/ Modified mar 5, 2018 9:21 a.m.

Arizona Basketball; South-Side Development; I'm Just a Bill

Also, a bill seeks a statewide ban on texting while driving, and a discussion on smartphone dependency.

This week the University of Arizona Athletics Department made national headlines, with much of the focus on men's basketball coach Sean Miller and fallout from an ESPN report about his alleged use of illicit recruiting methods. Miller on Thursday denied and condemned the media's response to the allegations and returned to coach the team against Stanford that night. He also received support from UA President Robert Robbins.

Steve Rivera has authored multiple books about UA men's basketball and has covered the team for more than 20 years. He joined host Lorraine Rivera to discuss the impact the media storm over ESPN's report has had on the program's reputation.

Drive almost anywhere in the country and there's likely a state law that bans some form of texting while driving. Arizona and Montana are the exception. Senate Bill 1261 is the latest attempt to create a statewide ban on texting while driving.

One of the bill's biggest advocates is Brendan Lyons. He was nearly killed by a distracted driver while riding his bike in 2013. Since his recovery, he has forgiven the driver who hit him and he continues to push for local and state laws aimed at reducing distracted driving. Arizona 360 got an update on his efforts.

We also spoke to attorney Peter Akmajian who specializes in personal injury and wrongful death suits. He explained the steps taken when distracted driving is the suspected cause of an accident.

What is it about a notification or a call on our smartphones that can't wait, even while driving or in the company of others? Matthew Lapierre, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the UA Department of Communication. He studies how smartphones affect our relationships and what happens when we depend on our devices too much. He shared his insight with Arizona 360.

In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, an emerging storyline has focused on the activism of high school students. Arizona 360 visited a class at Sky Island Public High School in Tucson, where students are engaging with the government in a different way. They're lobbying for a state bill that would provide teachers with more funding for school supplies. Christopher Conover reports on this unique lesson in civics.

A pair of Tucson natives are blending business with culture at a new restaurant opening on the city's south side. Lorraine Rivera reports on the concept behind the American Eat Company and how it's one of many projects bringing jobs and business to a once-struggling community.

Featured in this story: Jesus Bonillas, American Eat Company Guillermo Gallegos, American Eat Company Aaron Cornejo, Avenues Kristel Johnson, Isabella's Ice Cream Richard Fimbres (D), Tucson City Council

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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