Student Newswire of The University of Arizona School of Journalism

Arizona Sonoran News

Arizona Sonoran News

Student Newswire of The University of Arizona School of Journalism

Arizona Sonoran News

Arizona High School Graduation Rates 2002-2009

With a History of Low Graduation Rates, Arizona Strives to Do Better

Traci Huttsell April 30, 2012


Despite a steady increase in graduation rates over the past five years, educators in Arizona strive to do better.

In 2009, 76 percent of high school seniors graduated in four years, opposed to 70 percent in 2006, according to the Arizona Department of Education’s website.

There has been an increase in graduation rates, but “that’s nowhere near where we want to be …,” said Ryan Ducharme, executive director of Office of Communications and Innovation at the Arizona Department of Education.

Arizona High School Graduation Rates 2002-2009

“The more students that graduate, the more opportunities there are available to them to succeed,” Ducharme said.

Ducharme said it is important to earn an education, especially in such a technology driven economy.

“They need to thrive … to be tech savvy, and develop critical thinking skills,” Ducharme said.

“Ultimately we want every child to graduate …,” Ducharme said.  “We strive for 100 percent …”

Based on national data from 2008-2009, only nine states, and the District of Columbia, ranked worse than Arizona in terms of graduation rates in high school students.

Arizona had a graduation rate of 73 percent, while Wisconsin had the highest rate, 91 percent, and Nevada had the lowest, with 56 percent, according to the Department of Education’s website.


Arizona’s Locally Loved Restaurants

Traci Huttsell April 9, 2012

    <iframe width="600" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";msid=208186794783309464948.0004bc1aeba4a49b376d1&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=34.225429,-111.862793&amp;spn=6.356931,6.591797&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=";msid=208186794783309464948.0004bc1aeba4a49b376d1&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=34.225429,-111.862793&amp;spn=6.356931,6.591797&amp;z=7&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Locally Loved Restaurants Throughout Arizona</a> in a larger map</small>


By: Daniella Castillo and Traci Huttsell

Arizona Sonora News Service

If driving through Arizona, grab some lunch or dinner at these locally loved restaurants located throughout the 15 counties.

Travel Through Arizona Counties

Traci Huttsell March 1, 2012

<iframe width="625" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";msid=208186794783309464948.0004b9f86dd6de0c7a454&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=34.615127,-111.906738&amp;spn=6.327433,6.855469&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=";msid=208186794783309464948.0004b9f86dd6de0c7a454&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=34.615127,-111.906738&amp;spn=6.327433,6.855469&amp;z=7&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Unique Arizona Tourist Destinations</a> in a larger map</small>

Travel Through the Counties

By: Traci Huttsell/Arizona Sonora News Service


Not only does Arizona house the Grand Canyon, Tombstone and the London Bridge, but it also serves as the home to many hidden gems as well.

Throughout the 15 counties of Arizona, each one has its own distinct personality.  Here are only some of the unique attractions this state has to offer.

Paying the Price for Guns on Arizona Campuses

Traci Huttsell February 13, 2012

If Arizona’s legislature approves a bill allowing concealed weapons on campuses, university and community college presidents who want to keep guns out of their classrooms will have to pay a hefty price.



Total buildings: 929
Installaton costs: $4.6 million
Cost of lockers: $400 thousand
Total: $5 million


Total buildings: 791
Installaton costs: $4.0 million
Cost of lockers: $300 thousand
Total: $4.3 million


Total buildings: 108
Installaton costs: $540 thousand
Cost of lockers: $46 thousand
Total: $586 thousand


And that price tag could reach up to $10 million for Arizona’s three public universities .

If university or college leaders decide a building should be gun-free, the law requires the installation of secured gun lockers at one main entrance or exit.

With three public universities as well as 19 community colleges, some with multiple campuses, the costs from SB 1474 could reach astronomical levels, school officials say.

Currently, there are 1,828 buildings at Arizona’s three major public universities that would apply, according to each university’s department of real estate. If each building were secured per the requirement—at one main entrance or exit—the three universities would incur a total combined cost of at least $10 million.

The legislature is offering no funds to secure guns outside the classroom, so that burden will be left to the schools. Some believe the costs will be so high that officials already struggling with financial needs will be forced to let in the guns.

A hidden cost for schools would be that of maintaining a regular police presence to help ensure the security of the locked up weapons. “We don’t have anywhere near an adequate number to do that,” said Chief Anthony Daykin of the University of Arizona.

University of Arizona President Eugene Sander is concerned about the potential costs.

“Considering the fact that our state budget has been cut by approximately $180 million, a legislative mandate to spend academic dollars for gun lockers is misguided,” Sander said in a prepared statement.

He said he “keep[s] hoping that reason prevails” when a final vote comes.

Arizonas Classic Love Stories

Arizona’s Classic Love Stories

Traci Huttsell February 8, 2012

From outlaws and warriors to activists and politicians, Arizona’s 100-year history stands as the home for infamous lovers and happy endings.

Here are three stories of love in the desert.

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