(Lazaro Gamio/New York Institute)

Compensation for crime victims differs among Arizona counties

TUCSON, Ariz. – In Arizona, victims of violent crime have access to as much as $20,000 to help pay for funerals and other expenses. But officials and a report by Arizona State University assert that there’s a wide variation in how counties in the state disburse the money. The study, released in August by Bill Hart, a senior policy analyst at Arizona State University, called the crime victims compensation program “among Arizona’s best-kept secrets.”

According to the report, the total number of claims filed in Arizona by victims seeking compensation decreased 25 percent between 2002 and 2010. In the same period, the number of claims approved decreased 19.5 percent, to 1,238 from 1,538.

Creative Kids: ten years motivating youth through art and more

EL PASO — When Andrea Ingle invited her husband Stephen to teach her special education class at Canutillo Middle School with the little left over art supplies she had, the couple had no idea it would lead to their life’s work providing an artistic outlet to children and teenagers throughout the border region. That classroom experience combined with their own backgrounds in the arts was the spark for creating a non-profit organization, Creative Kids Inc., that uses the power of the arts to help youth, including teenagers at risk of dropping out, to achieve academic and personal success. Ten years later, Creative Kids has a main studio and gallery in a 16,000-square-foot warehouse called the OLO Gallery (Other Learning Opportunities) at the recently renovated Union Plaza Arts District in downtown El Paso. The organization serves over 600 youth a year ranging in age from 4 to 18, and provides special programs for children battling cancer, children with disabilities, and disadvantaged and at-risk youth. It also has a long list of impressive local, regional and national sponsors, from the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts to the City of El Paso and the Hunt Family Foundation.