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NewsNet 04-30-14

NATIONAL MAYORS' CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION ENDS TODAY - After leading the Wyland Foundation's National Mayors' Challenge for Water Conservation for most of this month, Tucson now is in second place for similar-sized cities whose residents pledged to save water. Corpus Christi, Texas, is now the leader in the 300,000-599,999 city population category. Last year, Tucson won the friendly competition. You can take the pledge at MyWaterPledge.com.

EMERGENCY AGENCIES ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE PART IN 'AMERICA'S PREPAREATHON' - The Tucson Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (a combined Police and Fire Special Operation), along with FEMA, are inviting you take part in America's PrepareAthon. The nationwide campaign's National Day of Action is today. Learn how to prepare for a wildfire, flood, tornado, or hurricane. Resources enable individuals, organizations and communities to take action for relevant local hazards through drills, group discussion, and community exercises. Register for America's PrepareAthon!

REPORT: ARIZONA PROVIDED BENEFITS TO INMATES AND DECEASED - Arizona provided food stamps and welfare benefits to some people behind bars, and others who are dead, according to a new report. The study by the State Auditor General’s Office said the Department of Economic Security (DES) does not routinely check to see whether those receiving benefits are in prison. Staffers said a random check found several instances in which inmates were receiving benefits. The report also found instances in which DES authorized benefits for people who had died. In some cases, the electronic benefit cards were used after their deaths. A DES spokeswoman says the cases amount to a small percentage of the more than 1.1 million households who receive benefits. Auditors suggested improvements in procedures and DES says it will implement those suggestions. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.

ARIZONA OFFICIALS SAY STATE EFFORT TO CURB I-D THEFT AT GAS PUMPS IS WORKING - Arizonans who swiped their debit or credit cards at the gas pump put themselves at risk of identity theft just a few years ago, when the use of small, illegal card-reading devices called "skimmers" was prevalent. In 2010, at Gov. Jan Brewer's direction, state regulators began training and inspection efforts to locate skimmers illicitly hidden in gas pumps. Just two of the devices were discovered last year from among 1,349 gas-pump inspections, down from 13 found in 2012 and an all-time high of at least 30 on pumps in the summer of 2010. So far in 2014, 426 locations have been inspected, with no devices found. One of the primary steps the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures took to fight skimmers was to add a skimmer check to each state inspector's list of items to review at a gas station. That immediately increased the number of gas pumps that were checked. Read more from azcentral.com.

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), began crack sealing work this morning at Golf Links Road from Craycroft Road to Aviation Parkway. The work will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The crack sealing work on Golf Links Road is scheduled to be finished by Friday. During this work, travel restrictions will be in place, but at least two lanes of travel will be maintained in both directions. The pavement preservation project is part of the $100 million, five-year Road Recovery bond program. Read the news release. 
Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report