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Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:00 pm

Iowa college calls OV man 'honorary alum'

An Oro Valley man has been given an "honorary alumnus" award from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Jay Huitsing and his wife Betty Brands Huitsing, a Central College graduate, have supported Central for 27 years. They recently and generously named a room in the new education and psychology building. Jay has attended alumni meetings in Chicago, Phoenix and Tucson, attended campus events like Homecoming and alumni advisory council meetings, and met up with the Central softball team on its spring trip to Tucson this year.

Jay spent 33 years in office machine sales and services. He has served as elder, deacon and Sunday school superintendent in several churches. A member of Rotary International since 1972, he's served in various club board positions including president, and also chaired the Polio-Plus campaign. He delivers meals to shut-ins and elderly people twice a week, is a past member and president of the Chicago Office Machines Dealers Association, Du Page County Private Industry Council and the Greater Wheaton (Ill.) chamber of commerce.

Legislator has time to talk in Marana Oct. 31

Rep. Pat Fleming, the Sierra Vista Democrat who represents District 25 in the Arizona House, is holding a series of "coffee with constituents" to discuss issues, answer questions and learn about priorities.

One listening session is Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr., Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive in Marana. That session is set from 10 a.m. to noon.

"Your input matters and will help me serve you and our community better," Fleming said in a release. "I look forward to our continued dialogue as we work to build a stronger and better future for Arizona."

No appointment or RSVP is necessary.

District 25 includes a swath of the Northwest.

Explorer earns 4 awards in ANA contest

The Explorer has earned four awards in its category in the 2009 Better Newspapers Contest, presented jointly by the Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors.

Competing with other newspapers in the weekly category with more than 10,000 circulation, The Explorer received:

* First place for a special section, the 2009 Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce Map and Guide;

* First place for editorial page excellence;

* Third place for general excellence;

* Third place for departmental news and copywriting excellence.

Judging was conducted by newspaper members from the Mississippi Press Association. Awards were presented Saturday at the ANA's fall convention, held at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the Phoenix campus of Arizona State University.

Christian college fair in NW on Tuesday, Oct. 27

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy is hosting its annual Christian College Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

More than 38 colleges nationwide are expected to be represented, a release said.

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy is located at 9500 N. Oracle Rd., in the Northwest. Questions can be directed to Teri Rohne at 797-0107.

Stroke, bone, screenings in NW on Oct. 30

Stroke and bone fracture risk screenings are being conducted in the Northwest on Friday, Oct. 30.

Life Line Screening is conducting risk assessments at the Ina Road Church of Christ, 2425 W. Ina Rd., with appointments starting at 9 a.m.

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability. Eighty percent of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their strokes. Preventive ultrasound screenings can help people avoid a stroke.

Screenings are "fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient," a release said. Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women, the release continued.

Packages start at $139. All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. For more information, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit"> Pre-registration is required.

Marana chamber collecting for overseas troops

When the Marana Chamber of Commerce gathers for its monthly luncheon this Thursday, Oct. 15, guests are being asked to bring donations for distribution to Marana men and women serving in the U.S. military.

In Operation Package Support, the chamber is suggesting gifts of wash cloths and towels, holiday decorations, hair ties, socks, hand and foot warmers, black gloves, shower shoes, playing cards, CDs and DVDs, magazines, books and hometown newspapers, all sorts of sports balls, board games, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, wipes, baby and foot powder, lotion, soap and body wash, hair spray, shaving cream, razors, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, shampoo, swabs, powdered drinks, protein bars, snacks, candy, cards and letters, and phone cards.

Donations might include "things that will help boost morale and small things those of us take for granted," a release said. "Remember, the smallest things can mean a lot."

The luncheon is held at Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch, 6801 N. Camino Verde. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m., with the buffet line forming at 11:45.

Smoke alarms save 2 from fire in NW home

Two fires during Fire Prevention Week illustrated the importance of smoke detectors, according to the Northwest Fire District.

On Oct. 4, resident Donald Wells lost his life in an early morning house fire near Silverbell and El Camino Del Cerro. Wells, 76, was found unconscious, and suffered burns and smoke inhalation. Investigators say the fire started in the kitchen. The home did not have any smoke detectors.

Last Sunday morning at 4:30, Gay Ryan and her husband David Ratchford escaped a smoky blaze at their home located at 8503 N. Deer Valley. That fire, which caused approximately $10,000 in damage, started in the garage with the disposal of smoking materials.

Ryan awoke, then heard smoke alarms going off in her house. She alerted her husband, and both escaped without injury, the release said.

The Northwest Community Assistance program assisted the Red Cross in providing shelter for the couple until cleaning and repairs can be made to the house.

Northwest Fire had three engines, one ladder and a rescue company on scene, with 21 firefighters who brought the fire under control in 16 minutes. The first arriving engine arrived five minutes after the 9-1-1 call was made.

The homeowners practiced fire-safe procedures by evacuating the home and calling 9-1-1 from their cell phone, rather than stay inside the structure to call, the release continued.

Camino de Mañana event Oct. 21 in Marana

Dirt is being moved along the Camino de Mañana roadway project in Marana.

Construction progress is not stopping the town from holding a groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at a site close to Interstate 10 near the southwest end of the 3.3-mile project.

Camino de Manana is a joint project of the town and the voter-created Regional Transportation Authority. When it is finished, a four-lane, 3.3-mile divided roadway will connect the greater Northwest, from Tangerine Road and Dove Mountain Boulevard, to the new Twin Peaks interchange, also under construction across I-10. Completion of the project is anticipated in December 2010.

Groundbreaking on Oct. 21 is being held at the extension of Linda Vista at Camino de Mañana.

Still time to vote early or by mail

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez reminds voters that early voting for the November 3 Consolidated General Election is now in progress.

For those voters who are on the Permanent Early Voting List, your vote-by-mail ballot is in the mail.

Those voters not on the early voting list can vote early at either of our early voting sites or order an early ballot (vote-by-mail ballot) to be sent directly to your home.

To order a ballot, log onto the Pima County Recorder's Web site at and click on the link for "Early Ballot Request," or download a request form to mail in.

Voters also can order a ballot by phone at 740-4330 or (800) 775-7462 and ask for extension 4330.

All early ballot requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

For more information, visit the Recorder's web site at"> or call the office at 740-4330.

Early voting sites


Recorder's Main Office

115 North Church Avenue (Located downtown in the historic courthouse building.)

East side

Recorder's East Side Annex

6920 E. Broadway Blvd. Suite D (Located at southwest corner of Broadway and Kolb.)

Volunteers can Make Difference

Ironwood Tree Experience, Sahuaro Girl Scout Council, UA 4-H High Ropes Course, Southwest Conservation Corps and Prescott College have joined forces in support of Make a Difference Day.

The groups plan to host a volunteer day at the UA 4-H High Ropes Course GreenLot located near Interstate 10 and Fort Lowell Road, on the frontage road.

They will be there from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Volunteers will help in making pathways, building a kiosk and repairing damage to the ropes course site.

For more information contact Suzanne or Eric Dhruv  at 319-9868, or go online to">

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