Diagnosing Autism? There's an App for That!

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Phoenix just got one step closer to becoming the global center for diagnosing autism after an iPhone app called NODAâ„¢ opened to the public yesterday-- and no, this has nothing to do with the measles vaccine.

NODA, for Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment, allows parents to upload videos of their children and communicate with clinical experts to get an accurate autism diagnosis. Getting an in-person diagnostic test is a notoriously challenging and often-lengthy process, particularly for families who live far away from big cities. It's not atypical for it to take months, or even a year, to get an appointment with a specialist. And because early intervention with autism is key to successfully treating or reducing symptoms, waiting is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.

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Obamacare Enrollment in Arizona Already More Successful Than Last Year

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Arizonans have signed up for national healthcare to the tune of 169,178 since November 15, and time's a-ticking for anybody else who wants coverage. Open enrollment ends February 15.

The latest statistics are encouraging. Governor Doug Ducey may have called the Affordable Care Act "a monumental failure" and "one of the worst laws ever signed by an American President," but a report released earlier this month from the Department of Health and Human Services says otherwise.

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Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

Lyntha Scott Eiler via Wikimedia
Do you want to dig up dirt on your new boyfriend, local politician or the business begging for your money and time?

If you live in Maricopa County or elsewhere in Arizona, we've got a few awesome and mostly free online resources for you:

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Phoenix Water Customers Won't See Rate Hike in Water or Sewer Services in 2014

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Phoenix is planning to maintain the same water and sewer rates for single-family homes in 2014.

It marks the second year that the Water Services Department is not proposing a rate hike for Phoenix homes.

City officials report that the average single-family residential water bill will remain at $37.75 per month, and the average residential sewer bill will remain at $20.71 per month.

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How to Survive a Dust Storm While Driving in Arizona

Image: ADOT
Tuesday's triple-fatality pileup on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak wasn't the worst in Arizona history.

Dust-storm collisions are a fact of life here in the desert, ever since our forefathers laid down the superhighways. At the average cruising speed on Interstate 10 -- about 90 mph, most days -- being rendered suddenly blind is probably the worst thing that can happen.

Here are several tips that may allow you to survive should this weather phenomenon catch you on the open road:

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Free Help Navigating Obamacare's Health Insurance Marketplace At PHX Libraries


Federally appointed "navigators" are offering free help at Phoenix libraries for people who want to learn more about the new health-insurance regulations passed into law with the Affordable Care Act, which most people call Obamacare.

Assistance is available at the Burton Barr Central Library on Mondays for individuals who want to sign up for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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Phoenix Workshop Delves Into the Depths of Homeowner Association Hell


HOAs can be hell.

What other way can you describe a micromanaging quasi-governmental body that takes hundreds of dollars a year from you and then uses that money to harass you about where you park your car, about how you store your trash can, and about front-yard weeds that refuse to die and would likely survive a nuclear explosion.

Well, they do help some neighborhoods maintain their property value.

Wanna know more?

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Peoria Opening Pioneer Community Park, One of Valley's Largest Municipal Play Grounds


Peoria officials are opening Pioneer Community Park, an 83-acre recreation campus, to the public at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The park, at the corner of 83rd and Olive avenues, features six ball fields with concessions stands and restrooms with a central plaza; four lighted multipurpose fields; a dog park, picnic ramadas with grills, a playground with swing sets and splash grounds.

And it's opening even as neighboring cities are scaling back on recreation options for residents because of budget shortfalls.

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Peoria Theater Performance of "Big" Will Benefit Yarnell Hill Recovery Group

A non-profit group working to rebuild fire-ravaged Yarnell has raised about $1.2 million toward those efforts, but are far short of their overall goal of about $6 million.

Various organizations and individuals have contributed good and cash, and now a Peoria theater is getting on charity.

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Lana Meadville Allegedly Kills Cat and Hurls It at Her Mother, Authorities Say



Mohave County found its own version of the feline hurling "Crazy Cat Lady."

Authorities arrested 47-year-old Lana Rennee Meadville Thursday after she allegedly killed a cat and heaved it at her mother, according the Mohave County Sheriff's office. 

See also:

Helen Flint, 74, Found Out Being the Cat Lady in Bullhead City Is Illegal

Cat Show at Phoenix Convention Center

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