DeGrazia kids honor veterans

DeGrazia Elementary School students recognized veterans in their community during a special school presentation on Nov. 4. Student performances included letter reading, music by the school band and choir, folk dancing and recognitions. DeGrazia school is located at 5051 W. Overton Road in Marana.

courtesy photo

OV student wins major scholarship at university

Han Gil Jang of Oro Valley has received a Johnson Scholarship to attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Jang, a graduate of Canyon Del Oro High School, began classes at W&L in September. He was among 53 winners of the scholarships for 2011.

The Johnson Scholarship program was established in 2007 as a result of a $100 million gift to the university. The competitive scholarships are awarded on the basis of candidates' exceptional academic and personal promise.

The scholarships provide at least tuition, room and board, and allow students to graduate debt-free.

Jang won the scholarship in a competition against about 200 finalists, who were selected from an initial applicant pool of about 2,200 high school seniors from throughout the country and around the world.

The Johnson Scholarship is part of a program that includes a lecture and symposia series on topics in leadership, supports two professorships, and awards grants to about 30 students to conduct off-campus research during the summer between their junior and senior years.

Human remains found near the Silverbell Mine

Deputies from the Pima County Sheriff's Department are investigating human remains found Nov. 5 near the Silverbell Mine in Marana.

On Saturday at about 5:40 p.m., deputies responded to a call in the 25000 block of North Avra Valley Road.

The remains included a human skull, pelvis and smaller bones, according to Deputy Dawn M. Barkman, the public information officer for the sheriff's department.

The remains were located in a wash area that is not currently being used by the mine.

The area in which the bones were found is used heavily by undocumented aliens.

The bones were delivered to the Office of the Medical Examiner, who will determine if foul play is suspected.

Suspect sought for Commerce Bank robbery

Police are still looking for a man in connection with the Nov. 4 robbery of the Commerce Bank located at 2285 W. Ina Road, just west of La Cholla Boulevard, in Tucson.

According to a press release issued by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the man entered the bank at approximately 4 p.m. and approached a teller, at which time he demanded money.

The suspect then fled the bank on foot in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of cash. A weapon was implied, but not seen.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing a baseball cap, blue shirt, shorts, yellow sunglasses, and white socks and shoes.

Anyone with information as to the possible identity of the suspect is asked to contact 911 or 88-CRIME.


OV Eyecare holding events to thank customers

When selecting lenses for eyeglasses, do you know which to choose? Lens specialists will explain which types and coatings are better, based on a customer's needs, Nov. 10-11 at Oro Valley Eyecare, 10515 N. Oracle Road, Suite 145.

The demonstration is part of a weeklong customer appreciation event being held now through Saturday at the eyecare specialists as part of a belated one-year anniversary celebration. The company opened in Oro Valley on Sept. 24, 2010.

Each day, customers can enjoy free food and have the opportunity to win free frames, lenses or a complete pair of eyeglasses.

On Wednesday, customers can view an eyewear trunk show.

On Thursday, Oro Valley Eyecare's Dr. Robert Mitchell will celebrate his Scottish heritage by performing bagpipe music all day and serving scones.

On Thursday and Friday, lens technicians from prominent eyewear companies will be present to demonstrate the different types of lenses.

On Friday, complimentary skin treatments will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be a trunk show of children's frames.

For more information, call 229-2010.

Work under way to improve Magee, Cortaro Farms

The Pima County Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority announced last week that several utility companies are performing utility relocation activities for Phase II (Shannon Road to Thornydale Road) of the Cortaro Farms Road/Magee Road: Thornydale Road to Oracle road improvement project.

Utility relocations and minor vegetation salvaging are currently under way in the vicinity of Cortaro Farms Road/Magee Road from Shannon Road to Thornydale Road. Various lane closures and restrictions may be included with some of the relocation work.

Motorists should expect minor delays.

Construction of Phase I from La Cañada Drive to Shannon Road is still in progress and is expected to be completed by fall of 2012.

The contract for Phase II has been awarded to KE&G. KE&G is expected to be issued a notice to proceed in December of 2011. This phase of the project is expected to be completed by fall of 2013.

Phase II improvements include widening the roadway to four lanes, raising the median, bike lanes and sidewalks; intersection improvements at Thornydale and Shannon roads, drainage improvements, augmented bridge over the Cañada del Oro Wash, and landscaping utilizing native plants throughout the corridor.

The Pima County DOT reminds motorists to obey traffic control signs and speed limits through the construction zone.

For more information, contact Annabelle Valenzuela, Community Relations, at 740-6410 or visit the project website at

Tucson marathon in need of 75 volunteers

About 75 volunteer workers are needed to help during set up and registration for next month's Holualoa Tucson Marathon, which is expected to bring about 3,000-5,000 runners through Oro Valley and Catalina on its course through Tucson.

The marathon takes place Dec. 11; however, volunteers ages 13 and older are needed Dec. 9-10 to help distribute T-shirts, bib numbers and with other registration needs at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road, in Oro Valley.

Volunteer shifts will be scheduled in three-hour blocks. Each volunteer will given a free marathon T-shirt, said volunteer coordinator Cyndi Sawchuk.

For more information about volunteering, email or call 907-8871.

Apply through Nov. 30 for Anytime Fitness Challenge

Six Explorer readers will have the opportunity to transform themselves in body and mind in 2012.

Applications are being accepted now through Nov. 30 for the "Anytime Fitness Challenge," a special program sponsored by the owners of two local Anytime Fitness centers.

The six participants will receive a one-year membership to the Anytime Fitness clubs at 7937 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley or 12040 N. Thornydale Road in Marana. They also will receive free personal training during that same 12-month period. The prize is valued at $3,500.

Men and women are invited to apply. For more information and an application form, visit All applications must be received by Nov. 30.

Former AIRC chair to challenge removal

After being forcefully removed last week as chairwoman of the Arizona Redistricting Commission, Colleen Mathis will challenge the state's decision in court.

The matter will now move to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Sen. Al Melvin, R-District 26, voted with fellow Republicans to remove Colleen Mathis from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Tuesday night in a special session.

Mathis, the Independent chairwoman of the five-member commission, was removed in a 21-6 party line vote. Senate Republicans unanimously voted to remove Mathis, while all six Democrats voted against the measure.

Melvin said he voted in favor of removing Mathis because he feels she did not fulfill her duties properly. "She was blatantly partisan," he said. "She was supposed to be Independent, but she was anything but Independent."

The special session was called by Secretary of State Ken Bennett on behalf of Gov. Jan Brewer, who was in New York to promote her book.

Brewer had pushed for not only Mathis to be removed, but also for the removal of the commission's Democrats Linda McNulty, of Pima County, and Jose Herrara, of Maricopa County.

In a Nov. 1 letter to Mathis, Bennett said after careful review, it was determined that she failed to conduct the commission's business in meetings open to the public, and failed to adjust the grid map as necessary to accommodate all of the goals set forth in the Arizona Constitution.

Gov. Brewer needed a two-thirds majority vote to remove Mathis.


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