risks facing the basin.” A shortage declaration is tied to the level of Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, and a key water source for California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. If...

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EPA plan to ease mercury standards raises ire of moms’ group, activists

Andrew Howard Monday, March 18, 2019 EPA plan to ease mercury standards raises ire of moms’ group, activists WASHINGTON – Phoenix mom Claudia Faudoa joined dozens of activists Monday who called the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to relax standards on power plant emissions, like mercury, an “attack on American children.” “I’ve traveled all the way from Arizona this morning to tell you that my children are the most precious resource I have,” Faudoa said at a public hearing on the proposed changes. “And that is why we must ensure that the mercury standards are not undermined, weakened or reduced in any way.” But the EPA said that it needs to revise its 2016 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) after a new analysis showed the costs of implementing the standards “grossly outweigh” its benefits. The agency said the current rules could cost oil- and coal-fired power plants as much as $9.6 billion to implement while producing no more than $6 million a year in benefits. A spokeswoman for Arizona Public Service said Monday that APS does not typically comment on regulatory changes, but she said the utility will comply with whatever rules are announced. But one energy company executive at the EPA hearing welcomed the proposed changes, although he said they do not go far enough. “We commend EPA for acknowledging that MATS’ massive costs far exceed the benefits...

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