These links may be busted, but I've provided the text in full. Every once in a while I check to see if the State Press archives are working again.
April 2, 1999

Thousands mourn slain Phoenix officer

By Jayson Peters
State Press

According to April Atkinson, the big brother who used to beat her up in that big-brother way grew up to be one of the good guys.

He delighted in teasing her and even made the boys she dated fill out applications. When he became a Phoenix police officer, she said, he gave that up in favor of checking the boys' police records.

Marc Atkinson, 27, died March 26 while pursuing drug suspects near 30th Avenue and Catalina Drive in Phoenix.

"No matter what, he was always my protector," April said as she eulogized her brother. "He was always there for me. He always had time for me."

Funeral services for Atkinson were held Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peoria. Mourners filled the church beyond its 1,800-person capacity. A live video feed was set up in auxiliary rooms to accommodate the more than two thousand people.

Attending the memorial were Gov. Jane Hull, Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza, Phoenix police Chief Harold Hurtt and law enforcement officers from across the state.

Tempe police Officer Steve Smith, who was involved in a March 19 shooting near East Sixth Street and South Mill Avenue in Tempe, and his wife also attended the funeral. He said Atkinson's death is difficult for him because it came so soon after other police shootings in the Valley.

"It brings home the fact that anything can happen," he said. "It's going to be a long, hard road for (the Atkinson family), but there's a lot of help and a lot of support."

In the Tempe incident, Mesa resident Brian K. Ball shot Sgt. John Schaper and Officer Chuck Bridges before being shot and killed. Schaper was released from the Maricopa Medical Center Tuesday and Bridges was unharmed after a bullet ricocheted off his bulletproof vest.

Phoenix police Lt. Mark Zingg did not know Atkinson, but he and his wife Nancy were among the first to arrive at Phoenix Memorial Park for the slain officer's burial.

"Every time something like this happens you realize how really dangerous it is out there," he said. "I think everyone evaluates their own mortality."

Felipe Petrona-Canaņas, 17, Oberlin Cabaņas-Salgado, 18 and Oscar Garcias-Martinez, 22 are all being charged in connection with the shooting.

Atkinson was a former U.S. Marine and served in the Gulf War before becoming a police officer.

"I saw him go off to war and I saw him come home from war," his sister said. "I can't tell you how proud I am."

Atkinson left behind a wife, Karen, and an infant son, Jeremy. Contributions can be made in his name to the Phoenix 100 Club, c/o Officer Marc Atkinson No. 5930, P.O. Box 30604, Phoenix, AZ 85046-0604 or at any Bank One, account No. 0749-7777.

Photos by Jeremy Hein of the State Press

Above: Members of Atkinson's squadron place their gloves atop the fallen officer's casket.

Left: David Gleghorn (right) comforts his daughter Karen Atkinson Thursday during the playing of slain Phoenix police Officer Marc Atkinson's final call over police radios during funeral services at Phoenix Memorial Park.

Feb. 26, 1999

Clinton: Booming budget bad time to begin tax cuts

By Jayson Peters
State Press

TUCSON -- President Bill Clinton said Thursday he intends to use the majority of a federal budget surplus to extend the life of Social Security and Medicare well into the next century.

Speaking to nearly 3,000 Arizonans gathered at the Tucson Convention Center, Clinton proposed investing 62 percent of budget surpluses during the next 15 years to extend Social Security to 2050. He also wants to spend an additional 15 percent to extend Medicare to 2020.

Social Security is currently funded through about 2024 and Medicare through 2010.

Clinton said it is difficult to care for Americans who are living longer than ever before at a time when the economy is thriving.

"The tendency after going through difficult and challenging times is for people to relax and basically just enjoy the moment, or think about other things and get distracted," he said. "We can't sustain the progress unless we make some changes. Paying down the national debt will immensely strengthen the American economy."

Last year saw the first budget surplus in 30 years -- nearly $70 billion.

To reduce the national debt, Clinton said that Americans should resist Republican-proposed tax cuts, which he called excessive. Paying off the debt would allow for more selective tax cuts and lead to lower interest rates on student loans, mortgages and credit card payments, he said.

"There will still be a substantial amount of money out of which you could have tax cuts," Clinton added.

Lesley Wimbely, a 53-year-old Tucson resident who represents the American Association of Retired Persons to the U.S. Congress, said she was encouraged by the president's visit and by his plans for the surplus. Wimbely attended the speech with her husband, George.

"We're very glad that the president is very serious about the need for Social Security to be solvent," Lesley said.

George said he was encouraged by what he saw as a bipartisan approach to the issue by both the president and Congress. U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., attended the event, as did U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. Both congressmen said they would work with Clinton to preserve Social Security and Medicare.

The president addressed residents of all ages in the 2,000-seat TCC Music Hall, then greeted hundreds outside who were not able to win tickets in the lottery. Those outside were able to listen to the speech on speakers.

Clinton thanked Tucson residents for their support. Pima County voters helped Clinton become the first Democratic president to win the state since Harry Truman's 1948 victory.

While support for the president was rampant inside the auditorium, at least 50 people gathered outside the convention center to protest the president's foreign policy. Many condemned Clinton's foreign policy, especially recent attacks and sanctions against Iraq.

The president ended his visit with a trip to the Arizona Diamondbacks' spring training before flying to San Francisco for a Democratic Party function.

(Photo) Khue Bui of the Associated Press

President Clinton works the crowd after speaking about Social Security and Medicare at the Tucson Convention Center Thursday.

Sep. 1, 1998

Colorado film festival features photography student's works

By Jayson Peters
State Press

Malcolm Lightner's world is filled with images.

So is his house.

In one corner, a bookshelf houses his library of video tapes. In the other, a home theater system waits. Photographs emphasizing the distinction between light and dark clutter his walls and floor -- the aftermath of his recent search for submissions to the Telluride Film Festival.

The search was not in vain.

Lightner's photography and dedication to his work have helped him become the first student to represent ASU at the Telluride 25th Anniversary Film Festival Symposium, which begins Wednesday in Telluride, Col. and continues through Monday.

"They've really gone out of their way to establish a program for students," he said.

The 28-year-old photography graduate student will take part in a series of intensive screenings and discussions with filmmakers and directors.

He joins about 50 other students who submitted essays and samples of their work.

"The process will involve less sleep or vacation time than work," Lightner said.

But Lightner doesn't seem to mind that part because he will have the opportunity to meet Peter Bogdanovich, the director of The Last Picture Show, among other celebrity guests and personal influences.

This is not the first time attention has been given to Lightner's work. He already has a bachelor's degree in fine arts, and his photographs have been featured in galleries in the Valley and Savannah, Ga. Also, he is the recipient of numerous grants and awards.

In October, Lightner's photographs will be featured in a five-minute video at the Harry Wood Art Gallery.

The exhibit is a visual narrative in three separate video tracks, similar to looking at three adjacent screens at once, representing the past, present and future of Lightner reuniting with his father in Texas.

"It's been a long time and I've traveled some very serious terrain," he said.

There is no dialogue, and the soundtrack consists of an cacaphonic orchestra of "found" objects such as a car's gas tank and a rusty cheese grater. Lightner said the sound represents the theme of the film -- "a journey from the external to the internal" -- as it seems at first to come from outside the exhibit and work its way slowly into the film.

The exhibit will be comprised of the film and its a soundtrack loop.

Lightner said the state-of-the-art technology, such as the nonlinear digital editing system he worked with at Scottsdale Community College, were essential to producing his film.

"So much technology is in the work that we directly linked to conceptual elements," he said. "It's a hell of a treat" to work with such equipment, he added.

(Photo) Ofelia Madrid of the State Press

Malcom Lightner, a graduate student in fine arts photography, selects photos for his project. Lightner was recently selected to participate in the Telluride Film Festival.

Aug. 25, 1998

Evolution education now added to state high school standards

By Jayson Peters
State Press

The Arizona State Board of Education voted, 6-3, Monday to accept a special panel's recommendation that the word "evolution" be included in high school science standards.

References to entropy, the big-bang theory and ancient fossils also were included.

The vote came after six months of debate over what Arizona students should be taught regarding the origin of life on Earth. One solution that was dismissed included the possibility of teaching evolution along with alternative theories.

Steve Rissing, professor of biology at ASU, was a member of the panel appointed to address the omission of evolution in the 1997 state science standards. He prepared a line-by-line comparison of science education standards, showing that while references to evolution were included in the national standards, they were not in the Arizona standards.

For example, the national standards said "species evolve over time" and that "the great diversity of organisms is the result of more that 3.5 billion years of evolution."

In contrast, the Arizona standards require students only to be able to "describe and explain how the environment can affect the number of species and the diversity of species in an environment."

Semantics? Rissing doesn't think so.

"What was done to the standards from the National Research Council to generate the state standards was done quite explicitly and very much with the goal in mind of censoring the concept of evolution out of the standards," he said.

Jane Maienschein, a philosophy professor at ASU who also served on the panel, said teaching alternatives to evolution would be a disservice to students because there are no other logical explanations. That means, without including evolutionary theory, students wouldn't receive the tools to function in the modern world.

"Each of the changes is important and necessary," she said.

Maienschein called evolution, as well as the concepts of entropy, gravity and the big-bang theory, "central and accepted concepts in science."

Walt Brown, director of the Center for Scientific Creation was one of three panel members supporting the instruction of creation in conjunction with evolution. He declined comment, but presented a video outlining his arguments.

He argued that students should "certainly learn the evidences (sic) that oppose" evolution theory, and that "we are made of the wrong stuff if you accept (big-bang) theory."

Dana Womack, a member of the committee who voted with Brown, said "the words evolution and gravity need to be included in the standards," although she also said adjustments were needed.

"Opinions must not be censored from the debate because it frightens the evolutionists. I stand by the minority," she said.

Rissing said he was troubled by the omission of evolution from the standards in the first place.

"I can't sit by and watch cohort after cohort of students come into my introductory biology course," Rissing said, "having spent all of this time doing something in grade school and high school to learn science, and be so completely unaware of this organizing principle."

He compared the significance of evolution to that of Copernicus' heliocentric model, which places the sun at the solar system's center.

"Today we've got so many things around us that depend on (the heliocentric model) that we don't even think about it. You can't send people and machinery to the moon or Mars under the old, geocentric view of the world," he said.

"Copernicus offended a lot of beliefs. It's the exact same tension that we had back in the 15- and 1600s."

(Photo) Brad Lang of the State Press

Harold Bates of the Soldiers of the Cross of Jesus Christ of Nazareth demonstrates his feelings on the theories of evolution versus that of creation. The state Board of Education voted Monday to include the word "evolution" in high school science standards.