Category: Cronkite News

Miners rally against EPA plan they say will hit Arizona, other coal mines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – ANGELIE MEEHAN/CRONKITE NEWS: The proposed Clean Power Plan from the Environmental Protection Agency has drawn an unlikely group of opponents in Washington, D.C. – labor unions. Stephen Hicks was at a coal miners’ rally in the nation’s capital and joins us live from our Washington bureau. STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: Today, members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) came to Washington to protest the EPA’s proposal, calling for an end to the proposal they say will close coal mines across the country, including those in Arizona. PROTESTERS: What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now! STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: Hundreds met here in Freedom Plaza. And after a brief rally they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to demonstrate in front of the EPA, unhappy with the agency’s proposed reduction to carbon emissions. According to some in the union, there are other ways to fix the problem. MIKE DALPIAZ/UMWA WESTERN STATES REPRESENTATIVE: We’re mining it and we’re burning it but there’s no cleaning process in the middle and this government ought to step up instead of making ridiculous regulations to eliminate it. Let’s clean it before we burn it. There’s nothing wrong with that picture. STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: He went on to say that the proposed regulations would have an affect on Arizona, since the Kayenta coal mine in Navajo Nation is one of the...

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Four Arizona cities rank in top 10 on livability for people with disabilities

WASHINGTON – Four Arizona cities made the top 10 in the nation when it comes to suitable living conditions for people with disabilities, according to a recent ranking of the largest 150 cities. The Wallethub report based the rankings on 23 different measures ranging from lowest cost of in-home services to walkability to number of physicians per capita. Peoria ranked second overall, followed by Scottsdale in third place, Chandler in fifth and Gilbert in seventh place. Other Arizona cities ranged from Mesa in 37th place to Glendale at 118. Advocates said there are still gains to be made for people with disabilities – particularly when it comes to employment – but that overall they were not surprised by the state’s relatively good showing. “Well, it makes sense,” said Phil Pangrazio, president and CEO of the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living . Pangrazio grew up in western New York but moved to Arizona shortly after a car accident at age 19 left him disabled. Many people with disabilities, especially those in wheelchairs, have moved to the state over the years “probably because of the weather,” he said. Pangrazio cited the region’s relatively new infrastructure as one possible factor for the ranking . A Wallethub spokeswoman agreed that better infrastructure was a common element among the higher-ranking cities. “We were not shocked at all” by the results, said Jill Gonzalez, the...

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Father reunited with young daughters after seven-month deployment

PHOENIX – MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: We can guarantee this weekend was one of the best for 14 Valley families. They welcomed home Arizona National Guard members from Afghanistan. As Mackenzie Scott reports, for some, it was a big surprise. STACIA GUNDERSON/NATIONAL GUARD SPOUSE: They think we are picking up a friend’s friend. They are, like, oblivious to what’s going on. MACKENZIE SCOTT/CRONKITE NEWS: It wasn’t easy keeping a secret this big from two inquisitive children. After seven months of being separated, little Sala and Clara Gunderson will finally have their dad back. Mother Stacia didn’t tell her children that Staff Sgt. Mike Gunderson was coming home from his first deployment. STACIA GUNDERSON/NATIONAL GUARD SPOUSE: Goodbye was really…really hard, but I heard that the welcome home is a lot more emotional. So I know I will be crying and have mascara running down my face, but I can’t wait. MACKENZIE SCOTT/CRONKITE NEWS: For the staff sergeant, Skype can’t replace that kind of welcome-home hug. STAFF SGT. MIKE GUNDERSON/NATIONAL GUARD: Technology helps out a lot being able to stay in contact with them. Just being able to stay in contact with them on daily basis was important, but nothing beats being able to hold them and hug them. MACKENZIE SCOTT/CRONKITE NEWS: And for the Gunderson clan this was just the first surprise of the day. MACKENZIE SCOTT/CRONKITE NEWS: Was it all that you hoped...

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State: Lead poisonings of condors fall, though reason unclear

PHOENIX – Fewer California condors were treated for lead poisoning over a one-year period ending in August, something a wildlife official said may have to do with more hunters in Arizona and particularly Utah taking steps to keep lead out of the environment. Thirteen condors were treated for lead poisoning from Sept. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2014, down from 28 the previous year. While some conservation groups have called for a ban on lead-based ammunition to protect the condors, Arizona and Utah rely on voluntary programs that encourage hunters to use non-lead ammunition or, if they do use lead ammunition, to remove gut piles from the forest. Arizona launched its program in 2005, and Utah adopted a similar program in 2010. Lynda Lambert, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said she’s cautiously optimistic that the decline in lead poisonings shows that Utah’s program is beginning to pay dividends. “We can’t attribute it to any one factor,” she said. “One year does not make it a trend, but we’re hoping that Utah program is one of the factors.” Lambert said participation in Arizona’s program has grown. “We have between 80 and 90 percent of hunters participating in any given year,” she said. California has banned lead ammunition in the condors’ range there, and a state law will eliminate hunting with lead ammunition statewide in by 2019....

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App lets ASU students order up sustainability when ordering up meals

PHOENIX – MEGAN THOMPSON/CRONKITE NEWS: Now, an Arizona State University graduate created a mobile app to encourage more sustainability on the campus. TANA HUGHES/CRONKITE NEWS: The app not only cuts down on paper, it makes it easier to place your orders as well. Perusing a paper menu may be a thing of the past. Instead you can now choose your meal and even place your order, all with your phone. ASU graduate Adam Bell created an app called Order-Up that’s helping to reduce paper waste on campus. ADAM BELL/APP CREATOR: It is something that I am really interested in, business sustainability. And then once the opportunity presented itself to start Order-Up, or at the time which was Devil Menus, once that opportunity came up and we jumped into it you know, full force. TANA HUGHES/CRONKITE NEWS: Waste reduction and efficiency were his main goals. As a former student at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Adam was aware of what a waste it was to supply menus to students who would just throw them away and wanted a simpler way to order take out. Order-Up is currently partnered with over 30 restaurants on campus. And it’s not just convenient for customers, it’s better for businesses as well. MATT SICKMAN/MANAGING PARTNER: So they go online and we’ll get an email through it and then we will receive the email and it’s usually...

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