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OV Aquatic Center hosts state swim championship

Twelve-year-old Richardson Elementary School student Paige Housman said she loves to watch the Olympic swimmers on television.

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Arizona Swimming 2016 Long Course Age Group State Championship

Sports Update: Marana Little League has short stay in Western Regionals

Marana was the host team in the All-Star Junior Softball Western Regional, but did not survive the first day of the competition. Marana lost their first two ga...

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Marana Little League

Historic Marana steakhouse has a rich history

The Town of Marana has a rich history, but the construction of I-10 in the 1960s demolished many the historic businesses in what was then the center of town. 

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Li'l Abner's

Challengers utilize familiar firm

The three challengers who hope to unseat the incumbents in this year’s Oro Valley Town Council races have each begun to work with political consulting firm Sag...

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Saguaro Strategies

Oro Valley candidates speak up on golf and community center

On Dec. 17, 2014, the Oro Valley town council voted 4-3 in favor of purchasing the former El Conquistador Country Club and associated amenities to create the O...

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Oro Valley Community Center golf course
  • Lawsuit filed against Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

    Opponents of a ballot initiative that seeks to ask voters to legalize recreational marijuana for adults filed a lawsuit on July 11 to keep the measure off the November ballot, citing that the would-be law misleads voters in its petition summaries concerning how many of Arizona’s laws it would affect.The lawsuit mainly takes issue with a number of statutes that would be affected with its passage, stating “the Initiative’s operative provisions embrace far too many subjects than allowed for a single ballot initiative.”If the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative passes, it would allow people over the age of 21 to use and possess marijuana bought from dispensaries, while maintaining the illegality of use by minors and driving under the influence.According to Barrett Marson, communications director for the campaign, there is no “limit to changing the law for an initiative.”The campaign’s chair, JP Holyoak, said that opponents of the initiative “have demonstrated that they are willing to do and say just about anything to maintain the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. This lawsuit is simply a desperate attempt to deprive Arizona voters of the right to vote on this ballot question.”Two of the major opponents of the initiative are Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, both of whom have been critical of recreational legalization in the past. 

  • Mountain View principal looks for successful second year

    Todd Garelick goes into his second year as principal of Mountain View having learned a lot from year one. It was not only Garelick’s first year as the school’s principal, but his first experience as a head principal anywhere. He was formerly the school’s athletic director and assistant principal and has held administrative roles previous to moving to Mountain View. His main goal the first year was to find ways to better serve his teachers, giving them an even bigger voice when it comes to how things are done at the school. Prior to last year, he gave department heads a bigger role in crafting the master schedules for the teachers and has tried make the lives of his teachers easier. “I think last year went great in a lot of ways,” Garelick said. “We spent a lot of time and energy in building the community. I want the administration to be servants to the needs of the teachers. In turn the teachers can focus on being successful in the classroom. If we help focus on the teachers’ needs, then in turn the teachers can focus on the students.”Garelick noted that referrals were down 30 percent from the year before and he feels the administration has done a good job changing the culture of the school, although there’s more work to be done. He admited he is still learning. Some of the ideas implemented by the administration to help the staff were not as valuable as they had believed, while teachers often presented ideas that benefitted them more. “Things we thought they needed, they actually didn’t,” Garelick said. “Then they would present us with things they actually needed, that we did not foresee. I believe in having an open door and got great feedback. They would tell me ‘we need more here’ or ‘you need to back off there.’”

  • Not just your grandfather’s country club

    While there is a trend for golf courses and other amenities to bear the name of the municipality in which it is built, the story of the Oro Valley Country Club and the town of Oro Valley is quite the opposite. A part of the community since first opening in 1959, the country club included a planned 200-home sites which would be one of the foundations on which the town was built.Nearly 60 year later, the Oro Valley Country Club, a vision of Lou Landon and the architectural hand of Robert Bruce Harris, is still providing high-end country club experience and golf play beneath the same breathtaking peaks of the Santa Catalina Mountains which originally drew its founders. Originally an oasis within the great expanse of the Sonoran Desert, the country club new finds itself within the center of a bustling and every expanding Oro Valley.While the names and faces may have changed over the years, the business which Landon envisioned still remains. How did the country club make it through nearly six decades? According to membership director Jack Talmage, the longevity can be traced back to loyal members.“People wanted to be a member of a private club, and they have been willing to put money into the club to keep is sustained,” Talmage said. “I don’t look at it as being in the food and beverage or the golf business—we’re in the membership business. You want to join a club because there are people just like you that want to get to know others, make friends, interact with them and have it centered and focused on something that they love, and that’s golf.”From February 1961 until December 2014, the country club was under the ownership of its members before being sold to Dallas-based ClubCorp for nearly $3 million. According to Talmage, the decision to sell the country club came about after the financial crisis.  

  • Town Council candidates are running low-budget campaigns, so far

    The six candidates for Oro Valley Town Council are bucking the trend of big money in political campaigns.As they gear up for the Aug. 30 primary, the most any of the candidates have raised is $3,060, according to reports filed at the end of June.The council seats up for grabs this year belong to the three incumbent candidates, councilmembers Brendan Burns, Bill Garner and Mike Zinkin. Hoping to claim a spot on the town’s ruling body are residents Rhonda Pina, Bill Rodman and Steve Solomon. Generally speaking, the challengers were more active than their incumbent counterparts, as incumbents Burns, Garner and Zinkin have all openly stated their opposition to being beholden to what they call “special interests.” Both Burns and Garner filed statements saying they had done no fundraising activity.Pina has raised the most money, pulling in $3,060 in contributions. Major contributors to her campaign include CAID Industries President William Assenmacher ($1,000), Pina’s husband Raul ($600), former Pima County supervisor Dan Eckstrom ($300) and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry ($200).Behind Pina is Rodman, whose major campaign contributions come in the form of funds he loaned himself, totaling $2,050 over three installments. Rodman’s total fundraising came in at $2,100. 

  • New heads of school at BASIS Oro Valley hope to impress in first year

    In the coming weeks, countless students will be making a return to the halls of their elementary, middle or high school for the first time since leaving behind the books and the study sessions back in May. While the hustle and bustle of the back to school season is felt by everyone from students and families to teachers and staff, Elizabeth Thies and Eileen Finnerty-Rae at BASIS Oro Valley will be looking to make a good first impression on their students as the new heads of school for the 6-12 and K-5 schools, respectively.  Taking over for former head of school Michelle Mason, who moved on within the BASIS family to develop programs at a more regional level, Thies and Finnerty-Rae both expressed an overwhelming sense of excitement at the opportunity to play leading roles in one of the most highly successful programs not only within the state, but the entire country. Most recently, BASIS Oro Valley was named “America’s Most Challenging High School” by The Washington Post, out of nearly 2,300 other institutions. BASIS Oro Valley also placed third in the state and sixth in the country according to the most recent U.S. News & World Report “Best High School” rankings.Though the two women have spent the summer getting settled and planning out their futures in Oro Valley, both are veterans of the BASIS program and proud parents of BASIS students of their own.Prior to taking over at the upper school, Thies was the dean of students, athletic director and a physical education teacher at BASIS Tucson North. She holds a BS in sociology and is currently beginning work on her masters in educational psychology from Northern Arizona University, Before her time as an educator, Thies was a member of the Tucson Police Department as a patrol officer on the city’s south side of town. She also served the country as a signal corps specialist in the United States Army. Despite serving in the world of criminal justice, Thies said she became interested in education after volunteering the classroom of her oldest daughter.

  • Councilwoman Ziegler seeks another term on town council

    Roxanne Ziegler has lived in Marana since 1989 and is seeking another term on the Marana Town Council she was elected to in 2007. She has seen the town grow in the image of former mayor Ora Mae Harn and has been there through many of the great growth projects. Zeigler had only lived in the area for a few years before she decided to get involved. With Marana just starting to grow, Zielger saw an opportunity to have a say. She was appointed to the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission in 1995 and also served on the Continental Ranch HOA Board of Directors.  “I wanted to have a hand in shaping Marana’s future as the possibilities were endless,” she said.She was first elected to the town council in the late ’90s and after several years off the council, she made a political comeback in 2007.“I have always put Marana and its citizens first on every decision I make, so that we continue to build a better Marana,” Ziegler said. “An elected official should have one agenda in mind and that is to serve and do the bidding of the people in the town of Marana, whereas others may have a different agenda in mind.” 

  • (Oct. 28) Today's Top Headlines - Arrest video fallout: Spring Valley High Officer Ben Fields may learn fate today

    CNN: When Sheriff Leon Lott saw a video of his deputy slamming a student to the ground and tossing her several feet, he said, it made him want to vomit.The South Carolina sheriff vowed to act swiftly on the case. On Wednesday, he's expected to announce what will happen to Ben Fields, the Richland County deputy who is currently suspended without pay.Fields is the Spring Valley High School resource officer whose actions Monday were recorded by students and ignited a firestorm on social media. Among the criticisms: his admitted use of "muscling techniques" to get the student out of her chair.Read the full story on CNN. 

  • (Oct. 28) Today's Top Headlines - Syria conflict: Iran to attend talks in Vienna

    BBC News: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend multilateral talks on finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria in Vienna this week, a government spokeswoman has said.It will be the first time Iran - an ally of President Bashar al-Assad - has attended such a summit with the US.Representatives of Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will also attend the talks.Read the full story on BBC News.

  • (Oct. 28) Today's Top Headlines - Hastert pleads guilty in hush money case

    CNN: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty Wednesday to structuring money transactions in a way to evade requirements to report where the money was going.The money, investigators said, went to pay someone he had wronged $3.5 million in hush money.In addition, Hastert was charged with making false statements to federal investigators.Read the full story on CNN. 

  • Saturday Puzzles 7-23-16

  • Remake of the 1984 original answers the call

    When the teaser trailer for this 2016 makeover of the original “Ghostbusters” debuted earlier this year, I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. After all, what could this new group of all-female ghost-catchers dial-up on their proton packs that hasn’t already been covered by the paranormal tracking legends Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson? A lot, we find out. Thirty-two years after the comedy box-office hit “Ghostbusters” sparked a catchy Oscar-nominated theme song and the brilliant marketing slogan “Who you gonna call?,” this reboot was placed in the clever hands of director Paul Feig. Immediately tapping into his razor-tongued comedic talents from Feig’s “Bridesmaids” (2011) and “Spy” (2015) films, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig reunite in this better-than-expected, girl-power ghost story.“Ghostbusters” delivers one of this summer’s funniest films. It works because it doesn’t try too hard to rebrand a proven winner. In fact, this is a stand-alone, female version of the mega-successful “Ghostbusters.” This film smartly keeps a blistering pace—quickly introducing us to the new quartet of heroines (McCarthy, Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) while stringing together near-continuous wisecracks using short, Saturday Night Live-type scenes. A character-driven comedy, “Ghostbusters” exaggerates each ghost-fighter’s outlandish personality and hang-ups in hilarious fashion. This ensemble cast oozes, slimes and blends charisma with chemistry, without ever throwing shade on the original foursome. In fact, director Feig and these modern “Ghostbusters” offer several big-screen tributes to their predecessors throughout the movie—although not openly acknowledging their existence from either the 1984 film or its sequel in 1989. Adding to the complete comedy madness is the scene-stealing performance by lady-killer Chris Hemsworth. Taking a deserved break from the Marvel Comics’ superhero role of Thor, Hemsworth confidently squeezes out every ounce of humor from his over-the-top receptionist gig. All superpowers, however, are duly reserved for the girl power in “Ghostbusters,” from ghost shredders to enough mobile scientific equipment to make Christopher Lloyd’s eccentric physicist character in 1985’s “Back to the Future” proud.Generating laughs while giving a respectful nod to the original ghost-chasers, this remake of “Ghostbusters” is both enjoyable and fresh. It shines brightest when it focuses on the star-power interpersonal relationships and moves quickly through the ghostly plot setup and action scenes. Overall, a film that was better than I had expected. 

  • Netflix acquires deal to stream new ‘Star Trek’ show abroad

    Over the past few years, Netflix has been an increasingly overpopulated market. Much like the environment faced by Blockbuster years ago – the video-streaming game is changing. No longer is simply streaming a show good enough for the viewing public. Often, the decision in service comes down to the contracts held by each website, dictating what movies and shows are available.In a bid to position itself as a fan-favorite, Netflix has for some time been digging into the scary space of show cancellation and network-limbo by offering a 21st Century solution; buying the property and running the show online. From “Arrested Development” to “Full House” and “Gilmore Girls,” Netflix has found a way to revive content on which the dust has slightly settled – and strike TV gold.Newest on the roster to receive the Netflix treatment – outside of North America -  is “Star Trek,” which has sat idle off the silver screen since the cancellation of “Star Trek: Enterprise” in 2005.In a deal announced last year, CBS confirmed that a new “Trek” series is in development and will debut next January on CBS. In a press release dated July 18, Netflix announced that it has obtained the international rights to the new Star Trek in 188 different countries – though that list excludes the U.S. and Canada. Under the contract, Netflix will host new episodes less than 24 hours after making its domestic debut on CBS All Access, the network’s paid streaming service, following the television premier. While the prospect of more “Star Trek” is always appealing, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise move for Netflix; the company secured the rights to all 727 episodes of “Star Trek” already made, including episodes from “The Original Series,” “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager,” and “Enterprise.”“The launch of the new Star Trek will truly be a global television event,” said CBS Studios International President and CEO Armando Nuñez, in a release. “This international partnership will provide fans around the world... the opportunity to see every episode virtually at the same time as viewers in the US. Thanks to our world-class partners at Netflix, the new Star Trek will definitely be ‘hailing on all frequencies’ throughout the planet.”

  • OV Aquatic Center hosts state swim championship

    Twelve-year-old Richardson Elementary School student Paige Housman said she loves to watch the Olympic swimmers on television.She imagines how hard the athletes must have to work. She wonders what goes through their mind on the world’s biggest stage (or biggest pool, as it may). And she dreams of one day wearing Olympic gold around her own neck.Housman practices six days a week with her friend and teammate—12-year old BASIS Oro Valley student Sofia Prevatt—and the rest of Oro Valley’s Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team (FAST). Housman put her training to work as a participant in the 2016 Arizona Swimming Long Course Age Group State Championships, held last week from July 14-17 at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center.Housman and Prevatt were just two of more than 700 youth athletes, ages 7 to 14, who came to town from across Arizona to compete in the four-day meet. Aside from local Tucson clubs, teams from the Phoenix region, Flagstaff, Sedona, Lake Havasu and other places were in attendance.FAST Head Senior Coach Matt Brauer said that the Olympic-style meet in Oro

  • Sports Update: Marana Little League has short stay in Western Regionals

    Marana was the host team in the All-Star Junior Softball Western Regional, but did not survive the first day of the competition. Marana lost their first two games in the double elimination tournament.Marana was eliminated by Oregon’s Parkside Little League 8-5.Down 3-2 Parkside scored four runs in the fourth and never looked back. Marana scored two in the bottom half of the inning to get within one but could not reclaim the lead. Parkside sealed the win with two runs in the top of the seventh. Marana lost the first game of the tournament earlier that morning falling to Cedar American of Utah 11-1. Cedar American pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of five Marana errors.The second inning proved to be Marana’s undoing as Cedar American scored six runs. Down 7-0, Marana scored their lone run of the game in the fourth. Emilia Stueck drove in the lone Marana run.The tournament continues this week at Arthur Pack Park, with the championship game being played on Thursday. 

  • State softball tournaments underway, CDO team honored

    Thornydale’s stay in the Arizona State Junior Softball All-Star Tournament was not a long one as they dropped both of their games in the event at Arthur Pack Park.Flagstaff jumped out to a huge 7-0 lead and never looked back in a 13-5 win over Thornydale. The teams both hit the ball well, but Flagstaff took better advantage of their opportunities and Thornydale mistakes. The teams combined for 20 hits and nine errors. Flagstaff opened the game with six runs in the first inning and added another in the second.Thornydale finally scored in the fourth inning and added three more in the fifth, but still trailed 9-4. Leading 10-5 heading into the seventh, Flagstaff added three more runs in the inning to cap the scoring. 

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