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.
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.
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 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.
It seems parts of north Buckeye have something more in common with Prescott, Payson and Page than with their own Town Hall - they share the same area code.
Not only is Buckeye no longer a one-prefix town; it's no longer a one-area-code town. To phone the Festival community, at the northernmost tip of the town's 650-mile planning area, one must dial 928.
Buckeye's bringing Christmas back.
The Buckeye Elementary School District Governing Board broke from the politically correct practice of referring to the district's end-of -year vacation as winter break. The board voted unanimously to adopt a 2007-08 calendar listing the two-week recess as: Christmas break.
A lonely stretch of highway reaches north of Interstate 10 in Buckeye, connecting the booming town to its northern neighbor Surprise and the outskirts of Wickenburg. High-voltage power lines and saguaros stand sentinel in the mostly barren desert dotted with for-sale, no-services-for-the-next-35-miles and 50 mph-speed-limit signs.
Welcome to the Sun Valley Parkway: The future home of massive master-planned communities with hundreds of thousands of neighbors and commercial square footage.
Lisa Malick has a letter to write. Not an ordinary letter. A letter that thanks the family of a man who donated his liver when he died.
"What do you say?" Malick asked. "He saved my life."
A beleaguered school district is reeling after a neighboring district marketed its new school to a community - and succeeded.
"Be a mensch," was the last thing Alexander White's father said to him before Nazi solders dragged him off 63 years ago.
White never saw his father again.
"Be a mensch means 'be a human,'" White, a Holocaust survivor, told a room full of high school history students in Goodyear.
White, 84, said his father told him that should he survive, above all else, he should be a human being.
White's father died in 1944, leaving the young man on a train platform clutching a piece of bread.
"I tried to give it to him, he wouldn't take it," White said...
Most parents wait a year or so to hear a child say his first word.
Cathy and Alan Flynt waited 11.
A guy rides into the West Valley carrying a pig ... no, that's not the start of a lame joke, rather the beginning of the Arizona leg of a frugal book tour.
"I call it the 'tour de cheapskate,'" said Jeff Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches.