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  • Town of Oro Valley showing support for police officers

    Across Oro Valley and the nation at-large people are put ribbons on their vehicles, homes, trees and mailboxes in support of police officers and the law enforcement community at large. As part of a formal intiative, the town of Oro Valley proclaimed a “Blue Ribbon Day” on Sept. 30 to show appreciation to those who serve and protect the community.With recognition from the town, the Oro Valley Police Department Fraternal Order of Police invited everyone to participate in Blue Ribbon Day. Oro Valley Police Department Chief Daniel Sharp said the proclamation meant a lot to him and the entire police force, because it showed just how much the town appreciates its public safety officers. Sharp believes the most important function of the police force is to provide protection and peace of mind to the residents living in the area. “We’re all in this together,” he said, “and we have a responsibility to one another to maintain a safe environment and a safe community.”Maintaining a safe community is more than just responding to calls and resolving issues, Sharp said. It’s about being a presence and being able to stop a crime before it happens, a concept known as preventive and community policing. Over the past few decades, the focus in many police departments was to respond to calls as quickly as possible and be on scene to deal with any situations. Sharp said a reactive approach to policing, while potentially more efficient in terms of budgetary expenses, is actually quite ineffective in keeping a community safe. 

  • NW Fire busy with rollover, electrical hazard at Orange Grove/Oracle

    Northwest Fire District crews had their hands full this afternoon after a strong storm swept through Northwest Tucson causing two major incidents in the Orange Grove and Oracle area.The first incident was around 12:20 p.m. after a two cars collided just north of Orange Grove and Oracle. It was reported that one of the vehicles had rolled over.According to NWFD spokesperson Capt. Adam Goldberg, A family of three including a one-year-old girl were taken to Banner-UMC Trauma Center as a precautionary measure. The child was restrained properly in a car seat during the collision.In the same vehicle were a man and pregnant wife which both were transported to a local hospital as well. Both were wearing seat belts at the time.The two occupants of the second vehicle involved were evaluated and found to be uninjured.Southbound Oracle Road was restricted during the operations while Arizona Department of Public Safety Troopers were on scene to investigate and direct traffic.

  • Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce responds to candidates dropping out of forum

    The Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce has responded after four challengers taking on incumbents in the recall election stated earlier today they would not participate in the chamber’s candidate’s forum tonight.The four candidates — mayoral challenger Pat Straney and council candidates Ryan Hartung, Shirl Lamonna and Steve Didio — said Tuesday they were not participating because the chamber had not agreed to their requests.Among the requests were a list of questions to be discussed; a fair and impartial moderator; no political signs, campaign buttons or shirts with logos supporting a candidate; appearance of all candidates on stage at the same time; and no clapping or interruptions from the audience.  The four challengers also questioned the timing, noting a planning commission meeting was scheduled Tuesday night to discuss the town’s general plan.Dave Perry, the president and CEO of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, responded to the claims early Tuesday afternoon. Perry said he and the chamber were aware of the conflict with the planning commission and originally set the forum debate as Thursday. The date changed, however, when one of the challengers said they would be out of town and asked for an earlier date.The chamber chose Tuesday despite the conflict with the planning commission in part because Wednesday is a date the council is meeting.

Today's Top Headlines

  • (Oct. 6) Today's Top Headlines - This We Do Know About TPP: The Shouting Is Already Loud

    NPR: Even though President Obama has not yet released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced Monday, supporters and opponents are making their voices heard — at full volume.Business leaders and interest groups hope their impassioned pleas will sway Congress, which must vote on the proposed deal next year.Read the full story on NPR. 

  • (Oct. 6) Today's Top Headlines - Wild mammals 'have returned' to Chernobyl

    BBC News: Removing humans from what is now the exclusion zone around the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor has allowed wildlife to return, researchers say.They say a long-term census of mammals in the area has shown that wildlife numbers are likely to be "much higher than they were before the accident".Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth led the study, published in the journal Current Biology.Read the full story on the BBC News.

  • (Oct. 6) Today's Top Headlines - Community College of Philadelphia on lockdown after gun report

    CNN: The Community College of Philadelphia was on lockdown Tuesday morning after police received reports about a man with a gun, officials said.Police received a report of that a man with a gun had threatened another student, Officer Leeloni Palmiero said.Read the full story on CNN. 

Local News

  • Return of the water wars revisited: an opinionated book review

    I don’t usually write book reviews, and you don’t see many in this paper. But a couple of months back Desert Times carried my article on the increasingly dire drought in the Southwest, and now a novel has brought its consequences to stunning life.Colorado speculative fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi’s new book, The Water Knife (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015, $25.95), has caught on. It was the subject of the Eastside Barnes & Noble September Sci Fi Fantasy Book Club meeting, and the author spoke at Arizona State University in Tempe on Sept. 17 as part of a series on Imagination and Climate Futures. Bacigalupi has won numerous awards for his fiction.I’m a trained historian and journalist. We assemble facts and try to make sense of them. Fiction writers do what we cannot: let us inside the thoughts and hearts of those we write about. Fiction writers are not bound to the provable; they can use informed imagination to show us what if….and that’s what Bacigalupi does.The novel is set in a near-future Las Vegas and Phoenix, with the Southwest overheated and dry due to climate change. Mexico is now run on the state level by drug cartels, and California remains the promised land. States have legislated sovereignty and use the National Guard to patrol their borders to keep migrants — mostly from drought-destroyed Texas — out.Water is the most precious resource, and the wealthy have water-rich “arcologies” with waterfalls and ponds using recycled wastewater. The poor scramble for Chinese yuan to buy drinking water daily. Legal battles combine with helicopter raids, blowing up dams and cutting Arizona’s CAP canal line. The rich cluster in Las Vegas while squatters occupy what’s left of Phoenix. “The CAP is Arizona’s IV drip,” a character says.Colorado, Utah and Wyoming threaten to hold back the shrinking supply of Colorado River water, as they are, in fact, trying to do. Aquifers have been pumped nearly dry and dust storms are so common people routinely wear dust masks from REI. Urine is recycled into drinking water. Swimming pools are dry and collect dead bodies. Farmers disappear overnight when they won’t sell their water rights.

  • County board approves bond implementation plan

    The Pima County Board of Supervisors has taken the next step necessary in moving an $815 million bond package to the November ballot, where voters will determine whether or not to pass the package, comprised of 99 projects divided into seven separate bond questions.On Tuesday, in a 4-1 vote, supervisors elected to pass the bond program implementation plan, which sets a schedule for the funding and construction of bonded projects. Voting against the measure was District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller, who over the months of bond discussions has adamantly opposed incurring additional debt and as a result further increasing county property taxes.Miller questioned several aspects of the bond package, particularly as related to roadway repairs, claiming a lack of ample transparency since not all projects listed the extent or type of repair to be performed.County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry explained that types of repairs were not listed because needs of the repair could change by the time the bond is to be implemented.The bond package includes $200 million for roadway repair. Other elements making up the package include funding for economic development, tourism, parks and recreation, public health, natural area conservation and flood control.

  • Winfield drops out of mayor’s race

    The race for mayor of Oro Valley is down to two candidates.During the first forum in the Oro Valley recall election, Joseph Winfield, whose campaign for the mayor’s office was legally challenged by members of the community, announced he would be stepping down from the race.“I entered this race,” Winfield said during his opening statement, “because of my love for this community, my love for my neighbors and I believe that I can make a difference.” He said he knew he was considered by some to be a “spoiler” opponent in the mayoral race, though he stated he was genuine in his actions. Winfield was not able to finish during his opening statement, as he was cut short by time restriction, but was able to finish during his response to the first question.“In deference to Mr. Straney,” Winfield said, “I’m not going to be a candidate. I know that my name will be on the ballot, I’m sorry for that. I think something that we all share in common is that we’ve made some poor judgments, that’s what drew me into this. But I can acknowledge that my judgment to enter into a recall election, even though my intents were genuine and sincere, was a poor judgment on my part, and I apologize.”The forum was hosted by the Sun City Oro Valley Government Affairs Committee and moderated by Darwin Thornton. The format for the event was simple: each of the separate brackets would be brought up to the audience to speak. 


  • Knight living a dream as author

    Originally hailing from Globe, local author Eric T. Knight has had a lifelong love affair with reading. Whether it was reading his mother’s romance novels, or sifting through classics works of Poe and Dickens, Knight spent many of his early years with a book in hand.Growing up on a working cattle ranch 30 miles outside of the small town of Wickenburg, Knight said there wasn’t much to do as a kid, so he saw reading as the best means of escape. “We didn’t have TV very often,” he said, “and reading was it, so I read everything; from fantasy, to sci-fi, to mom’s romance novels if I had to. That’s what we did when we didn’t have anything else to do, we read.”Knight continued on with his love of the written word through high school, where he was a strong student. After graduating, Knight said he did everything he could to move away from his small town and moved to Tucson to go to the University of Arizona.Writing was not his first choice of study, he at first attempted business and journalism.“I was bouncing in and out of programs,” he said, before receiving a degree in creative writing, it was a passion he said went hand-in-hand with his reading. 

  • Art Trails 2015 Open Studio Tour to feature Northwest and West Tucson artists

    Nearly three dozen professional artists from the Northwest and West Tucson area have banded together to sponsor a new art tour event for the fall — Art Trails 2015 W/NW Open Studio Tour.The free studio tour will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, allowing visitors the opportunity to view artists’ works and discuss the process of creating art with the artists. For a map of the studios, listing of participating artists and links to their works, go to www.artrails.org.Candace Greenburg, one of the event’s organizers and the owner of Greenburg Studio at 12255 W. Sunset Rd., said the inaugural event is designed to expose members of the public to the way artists create their work.“Many people are surprised to find there’s an artist living in their neighborhood,” Greenburg said. “This is the perfect opportunity to get to know them and their work better. Artists enjoy meeting with people and talking about their work.”Greenburg, a graduate of the University of Arizona, has spent 20 years in the artist in residency program for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her background is in acrylic painting and photography, she said, until five years ago when she began sculpting in wax.“Most of my sculpting work is figurative abstract,” Greenburg pointed out. “It’s a very old-world way of sculpting that’s been done for centuries. You sculpt wax by hand, then take it to a foundry where they do the lost wax casting when the wax is replaced with a hot bronze metal. The piece is then cleaned up and a patina is added through a chemical process to come up with the coloration the artist desires.”

  • Great American Playhouse brings ‘Whodunit’ to stage

    As summertime transitions into autumn, citizens of Oro Valley and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy themselves at another new installment into the Great American Playhouse’s burgeoning bundle of shows. Following the playhouse’s two-year anniversary celebration last August, GAP veteran Nick Seivert has written and directed the latest play to be presented at the fledgling theater as it picks up more steam.“Whodunit? or They Haven’t a Clue” is the name of Seivert’s interactive murder mystery, starring a gifted cast consisting of Jesus Limon (Mustard/Rusty), Xander Mason (Plum), Katherine Philips (Peach), Jacqueline Williams (Scarlet), Sean MacArthur (Green), Jodi Darling (Peacock/White) and Seivert himself as Wadsworth and Zoltan the Great.When Rusty, the adopted son of bagel heiress Ms. Peacock, and his stepmother are killed, detectives Mustard and White are called onto the scene to find just “whodunit.” Together with the GAP audience, Mustard and White will discover the perpetrator of the crime, as well as the why and the how behind Rusty and Ms. Peacock’s murder. Seivert’s grand magnitude as a playwright pervades throughout the show, featuring copious amounts of family-friendly zaniness and interactivity that has come to be associated with the local acting vet.


  • Ironwood Ridge holds off district rival CDO, rolls to 46-28 victory

    Rivalry games are by nature unpredictable, and that was certainly the case during Ironwood Ridge’s 46-28 win over district rival Canyon Del Oro on Friday night.It was a big win for the Nighthawks, who have now won five in a row and control their own destiny in their section. For the Dorados, they are left still searching for answers. One of the best programs in Southern Arizona, CDO fell to 1-5 and is trying to figure it out.The Nighthawks had 513 yards of total offense and never punted. Their lone drive that did not result in a score was a turnover before the half. Although CDO passed for 223 yards, they never got their run game going, picking up just 33 yards on the evening. “The storyline should read that they didn’t punt,” said CDO coach Dustin Peace. “They didn’t punt. Until we can stop a team from putting up that many points, it is tough to be successful.” The Nighthawks jumped out to a 25-0 lead, but saw the Dorados battle back and for a time make things very interesting. “They always come to play,” said Ironwood Ridge Head Coach Matt Johnson. “You could tell their pride showed through. I am proud of my team and their team, it was a well fought game.”

  • Despite loss, Falcon football team still in the playoff hunt

    The Catalina Foothills football team suffered an upset loss to Marana and fell to 4-2 heading into last weekend’s games but the Falcons still in solid shape to make the state playoffs. They entered the weekend No. 16 in the state and had a lot of options for making he postseason for the third consecutive season. The Falcons’ final four games will all come against sectional opponents, and they can still win the section, and the automatic berth by winning out. An at-large berth is not impossible. The final four games are not easy. They faced 4-1 Safford over the weekend and the combined record of their final four teams were 16-6 before the weekend. The team welcomed back tight end/defensive end Max Michalczik. The junior missed two games with an illness that required his hospitalization. Michalczik is not only one of quarterback Rhett Rodriguez’s favorite targets, but he is one of the team’s top defensive playmakers. Although they boast a winning record, the Catalina Foothills girls volleyball team still has work to do to qualify for the state tournament. Sixteen teams make the postseason, five sectional winners and 11 at-large teams, and the Falcons currently find themselves ranked No. 20 in the state. They are 6-2 in regular season games that count toward the playoffs and are 11-3 overall after a 5-1 showing at the Flowing Wells Girls Volleyball Invitational. They still have tournaments at Desert Ridge and their own Lady Falcon Invitational ahead, as well as a loaded regulars season slate that includes four teams ranked in the top-16 and all six sectional match-ups. 

  • Mountain View rally comes up short

    Queen Creek jumped out to a 22-0 lead and fended off a Mountain View rally to beat the host Mountain Lions 22-20.Queen Creek got on the scoreboard with a big special teams play, a 70-yard punt return, then scored two short yardage TD’s to put the pressure on the Mountain Lions.A long touchdown run started the Mountain View comeback. Stan Berryhill broke off a 54-yard run to get the Lions on the scoreboard. The Lions followed that up with a 21-yard touchdown catch by Isaiah Lovett and were down just 22-14 at the half.Lovett had six catches for 119 yards.Wyatt Adams scored from two-yards out in the fourth quarter but the two-point conversion that could have tied the game failed. 


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