Tucson Local Media: Features


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  • Old West Flavor

    When someone mentions the word steakhouse, eyebrows raise. What’s the occasion? Is it Dad’s birthday? Who’s getting married? For most, going to a steakhouse and ordering up a prime cut of meat means something special is going on. Either an upscale environment or a funky cowboy style ranch house also means it’s going to be an expensive meal.Luckily for us here in Tucson, we have a history of traditional and elegant restaurants to get your meat fix and not every spot is on the pricey side.Nevada Smith’s Saloon is a good, tasty example, serving generous cuts of meat, in a comfy and unpretentious environment, that’s delighted bellies and budgets for nearly 36 years.“That right there is a 22-ounce thick cut porterhouse steak,” prides Darryl Smith, the owner and namesake, pointing to a sizzling cut of meat on the wood-fire grill out back. “This comes with an old family recipe side of cowboy beans or a huge baked potato and an all you can eat salad bar with rolls.”Yeah, but for how much?“Seventeen bucks.”

  • Police Beat

    Good intentions ...Two girls enjoying a “hang-out” in Marana made the decision to drive back to one of their Oro Valley homes. Unfortunately, the girl driving the vehicle never had a license, and was only behind the wheel because her friend was too drunk to drive.Just after 7 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5 officers with the Oro Valley Police Department responded to calls from a local neighborhood after two juvenile girls were spotted sleeping in a vehicle parked the wrong direction on the side of the street. The resident who made the call to the department said he was leaving the neighborhood when spotted the vehicle, and was unsuccessful in waking the sleeping passengers. Arriving on scene, an officer indicated in a police report that one girl slept in each of the front seats. Officers also noted an open bottle of Malibu rum on the passenger floorboard.Once the girls were finally awake, one officer wrote that they seemed to be “surprised” by the police presence. After opening the door and disarming the alarm, the parents of the girl in the passenger seat arrived and told officers that the other girl was “just a friend.”Officers then made the discover that the driver didn’t have a drivers license, having never been issued one. After being told the officers would be contacting her parents, she admitted that her mom thought she was sleeping at the house of a different friend, and told officer about the “hang-out” in Marana. Realizing that her friend was too drunk to drive, the girl took it upon herself to get them home, despite not having a license. The officer indicated in his report that it was of note that the girl did not show any signs of intoxication.

  • Police Beat

    What stop sign?One driver rolled past a stop sign in front of an Oro Valley Police Department officer, leading to the discovery of a used marijuana pipe, among other items.Just before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 a black Toyota truck was spotted rolling through a stop sign on Chapala at Paseo Del Norte. In his report, the officer indicated that the vehicle was travelling approximately five miles per hour. The officer initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, who was noted as being “very nervous and deceptive.” The driver told the officer that there were no drugs or weapons in the vehicle. After looking up the driver, the officer noted a 2009 arrest for unlawful possession of marijuana.Asking the driver to step from the vehicle, he was once again assured that no drugs were within. The officer indicated again in his report that the driver appeared nervous, his voice was shuddering and he began sweating. When asked about his physical appearance the man said he had just been playing basketball, though the officer indicated in his report that he was not dressed in a manner consistent with that activity.After being given consent to search the vehicle, the officer quickly noted a “glass marijuana pipe” with burnt residue, a single Adderall pill and a blue container containing marijuana shake. Of greater interest, the officer also found a black ski mask, a machete, a gun holster and brass knuckles. The driver was issued a warning for misconduct involving weapons and received a citation for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and prescription-only pill.

  • Police Beat

    No knives on campusOne Canyon Del Oro High School student not only made the mistake of bringing knives on campus, but he also decided to sneak into a restricted zone during a school assembly, drawing attention of the school resource officers and campus administration.On Friday, Jan. 27 around 10:30 a.m. an Oro Valley Police Department SRO was working at the high school was notified by security that a male student had been found on the school’s softball field, and admitted to having two knives in his possession. Security discovered the young man and a young woman hanging out inside the field press box.While walking back onto campus, the male student informed the security officer that he had two knives in his possession: a folding knife in his pocket and a “credit card knife” in his jacket pocket. With that information, security immediately notified the SRO.While in the office the student asked, “If I have a C02 BB gun in my car on the floorboard, will that be a problem as well?”After checking the vehicle, a BB gun and another fixed-blade knife were discovered in the car, though not collected as evidence because they were in a secured vehicle.

  • Police Beat: Feb. 1

    Mystery of the open doorOne woman returned to her Oro Valley home to find the door ajar and the residence tossed around, though she was lucky in that nothing of value was missing.Coming home from visiting her mother just after the lunch hour on Monday, Jan. 16, a woman noticed that the deadbolt was visible and the door was left open. She told responding officers that she walked around the corner into her kitchen, and noticed that several of the drawers and cabinets had been pulled open as well, an action for which her family was not responsible. The woman said that she immediately went to her master bedroom to check for her stash of cash and notified authorities after everything was found in its place.Oro Valley Police Department’s officers responding to the scene conducted a search of the house, and upon negative results asked the woman if there would be any reason she, or her husband, would be targeted for any reason. Discovering none, officers asked the woman to keep them updated on any developments.The mystery of the open door remains.

  • Police Beat: Jan. 25

    Loco-MotiveOne man’s demeanor gave two minors a fright as he followed them into a local convenience store, though it was the man’s sticky fingers that alerted authorities and led to his arrest.On Jan. 1 around midday two minors were playing in a wash near their house adjacent to Oracle Road when they saw “an Indian male with long black hair and wearing a black hoodie” coming their way. As they indicated to responding Oro Valley Police Department officers, they felt nervous and decided to begin walking away from the man towards a nearby Circle K. As they approached the establishment, one child said the man began running towards them.The youth made it into the convenience store and told employees that a man was chasing after them. The manager of the store hid the two children in the “beer cave” as the man walked in. The suspect also made his way into the same room, and the manager moved the youths to another cooler. Not able to find the two children, the man reportedly grabbed a Four Loko malt liquor and made his way out of the store.Once the children’s mother arrived she told officers that she recognized the man, and that she had seen him watching the kids’ football practice. Several witnesses corroborated the story the children told the officer and with video surveillance in-hand the officers arrested the man for shoplifting.

  • Police Dispatch: Dec. 21

    Weaving on the roadway leads to DUI arrestOne driver’s inability to maintain his proper lane led to an officer with the Oro Valley Police Department initiating a traffic stop and discovering an intoxicated man behind the wheel.Just before 2 a.m. the morning of Sunday, Dec. 4 a silver Nissan traveling northbound on North Oracle Road caught the attention of an OVPD officer working as part of the DUI task force. Just south of West Magee Road the officer noticed the vehicle drifting several times into both adjacent lanes. The officer initiated the stop at East Hardy Road.Upon making contact with the driver, the officer indicated in his report that the man behind the wheel had “red, watery and bloodshot eyes” and suffered from slow speech and a flush face. The officer also indicated that the odor of intoxicants emanated from the vehicle. Furthermore, the officer soon learned that the man was driving without his license, which was issued in Mexico. The officer also learned that the vehicle did not belong to the driver, but instead to the man sitting in the passenger seat.After running the driver through several field sobriety tests which further indicated potential intoxication, the officer conducted a preliminary breath test and received a reading of .128 blood alcohol content.The man was then placed under arrest for DUI and driving on a suspended license, underwent a blood draw and was later released to the owner of the vehicle – who gave no indication of having drank alcohol after tests were run.

  • Police Beat: Dec. 14

    Date night gone badThe Pima County Sherriff’s Department was called to deal with one man’s serious dissatisfaction with food service after he tried to skip out on paying his bill.The night of Monday, Nov. 28, PCSD deputies responded to Mr. An’s Japanese Restaurant just after 9 p.m. when an employee reported a disturbed customer – possibly on drugs – making a scene in the establishment. The complainant stated that the man was telling employees how to do their jobs and loudly arguing with the owner outside of the restaurant.Upon arrival deputies made contact with the complainant, and at the same time the man in question approached authorities. Deputies were informed that the man has earlier entered the restaurant with a female, who was later identified as the man’s girlfriend, and ordered an appetizer, two entrees, two drinks and a bottle of wine. During the service, the man was allegedly so rude that the restaurant was forced to replace the server working the table.After the management tried to comp the man’s bottle of wine, he grew more irate and continued to complain, the deputy indicated in his report. After a trip to the bathroom, the man allegedly left the restaurant – and his nearly $100 bill.

  • Police Beat: Dec. 7

    When crime doesn’t payAn officer, who responded to a detained shoplifter at Kohls, 7785 N. Oracle Road, was told by an employee that a female was seen on a security camera taking off a security tag from a jewelry item.The detained shoplifter was them seen trying to take off the packaging, but wasn’t able, so she put the package back. Then the “shopper” went on to five candles, took off the barcodes and put the candles in her purse. Next on the list was a Nike tank top and sweater. She went into the fitting room, but exited with the sweater in her hand, which she returned.Outside the store she was confronted by security and in the security office, the tank top was discovered on her, but under her clothes. She admitted she stole the candles and the tank top.The reporting offer read her rights, then she told the offer that she came into the store intending to buy the candles for Thanksgiving decorations, but decided because they cost more than she could afford, she’d take them. She put the tank top on when she went into the fitting room and tore the tag off. She admitted she intended to steal these items. 

  • Police Beat: Drilled for bad behavior

    One man failed to keep his temper under control while trying to return some goods to a local Home Depot, warranting intervention from the Oro Valley Police Department.Just before noon on Monday, Oct. 3, the manager of Home Depot in Oro Valley informed OVPD of an irate man refusing to leave the store, advising the dispatcher that the individual reportedly “became belligerent” when the manager of the store refused to take back two handheld drills.According to the police report, when officers arrived they were informed that the man ran out of the store and entered into a smile white sedan. One officer noted in his report that “as they were saying this, a white sedan passed me” heading in the same direction indicated by dispatch.After following the vehicle the officer initiated a stop, and was able to positively identify the man based on a description given by the store manager. In the report the officer indicated that after making contact with the man, he “could see there were [two] Dewalt drills on the passenger seat in plain view.”When asked if the man had recently left Home Depot he reportedly told the officer that he had been to a nearby Taco Bell. When pressed further, the man continued to deny being at Home Depot.Upon providing his identification, the officer noted in his report that during the stop the man had a “nasty attitude,” and “kept hanging his arms outside of the car.”

  • Police Beat: Concerned citizen calls in dreadful driver

    The actions of one area resident led to the arrest of a drunk driver with a serious case of heavy foot.On Wednesday, Oct. 5 around 7 p.m., an OVPD officer was dispatched on a call regarding a vehicle traveling northbound on North Oracle Road near West Magee Road seen by another driver switching lanes erratically and swerving, A second call received a short time later informed police that the vehicle was then seen pulling into a nearby Circle K.Upon arriving in the area the officer noted in his report that he observed a vehicle matching a previously given description leaving the convenience store, and was able to follow the driver, heading northbound at West Calle Concordia.In a fully marked police Tahoe, the officer reported pacing the vehicle at 62 miles per hour before it fluctuated in speed and began “weaving within its lane.” The officer indicated he observed the vehicle cross over the lane hash lines on two separate occasions before conducting a traffic stop near North First Avenue. After making contact and identifying the driver, who had a sole additional occupant within the vehicle, the driver indicated to the officer that he did not know what the posted speed limit was in the area and had no mechanical issues with his vehicle. While interacting with the driver the officer indicated in his report that he did “observe a slight odor of intoxicants emanating from the vehicle.” Additionally, the officer indicated that the driver’s movements “were slow and deliberate as he attempted to locate the requested documents from his glove compartment.” The officer also noted that the man’s speech “appeared slow and mumbled at times,” that his eyes were “red, watery and bloodshot” and that he had a “flushed face.”

  • Police Beat: Employee caught with sticky fingers

    One department store employee wasn’t as sneaky as he thought while pursuing his own employer for items to shoplift, landing himself in custody.An officer from OVPD was dispatched to a call to a local Kohl’s department store just after 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in reference to an employee caught stealing items from the store when he was caught on-camera by loss prevention.Arriving on scene, the officer was brought to the store’s back room to speak with the employee in-question. After being Mirandized the man admitted to going into the store with the intent to shop for some items. Upon arrival, the man told the officer that he took a pair of headphones valued at $49.99 off of the display and removed them from the box before placing them in his pocket before placing the open container in a towel display. After shopping and paying for some other items, the man reportedly walked past all of the points of sale with the earphones still hidden away.After being pressed further on the matter the man admitted to having previously stolen items from the department store – totaling about $126 in merchandise. The man was cited and released for criminal damage and shoplifting and verbally told he was trespassed from store.


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