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Local trumpet player has big Grammys moment

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  The 59th Annual Grammy Awards welcomed a sound of Tucson. Miranda Agnew, a University High School senior, played a solo on the Grammy stage in front of a star-studded audience and 26 million viewers. Agnew, who was picked to be a part of the Grammy High School Band after sending in an audition, was selected to play a solo snippet of “America the Beautiful” on her trumpet. “It took a long time for the reality of what I was going to do to actually sink in,” Agnew said. “It took a lot of mental processing to prepare myself, but at the end of the week I was like “’OK, I can do this.”’ As she took the stage, Agnew admits she felt intimidated, but she found a method to calm her nerves. “I tried to not think about...

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Immigrant possessions disappear during deportation

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On a warm day in September, a young man sits in a soup kitchen on the Mexican side of Nogales. He has just been deported from the United States without his belongings. Here at the comedor, he is surrounded by more than 30 others who have also been deported and are in need of assistance to get home. Luis, who was only willing to give his first name, is 24 years old and unsure of what awaits him when he returns to his hometown. Still wearing the identifiable prison release uniform, a light blue shirt and blue jean pants, Luis just finished serving almost 16 months in an Arizona prison. When he was released from detention and returned to Mexico, Luis was missing two smart phones, clothing, $200 and his Mexican identification card. The only money available to him...

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Why men often die earlier than women

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Death visits men before women. Men, on average, die about five years earlier than women. Men’s behavior plays a huge role in why they tend to die younger, said Ronald Levant, a professor of psychology at the University of Akron in Ohio. Some men who endorse and conform to “traditional masculine norms” have higher mortality rates. These norms include avoiding all things feminine, restricting the expression of emotions, dominance, extreme self-reliance and toughness. These “traditional” men also place a great deal of importance on sexuality and tend to have negative attitudes toward sexual minorities, Levant said. “The norms of masculinity are something every boy and man in our society has to contend with because they are out there, they are promoted,” he said. Baron Rogers, a Ph.D. psychology student at the University of Akron, recently completed a research study on African...

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Tucson based company has new home for exploring space

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By late 2018 Tucson-based World View Enterprises plans to fulfill the dreams of many by sending people into space.  World View Enterprises, a private company, is the only near-space exploration company in Arizona. For $75,000 customers will be taken to an altitude of roughly 100,000 feet, and stay up there for hours before gently coming back down. Andrew Antonio, director of marketing and communications for World View Enterprises, made it clear that the timeline to get people into space is fluid. “It’s hard to commit to a specific date for obvious reasons – safety is our No. 1 priority and we’re doing something that’s never been done before, which requires a lot of great research and development and learning along the way,” Antonio said. Initial plans from World View had the company sending customers up by 2017. “We won’t rush...

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Will wall stop resilient San Pedro River from crossing the border?

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The mighty San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona and Northern Mexico has survived droughts, floods, fires and wars, but will the Trump Administration’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border threaten one of the last undammed rivers in the United States? The river flows north out of Mexico and across the border into the United States near Hereford. The river has a rich cultural, ecological and historical record, and is the lifeblood to the small communities that have sprouted up along its banks. It also impacts a riparian area that is home to more than 250 migratory birds and more than 100 species of breeding birds, including the yellow-billed cuckoo. The riparian area of the San Pedro is also home to 84 species of mammals such as jaguars, coatimundi, beavers and bats. It is here in Southern Arizona where concerns...

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Casa Mariposa restores broken lives

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In a quaint house west of downtown Tucson thrives a local intentional community dedicated to helping the voiceless and fighting injustice in the wake of immigration reform. The movement, initially known as The Restoration Project, began almost a year after a group of people met at a Sitting Tree community gathering in May 2008. After talking, they realized they share the same vision of living peacefully. Eight years later, the project has evolved into Casa Mariposa, a community known for its welcome arms, open doors and don’t-ask policy pertaining to the work of immigration and the U.S. Mexico border. The focus of the community lies in “helping those who are stuck in the web of immigration,” said John Heid, a long-term core member. Heid has roots in social work since 1984 when he first began his community involvement. He...

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Arizonans share harm of racial profiling

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Racial profiling happens. It happens inside a classroom, at the market and in the streets. And to those to whom it happens, the hurt is real. Here are five stories. Chelsea Kiki With her husband driving, and the brand-new scent of the car freshener coming from the little tree hanging inside their car, Chelsea Kiki and her husband were having a quiet drive on the freeway. Chelsea Kiki, 25, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and is African American. She is from San Francisco and raises funds for the Arizona Charity Foundation. Kiki and her husband were on their way to Phoenix. She knew they were going the speed limit with their seat belts on. She was surprised when a policeman pulled them over. “They told my husband to get out of the car and took him to the squad car,” she said....

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Legislative Roundup: A retired justice, minimum wage and drunken hair cuts

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  PHOENIX – On Wednesday this week, Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Glendale, brought former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to the Arizona State Senate to speak about civics. Yee pointed out that O’Connor was the first female senate majority leader. Some 40 years later, Yee is the second. O’Connor also visited the Arizona House of Representatives later that day. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, introduced her guest on Wednesday as well: former state senator and minority leader Alfredo Gutierrez. Later on Wednesday, over at the House of Representatives, Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Dist 6, gave a pretty weird apology on the House floor. In the beginning of the session, he publicly apologized for his treatment of a fellow lawmaker, saying “I overstepped my authority.” He didn’t name who he over stepped his authority with, but he asked Rep. Isela...

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Legislative roundup: Women, fake news and money

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PHOENIX – Wednesday was International Women’s Day and it was clear across the capitol who supported it and who didn’t. Some women across the world took the day to strike, wear red and blue, or not buy anything, while others kept their nose to the ground. Women packed both the House and Senate galleries. #AZLeg House gallery is packed with women for #InternationalWomensDay! #WomeninBlue pic.twitter.com/cNEdqvJRbb — Athena Salman (@athenasalman) March 8, 2017 The strike was labeled “A Day Without Women” and plenty of protestors shared their stories . Fake News On Monday, the House Education Committee met to vote on Senate Bill 1384. The bill passed through the Senate, committees included, without a single vote against it. And then it went to the House. Discussion got pretty heated as a bill aimed to expand Freedom of the Press protections for student journalists at...

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Lack of pay for Arizona teachers problematic

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  A decrease in teachers and shortage of money will have an impact in Cochise County as retention rates continue to plummet in Arizona. The state hosts a myriad of poor working conditions for teachers, ranking in the bottom five in the following categories nationwide, according to a statistical analysis by Wallethub: Lowest annual salary, fewest teachers per student and lowest public school spending — all with an overall ranking of 48th, ahead of only West Virginia and Hawai’i. About a half-million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year — attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually — according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. The high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure all students have access to skilled teaching, the Alliance report says. The cost to...

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