Here are some of my favorite stories:

Scottsdale police violence protest shuts down Old Town

As thousands marched through Old Town Scottsdale Sunday evening, united to protest police brutality against minorities, their chants echoed off the shops and restaurants that line Scottsdale Road and the surrounding area: “Say their names!” “No justice, no peace!” “I can’t breathe!” The protest was one of several on the 11th consecutive night of demonstrations across Arizona, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minnesota on May 25. That same day, Dion Johnson was shot and killed by a state trooper while sleeping in his car parked on the Loop 101 freeway. There has been little transparency from Phoenix Police Department, which is investigating the shooting, or the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and many questions remain about what happened that led an officer to shoot and kill the unarmed Johnson.

Black mothers: Action needed to keep our children alive

The 100 or so people who gathered in Eastlake Park near downtown Phoenix early Saturday evening heard one message over and over: Black lives matter to Black mothers. Janelle Wood, founder of Black Mothers Forum, led the event. She invited mothers, fathers, sons and daughters to join her briefly on stage in solidarity. Speakers, including youth activists, faith leaders, parents and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, spoke about what it means to be Black in America, ways the state and country can continue this dialogue and why this conversation on race is important.

Virus may bring greater medical and financial risks for undocumented

It’s been a month since Juana stopped taking her key medication to treat the chronic vascular disease that attacks her immune system and debilitates her blood vessels. She has had three heart attacks in the past eight years. Without the medication, Juana said it’s only a matter of time before her symptoms — burning sensations in her legs and feet, severe fatigue and difficulty walking — come back. Without treatment, she could eventually suffer organ failure and die. Juana, who asked that her l

First of the first responders

PHOENIX – After nearly two decades, tens of thousands of calls and countless crises, a series of four calls broke Lauren Pacimeo. As a 911 dispatcher for the fire department, Pacimeo is trained to keep her composure on calls and always has. But in November, her 18 years in the dispatch room caught up with her. The first call was a battalion chief’s 14-year-old son with a fatal gunshot wound. Then she responded to a fire next to her aunt’s house. And after that, her friend dialed 911 when her s

Sewage is the real border crisis for many border towns and cities

People who live in Imperial Beach, California, in Naco and Nogales in Arizona and in Texas communities along the Rio Grande all say the same thing: When it rains, it stinks. The reason is a failing, aging network of pipes and wastewater treatment plants that run from Mexico into each of these communities. When heavy rains fall, the pipes often break and spill raw sewage on both sides of the border, causing not only a putrid odor but public health and environmental concerns...

Smartphones, internet access are key tools of Venezuelan refugees

‘The cellphone does everything’: Smartphones, internet access are key tools of 21st century migration LIMA, Peru – Many of the more than 700,000 Venezuelans who have fled to Peru have arrived with next to nothing: a backpack, perhaps, carrying a toothbrush, a change of clothes and, most important, a cellphone. For most, their phones are lifelines. “The Venezuelan has broken, has finished with that old adage that the best friend of man is the dog. For a Venezuelan, his best friend is the cellphone...

Untold Arizona: Colonia Of Rillito 'A Forgotten Town'

The first thing you see is a beautiful, well-kept park, but the first thing you notice is the crumbling road as your car jolts hitting one of the many potholes in the streets of Rillito. A large number of the homes are abandoned and the streets are littered with trash. “Rillito’s a good town, but it’s a forgotten town. It’s a good community. But if you on the freeway and you blink, and you driving by, you miss it,” said Robert Brown, a lifelong resident of Rillito, Arizona. The community is adjacent to...
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