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News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

A statue’s hidden story

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A story that began over 30 years ago in Tucson comes back to life today through the personification of a statue. Marge Pellegrino and Marianna Neil wrote “The Sculpture Speaks: A Story of Survival” after they discovered a statue in the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Their story follows events in the 1980s involving the persecution of refugees in the United States. Only their story stemmed from a bronze statue. Artist John Howser created the statue and used refugee Juana as his model. During this time, the government handed down indictments that went after sanctuaries. Because of this, Carmen Duarte of the Arizona Daily Star, shared Juana’s story of her journey from Mexico City to Tucson. This caught the eye of government officials, who began trying to track her down. Juana, at this time, was posing for Howser’s sculpture....

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Guest farm workers do not always understand the rules

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With almost no one in the U.S. willing to work harvest jobs, farms have imported workers via temporary visas, a program widely criticized for the extensive bureaucratic requirements including housing workers. This winter Yuma area farms are expected to produce around 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce and green crops, meaning these farms need to find enough labor to harvest their crops. This year, 77 Arizona worksites requested temporary workers, of those four were denied. A total of 5,676 imported workers have so far worked or will work in Arizona this year. Arizona had six housing violations filed since the beginning of 2016, two of which were the same farm. The housing inspections are conducted by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. G farms was listed among the violators for “job order specification” and “misrepresented terms and conditions of...

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Good Enough Mine back in business

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The recent sale of the Good Enough Mine Tour restores a popular tourist site in Tombstone. The tunnels in the mine go more than 700 feet deep. Andre and Shirley DeJournett purchased the mine in 2003 (Tombstone Consolidated Mines Incorporated)  and recently sold the land for about $299,000. After being on the market since June, the deed was signed over to the new owners late November. A couple from Alabama bought the property. Paul Rahricht, realtor for Tombstone Real Estate, said this is the first purchase for the couple, Patricia and Richard Jones in the town of Tombstone. The couple received a warm welcoming from fellow town members on the Old Tombstone Gazette Facebook page. The Joneses are from Alabama and recently stumbled upon the Good Enough Mine Tour during a belated honeymoon and overheard the mine was out...

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The effects of plastic bags in our environment

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The City of Bisbee is economically fueled by tourism, and the problems caused by plastic bags makes it harder for tourists to enjoy. Plastic bags are made of an ethylene byproduct like natural gas and petroleum, that damages ecosystems in the ocean and on land killing numerous animals. “They get caught in waterways and block the flow of rainwater runoff, they disintegrate into little tiny pieces and animals get them caught in their stomach,” said Jill Bernstein, executive director of Keep Arizona Beautiful.  “There’s just about a 100,000 different ways plastic bags are damaging the environment.” As plastic bags are vastly distributed in retail and grocery stores, they continue to cause large environmental problems that destroy marine and land habitats. In the beginning, as an effort to eliminate the problem, citizens of Bisbee volunteered to clean up the mess,...

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Bisbee Festival of Lights glows another year

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From the ashes of a fire at City Hall, the City of Bisbee comes together as a community to kick off the holiday season, even if it’s with fewer twinkling lights. The Bisbee Festival of Lights, now in its 29th year, brought its annual holiday spirit to the City of Bisbee on Nov. 24, despite the challenge of losing nearly all the decorations the city has gathered over the years. “We had a lot of stuff that is now gone,” said Lorena Valdez, an administrative assistant for the City of Bisbee Public Works department and one of the event organizers for the Festival of lights. Valdez said when she took the role of organizing the event six years ago, she “started with very little, but did whatever [she] could” with the decorations the city had at the time. Over...

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Green card holders fret about citizenship

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Nervous green card holders are seeking citizenship in greater numbers because of concerns that the Trump Administration’s new immigration policies could send them out of the country. From July 2016 to September 2016, the number of I-485 forms (the application for a green card) received at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was 158,442, according to data released by USCIS. From October 2016 to December 2016, that number increased by about 17.5 percent to 186,036. William DeSantiago, managing attorney of the immigration program at the Catholic Charities Community Services of Phoenix, said that ever since the election there have been more consultations at his organization and applications for citizenship because people are concerned about the laws of their legal residency. USCIS received 239,628 N-400 forms (application for naturalization) from October 2016 to December 2016 and that number increased about 21...

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Cornucopia of holiday foods traditional for Arizona

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Tamales are on the tip of everyone’s tongue when thinking of holiday traditional foods in Southern Arizona, but they are not the only thing to adorn local tables. Traditions from a cornucopia of cultures will be celebrated across the Southwest this holiday season. From tamales to lasagna, Arizona is gearing up for a holiday feast. Tamales, wrapped and tied in a bow are the perfect culinary present to rip into over the holidays. La Mesa Tortillas and Tamales is a local family owned shop that gets extremely busy this time of year. “Get your orders in early,” said Danielle Aguilar, daughter of the owner of La Mesa. “My dad had a dream of opening up a tortilla shop,” Aguilar said. After its humble beginnings the shop has now been around for 21 years and has three locations around Tucson. Tamales have always...

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Drop the swastika, keep the hate

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The jackbooted, goose-stepping, swastika-bearing members of last century’s National Socialist Movement may have changed their look and ditched the Nazi insignias, but the devotion to Hitler’s ideals haven’t budged. As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Events like the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, have thrust a disparate group of white supremacists, Nazis, nationalists and the KKK into the national spotlight as an ill-defined “Alt-Right.” What many considered to be fringe elements from the backwoods are now found in cities and states across the country. One of the longest-running groups is the National Socialist Movement, an organization dedicated to the same ideology and political system as Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The Southern Poverty Law Center designates the NSM as a Neo-Nazi, white supremacist, hate group. Arizona has a local chapter of the NSM, and...

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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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Chinese in Arizona

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Traveling by train in Yuma with a box of bones in his hands, G.W. Chapman did what many believed to be sacrilegious. He dumped a huge box filled with dead Chinese immigrants’ bones into the Colorado River. It was a warm day in 1882, and “Old Chap,” Tombstone’s express messenger and mail clerk, had promised their families that he would fulfill the cultural tradition of returning the bones to their homeland. His violation of the cultural tradition was one of many incidents across Arizona in which the Chinese were treated as second-class citizens. The Chinese first came to the United States in large numbers in the 19th century and helped modernize America by building railroads. Their customs and lifestyle unsettled whites, who used the power of legislation and general hate to discriminate against the Chinese. On the day, Chapman...

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