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Stories by Christina Silvestri

Shelter for homeless women veterans opens in Phoenix

After serving in the U.S. Air Force for seven years, Bonnie Diaz waited tables and operated a forklift to make ends meet before she ended up homeless. “Coming out of the military is like coming out of prison and being released into the world,” Diaz, 46, said. “The world has moved on and it’s no longer a recognizable environment.”... Read more»0

More Az veterans report dealing with military sexual trauma

Luisa Valdez said she was 18 and new to the Army when knocks awoke her and four male service members pushed her back into her barracks room and onto the bed. Each man raped her, she said.... Read more»1

Sandblasting, painting final steps toward creating state World War II memorial

In a west Phoenix industrial area, Master Sgt. Kelly Dugan and a team Arizona Air National Guard volunteers scrape rust from gun barrels that once graced the USS Arizona and USS Missouri.... Read more»0

Judge denies motion to overturn uranium-mining ban near Grand Canyon

Conservation groups celebrated a federal judge’s ruling that denied a motion to overturn the Obama administration’s ban on uranium mining on 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon.... Read more»0

ADOT camera upgrade provides faster online traffic views

An upgrade to the 200-plus highway traffic cameras in the Valley and Tucson allows drivers to track real-time traffic conditions and avoid congestion. "The still camera images update every 10 seconds instead of every 5 minutes, so commuters can have up-to-date images of freeway conditions before they head out to the car."... Read more»0

Report: Brewer plan could cut growing communities’ sales taxes

A report by the Grand Canyon Institute raises concerns about how Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to simplify Arizona’s sales tax system handles construction materials. It says taxing materials where they are purchased rather than used, would cut revenue for growing cities. ... Read more»0

Report: Az's smaller defense firms face sequester cuts

Smaller companies with contracts to supply products and services to Arizona’s top-tier aerospace and defense companies face the greatest threat if sequestration cuts take effect, according to a report released Tuesday.... Read more»0

ASU, NAU certified Veterans Supportive Campuses, UA to follow

After serving eight years with the U.S. Army in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan, Sgt. Carlos Forcadilla returned home seeking a college education but worried about what that experience may hold. After spending a semester at a Colorado community college where he found it difficult to connect with other veterans, he moved to ASU and was pleased with the support available.... Read more»0

Officials urge licenses, training to reduce motorcycle deaths

Saying that increased traffic congestion and a lack of training can be a deadly combination for motorcyclists, state officials are urging riders to get instruction and required licenses before taking to the roads.... Read more»0

‘In Her Shoes’: Program focuses on choices that lead girls into sex trade

A young girls' story is part of an “In Her Shoes” simulation offered by the Arizona State University Diane Halle Center for Family Justice, where a group of reporters had to make choices faced by individuals who fell victim to sex trafficking. ... Read more»1

Feds map 200k acres of Az public land with renewable energy potential

Nearly 200,000 acres are covered by the U.S. Interior Department announcement, which follows a three-year statewide environmental review. A federal official calls the designation a "go-to map" for those looking to develop large-scale solar and wind energy in Arizona. ... Read more»0

Sky Harbor gun seizures 3rd-most in nation

Authorities confiscated 54 guns at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport checkpoints in 2012, the third highest total in the nation, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Seizures at Tucson International Airport fell to four, from a 2011 total of 16.... Read more»0

Brewer, lawmakers: Business, education priorities for Legislature

Gov. Jan Brewer told business leaders Friday that her legislative agenda includes simplifying the “complicated and overly burdensome” process behind the state’s transaction privilege tax.... Read more»0