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UA’s packaged-food labeling incorrect

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The saying “You are what you eat” only applies when you know what you are eating. If you buy food from the University of Arizona under its “Red & Blue Market” label, you can never be certain. That’s because the nutritional labeling – required by the Food and Drug Administration on every piece of packaged food – is commonly incorrect. Calorie content can be absurdly high, or the entries in the “percent daily value” section could be a significant part of a day’s recommended sugar intake – in one plastic cup of fruit. A small package of dried fruit and nuts claims to contain over 400 calories, with 25.1 grams of fat. A container of carrots, celery, and peanut butter is listed as having 616 calories, 50 grams of fat, and 25 grams of protein – despite having only...

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‘Pickle suits’ and putting on the gun

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NOGALES, Ariz — They wear “pickle suits,” ride horses, and read books to elementary schoolers. Being pelted with rocks is a daily hazard, as is occasionally being shot at. Make no mistake — being a part of the Border Patrol is not an easy job. On one hand, it’s hours of sitting in a car, watching a section of the border. On the other, it is dealing with potentially dangerous situations involving drug runners or heartbreaking scenes of desperate families in peril. This double-edged sword is just one facet of a deeply complex institution that guards nearly 2,000 miles of border between the United States and México. Hot-button issues such as immigration or the war on drugs, so commonly spoken about on the national stage, are a fact of life for olive-uniformed agents walking the fence or trudging through the desert. Agents...

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Cascabel rejects development

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CASCABEL —  A proposed residential community would mean big business for Benson but the people living north along the San Pedro River in Cascabelwant none of it. The Villages at Vigneto, sited just south of Benson, would potentially boost the population of the small town of 5,000 people to over 70,000 in the space of 20 to 25 years. The development has come under fire for the potential damage it could cause to the water resources of the area, chiefly to the San Pedro River and the habitats that rely on it. For the people living north of the city like Anna Lands and Alex Binford-Walsh, it means so much more than that. “We are really going to get squeezed,” said Lands. “The people from there are going to want to come here.” The area around Cascabel is very...

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House development challenges Benson, San Pedro River

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BENSON — The future of the 70,000-person residential community Villages at Vigneto lives or dies on a single decision by the Army Corps of Engineers, potentially dooming the San Pedro River or reversing the fortunes of Benson.  However, not a single person lives in the community, because it doesn’t exist just yet and the San Pedro and Benson are dependent on one big “if.” That “if” reaches much farther than the just the city limits or banks of the river, as this development south of Benson would make it the largest city in Cochise County and transform the area from a sleepy, rural county to Arizona’s newest housing goldmine. For those who see a change in fortune, it is a huge boon. For those who appreciate the status quo, it’s a travesty. The crux of the issue lies underground....

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A wall being built in Naco’s backyard stirs up emotions

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NACO, Arizona — Sonia Urcadez woke up one October morning to the sound of cement trucks lining the street in front of her house, kicking up clouds of dust that obscured the sunrise and her view of the San José Mountains.  It was 6 a.m., and 100 feet from her door, construction on a new border fence had just begun. The U.S. Border Patrol announced in January that the section of border fence in Naco will be replaced with a more modern barrier by June. That announcement was months overdue for the residents of Naco, who had been living with the disruptive construction since last October. Cement trucks and construction workers had been coming and going seven days a week as they prepared the work site for the removal of the old fence and the replacement of the new. Nobody living...

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