Tucson Local Media: Marana


Recent Headlines

  • Marana contributes to wildlife corridors

    The Marana Town Council approved funding for its portion of five wildlife corridors to be built as part of the Tangerine Road expansion project last week.The five corridors will run beneath Tangerine Road between Dove Mountain Boulevard and La Cañada Drive. They will be medium-sized mammal crossings that can accommodate animals as big as bobcats and mountain lions.“These corridors serve several purposes,” said Marana Environmental Projects Manager Janine Spencer in a town press release. “They provide a safe alternative route for wildlife crossings, and they serve as drainage conveyances for flooding prevention.”The locations for the five corridors were based on recommendations from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The crossings were selected based on “open space connectivity, existing and future development, and hydraulic design.”Because the Tortolita Mountains and the surrounding area are teeming with wildlife, area wildlife corridors are important for maintaining access between the Tortolita and the Tucson Mountains so the creatures can move between habitats. Nearly all developments in Marana are required to have wildlife corridors and maintain washes.The development of the new Tangerine Road wildlife corridors was a partnership of a team of planners, engineers, biologists, hydrologists, and construction professionals. 

  • As program grows, Mountain View High School honors AP successes

    Over the past few years Mountain View High School has made a big commitment to offering advance placement options for a variety of academic interests. From traditional AP courses like AP US History to AP Music Theory, the Mountain View administration wants to offer something for everyone, so that any students can leave the school with college credit. As part of their MVHS University program, this year Mountain View offers 17 AP courses and next year it will expand to 22 AP courses.“We believe in every student at Mountain View and believe that every student is an AP student,” said Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick. “We would like to see our students challenged and by pursuing AP classes they can experience college level rigor and earn college credit. Mountain View University provides an opportunity for every student to learn and grow in our school.”Mountain View University is the school’s re-branded AP Program, as the school is working to address the needs of all their students and provide challenges and opportunities for them. “If students are taking a college level class then we want to call it what it is,” said Mountain View Assistant Principal Matt Tidwell. “We want to celebrate the achievements of our students and recognize their choices for what they are.”The rebranding coincided with a celebration last week for returning AP students. The school was celebrating the record number of students not only taking AP courses, but excelling at their AP exams. 

  • Local Jeep enthusiasts convoy to support police

    Marana was the staging area for a Jeep convoy in support of local law enforcement. What was originally planned as a small show of support, morphed into a large fundraiser with over 1,000 people in attendance.Two weekends ago members of two separate Jeep enthusiast clubs convoyed down I-10 from the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall to a church parking lot near the freeway exit at South Palo Verde Rd. in what was dubbed the Back The Blue Convoy.Local Jeep enthusiasts Brice Olson and Gabe Spurling were inspired by a video of a similar event on the east coast and they decided they wanted to do a similar event. Their group, DM Military Jeepers reached out to Tucson Jeeps and created a committee to get the event organized. They expected a solid turnout, but were stunned with the number of people wanting to be involved.“We really only expected about 50-60 jeeps, but we soon realized this was going to be huge,” Spurling said.They put the event together over a six week period, finding sponsors, starting and finishing spots big enough to hold all the vehicles. On the day of the event they learned more Jeeps from Phoenix were coming than they had originally planned for with about 130 making the trip down I-10.The group grew so big that the Marana Police Department volunteered to help them get onto the freeway.

  • Marana announces new tourism director

    The Town of Marana has hired a new Tourism and Marketing Manager. Laura Cortelyou replaces Toby Parks in the position that has been a big emphasis for the town over the past few years. The position is at the center of the town’s big push to promote tourism over the past few years. Its proximity to I-10 combined with amenities such as the new Tucson Premium Outlet Mall, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain and the extensive trail system means the town offers plenty of opportunities to tap into the billion-dollar state tourism industry. “Marana is a place with so much going on, and I’m incredibly excited to share this vibrant community with a wider audience,” Cortelyou said.Cortelyou came to the town after serving as director of marketing and public relations for the Tucson Museum of Art. She also serves as the president of the Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance and is a board member of Visit Tucson. Prior to coming to the Museum of Art, she served a marketing director for Forester Media, Inc and ABC-CLIO. The town launched DiscoveMarana.org to act as a portal for visitors to learn more about Marana, which is positioning itself as the “Gateway to Southern Arizona.” The site garnered a 2016 Governor’s Tourism Award for Interactive Technology and increased the town’s tourism presence. 

  • Town of Marana wins two awards for communication

    Marana was recently honored for its use of 21st-century technology as well as something quite prehistoric. The town picked up two Savvy Awards at last week’s annual conference of the City/County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) in San Antonio, Texas. The Savvy Awards “recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing, and citizen-government relationships.”“The Savvies salute skilled and effective city, county, agency, or district professionals who have creatively planned and carried out successful innovations in communications and marketing,” according to a Town of Marana press release. “3CMA accommodates local government organizations of all sizes and budget classes by judging entries in several different population groups.”Dinosaurs were at the core of a campaign by the town to learn what residents wanted from the new park being built in conjunction with the Tangerine Corridor improvement project. The town mailed bright yellow postcards with images of ferocious dinosaurs side-by-side with kids and dogs at a park with the tagline of “Dinosaur breeding facility coming to your neighborhood.” The back of the card read: “Oh, that’s not what you want in your new community park? Tell us what you do want. Complete the park survey,” and directed them to the online survey. The 337 people who responded to the survey set a new record for the town and helped town officials design and name Tangerine Sky Park, the 12-acre park located just south of Tangerine Road and east of Camino De Oeste. 

  • Town of Marana Council planning to livestream meetings in 2017

    Starting in January, you’ll be able to watch Marana Town Council meeting on your laptop or your smartphone.The council voted 5-1 last week to approve the funds necessary to provide live video and audio streams of council meetings on the town’s website, as well as archiving the video for up to three years.Currently the town offers audio recordings of meeting for a small fee, but does not have any video capabilities nor any livestreams.The $22,230 project will include purchase of three cameras, other related hardware and the video encoder. The town will also pay a monthly fee of $1,475 along with fees for server space to steam and archive the videos, as well as the cost of tagging and posting the video and keeping the video archived for about three years.Annual costs after the initial set-up are approximately $17,000, but that is expected to vary depending on the town’s needs to replace technology. Both the cameras and computers could need to be replaced every three to five years. Currently, the cameras cost $1,000 but costs are decreasing every year.The costs are based upon 50 meetings a year, although the council does not meet that often. The town will have the option 

  • Marana High School to host aviation fair

    Students interested in a career in aviation—or just looking for a fun afternoon—will be interested in the Marana High School Aviation Fair. The event is being hosted by the Marana High School Choir as well as the CTE Aviation Technology Program and will feature a concert from the choir, career booths, a flight simulator and aircraft on display. In addition, there will be live music, trapeze artists, visual art displays and food trucks. Admission and most of the activities are free.The Aviation Fair is from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Marana High School. This fall, the Marana Unified School District debuted the new comprehensive Aviation Technology Program, which is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors at Marana and Mountain View high schools. The air transportation curriculum includes learning about the history of the aerospace industry, aerodynamics, FAA regulations, aircraft structure and radio systems, airport management, aviation safety, weather, flight planning and human physiology.In the aircraft mechanics track, students learn about electrical maintenance and repair, how to prepare aircraft drawings, center of gravity calculations, aircraft welding, airport safety, cleaning techniques, understanding the physics of aviation and many other related topics.Among the vendors and presenters at the fair are Universal Avionics, the Marana Flight School, the Marana Aviation Foundation, the Marana Regional Airport and EAA - The Spirit of Aviation.

  • Tragedy strikes stunt pilot with Marana ties

    A longtime pilot with ties to Marana died in an airplane crash during an air show in Central Oregon.Marcus Bruce Paine, 61, perished when his Boeing Stearman biplane crashed while attempting a low-altitude loop as part of the Airshow of the Cascades on Aug. 27. The air-show veteran had successfully attempted the same maneuver the day before.Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department officials said Paine died in the crash and no one on the ground was hurt. An FAA official was on hand and the department is investigating the incident.“It is with heavy hearts that the Airshow of the Cascades announces the loss of the talented aerobatic performer, Marcus Paine, during his Saturday afternoon performance in Madras, Oregon,” a statement from the air show organizers read. “The Paine Family and the air show community appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”Paine, a native of Alaska, owned Unusual Attitudes, LL, a business based out of Marana Regional Airport. He operated the business only part of the year, when he was not participating in air shows or other ventures. Paine taught trained pilots how to fly air-show aerobatic maneuvers, with an emphasis on flying in abnormal conditions. The flight school also taught Unusual Attitude Recovery, Stall/Spin Awareness and aerobatic flight. He taught from October to May, which is the offseason for the air show circuit.

  • Marana Town council approves election results

    The Marana Town Council adopted the results of the August primary election, with Mayor Ed Honea and Council Members Dave Bowen and Roxanne Ziegler set to start their new terms at the Nov. 15 town council meeting. All three candidates received a high enough percentage of the vote that they won reelection in the primary election, so voters won’t have to decide any Marana races on the November ballot. The home-based option for the town’s expenditure limit will be on the November ballot. The council passed two measures that gave the Board of Adjustment additional duties. The first measure named the board as the appellate review body for property maintenance actions enforced by the town. According to Marana Senior Assistant Town Attorney Libby Shelton, both the town code and Arizona state statute require “an appellate review body for any property maintenance violation.”Shelton added that the move would make sense because “they are already reviewing Zoning ordinance disputes.”Shelton explained to the council that the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code required a designated board of appeals, but the town did not have one until the vote.The council also approved amending of the Town of Marana comprehensive fee schedule to eliminate a few of the town’s drainage report review fees. This was a follow-up to changes made to the fee schedule in May, where the council simplified some fees, but a few of the fees were not removed at the time as 

  • Incumbents rule the day in Marana

    Marana residents like the direction the town is going in, at least the results of the town elections would indicate that. The incumbents were the choice for Marana voters in the mayoral and town council races. Mayor Ed Honea was re-elected with over 62 percent of the vote.“I think what is happening is people are happy with what is happening in the town,” Honea said. Honea’s campaign was based around the perception that the town was doing well in a number of factors including new homes, revenues and new businesses. “I think one of the problems with somebody running against any of the incumbents in Marana is that we have great roads, great parks, great schools, our debt is paid off, we have money in the bank and we don’t have a property tax,” Honea said. His opponent, Marana Unifies School District Board Member Dan Post ran his campaign on the basis of the town needing to repair its relationship with Pima County, as well as needing to bolster relationships within the council.

  • Music and a movie returning to Marana parks Sept. 10, 17

    Whether you love music or movies, there will be plenty to do in Marana parks over the next two weekends. Marana will host their September editions of Music In Marana and Movies in Marana.On Wednesday, Sep. 10, Marana will host Drew Cooper as part of their Music in Marana series in Crossroads Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road. Cooper is an acoustic singer-songwriter who mixes a variety of American music styles citing influences as diverse as Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen.  “Drew is one of those rare performers who can turn anyone who attends one of his concerts into a lifelong fan,” reads the bio on his website. “Drew’s charismatic, smiling, laughing style of entertaining can turn crowds of 12 to 12,000 into enthusiastic, on-your-feet participants in a musical journey that excites and moves people of all ages and backgrounds.”Cooper likes to say that his music reflects his Midwestern upbringing with “the commitment to country values and strong family bonds.” Musically he takes influence from the artists he listened to as a kid, the Red Dirt scene he discovered in his early 20s and his current home in the Southwest. Also on Wednesday, Sept. 17 Movies in Marana returns. The Splash Pad at the Marana Heritage River Park will be the location for a showing of the animated musical penguin movie “Happy Feet.” “Happy Feet” is the story of Mumble, an Emperor penguin who was born different than the other penguins. Mumble never quite fits in, but this tap dancing penguin is forced to leave home but eventually saves the day. 

  • Mountain View’s remodeled front office mixes function and safety

    As part of their 30th anniversary celebration, Mountain View High School remodeled their front office. The remodel is not only cosmetic in nature, it also has practical purposes. Safety is a big reason that the school chose to remodel the front office. Previously visitors had to enter the front gate and entered the office which not only had multiple desks and departments, but had direct access to the administrative office. “Safety was the biggest thing,” said Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick. “If you came in our front office you were already in. You had already entered the building. It is scary in this time that we have to think about these things, but we want to have a better idea of who is coming and what purpose they are coming for.”It was possible that there could be upwards of a dozen people in the office at any one time and it was easy to bypass the office altogether and just enter the school. In this day and age where safety is a concern, the idea of having so much exposure is something the school wanted to avoid. “Now by shifting the front office the receptionist can see the whole parking lot,” Garelick said. “Now we can see things we could not see before and that gives us a whole new level of comfort.”Now the front access to the front office has been moved to outside of the gate and the gate is locked from the outside. Walking into the office there is a single gate keeper and sign in, with no other direct access to the campus. 

  • Arizona DOT officials take part in active shooter training

    No one is surprised when government agencies conduct active shooter training, but some may find it odd that agencies that have little to do with law enforcement have to consider how to handle an active shooter situation. That’s exactly what Department of Transportation leaders from across the country did last week in Marana. Arizona was the host state for the American Association of State of Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) annual meeting for the sub committee on transportation safety and emergency management. Part of that meeting included active shooting training conducted at the Northwest Fire Complex in Marana. In the morning AASHTO officials were briefed by the Pima County Regional SWAT team on their “run, hide or fight” response to a shooter. In the afternoon they watched first hand as members of the Pima Regional SWAT team and Northwest Fire participated in an active shooter scenario.“It is all about preparedness and being prepared for something that you hope never happens,” said TSA Motor Manager David Cooper. While most think of the TSA and airport security, their role is far greater. TSA has responsibility for the transportation sector and according to Cooper they look at building partnerships for preparedness and how they can help communities at all different levels.In this scenario ADOT was holding a meeting regarding a controversial road project. One of those in attendance becomes upset and opens fire in the meeting. 

  • Sixth annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge brings Tucson’s foodies together

    Equipped with personal bags of chips, well over 1,000 local foodies took to the La Encantada Shopping Center on Saturday, Aug. 20 to celebrate two of the Southwest region’s most staple foodstuffs—salsa and tequila at the sixth annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge, hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.Filtering through the booths of dozens of Tucson’s most accomplished restaurateurs and culinarians, guests were treated to some of the best – and most surprising – examples of the classic culinary duo.“Welcome to the Southwest,” said SAACA Communications Director Cait Huble. “Salsa and tequila is just a fun way to bring out the culture of Tucson. Almost every restaurant offers tequila cocktail, a lot offer salsa and the fun thing about this event are the ones that don’t normally offer it in the restaurant. (They) are competing against those that do. You get to taste a lot of different varieties.”Whether indulging in tequila popsicles, habenero-peach salsa or a vaporized cocktail, the challenge was more a festival, as each participant looked to not only display gastronomic ingenuity, but show off with artistic and colorful booths.According to Huble, it’s the perfect event for any restaurant, food truck, home kitchen or any other accomplished cook or chef to reach their audience in a way much more engaging to Tucson’s eaters.“It’s not just buying a bus ad or buying a print ad anymore, you want to be able to get in front of people; the audience that will return to your restaurant,” she said. “If you come to a foodie event that is culturally driven, that’s your people. That’s the audience you want.”

  • [Update] Incumbents leading Marana races

    Marana voters are indicating they like the status quo. In both the mayoral and town council races the incumbents had leads with most of the votes counted.Mayor Ed Honea leads challenger Dan Post with 62.4 percent of the votes, 4,246-2,558. Honea will return for his 30th year on the council and 14th as mayor.“I think what is happening is people are happy with what is happening in the town,” Honea said. Post is a member of the Marana Unified School Board and ran on a platform of mending fences with the county and a slowdown of development to avoid more debt.Honea’s main campaign talking point was the success of the town and its place as the fastest growing community in the county. He countered Post’s criticism of the relationship with the county, but saying “we are dong better than they are.”The two incumbent town council members were also leading. Roxanne Ziegler led the three candidates with 3,971 votes. Dave Bowen had 3,821, while challenger John Officer received 3,050 votes. It remains to be seen if any of the candidates received enough votes to have a majority and bypass the general election in November. Candidates must appear on 50 percent plus one of the ballots to bypass the November election.

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