Emily Mai
Emily Mai EM-uh-lee my (she/they)
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Emily Mai expects to graduate in May 2024 with a master’s degree in mass communication. Mai graduated from Arizona State University in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Mai is part of the marketing and public relations team for ASU Gammage.

Latest from Emily Mai

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)

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)

‘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)

Arizona Thanksgiving meal cost down 28% as turkey prices decrease

PHOENIX – The average price of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 people this year is down 28%, according to the Arizona Farm Bureau. Arizona consumers faced “historically high” prices for their Thanksgiving meal ingredients in 2022.

U.S. Army Reserve soldiers gather a Thanksgiving luncheon in Fort Meade, Maryland, in this 2017 file photo. This year, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner has gone down across the nation. (Photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret/U.S. Army Reserve)

Carving a masterpiece: Artist Ray Villafane’s 6 tips to unlocking your pumpkin’s potential (with Arizona stencils)

SCOTTSDALE – Renowned pumpkin artist Ray Villafane hosted a pumpkin-carving class, and his work is featured at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa – along with a 1,700-pound pumpkin – through October. Villafane shares carving tips, and artist Emily Mai created Arizona pumpkin stencils for download.

Finished pumpkins from Ray Villafane’s pumpkin-carving class are arranged on the floor. Pumpkin designs can vary with infinite possibilities to try. Photo taken in Scottsdale on Oct. 8, 2023. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Thousands gather in Flagstaff to witness annular solar eclipse

FLAGSTAFF — The annular solar eclipse on Saturday drew large crowds to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

From left, Scott Glib, Laura Nicholson, Haley Finch and Emma Railey look at the annular solar eclipse with protective solar glasses at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff on Sat., Oct. 14, 2023. "We just thought people would be excited and knowledgeable here and it would be fun to share in the excitement," Nicholson said. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Arizona’s extreme heat threatens ‘spectacular migrations’ of butterflies

SCOTTSDALE – Arizona experienced extreme heat this summer, which may affect butterfly migratory patterns. The prolonged heat means less food for butterflies and caterpillars.

A spotted tiger glassywing butterfly rests atop a flower at Butterfly Wonderland on Sept. 20, 2023. Arizona’s prolonged extreme heat is expected to reduce butterflies’ food, resulting in fewer migrating butterflies, Nina de l’Etoile, Butterfly Wonderland conservatory supervisor, said. (Photo by Kevinjonah Paguio/Cronkite News)

Eating disorders marked by diagnosis, treatment gap for men, women of color

PHOENIX – Mental health experts are finding it harder to diagnose eating disorders in men because of the lack of clinical research.

(Illustration by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Eve’s Insomnia: A comic about getting help to overcome sleepless nights

Insomnia can happen to anyone, especially as life stressors like studying for exams, going through menopause or caring for a family member occur. The graphic comic, “Eve’s Insomnia,” shows the struggle toward solutions.

(Illustration by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

As heat-related deaths soar in Arizona, cities, businesses and environmental activists launch tree-planting initiatives

PHOENIX – Deaths related to heat have soared in recent years in Arizona. Several cities, businesses and environmental groups believe that planting trees should be part of the solution.

The blue palo verde is Arizona's state tree. Several are shown in a neighborhood in North Phoenix. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Navajo artist’s work featured on skateboard Forever Stamp

GLENDALE – The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the skateboard Forever Stamps to celebrate the community and culture the sport creates. It brought on Indigenous artists to design the stamps, one of whom was Arizona native and Navajo artist Di’Orr Greenwood.


‘Broadcast legend’ Pat McMahon of ‘Wallace and Ladmo’ still a Phoenix TV icon

PHOENIX – For over three decades, Pat McMahon brought joy to children across the greater Phoenix area on KPHO’s hit TV kid’s program, “The Wallace and Ladmo Show.”

Pat McMahon records an ad in the AZTV7 studio to be broadcast on the “Arizona Daily Mix” morning show. Photo taken in Phoenix on March 22, 2023. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

Haboobs, swamp box and ki-yotes: Arizona residents favor protecting the ways they speak

PHOENIX - A recent poll suggests Arizona residents are in favor of protecting the unique ways they speak, and the country of Wales provides an example to do so.

(Illustration by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

‘My child, my choice’: Parents, children march to support school voucher program

PHOENIX – Parents, children and educators on Wednesday marched to the state Capitol to support an education voucher program that Gov. Katie Hobbs has said she wants to dismantle. Empowerment Scholarship Accounts provide up to $7,000 annually in state funds.


Poison control, dispensaries on alert as kids who accidentally eat marijuana edibles rises

Poison control centers and marijuana dispensaries are sending messages to parents as the number of children who accidentally eat their edibles is on the rise.

Arizona law prohibits edibles from being designed to look like children’s candies, such as gummy bears. In a licensed Arizona dispensary, marijuana gummies for adults are labeled with the specific dose on individual gummies and their container. State law requires that edibles are limited to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible and a maximum of 100mg of THC per package of edibles. Photo taken in Scottsdale on Jan. 31, 2023. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

High egg prices lead homeowners to start backyard hatcheries

PHOENIX – High egg prices in grocery stores due to the uptick in bird flu have led people to start purchasing chicks for their own backyard hatcheries.

A gif of an egg in a nest.

Photos: Arizona Super Bowl events include music, parties, experiences, more

PHOENIX – Cronkite News photographers are capturing Super Bowl events, from the Super Bowl LVII Experience to Super Bowl LVII Music Fest and more.

Confetti canons blast as Imagine Dragons performs during the Super Bowl LVII Music Fest at Footprint Center Feb. 11, 2023, in Phoenix. (Photo by Drake Presto/Cronkite News)

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates independent prison oversight commission

PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed her sixth executive order Wednesday, establishing an independent prison oversight commission to improve the transparency and accountability of Arizona’s corrections system.


Building the future: Trade occupations encouraged as demand for skilled labor grows

PHOENIX – Trade labor jobs are in high demand across the U.S., with many companies desperate for skilled laborers. TradeUp! and West-MEC are handing middle and high school students hard hats and teaching them such crucial skills as electricians, welders and mechanics.

Electrical trade students at West-MEC in Buckey practice wiring light switches in class on Sept. 16, 2022. (Photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

SRP researches cloud seeding in White Mountains to create snow amid historic drought

PHOENIX – SRP is researching cloud seeding along the Mogollon Rim as Arizona continues to struggle with its worst drought in 1,200 years. The partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe could bring Arizona its first cloud seeding operation.

A turboprop Piper PA31T Cheyenne II airplane sits in storage. These twin-engine airplanes carry both hygroscopic and glaciogenic flares to use for cloud seeding. (Photo courtesy of Gary Walker/SOAR)

See updates from Arizona voters and polling locations on Election Day

PHOENIX – Voters across Arizona headed to the polls to make their voices heard this midterm election. Their votes on candidate races and propositions will determine the future of Arizona. This year, tensions are high as Arizonans decide on a new governor as well as a U.S. senator, among other races.


Yoga for addiction recovery and mental health expands among care providers

Within the past decade, behavioral and mental health providers have adopted yoga as a supplemental treatment tool for addiction recovery. With overdose deaths up by 30% in 2020, people are turning to less traditional methods, like practicing yoga, to get and stay clean.


Slow, steady and high tech: Study using GPS to track Sonoran desert tortoises

SCOTTSDALE – The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy wants to learn more about how the Sonoran desert tortoise interacts with urban development and how they move through the desert. It's using telemetry and GPS to track 22 tortoises in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.


Camelback’s Cholla Trail reopens, providing more access to the highest peak in Phoenix

PHOENIX – Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain’s eastern slope, which closed in March 2020, reopened in September with safety improvements and new amenities. The landmark is Phoenix’s highest peak and carries with it decades of history.


Bolsos veganos hechos de piña, cactus y corcho podrían ayudar a salvar el planeta

LOS ANGELES – Algunos diseñadores reemplazan el cuero tradicional con materiales como la piña, el cactus y el corcho. Se ven muy bien y son mejores para el medio ambiente.


Ban on sexually explicit materials in Arizona schools set to take effect

PHOENIX – A state law banning any materials in public schools that contain sexual content takes effect this week, and critics worry self-censoring will put more stress on already overburdened teachers.


In a pickle: Pickleball takes off, but search for courts worries tennis players

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Pickleball is experiencing growing pains as courts are becoming harder to find. Cities are responding by building more courts and converting tennis courts, but not everyone is on board with those efforts.


British community in Phoenix mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II

PHOENIX – The British community in Arizona is small but closely connected, according to David Wimberley, owner of George & Dragon. Wimberley, a British migrant, was at home when a friend called with the news: Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday. She was 96.


Vegan handbags made of pineapple, cactus and cork could help save the planet

LOS ANGELES – Some designers are becoming more sustainable by replacing traditional leather with such materials as pineapple, cactus and cork. They look great and are better for the environment.