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Jay Johnson, Baseball ‘Cats dreaming of another College World Series run

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When Jay Johnson became University of  Arizona’s baseball coach, it was like being named the manager of the New York Yankees. Johnson replaced Andy Lopez as head coach after the 2015 season, and immediate success followed in 2016. After a national championship in 2012, Arizona missed out on the NCAA tournament three years in a row. In 2014 and 2015, they were 9-21 and 12-18 in Pac-12 play, finishing in 10th and 8th respectively. In 2016 with Johnson, the ‘Cats finished third in the conference, and found themselves in the College World Series. “When I took the job, I never really looked at it in a time line or time table,” Johnson said. “We took the approach that we were going to build these first few teams one year at a time, make that team as good as it possibly could be and...

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Sunset days of Cowboy Keeylocko

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                    Ed Keeylocko, 85, is living his legend of the Wild West. With cactus green eyes, red hair and black skin, Keeylocko is a minority of minorities, but he never let this stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a cattle rancher in the Southwest. Forty-four miles outside of Tucson is the 80-acre ranch run by the man who calls himself Cowboy Keeylocko. He lives in Cowtown Keeylocko, a running cattle ranch that he built in the 1970s. At the age of 14 his adoptive mother kicked him out of his South Carolina home, so he spent several years roaming the countryside. He enlisted in the Army and served 23 years fighting in Korea and Vietnam. Afterward, he attended the University of Arizona, where he studied agriculture. He didn’t end up...

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UA explores medicine through simulation

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The Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center might seem like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. However, the disembodied limbs and strange technology lying around the lab is not used to make monsters, but rather to train medical students. The Lab, known as ASTEC on the University of Arizona Campus, provides simulated environments in which undergraduate and medical students can learn routine medical procedures. Simulation labs at universities have become a popular way to teach medicine over the last 10-15 years. ASTEC opened in 2005, when Dr. Allan Hamilton turned his neurosurgery laboratory into a simulation center. “We can do anything here. We can dial up our simulations to the most sophisticated trauma case that you would find, all the way down to something as simple as someone coming in with asthma,” said David Biffar, director of operations at ASTEC. What makes...

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Local muralist paints Tucson brighter

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  Joe Pagac, a local fine artist, has been providing the Tucson community with street art for the past 14 years. Pagac found his calling in art during his sophomore year at the University of Arizona after taking an introductory drawing class. “Once I graduated I just put an ad ‘artist for hire’ in the newspaper and people started calling me and I started getting jobs and was able to quit doing anything else about three months out of college.” Now, he makes a living as a full-time artist. His work includes live paintings during events, book illustrations and three-dimensional pieces. But his murals steal the spotlight. His canvasses include downtown buildings, the Rialto Theatre, where he paints a new mural on the side of the building every two to three weeks, restaurants and bars and churches. Pagac focuses...

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The Art of Following your Dreams

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Go to college, major in a practical field, get a job, contribute to society, rinse and repeat. It’s the norm, but some know there’s more to life than following the paved road. Today these risk takers are dreamers, those who follow their passions and are faced with straying from the comfortable in order to reach their destination. Angelina Elias, a film and television major, was stuck between pleasing her mother and going for what she wants. Starting off as an English major, the path of study her mother wanted for her, she later switched to astronomy with a film minor, eventually making her way into film full time with a minor in marketing. “At the end of the day I told her I wanted to do film. She was furious but she only allowed me to do it because...

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Geeking out for Quidditch

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From the pages of the Harry Potter novels to campus recreation fields, the University of Arizona Quidditch team is turning wizarding geeks into jocks. The mythical game has evolved into a full contact sport sweeping across college campuses. Quidditch, founded in 2005 at Middlebury College, is a full contact sport that combines elements of rugby, soccer and  tag. “It’s more of a sport, I have always been a fan of flag football and two-hand touch, but this is a mix of everything I like to play. I feel like it doesn’t even feel like you are doing something Harry Potter,” said Lili Vu, UA quidditch team member. Just like the Harry Potter narrative, seven players hover over a broomstick across the playing field in efforts to score goals through the enemy hoops, while simultaneously trying to catch the golden...

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Mexican candy cravings in Tucson

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Tucson is home to not only popular American snacks but also candies that have crossed over from the Mexican border. Being in such a close proximity to the border, there are many Americans of Hispanic descent who miss their basic candy from Mexico. Dulceria Funland’s neon multicolored sign, on W. Irvington Road, can be seen from the street and easily attracts attention. The candy store originally started as a party rental store but soon expanded with its success. They sell a wide variety of candies such as Paleta, marshmallow lollipops covered in chocolate, Pelon Pelo Rico, tamarind-flavored candy, and various pinatas filled with assortments of smaller candies. “The most popular candies sold here are Duvalin,” strawberry, hazelnut and vanilla milk cream candy, “and Pulparindo,” candy made from the pulp of a tamarind fruit, says Julessa Garica, a worker at the Dulceria....

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Take the backroad to Vegas

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There are two types of people in this world, those who try to get to their final destination as soon as possible, and those who take the backroads, enjoying what these tiny detours have to offer such as unusual tours, quick snacks, or even maybe a visit to an alpaca farm. The six-hour long road trip from Tucson to Las Vegas can be boring and uneventful, so, take the backroads and discover some authentic Arizona. Take U.S. 93. You pick it up after some meandering outside of Phoenix by following U.S. 60. Continue that trek about 65 miles until you come across a tiny little roundabout in the middle of this small, 6,000-person cowboy town, Wickenburg. Rancho Rio is the perfect place to stretch your legs and explore. The ranch hosts a multitude of equestrian events and is home to...

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Taking inventory of your skin

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This year alone, there will be over 1,400 newly diagnosed cases of skin cancer in Arizona. According to a National Cancer Institute study, the rates of cancer are overall going down, except for skin cancer. There are two categories of skin cancer: melanoma and nonmelanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer includes Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and approximately 80% of cases go unreported. There is an increasing trend of skin cancer in young people. For woman ages 15-29, melanoma is the second most common form of cancer. Deadly skin cancer cases have risen 50 percent, in the past 10 years, in Arizona. And non- invasive skin cancer cases have doubled in the past 10 years. Lisa Quale is the Senior Health Educator at the University...

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Jacqui Clay is changing the game on education

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    Education may not be perceived as a business, but with statewide funding an issue, Cochise County Schools Superintendent Jacqui Clay is attacking academics with a new approach toward pushing southeast schools into the 21st century. How is she doing that? By approaching education in economical terms, boosting the local gross domestic product. Clay is visiting schools, businesses and people in the community in order to share her vision of what Cochise County could be:  a system that is economically independent for all students and that instills economic success for the county. “I am going on listening tours and I sit and listen to find out what I can do for you,” Clay said. “I am really here to get on the floor with the kids, to find out how you’re feeling, to talk to the principal, what’s going on, what...

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