Marana church recognized for growth, reach

A three-year-old church that meets in an elementary school has recently won three awards.

Sanctuary United Methodist Church, which meets in the Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School in Continental Ranch, earned recognition at an annual conference for the United Methodist Church.

The church was recognized for its growth and outreach in Marana, for its greetings of new visitors, and for the "benevolences given out," a release said.

The pastor is Mark Maddox, who said "the people here are the most loving and welcoming I have ever known."

Local authors sought for '10 OV book fest

The Oro Valley Public Library is looking for local authors to participate in the 2010 Oro Valley Book Festival.

The festival, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, has as its theme "The Many Colors of the Library: Celebrate the Diversity of our Programs, Books and Technology."

The 2009 festival was "a huge success featuring 50 local and regional authors, illustrators and cartoonists with more than 3,000 attendees," a release said. "We would like to invite you to be a part of next year's festival.

Authors interested in participating can apply online at or pick up an application at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive, beginning Sept. 1. Applications are due no later than Oct. 15.

For more information about the book festival, call Jane Peterson at (520) 229-5302, or visit, go to the Library's page and click on the book festival link.

Interfaith picks new officers, board members

Social service agency Interfaith Community Services has elected a new slate of officers to its board.

New officers are Ed Jenkins, president; Steve Pollyea, vice president; Kevin Koch, vice president of faith communities; Lois Britton, treasurer; and Betsy Sandlin, secretary.

Board members for the coming year are Lidia Allen, Kristin Behrens, Karen Hamar Bittmann, Mac Fiske, Kathy Goff, Janet R. Grace, Doug Haynes, Vicky Johnson and Mike Mumford.

Interfaith Community Services is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that connects faith communities and volunteers in helping seniors, disabled individuals and people in financial crisis achieve stable and independent lives. Programs include a food bank, emergency financial assistance, caregiving services, mobile meals and health advocacy.

County gets fed funds to combat border drugs

Pima County has been granted $1.285 million to combat criminal drug activity along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The funds, from the federal Department of Justice, were announced by representatives of Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter to Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall.

LaWall intends to use the money in a two-year project to create a new border crime prosecution unit with additional staff, and to reduce drug-related crime by prosecuting individuals in "the most prolific and dangerous drug trafficking organizations."

Pima County shares a 127-mile border with Mexico. National drug threat assessment reports indicate approximately 1.4 million kilograms of drugs enter the U.S. across the border, with half of that sum through Pima County.

"This massive movement of illegal drugs generates significant violent and property crime in our community," LaWall said in an application for the funds. "The problems are only getting worse with huge increases in drug cartel violence" in Nogales, Sonora, north-south "smuggling of weapons, fugitives and cash to strengthen the cartels, and drug-related home invasions."

D'Backs benefit to help Amphi schools Sept. 13

Amphitheater schools are being recognized by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Amphitheater Public Schools Foundation on Sunday, Sept. 13, when the Diamondbacks play the Milwaukee Brewers in a 1:10 p.m. contest.

Amphitheater Schools Day at Chase Field is a fund-raiser for the foundation. Tickets in the Amphi Schools block of bleacher seats are available through the Amphi Foundation for $15 each.

Tickets can be purchased in one of three ways:

• Online through the "Give to the Foundation" link on the Amphi Foundation website at

• In person at Sequels Upscale Resale, 7961 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley.

• By contacting the Amphi Foundation office at 696-5147.

A portion of each ticket sold supports Amphi Foundation programs such as the 21st Century Classrooms Initiative, Amphi clothing bank, MathPLUS+ tutoring, scholarships, sports fee waivers, vouchers for school and sports physicals, and travel assistance for students who qualify for regional or national academic competitions.

Kitt Peak in need of more volunteer help

Kitt Peak is seeking volunteers to lead public tours of its telescopes.

Volunteer docents also assist guests in the visitor center, and provide hands-on demonstrations to illustrate concepts in astronomy, a release said.

"Prospective docents should be willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Kitt Peak astronomy with members of a diverse public," it continued.

A background in astronomy is not required. However, all applicants must first finish and pass an at-your-own-pace training program.

Docents commit to volunteering for 18 hours per month, and must be current Kitt Peak members. All applicants will be interviewed. The minimum age requirement is 16 and applicants must be able to work at an elevation of 7,000 and be able to climb up stairs, the release continued.

For more information and to download an application, go to Questions can be directed to Rich Fedele at (520) 318-8163, or e-mail

SB Dems clean up highway for 18th year in row

SaddleBrooke Democratic Club members beat the heat July 30, getting up early to clean their section of roadway in the Arizona Department of Transportation's Adopt A Highway program.

Kathi Sanders, Bill Katz, Doug Sanders, Elissa and Joel Hauptman overcame car trouble to pick up six bags of trash on Highway 79 between mile markers 99 and 100.

The Saddlebrooke Democratic Club has been participating in the Adopt a Highway program for the past 18 years, "doing their part to keep Arizona beautiful," a release said.

Tohono Chul seeking new park docents

Tohono Chul Park is seeking new docents, those people who answer questions, lead tours, work with students, speak on behalf of the park and represent it at special events.

The Northwest park is now accepting applications for the 2009-'10 docent class. It has scheduled a prospective docent coffee is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in classroom 1 of the education building. Docent instructor Tom McDonald is presenting a brief slide show on the docent program, and answering questions. Interviews will also be scheduled, a release said.

"Docents are the lifeblood of the Park," a release said. "Docents may be the only representatives with whom a visitor interacts, and can make a positive and lasting impression on our guests."

Classes are on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for 18 weeks starting in October, and finishing in February. The cost is $125.

Morning sessions involve presentations by local experts and professionals in appropriate fields of expertise, including climate, arthropods, reptiles, birds, mammals, plants, ethnobotany, archaeology, native peoples, geology, water and art. Afternoons involve a variety of hands-on activities in the classroom or in the park, as well as the opportunity to interact with docent mentors.

"Make words like petroglyph, altricial, riparian, bajada, unguligrade, dioecious, and ectotherm part of your everyday vocabulary," the release said. "Unlock the secret communication rituals of lizards and bugs. Learn what the words Tohono Chul actually mean."

Grief support group SET FOR Oracle church

A grief support group is starting in Oracle to help people who have experienced the death of a loved one.

The 11-week class begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in the youth room at the Living Word Chapel, located across from Oracle Ford on Highway 77.

Facilitator is Jane O'Mahen, a hospice nurse with years of experience with both professional and personal grief work, a release said. She uses the book "Understanding Your Grief" and related materials.

The class is free and open to the public. To pre-register or for more information, contact Jane at 896-2516.

Vets of 'Battle of Bulge' to reunite in city

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge — the pivotal World War II fight that remains the largest land battle in U.S. Army history — hold their annual national reunion in Tucson Oct. 6-11.

Veterans gather at the Hotel Arizona, 181 West Broadway in Tucson.

This is the 65th anniversary of the battle, during which more than 19,000 U.S. troops were killed and another 62,000 injured.

The Battle of the Bulge was officially called the Battle of Ardennes / Alsace. Its name came from the surprise attack by 500,000 heavily armed German troops along the forward line held by the Allies, creating a bulge. The Nazi attack started Dec. 16, 1944, and continued until Jan. 26, 1945, during one of Europe's coldest winters.

Members of the public are invited to visit the reunion. Activities include a tour of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, the Pima Air and Space Museum, and the placing of a memorial wreath in Presidio Park.

For more information, contact Keith Trantow, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Southern Arizona Chapter 53, at, or by phone at (520) 888-2181, or (520) 975-9751.

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