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Cochise College joins nation’s top-ranked schools

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Who would have thought a small community college out of Cochise County would be named the second-best community college in the country. Cochise College has six collegiate teams, over 11,000 students and over 50 major’s to choose from. These power-house campuses have a lot of hard work and dedication that has now been proven over time. More than 700 community colleges all over the country were analyzed and ranked from worst to best conducted by WalletHub, a financial advising website that provides free credit scores online and financial advice daily. The community colleges were ranked on multiple factors: cost and financing, education, financing and career outcomes. J.D. Rottweiler, President at Cochise College since 2009, has seen the college grow in more ways than one in the last 10 years. “Cochise College has always had a solid foundation and board. I...

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Wine industry bubbling up fast in Arizona

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Toast this: Arizona’s wine industry grew 1,940 percent in 14 years. New wineries are bursting onto the map with vineyards and tasting rooms popping up statewide, concentrated in the southeast growing region. Arizona wine is making a name for itself and pouring onto the national scene from grape to bottle. In 2003 there were five wineries in the state, in 2011 there were 42 and now there are 102 active small wineries and vineyards across Arizona. According to a 2017 survey done by Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Tourism Office, the Arizona wine industry supports 640 jobs and has a statewide economic impact of $56.2 million, up from $37.6 million in 2011. Access an interactive map that shows all wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms here. The growing success is partly due to the climate. Southeast Arizona is one of...

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Communities fear art funding cuts

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Small, rural communities like Bisbee don’t have to worry about cuts to funding for art programs yet, but the fear is lingering. President Donald Trump wants to cut federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal program that gives about $145 million across the country for art programs. Arizona receives about $1.5 million in federal funds for art initiatives.  The NEA gives Arizona around $800,000, the remaining money comes from the Arts Trust Fund. These funds are distributed through grants, but also through programs and services. Major cities like Tucson and Phoenix are given larger sums of money, while smaller communities only receive a couple thousand dollars. The Bisbee community fears that if they are already getting the short end of the stick, that federal cuts will have a bigger impact. “Funding for the arts in...

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Arizona Republicans say Flake vulnerable in next election

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  At a Cochise County Oktoberfest event earlier this month, Sen. Jeff Flake received zero ballot petition signatures, according to Cochise County Republican Precinct Commiteeman, David Dolge. Dolge said a ballot petition was circulated around the event, where about 70 people signed for Kelli Ward. He said many republicans in the county feel underrepresented by the senator, which may be why he didn’t receive any signatures.  Flake speaks out about his beliefs, which has landed him in hot water with many of his constituents throughout the state. With Republican challenger, Kelli Ward already announcing her run to take the Senate seat, Flake is vulnerable.  But University of Arizona Professor Chris Weber said it is too early to tell just how vulnerable he is. Weber, who specializes in political psychology and political behavior pertaining to American political campaigns, said there...

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Women’s pay shortchanged

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Eighteen cents. That is the difference between a woman and a man working in Arizona. According to data by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research’s (IWPR) project Status of Women in the States, Arizona ranks 17 out of 51, which includes the 50 states and D.C. For every dollar a man earns in Arizona, a woman earns 82 cents. This means that the wage gap is narrower in Arizona than most states, but it might not be because the situation is better here. Julie Anderson, a senior research associate who manages the Status of Women in the States project in D.C., said that in some states the wage gap might appear smaller due to factors like men not particularly having higher earnings so it just seems like the wage gap is narrower. While the gap continues to narrow, if...

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Arizona looks to make a penny on copper industry

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Copper’s value is on the rise, and equipped with new mining technology, Arizona has a promising future in producing the nation’s copper. The value of copper hit $3.20 in mid 2014, before taking a dive to $2.50 in early 2015. It took a significant dip into an all time low of $1.60 in 2016. Now, copper value is rising again, passing $3 for the first time since 2014, according to the NASDAQ stock exchange. Arizona produces 65 percent of the nation’s copper, leading the copper industry in the U.S. As mining continues to become economically feasible, new mine sites have been proposed across the state. New technology for mining had made the production process more sustainable after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set the Clean Air Act into place in 1970 and the Clean Water Act in 1972.  “We...

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World’s largest rose tree can be yours for $1.6M

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  The Lady Banksia Rose. The world’s largest rose tree. Thousands of blooms each spring. Yours for $1.6 million. The Shady Lady — labeled by Guiness as the World’s Largest Rose Tree — is for sale. A tree this big takes work, especially for an older couple. Burt and Dorothy Devere have reached a tough decision: sell the property that has always been in the family to someone who isn’t family. “The problem is that the next generation of our family lives elsewhere. They all have careers and are nowhere near retirement,” Burt said. The property includes the Rose Tree Museum, along with its artifacts, and the rose tree itself. The couple have taken care of the tree for 25 years in retirement and have “never worked so hard” to maintain it. “The rose bush will be here. And...

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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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