ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES EDITORS:
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Gary has been a journalist since 1994 and worked at two other newspapers in the Valley before joining the Arizona Capitol Times in 2010. Gary, a Valley resident since 1988, spent 13 years at the Pulitzer Prize-winning East Valley Tribune, where he covered courts, public safety and municipal government. He won third place for Best News Story in the 2008 Arizona Newspapers Association Better Newspapers Contest for a story about a jailhouse interview with a mass murderer, and he has won multiple first-place awards for investigative stories at the Capitol Times. At the Chandler Independent, he covered municipal government for three years. Gary is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, a die-hard Denver Broncos fan and avid runner.
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Colleen Sparks has been a journalist since 1996, starting her career as a reporter at a community newspaper in Lapeer, Mich., after earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Later she moved to the Chicago area to work as a reporter at a community newspaper, where she wrote about education and local government. Sparks moved to Arizona for the warmer weather and family connections in late 1997 and she has worked as a reporter covering K-12 education, city councils, crime, the U.S. Forest Service, youth sports and other beats at the “Sedona Red Rock News,” “Arizona Daily Star” and “The Arizona Republic.” She also wrote and edited stories about cities and states around the country as a writer/editor at a national news service owned by iHeartMedia for five years. Sparks worked as the managing editor of “SanTan Sun News,” part of Times Media Group, for about two years and as editor of the “North Central News” in North Central Phoenix for two years after that. She has received awards for her reporting from the Arizona Press Club and Arizona Education Association.
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Don joined Arizona Capitol Times as copy editor/reporter in 2001, capping a journalism career that began in Chicago. Immediately prior to his service with the Capitol Times, for nearly nine years Don was a public information officer for state of Arizona agencies, first with the Department of Commerce and then the Department of Insurance. Don also covered politics, organized labor and general assignments at The Arizona Republic for 19 years, periodically serving as an assistant city editor. At The Republic, Don covered the Arizona House of Representatives for 10 years, as well as five national political conventions and most major political races. Political figures he covered extensively include Barry Goldwater, Bruce Babbitt, Burton Barr, Evan Mecham, and Rose Mofford. He received several journalism awards in Arizona and Chicago. Don, his wife and their three children moved to Arizona from Chicago in 1973, after having been a reporter for the Chicago Today/Chicago American for a number of years.
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ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES REPORTERS:
Wayne is a Phoenix native who cut his teeth covering cities and local communities at newspapers throughout the Valley, including the Scottsdale Progress, East Valley Tribune, Gilbert Sun News and Arcadia News. As managing editor, he oversaw the successful 2018 relaunch of the Scottsdale Progress, a celebrated local newspaper that first went into publication in the 1940s. During his two years at the Progress, Wayne won the Arizona Press Club’s 2020 community breaking news award for his on-the-ground coverage of the Scottsdale Fashion Square riot. He was also recognized by the Arizona Press Club for his year-round coverage of Scottsdale schools during the Covid-19 pandemic and for his 2019 investigative report on Opportunity Zones in Scottsdale.
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Camryn Sanchez is the state senate reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times. She was raised in the San Francisco Bay area and recently earned her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. In college, Camryn studied journalism and was the news editor for her school paper, The Phoenix. She interned at Telegraph Media in Oakland, Calif. and ELLE Magazine in New York in 2019. Camryn also reported for the Yonkers Times in Yonkers, N.Y. She spent the summer with the Arizona Republic as a Pulliam fellow. She can be found in the newsroom drinking coffee and welcomes tips at any time.
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Nick covers the governor’s office and state executive branch for the Capitol Times. Before moving to Phoenix, he reported for the Nogales International, covering the city government, the U.S.-Mexico border and everything in between. Prior to that, he lived and worked in Argentina. He speaks fluent Spanish. Nick received more than a dozen awards from the Arizona Press Club and Arizona Newspaper Association for his work in Nogales and was twice named runner-up Community Journalist of the Year by the AZPC.
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Jakob is the state house reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times. He grew up near Seattle and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media production from Washington State University in 2020. While in college, Jakob wrote for the student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen. After graduating, he reported for the Upper Valley Standard Journal and the Post Register in eastern Idaho, covering local news, education and government.
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Kiera covers the courts and education for the Arizona Capitol Times. She earned her bachelors from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2022. During her time in school, Kiera worked as a reporter and managing editor for State Press Magazine, a business and social justice reporter for Cronkite News and a politics intern for the Arizona Republic. Before joining the Capitol Times, she worked as a freelance news reporter for the Phoenix New Times. Kiera is a 2022 Hearst Journalism Awards finalist and received Article of the Year for a feature story covering how a dubbed version of Star Wars assisted in Indigenous language learning and preservation.
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