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NewsNet 11-7-13

MARSHALL HOME FOR MEN TO HONOR VETERANS TODAY WITH FLAG RAISING CEREMONY - Today at 2 p.m., the Sunnyside High School ROTC, as well as students from Walden Grove and Sahuarita High Schools will celebrate Veterans Day with a Flag raising ceremony at the Marshall Home For Men, 3314 S. 16th Avenue. The Walden Grove High School robotics team helped raise funds to purchase a new flag and turkeys for Thanksgiving. In addition, the team will spend time with the home's residents.

COUNCIL MOVES AHEAD WITH PLAN TO SEEK STATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTING CERTAIN RIDERS - At their study session yesterday, M&C directed staff to take steps toward applying to a state program officials believe could reimburse the City for about $9 per trip on Sun Van for certain riders. Under the program, riders eligible for services from the Developmental Disabilities Division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security would not have to pay any fare, since the cost is included in the state reimbursement. Sun Van will incur some immediate costs to qualify, however. Drivers would need first-aid training, a fingerprint clearance card, among other requirements. These will be considered a change in working conditions under Sun Van's labor agreement with the Teamsters Local #104, with the potential to increase Sun Van's labor costs. In a report presented to M&C by staff, annual revenue from this program was projected at about $450K, and first-year start-up costs to be about $194K, resulting in an estimate of about $256K in first-year savings to the City's General Fund. But the report cautions that these projections only include certification and training costs, and do not include potential increases to Sun Van's labor costs. From the Star. Read the M&C memo re: potential reimbursement opportunities here, read the summary of projected financial impacts here.

CINCINNATI VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY REJECT INITIATIVE TO REPLACE PENSION SYSTEM WITH 401K-STYLE PLAN - In the City of Cincinnati, Ohio's general election Tuesday, 78% of City voters said no to a plan to phase out the City's pension system and replace it with a 401(k)-style plan for newly hired employees. A private group known as the Cincinnati for Pension Reform Committee gathered enough signatures last summer to place a charter amendment on the ballot. A similar initiative was initially expected to go on the City of Tucson's 2013 ballot as Proposition 201, but was ordered off the ballot by a court after opponents of the initiative prevailed in a lawsuit challenging the validity of its petition signatures. From WCPO Cincinnati.

TUCSON LAWYER APPOINTED TO PIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT BENCH - Governor Jan Brewer today appointed D. Douglas Metcalf yesterday to the Pima County Superior Court. Mr. Metcalf had been a partner with the law firm of Lewis and Roca since 2000, focusing primarily on commercial litigation, state and federal tax issues, and employment law. He also has criminal, appellate and administrative law experience. The appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Howard Hantman. From KVOA.

GIFFORDS AND KELLY TO BE GRAND MARSHALS AT UA HOMECOMING PARADE - Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly will be grand marshals for Saturday's University of Arizona Homecoming parade, according to the Arizona Alumni Association. The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. near First Street and Cherry Avenue, and will head across the Mall toward University Blvd., then back to Campbell Avenue. Student groups build the floats every year. This year, the reunion classes of 1963, 1988 and 2003 will walk in the parade. From KOLD/KMSB.