Tucson Local Media: Home of The Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times, and Inside Tucson Business

  • Splash pad, outlet mall set for grand openings

    Residents of Marana have anxiously been awaiting the opening of the new splash pad and the Tucson Premium Outlet. Both are under construction, but grand opening dates have been announced for each. Tucson Premium Outlets will officially open on October 1. The new mall is located at the Twin Peaks Interchange on I-10 and features over 366,000 square feet of retail space. Although just 17 of the stores have been announced by the Simon Property Group, many more are already signed and in the inspection phase with the town. Many are also advertising job openings on-line. Eventually there will be between 80 and 90 stores at the mall. The grand opening is on a Thursday and it is expected to be a huge first weekend for the mall, which expects to draw shoppers from all over the region and Mexico. Long term the mall will be just a part of the larger Marana Center, which will include at least one hotel, an auto mall, restaurants, a power center and entertainment venues. Marana Center is being developed by Vintage Partners.Although some of the stores are hiring via on-line job sites, most of the tenants will staff their stores at an Aug. 20 job fair. The job fair will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m at the Hilton El Conquistador resort. There will be 800 open seasonal, part-time, full-time and management positions at Tucson Premium Outlet.“Attendees are asked to come dressed to impress in professional attire and have copies of their resume on-hand,” mall representatives said via press release. “Hiring retailers will be available to interview candidates and distribute applications on site.”

  • Parks and recreation is key to Marana’s overall identity

    July is National Parks and Recreation Month and it is a real priority for the town of Marana. Marana Parks and Recreation Director Tom Ellis has been with the town of 11 years and thinks a strong parks and recreation department makes sense for the town. “I believe in the benefits of parks and recreation,” said Ellis. “I have seen it first hand, what happens when children and adults, and older adults, come through programs and get to recreated parks and the changes it makes in their lives. I am passionate about it.”Ellis has been involved in parks and recreation for his entire adult life and regards himself as a “parkie.” The fact that Marana has made recreation part of the strategic plan as one of the focal interests is very important in his mind and shows the priority that the town has made healthy living. While the cost of running parks, trails and programs can be expensive, Ellis’ belief is that it goes hand in hand with the town’s desire to be a business friendly community. “When companies come and look to settle, one of the first things they look for is quality of life,” said Ellis. “They need healthy, de-stressed productive folks to work in their facilities and be productive. That parks and recreation piece goes a long way towards satisfying those goals.”It is also attractive to people looking to move to a region. With Southern Arizona offering so many different areas that people can live 

  • Two adults rescued after powerlines trap them in car

    Two adults were rescued by Rural Metro District Firefighters and a TEP worker after being trapped under downed power lines in their car at the 5000 block of S. Julian Dr. Strong winds and rain swept through Tucson and were attributed to knocking down several power lines in the area of Irvington and I-19, according to Rural-Metro Fire District Public Information Officer Capt. Jay Karlik.According to Karlik, the power lines fell down on the car when a power pole snapped and they called 9-1-1 who told them to stay inside of their car.A TEP worker arrived on scene and secured the lines allowing firefighters to safely get them out and they were unharmed.

Today's Top Headlines

  • (July 30) Today's Top Headlines - Confederate flags found at US black church in Atlanta

    BBC News: US police are investigating after four Confederate flags were found on the grounds of a church near the Martin Luther King Jr Center in Atlanta.The flags, which were placed neatly on the ground, were discovered at about 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Thursday by a maintenance worker.No eyewitnesses have come forward yet but security camera footage of the area was being reviewed, police said.Read the full story on BBC News.

  • (July 30) Today's Top Headlines - Taliban confirm Mullah Omar's death

    CNN: Former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omaris indeed dead, the Afghan Islamist militant group confirmed Thursday.The acknowledgment, made in a statement released by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, came a day afterAfghanistan's government announced that the reclusive Islamic cleric had died in April 2013.Read the full story on CNN. 

  • (July 30) Today's Top Headlines - Australia: Debris found on Indian Ocean island is 'major lead' in MH370 search

    CNN: The discovery of debris on a remote island in the Indian Ocean is "a very significant development" in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but it's too soon to say whether the part is from the missing aircraft, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said Thursday.Authorities are treating it as "a major lead," Truss told reporters.MH370 is the only Boeing 777 that disappeared over water and is unaccounted for, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an online database of flight incidents.Read the full story on CNN. 

Local News

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum hosting a moon festival

    On Saturday, Aug. 1, we will have a big, full moon in the sky to light up the night. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, will host an evening-long festival to bask in its glow from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Activities will include a black light poetry hunt, arts, native animal presentations and music. This event is all ages, with special hands-on activities and music just for the kids. The festival is free with the regular museum admission price. For more info, visit desertmuseum.org.

  • Ironwood Ridge High School swim team hosting hypno-comedy fundraiser

    From a Las Vegas showroom to a local high school, master stage hypnotist and a multi-award winning magician, Michael DeSchalit, is returning as the starring act in the Ironwood Ridge High School swim team comedy-hypnosis fundraiser Aug. 28.DeSchalit, a native Tucsonan and U of A graduate, has spent much of his career performing hypnotism in some of the biggest venues in the country. His billed history includes shows at The Four Seasons Luxury Resort, The RMS Queen Mary, The Prado in San Diego, The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and most recently, exclusive engagements at the Circus Circus Hotel, The Riviera and The Orleans Hotel and Casino.Sin City isn’t the only place DeSchalit can be found. He works with thousands of students and educators in performances for safe graduation-night events like “Project Grad” held at any number of local high schools. His other past clientele include the Arizona Department of Education, The Colorado Rockies baseball team, The Arizona Association of Mortgage Brokers, Fort Huachuca Army Base and a host of other organizations. Comedy hypnosis is more than putting people to sleep; it’s about participation and interaction. DeSchalit’s show involves random audience members becoming part of the performance as they act out hilarious skits and stunts while under hypnotic influence. Volunteers end up “auditioning for a major motion picture, dancing like professional dancers, speaking in Martian and some of them will lose their bellybuttons or forget their own names.” Anne Fitzsimmons, AP psychology teacher and social studies department chair at Ironwood Ridge, is one of the coaches of the swim team along with her counterpart, Heather Crocchi. 

  • Teachers get an early start prepping for the school year

    Most area school districts did not require their teachers to report until this week, but stop by any school and you were apt to find teachers already back at work preparing for the school year. Marana High School had a number of teachers back the past few weeks. For some like Cassie LaFaye, it was a specific event that led her back. She wanted to be on hand as her senior students had to register for classes, and with their high school careers coming to a close, she wanted to make sure the process went off without a hitch.Marana economics teacher Anthony Coronado came back a few days early to get his classroom ready, because this week will be dedicated to helping other teachers. As the school’s technology site teacher, he will be busy helping other teachers with their computers and other classroom technology. “This week it is just a matter of figuring out my tables and seats,” Coronado said. “Next week, I will be busy helping teachers with computers and things like that.” Coronado is in his 20th year of teaching, so there is not a lot for him to prepare, save for the current events aspect of economics. Coronado spent much of the summer keeping abreast of local, federal and international economics and tailoring that information for his class. “Because it is economics, the only thing new that I bring in is current events,” said Coronado. “I have to be on top of the news on economics. After 29 years of teaching the challenge is just keeping it relevant.” 


  • New World Of Warcraft Expansion to be announced at gamescon

    Blizzard Entertainment will be revealing the details of the sixth expansion of their wildly popular massively multiplayer online role playing game, World of Warcraft, during a special event live from Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany.The event, starting Thursday at 9 a.m. PDT, will be streamed over the internet for those unable to attend. This means World of Warcraft fans across the world will be able to follow along together.  The news comes less than 9 months since the release of the game’s last expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was released in November. Though many are excited at the prospect of more World of Warcraft, many veteran players are upset.Many in the World of Warcraft community have felt that Warlords of Draenor has severely lacked in major content releases and the fact that the development team is already working on the next expansion has left many disappointed.Warlords of Draenor initially brought about a huge spike in the game’s subscription base, pushing number back over 10 million, but this surge in popularity is pretty common when an expansion is released. Activision revealed in its first quarter financial results for 2015 that World of Warcraft had slid back down to 7.1 million subscribers.Since World of Warcraft was first released in its “vanilla” form in 2004, Blizzard has been open about a desire to release expansion packs on a yearly schedule, but thus far there's been around a two year wait between expansions.

  • Catch the "The Stanford Prison Experiment" at the Loft

    In the summer of 1971, one of America's most chilling psychological experiments played out in the basement of Stanford University's psychology building. Twenty-four male students were placed into a prison simulation and given the role of guard or prisoner. The cautionary tale of a group of researchers who became integral parts in their own experiment has been recreated in a new drama, "The Stanford Prison Experiment." The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd., will have a special Science on the Screen presentation of the film on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. Joel Dvoskin, a clinical psychologist at the UA, will speak before the screening. For more info or ticket prices, go to loftcinema.com.

  • Steam Marketplace: Quantity over Quality

    The now giant PC gaming platform Steam started as a small client in 2006 that people were required to install to play Counter Strike: Source or The Orange Box. It was something that most people thought was an annoyance and was another piece of software that they only used because they were forced to.Now, Steam is beloved by all, is known for its huge sales, and is a user friendly piece of software that has its own community along with being an easy way to organize your PC gaming library.Each year, Steam has added more and more games to its ever growing catalogue, but this year and last year have had a huge influx of the amount of games allowed onto the platform. In 2013, Steam added 560 games and in 2014, they added 1,812 games. So far this year Steam has added 1,592 games already and it’s only halfway through the year. The reason for this is that Valve, the owner and operator of Steam, has loosened the rules on who can add their game to the platform. This is both good and bad. What makes these new loosened rules a good thing is that indie companies have more of a chance to get their well-crafted game to the public. However, this new open market also allows a lot of garbage into the catalogue. There has been an immense amount of free-to-play games added recently which are sometimes actually fun games, but most of the time they are lazily put together cash grabs. Some of the lazy games I’ve seen look worse than phone games and others are actually games that were just ported from the app store. These quick flash games have a place on peoples’ phones to kill a little bit of time while on the go, but a computer game is something that you want to sit down and invest time into.With this new onslaught of new content, the trash might bury some gems.  Steam needs to hire more people to be able to filter out what is coming in to the platform to assure that only the games that deserve to have the spotlight get it.


  • Sports update Former Nighthawk McMahon wins academic honor

    Former Ironwood Ridge and University of Arizona men’s golf standout Alex McMahon collected one more collegiate honor, earning Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors by the Golf Coaches Association of America.McMahon is a business economics major with a 3.91 GPA, and was named the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year in June. He was also selected for the Pac-12 All-Academic first team in May. The Oro Valley, Ariz., native was named to the Capital One Men’s At-Large Academic All-District 8 team in May.To be eligible for All-America Scholar recognition, an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50 percent of his team’s rounds in the corresponding season, post a stroke average under 76.00 and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or better.McMahon played in 45 tournaments over the course of his collegiate career, recording a 74.11 career stroke average, five top-10 finishes and 37 rounds at par or better. He ranked second on the team with a 73.68 stroke average in 2015, firing nine rounds at or below par. 

  • Three area teams prepare for "zero week"

    Three area football teams begin football practice this week in preparation for “zero week” games. Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge and Marana all take to the field a week earlier than other local schools to get ready for their first games on Aug. 21.The first full week of high school football action is on Aug. 28 but a number of teams are getting started a week earlier. In years past there was just a few zero week games, but after the AIA realignment this year, teams struggled to find games and it necessitated a greater number of zero week games.Ironwood Ridge will play a zero week game against an elite opponent for the second straight season. Last year the Nighthawks lost a barnburner to Liberty then rattled off nine straight games to finish the regular season.This year they face perennial power Chandler Hamilton. The Huskies are expected to contend for a Division I state title, while Ironwood Ridge has the same aspirations in Division II.The Nighthawks would love to start the season off with a win after a tough upset loss in the first round of the state playoffs to Sunnyside.Marana has turned the corner as a program, but are still looking to make the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Tigers open with Rio Rico during zero week, then get a week off before their second game against Pueblo.

  • Arthur Pack hosting softball regional tournament

    For the 12th straight year, Pima County will be hosting the Juniors Western Regional Softball Tournament and for the fourth straight year it will be in Marana. Both Crossroads Park and Arthur Pack have hosted the event for the best teams of 13-and 14-year-old girls. The tournament returns to Arthur Pack Regional Park, where 10 teams will battle it out July 20 through July 31,Teams from Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Utah, California, Montana and Hawaii will play in the double elimination tournament.“Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation is honored to have our Arthur Pack Regional Park chosen again to be the site of the Little League Western Regional Softball Tournament for Junior Girls,” said George Kuck, operations maintenance manager.Arthur Pack Regional Park is a 505-acre park with 10 ball fields, public golf course (Crooked Tree Golf Course), ramadas, playgrounds and the recently completed Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary Trails System.  Host Thornydale is one of two Arizona teams in the event. 

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Marana storm knocks down power lines, trees fall into home

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