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Soliciting ordinance quiets Tombstone’s hawkers

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Walking up Allen Street in Tombstone on any given afternoon, smiling cowboys greet and direct tourists around town to ensure they’re receiving the old western treatment the way it should be. The cowboys are friendly and guide tourists to specific spots, because they don’t work for the city, but rather independently owned businesses. They’re advertisers, promoters and a few bad apples ruined the friendly reputation after they were accused of  being too aggressive in luring customers to businesses. The use of vulgar language, intimidating people into attractions and invading personal space was starting to become a problem so the city council stepped in on April 24 and ordered the enforcement of an ordinance that regulates those who shout out solicitations for business as the spring tourism season winds down. The ordinance isn’t new. It’s been brought up on several occasions since 2007...

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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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One in 11 million: life and times of an undocumented resident

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   When the words “build a wall, “illegal aliens,” “Trump” or “deportation” blast from the television screen, Juan sends his 9-year-old U.S. citizen grandson outside to play. Juan, a long-term undocumented immigrant, doesn’t want him to worry.        Juan first came to the United States when he was 19 and has lived in Tucson since, calling it his home for 25 years.         “To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about the U.S. in my life,” Juan says. “My thinking back then was to keep going to school, become a teacher and do something with my life. But you never know what’s going to happen next month, right?”         For Juan, one thing is always clear:  There is no use worrying about what will happen tomorrow, in 10, or even 20 years. He lives a day-to-day life in...

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In the shadow of the wall: A tribe divided

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An in-depth look at how President Trump’s border wall threatens to separate the already divided Tohono O’odham Indian...

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The ‘Ambos Nogales’ divided by Trump’s wall

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  Saturdays and Sundays bring families to the steel beams of fence, dividing Ambos Nogales, a Spanish term to describe the community of Nogales north and south of the border. Families and loved ones come together at the border to talk, eat and relax. Despite being separated by the fence, they find shade under mesquite trees and spend hours visiting. Jiovana Aldez, a factory worker from Nogales, Sonora, meets her husband every two weeks. When they say goodbye, they kiss between the rusty beams. Aldez’s husband is Cuban and has asylum in the United States and lives in Phoenix. However, Aldez’s visa expired, keeping them apart. “If there was a wall, I wouldn’t be able to see him,” Aldez said. “It would be by phone. If there’s an actual wall, he won’t be able to come down and see me.”...

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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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