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  • Town Council candidates are running low-budget campaigns, so far

    The six candidates for Oro Valley Town Council are bucking the trend of big money in political campaigns.As they gear up for the Aug. 30 primary, the most any of the candidates have raised is $3,060, according to reports filed at the end of June.The council seats up for grabs this year belong to the three incumbent candidates, councilmembers Brendan Burns, Bill Garner and Mike Zinkin. Hoping to claim a spot on the town’s ruling body are residents Rhonda Pina, Bill Rodman and Steve Solomon. Generally speaking, the challengers were more active than their incumbent counterparts, as incumbents Burns, Garner and Zinkin have all openly stated their opposition to being beholden to what they call “special interests.” Both Burns and Garner filed statements saying they had done no fundraising activity.Pina has raised the most money, pulling in $3,060 in contributions. Major contributors to her campaign include CAID Industries President William Assenmacher ($1,000), Pina’s husband Raul ($600), former Pima County supervisor Dan Eckstrom ($300) and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry ($200).Behind Pina is Rodman, whose major campaign contributions come in the form of funds he loaned himself, totaling $2,050 over three installments. Rodman’s total fundraising came in at $2,100. 

  • Not just your grandfather’s country club

    While there is a trend for golf courses and other amenities to bear the name of the municipality in which it is built, the story of the Oro Valley Country Club and the town of Oro Valley is quite the opposite. A part of the community since first opening in 1959, the country club included a planned 200-home sites which would be one of the foundations on which the town was built.Nearly 60 year later, the Oro Valley Country Club, a vision of Lou Landon and the architectural hand of Robert Bruce Harris, is still providing high-end country club experience and golf play beneath the same breathtaking peaks of the Santa Catalina Mountains which originally drew its founders. Originally an oasis within the great expanse of the Sonoran Desert, the country club new finds itself within the center of a bustling and every expanding Oro Valley.While the names and faces may have changed over the years, the business which Landon envisioned still remains. How did the country club make it through nearly six decades? According to membership director Jack Talmage, the longevity can be traced back to loyal members.“People wanted to be a member of a private club, and they have been willing to put money into the club to keep is sustained,” Talmage said. “I don’t look at it as being in the food and beverage or the golf business—we’re in the membership business. You want to join a club because there are people just like you that want to get to know others, make friends, interact with them and have it centered and focused on something that they love, and that’s golf.”From February 1961 until December 2014, the country club was under the ownership of its members before being sold to Dallas-based ClubCorp for nearly $3 million. According to Talmage, the decision to sell the country club came about after the financial crisis.  

  • Bowen brings his financial background to the Marana Town Council

    David Bowen may be the “new guy” on the Marana Town Council, the certified financial planner has become the “money guy” on the council and has made the budget a pet project. “My particular background equips me to be very involved in the budgeting and finance process,” Bowen said. “We have a structurally balanced budget every year and I am always involved in that process.”Bowen grew up in Nebraska and had a farming background. In the late 1980s, his family spent eight years in the Ivory Coast as Bowen worked a government liaison and language teacher for a foreign missionary organization. He moved to Arizona 20 years ago and built his own financial planning and brokerage business. It was through his business ventures that he got involved with the Marana Chamber of Commerce and the Marana Rotary Club. He wanted to get more involved in the town and Ora Mae Harn advised him to attend council meetings and see where he could put his energy. That eventually led Bowen to meet with Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson to discuss the budget.Between attending council meetings and the talks about the budget, Bowen decided to run for the council in 2011 and beat an incumbent to claim his spot. He takes great pride that he hit the ground running and has been involved in crafting policies that have had a visible impact on the town. He specifically mentioned road repair and finding ways to fund the new police station. 

  • New heads of school at BASIS Oro Valley hope to impress in first year

    In the coming weeks, countless students will be making a return to the halls of their elementary, middle or high school for the first time since leaving behind the books and the study sessions back in May. While the hustle and bustle of the back to school season is felt by everyone from students and families to teachers and staff, Elizabeth Thies and Eileen Finnerty-Rae at BASIS Oro Valley will be looking to make a good first impression on their students as the new heads of school for the 6-12 and K-5 schools, respectively.  Taking over for former head of school Michelle Mason, who moved on within the BASIS family to develop programs at a more regional level, Thies and Finnerty-Rae both expressed an overwhelming sense of excitement at the opportunity to play leading roles in one of the most highly successful programs not only within the state, but the entire country. Most recently, BASIS Oro Valley was named “America’s Most Challenging High School” by The Washington Post, out of nearly 2,300 other institutions. BASIS Oro Valley also placed third in the state and sixth in the country according to the most recent U.S. News & World Report “Best High School” rankings.Though the two women have spent the summer getting settled and planning out their futures in Oro Valley, both are veterans of the BASIS program and proud parents of BASIS students of their own.Prior to taking over at the upper school, Thies was the dean of students, athletic director and a physical education teacher at BASIS Tucson North. She holds a BS in sociology and is currently beginning work on her masters in educational psychology from Northern Arizona University, Before her time as an educator, Thies was a member of the Tucson Police Department as a patrol officer on the city’s south side of town. She also served the country as a signal corps specialist in the United States Army. Despite serving in the world of criminal justice, Thies said she became interested in education after volunteering the classroom of her oldest daughter.

  • Parents can score great deals at the Just Between Friends sale

    Parents will get the chance to pick up some much-needed supplies for the kids at the Just Between Friends Back-to-School event at the Tucson Convention Center, July 28-30.The consignment sale works under the umbrella of a national organization that gives parents the opportunity to buy and sell used kids clothing, toys, strollers, cribs and more for prices below what they’d find in stores.“It’s geared towards parents who have babies and younger kids or parents who are expecting,” said Teena Werley, who has attended past events as a shopper and a seller. “It’s actually really great if you’re planning on going to buy.”Sellers can get rid of children’s items that they no longer use while making some money in the process by receiving a portion of the proceeds from their sold items. “If you end up with a lot of baby stuff after your first or second year, then it’s really worthwhile,” Werley said. “I’ve heard stories about moms coming out with $500, $600 to $1,000.”Sellers and those that decide to volunteer get 70 perent of the proceeds from their sold items (as opposed to 65% for non-volunteers) and are allowed shopping access sooner than the general public on July 27.

  • Back-to-school resource fair giving students a chance to succeed

    Succeeding in school takes more than attending classes and a willingness to study; having the proper tools and supplies is essential for any student, from kindergarten to doctorial studies. In an effort to provide necessities for those within the Amphitheater School District community who may not be able to on their own, the Amphi Foundation is hosting a back-to-school resource fair at the volunteer-operated, donation-driven Amphi Foundation Clothing Bank, located at 3335 N. Stone Ave, from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Aug. 6.“We want to prepare the kids and equip them so that they can go to school with what they need and be prepared to learn,” said Leah Noreng, executive director of the foundation. “When you have kids coming to school with empty bellies and holes in their socks and shoes, they’re not prepared to learn. We want to make sure they have what they need to take on learning life skills and getting an education.”Students in-need will have the opportunity to pick out new socks and underwear, jeans, several T-shirts, a backpack and more. The kids will also receive hygiene supplies courtesy of a partnership with St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.New clothes and personal hygiene effects are a huge benefit, but the foundation is giving the kids free haircuts of Gadabout Salon. Additionally, Noreng said there are plans to possibly include mobile immunization, representatives from The Community Food Bank, school physical coupons from Southern Arizona Urgent Care and more.Last year the foundation was able to give away more than 12,000 items of clothing, and has plans to continue to supply those in need. To reach that goal, the foundation is looking for help from the community—and some have already answered the call. The Amphitheater High School class of 1966 raised a donation of $1,066 cash and clothing for the clothing bank in June.

  • Win tickets to 'In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles'

    Come and Get It: Next Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. the Fox Theatre (17 W. Congress St.) is screening In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute and we're giving out tickets to the event.The music of the Beatles — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — continues to stand the test of time. Offering a fresh perspective on the band's history, you'll see the Fab Four through the eyes of their late manager, Brian Epstein, who serves as narrator to renowned Beatles tribute band Abbey Road as they perform 33 of the group's classic hits.More than just a Beatles tribute concert, In My Life gives the audience a chance to "be there" at pivotal moments in the extraordinary career of the Beatles—from Liverpool's legendary Cavern Club, to the Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium's 50,000+ screaming fans and their final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corp offices. Progressing through their various musical stages, the audience re-experiences the psychedelic era of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the creation of the haunting Yesterday and the raucous rock and roll of Revolution. With Brian Epstein's narration, In My Life allows the audience to get a glimpse inside the world of the Beatles from their point of view, as well as hear some of the greatest songs ever written.We'll call the winners Monday, July 25. Want to make sure you don't it? Buy tickets here. Enter to win here. figure.inline-child .toggle{ text-indent:-99999px; position:absolute; right:5px; top:5px; z-index:1; cursor:pointer; } figure.inline-child.image { margin-bottom: 15px } figure.inline-child.image .image-box { position: relative; display: block; } figure.inline-child.image .image-box figcaption { display: none } figure.inline-child.image img { display: block; margin: 0 auto; width: 263px; } figure.inline-child.image img:hover { cursor: pointer } /* inline image expanded */ figure.inline-child.image.expanded .image-box { z-index: 2 } figure.inline-child.image.expanded .image-box figcaption { display: block; position: absolute; bottom: 0px; left: 0; right: 0; padding: 5px; background: #000; color: #fff; box-shadow: 0px 3px 5px #000; } figure.inline-child.image.expanded .image-box figcaption .description { display: block; font-weight: bold; } figure.inline-child.image.expanded .image-box figcaption .credit { float: left; clear: both; } figure.inline-child.image.expanded .image-box img { position: absolute; width: 100%; display: inline; left: 0; top: 0; box-shadow: 0px 3px 5px #000; } .presentation-long-form figure.inline-child.image img { width:90%; }

  • Family of hit-and-run victim looking for help

    While most of the community still lay in their beds resting in preparation for Independence Day, 65-year-old David Knowlton was taking his usual morning walk around the neighborhood. Knowlton had moved to Oro Valley almost two years ago to escape the New Hampshire cold and find a climate more suited to his battle with multiple sclerosis.While his Fourth of July began like so many other days, Knowlton would soon end up at Banner-University Medical Center. At approximately 6:15 a.m., Knowlton was struck by a passing vehicle, which then fled the scene, while walking along the 9300 block of North Calle El Milagro.“A lot of MS patients tend to lose their ability to walk,” said Kayla Jacks, Kowlton’s daughter. “My father was extremely gracious that he was able to walk and that was always a positive note for him—which makes it that much harder for me to accept what has happened. If it was not daily, it was almost seven days a week that he would go on a morning five-mile walk and that was all to help his MS in the best way that he could—to stay strong and to exercise.”The Oro Valley Police Department launched an investigation into the hit-and-run based on a description of a cube-like vehicle that was seen leaving the scene. According to reports, police were informed that the car was seen at a residence near the 100 block of West Oro Valley Drive. Later that same day, police arrrested the registered owner of a 2010 Nissan Cube, John J. Pedicone, 37, on charges of failing to stop at an accident involving serious physical injury or death and aggravated assault, causing serious physical injury.After arriving at Banner, Knowlton was immediately admitted into a seven-hour surgery. According to Jacks, who has made a GoFundMe page to help fund her father’s expensive recovery, Knowlton’s injuries were quite extensive, including multiple, severe injuries to his spine.“He had fractures to his C2 and a complete break to his T4 vertebrae, a broken right clavicle and fractured right scapula,” Jacks wrote. “…Dad also suffered from severe chest trauma including broken ribs that required chest tubes bilaterally…As a result of the impact and surgery, his T2-T7 (thoracic area of the back) vertebrae are now fused together by an abundance of hardware.  At this point, aside from small, retractive movements from hard pressure on the nail bed of his toe(s), there is no sensation in the lower half of his body.”

  • Despite losses, town officials say golf is not sinking the ship

    The Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center is not only located in the center of town. It’s also the center of numerous political debates over the wisdom of purchasing the recreation center and the accompanying golf course from the new owners of the Hilton El Conquistador.The Explorer is taking an opportunity to delve into last year’s financial numbers to give readers a look at the community center golf operations, which have been harshly criticized by council members who opposed the purchase and other critics in the community.Supporters of the purchase, led by Mayor Satish Hiremath, say the recreation center was a smart purchase that brings new opportunities and amenities for Oro Valley residents. For example, the recreation center is the home for the Park and Rec Department’s summer camps for kids, as local schools are no longer able to provide the space to the town.But the big expense associated with the purchase comes from the golf operation, which is run by the private management firm Troon Golf.The golf and rec center operations fall under the town’s community and recreation center fund, which also includes town-operated and managed staff and facilities. Originally projected to cost the town about $1.5 million, the golf operations will cost the town closer to $2.4 million this year. (Through May, that number totals $2.31 million.)

  • Marana candidates debate issues at public forum

    Four of the five candidates running for mayor and town council debated issues last week at a Marana Chamber of Commerce forum.Mayoral candidates Ed Honea and Dan Post, along with council candidates Roxanne Ziegler and John Officer were on hand. Council Member David Bowen was unable to make the event due to air travel delays.The candidates set the tone early on. Both candidates for town council, the incumbent Ziegler and challenger Officer, touted their resumes and stressed a desire to help the town. Over the course of the night both would draw on their professional backgrounds as well as their history of volunteering for the town. Ziegler has worked for several large corporations and now works for Pima County, while Officer worked for the Central Arizona Project and owns a small business spraying weeds. Ziegler served on the planning commission before two stints on the council, while Officer currently serves on the planning commission and has also served on the parks and rec commission and has been a part of the citizens’ forum on several occasions. The two mayoral candidates took slightly different approaches to their opening statements to begin the forum. Mayor Honea went down a list of accomplishments that have occurred during his time as both mayor and a town council member. Conversely, Post took aim at the town’s strained relationship with Pima County, as well as claims of a lack of communication between the mayor and members of the council.

  • Hunt is on for new Oro Valley town manager

    After first meeting in executive session, the Oro Valley town council unanimously decided during the June 6 regular session to hire California-based executive recruitment firm, CPS-HR Consulting, to find candidates for the new town manager after the departure of former town manager Greg Caton earlier this year. Caton filed his 90-day resignation on April 7 and worked until June 2. He is temporarily replaced by the now-interim town manager Daniel Sharp, who has been Oro Valley Police Department’s longtime police chief. Filling in for Sharp is interim police chief Larry Stevens.The process of finding a recruitment firm for the job initially began in May when council made a request for proposals for eight firms under contract with the City of Tucson and the City of Peoria with a proposal submission deadline of June 1. Of the eight, six firms responded with proposals: Mercer Group, Slavin Management Consultants, Ralph Andersen & Associates, Bob Murray & Associates, CPS Human Resources Consulting and the Novak Consulting Group.By unanimous decision, council decided to go with CPS, with a backup option with Ralph Andersen & Associates if a compromise is not found with the town’s first choice.Due to the timing of the adoption of the town budget by council, funding for the executive recruitment process was not included in the budget year that started July 1. To pay for the cost of a recruitment firm, the authorized the use of general fund contingency reserves with a cap of $30,000.Councilmember Mike Zinkin expressed dissatisfaction with paying for the cost out of general fund contingencies, saying that there is space within the town’s adopted budget to pay the cost.

  • Grand opening planned for new Gladden Farms school

    Less than a year after breaking ground, the new Gladden Farms Elementary School will celebrate its grand opening celebration on Wednesday, July 20.Beginning at 4 p.m. Marana Unified School District Superintendent Doug Wilson, Principal Nancy Paddock, the MUSD Governing Board President John Lewandowski and Town of Marana dignitaries will be on hand to cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening and then celebrate the new building with tours and refreshments. Gladden Farms Elementary is a preK-6 school offering a computer science immersion classes and a an innovative state of the art learning environment. “Our school is not only innovative in design, providing the physical structure and furniture to enhance visible and collaborative teaching and learning, but it is also innovative in providing a comprehensive curriculum supporting learning that will prepare students for their future,” Paddock said. “Our strong inspiring teaching staff embraces teaching methods which include programming, game design, and use of Chromebook mobile devices, giving students an understanding of how to utilize technology to create.”Teachers will integrate computer science with curriculum content in English language arts, math, science, and social studies to create an interactive and fun learning environment where students will be provided the skills for the high-growth, high-demand jobs of the future.

  • U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick hopes she can unseat Sen. John McCain in the year of Trump

    Political number-cruncher Nate Silver recently released his first forecast of the 2016 presidential race—and Democrats were joyful to see that, based on the polls that have been released, he saw presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton essentially tied with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump here in Arizona.With Arizona in play, Democrats are also hoping that they might topple over the state’s tallest political giant: U.S. Sen. John McCain, the two-time presidential contender who has served in the Senate since he won the retiring Barry Goldwater’s seat back in 1986.McCain, who has been able to swat away challengers as if they were no more than annoying houseflies, has even said this is likely to be his toughest race.On the right, he’s facing former state lawmaker Kelli Ward in the GOP primary. And assuming he survives that, he will face Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is giving up her congressional seat to challenge McCain. Kirkpatrick has relatively high name ID for a Democrat, having spent the last four years representing Congressional District 1, which includes Southern Arizona’s Oro Valley and Marana, Northern Arizona’s Flagstaff and Native American reservations, and much of rural Eastern Arizona.So far, the polls have been all over the place, but they generally give the edge to McCain. Public Policy Polling, which is frequently hired by left-leaning interests, has released several polls showing a close race; the most recent survey of 691 registered voters, taken June 22-23, showed McCain with a 2-percentage-point lead, 42 percent to 40 percent, with the remainder undecided. But a Rocky Mountain Poll of 448 registered voters between June 6 and June 19 showed McCain with a 9-percentage point lead, 40 percent to 31 percent.But the Public Policy Polling surveys have also consistently shown that McCain is one of the nation’s least popular senators. In the June poll, for example, 30 percent of those surveyed approved of the job he was doing, while 54 percent disapproved.

  • Councilwoman Ziegler seeks another term on town council

    Roxanne Ziegler has lived in Marana since 1989 and is seeking another term on the Marana Town Council she was elected to in 2007. She has seen the town grow in the image of former mayor Ora Mae Harn and has been there through many of the great growth projects. Zeigler had only lived in the area for a few years before she decided to get involved. With Marana just starting to grow, Zielger saw an opportunity to have a say. She was appointed to the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission in 1995 and also served on the Continental Ranch HOA Board of Directors.  “I wanted to have a hand in shaping Marana’s future as the possibilities were endless,” she said.She was first elected to the town council in the late ’90s and after several years off the council, she made a political comeback in 2007.“I have always put Marana and its citizens first on every decision I make, so that we continue to build a better Marana,” Ziegler said. “An elected official should have one agenda in mind and that is to serve and do the bidding of the people in the town of Marana, whereas others may have a different agenda in mind.” 

  • Council briefed on the new Marana Regional Airport plans

    Marana Regional Airport staffers recently briefed the Town Council on plans to upgrade the facility’s infrastructure.The airport recently received a grant to produce new master plans and business plans that are being developed by Armstrong Consultants and Genesis Consulting. Marana Airport Manager Steven Miller reminded the council that the project began in August 2015.The last master plan update was done in 2007 and with all of the changes to the town and the airport, a new update was overdue. Miller said the main goal of the master plan is ensure that the projects will be eligible for funding from the FAA and ADOT. Miller said that the bulk of the needed improvements is for infrastructure and not “adding more pavement and runways.”Armstrong Consultants was responsible for putting together the master plan. The group’s Charlie McDermott explained that a master plan is a “20-year development plan for an airport and includes forecasts in aviation demand and expected demand at the airfield.” 

  • Theater company celebrates Christmas In July to collect toys, other items

    Santa’s Workshop, along with the Arizona Rose Theatre Company, are hosting Christmas In July, a fun festival that doubles as a collection event for used items that will be re-distributed to less fortunate families. “For more than 25 years, our theater company has collected and distributed used toys and clothes through what we call Santa’s Workshop,” said Ruben Rosthenhausler of the Arizona Rose Theatre Company. On Sunday, July 17, the Continental Ranch Community Center will host the festival, which hopes to collect used and new toys, clothing, hygiene items, non-perishable food and baby items. Attendees will find food, carnival games, face painting, crafts, vendors and entertainment. “Families can enjoy games and delicious food trucks during the event,” said Erin Recuparo, chair of the event. “We will also have a family-friendly, half-hour magic show at 4 p.m. And, rumor has it that the head elf himself, Santa, will surprise us with a special visit.”A lot of the festival will be indoors so attendees will have somewhere to escape the heat. The group collects items, then cleans and repairs them before giving them to families with a need. In addition to individual families, the group also helps nonprofits like the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, Tucson Community Food Bank, the Holiday Sharing Center and Merilac. 

  • Minimum wage boost headed for AZ ballot

    Arizona voters may have a chance to boost the state’s minimum wage this year.The campaign for a ballot initiative to increase Arizona’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 submitted more than 217,000 signatures to state officials on Thursday, July 7.The Fair Wages and Healthy Families initiative would boost the current $8.05 minimum wage by 50 percent within four years.If passed by voters, the measure would introduce a $10 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2017 with increases on Jan. 1 of every year: $10.50 in 2018, $11 in 2019 and $12 in 2020. After that, the wage would rise with the cost of living each succeeding year.An additional provision of the measure would provide mandatory sick leave for wage earners. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be required to provide 24 hours each year, while those with more than 15 employees would need to provide 40 hours each year.The campaign has collected well over the minimum requirement of signatures to reach the ballot, so barring a successful legal challenge, voters will likely be able to decide its fate in November. 

  • Learn lifesaving hands-only CPR

    According to the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, nearly 1,000 people in The United States die every day from sudden cardiac arrest. If the unthinkable happens, calling emergency services is always a first, but it may one day save a life to know hands-only CPR. In an effort to properly educate and prepare Tucsonans, The Mountain Vista Fire District is working alongside the Sarver Heart Center to provide free CPR training sessions to the community on July 23.World renowned for its efforts to develop new CPR techniques to save lives, The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Research Group has developed a chest-compression-only CPR procedure the group says doubles a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.“We began our Sarver Heart Center sponsored community education program concerning chest compression-only CPR because we believe lives can be saved by providing lay public a simplified but more effective technique for providing help to those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest,” said Karl B. Kern, MD with Sarver Heart Center. “Every community, throughout the world, who have followed this example and taught chest compression-only to their lay public responders have seen their survival rates improved, usually at least double if not more”.For Erika Yee, assistant health educator with Sarver and one of the instructors in the program, knows first-hand how helpful CPR can be in the heat of the moment.“I learned Chest Compression Only CPR at the Girl Scout program, Camp Fury, and I never expected to use it, let alone on somebody I knew,” Yee said. “About three months later, I saved my friend’s life using Chest Compression Only CPR, which only goes to show that cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, any place, and at any time. Because of Sarver Heart Center, I was able to watch this young man graduate from the very high school where I saved him and I am able to see him as a student at the University of Arizona.”The class, held Saturday July 23 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will allow participants to learn the same life-saving techniques used by Yee. Classes will be taught by the UA Sarver Heart staff at Mountain Vista Fire District Station 610, located at 1175 W. Magee Road. Registration is available online at www.mountainvistafire.org/hands-only-cpr-class-registration/ 

  • Tucson terror suspect indicted

    According to a press release dated this morning from the office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, 18-year-old terrorist suspect and Tucson resident Mahin Khan has been indicted on three separate charges: terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons.  Khan was arrested in here in Tucson on July 1 by agents from the FBI and agents with the Joint Terrorism Task Force after a joint investigation by the Phoenix Field Office of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force with agents from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations Section.As previously reported, between mid-last year and continuing until earlier this month, Khan “solicited, incited or induced others to promote or further an act of terrorism to wit: at a Motor Vehicle Division office located in Maricopa County, Arizona,” according to his indictment paperwork. He is being held, without bond, in the Maricopa County Jail pending a trial outcome. The case is being prosecuted by assistant Arizona attorneys general Blaine Gadow and Scott Blake.Though the investigation into Khan’s action is ongoing, authorities have stated there is not believed to be a further threat from him or his activities.A heavily redacted two-and-a-half page court document with information on Kahn’s alleged correspondence efforts with several individuals believed by Khan to have ties to terror organizations was released yesterday. Within the document, it is stated that Kahn allegedly said Mission Bay, Calif. would be “a pretty good target right there. There’s(sic) a lot of people there.” Within the same conversation, Kahn also allegedly requested two assault rifles, a pistol and made mention of an Air Force recruitment center as a possible target here in Tucson.While speaking with an individual named as “Abid Manoor,” whom the former believed to be a member of the organization Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, and requested various weapons and plans to make an improvised explosive device. Kahn allegedly told Manoor that he was a supporter of ISIL (ISIS), the TTP and was planning to “take out marines and jews.”According to the Maricopa County Superior Court records, Kahn will have a status conference this Friday, July 8, and a preliminary hearing set for July 12.

  • Local youth enjoying their Oro Valley community summer

    Ten-year-old Northwest Tucson resident Greg DeLeone and dozens of his newest friends recently faced off against a multitude of college-aged students in what could only be described as potentially the most lopsided game of dodgeball in the long history of the grade-school sport. Though DeLeone and his compatriots occasionally eliminated one of the giants pitted against them on the tennis courts of the Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center, the tide of battle never truly turned their way. Despite the score, the the contestants all wore smiles on their sweaty faces.The dodgeball battle was just one way that hundreds of Oro Valley kids are spending their summer vacation safely blowing off steam, getting exercise and sometimes even learning something at the community center and other venues around town.“The primary goal is to give parents an opportunity to have a safe, fantastic place for their kids to participate with other kids during the summer, while at the same time teach them,” said Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center Manager Kevin Marts, or “Big Boss Kevin,” as he’s called by DeLeone and the other campers. “Our camps, while being activity-based, require the kids to learn things,” Marts continued. “They make their own rules every week, they come up with a team name, they come up with their own team rules on how to interact with one another. So not only is it a safe and fun environment, but they are also learning socialization skills and learning about nature, the world around them, even safety around water. All camps try to grow the next generation in a safe, fun and hopefully exciting environment.”After wrapping up another fierce game of dodgeball against five dozen campers, Marts said having fun with the excited kids was one of the best parts of the job.

  • Local investors purchase Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

    Two local investors have purchased the The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort in Marana but little is expected to change at the 5-star resort. David Mehl of Cottonwood Properties and Humberto S. Lopez of HSL Properties announced the formation of a new partnership that has completed the purchase of the resort. The duo purchased the property from affiliates of both Cottonwood Properties and of Marriott International. The purchase closed on June 28, with financing provided by National Bank of Arizona.  The hotel will continue to be managed under a long-term management contract by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.  Mehl, president and owner of Cottonwood Properties, has long been involved with the project and the area. Cottonwood Properties developed The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain hotel and the 6,200-acre Dove Mountain community, which has direct ties to the resort. Homeowners receive a membership to the resort as part of their purchase. “The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is a special place,” said Mehl in a prepared statement. “I am very proud of what we created and excited to continue ownership of the hotel together with our new partners HSL. Both Humberto and I, along with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, share a long-term vision for the property.” HSL Properties, one of the largest apartment owners in Arizona, now has interests in seven local hotels, including two other resorts, the Hilton El Conquistador and The Westin La Paloma.

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