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NewsNet 01-09-14

GIFFORDS COMMEMORATES JAN. 8 BY SKYDIVING - Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords marked the third anniversary of Tucson's mass shootings by skydiving near Tucson. She says the jump was her way of saying "I'm alive." Giffords, who is still recovering from a gunshot wound and partial paralysis sustained in the January 8th, 2011 shootings, jumped in tandem with a Navy Seal while family, friends, and fellow Tucsonan Savannah Guthrie from NBC's Today Show watched. Just before the jump, Vice President Joe Biden called Giffords and told her she had more "spunk" than the ten best people he knows. Watch the jump and an interview with Giffords.

TUCSON'S SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE PROVIDING VALUABLE ASSISTANCE - Approximately 60 small business owners have called the Small Business Assistance Line since it launched recently. The dedicated phone number, (520) 837-4100, is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls about taxes, permits, etc. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 new business incentives, streamlined permit processes and more, to make the City of Tucson more business-friendly. Watch one business owner's story at KOLD/KMSB.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL APPROVE LOCAL FILM INCENTIVE - In an effort to lure filmmakers back to Tucson, Mayor and Council yesterday directed City staff to prepare an ordinance that would provide an incentive for film production. The incentive will give films with a production cost of at least $2 million a rent discount on City-owned or City-operated property (such as the Tucson Convention Center). Without incentives, major productions will continue to bypass Tucson, said Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. City Staff will return to the Council with a final ordinance at a later date. At one point, the State of Arizona offered film incentives, but those expired several years ago and never were re-authorized. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Read Mayor & Council Memorandum.

U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICANS PREPARE PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL - House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican leadership team are preparing to release their principles for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws later this month, the Speaker told members at a closed-door conference Wednesday. House Republicans hope to release the plan near the end of the month, before President Obama’s State of the Union address and before their annual retreat. While the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill last year, House Republicans have said that they prefer a piecemeal approach, with several small bills, instead of one large one. Read the story from the New York Times.

DAVIS-MONTHAN TO HOST F-16s FROM OUT OF STATE AS PART OF OPERATION SNOWBIRD - D-M will begin its hosting of Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcons beginning Saturday. Twelve F-16s from the South Dakota Air National Guard are scheduled to operate in Tucson Jan. 11 - 25. Ten F-16s from the New Jersey Air National Guard will be in Tucson Feb. 18 - March 8. Residents can expect to see and hear more F-16 traffic in and out of Davis-Monthan during these training dates. D-M says pilots will adhere to all normal arrival, departure and noise abatement procedures. Read the story from KVOA.