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For a 17-year-old, it’s not uncommon to have a job. But a job that requires them to work 31 hours per week along with traveling out of state once a month and occasionally out of the country? That isn’t so common.
Nothing is official yet, but the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) is mulling over the idea of changing the way schools are placed in their divisions for football.
Hohokam Stadium and Fitch Park are nearing the end of renovations as preparations are made for the return of Oakland Athletics, the Major League Baseball team that once held spring training in Mesa back in the 1970s.
On a night where individual records were supposed to take center stage, it was the team-first approach of Tempe High that propelled the Buffaloes to a 38-26 victory over the Moon Valley Rockets.
Higley High School quarterback Mason Crossland was selected as the Arizona Cardinals’ player of the week after setting a state record.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The number of people who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has dropped to the lowest level in 15 years as more immigrants turned themselves in to authorities in Texas and fewer took their chances with the dangerous trek across the Arizona desert.
The U.S. government recorded 307 deaths in the 2014 fiscal year that ended in September — the lowest number since 1999. In 2013, the number of deaths was 445.
The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector finished the 2014 budget year with 115 deaths, compared with 107 in the Tucson sector, according to figures obtained by The Associated Press. It marks the first time since 2001 that Arizona has not been the deadliest place to cross the border.
Arizona has long been the most dangerous border region because of triple-digit temperatures, rough desert terrain and the sheer volume of immigrants coming in to the state from Mexico. But more immigrants are now entering through Texas and not Arizona, driven by a surge of people from Central America.
The Tucson and Rio Grande Valley both saw their numbers of deaths decline from 2013, although Arizona's drop was more precipitous.
Border enforcement officials say the lower numbers are in part due to increased rescue efforts as well as a Spanish-language media campaign discouraging Latin Americans from walking across the border.
Tucson Sector Division Chief Raleigh Leonard says the addition of 10 new rescue beacons that were strategically placed in areas where immigrants traverse most often has been a factor in the decrease in deaths.
"I think we can all agree that crossing the border is an illegal act, but nothing that should be assigned the penalty of death," Leonard said in an interview.
Immigrant rights advocates are skeptical that it is solely the Border Patrol's efforts contributing to the decrease in deaths.
"At best, what the Border Patrol is accomplishing is a geographical shift in where these deaths are happening — rather than adequately responding to the scale of the crisis," said Geoffrey Boyce, a border enforcement and immigration researcher at the University of Arizona and a volunteer with the Tucson-based nonprofit No More Deaths.
The Rio Grande Valley sector was flooded with a surge in unaccompanied minors and families with children who turned themselves in at border crossings in Texas. Most were from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where gang violence and a poor economy have driven out huge numbers of people. That surge has dwindled recently, however, as U.S. and Central American authorities have launched a public relations campaign warning parents against sending their children to the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Tucson Sector, once the busiest in the nation, has seen a steep decline in border crossers. Fewer Mexicans are crossing into the U.S. as the economy here has faltered and drug violence at home has improved.
The Border Patrol also responds to hundreds of cases each year of immigrants who need to be rescued while crossing the desert, long an issue in the Arizona desert. The Border Patrol conducted 509 rescues in the 2014 fiscal year in the Tucson sector, compared to 802 in 2013.
Some of the rescues are made with the help of beacons that were activated 142 times this year. The beacons are 30-feet tall, solar-powered and have sun reflectors and blue lights on top that are visible for 10 miles. The beacons also have signs in three languages directing users to push a red button that sends out a signal for help. Agents respond usually within 10 minutes to an hour.
The agency has a team dedicated solely to rescues, called Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue.
Agents in this elite group spend their days searching for immigrants and responding when one seeks help. They assist not only those who cross the border in search for jobs, but also drug mules and smugglers who become injured or dehydrated in the summer heat.
It was only 10 a.m. and already 95 degrees on a day in late June when the unit's agents provided medical assistance to a 28-year-old man suspected of smuggling drugs near Sells, Arizona.
The thin man had an ID from El Salvador and said he lived in Tucson. He oscillated between Spanish and English, but his message was the same: He was in extreme pain.
The agents gave him a gallon of a sports beverage. He was to drink it slowly, they told him, or else it would make him sick. Next, they connected a saline bag intravenously and checked his vitals.
The agents monitored him and re-examined his vitals, concluding that he wasn't dehydrated but suffering from muscle fatigue. Minutes later, agents who used a drug-sniffing K-9 to search the area found several bundles of marijuana and another suspected smuggler.
The men were arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally, but were not charged with smuggling because the loads of marijuana were not found on them.
"To us, it could be a mule, an illegal immigrant. They're all the same. They're human beings," Leonard said.
With only two weeks of regular-season play to go, your chances to catch a high school game along with some good eats is winding down, so make your plans now to cheer on your local team.
The event has become bigger than the action of the floor, but it is no disrespect to the volleyball being played.
Three area teams remained ranked, with Ironwood Ridge holding the highest as the No. 3 team in Division 2. Pusch Ridge is eighth in Division 5, although they have their playoff berth wrapped up. Both the Nighthawks and CDO can clinched Sectional titles, and the automatic bids that accompany them this week with wins.
PHOENIX (AP) — A science teacher and volleyball coach at Fountain Hills High School has resigned after it was revealed she lied about having a doctorate and an Olympics medal.
Phoenix TV station KPHO reports the Fountain Hills Unified School District Governing Board unanimously accepted Christie Slegers' resignation Wednesday night.
Slegers was hired as a teacher in 2013 and began coaching girls' varsity volleyball this fall.
She told the school and her team she was an Olympic silver medalist in the sport.
USA Volleyball says Slegers "was not a member of the official delegation/team for the 1984 U.S. Women's Olympic Volleyball Team.
Slegers' employment application with the school district states that she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University and there is no mention of a Ph.D.
Everyone knows the saying: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” That’s never been truer than of Team Orthodontics, where the mission is simple: enhance patients’ lives in a positive and significant way. It’s a theme that runs through the veins of every Team Ortho employee.
For years, I have always been amazed at how parents behave watching their children participate in various youth athletic programs. I used to cover youth sports as a journalist, and now, as a parent, I am sitting on the bleachers every Saturday cheering on my 9-year-old.
It figures opponents will try whatever possible to stop Mesa Desert Ridge all-world running back Taren Morrison, but the Jaguars showed Friday night they can beat teams other ways if necessary.
When Higley played Apache Junction on Oct. 10, the two schools nearly ran out of room on the scoreboard. The teams combined for 170 points in a 95-75 win for Higley that saw quarterback Mason Crossland set a state record with 641 yards and nine touchdowns.
Marcos de Niza (5-3) bested Westwood 14-7 to hand the Warriors (7-1) their first loss of the season.
Methodology: Each rank is assigned a point value based on the rank. The
Desert Vista has one of the top boys and girls cross country programs in Arizona, and it proved it last Friday at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival.
Fighting uphill isn’t easy, especially when that hill is home turf.
Fighting uphill isn’t easy, especially when that hill is home turf.
Desert Vista faced that task Friday against Division II power Centennial and came up short, losing 56-14 at Thunder Stadium.
This was a game the Coyotes (5-2) dominated throughout. After the first half they amassed 311 yards of offense and a 35-7 lead. By game’s end, they were over 500.
“We played well but we had two turnovers and dumb penalties. In order for us to be successful in the playoffs we can’t do that,” said Richard Taylor, Centennial’s head coach.
Taylor said he was most impressed by the team’s performance overall, even though individuals had stellar showings. Starting quarterback Isaac Steele threw five touchdowns and took one in himself on the ground.
“We beat two undefeated teams in the last two weeks, and for us to come play a Division I team and dominate really cemented that,” Taylor said.
On the other sideline, the Thunder (1-6) was plagued by its inability to convert on third down. The bright sport for the team was a 63-yard scoring drive, capped off with a T.J. Roberts run.
“Roberts is a guy that doesn’t care if we’re down by 49 or up by 49,” Thunder coach Dan Hinds said. “He goes as hard as he can every night and tonight was no different.”
He said he wasn’t disappointed in any of his players, that, for the most part they played a solid football game.
“Statistically it wasn’t a good game, but we made good plays. Alex (Farina) made throws that were key for us tonight.”
A 21-yard pass from Farina to Roberts set up the Thunder’s second touchdown. Roberts eventually scored on fourth down from the 1-yard line.
With just three games left on their schedule, there will be no postseason for Desert Vista. For Centennial, however, playoff hopes are still very much alive. Three games stand between them and another quest for the Division II title.
Centennial will take on Ironwood at home. For the Thunder, they’re in for another tough battle when Dobson comes in next week. Mountain Pointe will be at Corona del Sol next week. The Pride fell to Brophy 31-28, suffering just their second loss all year.
• Will Argeros is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.
Centennial 56, Desert Vista 14
C 14 21 14 5-56
DV 0 7 0 7-14
C - Isaac Steele 37 Pass to Marcel Perez (Joe Navarro Kick) 7-0, 8:49
C - Steele 5 Pass to Daniel Smith (Navarro Kick) 14-0, 2:56
C -Taylor Fiame 8 Run (Navarro Kick) 21-0, 11:09
C -Steele 80 Pass to Carl Barrs (Navarro Kick) 28-0, 7:33
DV- T.J. Roberts 4 Run (Culp Kick) 28-7, 4:57
C -Steele 10 Run (Navarro Kick) 35-7, 1:13
C-Steele 14 Pass to Daniel Smith (Navarro Kick) 42-7, 10:39
C-Steele 19 Pass to David McGriff (Navarro Kick) 49-7, 10:30
DV-Roberts 1 Run (Culp Kick) 49-14, 8:44
C-Daniel Smith 3 Run (Navarro Kick) 56-14, 7:04
First downs: 16, 9
Rush-yards: 32-313, 18-1
Comp-pass-Int: 12-14-0, 15-31-1
Pass yards: 261, 141
Fumbles-lost: 2-2, 3-2
Penalties: 4-50, 2-30
C – Gomez 11-44, Hanley 4-32, Fiame 4-28, Steele 4-24, Daniel Smith 3-14, Wakeham 2-15, Young 2-9, Davonte Smith 2-6 DV – Ford 3-21, Roberts 9-6, McIntyre 1-2, Callaghan 1-1, McDonald 1-0, Farnia 3- (-29)
C – Steele 10-11-0-234, Daniel Smith 2-3-0-27. DV – Farina 15-31-1-141
C – Daniel Smith 4-70, Perez 3-60, Nichols 2-15, Barrs 1-80, Mcgriff 1-19, Stevens 1-17. DV – McIntyre 4-13, Shepardson 3-10, Roberts 2-66, Dean 2-24, Hartshorn-West 2-12, Figueroa 1-16
Missed FG: DV-Culp, 45