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Fence talkers break down the border barrier

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Along the border in Nogales through a worn out metal fence with holes smaller than pennies, Joanna Celaya sees her brother for the first time in three years. They talk, share stories of their lives for several hours. Here along the border in Nogales are the fence talkers people who come to share love with their families, people whom immigration laws in the U.S. separate. “It is hard to see your loved one through a fence after not seeing her for three years,” says Adan Celaya. “I wanted to hug her and kiss her but I couldn’t.” According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), more than 400,000 undocumented people were deported in 2012. Adan was one of them. This fence is their only hope to be together. But, they are not alone. From the Rio Grande to...

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Hermosillo redefines Sonoran cuisine

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Roughly 67 miles from the Gulf of California, surrounded by rocky hills and lush greenery sits Hermosillo, Sonoran’s thriving food scene. Visitors walking along the cobblestone streets discover creamy white cathedrals in the distance offset by crumbling buildings strewn with colorful murals and artwork.Busy city streets wind around the center of the city where the air is thick and smells of charred meat and spices. Rotisserie chickens spin on large metal contraptions, colorful fruit line wooden stands, and fresh cheese wheels are sold on the corner. Hermosillo has developed a rich personality that combines a long history of cattle ranching, the desolate Sonoran desert, and strategic agriculture. Progressive chefs and street food vendors have redefined Sonoran cuisine by integrating new techniques and cultural fusions. Sonora is best known for its various cuts of beef, with over 80 percent of...

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Tohono O’odham Basketry: One of Sells’ richest preserved traditions

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It can take Terrol Dew Johnson a year to make a basket. There are many reasons for that. He must harvest and prepare the fibers, and then plan the intricate designs that adhere to the rich history of basket weaving in the Tohono O’odham nation. The time that goes into making each basket varies by size and intricacy of the design. Johnson says that a smaller split stitch basket takes him about four hours to make whereas a larger close stitch basket can take up to weeks or even months. The Nation’s culture is revitalized through Johnson’s Tohono O’odham Community Action co-op with the numerous events and workshops it offers. Basket weaving is a large component in Tohono O’odham culture and Johnson, the CEO and president of Tohono O’odham Community Action or TOCA, is a contemporary basket weaver himself....

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Poor Mexican gas quality myth debunked

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Nogales, Sonora — Victor Carrasco, a personal trainer from Nogales, Sonora, commutes to sister city Nogales, Arizona, to buy gasoline for his Chevrolet Silverado. “The gasoline in Mexico is not good because it ruins cars,” Carrasco said. “I prefer American gasoline because of its quality and durability.” Carrasco isn’t the only person from Mexico who takes the time to cross the border to gas up. Carlos Ochoa, a gas station attendant at a PEMEX gas station in Sonora has had customers comment on Mexico’s low quality gasoline. “Some say that the quality doesn’t last and that the price is too high,” Ochoa said. “We do sell gasoline cheaper here than in the southern parts of the country. Those who can cross to the United States prefer to pump gas over there.” While the perception by some that U.S. gas...

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Mexican border centers give migrants resting place

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NOGALES, Sonora –  Within the Albergue para Migrantes San Juan Bosco, adorned by Virgin Mary shrines and migrant-rights posters, hides rows of bunk beds filled with migrants resting after their journeys to and from the United States. Since 1982, Juan Francisco Loureiro and his wife, Gilda, have provided food, shelter and clothing to thousands of people headed to the United States, or sent packing after deportation. They have heard the same stories, like that of Arturo Palomino. “It is very painful to think that a border is what separates me from being with my children but I respect the law of the United States,” said Palomino, a 56-year-old Hermosillo-native who was deported November of 2008 for not renewing his permanent resident card. After residing with his brother in Hermosillo for the last seven years, Palomino returned to Nogales, Sonora,...

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Immigrant Deaths in the Desert on the Decline in AZ

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Much of the Arizona Sonora Desert is a desolate region that is filled with desperation and little hope. Despite the lack of promise in much of the desert, people continue to cross illegally in search of hope, opportunity and stability in the United States. For years, people from all over the world particularly Latin America, have endured the risky and dangerous journey of illegally crossing the border and have died in their search for a better life. Recently, the number of immigrant deaths in the Arizona Sonora Desert has been on a steady decline. But while the number of immigrant deaths has gone down, that doesn’t mean people aren’t still crossing the border.  “I have seen the number of immigrant bodies discovered in the desert continue to drop slowly even though the flow of immigration has not stopped,” said Pima...

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Tombstone dad gets his big break

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Lincoln Leavere has worked as a single dad, tour guide, bartender, construction worker, performer, and is now well on his way to becoming a well-known television actor across the nation with his new mini series Legends & Lies. Leavere, 37, was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. After a short vacation to Tombstone in 1998, he later made the move with his family and never looked back. Currently, he is a performer at Helldorado Town in Tombstone and does several shows per week. Leavere’s natural charm and charisma with other people has always been meant for show business, which is part of the reason why acting has come so natural to him. “Some people are good with people and some aren’t good with people, and I’ve just always had a natural way of talking to people I guess.” said...

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Dreamers plight to attain the American dream

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Every year roughly 65,000 children who are undocumented citizens, but safe from deportation, graduate from high schools in the United States. Of these 65,000 students, only around five to 10 percent continue on to college, according to the Immigration Policy Center. In contrast, close to 3.3 million total students are expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this may, and of those, an estimated 66 percent will continue on to attend college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. These undocumented resident  have become known colloquially as DREAMers. They were brought to the United States at a young age, and protected from deportation by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. There are an estimated 21,000 students in Arizona that qualify as DREAMers, making it the sixth state most populated by DREAMers. Many people find the...

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Rabies outbreak slows in Southern Arizona

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After nearly one year of being confined to 6-foot leashes and fenced-in yards, dogs in southern Arizona may soon be able to run free without fear for rabies. A surprise outbreak led Santa Cruz County to issue a rabies quarantine in April 2014 to prevent dogs and other pets from interacting with rabid skunks, the main carriers of the disease in that area. The quarantine has been extended through April this year, but the number of rabid skunks appears to be in decline, said Lt. Jose L. Peña Jr., supervisor at the Santa Cruz County Animal Care and Control in Nogales, Arizona. “Since February, it’s slowed down tremendously,” he said. The quarantine is not likely to continue beyond that, he said. Under the quarantine, dog owners must keep their pets vaccinated, leashed and in fenced yards or buildings to avoid...

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Safety issues bring the party back across the border

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Amanda Moreno, 21, has lived in Douglas since she was born. Three years ago, she made the move to Tucson to pursue her education at the University of Arizona.  Growing up in high school, Moreno remembers the party scene in Douglas being across the border, in Agua Prieta. Most people in high school enjoyed crossing the border on weekend nights because of the legal drinking age of 18.  “Back in the day, the Douglas party scene was mainly huge in Agua Prieta since it provided the full force party scene whereas you were restricted in Douglas,” Moreno said. The party scene has now shifted back across the border.  Recently, Agua Prieta became an even more dangerous destination to go out, have a few drinks and dance the night away.  In January 2014, shootings in the streets of Agua Prieta...

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