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  • Clark sentenced to life for 2015 murder of Gann

    Cody William Clark was sentenced to life in prison on Monday, May 6, for the March 2015 murder of Austin Gann. Clark was convicted on one count of first-degree murder in Pima County Superior Court in December. He will be eligible for parole in 25 years and has been credited with 686 days time served.Clark was originally taken into custody on March 23, 2015, in connection to the death of Gann. The morning of the incident, Clark, Gann and a third unidentified man were seen exiting a Northwest-side Circle K. Clark was later arrested in a nearby neighborhood for disorderly conduct; he was reportedly shirtless and, swinging at landscaping lights with a two-by-four.Gann’s body was discovered in his PT Cruiser in the desert near I-10 and Cortaro Road at 9 a.m. with a single gunshot wound to the head. Marana Police were able to determine he was shot while in the vehicle. Investigation into his death led to a connection to the already apprehended Clark. Authorities said the two men were friends, and had probably been out drinking the night before.

  • Catalina State Park concert series brings music to nature

    For residents of Oro Valley, Catalina State Park has long stood as one of the area’s greatest focal points. With management for the park incorporated in 1974—the same year as Oro Valley’s founding—it has acted as a pillar for family entertainment in the north Tucson area going on over 40 years as a place for recreation of all sorts: biking, camping, horseback riding and beyond.For its over four decades in operation, the park has done an upstanding job in embracing traditions common of national parks throughout the world, from preserving nature to hosting outdoor hiking trails and encouraging campouts under starry Arizona skies. What recent years have proven for the parks, though, is that even old dogs truly are capable of new tricks.With a little help from their associates at the non-profit organization Friends of Catalina State Park, the park has decided on bringing an innovative twist to stand amongst its more traditional proceedings. It is now hosting Saturday concert series, with the events specifically being hosted not too far into the park, all amidst a gorgeous setting of the trees, cacti, flowers and medley of desert wildlife for which the establishment has become renowned.Iterating his thoughts on the series and assisting the Catalina State Park rangers in organizing their Saturday Concerts-in-the-Park, FCSP president and secretary Richard Boyer said, “Friends of Catalina State Park has been involved with notices to our 300 contacts about the Concerts-in-the-Park, and the concerts have been a great hit with visitors and locals alike. The outdoor setting at the trail head stage in the park is beautiful and the Catalina Mountains provide a stunning backdrop.” When asked about the attraction to the series for performers and attendees alike, Boyer said, “It appears to me—and I have attended almost every concert since they started a few years ago—that the concerts enhance the park experience by providing a different experience for those attending, rather than the usual hiking, biking, or running. It is a relaxing event for those attending, providing a variety of musicians at each concert.  Musicians love coming to the park and many artists are already scheduled through 2017.”“Folks attend, often bringing friends and pets and food to enjoy the free entertainment,” he says with a smile. “Obviously, the park benefits through increased visitation, and through funds brought in at the entrance station. Mostly, though, I believe that the park benefits by having those attending experience a relaxing evening and a variety of music in a different kind of outdoor setting than they might be used to with other concerts around Tucson.”

  • The Hacienda at the River development: A new kind of senior living

    If in 1987 you asked David Freshwater and David Barnes if by 2017 they thought they’d be managing 39 retirement communities nationwide—and now creating one of their very own state of the art facilities in Tucson—you might get a laugh.“Senior housing at that time was sort of an obscure and esoteric kind of product,” Freshwater says. But that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished since teaming up to run the Fountains at La Cholla nearly three decades ago, which ironically sort of happened by accident. When Freshwater, who has degrees in architecture and business, took on development of the Fountains—one of the region’s first senior housing projects—he had no intention of running it. But thanks to the infancy of the industry and the lack of third party operators, Freshwater would create a team to do just that. “The industry by and large learned by trial and error. No one knew what they were doing,” Freshwater says. “We were feeling our way through it, doing the things we thought were right, making mistakes, but going with our gut instincts and educational background.”It was around that time Barnes, with a degree in management information systems, had begun his ascent through the Fountains company, first operating as an operation trouble shooter and eventually working his way to becoming senior vice president of operations and president and CEO by 2001. 

  • MLS Red Bulls practice, play in Oro Valley

    Although Tucson lost baseball spring training, Major League Soccer spring training has flourished in Pima County. While many games are played near the county’s sports facility at Ajo Way and Kino Boulevard, the New York City Red Bulls are practicing this year at Naranja Park in Oro Valley.On Saturday Night, the Red Bulls hosted a friendly exhibition game with FC Tucson.The Red Bulls prevailed 3-1 in the exhibition against FC Tucson, which is a semi-pro team from the Premier Development League. An estimated 600 fans took in the game, with most of the fans able to sit just a few feet away from the pitch. It was a great opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the teams. “They are just loving the talent on display here and the excitement under the lights,” said Oro Valley Councilmember Mary Snyder. Many of the fans were young families, with a number of kids in attendance donning their youth soccer jerseys in front of the pros. 

  • Marana High teacher honored before UA basketball game

    Marana High School teacher Alf Bergesen was honored prior to the University of Arizona men’s basketball game against Stanford as a finalist for the Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Circle K Corporation “Outstanding High School Faculty Awards Program.”Bergesen presented with a crystal trophy at midcourt to commemorate his status as a finalist.  The award honors outstanding high school teachers in Southern Arizona and all the finalists will be honored Feb 20 at a Hall of Champions/University of Arizona banquet.Bergesen, who has been with Marana High School since 2007, said he became a teacher to “have a positive enduring effect on the world.” Armed with a UA degree in history and anthropology, Bergesen taught middle school world history and geography before moving on to MHS.Currently he teaches both advanced placement and standard U.S. history. He likes his lessons to have the “right mix of humor, challenge, writing, relevance, listening, speaking, and support, all grounded in positive relationships with students.”In addition to his classes, he serves as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, assisting new and returning teachers. He also serves as the social studies department’s U.S. History Professional Learning Community Lead, creating curriculum and planning instruction.

  • Oro Valley turns out in crowds to walk the block

    Last Saturday, hundreds of Oro Valley residents turned out to the corner of North La Ca- ñada Drive and West Lambert Lane to let town officials know about their interest in developing a 21st-century downtown feel in the growing surburban community.Setting off from in front of Noble Hops gastropub, participants took a stroll around one of the two intersections identified in the concept, the other being North Oracle Road and North First Avenue. The crowd made stops at several stations along the way, at which they learned more about the project, were shown various architectural and design examples and asked to cast their vote on what they would most like to see in Oro Valley.“We would like to build off of what we have already, a great cluster of local business in that area, and just amplify that,” said Oro Valley Long Range Principal Planner Elisa Hamblin. “Allowing there to be more development, have streets that people can walk along, enjoy that environment and feel like there is a sense of place. For us it is more development, but it’s also about integrating plazas and park spaces, public art that really celebrates Oro Valley’s character.”Heading into Walk the Block with information collected from last year’s public outreach efforts, Hamblin said that three responses came back “loud and clear”: creating a central gathering place for residents to meet one another and find food or shopping, creation of a “family friendly” environment and creating more services were people can “work, shop, live and play—here in the town.”The Main Street Project got its start nearly four years ago when the town council began kicking around the idea finding and nurturing “the heart” of Oro Valley, according to Oro Valley Planning Manager and Planning and Zoning Administrator Bayer Vella, who says creating that cohesive gathering space could take another two decades of incremental work.Vella said there would be some difference between the two intersections under consideration. Whereas the La Canada and Lambert intersection would focus more on native appeal and local establishments, Vella said that the Oracle and First intersection would be more of a traditional hub or larger civic space, considering the proximity to a major thoroughfare.

  • Leman Academy of Excellence groundbreaking ceremony

    Nearly 150 people were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Leman Academy of Excellence’s Oro Valley Campus. It will be the third campus for the tuition-free classical charter school founded by psychologist and author Dr. Kevin Leman. The school currently has a campus in Marana and is opening one in Sierra Vista. The new campus is slated to open in this fall.  “The town of Oro Valley, it is such an honor to join you community and partner with you in educating your scholars here,” said Principal Bethany Papajohn. Among those on hand were school and town officials, including Mayor Satish Hiremath and members of the council, current and prospective students of the school. 

  • An afternoon with The General ‘Flint’ Carter, Killer the dog and a stone worth ‘$250k’

    The General coughs and points, and  says, “That’s Killer, he’s been the best partner I’ve ever had.” Killer the dog nudges my hand with his nose, but he’s just a sweet old thing burdened by a harmless bark and an overfed frame. “I was layin’ here dyin’ one day about three years ago,” The General continues, “and I hear this moanin’. So I go outside and there he is. I came in and cooked us up a pork steak and he never left. And I don’t even know what type of damn dog he is.”The General is thin with an old prospector’s face, gray horseshoe mustache and watery blue eyes. He carries himself with strange dignity, equal parts roadside crank ravaged by gold fever and electable politician—his smoky, cigarette-husk of a voice sustains the air of an old-man sage, and he’s unignorable. For one thing, he’s a walking textbook on the Santa Catalina Mountains, particularly anything related to gold and silver, and mining. Apart from Killer, the 69-year-old’s one lasting relationship in life is to gold and precious ore. He talks, rants and raves about it, like one might after his wife of 40 years has run out on him. He’s flat broke, he says, and he’s been that way for years (earlier today he bummed a Jackson off his pal, one-armed Lefty, an old guy he often picks up mornings for coffee and to watch the sunrise.) The General’s held hundreds of mining claims in the Catalinas; gold, silver and so on. And just as he knows paths to countless claims of gold and silver up the mountain outside of the trailer he’s housesitting for “a generous friend,” he knows the routes to bottom. He quit the booze nearly a decade ago, for example. Doctor’s orders.   The General, as he’s known to close friends, is William T “Flint” Carter, a “seasoned prospector.” He’s also a jewelry maker, artist and author, among other things. Killer and I follow The General into the doublewide. The living room is sizable and tidy and smells of cigarettes, spliff and pine needles. There’s a single made bed in front of the TV, which is tuned to the History Channel, volume down. He says the TV is always tuned to the History Channel. 

  • Conventional and alternative therapies for pain management subject of March 1 UA lecture

    More than 100 million Americans, about a third of the population, suffer from chronic pain. More people are affected by chronic pain than by heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined, and at a cost of more than $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. A free presentation, “Tame Your Pain ... An Inside Look at Conventional and Alternative Therapies for Pain Management,” will be held Wednesday, March 1 from 6 until 7:15 p.m. at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, located at 1501 N. Campbell Ave. The 75-minute talk will include time for questions and answers.Speaker Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, director of the Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic at Banner – University Medical Center South, UA assistant professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology, and director of the Chronic Pain Fellowship Program at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, will present a detailed discussion of the causes of chronic pain and the current available treatments for arthritis and related joint pain, including the associated side effects. Pain can be considered a disease, not just a symptom of a disease. Pain specialists identify the type of pain and tailor the therapy accordingly. There is no “one size fits all.” Most pain specialists will avoid opioid medications to manage arthritis pain. Opioids are good for the short term, but when taken chronically, negative factors emerge which may outweigh the benefit of pain control.Dr. Ibrahim will present the latest conventional and alternative approaches to pain management while highlighting the facts, fads and fiction associated with this complex medical issue.Seating for the lecture is limited and prior registration is requested. For more information or to register, please visit the UA Arthritis Center website at www.arthritis.arizona.edu or call 626-5040 or email livinghealthy@arthritis.arizona.edu

  • 10 Unusual things insurance covers

    Whether a satellite crashes into your home or a power outage spoils food in your refrigerator, your insurance might just cover some unusual damages.“It’s a good idea to review your insurance policies so you know what coverage you have and if an unusual mishap – a lightning strike, aircraft crash or riot – will be covered,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. Here are 10 of the more unusual things that your auto, homeowners or renters policy may cover:Identity theft. Millions of people are victims of identity theft every year. With an optional endorsement on your policy, your insurance may cover identity theft expenses up to a predetermined limit. These expenses may include reasonable attorney fees and earnings lost due to time taken off work to resolve the issue.Dog bites. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and other dog-related injury claims accounted for more than a third of homeowners insurance claim dollars in 2015. Your homeowners or renters policy may cover dog bite liability expenses up to the liability limits, however dog bite claims from dogs with prior bite history and/or breeds that are classified as vicious are not covered. Spoiled food. If a power outage occurs, food that spoils in your freezer and refrigerator may be covered under your homeowner policy, but the amount likely will vary.

  • OV Town Talk: Fatal Distraction

    A 20-year-old woman talking on her cell phone ran a red light in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She never saw the light. It’s called “inattention blindness.” You’re able to look at but cannot see objects around you. The phone call, ironically, concerned the young woman’s charity work with young people. Next she knew, she’d taken the life of a 12-year-old boy riding in the back seat of the car she’d struck in the intersection. She plead guilty to negligent homicide. A child died and a young woman’s life dramatically changed over a phone call while driving. And each story is more horrible than the last.Our addictions to cell phones and other electronic gadgets are very real and a sign of the times. But their use while driving is killing us.Oro Valley has passed a “hands free” law which took effect January 6, 2017, and it simply states, while driving in Oro Valley it is illegal to have a cell phone or any portable electronic device designed to engage in calls, texting, imaging or data in your hand. Police officers now are able to stop you for that offense, and when they do, they’ll tell you why Oro Valley has taken the steps to ensure a higher level of driver safety for its residents. They will tell you why it’s dangerous. They won’t be at your window to give you a citation or “raise revenue” as some have argued is the reason for implementing the law.This is a tough campaign for law enforcement, politicians, corporate leaders and communities.Everybody knows that when you take your mind off driving while driving, bad things can happen. It’s happened to you. You catch yourself in mid-swerve, perhaps not knowing that five seconds looking at a text at 45 miles per hour will carry you the length of a football field. You, an athlete training in a bike lane or neighbor could be killed. Was the text worth it? No.

  • What is it: Affordable Health Care, Obama Care, or?

    It’s amazing to me over the past years that not one person I have ever asked ever knew the answer to this question. It’s really not that hard to remember it’s “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and is a United States federal statute enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. That was until I watched a video from one of the nightly shows, where the interviewer asked people if they were for the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care.  Most said they didn’t care for Obama so they were for the Affordable Care Act.  Two said that Obama Care was too expensive and were for the Affordable Care Act because it was more affordable.  And all didn’t know the answer until they were told that’s it’s the same thing. But this still doesn’t explain why some politicians were against it, or even some people on Medicare, or were on their employer’s health care plan?  Meanwhile Washington politicians that were against it couldn’t wait to get their under 26 year old children on it. When Ted Cruz was running for President he said I will “repeal every word of Obamacare,” but then Sen. Cruz confirmed that he plans on using Obamacare to enroll in coverage for himself and family because his wife left Goldman Sachs and didn’t want to pay for COBRA coverage. So why do our elected representative in Washington put up such a fuss about Government run health care, but will not go near the dreaded third rail of Medicare?  Unfortunately with all the concern about government health care, one of the biggest problems in government health care is a drug price. And why our D.C. politicians refuse to do anything about it.  But better yet, why the news media never brings this up. Simply it’s because when George Bush was President, then Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin from Louisiana was chair of the Energy and Commerce at the time and wrote into the bill that Medicare wasn’t allowed to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma.  And in writing the 2003 (Medicare D) it barred the government from negotiating drug prices unlike the VA. The bill was passed in a 3 A.M. session of Congress with few Congressmen even knowing what was in the bill. (No surprise here) But what is more telling, two months after the passage of this bill Billy went to work as the head of Pharma, at $2 million a year. And in his final payday as head of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America he was paid $11.6 Mill. in 2010 by getting the Obama administration to block any effort by Congress to re-negotiate the Medicare Drug Program in exchange for Pharma support of the Presidents Health Care Law. He (Tauzin) later told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times that in exchange for the much touted $80 billion in savings that Pharma volunteered in June to help cover the uninsured and reduce drug prices for some senior citizens, (but again Medicare gave up the right to negotiate lower drug prices just like the VA). When President George Bush signed the original bill into law on Dec. 8, 2003, for some strange reason Republicans seems to forget or tend to ignore this part about non-negotiations like the VA.   It was never funded properly and till this day Medicare still can’t negotiate with big Pharma. The Obama presidency is not without blame also.  Because he (Obama) campaigned on the promises to eliminate this rule and let Medicare negotiate drug prices.  But in a sellout to big Pharma for their support on his health care bill, he never kept his campaign promises.  Now it’s up to our new President to right this wrong.  So lets see how really good he is as a negotiator.  But the bottom line for me is, since day one Republicans have fought the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But when Medicare part D was passed it never caused a problem for them before.  

  • Saying law is about money is absurd

    The letter “Budget Safety?” was quite amazing, its message being it is OK to drive and use a cell phone. The author sees the recent OV law prohibiting cell phone use while driving as “losing just another liberty.” I don’t think cell phone users should have the liberty to endanger others on the road. He suggests someone from another town should be exempt from the law while driving in Oro Valley, by posing the question “what happens to someone from Marana that drives down Tangerine and gets stopped. Is this fair”? Yes, unequivocally, that is fair. I recently saw a horrible accident on Tangerine. Were any of the drivers using a cell phone? I don’t know, but it is a proven fact that cell phone use while driving is a distraction. How can one be paying 100 percent attention to driving while their mind is on a conversation they are having? I’d rather be safer on the road than allow someone to make golf or dinner plans while driving. The letter goes on to list things that are “stupid” to do while driving, like putting on makeup, or texting. “Stupid” is any cell phone use while driving. Doing so disregards the safety of others. I think the fine should be higher. I just don’t get the need to have a cell phone attached to your body 24/7. To suggest the implementation of this law was to improve the town’s financials is absurd.—Deb Klumpp

  • Destiny calls and the SilverBelles answer

    The adventure began last month with an email from Destiny Altvater, talent coordinator with America’s Got Talent. While browsing dance websites, Destiny saw and liked the group and left a message requesting videos of several of our dance routines. Subsequently she asked for a video with the SilverBelles dancing in the style of the Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes. Ann Kurtz, the group’s director, choreographed a kick line segment to add to one of our routines, Kathleen Dunbar called on a videographer friend and with only three days of harried rehearsals the video was finalized and sent.  By the time you read this, the group may have LA in its future, or maybe not, but the SilverBelles are excited and honored to be approached to submit an audition tape. If you have not seen the group dancing around town at community events or entertaining residents at senior facilities, you can see for yourself why America’s Got Talent reached out. Go to https://youtu.be/494xH4qB170 and wish them luck.If you would like us to perform at your event or just want more information, call Caryl Mobley at 825-6933 or 630-698-2232. You can also email Caryl at carylmobley@yahoo.com

  • Meh. “Fifty Shades Darker” not as good as original

    Once again, the month of February has drawn upon us and a handful of friends sheepishly asked if I were going to see this second erotic rollout based upon best-selling author E.L. James’ trilogy collection?  Yes, I unabashedly responded.  And, no, like most book-to-film endeavors, I haven’t read any of James’ three “Shades” smut novels.  These questions point to the fact that sex fantasy films generate a whole different theater vibe and allure for viewers than a typical movie due to their more graphic sexual and kinky content. Such soft-porn movies create the need to review both the overall storyline and the over-publicized sordid sex scenes.Great (ben wa) balls of fire!  “Fifty Shades Darker” contains exactly one titillating (and humorous) string of events that quickly escalates from foreplay to masquerade dinner, before climaxing into mattress mayhem.  Young Seattle billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) resumes his control freak persona into Anastasia Steele’s personal and professional life. This time, however, we find Dakota Johnson’s Miss Steele character never taken aback by her former lover… a more willing accomplice to Grey’s dominance between his 1800 thread count bed sheets.Christian Grey is the same helicopter boyfriend who never allows his possessions or women to stray far outside of his arm’s reach. Everything must be available at his disposal to provide immediate gratification and stimulation. In a subtle scene as the always working Anastasia, Dakota Johnson pays a small on-screen tribute to her true-life mother, Melanie Griffith, and 1988’s “Working Girl”.   Unfortunately, this film’s story is not nearly as entertaining as last year’s predecessor, “Fifty Shades of Grey” -- which I gave a B+ letter grade.  Little heartache or convincing is required of Christian Grey to pursue and compel the younger Anastasia to recommence her submissive afterhours sexual prowess.  The true culprit for the movie’s less satisfying plot resides in its lack of depth given to several competing, smaller sub-stories…none of which spurns any excitement, interest, or suspense for viewers in this installment. While “Fifty Shades Darker” is a major drop-off from the series’ original bedroom punisher, it does faithfully accomplish its main goal of creating the potential for a thrilling finale in 2018.  Unapologetically, I will be there to review it.

  • Cooking up Creole, Cajun traditions in Old Pueblo

    It’s more than just a few letters that distinguish the Cajuns from the Creoles in the Pelican State.While the terms are often used synonymously, the gulf between these two regional Louisiana styles of cooking is as wide as Lake Pontchartrain. So in preparation for Fat Tuesday, the one day of the year when that gulf is bridged, I caught up with two local chefs for a better understanding of these tasty traditions. Robert Iaccarino was born and raised in New Orleans and spent nearly 20 years in Europe as a self-described “journeyman chef.” He then worked in several New Orleans restaurants, including stints in the kitchen with legendary Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme, an Iaccarino family friend, before his passing.Iaccarino tells me that creole cuisine is drawn from European influences, from what he calls the “top of the aristocracy.”“These were the people that had the means, the education and the money to purchase a lot of fresh foods, produce, meats, sausages and the like,” said Iaccarino, executive chef at Sazerac Creole Kitchen and Cocktails, 4340 N. Campbell Avenue, “and that’s what our food is based on at Sazerac; 19th century style cuisine with modern appliances.”In addition to classic creole dishes such as crawfish etoufee and jambalaya, Iaccarino’s menu also features some original selections, like the bronzed salmon filet with meuniere, a sauce made from a veal demi-glace that Iaccarino defines as “rich, decadent and complex.”

  • Mountain View Prescott Valley Event Center

    Mountain View High School won the Division II state wrestling championship over the weekend, edging out Queen Creek 177.5 to 171 at the Prescott Valley Event Center. The Mountain Lions were led by a pair of state champions and a total of seven medalists overall. Jayce Cunha and Marcus Castillo won individual state titles at 120 and 136 pounds, respectively. Cunha closed out his high school wrestling career by beating Sahuaro’s Armando Valcencia. Cunha got the pinfall victory in the final seconds of the match to seal the championship win. Cunha cruised to the semi finals getting a pin and a 5-0 victory in his first two matches. In the semifinals he edged Jacob Frias 6-2 to earn the championship match bid. Castillo is just a sophomore and served notice that he will be a wrestler to contend with over the next few years after going 38-2 this season. He had little trouble in his first three matches. He opened the tournament by pinning Mesquite’s Nick Thomas in just 22 seconds. He won his next two matches 12-2 and 12-1, which set up the championship match against Liberty’s Atilano Escobar. It was his toughest match, but Castillo came away with the 9-5 win. 

  • Police Beat

    What stop sign?One driver rolled past a stop sign in front of an Oro Valley Police Department officer, leading to the discovery of a used marijuana pipe, among other items.Just before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 a black Toyota truck was spotted rolling through a stop sign on Chapala at Paseo Del Norte. In his report, the officer indicated that the vehicle was travelling approximately five miles per hour. The officer initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, who was noted as being “very nervous and deceptive.” The driver told the officer that there were no drugs or weapons in the vehicle. After looking up the driver, the officer noted a 2009 arrest for unlawful possession of marijuana.Asking the driver to step from the vehicle, he was once again assured that no drugs were within. The officer indicated again in his report that the driver appeared nervous, his voice was shuddering and he began sweating. When asked about his physical appearance the man said he had just been playing basketball, though the officer indicated in his report that he was not dressed in a manner consistent with that activity.After being given consent to search the vehicle, the officer quickly noted a “glass marijuana pipe” with burnt residue, a single Adderall pill and a blue container containing marijuana shake. Of greater interest, the officer also found a black ski mask, a machete, a gun holster and brass knuckles. The driver was issued a warning for misconduct involving weapons and received a citation for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and prescription-only pill.

  • By teens, for teens: A ‘cool space’ taking shape at the Oro Valley Public Library

    After first stepping foot in the Oro Valley Public Library as a seventh grader, 17-year-old Jennifer Xiao said she quickly became a regular. The library was a “cool space” to study, discover new books and make new friends. Now a senior at BASIS, Xiao is still hanging out at the library and has helped create an even “cooler” space for teens to meet one another, discover new technology, get help with homework—and even play a few games.Alongside her fellow members of the library’s Teen Advisory Board, Xiao recently raised a toast of sparkling apple cider and enjoyed cake to celebrate the grand opening of the 101Space.For the past year and a half, the entire advisory board has been working under the supervision of young adult librarian Bethany Wilson to survey fellow teens to develop a space uniquely suited for students to congregate, do homework, prepare for exams and get to know one another.With the opening of the 101Space, Xiao said that kids will not only have their own space to study, but a place to develop new interests. Even if that means a game of Dungeons and Dragons, or a bit of yoga.“Libraries are more than just books,” Xiao said. “They represent an open democracy where all ideas are welcome, no matter how strange or weird. … It can be a cultural center where cool things are going on, and I was really glad to hear that the library was taking steps to adapt to the new, changing technology and new, changing social media environments. I was really glad to hear that they were going to be revamping the teen zone so that it was going to be a place for teens to hang out, a place for them to discover new technology,new hobbies in art or writing, and things like that.”

  • Marana development on the rise in 2017 with new projects and new businesses

    Marana will be a busy place in 2017 from a development standpoint. There are a number of big projects in every section of the town. Some are town projects, while many others are being undertaken by the private sector, including a number of new businesses coming to the region. “There is an endless amount of development activity from one end of Marana to the others,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. The town is involved in a number of different projects, including road improvements, construction and long term planning. “A lot of dirt will be turning just from town projects,” Davidson said. No project will have a bigger impact than the Ina Road/I-10 Interchange project that will move into a new phase this week. The on and off ramps are scheduled to close on Feb. 15 and that will cause a lot of traffic to be diverted and can be a scary time for local businesses. The town is working hard to help the businesses in the area and have adopted the phrase “Ina road is open for business” as their mantra during this time. 

  • Marana housing numbers pace Pima County

    During the 2016 Marana elections, incumbents candidates often pointed to the town’s steady homebuilding stats as an example of how the community was thriving.With the final 2016 numbers now in, the year proved to be another big year for the town in terms of growth. July estimates from the Arizona office of Economic Development used by the state to determine revenue sharing show that Marana’s population has topped 43,000, which makes the town slightly bigger than Oro Valley.The number of Single Family Residential Permits (SFR) issued surpassed projections. For the 2016 calendar year the town projected 550 SFRs and finished with 581.Marana Economic Development Manager Curt Woody said that Marana issued more permits than Oro Valley, Sahuarita and the city of Tucson combined. “In the four-ish years that I have been putting together this update we have surpassed all of Southern Arizona in Single Family Residence Permits combined,” Woody said. 

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