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Heat-Related Deaths Under Investigation In Metro Phoenix

Those five straight days under an extreme heat advisory appear to be related to at least a dozen deaths around the Valley last week.

Investigators suspect extreme heat factored into the deaths of 12 people across metro Phoenix and four others in neighboring counties, including an elderly Apache couple found dead in a home without air conditioning.

“The elderly are most vulnerable, especially those with chronic medical conditions,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine with Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Dr. Sunenshine said statistics show about 40 percent of heat-caused deaths happen indoors and most are elderly women. The other 60 percent happen outdoors.

“The vast majority of them are men,” said Dr. Sunenshine. “And, we don’t know exactly why that is, but we think that there may be a tendency to over exert themselves outside.”

Last week’s deaths bring the county’s total number of cases under investigation so far to 27 this year — three shy of confirmed heat-related deaths for the entire year of 2016.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.