Arizona public schools struggle to fill teaching positions as leaders brainstorm school staffing solutions

PHOENIX – From legislative proposals to extend Proposition 123 to the two-day Arizona State University Fulton Teachers College Summit on Strategic School Staffing Structures, educators, politicians and researchers weigh in on strategies to help alleviate staffing shortages in Arizona schools.

The annual Strategic School Staffing Summit, run by Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College earlier this month, highlighted a collection of potential solutions to teacher staffing issues across the state. In this 2022 file photo, students work with a teacher at Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix. (File photo by Sophie Oppfelt/Cronkite News)

As animal shelters exceed capacity, groups seek to keep pets with families

PHOENIX – As Maricopa County animal shelters work to handle more dogs than they can handle, local organizations seek to remind current and future pet owners of resources to help them keep their pets.

Kennels at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's West Valley Animal Care Center are over capacity, and several hold two animals. “It's not the shelter's fault. They get a lot of heat from the community around these choices. But what do you do when you've got more animals coming in than you have kennels and adopters?” said Leanna Taylor, CEO of the Arizona Pet Project. Photo taken in Phoenix on Jan. 22, 2024. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Flight attendants demand better pay and working conditions during Sky Harbor Airport walkout

PHOENIX – Flight attendants at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport joined others across the country in an educational demonstration to shine a light on their struggle to make a deal with their airline employers.

Flight attendants walk out at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to advocate for better pay and working conditions on Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)

Behind the cart: Food vendor’s take on tamale bill discussion

PHOENIX – The tamale bill is back and a local food vendor shares his thoughts on the newly reintroduced bill.


Diamondbacks continue outreach to Hispanic community through Serpientes Fiesta

PHOENIX – In the past few years, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been growing their Hispanic audience through various events and promotions. It ramped up with the unveiling of their “Serpientes” City Connect jerseys in 2021. Since then, Chase Field has been home to numerous Mexican Heritage nights, Hispanic Heritage events and Serpientes giveaways. This trend continued with a Serpientes Fiesta event on Jan. 27.


‘Everything old is new again’: Valley vinyl stores see uptick in physical music sales

PHOENIX – Luminate's 2023 Year-End Report has found that physical album sales grew 8.9% over 2022, with records seeing the largest growth. As audio streaming popularity skyrockets, vinyl, CD and cassette tape popularity are holding strong in sales up from 79.9 million in 2022 to 87 million in 2023. Arizona record stores have noticed the trend, and Arizona artists hope to record physical copies of their music.

Dario Miranda, who works for Stinkweeds Records, inspects a vinyl for scratches or imperfections. Photo taken in Phoenix on Jan. 22, 2024. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Tribes face an uphill battle to defend their sacred land against lithium mining

OROVADA, Nev. — Myron Smart remembers stories told by his father and other tribal elders about the connection between Thacker Pass in Nevada, where a new lithium mine is under construction, and a tragic moment for the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone.


Lithium Liabilities: The untold threat to water in the rush to mine American lithium

An investigation from the Howard Center at Arizona State University uncovered the coming electric battery revolution in America will require billions upon billions of gallons of water to mine lithium. Many of the new U.S. mines will be located in the drought-prone American West.


Arizona Republicans tout legislation aimed at cracking down on organized retail crime

PHOENIX – Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma and others touted House Bill 2435, which aims to crack down on organized retail crime. The legislation, which heads to the House Judiciary committee Wednesday, would change current sentencing ranges.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell talks about organized retail crime as Michelle Ahlmer, executive director for the Arizona Retailers Association, left, and Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma look on at a news conference at the Arizona Capitol on Jan, 30, 2024. (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)

Hobbs pushes for school funding plan, GOP stands by its own proposal

PHOENIX – Gov. Katie Hobbs and Arizona Democrats formally introduced legislation Monday to expand funding for public education and teacher pay, even as Republicans insist they will continue to push their own plan.


ABOR clarifies UA budget shortfall, says athletics responsible for $35 million of $140 million deficit

TEMPE – Although the University of Arizona’s budget shortfall is closer to $140 million than the $240 million previously reported, the school is prepared to undergo sweeping changes in budget and oversight, including addressing the $35 million shortfall for which the athletic department is responsible.

John Arnold, the executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents, speaks to the board about the financial challenges facing the University of Arizona. (Photo by Bennett Silvyn/Cronkite News)

‘We’re not just numbers, we’re not robots, we’re people’: Workers at Sky Harbor strike over job conditions

PHOENIX – SSP America employees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are on strike in hopes of obtaining safer and more equitable working conditions. UNITE HERE Local 11 filed unfair labor practice and discrimination charges against SSP America.

SSP America workers go on strike on Jan. 23, 2024, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in protest of late paychecks and poor labor conditions. (Photo by Marnie Jordan/Cronkite News)