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NewsNet 02-12-14

PIMA COUNTY FOLLOWS CITY OF TUCSON AS 'IMMIGRANT-WELCOMING' COMMUNITY - Pima County Supervisors yesterday voted unanimously to follow Tucson and designate the County as an area that welcomes immigrants. Supporters say the non-binding resolution will encourage tourism and honor those living legally in the County. The two-page resolution says Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner and second-largest market for U.S. exports. It also says an estimated 400,000 people and 15,000 containers cross the U.S.-Mexico border legally every year, and an estimated six million jobs in the United States are tied to trade with Mexico. The Tucson Mayor and City Council passed a similar immigrant-welcoming designation more than a year ago. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

LOCAL ENGINEER PRAISES CITY OF TUCSON'S ANNEXATION DEPARTMENT -  Tucson engineer Bill Carroll says the City's annexation policies have improved over the years and his latest dealings with Tucson were very positive. Carroll - who has experience in leading transportation, wastewater, and development teams - recently was involved in planning for an unincorporated subdivision near Bear Canyon Road. Initially, he thought the location and some other circumstances would preclude the project from being annexed into the City, but he said everything has turned out fine and the City was very helpful. Annexations into cities and towns bring in construction sales taxes, permit fees and state shared revenues to help pay the cost of providing government services to residents and businesses. Read Carroll's story from Trend Report.

MEET THE WORLD'S LARGEST RODENT AT THE REID PARK ZOO - Wesley is a special animal at the Reid Park Zoo. The capybara is trained to touch a ball with his nose and stand on his feet for food. The capybara, from South America, is the world's largest rodent and lives in savannas and dense forests near bodies of water. Watch video of Wesley in action on Tucson 12.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA'S MINORITY STUDENT RETENTION RATE SETS RECORD - The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate for ethnic minorities enrolled full time at the University of Arizona was 80.9 percent for the first time, according to statistics just released by the school. The retention rate for all new students who began in 2012 was 81.5 percent. The figures put the UA on track to meet Arizona Board of Regents 2020 goals, which aim for a freshman retention rate of 85-90 percent at all of the State's three universities. The UA credits its use of collaborative work teams that examined policies, instructional approaches, the use of technology, and diverse perspectives for the improved results. Read more from UA News.

HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service. Visit Tucson Water for more information.