Over holiday, task force made 57 DUI arrests

Officers in the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force made 57 "driving under the influence" arrests during the Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 27 and 28, according to a release.

Of those arrests:

• 54 were misdemeanors, three were felonies;

• Seven were arrests of drivers with previous DUIs;

• Three were under the age of 21;

• Eight were "extreme" DUIs, with blood alcohol content of .15 or above. The average blood alcohol content level of those arrested was .13 of 1 percent;

• There were 16 seat belt citations, two child restraint citations, and 12 underage drinking arrests.

Law enforcement identified 25 sober, designated drivers. There were 646 total stops, and 501 moving and non-moving citations, the release said.

Among the agencies in the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force are the Pima College Police Department, the Marana Police Department, the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Oro Valley Police Department.

Regional transit symposium is in Tucson Wednesday

A symposium on regional transportation is being hosted this Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Manning House in downtown Tucson.

"Learning from the Best" brings officials from five different transit systems to Tucson to share "how other transit experts across the country have developed regional transit authorities, coordinated with community leaders, worked through challenges in the process, responded to regional needs and how their operations are working during tight economic times," according to a release from the Regional Transportation Authority.

"Help us to listen, learn and build upon the industry's best practices," the local release said.

Invited guests are Keith T. Parker, president and chief executive officer of VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio; John M. Inglish, general manager and CEO of the Utah Transit Authority; Jacob Snow, general manger of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada; Linda S. Watson, CEO of LYNX, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority; and Cal Marsella, CEO of MV Rail and former general manger and CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District.

Ed Honea, mayor of Marana and RTA chairman, is scheduled to address the group, as is Gary G. Hayes, RTA executive director.

The event begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The program starts at 9 in the Silaerbell Ballroom at Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo in downtown Tucson.

Corporations guest at OV GOP women Dec. 11

Bob Stump, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, speaks to the Oro Valley Republican Women's Club at its luncheon meeting on Friday, Dec. 11.

Stump addresses "issues for the corporations commission," a release said.

The event begins with an 11:30 a.m. social. Lunch, either chicken Diane ($18) or veggie quiche ($12), is served at noon at the Oro Valley Country Club, 300 W. Greenock.

RSVPS are needed to Sherese Steffens, at 275-5836 or steffens2003@earthlink.net, by Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Stump was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2008. He represented District 9 in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2002 through 2008. He is a much-honored legislator and committee chair whose "innovative policy proposals have made front-page news in USA Today and serve as model legislation for legislatures throughout the country."

Stump worked as a reporter and editor for national and local magazines and newspapers in Washington, D.C., and Tucson. He holds degrees from Harvard University, where he studied political philosophy with columnist George F. Will, as well as American religious history, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied philosophy and social thought.

Town of OV pay specialist dies suddenly

Town of Oro Valley employees are remembering their friend and colleague, Maria Zabaleta, a payroll specialist in the finance department who died suddenly last Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Zabaleta, 46, a native Tucsonan, had been with the town since July 2007.

She is survived by her husband, Angel, and their two adult sons, Anthony and Michael; a sister, Maria E. Cervantez, and a grandson, Raymond J. Zabaleta. Services were held Dec. 1 at Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery in Tucson.

"We are truly saddened by Maria's passing," said Stacey Lemos, finance director and the town's interim assistant town manager. "She was a very important part of our town family and the finance department team. She was the consummate professional and had such a passion for her job. We will miss her friendly smile and the enthusiasm she brought with her each day."

"Maria was as conscientious as employees come and cared about the details so that nothing was missed when it came to managing the staff payroll," added Interim Town Manager Jerene Watson. "She seemed to carry her sparkle wherever she went – always greeting people she passed in the halls – that human touch will be missed."

Openings left for OV parade Saturday, Dec. 12

The Oro Valley Parade Committee is accepting entrant applications for this year's event, to be held Saturday, Dec. 12.

Oro Valley's fifth holiday parade starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Ironwood Ridge High School, heading east along Naranja Drive to the town government campus.

All participants are required to complete entry forms, which can be picked up at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive, or online at www.orovalleyparade.org. Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 2. Call 404-2825 with any questions.

Full details, a complete schedule of participation fees and a list of parade rules also are available on the Web site.

'Solar Power 101' workshop in Marana next Wednesday evening

"Solar Power 101: A Community Education Series on Solar Energy" returns to Marana this Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The free workshop, presented by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Pima County Public Library, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr., Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive, Marana. It's on the southeast side of Silverbell and Cortaro roads.

The program includes:

• The Basics of Solar Hot Water. Joseph DiMatteo from Sunpower of Arizona talks about solar hot water heaters and pool heating systems. He'll elaborate on the cost breakdown among solar, electricity and natural gas for water heat, a release said.

• Utility Update. Trico Electric Cooperative representatives talk about solar energy initiatives and the cooperative's rebates for residential and commercial electricity and hot water systems.

• Solar Power for the Home – Getting Started. Information is provided on the basics of solar energy residential systems.

Space is limited and RSVPs are needed by Monday, Dec. 7. People may indicate their interest at RSVPsolar@mail.house.gov, or by calling 881-3588.

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