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Odyssey builds connections through storytelling

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Five months ago, college student Aly Cruz was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a virus with an unknown cause that will weaken or even paralyze the muscles in her face. “I was unable to move the left side of my face; it was entirely paralyzed. I couldn’t talk or smile, I felt lost and displaced. As all of this happened during finals week, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally destroyed,” said Cruz. Over the months Cruz regained control and strength in her face. However, it took more time and one specific organization for her emotional turmoil of this virus to heal. Cruz shared her personal story at the Odyssey. Thirteen years ago, Penelope Starr, a local advocate for sharing the importance of storytelling, created the nonprofit organization, Odyssey Storytelling. According to Starr, Odyssey works on a personal level; it is about being...

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Annual mineral show keeps Tucson glittery

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Ancient skulls, a 100-ounce gold crystal, vibrant rubies, and a couple thousand unique minerals are enticing 55,000 people from across the globe to travel to the city of Tucson. It’s that time of year again, as the annual Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase, the largest event of its kind, is in full swing throughout the city, and benefiting Tucson immensely. With tourism peaking in Arizona during the winter months, out-of-town guests largely contribute and spend their money at Tucson’s hotels, restaurants and sustain jobs for many. “It’s a massive economic boom to our community,” said Andy Squire, economic development specialist for the City of Tucson, and the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show liaison. “These two weeks are the biggest part of the year for us in Tucson.” Each year, the number of vendors, buyers, tourists and economic revenue...

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