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Updated Aug 19, 2013 - 6:12 pm

Final Word: Why not use donations to help 'seasonal' hotshots' families?

So the tally for the fundraising so far for the Yarnell Hill Firefighters is at $9 million.

A lot of money, for sure, but obviously Arizonans hearts are overflowing for the families of the 19 fallen.

Last week on the show, we talked about the fact that the families of the "seasonal" firefighters aren't going to get the same benefits as the full time employees and we sympathized with their situation. But if the payouts would bankrupt the city, and the city says they would, you have to understand their side too.

But here is a pot of money, a big one, and a grant committee will meet next month to try to disburse the money. Is it out of the question that some of those "seasonal employees'" families get a a little more of the charitable donations than the others?

That $9 million is not technically public money, in that it was voluntarily donated. It's charity in its purest form.

So let's try to make it a little more equal for those families. Those families lost just much as the "full-time" employees' families, but because of a necessary technicality in the city's contract with its firefighters, they don't get the same death benefits.

Sometimes life isn't fair but that's when fellow citizens come in and donate because we don't like when life isn't fair.

Shouldn't we get to make it right when we can?

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About the Author

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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