Tucson Local Media: Home of The Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times, and Inside Tucson Business

  • Woman’s risk of breast or ovarian cancer increases with BRCA gene

    The National Cancer Institute has advised that a woman’s risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene. And men are susceptible as well. Men with these mutations also have an increased risk of breast cancer, and both men and women who have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may be at increased risk of additional types of cancer.Grace Hou, M.D., a surgeon at the Breast Cancer Center of Excellence at Northwest Medical Center, noted that for women with the BRCA1 gene, the percentage of getting breast cancer by age 70 is 85 percent, and the rate of ovarian cancer exceeds 45 percent. “For those with the BRCA2 gene, the figure is 80 percent for breast cancer, but it is more curable,” Hou pointed out.BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce tumor suppressor proteins, according to the National Cancer Institute. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and help ensure the stability of the cell’s genetic material. When either of the genes is mutated, or altered, where its protein product either isn’t made or doesn’t function correctly, then DNA damage may not be repaired properly. Cells are more likely to develop more genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.Specific inherited mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, and have been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer, the National Cancer Institute noted. Genetic tests can check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in people with a family history of cancer that suggests the possible presence of a harmful mutation in one of these genes. If a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is found, several options are available to help a person manage their cancer risk.

  • Man uses two knives to simulate gun in front of deputies

    Around 11:15 a.m., deputies with the Pima County Sheriff's Department went to a home in the 4500 block of North La Cholla Blvd. in response to a call about at a domestic dispute. Deputies were told while on scene that the suspect, 32-year-old Carlos Castro had left the home on foot and had a handgun under his shirt.Due to the close proximity to Homer Davis Elementary School, the department placed the school on lockdown.Deputies made contact with Castro when he displayed what appeared to be a handgun wrapped up in his t-shirt, according to a department press release.Castro never pointed the weapon at the deputies, but he did place it under his chin as though he were going to harm himself.After calming the man, the deputies arrested Castro at 11:40 a.m. for Assault and Disorderly Conduct.

  • App addresses challenges women face trying to quit smoking

    When it comes to quitting smoking, women may need some extra motivation, researchers say.“Women are more likely to gain weight than men when they quit smoking, and women have more difficulty losing weight when they gain it,” said Judith Gordon, associate professor with the Department of Family and Community Medicine and associate head of research at the UA College of Medicine.She said that’s why UA researchers are part of interdisciplinary team that developed a pilot app to remind women smokers that their health is more important than being thin.The team released the free Android app, called See Me Smoke-Free, on March 30. A two-year, $366,400 National Cancer Institute grant funded the effort.Gordon said the app motivates users with inspirational messages and uses audio recordings to inspire confidence.“Even if they do gain a little bit of weight, they realize that they’re healthy, and they’re beautiful and strong,” she said. “That’s more important than a couple of pounds.”

Today's Top Headlines

  • (April 24) Magma expanse under Yellowstone supervolcano more vast than thought

    CNN: As tourists stroll between Yellowstone's 300 active geysers, taking selfies in front of thousands of bubbling, boiling mud pots and hissing steam vents, they are treading on one of the planet's greatest time bombs.The park is a supervolcano so enormous, it has puzzled geophysicists for decades, but now a research group, using seismic technology to scan its depths, have made a bombshell discovery.Yellowstone's magma reserves are many magnitudes greater than previously thought, say scientists from the University of Utah.Read the full story on CNN. 

  • (April 24) Today's Top Headlines - Source: New York's Statue of Liberty evacuated after bomb threat

    CNN: New York's iconic Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were evacuated Friday after reports of a suspicious package inside a locker, according to a senior law enforcement official and the National Park Service.The evacuation followed a phoned bomb threat, the official said.About 2 p.m. Friday, the locker that reportedly contained the suspicious package had been cleared by police. The locker was empty. Other lockers were being checked as a precautionary measure.Read the full story on CNN. 

  • (April 24) Today's Top Headlines - Italy: Suspects had contact with bin Laden, discussed Vatican attack

    CNN: Italian authorities launched a "vast anti-terrorism operation" Friday, going after suspects associated with al Qaeda who allegedly had discussed a range of targets, including the Vatican.Wiretaps and other intelligence revealed that the group -- some of whom had direct contact with Osama bin Laden -- planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as in Italy, according to Caligari Chief Prosecutor Mauro Mura.Evidence indicated the Vatican was among the targets considered, police said. Talk of this took place March 2010, around the time a possible suicide bomber from Afghanistan entered Italy before leaving the European nation, Mura said.Read the full story on CNN. 

Local News

  • Arizona wine industry matures, experts foresee potential gains

    The back roads near Cornville look like many others in Yavapai County, until you turn a corner and find rolling hills filled with vines, tasting rooms and homes that are more Tuscan than Southwestern.Javelina Leap Winery sits among grapevines in a small valley outside Cornville. The 10-acre property includes a vineyard, tasting room and production facility.Owner Rob Snapp was one of the first to start his business in the burgeoning wine region. In the last 15 years, he’s seen the area grow from just a few acres of vineyard to a tight-knit winemaking community. Now, at least 70 acres of vineyard dot the landscape of this northern Arizona region just under an hour from Prescott.Throughout Arizona, wineries have cropped up in droves. More than 90 locations have farm winery licenses in the state. They’re clustered in three general locations: Sonoita/Elgin in southern Arizona, Willcox in central Arizona and the Verde Valley near Prescott.The wine industry grew gradually until 2001 when Arizona began to experience exponential growth. Wine production in the state soared nearly 700 percent in the 14 years since, well above the national average.The winemakers have come to Arizona for the climate, business environment and love of the drink itself.

  • OV unveils recommended budget with general fund surplus

    Oro Valley officials presented the town manager’s recommended budget to council in a brief but informative public session last week – one of many to come before the tentative and final budgets are adopted by the beginning of the 2015-16 fiscal year in July.Budget highlights include a $294,521 general fund surplus, the most the town has seen in a number of years according to Finance Director Stacy Lemos, who says the additional revenue has been the result of one-time revenues related to building permits and construction projects.  Town Manager Greg Caton called the surplus funds, which will be used only for one-time expenses, a win for the town.“That’s sizeable to add back $295,000,” he said, noting it will help contribute to an already healthy contingency reserve fund of $10.1 million, equal to or 31 percent of the recommended expenditure budget.The $120.1 million budget for 15-16 is an increase of $13 million, or 12 percent from the previous year’s budget of $107.1 million, and includes focused spending based on the town’s strategic plan and public feedback, Caton said. The budget will boast five focus areas including fiscal responsibility, communication, economic development, parks, recreation, and cultural development, and community infrastructure services.

  • Driving Demonstration: The consequences of drinking and driving

    Two tarps are pulled aside to reveal mangled metal, broken glass, and flattened tires. What used to be a pair of vehicles is now the blueprint of a bad decision.Bloody bodies in prom attire lay motionless inside, contorted.The once rowdy Mountain View High School crowd goes quiet at this moment. It’s a staged scene on the school’s football field created by the Northwest Fire Department (NWFD) and Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) to warn students about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving as graduation and accompanying ceremonies approach.But it looks real. Feels real.The call is radioed in. NWFD has the accident location. We hear their fire truck and ambulances approaching, sirens blaring.

Entertainment

  • Saturday Puzzles 4-25-15

  • Arizona wine industry matures, experts foresee potential gains

    The back roads near Cornville look like many others in Yavapai County, until you turn a corner and find rolling hills filled with vines, tasting rooms and homes that are more Tuscan than Southwestern.Javelina Leap Winery sits among grapevines in a small valley outside Cornville. The 10-acre property includes a vineyard, tasting room and production facility.Owner Rob Snapp was one of the first to start his business in the burgeoning wine region. In the last 15 years, he’s seen the area grow from just a few acres of vineyard to a tight-knit winemaking community. Now, at least 70 acres of vineyard dot the landscape of this northern Arizona region just under an hour from Prescott.Throughout Arizona, wineries have cropped up in droves. More than 90 locations have farm winery licenses in the state. They’re clustered in three general locations: Sonoita/Elgin in southern Arizona, Willcox in central Arizona and the Verde Valley near Prescott.The wine industry grew gradually until 2001 when Arizona began to experience exponential growth. Wine production in the state soared nearly 700 percent in the 14 years since, well above the national average.The winemakers have come to Arizona for the climate, business environment and love of the drink itself.

  • 'True Story': Weak plot sinks murder mystery

    This film, depicting the real life murder of an Oregon family, attempts to cast doubt on a killer and his motive for taking the lives of his wife and children.  It advances the notion that the suspect arrested for the homicides is actually someone else—dropping the early impression that this true story is really a matter of mistaken identity.  Unfortunately, like the rest of the movie, that mystery is tossed aside too quickly and without proper explanation.  Despite every attempt to create doubt and instill tension towards a dramatic, unpredictable ending, “True Story” culminates in a lackluster and nuanced finish.An exceptional ensemble of Hollywood’s brightest stars can’t overcome a bland, and often times stale, storyline.  Led by two-time Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill (from 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”), playing a New York Times reporter caught fabricating a story and subsequently fired, the movie launches viewers quickly into the murder mystery and whodunit.  James Franco (Oscar nominated for “127 Hours” in 2010) plays the suspect captured for killing his spouse and kids, but now claiming to be Hill’s washed up reporter identity to authorities.  The biggest disappointment in “True Story” is the story itself.  Viewers are expected to emotionally care for Hill’s unethical and deceptive reporter.  Today, that’s a difficult and unappealing bridge to cross for those suspect of some in the media to stay impartial and factual in their reporting.  Therefore, minus any loyalty to Hill’s character, it’s Franco’s role as the murder suspect that viewers are left to invest in--questioning his guilt or innocence in the horrendous crime.  As evidenced in 2013’s “Homefront” opposite good guy Jason Statham, Franco portrays evil exceptionally well on film.  In “True Story”, Franco once again carries every scene he’s in with the look and sound of man that’s left death tolls in his wake. The film’s strongest performance, though, is reserved for Felicity Jones, the shining costar in last year’s Academy Award nominated “The Theory of Everything”.  While her role in this film is vastly more limited, Jones provides a much-needed spark, delivering the movie’s hardest hitting, emotional lines.Although “True Story” attempts to squeeze every possible ounce of suspense from these real events, there just aren’t enough twists and turns to grab the audience’s attention or invoke surprise in a weak plot.  Believable characters from an exceptional cast isn’t enough to save this murder drama from sinking.  A reporter attempting to rejuvenate his soiled journalism career with a story of a husband-father accused of killing his family falls flat emotionally.  It seems appropriate and just that the New York Times journalist who lost his job for embellishing stories led to a boring film that lacks excitement and interest.  Previous actions causing influence on his later fate—or karma for short.    

Sports

  • Local athletes to continue careers at the next level

    Eighteen area high school athletes signed national Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the college level last Wednesday and Mountain View will hold a ceremony this week to do the same. Eight Ironwood Ridge athletes led the way, signing in volleyball, football, scoccer and cross country/track. Canyon Del Oro had six athletes sign, while Catalina Foothills saw four current students and one graduate sign. Former Falcon basketball player Austin Nehls is attending prep school at the Cheshive Academy and will play basketball at Central Connecticut State next season. Canyon del OroJosh Cronk, Arizona Christian (Football)Rome Bracy, Arizona Christian (Football)Jared McElmell, Adams State (Football)

  • Former CDO pitcher wins weekly award

    Pima Community College sophomore pitcher Alexis Alfonso (Canyon del Oro HS) was selected ACCAC Division II Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the week of Apr. 13-19. She was chosen along with Glendale Community College’s Madi Creed.This was Alfonso’s third selection as the conference’s pitcher of the week. Alfonso pitched three of the four games with a total of 19 innings pitched. She didn’t give up an earned run and had 14 strikeouts as the Aztecs ran their winning streak to 14 games.Alfonso is tied with Phoenix College’s Kennedy Garcia for the most wins in NJCAA Division II league play. Alfonso is 25-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 176 innings pitched. She also has 108 strikeouts and 21 complete-games.

  • Local athletes qualify for D-II Tennis Tourney

    The school year is nearing an end, which means the postseason for spring sports is upon us. Boys and Girls singles and doubles tennis begin this week ad the Division II seedings are out.Boys Division II State Championships - April 24 at Scottsdale Ranch Park and Tennis Center (singles in the morning)Choffin  Marana vs. Dinh - Maricopa#5 Racolta - Catalina Foothills vs. Hernandez - Mingus UnionSutton -Ironwood Ridge vs. Mahaer - Camp VerdeChintis - Mountain View vs. Kohnhorst - Williams Field

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