Feds OK state plan to expand KidsCare eligibility, pay parent caregivers

PHOENIX - Arizona will expand income eligibility for the state's KidsCare program, potentially adding10,000 children to the low-cost health care program, and will make permanent a pandemic-era program to pay parents who act as caregivers for their disabled children.

House panel advances bill for a Holocaust center, but holds back funds for now

PHOENIX - A House panel gave tentative approval Wednesday to a Holocaust education center, but not before stripping out funding for the project that supporters said will provide an "immersive experience for the next generation on hate and genocide."

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)

Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture teaches next generation farmers sustainable practices

AJO – Sterling Johnson from the Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture is teaching the next generation of Indigenous farmers how to connect with the land and the culture through sustainable growing techniques.

Arizona Indian Festival showcases authentic Indigenous art

SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Indian Festival in Scottsdale showcases authentic Indigenous art. Artists say knockoffs from overseas undermine their authentic work, which represents their culture.

Sonja Morgan from the Navajo Nation showcases her rug-weaving process at the Arizona Indian Festival in Scottsdale on Feb. 3, 2024. (Photo by Marnie Jordan/Cronkite News)

Rain check: How Arizonans can prepare for rainy drives

PHOENIX – As Arizona gets winter rain, ADOT and local experts remind drivers of important safety habits to keep in mind while on the road. From vehicle maintenance to awareness of road conditions, Arizonans are urged to slow down and remember to get their cars inspected by professionals.

It’s been a rainy week in Phoenix, and puddles have accumulated and made the roads slippery across the Valley. Photo taken in downtown Phoenix on Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Sam Ballesteros/Cronkite News)

Arizona Heart Association lobbies for bill mandating cardiac arrest emergency plans in schools

PHOENIX – Supporters from the American Heart Association lobbied at the Arizona Capitol in support of requiring emergency cardiac response plans in schools. Pyper Midkiff, a child who experienced cardiac arrest at age 12, spoke about her experience.

Jennifer Stingley, middle, is a member of the American Heart Association’s southern Arizona board of directors. Stingley practices CPR at the Arizona Heart Association’s annual lobby day at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo by Sam Ballesteros/Cronkite News)

Arizona rock climbers speak out against National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service proposal to restrict anchors

TUCSON – The National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service drafted policy in November that could prohibit climbing anchors in wilderness areas around the country. The Climbing Association of Southern Arizona is one of several climbing organizations speaking out against the proposals, saying that they would discourage and endanger climbers.

Climber Nicki Manzanares starts to rappel down a cliffside on Mount Lemmon near Tucson on Jan. 29, 2024. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Our Ode to You nonprofit offers older adults in memory-care communities free therapeutic music, art programs

PHOENIX – Two Arizona high school seniors are using their talents to give back to older adult memory-care communities. Through free therapeutic music and art programs, Aani Nagaiah and Gage Samaddar are helping them evoke memories and de-stress.

‘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)

Lessons from abroad: the environmental and social costs to lithium mining in Argentina

One of North America's lithium mining powerhouse companies has lobbied for a record $1 billion Department of Energy low-interest loan — despite having never owned or operated any kind of mine in the U.S.

Arizona officials combat AI election misinformation through proposed bills, security trainings

PHOENIX – As rapidly evolving technology makes it easier than ever to create nearly undetectable manipulated content, AI poses a threat to campaign security. Arizona elected officials are rapidly working to fight misinformation through proposed legislation and election security training.

Arizona elected officials are rapidly working to fight misinformation through proposed legislation and election security training ahead of the 2024 elections. (File photo by Michael Gutnick/Cronkite News)