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NewsNet 12-11-13

CITY OF TUCSON, ALLSTATE, TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT AND LIVING STREETS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCE NEW BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN SAFETY CAMPAIGN - The new "Tucson on 2" (two feet, two wheels) safety campaign focuses on protecting the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists through targeted education, traffic engineering and law enforcement. New solar-powered signs are being added that have blinking lights to draw attention to drivers, warning them they may encounter cyclists or pedestrians ahead.  The message is to "Look Twice." The first sign was installed yesterday at Santa Rita Park, on East 22nd Street, where two pedestrians were killed by cars recently.  The "Look Twice" message also will appear on bus stops and safety kits being distributed around the city. Read more at tucsonaz.gov and watch the story at KVOA.

STATE BUDGETS IMPROVING, BUT GROWTH STILL BELOW HISTORIC RATES - State budgets are slowly improving, but are still below their pre-recession peaks, according to the latest report from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). The study highlights low revenue growth for FY 2014, when states are expected to take in just 0.8 percent more than they did the previous year. Scott Pattison, Executive Director of NASBO, says even if the projections are overly conservative, that's still dramatically different from FY 2013's 5.7 percent growth rate. Pattison attributes slow growth to taxpayers changing the timing of when they collected income, in order to avoid higher federal tax rates that were set to begin Jan. 1, 2013, and states cutting taxes. Read the story from Governing.

TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT AGREES TO SELL CLOSED WRIGHTSTOWN ELEMENTARY TO HOMEBUILDER - The TUSD Governing Board last night unanimously approved a $1.6 million deal for a residential development on the now-closed Wrightstown Elementary School marking the first time district has transferred ownership of one of its closed schools. Mahalo Development, LLC plans to build up to 80 single family homes on the 9.2-acre property at 8950 E. Wrightstown Road. The sale is conditional on the approval of the federal court, which is overseeing the districts desegregation efforts, and the successful rezoning of the property. Read the story from the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON-AREA HOME SALES FALL, PRICES RISE - The number of home sales in the Tucson area fell in November, while sales prices rose, according to the latest figures from the Tucson Association of Realtors. The Realtors Multiple Listing Service report shows 993 listed homes were sold in November, down 17 percent from October and down 6 percent from November 2012. The average sales price of $191,763 in November essentially was flat from October, but up 5 percent from the same month last year. Read the story in the Arizona Daily Star.

2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN THIS WEEKEND - The monthly, free, family-friendly event this Saturday runs from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. The main stage at Scott Avenue and Congress Street features musical groups,and there are plenty of activities for children. Food from vendors and downtown eateries will be available. Street parking is free on Saturdays, or you can pay $3 to park in the Pennington Street Garage. Visit 2nd Saturdays Downtown.