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NewsNet 11-21-13

TRAFFIC ALERT: EXPECT DELAYS SATURDAY DUE TO EL TOUR AND UA FOOTBALL GAME - Expect major traffic delays Saturday as UA football fans try to get to campus while riders in El Tour de Tucson cycle around the city. Bicyclists in the 107-mile race are expected to cause intermittent delays along Mission and Drexel roads shortly after the race begins at 7 a.m., with the pack beginning to thin out as the course winds along Nogales Highway and Hughes Access Road. The race route will cause many delays for fans heading to the University of Arizona campus and elsewhere. People attending the UA game and all citizens should plan their trips accordingly. Read the story in the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER HAS NEW INTERIM DIRECTOR - Tucson Deputy Police Chief Sharon Allen is the new interim director of the Tucson Convention Center, replacing Martin Carey, who took over the role of finance administrator for the TCC. Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda says he shifted Carey to the finance position because Rachel Duarte is leaving that position, due to city rules that prohibit retirees from returning to work for longer than 18 months. Although Duarte’s term doesn’t expire until January, Miranda says he made the move now to maintain continuity as the TCC transitions toward hiring a private management company to run the facility. Read the story in the Arizona Daily Star.

SUN LINK STREETCAR CONSTRUCTION NEAR UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA REACHES MILESTONE -  For the first time since July 2, 2012, the Warren Avenue Underpass will reopen to pedestrians this Friday. The Warren Avenue Underpass will be a pedestrian-only and walk-your-bike area so that everyone can safely share the space with the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. The Tucson Modern Streetcar is currently in testing and is expected to begin service for the public this summer. Follow Sun Link construction updates at http://www.tucsonstreetcar.com/.

PIMA ANIMAL CARE CENTER EXPANDING - Construction is underway on an expansion of the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), allowing temporary space for more than 100 dogs. The huge tent at the facility will have heating and air conditioning. The expansion comes as PACC is overcrowded and animals are susceptible to many diseases. Watch the story on Tucson 12.

GREEN PARTY NO LONGER OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED IN ARIZONA ELECTIONS - The Green Party no longer will be recognized in statewide elections due to a lack of registered voters identifying themselves as party members. Elections officials said Wednesday that all state-recognized political parties in Arizona must have at least 21,499 electors, or 5 percent of voters in the last election, to qualify for continued representation on the ballot. At last count, the Green Party in Arizona had about 5,600 registered voters on its rolls, said Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. The party is circulating petitions to help regain official recognition in 2014. To do that, the party must file 23,041 valid signatures with the Secretary of State by Feb. 27. Read the story in the Arizona Republic.