ARIZONA NEWS

Here are 5 of KTAR News’ feel-good stories from 2022

Dec 27, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:13 am
(Phoenix Police Photo, KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)...
(Phoenix Police Photo, KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)
(Phoenix Police Photo, KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)

PHOENIX — After a turbulent, and sometimes upsetting, news cycle this year, welcome to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s feel-good stories round-up.

With stunning recoveries from near-fatal accidents to a Valley dog returning to its owner after being lost for 10 months, here are five stories from 2022 that we hope make you feel good and inspired.


Lost dog of 10 months returned to Phoenix owners after identified by microchip

After nearly 10 months of searching, a family dog returned home safely.

The 13-year-old black and white part Schnauzer, part Shih Tzu, escaped his north Phoenix backyard in December.

After nearly a year of searching, his owner Judy Kula, was starting to wonder if she’d ever see her beloved pup again.


Arizona mother makes stunning recovery from near death in 2017 Las Vegas shooting


The fifth anniversary of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas passed in October.

Among the hundreds who were injured at the event was Jovanna Calzadillas of San Tan Valley. She was struck in the head by a bullet.

Doctors in Las Vegas did not believe she would survive.

Francisco Calzadillas, her husband, was with her when it happened.


Mesa native Troy Kotsur becomes 2nd deaf actor to win an Oscar

Troy Kotsur won the Academy Award for best supporting actor in October for his role in the Apple TV+ film “CODA.”

Kotsur, who was born in and resides in Mesa, is the second deaf actor to win an Oscar, the first being his “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin in 1987 (“Children of a Lesser God”).

The 53-year-old played Frank Rossi, a father in a deaf family with a hearing daughter who dreams of becoming a singer. His performance made history before his win on Sunday, as he was the first deaf actor to earn a British Academy Film Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics’ Choice Award.


Valley man inspired by KTAR’s Mike Broomhead to learn to read at age 55

Approximately 500,000 adults in Maricopa County are considered to be “functionally illiterate.”

If you met Mike Austin, you’d have no idea he was one of them.

Austin told KTAR News 92.3 FM he guesses he reads at about a second grade level.

“I don’t know where it went wrong, I showed up to school like any normal child,” he said. “It’s been carrying on through my whole life going through schooling and [brings up] mixed feelings of ‘why am I not learning?’”


Tyler Moldovan striving to be Phoenix police officer again year after near-fatal shooting

The Phoenix police officer who nearly lost his life in a shooting a year ago is hoping to once again be an active member of the force.

“If the department will let me, I’m up to go back. That’s what I strive for,” Tyler Moldovan said. “The injury hasn’t changed my feelings for the job or career at all. I love it.”

Moldovan graduated from the police academy in March 2021 and had less than a year of experience when he was shot in the head several times by a suspect.

The incident occurred Dec. 14, 2021, while Moldovan was searching for the driver of one of several cars reportedly driving erratically near 15th Avenue and Camelback Road.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Here are 5 of KTAR News’ feel-good stories from 2022