March 31, 2017: Cronkite News producer picks of the week

(Photo montage by Erica Apodaca/Cronkite News)

This week’s top Cronkite News digital stories include reporting on the Final Four, a Cronkite News analysis of Latino representation in Valley police departments and a podcast focused on sleep deprivation among college students.

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Valley police departments lag behind their cities in Latino representation

While Latinos make up about 24 percent of the population of the Valley’s biggest cities, about half that proportion – just over 12 percent – of the police officers in those cities are Latino. Reporters Emily Mahoney and Katie Bieri tell us what cities are doing to close the gap. Read the full story here.

Top 5 Final Four stories of the week

The NCAA Men’s Final Four will tip off Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium, but the Valley has been seeing the impact of the tournament festivities all week. Here is a collection of our top five stories from the lead up to the Final Four.

Arizona youth joins tribal officials to push for diabetes program funds

Kendra Penningroth reported from Washington about Alton Villegas, 11, a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, where nearly 10 percent of tribal members have diabetes. He charmed a Senate committee with his own story at a hearing on saving tribal diabetes funding. Read the full story here.

Arizona border crossing deaths are honored one story at a time through art

Reporter Charlene Santiago covered “Project Amor,” which honors the lives of migrants who died in the desert after crossing the border. The project represents unidentified bodies on a quilt as unknown, or “desconocido/a” in Spanish. Read the full story here.

Phoenix officials tout new ‘Lost Lake’ music festival, but neighbors express concerns

Amanda Luberto and Alexa Armes reported on the recently announced Lost Lake Festival at Steele Indian School Park, which city officials said will heighten the city’s reputation as a top destination and serve as an economic driver. Some neighbors have expressed concerns about whether such a big festival will result in more trash, crime, parking headaches and traffic congestion. Read the full story here.

In Focus – podcast storytelling from Cronkite News

On this episode of In Focus, we explore the consequences of sleep deprivation among young adults. We hear from one college student who had a frightening experience with sleep paralysis he attributes to stress, and we speak with a sleep specialist about how to get better sleep – even during your college years. Listen to the podcast here.

From the Cronkite PIN Bureau: Feel your temperature rising? It’s not burning love, it’s urban heat

As a result of growth, an ASU researcher found that the urban heat island effect on the outer edges of the metro Phoenix area has been increasing. Cronkite News wants to hear about your climate experience within your city. Has urbanization affected your community? Have you noticed any environmental impacts? Share your experience here.

Cronkite News special: Borderlands reporting

This week, we highlighted some of the top borderlands stories in a special edition of Cronkite News. Watch the full video here.

Photo credits for featured photo
Top left: Adriana De Alba/Cronkite News
Bottom left: Jessica Clark/Cronkite News
Top right: Charlene Santiago/Cronkite News
Bottom right: Veronica Acosta/Cronkite News
Collage by: Erica Apodaca/Cronkite News