Category: Cronkite News

In Focus, Season 2 Episode 1: Odd Squad Family

Staff Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 In Focus, Season 2 Episode 1: Odd Squad Family In the first episode of In Focus Season 2, the Odd Squad Family tells the story of how their rap group started, how they manage the business side of the music, and entertain us with a little freestyle rap. Our opening song is “Take You Home Tonight” by Vibe Tracks and our closing song is “Scarlet Fire” by Otis McDonald . It’s never easy being the outcast everywhere you go. For N.U.B.S., Snowman, and A-Factor, who all have overcome unique hardships, being different is what brought them together. The Odd Squad Family is a local Arizona rap group focused on making their way to the top in the music world, despite people’s first impressions of them. For N.U.B.S., who has no limbs, Snowman, who has albinism, and A-Factor, who joined the group some years later, the three have found refuge in what makes them different and used it to help develop their style. You can connect with the Odd Squad Family on social media or on their website...

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‘Pay to Play’ an increasing burden for parents of Arizona high school athletes

Brittany Bowyer Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 ‘Pay to Play’ an increasing burden for parents of Arizona high school athletes PHOENIX– When Denise Wilson’s children first approached her about participating in high school sports, she had no idea how much it would cost. She knew she would have to supply them with the proper shoes and attire, but she never imagined the total cost over the years would exceed $7,000. “They don’t tell us where the money is going,” Wilson said. “They just keep asking for more money and we have to pay it.” Ranking 49th nationally for education funding, Arizona’s budget for public schools is a controversial issue in the state. Low teacher salaries and elective cutbacks all are impacted. So, too, are extracurricular activities, and with fall sports under way, parents are facing a rude awakening: More and more schools districts are charging steep fees for athletics, more commonly referred to as “pay to play.” Nationally, 61 percent of high school require a play-to-play fee, according to a study by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. It also found that two percent of parents said that the cost of school sports caused a drop in participation for at least one of their children. Wilson, mother of two former Sandra Day O’Connor High School students, paid a significant amount for her children to participate in athletics. Her...

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Columbine shooting survivor shares experience of opioid abuse and recovery in Phoenix

Shayla Hyde Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 Columbine shooting survivor shares experience of opioid abuse and recovery in Phoenix PHOENIX – Teachers yell at students to get under tables and the sounds of gunfire ring in the air. One moment, Austin Eubanks was walking the halls of Columbine High School with his best friend. Minutes later, he was huddled under a table. He and his best friend were shot. His friend died. Eubanks, wounded, was given opioids. It began his 10-year descent into addiction. Eubanks shared his experience and his rough road to recovery with hundreds of recovering addicts and counselors in Phoenix last week. He also touched on the opioid crisis happening across the country and how it affects Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services , in 2016 there were 790 opioid-related deaths that led to the call for a state of emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year chose Arizona for a $3.6 million grant to jump start the battle against opioid addiction. Eubanks saw his best friend, Corey DePooter, die in the country’s first mass school shooting on April 20, 1999, where two seniors shot 13 students to death and injured more than 20 before killing themselves.    It wasn’t the physical pain that was pulling him down, Eubanks said. That was about an eight on a scale of ten. It...

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Would you drink beer made from wastewater?

Nkiruka Omeronye Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 Would you drink beer made from wastewater? PHOENIX – Wastewater. We use it to irrigate fields, to flush toilets and to make one of America’s favorite beverages – beer. Related Story Would you drink treated toilet water? You may get the chance The inaugural Arizona Pure Water Brew Challenge brought together 26 breweries from across Arizona and tasked them with creating the best-tasting beer using treated wastewater. “We had no idea how many breweries would compete, but we were shooting for around 32,” said Danielle McPherson from the WaterNow Alliance , which partnered with the challenge. “But we were really excited about the 26 that we did get because a lot of the time, breweries are busy with other commitments, and this takes a lot of time.” The 23rd Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant in Phoenix supplied gallons of reclaimed water to the Arizona Pure Water Brew Challenge team. (Photo by Nkiruka Omeronye/ Cronkite News) The competition wrapped up earlier this month, and she said it went so well, they want to expand it beyond state lines next year. The goal of the competition: Inform Arizonans about the importance of conserving water and how people can use technology to safely reuse it. Organizers supplied the breweries with the water, which they obtained from three Arizona treatment plants, McPherson said. At that point, the water...

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Napolitano has hopes for NAFTA talks, despite U.S.-Mexico climate

Andrew Nicla Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 Napolitano has hopes for NAFTA talks, despite U.S.-Mexico climate WASHINGTON – Former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano thinks there is a deal to be had in the current renegotiation of NAFTA, if the deterioration of relations between the United States and Mexico doesn’t get in the way of finding common goals. Her comments came at a daylong forum at the Washington center for the University of California – where Napolitano now serves as president – that brought together academics, ambassadors and trade policy experts to discuss prospects for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement. But the event touched on a range of issues, from international relations to President Donald Trump’s call for a border wall and an end to DACA, a move Napolitano called wrong “as a matter of process and as a matter of law.” One literal barrier that could derail a deal is President Donald Trump’s border wall, which Napolitano called “a political symbol and the wrong political symbol because it signifies that the United States somehow wants to wall itself off from Mexico.” “A better way to look at it would be as Mexico as an economic partner, as a country from which we have many immigrants – both documented and undocumented,” Napolitano said. “We share a lot of history and a lot of culture and building a wall will...

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