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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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Eliminating NEA could be detrimental to Arizona communities

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            For small towns like Douglas, grants for the arts can be deeply influential. With the election of a new mayor in 2016, Douglas is looking at a future that thrives on arts and culture, and is using National Endowment for the Arts funding to bring back life to this troubled border town in Arizona’s southeast corner. Mayor Robert Uribe and his wife, Jenea Sanchez, have been working diligently to find a way to rebuild Douglas as a historic city that can be recognized as a cultural center and supporter of the arts. “For our state arts organization to come into our local community and contribute funds towards our arts refinement, it very much legitimizes the work that we have started on, and we are so grateful for that,” Sanchez said. The Trump administration plans to eliminate the...

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Lack of pay for Arizona teachers problematic

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  A decrease in teachers and shortage of money will have an impact in Cochise County as retention rates continue to plummet in Arizona. The state hosts a myriad of poor working conditions for teachers, ranking in the bottom five in the following categories nationwide, according to a statistical analysis by Wallethub: Lowest annual salary, fewest teachers per student and lowest public school spending — all with an overall ranking of 48th, ahead of only West Virginia and Hawai’i. About a half-million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year — attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually — according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. The high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure all students have access to skilled teaching, the Alliance report says. The cost to...

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A border wall could dry up profits for two border town bars

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In two quirky border town bars 160 miles apart, the concerns are the same. Will Donald Trump building a wall on the Mexican border hurt their towns? First in Sasabe… “Cinco pesos?” says Deborah Grider, as she rings up customers in her general store, which lies less than a mile from the Mexican port of entry. Though many travelers come for the general store, there is a hidden gem stashed between the various aisles of laundry detergent and canned foods. A tiny bar with a small blue and purple door sticks out from the back. A green Christmas wreath adorns the door. “Hill Top Bar” is written on the small sign above the door. It only opens on Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m. and serves beer for $3 dollars and cocktails for five. “I have a list of people...

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Remnants of Benson Highway still standing

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Dusty roads, flickering motel neon lights and old cafes fill the empty region that used to be an attraction to visitors all over the country – old Benson Highway. Connecting the country from the Pacific in San Diego to the Atlantic in Tybee Island, Georgia, U.S. Route 80 was one of the early transcontinental highways in the United States. Like other highways of the time, much of it became decommissioned with the introduction of the interstate system in the 1950s. Those looking for a small, historical detour between Pima and Cochise counties can find traces of the old – sometimes lonely – road. Follow the signs as if you are going to the Tucson Airport. Keep going forward, the signs urge, down Kino Parkway. Hit the turn signal and turn left at the diagonal street — Benson Highway. Start by turning onto the highway where the...

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Risk takers taste their luck in Tombstone

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John Marshall and Laure Johnston are hoping their new businesses are lucky in the town too tough to die. The odds of their success could be small ,according to experts, but this is a risk worth taking in order for their dreams to become reality. Marshall and Johnston are striving for the ventures not to known as the  restaurant that never was.  While old-timer restaurants continue to thrive, on Allen Street, smaller and newer restaurants fear slow business. According to CNBC, 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year while 80 percent shut down before their fifth. Location, technolog, and bills are three of the biggest risks that owners face when running a business. Marshall, the owner of Puny John’s BBQ, which opened in October, explained why he unwrapped his vision of a business in town. “My...

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