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  • Army Ranger breaks silence over Pat Tillman's death

    It's one of the most famous military mysteries of the past decade, Pat Tillman, the former ASU and Cardinals player turned Army Ranger killed in 2004 after he left the NFL to fight in Afghanistan.The Army said it was friendly fire, but never said whose shots killed Tillman. Three soldiers acknowledged firing at his position, but none have spoken publicly until now.Steven Elliott told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that two convoys entered the mountains, but got separated. He said Tillman's group scaled a ridge line to help fellow rangers under attack, but a squad leader mistakenly thought an allied Afghan soldier next to Tillman was an enemy and opened fire.Elliott said he has been treated for PTSD and is speaking out now because he believes his story might provide hope for fellow veterans with similar problems. You can see more of the interview Sunday morning on ESPN.The interview is stirring up a lot of emotions, just days before the ten year anniversary of Tillman's death.

  • Cooler with rain possible before warmup next week

    We've already seen some passing sprinkles this afternoon and our clouds are lowering as moisture continues to increase ahead of an approaching low pressure system. This disturbance will move into our state tonight through Saturday.Rain chances will continue to increase across the state tonight and again tomorrow. Especially across northern and eastern Arizona.In the Valley we'll get sprinkles with just a slight chance for a stray shower. You'll mostly notice areas of "virga" or rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. That can cause some stronger, cooler wind gusts underneath the clouds at the surface.Rain chances will be better in the higher elevations to our north and east and across northern Arizona. We could see some scattered showers, and even a stray thunderstorm over the next couple of hours. As we lose daytime heating, storm chances will go down in those locations.Breezes have also kick up state-wide this afternoon, with peak gusts in the Valley approaching 20 to 25 mph and gusts up north nearing 30 mph.Highs today were nearly 10 degrees cooler in the Valley thanks to the clouds and that approaching disturbance. We've only seen the lower 80s at Sky Harbor today.

  • Primavera hosting open house for summer camp program

    Primavera Blended Learning Center will host an open house on Saturday to provide more information on its summer camp.The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will offer activities like a Lego robotics and video game design demonstration, free rocket building and launching, a discount off a week of camp and snacks.Primavera is located at 2451 N. Arizona Ave. in Chandler.

  • Tempe man sentenced to 16 years in prison for murdering girlfriend

    A man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his live-in girlfriend has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.A Maricopa County Superior Court spokesman says Douglas Ray George was sentenced Friday by Judge Robert Gottsfield.George in February changed his plea to guilty in the death of 23-year-old Annovedwin Begay-Barakzai.A passer-by found her beaten, stabbed and naked body on a Tempe street on June 15.Begay-Barakzai wasn't identified for weeks, and police even released a sketch of the woman hoping to identify her.A tip in the case led police to George. He had previously been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence assault on Begay-Barakzai, who declined to press charges.

  • Gilbert scraps plans for USA BMX headquarters

    The town of Gilbert has decided not to move forward with potential plans to build a training facility and headquarters for USA BMX.Dana Berchman, chief digital officer for Gilbert, said the town would like to focus on other elements of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan."Although a BMX facility is a part of the Master Plan, and would bring substantial recreational, economic and tourism benefits to the community, we believe there are other parks-related needs that require our attention first," said Mayor John Lewis in an emailed press release.Under the proposed agreement with USA BMX, the town of Gilbert would foot a majority of the $20 million BMX training and racing complex, which would be located near the intersection of Greenfield and Germann roads in Gilbert.Other buildings under the proposal would include a BMX arena, training facilities, a Hall of Fame and museum, a bike park and the headquarters.A public meeting was held earlier this month where members of the public brought up concerns about economic impact, noise and traffic.

  • Gas prices bump up by 3.6 cents

    Pump prices increased again this week by just less than 4 cents, although the state remains one of the cheapest places to purchase fuel.Triple-A Arizona reports the national average went up by 3.6 cents to $3.461 a gallon. Tucson was at the low end at $3.343 a gallon while Flagstaff remained the most expensive place in Arizona to purchase gas at $3.595 a gallon.Even with the jump, Arizona is still the ninth-cheapest state to fill the tank. The increase was also almost a penny less than the 4.5 cent increase in the national average, which is up to $3.657 per gallon.

  • ‘Bears’ the film is so, so adorable

    You can't really watch the film “Bears” with any expectation of plot or even a plethora of factoids for your kids to spout off randomly in the car. There are a few of those for sure (did you know that a bear's sense of smell is seven times stronger than a blood hound's?) but the film's purpose is evoke as many “awwwwwws” and “squeeeees” from the titular animals’ escapades as humanly possible.Another entry in the Disneynature documentary series – others include such efficiently titled films as “Oceans” and “Chimpanzee” – “Bears” is about, well, bears. There's a momma bear and two cubs, and the film follows their Alaskan adventures – from finding food to not becoming somebody else's food – from the end of one hibernation cycle to the start of another. Oh, and the voice of narrator John C. Reilly bounces about through the film's blessedly brief run time.That last line is often used as an insult, but it's honestly a compliment to the filmmakers, who opted against making an unnecessarily long movie and created something quick, painless and fairly entertaining. Props are also due to anyone willing to cut down a year's worth of footage – hours upon hours of film to process and ounces of pride to eat – to 13 minutes short of an hour-and-a-half movie.What's left is a film lacking in meat and burdened by both the “G” rating and the Disney label, which combine to diminish the documentary’s danger. Nature is a cruel, cruel mistress, but “Bears” only hints at what those animals face – in this case a lone wolf and a couple of enormous male bears lacking food – and the attempts to add a little drama are dampened by the inevitable happy ending. In other words, “Bears” won't create those childhood mental scars in your kids like “Bambi,” “Old Yeller” or “Up” did to you.Also missing is the educational experience one expects from a nature documentary. Sure, you get a few tidbits to dispense at parties (the one mentioned above is the only one that sticks out for me), but viewers won't learn much more about bears than they did before entering the cinema. To repurpose a Rick Pitino quote, David Attenborough isn't walking through that door, Morgan Freeman isn't walking through that door.Speaking in their stead is Reilly – an odd character actor who revels in comedies starring rather abnormal people (see Brule, Dr. Steve) yet remains a capable and competent dramatic actor in films like “Gangs of New York” and “Magnolia.” His serious side pops out in “Bears” whenever danger begins to waft through the atmosphere, but his overall tone is light and impeccably goofy and includes tangents that criticize a bear's lack of game in his pursuit of a mate.

  • California Guitar Trio to play MAC

    With a repertoire that ranges from re-workings of classical music to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the progressive acoustic group California Guitar Trio (CGT) will perform a diverse program 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Mesa Arts Center.The combination of technical mastery with an unparalleled collection of stylistic influences, including European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music, has created a demand for their recordings and touring performances.The Trio’s music has been featured during television coverage of the Olympic Games (1998 and 2000), and on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat and ESPN TV programs. CGT music was sent into outer space as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour.In August 2004 CGT released “Whitewater,” featuring original works offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mash-up of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” with The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.”The group’s 2012 release, “Masterworks,” is an all-classical compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part.For tickets, call (480) 644-6500 or visit MesaArtsCenter.com.

  • Kids: Experience ‘Legends of Oz’ at Tempe Marketplace

    Join Dorothy and Toto, from the upcoming 3D animated feature “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” as they bring the magical land of Oz to Tempe Marketplace.The “Legends of Oz Express,” coming 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 19, to the shopping center’s District Stage, features a variety of activities for families ahead of the May 9 movie opening.Kids can make friendship pins in the Tin Man’s Friendship Club, make arts and crafts in the Scarecrow’s Workshop, and perform on the Lion’s “Mane” stage. iPad gaming stations will let kids will virtually follow the Yellow Brick Road, and Dorothy and friends will be there for pictures, prizes and fun.Guests are encouraged to bring a new book to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix.For information, go to LegendsOfOzWorld.com.

  • MACFest wraps up this weekend with variety of artists

    April 19 is the last event of the 2013-2014 Mesa Arts and Crafts Festival season. Bring the family and pets down to see the festival’s talented local artists and their products, like artists Mike Shaw and Michelle Shaw, who share the same last name but specialize in very different artforms:Michelle Shaw: steampunk jewelryIf you’re into science fiction, steampunk or jewelry in general, you need to check out VictorianFolly.Cameos with rabbits, skeletons, mermaids, octopi, and alicorns (they’re like unicorns with wings) are among Michelle Shaw’s jewelry. You’ll also find earrings and necklaces of scarab gems and Ancient Egyptian themes, and earrings with pendants like mer-lions and bird skulls.Then, of course, you’ll witness Michelle’s pièce de résistance: her steampunk line.Watch faces and tiny gears are married with pieces of copper, silver and brass to create one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings you can wear on any occasion. Perhaps the most unique pieces of the VictorianFolly line are necklaces made with the rare porcelain dials of Braille watches, which were actually used once upon a time.

  • See “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”

    Valley Youth Theatre stages a musical comedy based on the classic fairy tale.DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 20; runs through April 27. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix. $18. (602) 253-8188 or VYT.com.

  • Review: 'Heaven is for Real' heartfelt but dull

    AP- Jessica HerndonContinuing the recent trend of faith-based films, including "Noah" and "Son of God," ''Heaven Is for Real" is a sweet tale based on a 4-year-old boy's account of his trip to heaven that's likely to please the devout, but won't entice religious cynics. There's little doubt the T.D. Jakes-produced adaptation of Todd Burpo's Christian non-fiction best-seller will have a built-in audience, especially on Easter weekend. After undergoing harrowing surgery for a ruptured appendix, young Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) begins recalling his journey for his family: Angels carried him to heaven where he met Jesus (played by Mike Mohrhardt, whose face we never quite see), as well as God, Colton's great-grandfather and the miscarried sister he never knew he had. Such talk frightens his older sister (Lane Styles) and worries his pastor father, Todd (Greg Kinnear), and mother, Sonja (Kelly Reilly). As Colton becomes more verbal about his supposed encounter, the local paper in the small Nebraska town starts reporting the story. This leads some members of Todd's congregation (Thomas Haden Church and Margo Martindale) to turn against the Burpo family. Though Todd sticks up for his son, his faith is also tested. "We ask these kids to believe this stuff," he says to his wife, "but I don't even know if I believe it myself." But Todd is captivated, as we are, by his son's innocence — especially when Colton tells him things he couldn't possibly know, such as how he saw his parents cope, each in their own way, during his near-fatal surgery. As Colton, Corum does an excellent job of speaking softly, yet with conviction, and holding his gaze so we have time to study his sparkling blue eyes. But it's the casting of Kinnear that offers the film's strongest chance at transcending the faith-based demographic, as the actor never fails to embody the everyman. Kinnear's Todd is not just an inaccessible preacher. He's also a volunteer firefighter, coaches high school wrestling and is a garage door repairman. His family is also in debt. Their house, which was offered as "part of his salary," sits near railroad tracks and shakes with every passing train. Thus, many of the Burpo family's struggles mirror those of others in the heartland, and effectively so. But in the way of gripping dialogue, Kinnear doesn't have much to work with. We might have expected more from writer-director Randall Wallace, who brought us the Oscar-nominated "Braveheart." But the material is pretty cookie-cutter and more typical of an afterschool special. However, Wallace and co-writer Chris Parker do a good job of weaving in moments that should appeal to a mass audience. Just when it seems we're being subjected to too much of "the Word," Colton cutely diverts our attention. During a road trip, he suggests the family sing "We Will Rock You" instead of a hymn. Kinnear and Reilly's chemistry also offers a favorable element. They appear genuinely sweet on each other and subtle sexual innuendoes add a bit of adult flavor. With the impressive computer-generated effects available today, this film could have used a more sophisticated depiction of heaven. OK, so it's hard to imagine what heaven would look like, but this version looks far too generic, awash with glaring light and blurred angels. It's no surprise that faith, hope and family prevail in this one. After all, says Todd in one of his sermons, "In the end, it's about not feeling alone." "Heaven Is for Real," a Sony release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for "thematic material including some medical situations." Running time: 100 minutes. Two stars out of four. ___

  • Gerald Todd knows what Basha football has been, could become

    Fitting for a guy with a background in coaching running backs, enthusiasm figuratively sprinted its way out of Gerald Todd’s mouth.Amid external pressures and expectations of Basha’s new football coach and longtime assistant — a hire made by the school Wednesday to replace Bernie Busken given some of the other names we heard in this process — time will tell how long the proverbial “pep” in Todd’s step sustains itself. But the man has a plan.His father was a coach, and he noted his time spent in Texas and New Mexico before coming to Basha as an assistant in 2006 helped groom his interest and understanding of the differences between being “on staff” and “the guy.” Having taken bits and pieces from Busken and Tim McBurney before then, Todd’s goals for Basha are a return to championship contention status at a faster pace of play, done by kids with character who are in the classroom.“We put out, as a (Chandler district), some of the best talent in the state,” Todd said. “Players go where they want and as a district we try to make sure the kids are getting the best experience. I like those in my backyard like the other three (Chandler, Hamilton and Perry) as well. We’ll compete with what we’ve got.”His background, however, offers no guarantee it’ll be done by running the ball. The Bears have some promising pieces in place at receiver along with Ryan Kelley and Jace Plant at quarterback.But that’s putting the cart ahead of the horse. It’ll take a couple weeks for a staff to be formulated and finalized — likely an even mix of current Basha assistants and those from the outside.

  • Higley softball 'pink out' honors coach

    Pink stands for strength in the Higley Lady Knights softball team.The Lady Knights surprised their coach, Patti Smith, on April 3 when they organized a “pink out,” complete with pink shirts, banners, pink bases and balloons.“With her surviving cancer 9 years in the summer, it’s to honor her. We love Coach Smith. It’s fun. It’s fun to decorate the field,” said senior Mackenzie Magee.It’s the third year in a row the Lady Knights have honored Coach Smith with a “day of pink.”“Coach Smith is an inspiring person. She is always so positive and wants the best for us. We all appreciate her and look up to her for that,” said senior Tori “Anne” Day.Coach Smith said she appreciates the team effort, as well as their desire to continue to raise awareness of breast cancer.

  • Basha promotes Gerald Todd as new football coach

    Through all the swirling rumors and guessing games, Basha stayed inside the walls.Gerald Todd was named the third football coach in school history on Wednesday morning, according to an email from athletic director Brent Rincon.Todd has been at Basha since 2006, where he has served as an assistant under former coaches Tim McBurney and Bernie Busken, and as a social studies teacher.Todd takes over for Busken, who resigned last month after four years at the school, including a 6-6 record in 2013. Spring football begins in a couple weeks.Prior to coming to Basha, Todd had a couple stints at Carlsbad High (N.M.) as both a teacher and an assistant coach (1997-99, 2001-06) with running backs, and later as offensive coordinator. He also coached in Texas from 1992-1995 and 1999-2001.Todd played and began his coaching career at Abilene Christian University (Tex.) in the early-to-mid 1990s.  He graduated from Abilene Christian with a degree in political science in 1989 and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from New Mexico State in 2002.

  • Red Mountain track sets school records

    In coaching circles, the cliché regarding exceptional athletes is, “This kind of athlete does not come along very often.” For the Red Mountain High School Girls’ Track Team, the saying would be, “These kinds of athletes do not come along very often together.” Enter seniors Tayler Jameson, Abbie Sharkey, and Kristiana Warth, a trio of pole vaulters who have been competing at the highest levels in the state for several years. With all three clearing 12 feet in the indoor season, the girls are in rare company in terms of the number of athletes over a mark for a season at one school.Much of the credit is of course due to their dedication to their discipline, but they’ve had help along the way from current pole vault coaches Cara Manis and Blair Howland as well as elite vaulters Dean and Jill Starkey. Combined with an early start in vaulting years ago, the results thus far in their careers is quite noticeable. “All of our coaches have done a great job pushing us to big meets,” says Warth. “It has been great having all three of us at those meets to push each other and make sure that we support each other on our best and worst days.”What is more amazing is their ability not only to push and support each other on the track, but also in the classroom. With GPA’s of 3.64, 3.952, and 4.729, and class ranks of 163, 90, and 6, Warth, Jameson and Sharkey, respectively, each lady has opened opportunities to progress to college and be successful. “My commitment to track gives me less time for homework, but it forces me to make good decisions about the time I dedicate to homework,” says Sharkey. “It also makes me more focused when I’m doing homework because I know I need to get it done correctly the first time.”But in all their time at Red Mountain there have been ups and downs for sure in each of their careers. Jameson suffered a stress fracture in her foot her Sophomore year, Warth spent much of her Junior year fighting a quad injury, and Sharkey had a lingering ankle and elbow injury that hampered her results at times. However, as their head coach, Brent Krieg, says, “They have remained positive, upbeat, and always dedicated to the process of improving, learning, and working hard for their goals. They have unconditional support for each other and lead our team both on and off the track.”With the end of the season looming, results are definitely important. However, the ladies remain confident in their bond as athletes. “It helps when we travel to big meets like Arcadia, the Chandler Rotary, and State because we have teammates who are competing right next to each other and we know we have each other’s back,” said Jameson. This is the atmosphere that Red Mountain coaches have instilled since taking over the program. “Our athletes are expected to be supportive of their teammates no matter the event in which they compete. The culture we’ve created in the past couple of years is partly a by-product of these pole vaulters’ willingness to compete against each other while at the same time hoping that each of them does better every meet.”The question will remain whether the formula works by the end of their high school careers, but for the trio of vaulters their grades, training, and competition has led them to several options for the future. Yet, their biggest impact has been to help create a team of athletes who care for each other, work hard, and cherish the success based on process. Truly, “These kinds of athletes do not come along very often together.”

  • 2013-2014 All-Tribune Girls Basketball

    All-Tribune First TeamName                        School          Yr.   Pos.   CommentEmily Wolph         Desert Vista        Sr.     G      POY candidate averaged 15.3 PPG, 2 RPG, 2.2 APG and 2.7 SPG for Div. I state championsCecily Wilson           Mesquite         Sr.     G      Tribune POY was already good defender but made huge strides offensively between junior and senior year to lead elite Div. I teamCamille Zimmerman   Tempe Prep   Sr.     F       Despite double- and triple- teams she averaged 25.4 PPG, 13 RGP and shot 85 percent FT; Headed to Columbia after record-setting seasonJulia Barcello    Seton Catholic      Sr.      F       Gatorade POY in AZ for 2013-2014 averaged a double-double for three consecutive years and Seton’s career leader in rebounds (1,390) and blocks (282); Headed to Colgate in fall

  • 2013-2014 Tribune Girls Basketball Player of Year: Cecily Wilson

    Coach was insistent and parent was hesitant, but the kid and her team ultimately thrived.With what Cecily Wilson described as athleticism that “we don’t know where it came from,” the Mesquite senior guard was born and raised on defense. So when Wildcats coach Candice Gonzales met with Cecily and her father, Craig, between her junior and senior year to discuss her role this season, the family was taken aback.Gonzales said she could be a good defender and a big-time offensive player. It was a complete contrast to Cecily’s upbringing and mindset.They balked, but Cecily proved her coach and her team right and became the 2013-2014 Tribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year.She worked with Dana Hawkins (club coach and father of Mountain View guards Arnecia and Armani Hawkins) last summer to improve her mid-range shot, footwork and fundamentals, sometimes several hundred shots per day.“I just shot until my arms fell off,” she said.

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  • Opening of State Route 24 could expedite Gateway growth

    A soon-to-open stretch of highway in Mesa is expected to alleviate potential driving problems and continue the expansion of a growing region in the city.Once it’s opened in May, the mile-long segment of State Route 24 will connect the Loop 202 Santan Freeway and Ellsworth Road, which is located near the Eastmark Development and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Construction on the project began in 2012, although Mesa Gateway Senior Project Manager Scot Rigby said the plan has been in the works for about a decade.Although the route connects Ellsworth and the Loop 202, the long-term goal is to push State Route 24 well beyond those boundaries. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the highway will connect the southeast section of Maricopa County to the northeast portion of Pinal County, including Queen Creek. Progress on the extension beyond Mesa is halted, however, until Pinal County completes its North-South Corridor Study and a source of funding for the rest of the project is found.Rigby said the now-open section of State Route 24 was paid for by the city of Mesa, which he said fronted the money to ADOT to expedite the project. He said the decision to do so helped cut the total cost from an estimated $200 million, to between $110 and $120 million.It’s something of a symbolic gesture, as Rigby said Mesa’s willingness to move forward reflects a sense of reliability among potential investors.“Now we put the plan together and within 10 years we built the project,” he said.

  • State budget approval cuts $730,000 from Higley Unified

    After weeks of back-and-forth discussions and negotiations among state lawmakers, public schools across Arizona now know how much they’ll lose in funding for their charter campuses.The resolution to the budget conflicts between the state House and Senate officially ended when Gov. Jan Brewer signed off on a $9.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2014-15 on April 11. While the 2014-15 budget is larger than its predecessor, the spending increase came with cuts to several programs, among them funding for public schools to convert campuses to charters, with the state chopping the expenditure from $33 million to $24.5 million.Arizona law allows for public school districts to convert campuses to charter schools, as long as one public school remains for every grade level. In a previous interview, Chandler Assistant Superintendent of Business Lana Berry said districts’ motivation for making the shift is the more than additional state funding that accounts for more than $1,000 per students. The decision does come with a few qualifiers; the additional money can only go to the charter schools, and districts that convert charters back to traditional campuses have to reimburse the state for those additional funds.The caveats haven’s dissuaded districts from converting traditional schools to charters in recent years or even opening schools as charters, which is what the Higley Unified School District did this school year when it opened Cooley and Sossaman middle schools. Higley Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty said the district even followed a charter model when constructing the two campuses.But districts such as Higley, Paradise Valley and Maricopa Unified now have to account for a 25-percent decrease in charter school funding for the coming year. At Higley, the total comes to $730,000 in charter money and a total budget hit of approximately $2.2 million.What that means for Higley, Hegarty said, is a delay in the implementation of certain projects for the coming year, among them a plan to purchase new textbooks for classrooms.

  • Smith ends tenure as mayor amid congratulations

    Amid support from public officials and local executives, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith officially concluded his more than five-year tenure earlier this week.First elected as part of the 2008 election, Smith served as mayor from January 2009 until this past Wednesday and was replaced by Vice Mayor Alex Finter on an interim basis.Smith resigned in order to enter the 2014 gubernatorial race. Among his opponents in the Republican primary contest are State Treasurer Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, state Sen. Al Melvin, former GoDaddy.com executive Christine Jones and disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.“This has been wonderful; this community has been transformed,” Smith said during an event on April 16.Thursday’s event was a goodbye ceremony organized by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce that featured several community members providing the former mayor kudos for his efforts as mayor. The good wishes were tied to the H.E.A.T initiative that focused on four fields — health care, education, aerospace and technology — and began shortly after Smith took office.“One might say he fanned the fire that turned up the heat,” said Boeing Chief Engineer for Attack Helicopter John Schibler

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  • House moves forward with Medicaid cap

    More than 140,000 of the state's long-term unemployed could eventually find themselves without health insurance.The state House on Thursday gave final approval to legislation designed to pave the way for a five-year lifetime limit on Medicaid benefits. HB 2367 also would require those who are still eligible to be employed, looking for work or in a job-training program.here's a catch of sorts, though: Federal Medicaid regulations currently do not allow such limits. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which funds the majority of Medicaid costs, does allow states to seek waivers to find more cost-effective ways of providing care. This legislation requires state officials to seek those waivers, not just this year but every year from now on.The measure was crafted by House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden. Tobin was a foe of the decision by Gov. Jan Brewer to take advantage of the federal Affordable Care Act which allows states to expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs to those up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That is $26,951 for a family of three. Brewer prevailed, over the objections of Tobin and most Republicans.So Tobin, who also is running for Congress, said his legislation would help control future costs.Tobin said while the federal government is picking up virtually all the costs of the expansion from current limits of the federal poverty level, that won't last forever. That, he said, means the state needs to start looking now for ways to trim the price tag.

  • White walls? The trick is choosing the right white

    NEW YORK — So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from.Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hues: cream, pearl, vanilla, snow, chalk, ivory, jasmine, bone. But the closer you look, the more confusing the choices are. You want a plain, basic white, but the purest white on the color chart looks a little harsh next to all those soft shades with just a hint of something else — beige, gray, peach, rose, yellow or the palest-ever blue or green.Often people default to white because they don't want strong colors in their home. But as it turns out, "it's harder to choose white than any other color," said Sharon Grech, a color design expert at Benjamin Moore Paints.She says Benjamin Moore alone offers more than 150 whites, and "when people are choosing white, I see more people unhappy or making a mistake or being shocked at the color than when they choose other colors."And watch out if you go with a pure white untinted by any other hue. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which maintains color standards, says "the purity and cleanliness" of the purest whites "can also make them feel very sterile and cold. And you can literally get eyestrain from too much dazzling white. So you've got to be cautious. Most people don't want to live with hospital white."More so than with other colors, whites are also more influenced by colors around them, so Grech says it's crucial to try a sample to see how it looks in the room. Buy a pint and paint a 2-by-2-foot board that you can move around your home. "Sometimes the sun hits it one way or another at different times of day, or it looks different against the rug, or you realize it's got a lot of pink in it or green in it," she said. "It might look totally different in the morning than at night."

  • Louisville: 5 free things for visitors to do

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When it's Kentucky Derby season in Louisville, money seems to flow faster than the Ohio River. Hotels and restaurants fill up; bars serve mint juleps and fine Kentucky bourbon. Shopping includes a hunt for the colorful hats worn as a Derby tradition. Parties are thrown, and wagers are plunked down on can't-miss colts and longshots alike as fans guess which horse will win the famous race at Churchill Downs.Yet there are other sure bets for relaxation and entertainment that don't cost a thing as folks head to bluegrass country for the Derby, which takes place May 3. Kentucky's largest city offers a mix of free contemporary and historic sites — along with blooming dogwood trees.CAVE HILL CEMETERYThe final resting place for many of Louisville's most prominent citizens of the 19th and 20th centuries, the nearly 300-acre (120-hectare) cemetery opened in 1848. It features ornate marble and granite monuments, shaded by trees seemingly as distinctive as the headstones dotting the landscape. Trees of many varieties loom over the rolling grounds situated east of downtown. Each spring and fall, the cemetery is ablaze in colors. It draws tours from groups of garden, Civil War and history buffs. About 5,500 soldiers are buried here, mostly from the Civil War.Luminaries buried in the cemetery include politicians, business leaders and bourbon barons. Two of the most notable are George Rogers Clark — an early frontiersman and soldier and the brother of William Clark, who co-led the Lewis and Clark expedition — and Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sanders' granite memorial features a bust of the goateed entrepreneur, whose likeness is still synonymous with the chicken chain he started. Visitors sometimes place a bucket of chicken at his grave.WATERFRONT PARK

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