‘Eternally complex problems’: Bipartisan advocates talk affordable housing

PHOENIX – A bipartisan group of housing reform advocates, from current and former state lawmakers to government leaders, gathered Thursday to talk about solutions to the lack of affordable housing in Arizona.

Bipartisan housing advocates talk about affordable housing at Arizona Wilderness DTPHX Beer Garden Sept. 28. From left are Jessica Boehm, moderator and Axios Phoenix reporter; Joan Serviss, who leads the Arizona Department of Housing; Amy St. Peter, deputy executive director of the Maricopa Association of Governments; Steve Kaiser, former Republican state senator from north Phoenix; and Arizona Rep. Analise Ortiz, a Democrat who represents west Phoenix and south Glendale. (Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Nearly a third of teacher vacancies went unfilled this fall, most in 8 years

WASHINGTON - Nearly one-third of teaching vacancies in Arizona public and charter schools this fall had still not been filled one month into the school year, according to a new report, that said that was the most in eight years of data on school vacancies.


Growing Arizona Jewish population finds community in synagogues, elsewhere for High Holy Days

PHOENIX – The Jewish population in Maricopa County has grown by nearly 20% since 2002, according to an Arizona State University study done in 2019. But leaders in the Jewish community say the proliferation of synagogues – with most in Scottsdale and North Phoenix – hasn’t kept up with the growth of the Jewish population. People are finding alternate places to gather, including Zoom, on campus and in friendship groups.


Girls Golf empowers next generation of female golfers through LaBauve Cup at Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE – Girls Golf of Phoenix hosted its third annual LaBauve Cup in Scottsdale. The only group of its kind, the Cup is a segway for the organization to promote more golf opportunities for girls.

Two girls getting ready to put a golf ball.

Youth golf charity First Tee-Phoenix celebrates 20 years of giving back

SCOTTSDALE – First Tee-Phoenix is an organization dedicated to educating and empowering the youth generation through the game of golf. The organization held a 20th anniversary dinner at Ocean 44 to raise funds, drawing celebrities and pro golfers to the red carpet.

First Tee not only teaches golf but also offers youth entrepreneur courses and leadership training to shape the next generation on and off the course. (Photo by Cronkite News)

22 years later, 9/11 Tempe Healing Field tribute honors lives in terrorist attack

TEMPE – The Tempe Healing Field tribute at Tempe Beach Park honors the lives of those who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A visitor walks through rows of flags at the 9/11 Tempe Healing Field tribute at Tempe Beach Park, on Sept. 11, 2023. (Photo by Kiersten Edgett/Cronkite News)

ESA program added almost 50,000 students in the past year, state reports

WASHINGTON – The state added nearly 12,000 students to the Empowerment Scholarship Account program in the last quarter, bringing total enrollment to 61,689 at the end of June and renewing debates about the costs and benefits of the program.


Freeze on DACA approvals leaves thousands of Arizona migrants in limbo

WASHINGTON - An estimated 1.1 million undocumented individuals in the U.S. are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protection – 44,000 in Arizona - but fewer than half actually have coverage, as new applications have been frozen by ongoing court challenges.


Student loan repayments will hit economy; how hard depends on who’s being hit

WASHINGTON - When federal student loan payments resume Oct. 1, they could pull $71 billion a year out of the economy, $5.3 billion from Arizona. The pain could be real for borrowers - about 880,000 in Arizona - but will present only a "modest headwind" to the overall economy.


What’s in a name change? Too many hurdles, transgender advocates say

WASHINGTON - Activists say that Arizona is about in the middle of states in terms of the hoops transgender people have to jump through to amend their driver's license, birth certificate or other state-issued documentation. But that doesn't mean it's easy, they say.


Group mentor program in Tucson teaches male youth about healthy relationships

TUCSON – A mentoring program is using talking circles, adventure outings and overnight camping trips to help young men develop positive and healthy relationships. The goal is to give every boy in middle and high school access to safe and trusted men.

Young men and their mentors gather around a campfire at a Boys to Men camping weekend. (Photo courtesy of Boys to Men Tucson)

House dads: Gallego’s paternity leave shows slowly growing acceptance

WASHINGTON - Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, was not the first House member to take paternity leave, but that doesn't mean it was considered routine either. But experts say it's becoming more common in private workplaces, and is starting to be "normalized" in Congress.