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Hayden sees its dying days

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It’s not a ghost town, but it feels like one. The streets of Hayden, Arizona, are lined with boarded-up businesses — Grimebusters Laundry, Casa Rivera Restaurant, an appliance store — and abandoned schools. Crumbling churches have “for sale” signs nailed to the doors, their crosses still beckoning worshippers for prayer. Traffic signs, symbols and road markings are rare. The Rex Theater hasn’t shown a movie since 1979. The foundations of former homes are charred pits, burned to the dusty ground with nothing salvageable to find in the rubble. If the wind could carry whispers from the past, what would Hayden have sounded like? Today, Hayden is quiet. Noises from the copper smelter chink and clang in the distance.                 Founded in 1911, Hayden was a company town owned by the Kennecott Copper...

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Bordering 110°: Stories from Mexico to Canada along the 110th meridian

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  The US-Mexico border will play a key role in local, national and international geopolitics in 2017, just as it did during the 2016 presidential campaign. Yet, the US-Canada border, which is more than twice the length of the southern border is often left out of the political and media landscapes. Reported and produced by University of Arizona journalism students, this project explores and investigates the relationship between two key points along the country’s southern and northern borders. Bordering 110 degrees focuses on the people who live along the longitudinal line known as the 110th meridian – that runs through Ambos Nogales (Nogales, Ariz. /Nogales, Sonora), crosses north through the United States, and 1534 miles away continues through the community of Sweet Grass, Mont., and into Coutts, Alberta, Canada. The communities of Ambos Nogales and Sweet Grass/Coutts represent two...

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Two Douglas district school teachers win at teacher of the year awards

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It isn’t often that a career change destines you for greatness, but such was the case for Gemma German as she redirected life from nursing to Cochise County teacher of the year during a ceremony held at Thunder Mountain Activity Center on Fort Huachuca Army Base. The ceremony recognized teachers from all over Cochise County. The three categories recognized were elementary, middle school and high school, with an overall winner selected from the three category winners. German was the second winner from the Douglas Unified School District on the evening. After changing her career path from the medical profession, German has found a home.  She spent the last five years at Paul Huber Middle School in the same classroom, relating to the students and feels that is one of the only way to be effective when teaching. “I feel...

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Career and technical schools thrive despite cutbacks

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The stigma that comes with schools formerly known as vocational and that they are known for being a last resort for kids couldn’t be further from the truth because of schools like Andrada Polytechnic High School in Vail, Arizona, and teachers like Lisa Blanchard. Andrada Polytechnic High School isn’t a standard public high school. The school is a career and technical educational high school, the first step in shedding the vocational moniker. It is an institution that focuses on preparing kids for the future in a concentrated environment. It is a place for any kid that knows what professional area they’d like to focus on after high school. Over 98,000 kids were enrolled in CTE schools last year in Arizona in programs that offer nursing, law and public safety, mental and social health, network technology and pharmacy support services. Some 2600 of those reside within Cochise...

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Arizona prepared if water shortages hit

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If Arizona runs short of water, it has a plan. As one of the driest states in the country, it has been suffering from droughts for centuries. “Here in Arizona, we store water underground for future use. We have what’s called the Arizona Water Banking Authority,” said Michelle Moreno, public information officer at the Arizona at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, or ADWR. “Let’s say there is a shortage declaration on the Colorado River. We have the option of tapping into the water that we’ve stored underground so that we’re not without water.” The state uses an estimated 2.4 trillion gallons of water annually and much work goes into controlling and monitoring it. Arizona gets it water from different areas, ADWR research shows, including the Colorado River (39 percent), groundwater (40 percent), surface waters such as the Salt River and Lake Mead (19...

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Boothill’s micro charge packs macro impact

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There are many items that can be purchased for $3. Three Arizona Iced Teas, a couple of lighters or maybe even a pair of Polar Pops from Circle K, but you will need $3 now to visit Boothill Graveyard. Who wouldn’t want to spend lunch money to see the headstones of the McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton who were shot in the O.K. Corral shooting in 1881?  Row-by-row—seven to be precise, are some of the most well-known and unknown figures of Tombstone history and with the cemetery on the outskirts of downtown, it is the first attraction tourists see when visiting. Boothill used to operate on donation fees and wasn’t operated by the city, but by the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce. On March 14, the city took over Boothill, built a guardhouse and demanded a $3 entry.  “We went through our legal counsel and...

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Top 10 Western Towns: Not Tombstone

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Yet again, Tombstone failed to make the list of  Top 10 of True Western Towns. True West Magazine released the 11th annual ranking of Western towns for 2016 for how each town preserves its Old West History. Lubbock, Texas, snagged the title of No. 1 spot. The rankings were published each year since 2006. Tombstone made the list once at No. 9 in 2014. So, why does the town that champions itself as the epitome of western history not get ranked? Executive Editor Bob “Boze” Bell says it because the town never bothered to submit its case to the magazine. He said editors would just shake their heads while looking through submissions and  asked, “Where’s Tombstone?” Bell said one reason Tombstone did not make previous rankings is due  to factions within the town that fight each other and negate what the...

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Will millennials ruin Wild West tourist towns like Tombstone?

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Tombstone could face some trouble over the next few years as Wild West loving generations age out and millennials take over. Millennials don’t enjoy the same activities as their parents and grandparents once did, and Wild West culture is an example of that.  Tombstone lacks the technological advances that younger generations crave in order to spend their time and money there.  The town’s website isn’t flashy, its social media presence is lacking and the town lacks a strong WiFi connection for millennials to use cell phones that has emerged as a staple item for young adults. But will all that change as Tombstone puts more work into marketing to these younger generations? Glenn Schlottman is the chief of marketing for Arizona State Parks. And while only the courthouse in Tombstone is listed as a state park, his goal is...

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Protest movements wither slowly

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Following President Trump’s inauguration in January, protesters flocked to the streets in droves, their shouts deafening amid the political turmoil. Now, those voices have dimmed to a whisper. Experts conclude that this phenomenon isn’t all that rare ­­– rather, it’s to be expected. Social movements, and in particular protests, are a peculiar animal. In order to sustain long enough to achieve their goals, several things need to fall into place, experts say. The social movements they are tied to need to be delicately handled, and more often than not, a lack of sustainability and adaptability is their downfall. In essence, they breed complacency rather than legitimate change, and that is what is occurring throughout Arizona. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, head of sociology at VU University in Amsterdam, touched on this happening. “What you see in general, is that there are not...

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Mescal: Old West film site sets stage for nearly 50 years

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MESCAL — For those touring this dusty main street lined with a jail, saloon and “cowboy cafe,” it’s easy to envision western film greats propped up against one of the worn structures, rehearsing lines or taking cues from a director. Tour guide Frank Brown, 81, looks like he just walked off a movie set. He wears pinstriped trousers and a paisley-printed shirt tucked beneath a button-up vest. A coal-black bandana wraps around his neck and a beige, low-crowned cowboy hat sits atop his head. A gun holster, sheriff’s badge and circular eyeglasses are his outfit’s finishing touches. As he answers questions from the tour group’s film buffs, Brown informs that he has appeared in quite a few movies shot at this location, just west of Benson off Interstate 10. His appreciation for the place is apparent. “It’s become a thing that...

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