Blake Freas

Blake Freas

News Reporter, Washington, D.C.

Blake Freas is a Virginia native who expects to graduate in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism.

Latest from Blake Freas

Arizona Medicaid recipients topped 2 million after five-month surge

WASHINGTON - The number of people on Arizona's Medicaid rolls topped 2 million this summer, boosting enrollment 8.7% during a five-month surge in enrollment that coincided with COVID-19's hit to the state's health and its economy.


As feds debate COVID-19 deal, clock is ticking on state eviction protection

WASHINGTON - Arizona renters may have breathed a sigh of relief last month when Gov. Doug Ducey extended a moratorium on residential evictions to Oct. 31 - but Oct. 31 could come as soon as later this month if renters don't file the right paperwork with their landlords.


Good roads, bad drivers: Arizona interstates deadliest in nation, report says

WASHINGTON - Arizona's interstate highways are in generally good shape, but they experienced the highest rate of fatalities in the nation in 2018, according to a national report released Tuesday.


Arizona business leaders have high hopes as USMCA takes effect

WASHINGTON - It just took effect Wednesday, but Arizona business leaders were optimistic about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that economists say was worth billions in trade and thousands of jobs in Arizona alone.


Williams joins chiefs, mayors seeking ways to improve police-community relations

WASHINGTON - Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams joined mayors and big-city police chiefs from around the country Thursday for a U.S. Conference of Mayors virtual panel looking at police reform and racial justice, as cities across the country grapple with the fallout of George Floyd's death at police hands.


Arizona jobless rate drops sharply, but still at twice pre-COVID levels

WASHINGTON - Arizona posted one of the sharpest unemployment drops in the country in May, falling from a historic high of 13.4% in April to 8.9% last month, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Supreme Court reverses Trump administration, saves DACA – for now

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court breathed new life into the endangered DACA program Thursday, ruling that the Trump administration's attempt to end the program was arbitrary and capricious and must be reversed.


Mayors: COVID-19 followed by second ‘pandemic’ of police relations

WASHINGTON - Cities were already grappling with the health and economic impact of COVID-19 when protests uncovered what one mayor Thursday called the "second pandemic" - a fractured police relationship with minority communities.


Floyd’s brother testifies to House, as lawmakers debate best way forward

WASHINGTON - The brother of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked nationwide protests, told a somber House committee Wednesday that he hopes his testimony can bring changes so that Floyd's "death will not be in vain."


COVID-19 in Arizona: Deaths top 1,000, new cases set fourth record in a week

WASHINGTON - Coronavirus-related deaths in Arizona passed 1,000 on Friday, as 16 new deaths brought the state's total to 1,012 since the first death was reported in mid-March.The grim milestone came as new COVID-19 cases continued to soar, with a new daily of 1,579 new cases Friday.


Mayors glad to get COVID-19 relief funding, wish it had arrived sooner

WASHINGTON - Mayors around the state said they welcome the $441 million in COVID-19 relief funding released by the state this week - they just wish they could have welcomed it sooner. The comments came as the state released $441 million in relief funds from the federal CARES Act, passed two months ago.


Cities, counties to get $441 million in direct COVID-19 relief funds

WASHINGTON - Arizona cities and counties will get access to nearly $600 million in COVID-19 relief funding, part of the more than $1.8 billion awarded two months ago to Arizona under the federal CARES Act.


Scottsdale mayor says COVID-19 hurt U.S. ‘psyche’ along with economy

WASHINGTON - The financial and health effects of COVID-19 have been well documented, but Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said Wednesday that he is just as concerned about the impact the pandemic has had on the American psyche.