I tell stories.

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

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westvalleyview.com

'We Miss our Friend'

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.

May, 2008

Bernice claire article
westvalleyview.com

The road less traveled

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.

March, 2008

Arizona Republic

The New Pup in Class

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.

April, 2006

rebeccaiallen.com

Yearbook Pornography Debate Spurs Censorship Concerns

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.

June, 2005

westvalleyview.com

Their records are your records

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."

March, 2008

Sissy2 article
westvalleyview.com

A life too short

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.

Dec. 2007

westvalleyview.com

West Valley troops return after year in Iraq

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.

Oct. 2007

Arizona Republic

Lessons of the heart: Refugees latest to benefit from school's kindness

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."

Feb. 2006

arizonascenicroads.com

Patagonia-Sonoita Scenic Road

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.

Aug., 2003

Arizona Republic

New Look for Metrocenter

Phoenix mall getting extreme makeover inside and out

May, 2006

westvalleyview.com

Goodyear man braves flames to save man trapped in truck

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."

Aug. 2008

the desert advocate

DVUSD fires coach for weapons violation

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)

westvalleyview.com

Saying goodbye to Sissy

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.

Jan. 2008

people

The Final Three Went Back Home to Parades, Proclamations, and even Marriage Proposals

Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, and Blake Lewis leave Hollywood for their American Idol hometown visits

May, 2007

Arizona Republic

PV Mall Thriving Amid Changes

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.

May, 2006