Category: Cronkite News

Tacos with a twist: The state of gourmet Mexican food in Phoenix

Molly Bilker Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 Tacos with a twist: The state of gourmet Mexican food in Phoenix From curried potato taquitos to hand-ground corn tortillas, restaurants in Phoenix are challenging the definition of Mexican food in Arizona. Chefs such as Silvana Salcido Esparza at Barrio Café and Michael Reyes at Paz Cantina are redefining what Mexican food means by adding personal and regional twists to their guacamole, tacos and tortas. The trend toward more upscale dishes has ramifications that go beyond taste buds and is poised to impact how Arizonans view Mexicans in the state. It’s the result of a convergence of several elements: chefs who have culinary training, an appetite in the U.S. for regional variations in dishes from Mexico and a movement led by younger people who use locally grown foods. “You’ve got younger, smarter, passionate people that, they know better now,” Reyes said. “They know that if you’re going to source, you have to do it locally first, respectfully, because it’s a better carbon footprint.” Mexican food has long been considered “downscale,” said food historian Jeffrey Pilcher, author of “Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food.” While more upscale Mexican food has been growing since the ‘80s in Texas and California, Arizona has been slower to develop, Pilcher said. Currently, Yelp results show 2,418 Mexican restaurants in the Phoenix area, compared to 845 for...

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Arizona still gets D+ on schools report card, despite some modest gains

Danika Worthington Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 Arizona still gets D+ on schools report card, despite some modest gains WASHINGTON – Arizona student test scores stayed level from 2013 to 2015 while scores nationally declined slightly, but the state’s marginal gains were not enough to lift it out of the bottom ranks on a new national report card. Arizona got a grade of D+ and was ranked 45th among states in the annual ranking by Education Week, which put the state’s level of school funding and its poverty achievement gap near the bottom in the nation. The state’s poor performance in the Education Week report was cited last week by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas in her State of Education address to the Arizona House Education Committee, saying it indicated a continual need for progress in education. See related story: Douglas: Arizona’s schools moving ‘one step closer’ to improvement “It’s hard to really say we’ve improved that much,” said Charles Tack, an Arizona Department of Education spokesman. “It’s still a D-plus.” Even though it was the second straight D+ for the state, Arizona did inch up from 47th place in last year’s report. One element in the report is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, standardized tests that have been monitoring fourth- and eighth-grader proficiency in math and reading since the early ’90s. Nationally, scores on average dipped...

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Teen who posed in racial photo apologizes at rally

Julia Thatcher Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 Teen who posed in racial photo apologizes at rally AWHATUKEE — A protest was held Monday at Desert Vista high school over a racist photo that’s gone viral. Community members gathered to express their opinions over the photo, taken during a senior class panoramic picture. Six girls spelled a racial slur with their shirts. One of the six girls who was a part of the photo showed up tot the rally to apologize. “I know people have been offended by what I did and I have come here to say that I am incredibly incredibly sorry. I have love for everyone in my heart and I am not a racist,” Rachel Steigerwald said. “I am asking everyone for forgiveness to me.” According to an email from the Tempe Union High School District’s community relations director, the girls have been suspended from school until further review. The director also said that the investigation is on going, students are being interview and reports are being compiled. While some people are asking for a suspension, others say that isn’t enough. “Expulsion is what I want to see from this district” said Bri Handy, who is the organizer of a petition asking for the expulsion of the six girls and the resignation from the principal. “They do not belong in an area where hate has apparently grown.”...

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Cronkite News: Jan. 26, 2016

Staff Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 Cronkite News: Jan. 26, 2016 This edition of Cronkite News focuses on how Desert Vista High School is dealing with a racist photo of students that’s gone viral, and an outbreak of pneumonia among big horn sheep in the high country..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;...

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Commercial truck drivers focus on Arizona road safety

Jonathan Soto Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 Commercial truck drivers focus on Arizona road safety Manny Franco, a UPS freight driver, is proud of his driving record. “I got almost two million miles accident free, having been in the industry for 27 years. Hopefully I retire doing this,” Franco said. Franco and other commercial truck drivers spent a day earlier this week at the Arizona State Capitol to highlight safety measures in the industry. Tony Bradley, president and chief executive of the Arizona Trucking Association, said the federal government spends about $7.5 billion a year on commercial vehicle safety. That should reassure motorists, who are often intimidated by semis and other commercial vehicles, Bradley said. “When you are operating around large commercial vehicles there is always kind of a concern or worry just because of their sheer size,” Bradley said Monday. “So we do try and educate them on how to safely drive around a commercial vehicle.” .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } His tips for motorists include being aware of and avoiding a truck driver’s blind spots. “If we can educate the driving public on where those are, it makes everyone safer on the road,” said Bradley. (Tip: if you can’t see the trucker’s...

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