Articles + visuals

These are articles where I took the photos and reported and wrote the story.

After 21 years at 2 homes, famous Ahwatukee Christmas lights display enters final season

The Taylors' Ahwatukee front yard, a Christmas light staple for the past 18 years, is adorned this year with wooden paintings of characters from favorite films like "The Peanuts Movie" and "Frozen," a handmade sleigh to take photos in and interactive games. Thousands of lights can be seen from half a mile up Kachina Drive. The family tradition started in 1999, 21 years ago. It became a popular attraction once the family moved to Ahwatukee, but 2020 will be the display's last year. The Taylors a

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one succeeded

HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than half. San Diego attempted a series of one-off projects but was

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support Edward Blackwell moved into his thrift store — which is slightly larger than a walk-in closet — on Feb. 4. He said he fell on hard times and couldn’t afford rent at his apartment and the business, and his business landlord said he could live at his store, the Giving Vine Thrift Store inside Desert Sun Plaza on Grand and 15th avenues. Sales slowed down, and even though Blackwell was able to stay afloat with a s

'Houseless not hopeless:' Groups protest the criminalization of homelessness in Phoenix

About 30 people gathered on Twelfth Avenue and Jefferson Street in Phoenix by the Human Services Campus on Sunday afternoon to protest the treatment of people living on the streets by Phoenix police. Advocates and people experiencing homelessness walked by dozens living in tents and on sidewalks as they chanted "houseless not hopeless" and made their way to local nonprofit André House. Many wore shirts that said, "Homes Not Jails." Jesús Villa, a minister at Universal Life Church, said the dis

Women gather at Phoenix courthouse to protest Amy Coney Barrett's planned confirmation

About 20 women, most of whom are attorneys, dressed in red cloaks and white hoods, walked synchronized in silence in front of the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix on Sunday to honor late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to protest the plan to replace her with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Christina Carter, an attorney who has represented many people arrested at protests against police violence this year, was one of the organizers for the event. The cloaks and hood

Hundreds gather for candlelit vigil celebrating life of 11-year-old Chandler boy

Hundreds gathered Friday to celebrate the life of an 11-year-old Chandler boy who died in a watercraft crash in Utah. Family, friends, classmates and teachers of Ethan David Law gathered at the Amberwood Park, which is adjacent to Chandler Traditional Academy's Goodman campus, where Law attended school. They shared tears and happy memories in remembrance of an "unforgettable" sixth-grader. Officials said Ethan was injured on Oct. 5 at Sand Hollow State Park near St. George, Utah when two perso

Group outside Phoenix ICE office protests alleged unwanted hysterectomies for migrants

A group of more than 20 people gathered in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building Sunday to speak out against the agency's practices in detention centers — most recently the alleged forced sterilization of women. The Department of Homeland Security announced last week it is looking into a whistleblower complaint that claimed federal immigration detainees in Georgia underwent unnecessary gynecological surgeries — including full hysterectomies — without their consent. "Wi

Trump protest turns violent when Phoenix PD fires flash-bangs, pepper balls

A peaceful protest of President Donald Trump outside of Dream City Church ended quickly Tuesday afternoon as the president spoke to some 3,000 attendees when Phoenix police officers fired flash-bang grenades, pepper balls and pepper spray into the crowd of more than 200 people, declaring it unlawful. The protest, organized by the W.E. Rising Project, walked from Cave Creek and Cactus roads in northeast Phoenix to the designated “free speech zone” surrounded by gates outside the church, about a half-mile away. After chanting in the zone, and running into about 10 counter-protesters,

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.

How sound could help predict climate change

How the sounds around you could be a harbinger of climate change PHOENIX – Saguaros and cardons tower against a soft gray sky as a family of quail tiptoes through the brush. Flowers glisten with raindrops. Under a tree, a man stands motionless. His eyes are closed, and he’s smiling softly. Paine is an associate professor of digital sound and interactive media at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He co-leads the Acoustic Ecology Lab, where he studies how sounds can help

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...

Nogales seeks a fair deal from binational commission on costs of treating wastewater

Nogales seeks a fair deal from binational commission on costs of treating wastewater NOGALES – More than 370 articles on the Nogales International online news archive contain the word “sewage,” and that archive only dates to 2001. These articles reveal a long history of broken pipes, sewage overflows, industrial waste and more. Sewage in Ambos Nogales – “ambos” is Spanish for “both,” referring to the twin cities in Arizona and Sonora – has been an issue since 1944, when the first binational tr

Sewage flowing into Nogales Wash raises concerns about water supply for both Mexico and U.S.

Sewage flowing into Nogales Wash raises concerns about water supply for both Mexico and U.S. NOGALES, Mexico – Wastewater containing raw sewage has been intermittently flowing into the Nogales Wash from Mexico since mid-January, spurring concerns about health and the water supply for communities on both sides of the border. Four of the five pumps at the Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nogales, Mexico, have been malfunctioning since mid-January, but a temporary fix is in the works. Je
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