14+ years as staff journalist, freelance, and writer. Current projects: general fiction novel, and a TV drama. These articles are a sample of my bylines. Contact me for clips, resume, and references
When Rae Hunt's first-grade class sings Happy Birthday during calendar time, they usually do so with loud, bold voices.
"This one was very soft and gentle," Hunt said.
Wednesday morning, the class at Ruth Fisher Elementary School in Tonopah sang for Cheyanne "Sissy" Chantry on what would have been her seventh birthday.
Sissy died in January after a battle with a brain tumor.
Providence is defined as "fate," or "God's will, as expressed though events on earth."
Bernice Ende experiences quite a bit of providence - she calls it "trail magic."
Ende, a long rider, is on 3,000-mile trek from Mojave Valley back to her home in Trego, Mont. She travels with her dog, Claire, and two horses - one for each of them.
Students at Horizon High School got a new classmate this week, but no matter how cute she is, there is no petting the pup in the purple backpack. She's on duty.
A debate about whether a high school yearbook contains pornographic titles has some parents and school officials talking about instituting prior review of all student publications.
Citizens across the nation have the right to access government information at all levels. However, it's not always easy to get records and often it's the person behind the counter's lack of knowledge that prevents it.
"It's not unusual to walk in and get a blank stare," said Patrick Shannahan, Arizona's Ombudsman-Citizens' Aide. "A lot of times, the lower level you go to, at school districts or a police station or small town, the people there aren't really trained a lot in what their responsibilities are."
Many mothers get to watch their daughters grow up, drive a car, go to college and get married. Melanie Thomas will not. Her 6-year-old daughter has two months to live.
Brandon Luevano loves baseball. When he hit his first grand slam, his father cheered from the stands. But the 10-year-old has not picked up a bat in more than a year - he's waited for his father to return from Iraq.
Brandon's wait is over.
Several teens clad in school uniforms climb the stairs to the second floor of a worn apartment building in west Phoenix carrying toys, lip gloss, and bubble gum.
They are met by smiling children who jump up and down and wave their arms. The students hug the children of the Hussein family, whom their class has adopted for the school year.
"It wouldn't matter to them if we brought them nothing," said Rose Mischke, a teacher, softball coach and founder of the St. Jerome School adopt-a-family program. "All they want is us."
As visitors traverse the winding highway, they reach an area marked by wildflowers and towering cottonwoods and sycamores. Sometimes you see them popping out of a car along the road as they catch a flash of color or flick of wing. Binoculars at the ready, these birders mine their field of vision well.
The experienced recite the characteristic of their visual prey while the amateurs juggle reference books. They all share a yearning to view, even if for a flittering moment, the jewels that shimmer and glide through the Santa Cruz region of southeastern Arizona. And they take the Patagonia-Sonoita Scenic Road to get there.
Phoenix mall getting extreme makeover inside and out
A Goodyear man saved the life of a Mesa father trapped in the cab of a burning truck Friday.
Nick Comeione said instinct took over when he saw three people trying to kick out the windshield to free the driver of a semitrailer that had overturned on Interstate 10 near Buckeye Road in Phoenix.
However, what brought him to the truck many, including Comeione, would call "fate."
The Deer Valley School District governing board fired an "anonymous" baseball coach for jokingly threatening a player with the three-inch blade of a pocket tool.
(The Desert Advocate, June 22, 2005)
The first person to hold her was also the last. She died in her mother's arms.
Cheyanne "Sissy" Chantry, 6, lost her battle with a brain tumor and was laid to rest Saturday at Phoenix Memorial Park. About 500 people attended her funeral service at Shadow Mountain Mortuary in Phoenix. Family and friends sobbed and laughed as they said goodbye to a spunky girl who seized their hearts with her smile and through her own joy - brought happiness to the people around her.
Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, and Blake Lewis leave Hollywood for their American Idol hometown visits
Despite neighbors' complaints about the area's decline to "discount and drive-through," Paradise Valley Mall owner Westcor said the mall is thriving with 88 percent occupancy, new retailers moving in and other retailers' planning to remodel.