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Unwanted horses of the West

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  President Trump’s 2018 appropriations bill suggests changing a 1971 act of Congress protecting wild horses from slaughter, and cuts the Wild Horse and Burro program by 12 percent. If passed, it will allow for the unlimited sale and slaughter of these American icons of the West. Wild horses are protected by an act of Congress from 1971, deeming them “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “enrich the lives of the American people.” Yet, the U.S. government is rounding them up by the thousands and holding them on government storage lands, and spending millions to do it. The biggest opponent of wild horses is livestock farmers, who want them to stop grazing on the public lands so their cattle and sheep will have more grass to eat. The Bureau of Land Management spent over...

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UA Museum of Art collection is priceless

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  In a building that can take you around the world and through time within hours, the permanent collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art Archive of Visual Arts strategically begins to build one-of-a-kind exhibitions each year. The UA Museum of Art is the permanent home to over 6,000 pieces, from paintings, photographs, sculptures, and more. This does not include the archive collection, which consists of letters, papers, sketchbooks, and other things that were a part of the artistic process. With the permanent collection, the archive collection, and pieces on loan, the creation of the exhibitions begins. The first exhibition occurred in 1924; created by UA professor Katherine Kitt, who is also the founder of the UA Art Department. That year, C. Leonard Pfeiffer promised to give his art collection to UA, and from there, the collection...

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Bright flames cause rude awakening for city of Bisbee

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The City of Bisbee experienced a rude awakening on the morning of Oct. 11 as the town’s City Hall became incinerated in flames, but the historical documents within should be preservable, authorities said. Bisbee Police Chief Albert Echave confirmed that no historical or major project information was damaged in the fire.  “We were actually able to get into the vault and it does look like a lot of that stuff is still intact, might be a little wet, so there’s going to be some process that we will go through to preserve that stuff but it was not destroyed in the fire,” Echave said. The fire started around 1 a.m., with  Bisbee Fire Department being the first to arrive, and was later assisted by firefighters from other departments. Douglas, Palominas, Fry, San Jose, Whetstone, Sunnyside Fire departments helped exterminate...

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Glenn’s War

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SIERRA VISTA — Glenn Spencer is a general fighting a one-man war. It’s a war that, according to him, the American government doesn’t want but one he is duty-bound to wage.  His battlefield is the border and his soldiers are drones, guided by seismographs. His is an almost-fanatical drive to develop a cheaper, more-secure system to “lock down” the U.S. – Mexican borderland. Spencer’s enemies are elusive, wily, and to him, alien. They are Latino border crossers, and whether they are children fleeing conflict, families seeking a better life, or suspected drug smugglers makes no difference. Spencer believes they constitute a threat large enough to warrant years of his life struggling to combat. Fifteen years into the project, Spencer spends his time fine-tuning a drone system capable of snaring crossers. He claims his combative stance and skepticism about the...

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Oldest saloon in Arizona receives a makeover

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Outside and patio dining is becoming a new amenity in Tombstone, Arizona. Kim Herrig, owner of the Crystal Palace Saloon has known since taking over the saloon in 2002 that this was the perfect addition to the historical building. The Crystal Palace will be the only restaurant/bar in Tombstone to have outdoor and rooftop dining. The renovations being made will bring in more revenue, a second floor and deck is being added to the saloon. Construction began in June 2017, starting with the replacement of support beams. All construction should be finished by Thanksgiving, the 16-foot high ceilings make for extra difficulty with placing the mezzanine outside. The Crystal Palace will be the first restaurant/bar in Tombstone to have outdoor and rooftop dining. A second floor and deck is being added to the saloon. In June of this year...

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Vigilante justice paves a centuries long history for Tombstone

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A gunfight that happened in less than a minute in Tombstone on Oct. 26, 1881, left the town with an immortalized piece of history, and a place on the map. The shootout between Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, Doc Holliday against Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne became the picture of vigilante justice in the Old West. It became good vs. evil, cowboys vs. the law and a shootout in a soon-to-be washed up silver mining town. News of the shooting at the O.K. Corral reached far beyond the town of Tombstone. This less than a minute of western warfare spurred the potential of Tombstone to evolve into a tourist destination today. “A face down, gunfight between men on both sides, the law and the cowboys, there were very few facedown gunfights in the...

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Hunger persists in Cochise County

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Hunger gnaws at Cochise County citizens more than the average American. The poverty rate in Cochise County is 18.7 percent, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau compared to the national rate of 12.7 percent. This difference makes food banks and aid organizations increasingly important in Cochise County communities.  Walking around the town of Tombstone tourists see horse drawn waggons, wild west saloons and historic gunfight reenactments. They smell country air, dust, and sweet fudge from one of many gift shops, but they might not know that hunger lives here, too. With little opportunity for well paying jobs many in the Tombstone community go hungry. This becomes evident at the end of the town’s famed O.K. Corral gun show when the actor playing Doc Holliday asks for donations for the Starving Actors Fund.  Tombstone Community Food Bank, hidden behind...

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Arizona basketball nets big bucks, players shortchanged

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The University of Arizona profited more than $9.8 million on the play of 13 scholarship basketball players last year. The athletes earned a $36,000 scholarship and $1,500 every month for food and housing. Their work generated $22.7 million of revenue for the university. They received 4 percent. Critics say the pay is paltry and the ongoing under-the-table pay scandal involving Arizona basketball occurred because athletes are not paid a fair wage for their labors. The huge gap between profit and pay resurfaced last month when the FBI revealed a massive payoff scandal in college basketball that ensnared Arizona and three other universities. Payouts for future players with shoe company money — long common knowledge in college basketball — are now seeing the light of day. Scholars and labor experts call for a fair market value system that would end...

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Test scores reflect education inequality in poor areas

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State test scores highlight educational inequality in rural areas with high percentages of poor students. On the 2016-17 AzMERIT test, 39 percent of Arizona students passed the English section of the test. Across the state, students with an economic disadvantage (qualifying for free or reduced lunch) tested nearly 10 percent lower on the AzMERIT test, passing at 28 percent. Homeless students tested almost 20 percent lower than the average; only two out of every 10 homeless students passed the test. As a result, counties with higher percentages of poor students came in further below the statewide average on the test. For example, in La Paz County, where 80 percent of the tested students qualified as disadvantaged, only 22 percent of students passed the exam. Vincent Roscigno, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University who has studied education inequality...

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Suzanne Moody and her 23 year love affair with Chiricahua National Monument

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    Park Ranger Suzanne Moody has lived at Chiricahua National Monument for 23 years, and she finds something new in the park to fall in love with each day. “You would think after working here all these years I would have more than enough photos, but there’s always something slightly different,” Moody said in between snapping pictures, “This is a view I could never get tired of looking at.” Chiricahua National Monument in Wilcox, Ariz., was established by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924 for its unique rock formations and the wide variety of plant and animal species. Per its website, Chiricahua is just under 12,000 acres, and the national monument attracts around 55,000 to 60,000 thousand people each year. The summer after Moody finished her degree in social work, she found an ad in Backpacker magazine for the...

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