Category: Cronkite News

El Nino storms affect winter crop industry in Arizona

Chloe Nordquist Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 El Nino storms affect winter crop industry in Arizona TOLLESON – This year’s El Nino will be one of the strongest weather cycles of its kind on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And Arizona saw its first bout of related weather in early January. The storm, marked by four to five consecutive days of rain, increased cloud cover and left up to 3.5 inches of rain in some areas of Arizona, affecting farmers with winter crops. Mike Etchart, one of the owners of Everkrisp Vegetables in Tolleson, said consumers might see higher prices at grocery stores. “The market price of the vegetables have been higher because of the lack of yields and the lack of production,” he said. “It’s been pretty much area wide, so hopefully the prices that we’re getting will make up for the lack of yield and production.” The roughly 1,500-acre farm produces everything from organic kale to parsley to mixed lettuce. Everkrisp does 100 percent of its production in the winter, and it’s a month behind because of the weather caused by El Nino and below-average temperatures and rain in November and December. “This year, we’re behind,” he said. “We’ve got some nice weather now, but we’re anticipating some more wet weather in the spring, so it’s been challenging.” Of the $3.7 billion in farm...

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Friday fact check: how well do you know the news this week?

Taylor Nelson/Cronkite News Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 Friday fact check: how well do you know the news this week? It’s been a busy week in the newsroom. Cronkite News wants to know how well you’ve been keeping up with what’s been happening in news, weather and sports. Take this quiz, and tweet your results to us at @cronkitenews...

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Travelers concerns over Zika virus grow

Kaitlyn Ahrbeck Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 Travelers concerns over Zika virus grow Travelers at Sky Harbor Airport planning trips to countries where the Zika virus has been reported are worried about the growing number of cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 2 travel notice urging “enhanced precautions,” and the head of the World Health Organization said the Zika virus is spreading “explosively” throughout Latin America. Brazil is among the countries most affected. “I will have to talk to my wife and maybe rethink our plans to travel to Brazil,” said Alfredo Avalos, 41. Avalos and his Brazilian wife planned to take their two children on a family vacation to Brazil later this year. The U.S. has at least 31 travel related Zika cases in 11 states and Washington D.C., according to the CDC. Arizona is not among the states where the illness has been reported. But the CDC is concerned the virus will continue to spread throughout the U.S. The WHO said as many as 4 million people in Latin America may be infected. .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%; } Nichole Martinez, 39-year-old a mother of two, worries about the Zika virus for her children’s sake. “The mosquitoes...

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Report: Arizona falls in lowest category for highway safety policies

Madison Alder Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Report: Arizona falls in lowest category for highway safety policies WASHINGTON – Arizona’s driving policies make it one of the most dangerous states in the nation for drivers and their passengers, according to a report released Thursday. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report put Arizona in the “red” category – the worst – for its lack of strict seatbelt laws, motorcycle helmet requirements and texting-while-driving restrictions, among other policies. Arizona was one of nine states in the red, meaning it had fewer than seven of the 15 laws the report considered best for highway safety. It’s at least the fourth year that Arizona has finished in the bottom rung of the rankings. How Arizona fared The 2016 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws ranked states on how many of 15 traffic safety laws they have. Arizona has just five: Primary enforcement seatbelts (front): no Primary enforcement seatbelts (rear): no All-rider motorcycle helmet law: no All-driver text messaging restriction: no Booster seat law: yes Teen driving laws: Minimum age 16 for learner’s permit: no Six-month holding period: yes 30-50 hours supervised driving: no Nighttime restriction: no Passenger restrictions: no Cell phone restriction: no Age 18 for unrestricted license: no Impaired driving: Ignition interlock for all offenders: yes Child endangerment law: yes Open container law: yes No state had all 15 laws cited...

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Flagstaff counselor honored at White House as counselor of the year

Wafa Shahid Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Flagstaff counselor honored at White House as counselor of the year WASHINGTON – Flagstaff High School guidance counselor Katherine Pastor said it’s enough to know her work helps make a difference in students’ lives – but the hugs from Michelle Obama were probably nice to get, too. The first lady on Thursday named Pastor the 2016 counselor of the year, singling her out from 42 other guidance counselors from around the country who were at the White House to be honored for their work. “In just seven short years, Flagstaff High School has seen a 13 percent increase in college acceptance rates and a 50 percent increase in the number of colleges that visit their campus,” Obama said during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. She said Pastor “wants nothing more than to see students succeed and become the best versions of themselves.” When asked how she felt after the ceremony, a beaming Pastor reeled off synonyms for excitement. “Today was real fulfilling, knowing that all the hours and time that you put in at your job … making students inspired to do more than what they think they can do is reassuring that I’m doing the right thing,” she said. She said the honor reaffirmed what she already knew about her job. “You know you go to work...

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