Category: Cronkite News

Arizona history: Concrete arrows pointed the way for mail delivery pilots

Ben Brown Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Arizona history: Concrete arrows pointed the way for mail delivery pilots MESA – Consumers today expect their deliveries to arrive within a few days – or even hours – through services like Amazon. But delivering mail cross-country wasn’t always so easy. Billy Walker, whose father flew during the 1920s, said delivering the mail required thinking outside the box. “They had to develop some innovative ways because they didn’t have the fancy navigational systems that developed later with GPS and things we have today,” said Walker, a pilot. How did pilots find their way? The U.S. government installed concrete arrows they scattered across the country, from New York to San Francisco. Arizona’s state historian Marshall Trimble said it did the job. “They really reduced the time down to … about 30 hours,” he said. “They could get the mail across country, and that was pretty amazing.” It was simple. “Just follow the arrow,” Trimble said. The arrows were from 50 to 75 feet and painted bright yellow so pilots could see them from the sky. The government later added beacons alongside the arrows. The beacons “would project light for an extremely long way at night,” Walker said. .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:...

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Sexual assault task force sets out to clear backlog of untested kits

Audrey Weil Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Sexual assault task force sets out to clear backlog of untested kits Thousands of sexual assualt kits sit untested in Maricopa County. Cronkite News examines the goals and commitments of the task force Gov. Doug Ducey has established to address the issue..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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‘Mini’ pigs grow far beyond owners’ expectations, breeders’ claims as Arizona sanctuary fills

Travis Arbon and Lauren Michaels Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 ‘Mini’ pigs grow far beyond owners’ expectations, breeders’ claims as Arizona sanctuary fills MARANA — Oatis the piglet was smaller than Bryanna Tinsley’s head when she purchased and shipped him from Texas. Tinsley said the pig now weighs about 120 pounds. Tinsley, who lives in Avondale, is one of many people who have purchased “miniature” pigs as pets under the impression they would remain relatively small. And she feels duped. Because the government only lightly regulates the sale of the animals, it’s difficult to track just how many people share her experience. When the animals grow to nearly 200 pounds and start digging, biting and needing expensive medical care, some customers find themselves overwhelmed. Tinsley said when Oatis got bored, he would tear up her tile and carpet and tried to knock over her fence, adding to the cost of a pet for which she paid about $1,000. “(The breeder) was telling me that they didn’t grow more than 30 to 35 pounds – the biggest pig was probably about 40 pounds – and they had to follow a certain diet and certain exercise,” Tinsley said. “I was told that they would be fine, that they would be flown out to me and they would never grow bigger than a certain weight, which is wrong because he grew to be...

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Millennial and first-time Latino voters look to make big impact in 2016 elections

Miguel Otárola Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Millennial and first-time Latino voters look to make big impact in 2016 elections This time around, Diego Martinez Barrera aspires to make a difference with his vote. At age 20, he’s preparing not just to cast a ballot in his first presidential election, but to help others register to vote for the first time. “I have family that doesn’t have that right to go out there and vote as I do,” he said. “In some ways, I represent what they can’t. I really just wish for the day where they can attain the citizenship and actually get to vote themselves.” As U.S. primary season gets underway with the Iowa caucus next Monday, Barrera represents a new phenomenon across the country. Barrera, born in Tucson to undocumented parents, is one of the 3.2 million U.S.-citizen Latinos that reached voting age between the last presidential election and this upcoming one. Together with other millennials, these young Latino voters could bring an important message in November’s elections — if they show up at the polls. These findings are part of a study released last week by the Pew Research Center on the effect Latino voters will have in the upcoming November elections. The study’s main finding is that millennials — those between ages 18 and 35 — will make up 44 percent of Hispanics eligible to...

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El Niño could cause spike in valley fever cases

Anthony Marroquin Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 El Niño could cause spike in valley fever cases Marv Freeman had lost interest in almost everything. He was constantly exhausted, dehydrated, and had begun to lose some of his balance. The doctors told him he just had a cold, or the flu. His wife knew something else was at play. And so they kept visiting more doctors, until he finally got a proper diagnosis. Freeman had valley fever. “I didn’t really have a life,” said Freeman, 81. “It took about five months of my wife’s tender love and care to be able to function properly.” Freeman’s story is not too uncommon in Arizona. It’s been 13 years and he now helps run Arizona Victims of Valley Fever Inc., to create awareness about the disease and help others like him on their way to recovery. Of all the valley fever cases reported nationwide, approximately 65 percent of those are in Arizona. The hardest hit areas are the Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties. The fungal spores that cause the disease are sensitive to changes in weather. An increase in rain could cause the spores to grow more readily, while a decrease causes them to spread easier through dust. But according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there still isn’t enough research to determine a correlation between the amount of spores in the ground,...

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