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

  • 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.

  • Pima Animal Care Center hosting mass spay/neuter clinic with Best Friends Animal Society

    County residents can get free spay/neuter surgeries for outdoor cats on Aug. 8.Over the weekend of Aug. 8 through 9, Pima Animal Care Center and its partners at Best Friends Animal Society will be conducting a mass spay/neuter clinic to alter 200 free-roaming community cats. On Saturday, Aug. 8, Pima County residents who are caring for unaltered cats who live at least part-time outdoors can bring them to 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. for a free spay/neuter surgery.The clinic is part of PACC’s trap-neuter-return Community Cat Project with Best Friends Animal Society and the project’s funder, PetSmart Charities. The project seeks to alter 15,000 free-roaming cats over three years. Since this aggressive spay/neuter initiative started in October 2014, the shelter's save rate for cats has consistently exceeded 90 percent, which is the nationally recognized level of "no-kill."Over the weekend, staff and volunteers from Best Friends Animal Society will be out actively trapping cats in Tucson, but event organizers also wanted to offer the public a chance to participate on Saturday."The Community Cat Project has been completely game-changing for PACC cats," PACC Chief of Operations, Kristin Barney, said. "And on Aug. 8, the community can be part of the spay/neuter solution by bringing their outdoor cats to PACC to be fixed."To qualify for the free surgery, cats should be at least 2 months old and weigh 2 pounds. Please refrain from feeding any cats who are 4 months old and up after midnight the night before surgery, but kittens who are less than 4 months old can have a small breakfast! Water is OK. Bring friendly cats in a carrier and fractious cats in a humane trap. No loose cats or cats in pillow cases.

  • Arizona posts lowest college completion rate, highest default rate

    Arizona tied Alaska for the lowest college completion rate in the country in 2013, with just 29 percent of students able to earn a four-year degree in six years or less, a new report says.The report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education also said Arizona posted the highest student loan default rate in the country, at 18 percent, compared to a national average of 11 percent.State education officials cautioned Monday that the statistics could be skewed by large numbers of students in other states who are getting degrees online from for-profit schools based in Arizona.But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that states with higher default rates tend to have lower graduation rates and the problem has to be addressed. Just as the cost of college is higher than ever, he said, a postsecondary credential has never been more important.Schools should offer a “meaningful, high-quality degree” at an affordable rate, Duncan said in a conference call to discuss the numbers, “and for many students, our colleges are doing just that.”“But for many more,” he said, schools are too costly, burying students deep in debt and offering mediocre degrees.

Today's Top Headlines

  • (July 27) Today's Top Headlines - Bill Cosby's 35 accusers appear on New York magazine cover

    CNN: Thirty-five women who have accused Bill Cosby of sex assault appear on the current cover of New York Magazine in a stunning statement of unity against the legendary comic.The black-and-white photograph of the women seated in similar poses appears on the July 27 issue. The headline reads, "Cosby: The Women. An unwelcome sisterhood."Read the full story on CNN. 

  • (July 27) Today's Top Headlines - Wedding shootout in Afghanistan kills 21 people

    CNN: A wedding in Afghanistan turned deadly Sunday night when a gunfight broke out, killing 21 people, an Afghan official said.Two armed groups got into a dispute at the wedding in the northeastern province of Baghlan, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.Read the full story on CNN.

  • (July 27) Today's Top Headlines - Families of Florida teens missing at sea not giving up hope, mother says

    CNN: The search for two 14-year-old boys who went missing on a Friday fishing trip has moved north and is focused off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen around Jupiter, Florida, reportedly heading to the Bahamas to fish. The Coast Guard found their 19-foot boat Sunday, capsized 67 nautical miles (about 77 miles, or 124 kilometers) off Florida's Ponce de Leon InletRead the full story on CNN. 

Local News

  • 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.” 

  • Summer heat safety tips to ensure fun in the sun

    The summer season and warm weather triggers an urge to be outdoors, but fun in the sun can be dangerous when the heat and humidity rise. In addition to sunburn, heat-related illnesses including heat stroke or sunstroke can send unsuspecting victims to the hospital. The human body keeps itself cool by allowing heat to escape through the skin and by evaporating the resulting perspiration. If the body cannot cool itself enough, the person could suffer from heat-related illness. Heat stroke can progress from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and fainting. Illnesses caused by overheating can become serious, and even deadly, if not treated. Exposure to heat kills approximately 400 Americans annually.Everyone is susceptible to heat-related illnesses, with even young healthy athletes succumbing to it. However, those most at risk include senior citizens, especially those living along in non-air-conditioned environments, and infants and children and people with medical conditions, especially those with heart disease and high blood pressure.The classic warning symptom of a heat stroke is a body temperature that is above 104 degrees, but other symptoms include fainting, dizziness and light-headedness, rapid pulse, painful muscle cramps and spasms, headache, lack of sweating despite the heat, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, dry, hot and red skin and behavioral changes including disorientation. If you or anyone around you has any of these symptoms, 9-1-1 should be called immediately. As you wait for emergency services, put damp and cool cloths or towels on the affected person and have them lie down until medical assistance arrives.


  • Gyllenhaal in superb form in classic boxing movie

    From the opening scene, viewers are immediately shocked at the makeover of Jake Gyllenhaal into the junior middleweight boxing champion Billy “The Great” Hope.  The 34-year old Gyllenhaal lost 25 pounds for his role in last year’s dark thriller “Nightcrawler.”  Now in “Southpaw,” Gyllenhaal has transformed his body into a Tony Horton lab specimen by adding 15 pounds of pure muscle by doing over 2,000 sit-ups per day and spending 42 hours a week working out in a New York boxing gym.  The lean and mean Gyllenhaal we witness in “Southpaw” bears no resemblance to the 11-year-old boy we first met playing Billy Crystal’s son in the 1991 comedy “City Slickers.”  Likewise, Gyllenhaal has dramatically improved his acting skills with each year and movie, leading to a meteoric rise in Hollywood to leading-man status.  His remarkable mental and physical commitment to the Billy Hope boxer role brings an authenticity to the big-screen, making it difficult to take our eyes off of the vastly talented Gyllenhaal.Between songs from rapper Eminem, “Southpaw” takes us on a powerful journey of a devoted husband and father who has risen to the top of the boxing profession only to face one personal struggle after another.  Extraordinary performances bookend Gyllenhaal’s most challenging and successful acting masterpiece to date. HBO “True Detective” star Rachel McAdams plays the strong wife to Gyllenhaal and nurturing mother to their daughter, portrayed by Oona Laurence (from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”).  Both McAdams and Laurence shine bright as firm influences upon Gyllenhaal’s intense Billy Hope character, delivering the realism to “Southpaw’s” moving storyline.  Although Gyllenhaal carries “Southpaw” all 12 rounds, it’s the infusion of Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as Hope’s trainer that makes this film a dominate success.  Every scene between these two very distinct personalities garners our full attention — particularly the ad-libbed lines from Whitaker on life in general.  This perfect chemistry of Gyllenhaal and Whitaker provides a credible and gripping look at being down, but not out, in the fight for one’s survival. The powerful one-two combination from director Antoine Fuqua (2014’s “The Equalizer”) and screenplay writer Kurt Sutter (TV’s “Sons of Anarchy” director/writer/star) wisely make “Southpaw” a movie about a boxer, not boxing.  Gyllenhaal’s Billy “The Great” Hope is first and foremost a husband and father.  The body punches he takes in the ring are no comparison to the blows Hope must endure and overcome on the streets.

  • Game Over: Pixels Review

    Adam Sandler used to be one of the kings of comedy. His two most well-known movies Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are comedy favorites of even some self-proclaimed movie buffs. However, now his production studio Happy Madison Productions is the stamp of failure for almost every movie he has been a part of after his glory days. Unfortunately, Pixels follows in the footsteps of failure and continues to show that Adam Sandler is just in it for the money.The movie starts out promising with an interesting childhood backstory of Brenner, played by Adam Sandler, and Cooper, played by Kevin James, but it is quickly ruined once the two become adults. Brenner becomes a depressing tech installer because of losing an arcade tournament in his backstory. Cooper becomes president with no explanation as to how he was elected or what made him decide to become president.The aliens attack less than five minutes after Sam and Cooper are shown as adults. Although the entire premise of the movie is that video game aliens attack Earth, there could have been some build up. Also, the explanation for why the aliens are attacking in the first place is incredibly weak. Their reason for attacking is because of a space probe the United States sent out that contained footage of their video game tournament and took it as a threat. Even the video game battle scenes are ruined by the bored look on Sandler’s face. Most of the movie was obviously created in editing, but he could have at least tried to act like he was fighting video game monsters. All of the voxel video game sprites and effects look really good. The animators deserve all of the credit for any entertainment value in the movie.Peter Dinklage plays a narcissistic gamer named Eddie that gave himself the nickname “fireblaster”. The painful “joke” that he created it for himself is told throughout the movie, and just like the first time it occurs, it isn’t funny. His acting also felt very forced like he was trying way too hard to be unlikable. Every movie he stars in feels like he is in it just because he is a character in Game of Thrones that people like.

  • Retro Refresh

    Not a lot of people have been hyped up for the greatest collection and value that will be released on August 4. The Rare Replay collection is an exclusive Xbox One title that has 30 of Rare’s most popular games. Why should everyone be excited? It comprises of mostly games that people played in their childhood and have most likely sold by now or lost, but also, because it is only going to be $30. That’s a dollar a game which is crazy considering that one of the games on the disc, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, regularly sells on eBay for $90 or more.Rare was a company that regularly created amazing games that challenged not only what graphics the system could display, but what games were possible. Nearly half of their games are still the favorites of many people to this day. Their games have stood the test of time. This collection is a great way for younger audiences to experience the joy of these games that many of their parents or older siblings had when they were kids.Here is a list of some of the highlight games on the disc with a brief description of them:Battletoads Arcade (Arcade-1994): A much darker and bloodier game than its predecessor Battletoads that came out for the original Nintendo system. The toads fight against the Dark Queen’s forces in this classic beat ‘em up arcade game.Blast Corps (Nintendo 64-1997):  This destructive game had players taking control of various unique demolition vehicles to lay waste to groups of buildings in a race against time to clear way for a truck carrying defective nuclear missiles.


  • 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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