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NewsNet 10-16-13

CITY’S SECOND STREETCAR DELIVERED - The second of eight Sun Link modern streetcar vehicles was delivered to the City’s Operations and Maintenance facility this morning just after 4 a.m. Removing the vehicle from the flatbed transport that delivered it from its manufacturer in Oregon was easier this time than it was when the first vehicle was delivered. With the system’s overhead electrical lines now energized, the new vehicle was able to move into the facility under its own power. From KOLD/KMSB.

SURVEY: U.S. CITIES REDUCED HEALTH CARE, PENSION BENEFITS IN 2013 - Nearly one-quarter of U.S. cities reduced health care benefits for their employees in 2013, and one out of every five reduced pension benefits, according to a survey by the National League of Cities released last week. Eighty percent of the 350 city finance officers polled in the NLC's 28th annual City Fiscal Conditions Report said their city's ability to meet its budget needs had been negatively affected by its employee health benefit costs, more than any other factor cited in the survey. Seventy-five percent said pension costs were having a negative impact on their city's budget obligations. From Business Insurance.

RELIGIOUS GROUP TO LEAD VOLUNTEER CLEAN-UP IN SANTA CRUZ RIVERBED THIS SATURDAY - Members of the Tucson Arizona West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will participate in a community service project, cleaning the Santa Cruz riverbed and area parks from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on October 19, 2013. The event is in cooperation with Ward 1, Tucson Parks and Recreation, Pima County, and Tucson Clean and Beautiful. Volunteers will be working to clean up 12 Westside parks in Ward 1, making this the largest single-day volunteer cleanup effort this year. It is expected that a minimum of 400 people will participate.

SOUTH TUCSON, PIMA COUNTY FINALIZE DEAL OVER JAIL DEBT - After being delinquent on its jail bill for a decade, it the City of South Tucson has finally reached a settlement with Pima County. The small city’s bill to date is nearly $2M, about 20% of their annual budget. Under the agreement, they will pay the County $150,000 up front. The county will forgive about $700,000 in accumulated interest, and the $1.1 million balance will be paid monthly over a ten year period. "We hope it won't take ten years," said South Tucson interim city manager Luis Gonzales. "But we want people to know South Tucson pays its debts." From the Star.

VIOLET TURACO CHICKS HATCHED AT CITY’S REID PARK ZOO - The City’s Reid Park Zoo has announced the hatching of two baby violet turaco chicks. Both of the parents took part in incubating the two hatchlings for about 25 days. The chicks were born with black and brown feathers. This species of bird can be found in Central Africa in a variety of habitats. In the wild, the birds have a crown of red feathers on their head, purple feathers on their body and a bright orange and yellow beak. Zoo visitors can now see these birds up-close in the Flight Connection walk-through aviary. From KVOA.