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DEAR AMY: I am a 24-year-old college graduate living at home to save money for a place of my own.

I have been dating \u201cMartin\u201d for almost a year. We love each other and have talked about our future (i.e., marriage).

After a lot of discussion and research, we decided that it was appropriate to look into long-term birth control. About a month ago, I had my appointment at the clinic, and everything went well ... until last night. Yesterday, my mother received the notice from the health-insurance company notifying her of my clinic visit, because I am on her health coverage.

While I stand by my decision to be proactive and responsible, she is struggling with it and with how she found out.

She is very conservative in her views on premarital sex, and feels incredibly hurt that I did not tell her about it ahead of time.

We have always been very close, so I understand her hurt. I honestly wrestled with talking with her about this, but at the same time, it was a choice regarding my body and my relationship.

I offered to pay for it, but she said that the damage has already been done.

Can you give your opinion? How much is a parent entitled to know about their adult child\u2019s intimate life?

Is there anything I could have done/can do to help the situation?

I have always been one to passively avoid problems, but I want to do everything I can to promote my relationship with my mother and my boyfriend. Your insight?

\u2014 Can\u2019t Un-ring That Bell

Dear Can\u2019t Un-ring: While I, personally, feel your mother should have thrown a parade in your honor, or at least respected your choice, I also completely understand her reaction to this.

This episode falls under the category of, \u201cMy house, my rules,\u201d and furthermore, I believe you know it.

Using birth control is about you making a very important choice regarding your own body. However, if you are making adult choices regarding your own body, then why are you inviting your mother\u2019s involvement by having her pay for it?

Your habit of passively avoiding discussing challenging issues could be interpreted here as an immature (or subconscious) bid to force the matter.

And so now the matter has been forced.

Understand that your mother is disappointed and struggling. You and your boyfriend should offer again to compensate her for the cost of your clinic visit. And you should ask her if she would like you to move into your own place.

Your boyfriend could make amends by standing alongside you as your loving partner, not waiting while you try to smooth things over. You two should bravely ask your mother how you can earn back her respect.

"}, {"id":"0b091084-4a63-5445-a8fb-762d0844e36b","type":"article","starttime":"1495803600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-26T06:00:00-07:00","priority":10,"sections":[{"relationships":"lifestyles/relationships"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ask Amy: Woman upsets her mother by getting birth control","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/article_0b091084-4a63-5445-a8fb-762d0844e36b.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/ask-amy-woman-upsets-her-mother-by-getting-birth-control/article_0b091084-4a63-5445-a8fb-762d0844e36b.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/ask-amy-woman-upsets-her-mother-by-getting-birth-control/article_0b091084-4a63-5445-a8fb-762d0844e36b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":5,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":2,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Amy Dickinson\nTribune Content Agency","prologue":"Advice for the real world.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"371","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/57ed8386ef025.image.jpg?resize=620%2C371"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"59","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec477f5a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"179","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec488115.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"612","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec452a0f.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"links":[{"id":"9e405d24-3475-52df-a7f8-0247b8436c7e","type":"link","starttime":"1394554380","starttime_iso8601":"2014-03-11T09:13:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1495757764","application":"editorial","title":"Advice, horoscopes and other relationship news","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1643,"url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/"},{"id":"a14a3fd1-99de-55a8-8266-e3d2e5648b6b","type":"link","starttime":"1490169600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-22T01:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1495757764","sections":[{"local":"news/local"},{"retrotucson":"news/retrotucson"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Photos: Then and Now around Tucson","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Photos of buildings, streets and landmarks around Tucson from 40, 50 and 60 years ago, and the same viewpoint today.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":575,"url":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html"}],"revision":2,"commentID":"0b091084-4a63-5445-a8fb-762d0844e36b","body":"

Dear Amy: I am a 24-year-old college graduate living at home to save money for a place of my own.

I have been dating \"Martin\" for almost a year. We love each other and have talked about our future (i.e., marriage).

After a lot of discussion and research, we decided that it was appropriate to look into long-term birth control. About a month ago, I had my appointment at the clinic, and everything went well ...

until last night. Yesterday, my mother received the notice from the health insurance company notifying her of my clinic visit, because I am on her health coverage.

While I stand by my decision to be proactive and responsible, she is struggling with it and with how she found out.

She is very conservative in her views on premarital sex, and feels incredibly hurt that I did not tell her about it ahead of time.

We have always been very close, so I understand her hurt. I honestly wrestled with talking with her about this, but at the same time, it was a choice regarding my body and my relationship.

I offered to pay for it, but she said that the damage has already been done.

Can you give your opinion? How much is a parent entitled to know about their adult child's intimate life?

Is there anything I could have done/can do to help the situation?

I have always been one to passively avoid problems, but I want to do everything I can to promote my relationship with my mother and my boyfriend. Your insight?

\u2014 Can't Un-ring That Bell

Dear Can't Un-ring: While I, personally, feel your mother should have thrown a parade in your honor, or at least respected your choice, I also completely understand her reaction to this.

This episode falls under the category of, \"My house, my rules,\" and furthermore, I believe you know it.

Using birth control is about you making a very important choice regarding your own body. However, if you are making adult choices regarding your own body, then why are you inviting your mother's involvement by having her pay for it?

Your habit of passively avoiding discussing challenging issues could be interpreted here as an immature (or subconscious) bid to force the matter.

And so now the matter has been forced.

Understand that your mother is disappointed and struggling. You and your boyfriend should offer again to compensate her for the cost of your clinic visit. And you should ask her if she would like you to move into your own place.

Your boyfriend could make amends by standing alongside you as your loving partner, not waiting while you try to smooth things over. You two should bravely ask your mother how you can earn back her respect.

Dear Amy: My stepdad tickles me a lot. I've told him to stop, that I don't like it and that it makes me uncomfortable. When I get mad about him tickling, especially when I'm feeling sick, he starts to go out of his way to tickle me more and even warns me about it. He tells me, \"I'm gonna tickle you more now,\" and when I say \"no\" he says, \"It wasn't a question.\"

Is that abuse? I really hate this guy because he's a jerk. Nothing he does is illegal, but if I had an actual legal reason to call Child Protective Services or 911 on him it would be great.

\u2014 Had It

Dear Had It: No one should touch you if you don't want them to. Yes, your stepfather's tickling raises red flags. You don't say how old you are, but the first thing you should do is appeal to your mother (you don't mention her, is she aware of this?) or another close family member.

If this continues, even after you firmly say \"No!\" then you should report this to your school counselor (who is a \"mandated reporter\"), and yes, if no one intervenes on your behalf, then you should call the CPS hotline yourself.

Dear Amy: I know you've already addressed both sides of the issue of a middle-aged man checking out young women at the beach.

While I totally agree with you that the dude needs to be more sensitive to his wife, you and I both know that your daughter would not complain about George Clooney checking her out. Women seem to have a double standard about this.

\u2014 Reader

Dear Reader: My daughter likely thinks that George Clooney is a \"gross old guy,\" but I take your point.

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ROME (AP) \u2014 Laura Biagiotti, an Italian fashion designer who conquered global markets with her soft, loose women's clothes and luxurious knits that won her the nickname \"Queen of Cashmere,\" died Friday following a heart attack. She was 73.

Biagiotti suffered the heart attack Wednesday evening at her estate outside of Rome. Doctors were able to resuscitate her but by then serious brain damage had occurred. She died in a hospital in the capital.

Her daughter, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, announced her mother's death on Twitter, conveying the news with a Biblical passage: \"In the house of my father there are many places. If not, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.\"

Biagiotti began designing women's clothes in the 1960s and by the 1980s was making her mark.

In 1988, she became the first Italian designer to put on a fashion show in China, presenting dresses and blouses in silk and cashmere, and in 1995 was the first to have a show inside the Kremlin walls in Moscow.

She expanded into men's clothing as well, and created a plus-size women's line, Laura Piu, and a line for children.

Her company produced sunglasses and other accessories and perfumes, including the popular \"Roma\" fragrance, named after Biagiotti's home city.

Born Aug. 4, 1943, Biagiotti studied to become an archaeologist but abandoned those plans to help her mother run a dressmaking business.

In those early years, she traveled frequently to the United States to learn business and technology. After collaborating with such famous fashion houses as those of Emilio Federico Schuberth and Roberto Capucci, she presented her own collection in Florence in 1972.

\"Being a fashion designer is like taking vows. It becomes your religion for life,\" she told The Associated Press in 1987.

She was always deeply proud of her native Italy, and for years wore a cashmere shawl woven in the red, white and green colors of the nation's flag.

\"I'm convinced that the true gold mine in our country is the 'Made in Italy' label,\" she said in 2011.

Biagiotti was a pioneer in the now-established practice of fashion houses' sponsoring restoration of monuments.

Her perfume brand contributed to the restoration in 1998 of the ramp-like staircase, designed by Michelangelo, that leads to the top of the Capitoline Hill. Years later, Biagiotti contributed to the restoration of the delightful 17th-century, twin fountains that top ancient Egyptian granite baths in front of Palazzo Farnese, considered the finest Renaissance palace in Rome and home to the French Embassy.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini on Friday paid tribute to her as a \"generous supporter, involved in a first-hand way, in caring for Italian cultural patrimony.\"

Biagiotti lived in a medieval castle on a hilltop outside of Rome that she had restored, and which was the headquarters for her business.

Her husband, Gianni Cigna, who had also been her business partner, died of leukemia in 1996.

She is survived by her daughter Lavinia, who works as the fashion house's creative director.

___

Frances D'Emilio contributed to this report.

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We've all seen posts by those crazy friends doing an obstacle race -- mud runs where they jump into icy pools of water, climb over high walls and army crawl under barbwire. Pure torture. Now you can sign up for these -- and bring the children!

And why not? Kids are not shy about wanting to jump in the mud, and the chance to do that with their parents' encouragement can be a dream come true. The family can also bond by training together, encouraging one another and accomplishing a race together as a family.

Just check to see if your local mud run allows their ages to participate. For example, kids ages 14 and up can run with their parents in the Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Mud Factor, Dirty Girl, the Savage Race and the Rugged Maniac.

Some race organizers also offer shorter and less challenging routes just for the kids to race. The Tough Mudder has a Mini-Mudder for ages 7 to 12. The Spartan Race offers a Jr. Varsity Spartan Kid's Race for ages 4 to 8 and a Varsity Kid's Race for ages 9 to 13. The Savage Race has the Savage Junior Race for ages 12 and under. And the MudFactor obstacle run has the MFKidz race, for ages 4 to 13.

If you are planning to run separate races, be sure to bring someone who can watch the kids while you are running. Most races provide spectator passes for those grandparents who might want to come, but are smart enough not to get muddy like the rest of us.

So find a race for your family and sign up. Show your kids what you can accomplish together, with a little mud thrown in.

"}, {"id":"5f402fa5-c2f9-5d7b-9760-cf5bc07d6720","type":"article","starttime":"1495724400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-25T08:00:00-07:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"application":"editorial","title":"PCOA teams with library to expand Medicare information","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/article_5f402fa5-c2f9-5d7b-9760-cf5bc07d6720.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/pcoa-teams-with-library-to-expand-medicare-information/article_5f402fa5-c2f9-5d7b-9760-cf5bc07d6720.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/pcoa-teams-with-library-to-expand-medicare-information/article_5f402fa5-c2f9-5d7b-9760-cf5bc07d6720.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Adina Wingate\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Preparing for future health care needs is of particular importance to older adults, as well as those still in the workforce and planning for their future healthcare, housing, transportation, and related retirement expenses. Whether you are about to turn 65 and need to learn how Medicare works, you also need to learn how and when to enroll in order to avoid late enrollment penalties.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["medicare","pima council on aging","retireent"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"76995"},"presentation":"","revision":8,"commentID":"5f402fa5-c2f9-5d7b-9760-cf5bc07d6720","body":"

Preparing for future health care needs is of particular importance to older adults, as well as those still in the workforce and planning for their future healthcare, housing, transportation, and related retirement expenses.

Whether you are about to turn 65 and need to learn how Medicare works, you also need to learn how and when to enroll in order to avoid late enrollment penalties.

To expand access to Medicare workshops, Pima Council on Aging has started a new partnership with the Pima County Public Library to offer the two-hour Medicare workshops at library branch locations throughout Tucson and Green Valley.\u00a0

PCOA\u2019s Medicare information specialists can help individuals and families sign up for workshops or schedule one-to-one consultations between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. \u00a0 \u00a0

Did you know?

The Pima Council on Aging is celebrating five decades of providing services, advocacy and answers on aging to generations of Pima County\u2019s older people and family caregivers. Established in 1967, the non-profit human services organization is the designated Area Agency on Aging for Pima County residents and is the local office of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program for Medicare information.

The series of PCOA Medicare presentations, workshops and individual consultations are provided at no charge. PCOA does not sell any Medicare plans.

The PCOA and Pima County Public Library Medicare workshops are supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare (Prescription Drug) Plan Finder Workshop\u00a0

A computer-based Medicare (Prescription Drug) Plan Finder Workshop will be held from\u00a09 a.m. to 11 a.m. \u00a0on June 3 at the Murphy-Wilmot Library,\u00a0530 N. Wilmot Road.\u00a0

The session will include how to navigate the federal web site at www.medicare.gov for the best prescription drug plan for them. Each person should bring a list of medications, dosage and strength. This session is for people who are able to operate a computer; Library laptops will be provided at the two-hour session. If a person is not comfortable with computers, PCOA Medicare staff will schedule an appointment at the eastside office to run the program.

Register by calling PCOA Medicare information at 546-2011.

"}, {"id":"eb2dc4b6-fe5a-5647-8b78-3f756fa5b810","type":"article","starttime":"1495724400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-25T08:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1495730955","priority":0,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 20187 low of 3.95 percent","url":"http://tucson.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_eb2dc4b6-fe5a-5647-8b78-3f756fa5b810.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/average-us--year-mortgage-rate-falls-to-low-of/article_eb2dc4b6-fe5a-5647-8b78-3f756fa5b810.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Long-term-U-S-mortgage-rates-fell-this-week-to-their-lowest-levels-of-the-year/id-857ce2c4ebd347fbba8782875a2ca4e3","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Associated Press","prologue":"Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans tumbled to 3.95 percent from 4.02 percent last week.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics","business","general news","home buying","residential real estate","lifestyle","mortgage rates","mortgages","personal loans","personal finance","home and garden","finance","homebuying","homeselling"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#ap"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b1a5b8f4-9948-5d89-97b5-a1fdcf438e60","description":"In this March 6, 2017, photo, a mortgage rate graph is displayed on a computer in North Andover, Mass.\u00a0","byline":"ELISE AMENDOLA, ASSOCIATED PRESS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"354","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1a/b1a5b8f4-9948-5d89-97b5-a1fdcf438e60/58c9574781fe9.image.jpg?resize=512%2C354"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1a/b1a5b8f4-9948-5d89-97b5-a1fdcf438e60/58c9574781fe9.image.jpg?crop=512%2C288%2C0%2C33&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1a/b1a5b8f4-9948-5d89-97b5-a1fdcf438e60/58c9574781fe9.image.jpg?crop=512%2C288%2C0%2C33&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1a/b1a5b8f4-9948-5d89-97b5-a1fdcf438e60/58c9574781fe9.image.jpg?crop=512%2C288%2C0%2C33"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"eb2dc4b6-fe5a-5647-8b78-3f756fa5b810","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest levels of the year. The benchmark 30-year rate dipped below the key 4 percent mark.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans tumbled to 3.95 percent from 4.02 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.64 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

The rate on 15-year mortgages slipped to 3.19 percent from 3.27 percent last week.

U.S. stock prices climbed for the sixth day in a row Thursday, following steep drops last week amid concern over political turmoil in Washington.

Absorbing the earlier market declines, bond prices rose this past week and pushed down yields on long-term Treasury bonds \u2014 which mortgage rates tend to follow.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also held steady at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans dropped to 3.07 percent from 3.13 percent last week. The fee declined to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

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Warren\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Sooty mold and related fungi are common, on a variety of plant species, and not harmful so they don\u2019t get much attention.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"77005"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49","description":"Agave agave weevil larvae feed on the base of the plant and introduce bacteria that cause the rot.","byline":"David Abraham","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c4/fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49/5925de134b2c9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1014","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c4/fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49/5925de134a525.image.jpg?resize=1014%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c4/fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49/5925de134a525.image.jpg?crop=1662%2C934%2C0%2C155&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c4/fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49/5925de134a525.image.jpg?crop=1662%2C934%2C0%2C155&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c4/fc4f7aa2-c5ae-5a5b-a493-36250a77ed49/5925de134a525.image.jpg?crop=1662%2C934%2C0%2C155&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"82a6b9ec-b3d0-5f0d-b320-7e4a1e524607","description":"Some beetle species are native and commonly found in this area. 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Question: We were out this week just west of Huachuca City and noticed a couple of cholla with a dark substance. Please see the attached pics. Any idea if this is a bacteria or fungus?

Answer: This appears to be a species of sooty mold, which is a type of fungus. Sooty mold and related fungi are common, on a variety of plant species, and not harmful so they don\u2019t get much attention.

Bacterial infections in cacti tend to be more of an oozing black liquid that runs down the side whereas fungi such as the sooty mold have fruiting bodies growing up and out from the plant.

Q: I have a single pine tree with a dead crown, which upon inspection revealed numerous entry holes with a reddish sap weeping on the bark. This made me do the internet thing, after reading many of the UA publications related to the bark beetle I stripped some bark off the tree exposing the signs of what I thought was this Dendroctonus beetle.

I\u2019m not educated in entomology or trained in forestry. I attempted to photograph these little buggers but I\u2019m not a photographer either. The first photo is a small black beetle about a \u00bc inch long, there is another beetle in the same tunnel at the bottom, I guess, male and female with the brood chamber above the one in the photo.

The second photo is a large larva approximately one inch in length and quarter inch diameter I don\u2019t know if this is the same insect or not but it was found in the same piece of bark that I stripped, but not the same tunnel as the black beetles. The crown is dead; these little black beetles were visible on the exterior of the bark.

I am concerned that my actions may be too late, but I choose to fight. I read numerous insecticide labels searching for anything that called the Dendroctonus beetle out in person. When I found Bifen XTS, on page 20 of the application instructions the Dendroctonus beetle is identified and sub species called out, including the IPS or engravers.

I have also seen a green iridescent beetle about one inch in length but alas could not find one to photograph. After reading for two days, I took action and ordered the insecticide, read the directions and applied to 40 surrounding trees. There are some signs of attack, but the tree with the dead crown appears to be our main infestation. So per directions I have destroyed that tree and sprayed the area.

I was reading on the internet again after my spraying when I found you. I have walked the neighborhood and not seen any other damage so I would sure like to stop this right here and now.

A: Your photos are very helpful. The small black beetle is an Ips pine engraver species although I cannot be sure which one from the photo. The main identifying characteristic is the back end of the beetle, which appears to be carved out and showing small spines on the edge of the hind end. These insects are attracted to stressed trees so the best defense against them is keeping your trees healthy by providing proper irrigation. Once they are established in the tree there isn\u2019t anything you can do stop them so you can discontinue the insecticide treatments.

The second beetle, shown as a large larva in your second photo, appears to be a round-headed borer from the Cerambycidae family called the ponderosa pine bark borer. This insect avoids healthy trees so you know your tree was dying or dead if you find this in it.

In the end, your actions to take down and destroy the dead or dying tree were appropriate. I recommend planning to provide supplemental irrigation to nearby trees if that is feasible and to keep monitoring the trees for changes in crown color or evidence of beetle activity in the bark. Both beetle species are native and commonly found in this area and in the big picture, they are doing their job as decomposers of dying trees.

Q: As you can see from the attached photos I am having an issue with my agave plant. I have in the past lost plants, that once dead, revealed some type of black beetle infesting the leaves. Is there still hope for this plant? What can I do to prevent this problem from affecting the pups as well?

A: The black beetle infesting your plants is known as the agave weevil or Scyphophorus acupunctatus and is commonly found wherever agaves are grown. The adult female beetles lay eggs in the base of the plant in the spring. The larvae feed on the base of the plant and introduce bacteria that cause the rot and begin the process of killing the agave.

The plant in your photo is showing wrinkles at the base and is probably already rotting so I have little hope for that plant. You can try pulling on the leaves to see if it is loosely attached to the base. Diseased plants typically fall apart easily.

The weevils can spread to neighboring agaves but they tend to favor larger, more mature plants over pups and larger species over smaller ones.

If all of yours are the Agave americana species, you might consider replacing some with other smaller species or you can treat the soil at the base of your larger specimens with a systemic insecticide such as imidacloprid. This chemical is taken up through the plant roots and makes it poisonous. One treatment should be good for a year.

If an agave is about to bloom, applying an insecticide is not recommended. These plants die soon after blooming anyway and the chance of the insecticide being passed to pollinators through the nectar and pollen is something to be avoided. Please check the pesticide label for details along with safety precautions for applying it to protect yourself and other non-target organisms nearby.

Q: My parents planted a grapefruit tree in 1965 and it is still going strong and produces an enormous amount of fruit all year long. Is this normal?

A: Grapefruit trees can live past 50 years and continue to produce a good amount of fruit. While there are potential insect and disease problems that can shorten the life of these trees, sufficient irrigation and fertilization along with the right planting location will allow these trees to tolerate many small problems and still thrive.

"}, {"id":"d4085907-e020-59ed-a473-15a4d1059053","type":"article","starttime":"1495718635","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-25T06:23:55-07:00","lastupdated":"1495720892","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Attempt to rebrand Harlem as 'SoHa' leaves residents fuming","url":"http://tucson.com/news/national/article_d4085907-e020-59ed-a473-15a4d1059053.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/national/attempt-to-rebrand-harlem-as-soha-leaves-residents-fuming/article_d4085907-e020-59ed-a473-15a4d1059053.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Community-activists-in-New-York-City-say-an-attempt-to-rebrand-a-section-of-Harlem-as-SoHa-is-insulting-and-another-sign-of-gentrification-run-amok/id-8a415e624cb1430480a19f74db644a4d","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 Community activists in New York City say an attempt to rebrand a section of Harlem as \"SoHa\" \u2014 short for South Harlem \u2014 is insulting and another sign of gentrification run amok.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","general news","lifestyle"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#ap"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"d4085907-e020-59ed-a473-15a4d1059053","body":"

NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 Community activists in New York City say an attempt to rebrand a section of Harlem as \"SoHa\" \u2014 short for South Harlem \u2014 is insulting and another sign of gentrification run amok.

NY1 reports (http://bit.ly/2rTh9i0) that community board member Danni Tyson says no real estate company, coffee shop or business should be using the term SoHa to refer to Harlem.

His comments were in response to some business people rebranding the area from 110th Street to 125th Streets in Manhattan as SoHa.

Democrat Brian Benjamin, who won Tuesday's special election for Harlem's state senate seat, says the rebranding effort is akin to someone trying to rob Harlem residents of their culture.

Nicknames such as TriBeCa, Nolita and SoHo have been in vogue for those trendy Manhattan neighborhoods for years.

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ROME (AP) \u2014 Italian fashion designer Laura Biagiotti suffered a heart attack that resulted in serious brain damage and was in critical condition Thursday in a Rome hospital.

The 73-year-old suffered the cardiac arrest at her home Wednesday evening, according to officials with the Sant'Andrea hospital where she was being treated.

The brain damage resulted from a lack of oxygen to it. Tests were being performed to verify possible brain death, the hospital said.

Biagiotti, one of the earliest Italian female designers to go global with her creations, is known for luxurious knits that won her the nickname \"Queen of Cashmere.\" Her company also produced several perfumes, including the popular \"Roma\" fragrance.

Born in 1943, Biagiotti abandoned plans to become an archaeologist to help her mother run a dressmaking business.

In those early years, she traveled frequently to the United States to learn business and technology. After collaborating with such famous fashion houses as Shubert and Capucci she presented her own collection in Florence in 1972.

\"Being a fashion designer is like taking vows. It becomes your religion for life,\" she told The Associated Press in 1987.

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