Category: Cronkite News

Students gather to remember victims of Texas school shooting

Ellen O’Brien Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Students gather to remember victims of Texas school shooting PHOENIX – More than 100 people on Monday lit candles and silently placed flowers outside the Arizona State Capitol to memorialize the eight students and two teachers killed at Santa Fe High School in Texas last Friday. The families, students, activists and faith leaders stood as high school students took turns describing the the victims. “I get to speak for them. I get to let others know who they were and how beautiful they are, because they’re so beautiful,” said Yamile Martinez, one of the high school students who spoke on Monday. March for Our Lives Arizona, a student-led group that protests gun violence, organized the vigil. Jordan Harb, the group’s executive director, said he knew what it was like to be one of those students at Santa Fe. “I have a personal connection to them because I go to school, and I’m scared,” Harb said. Martinez and other students also called on Gov. Doug Ducey to call a special session of the Arizona Legislature to address gun violence. “Something I would tell (the victims and their families) is that this is not over,” Martinez said. “(I would tell them) to continue with life. To have faith. And to take action.” [2up_image-standard source2=”https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/MarchforOurLives_Rally-1-800.jpg” caption2=”Itzel Valenzuela waits for sunset to hold vigil for the victims...

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Arizona ultrarunners turn nocturnal during summer months

Max Kelley Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Arizona ultrarunners turn nocturnal during summer months FOUNTAIN HILLS — As the sun started to set beyond the red, rocky backdrop of McDowell Mountain Regional Park, hundreds of runners lined up to battle the 50-kilometer trail run that lies ahead. The Adrenaline Night Run is part of Aravaipa Running’s Insomniac Night Series, consisting of nine nighttime trail races orchestrated throughout Arizona’s hot summer months. The series of races originated as a plan to help the growing community of ultrarunners in Arizona find an outlet to race and train while staying safe during the sweltering summer months — making lifelong connections in the process. According to a 2016 USA Today study, Phoenix is the hottest major city in the United States, averaging 104.4 degrees in June and 106.1 in July, far too hot for beginners to compete in rigorous ultramarathons. “The idea with our night series is it’s too hot to run in desert in the summer,” said Noah Dougherty, the race director for the Insomniac Night Run Series. “If you run at night it allows people to keep training.” This night series offers marked racing courses around Arizona, ranging from 75 kilometers to the more common 5-kilometer run. The first run begins at 7 p.m., right as the sun starts to dip below the horizon. As the race progresses, runners use only headlamps...

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Despite WNBA’s recent success, players think league could do more

Nate Fain Monday, May 21, 2018 Despite WNBA’s recent success, players think league could do more PHOENIX – A frenzied crowd of 11,000 piled into Talking Stick Resort Arena to watch Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith, three of the WNBA’s most-recognizable players, tip off the 2018 season. Meanwhile, in New York, league officials were celebrating. The WNBA considers last season one of its most successful , with average game attendance reaching a six-year high and record-breaking numbers in merchandising and social media engagement. However, many of the league’s best players are not as thrilled. They think the NBA, the parent company of the WNBA, could do more in terms of marketing. “It’s a problem. It’s opening night and the worldwide leader in sports didn’t even mention it,” Diggins-Smith said after her Dallas Wings’ lost to the Phoenix Mercury 86-78 Friday. “Give us the same platform (as the men) and see what happens.” Unlike other notable American professional sports leagues, the WNBA keeps its revenue figures private, but Lisa Borders, the league’s president, thinks “cultural growth” will lead to economic gain. “When we see full arenas, we are some very happy campers. When we see viewership averaging 613,000 on Twitter we are extremely happy campers,” Borders said. “With these new platforms we are actually on par with or farther ahead of many of our peers.” With nearly 2...

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Puerto Rico’s push for food independence intertwined with debate over statehood

Jenna Miller Monday, May 21, 2018 Puerto Rico’s push for food independence intertwined with debate over statehood CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Maria has reignited a small movement in Puerto Rico aimed at strengthening the local food system so the island can survive and thrive without dependence on the mainland U.S. Before the hurricane struck in September 2017, Puerto Rico imported about 85 percent of its food. And to make matters worse, Maria wiped out 80 percent of crops on the island, according to The New York Times . Local food supporters acted quickly, cleaning debris, helping to replant farms and spreading their belief that a self-sufficient Puerto Rico would be more resilient to future challenges. It’s not a new idea. In 2015, Myrna Comas Pagan, Puerto Rico’s former agriculture secretary, told officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture , “Our island depends on food imports – that’s a point of vulnerability. We have a critical situation.” The government has funded various efforts, including promoting farmers markets, agrotourism and adding local produce to school lunches. However, the idea of becoming more food independent parallels an issue Puerto Rico has grappled with for decades: Should it remain a U.S. commonwealth? Should it become the 51st state? Should it seek independence? Some say Hurricane Maria has shifted the debate by exposing a toxic relationship with the U.S. government, one they view...

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