This week first lady Melania Trump made stops in Tucson and Phoenix where she met with Customs and Border Protection officials and toured facilities holding migrant children who entered the country illegally.
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan was present when the first lady was in Tucson. A day earlier he toured the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, one of the busiest in the country. Nancy Montoya joined the commissioner on his tour where he and other Customs officials spoke about efforts to address staffing shortages at Arizona's ports.
Residents living near Tucson's renowned Benedictine Monastery got an update this week from preservation architect Corky Poster, who's working with developer Ross Rulney. It came a few months after they unveiled initial plans for seven-story apartment buildings adjacent to the monastery. Prior to that meeting, Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik discussed the city's efforts to get the monastery designated as a historic landmark, which would protect it from demolition.
Most of Arizona gets its drinking water from underground aquifers or rivers, which are reliant on adequate rain or snow melt. Vanessa Barchfield shows us how the Phoenix-based Zero Mass Water is exploring ways to create drinking water by using solar technology. She also spoke to water researcher and University of Arizona assistant professor Andrea Achilli about how other organizations are pursuing similar initiatives.
Among all 50 states, Arizona ranked 45th for child well-being on the latest Kids Count report, released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The annual report collects federal, state and local data related to education, health, poverty and family and community factors. Michelle Crow of the Children's Action Alliance, a non-partisan group that advocates for children in Arizona, discussed the report's findings that nearly a quarter of the state's kids live in poverty.
In rural communities, access to adequate health care can be difficult. This month it got harder for those living in the town of Florence, where the Florence Hospital at Anthem closed this month because of financial hardship. Daniel Derksen oversees the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona and explained the challenges rural areas present for both health care providers and patients.