Sydney Witte
Sydney Witte SID-nee WIH-tee (she/her)
News Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Sydney Witte expects to graduate in May 2024 with a master’s in mass communication. Witte has interned at KTVK/KPHO in Phoenix and KHNL/KGMB in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Latest from Sydney Witte

Saavi Services for the Blind provides life skill practices, career services and technology training for independent living

PHOENIX – Saavi Services for the Blind helps the visually impaired with career services, job readiness, special techniques for using computers and navigating life without vision.

Saavi assistive technology instructor Joe Good demonstrates technology on Nov. 1 that helps the visually impaired use a computer. (Photo by Sydney Witte/Cronkite News)

Arizona Sailing Foundation makes waves with sailing lessons in the Valley

TEMPE – The Arizona Sailing Foundation has helped people of all ages learn to sail in the desert since 1958, mostly on Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant. On select weekends throughout the year, the organization teaches youth and adult classes for those yearning to become mariners. The students learn key skills such as control, patience and a capsize drill.

The Arizona Sailing Foundation teaches youth and adult classes, including a capsize drill students learn on the first of the two-day course. Photo taken at Tempe Town Lake on Oct. 14, 2023. (Photo by Sydney Witte/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)

Arizona veterans, state agencies battle over bingo machines deemed illegal under state gambling laws

PHOENIX – Arizona veteran groups, including members of local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, with the help of state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, called out public agencies for targeting them over bingo technological aids, but the state says that’s not the issue. Instead, the groups may be using illegal bingo gaming machines.

Veterans listen to Arizona Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli during a news conference on Oct. 2, 2023. (Photo by Kevinjonah Paguio/Cronkite News)

Biden honors McCain, denounces ‘MAGA extremists’ during Tempe event

TEMPE – President Joe Biden invoked the spirit of the late Sen. John McCain while denouncing "MAGA extremists" as a threat to democracy, during a speech Thursday at the Tempe Arts Center.


SAG-AFTRA Arizona members rally as part of national strike for TV, film worker protections, higher wages

PHOENIX – The Arizona-Utah chapter of SAG-AFTRA held a rally in Phoenix on Sunday to support local actors, writers, and TV and film workers who are on strike. The national union has been on strike since July 14 in conjunction with the Writers’ Guild of America, which has been on strike since May 2. The strikes have stopped production on films and TV series.

Actress and comedian Saylor Billings tells jokes to the crowd at the SAG-AFTRA Arizona-Utah rally, on Sept. 17, 2023. (Photo by Kiersten Edgett/Cronkite News)

Honor your ‘mother’: Working to keep traditional ways, types of Hopi corn

MAYER – Michael Kotutwa Johnson, a farmer from the Hopi Tribe, is focusing on bringing Hopi corn back to the dining table – not only for the health benefits but also to connect his people to their culture.

Michael Kotutwa Johnson says Hopi corn "has 10 to 15 times more mineral content" than supermarket corn. He hopes to share it with the Hopi people and believes they will see an improvement in health. (Photo by Sierra Alvarez/Cronkite News)

Gilbert Fire and Rescue’s best arson investigator is a 4-year-old Lab named Zeta

GILBERT – Gilbert Fire and Rescue’s arson dog, Zeta, is their best investigator of suspicious fires. The 4-year-old Labrador can quickly and precisely locate accelerants, saving the fire department time and money.

Gilbert fire investigator David Zehring poses with Zeta, an accelerant-detection canine for the ATF. Zehring is the only person who's allowed to handle Zeta during arson investigations. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Valley homeowners take advantage of xeriscape incentives

MESA – Mesa and Chandler offer xeriscape incentives for homeowners to convert their grass lawns to more desert-friendly landscaping.

This yard in Mesa was converted to desert landscaping under the city’s Grass-to-Xeriscape incentive program. Photo taken Sept. 7, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Pandemic adds pressure on doctors, who already had one of the highest rates of suicide

PHOENIX – Physicians have one of the highest rates of death by suicide, and the pandemic has excerbated the stress on health care workers. Doctors often are hesitant to seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.


Luminarias bring holiday tradition to Desert Botanical Garden

Luminarias are a holiday tradition that span hundreds of years and several cultures. It’s a tradition being honored at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

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Agritainment: Arizona farms turn to petting zoos, corn mazes, concerts and festivals to survive

GILBERT – Farms across Arizona are turning to ‘agritainment’ in order to survive. From petting zoos and tractor rides to pumpkin patches, the public can pay to peek behind the scenes and have some fun.


Fourth fire station built in Phoenix could become a full-service restaurant

Phoenix is preparing to lease the fourth fire station built in the city so it can be converted into a restaurant or small business. The transformation is part of the Margaret T. Hance Park revitalization program.