Marana town worker, project earn top awards

One Town of Marana employee and one project are recipients of awards given by the Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Public Services General Manager Barbara Johnson earned a professional award of merit, and work on the Yuma Wash/Silverbell Road Interceptor was named top medium-sized project.

Johnson has been with the town since December 2006. She started as public works director and was named as one of the town's two general managers in 2008. Johnson oversees the airport, capital improvement projects, operations and maintenance and the utilities department.

Through multiple partnerships with the private sector, the town preserved vital Native American artifacts while improving an important roadway and added an important regional park during the Yuma Wash/Silverbell Road project. The road opened on time for the 2008 holiday season, and Crossroads at Silverbell Park opened last month.

The Yuma Wash/Silverbell Road project also won a Common Ground Award from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance last October.

APWA awards are being given March 24 during a luncheon at the Manning House in Tucson. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $20 per person.




NW station has an open house 10-1 Saturday

Northwest Fire District firefighters plan on fun, food and safety this Saturday, March 20, when they host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Station 32, 4151 W. Camino del Cerro.

Visitors can squirt targets with a fire hose, climb up in the fire engine, and get a close-up look at equipment, a release said. Firefighters are leading tours of the station, and safety specialists are giving away bicycle helmets and safety information.

"Top off the visit by munching Firehouse Hot dogs and chips, and chatting with the firefighters, and it will be a great time," the invitation said.

All ages are welcome.


Golf raises money for computer lab

The third annual Raising Funds 4 Raising Kids Golf Classic is this Saturday, March 20, at the Forty Niner Country Club, located at 12000 East Tanque Verde Road.

Proceeds from the 2010 Raising Funds for Raising Kids Golf Classic go directly towards the purchase of a new computer lab for both La Paloma's Lakeside and Central campuses, allowing more students to use the computers at any given time.

Joining golfers on the greens will be Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, local KRQQ radio personality Obi Wankanobi, and Tucson Fire Chief Patrick Kelly.

Registration for the tournament begins at 7 a.m. Entry is $90 per player or $350 for a golf foursome. The fee includes greens fee, cart, range balls, lunch, a La Paloma Academy polo shirt and a raffle ticket. The format is a four-man scramble – pick your own team, three drives per person.

For more information go to


Daughter wakes, family escapes mobile home fire

A family of three escaped injury when their mobile home caught fire early Sunday morning.

Donald Baldwin, 50, his wife Jenny, 54, and their 16-year-old daughter, Tonia, escaped the flames after Tonia smelled smoke and found the trailer ablaze at 2959 W. Sage Circle, close to I-10 south of River Road.

One of the family's three Rottweiler puppies was not able to escape and was later found dead by fire crews.

"The home did not have any working smoke detectors, and the family is lucky to be alive after this incident," according to a release from Northwest Fire District.

A full alarm consisting of 21 firefighters responded to the blaze. Crews were able to control the fire in 16 minutes, and kept the flames from two nearby mobile homes. The call came in at 2:38 a.m.

Investigators found the fire began due to an accidental electrical issue in an office area of the home. Damage is estimated to be $20, 000. Northwest Community Assistance Program and the Red Cross are assisting the family with needs.


DM Rotary has scholarships for Marana, MVHS

Applications from seniors at Marana and Mountain View high schools are being taken for the Dove Mountain Rotary Club's $2,000 college scholarships.

Forms can be obtained at the schools' counseling office or at the Rotary club's website,

Completed applications are due to the school counselors by Friday, April 2.




Sun Shuttle open houses in Marana, OV

Open house events are being conducted in Marana and Oro Valley to share information and get feedback about proposed changes to Sun Shuttle routes.

The Regional Transportation Authority is meeting with people Monday, March 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Heritage Highlands Clubhouse in Marana, and Wednesday, March 24, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Oro Valley Town Hall.

Topics of discussion are proposed changes in Sun Shuttle Route 412, serving Marana, and Route 402, serving Oro Valley.

Funded by the RTA and launched in May 2009, Sun Shuttle provides neighborhood transportation and connections to Sun Tran service in Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, Sahuarita, Green Valley, San Xavier and Tucson Estates.

For more information, visit or call Sun Tran's Customer Service Center at (520) 792-9222 (for persons with hearing and speech impairments, call TDD: 520-628-1565). Persons with disabilities needing accommodations or alternate formats, please call (520) 206-8881.




Fire claims Picture Rocks resident, 55

An afternoon fire Wednesday, March 10, claimed the life of a Picture Rocks woman.

Betty Chrestman, 55, lived in a single-wide mobile home at 10503 N. Wasson Ave.

Members of the Northwest, Picture Rocks and Avra Valley fire departments responded to a call at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, finding the trailer fully involved. Initial responders declared a "defensive" fire operation, with heavy flames impeding their ability to enter, according to a release from the Northwest Fire District.

In addition, firefighters encountered a downed power line used as a service line to the trailer on fire. The power line was "hot" or still charged, and fell upon a chain link fence that surrounded the mobile home.  Firefighters continued their efforts while avoiding the fence area, the release said. Trico Electric Cooperative shut down power to the line.

Crews found Chrestman inside.

Investigators from the Pima County Sheriff's Office Fire Cause unit were on the scene.

One Picture Rocks firefighter was transported to a local hospital for evaluation of a heat-related illness after the initial firefighting efforts.

No damage amount has been provided.

Units arrived within nine minutes of the 911 call, and had the fire under control in 40 minutes.


Amphi supe to serve as state  board leader

Amphitheater Unified School District Superintendent Vicki Balentine has been elected to serve a second term as president of the Arizona State Board of Education. 

Former Governor Janet Napolitano first appointed Balentine to the state board in 2005.

She served as its president throughout 2008 and as board vice president in 2007 and 2009. 

Balentine has worked in public education in Tucson for more than 33 years as a teacher, principal and administrator.

The Arizona State Board of Education is comprised of 11 members, the governor appoints 10 of the members. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction also serves on the board. Members of the state board represent K-12 education, higher education, charter schools and the public.

Balentine serves as the K-12 public education representative on the board. The state board is charged with setting education rules, policies and procedures for Arizona.



Sun Tran runs shuttles to weekend air show

Ran Sun Tran is providing shuttle service to Aerospace & Arizona Days 2010 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base this Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21.

Buses carry passengers directly to the air show entrance. Attendees to the event can avoid traffic congestion, parking restrictions and excessive walking by riding Sun Tran's shuttle, a release said.

Passengers may board the shuttle at:

Park Place Mall – Located at 5870 E. Broadway, enter from Wilmot onto Park Place Drive and follow the signs to the lot.

El Pueblo Neighborhood Center – Located at 101 W. Irvington Road on the southwest corner of Irvington Road and 6th Avenue/Nogales Highway.  Enter from 6th Avenue/Nogales Highway and park in the southernmost lot.

Shuttles run continuously to the base from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Return service to boarding locations runs continuously until the last shuttle leaves the base at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday and 4:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Round trip full-fare tokens are available at boarding locations for $2.50. The fare for seniors 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and Medicare card holders is $1.25. Children five and under ride free. Only cash is accepted, and exact change is appreciated.

All buses are wheelchair-accessible

Davis-Monthan security restricts visitors from bringing certain objects on base, including backpacks, lawn chairs, coolers, large purses and bags, water, balloons, military uniforms worn by non-military members and weapons of any kind. Camera and diaper bags are permitted, but will be searched thoroughly.

For specific route times and bus information, consult Sun Tran's Ride Guide, visit, or call Sun Tran's Customer Service Center at 792-9222. For information about Aerospace & Arizona Days 2010, visit


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.