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NewsNet 6-25-13

RIO NUEVO BOARD APPROVES $7.8M IN TCC IMPROVEMENTS - At their meeting yesterday, the Rio Nuevo board approved a $7.8M project to improve the Tucson Convention Center Arena. The project includes new seats, a new scoreboard, new A/V equipment and signage, renovations to the breezeway, bathrooms, concession stands and more. The construction schedule is yet to be determined, and the work will have to be done between shows. The new seats will come first. Story from the Star here, from KOLD/KMSB here.

U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS: ONLINE SALES COST CITIES AND COUNTIES BILLIONS - Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities, according to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. They estimate the lost revenue for America's largest cities and counties came to about $2.8 billion for 2011 and 2012, combined. Among the cities studied, New York City is estimated to have missed out on the most amount of money, at more than $205 million in 2012. Phoenix follows with $18 million; Chicago is next, with $17 million. From NPR.

PIMA COUNTY DEVELOPING ROAD REPAIR PLAN FOR GREEN VALLEY’S STREETS - Pima County Transportation Director Priscilla Cornelio is drafting a $5 million road-repair plan, work on which could start as soon as July 1 and involve some Green Valley streets. The repairs will be funded by the County’s general fund. Streets in all five county supervisor districts will be identified and specific fixes determined then listed in a formal proposal, to be approved by county officials before details are released. About 62% of Pima County’s general fund comes from its primary property tax, about 41% of which is collected from taxpayers in the City of Tucson. From the Green Valley News.

GROUP WANTS 'A' MOUNTAIN SHRINE REMOVED - A national group dedicated to keeping church and state separate is pressuring the city to remove a two-decades-old religious shrine from 'A' Mountain. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter Friday to City Manager Richard Miranda asking the city remove or relocate to private property the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine from a small grotto on the southeast slope of the mountain. City officials say the shrine isn't hurting anyone and they're not inclined to take it down anytime soon. From the Star.

TO ACCOMMODATE FIREWORKS DISPLAY, 'A' MOUNTAIN TO CLOSE FROM JULY 3RD TO 5TH - The 17th Annual July 4th fireworks celebration atop 'A' Mountain will restrict user access to Sentinel Peak Park. In order to accommodate the fireworks display, Sentinel Peak Road will be closed at noon on Wednesday, July 3, and will reopen to all traffic on Friday, July 5, at noon. For information contact Wayne Barnett, District Superintendent, at 791-5909. Read the news release from Parks & Rec here.