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News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

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The Khalil Tate era is just beginning

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As just a 19-year-old sophomore, Inglewood, California, native Khalil Tate took the nation by storm. After spending the first three games of the season backing up then Arizona starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins, Tate exploded onto the scene. During his breakout season, Tate broke the NCAA rushing record for yards in a single game by a quarterback (327 yards), finished third in the nation in rush yards per game (155.3 yards), and led in rushing yards per attempt (11.44 yards). Proud, shocked, and impressed with his own achievements? Not so fast. “I haven’t even showed the world half of what I’m capable of,” said Tate during an interview with ASN. Khalil Tate, or “Little Tate” as he was known at the local parks where he first fell in love with football in Inglewood, hasn’t had the easiest journey to stardom...

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How to build a 27-foot mirror under a football stadium

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Beneath the east bleachers of  Arizona Stadium, the most delicate and perfected mirror-making process takes place. The University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is famous for building mirrors for some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. Engineers at the mirror lab are working on mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope; each mirror is about 27-feet in diameter.Upon completion, the GMT will be the largest telescope in the world and will revolutionize the way astronomers study the universe. “It will allow astronomers to study earth-like planets around other stars,” said Thomas Fleming, an astronomer and senior lecturer at the University of Arizona. “Also, the further away you can see in space, the further back in time you’re looking.” Five of the seven GMT mirrors are at some point in this engineering process. But how are these massive mirrors made?...

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University of Arizona climate researchers worried about funding cuts for future projects

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One month ago, a forest fire in California burned over 200,000 acres, destroyed 2,800 homes and killed 41 people. Two months ago, Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico and left millions of people without electricity, fresh water or ways to communicate. This year, Arizona and 38 other states, experienced above-average temperatures for the first 10 months of the year. Across the globe, climate change research is being used to prepare for natural-disaster response, sustainability and the future. But the research that helps prepare, save lives and preserve the economy is under attack. The Trump administration has promised to eliminate or greatly reduce all climate change research funding in the next four years. “At this point, we haven’t seen a real budget from this administration. So we don’t know yet what they’re going to do,” said Daniel Ferguson, director of...

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A statue’s hidden story

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A story that began over 30 years ago in Tucson comes back to life today through the personification of a statue. Marge Pellegrino and Marianna Neil wrote “The Sculpture Speaks: A Story of Survival” after they discovered a statue in the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Their story follows events in the 1980s involving the persecution of refugees in the United States. Only their story stemmed from a bronze statue. Artist John Howser created the statue and used refugee Juana as his model. During this time, the government handed down indictments that went after sanctuaries. Because of this, Carmen Duarte of the Arizona Daily Star, shared Juana’s story of her journey from Mexico City to Tucson. This caught the eye of government officials, who began trying to track her down. Juana, at this time, was posing for Howser’s sculpture....

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Guest farm workers do not always understand the rules

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With almost no one in the U.S. willing to work harvest jobs, farms have imported workers via temporary visas, a program widely criticized for the extensive bureaucratic requirements including housing workers. This winter Yuma area farms are expected to produce around 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce and green crops, meaning these farms need to find enough labor to harvest their crops. This year, 77 Arizona worksites requested temporary workers, of those four were denied. A total of 5,676 imported workers have so far worked or will work in Arizona this year. Arizona had six housing violations filed since the beginning of 2016, two of which were the same farm. The housing inspections are conducted by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. G farms was listed among the violators for “job order specification” and “misrepresented terms and conditions of...

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Green card holders fret about citizenship

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Nervous green card holders are seeking citizenship in greater numbers because of concerns that the Trump Administration’s new immigration policies could send them out of the country. From July 2016 to September 2016, the number of I-485 forms (the application for a green card) received at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was 158,442, according to data released by USCIS. From October 2016 to December 2016, that number increased by about 17.5 percent to 186,036. William DeSantiago, managing attorney of the immigration program at the Catholic Charities Community Services of Phoenix, said that ever since the election there have been more consultations at his organization and applications for citizenship because people are concerned about the laws of their legal residency. USCIS received 239,628 N-400 forms (application for naturalization) from October 2016 to December 2016 and that number increased about 21...

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Why do we hate?

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Charlottesville. Orlando. Ferguson. These modern-day, blatant acts of racism and white supremacy — akin to those of the civil rights era — elevated the national debate surrounding hate. They forced Americans to again confront two uncomfortable questions: Why do we hate? And how do we stop it?   It’s easy to isolate our country’s hate problem to the overtly hateful moments seen at Charlottesville’s deadly white supremacy rally, Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting and Ferguson’s race riots, sparked by the police slaying of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown. But researchers say it’s the less obvious, internalized aspects of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia that are keeping hate — and the systems of oppression that fuel them — alive in the United States. And while we all have been taught to hate, historians and social psychologists say our society can overcome it, eventually,...

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Cornucopia of holiday foods traditional for Arizona

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Tamales are on the tip of everyone’s tongue when thinking of holiday traditional foods in Southern Arizona, but they are not the only thing to adorn local tables. Traditions from a cornucopia of cultures will be celebrated across the Southwest this holiday season. From tamales to lasagna, Arizona is gearing up for a holiday feast. Tamales, wrapped and tied in a bow are the perfect culinary present to rip into over the holidays. La Mesa Tortillas and Tamales is a local family owned shop that gets extremely busy this time of year. “Get your orders in early,” said Danielle Aguilar, daughter of the owner of La Mesa. “My dad had a dream of opening up a tortilla shop,” Aguilar said. After its humble beginnings the shop has now been around for 21 years and has three locations around Tucson. Tamales have always...

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Justice on the horizon for Mexican-American Studies

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Curtis Acosta was concerned. An English teacher at Tucson High School, he noticed an unsettling trend. Latino students were dropping out at a higher rate than their peers. He knew they were capable. But for some reason, they lacked the scholar’s appetite. So, he called a meeting with fellow educators from Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) to design a new curriculum, one that would instill academic pride by teaching Latin-American culture through literature, history, government and art.   In the fall of 1998, Mexican-American Studies (MAS) began at Tucson High. The classes quickly became ingrained in the student’s cultural identity. Test scores improved. Dropout rates fell. It did not take long before the troubles began, first from in-house and soon after from the state’s more conservative politicians. Public opposition to the MAS program grew as the state school superintendent...

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Why failure can be beneficial for an increasingly anxious generation

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College students are more anxious now than they have ever been. Based on a Spring 2017 survey done by the American College Health Association 60.8 percent of college students said they felt overwhelming anxiety in the last year. This was nearly a 10 percent increase from the assessment back in 2008 and a 3 percent increase just from the previous year. In the last decade, anxiety has surpassed depression as the No. 1 reason college students seek professional help or counseling. The trend remains the same at the University of Arizona, according to student surveys administered at the University Campus Health Services. Anxiety was listed as student’s top concern with depression following as a second in an annual self-reporting survey. Leslie Ralph, a psychologist at Counseling and Psych Services at the University of Arizona, said social media and the...

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Unwanted horses of the West

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  President Trump’s 2018 appropriations bill suggests changing a 1971 act of Congress protecting wild horses from slaughter, and cuts the Wild Horse and Burro program by 12 percent. If passed, it will allow for the unlimited sale and slaughter of these American icons of the West. Wild horses are protected by an act of Congress from 1971, deeming them “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “enrich the lives of the American people.” Yet, the U.S. government is rounding them up by the thousands and holding them on government storage lands, and spending millions to do it. The biggest opponent of wild horses is livestock farmers, who want them to stop grazing on the public lands so their cattle and sheep will have more grass to eat. The Bureau of Land Management spent over...

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For Native Americans, racism hits home

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  After over 500 years of broken treaties and forceful domination from European settlers and the U.S. government, Native Americans in Arizona today still face racism in the most intimate part of their religion and identity: their home. Today, a border wall, a copper mine and a reversal of the previous administration’s policies are a few examples of recent federal threats to the sacred native land and way of life. OAK FLAT: “All we have left is our spirit and how it ties to the earth,” said Wendsler Nosie Sr., a 65-year-old former councilman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. “We have to migrate back (to Oak Flat) regardless of what the federal government says or what anyone says. It’s rooted in our songs, our language, and the way we are every day.” Native lands in the U.S. have...

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Blacks, Latinos face heftier prison time

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Nationwide, for every one white person imprisoned, roughly five black people are, according to the Sentencing Project. In Arizona, those ratios are similar for African Americans, with Hispanics being imprisoned roughly twice as much as whites. Yet, the U.S. Census Bureau’s data show that black people only take up about 5 percent of the total population of the state and Hispanic or Latino people make up about 31 percent. In a report by the American Civil Liberties Union, “Black and Latino offenders sentenced in state and federal courts face significantly greater odds of incarceration than similarly situated white offenders.” Additionally, in some jurisdictions, they might “receive longer sentences than their white counterparts.” Ashley Nellis, a senior research analyst of the Sentencing Project, said – in accordance with data for Arizona – the white imprisonment rate per 100,000 people in...

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From fighter pilot to to fighter for justice

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  A military hero. An activist for equal housing and job discrimination. A man who fought for civil rights so valiantly he is now considered to be the Martin Luther King Jr. of Arizona. Lincoln Ragsdale was born July 27, 1926, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His parents, Hartwell and Onlia, were middle-class African-Americans who owned a mortuary passed onto them by Lincoln’s grandfather. After the Ku Klux Klan lynched his uncle, William Ragsdale Jr.,  the family moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma, to start anew. Onlia was the president of the  National Association of Colored Women’s Oklahoma chapter. At separate times, his older brother and cousin served as president of the NAACP in Oklahoma. In 1945, Lincoln broke the glass ceiling when he trained to become a Tuskegee Airman at the Tuskegee Army Air Corps Field in Alabama. This program was the...

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A message to this generation: Get bored

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BUZZZZZ. Alarm goes off. Check emails. Get dressed. Check Twitter. Eat breakfast. Scroll through Instagram. Technology disrupts and controls thinking. It has created a need to be connected, and scientists say this generation has a problem; there is a benefit to being bored. Whether it is to avoid awkward elevator rides, seek information about the news, or look at the latest posts from family and friends, social media is turning into an avid routine for many people. This is a generation that does not know how to be bored. According to experts, 7 in 10 Americans use social media and spend over seven hours on their smartphones. Every. Single. Day. Experts say not being bored is interrupting creativity, memories and productivity. Excessive social media use is detrimental to not only our relationships, but our physical and mental health. Sitting...

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