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NewsNet 7-12-13

STATE DENIES LIQUOR LICENSE TO EL CON WAL-MART - Last night the Arizona State Liquor Board voted unanimously to deny Wal-Mart's application for a liquor license at their new El Con Mall location, near Broadway and Country Club. Board members listed an undue disruption to the neighborhoods surrounding the mall, and long hours of sale, as some of the reasons they rejected the license. About 80 midtown residents attended the hearing, which began at 1 p.m. and ended with the vote about 9 p.m. Wal-Mart plans to open the new store this fall. From the Star.

UNION PACIFIC TRAIN DERAILS NEAR 16TH & TOOLE - A Union Pacific freight train derailed this morning at about 6 a.m. near the intersection of East 16th Street and Toole Ave., displacing at least eight empty boxcars from the tracks, and causing detours at rail intersections south to 22nd St. near Santa Rita Park. 22nd Street has since re-opened, but the intersection at 16th Street remains closed. Captain Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, says he expects it to be re-opened by 5 p.m. today. Story from the Star here, story from KOLD/KMSB here.

TPD STILL SEEKING INFORMATION ON SUSPECTED POLICE IMPERSONATION INCIDENTS - The Tucson Police Department would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have been pulled over by police impersonators. At approximately 1:00 a.m. on June 20, 2013, two males in a vehicle, which had been outfitted to resemble an unmarked police car, affected a traffic stop on another civilian vehicle in the 4900 block of East 5th Street. The Tucson Police Department Air Unit happened to be in the area and observed the vehicles stopped in the roadway. The personnel in the helicopter immediately recognized that the traffic stop did not appear to be a normal traffic stop due to the lighting on the simulated police vehicle, the positioning of the vehicles on the roadway, etc. As such, they illuminated the vehicles involved in the fake traffic stop and requested assistance from patrol units on the ground. Two men were subsequently arrested on charges relating to Attempted Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Impersonating a Peace Officer. The investigation is, however, ongoing. TPD is requesting anyone who believes he/she may have been a victim of this type of crime to call 911 or 88-CRIME. Read the news release from TPD.

REP. RON BARBER: $3.3 MILLION IN GRANTS WILL HELP SOUTHERN ARIZONAS HOMELESS VETS - U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today welcomed an announcement that homeless and at-risk veterans and their families will benefit from nearly $3.3 million in grants awarded to three Tucson organizations by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "It is a national disgrace that so many men and women who stepped forward to serve our nation have found themselves either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," Barber said today. This funding will help three Southern Arizona organizations assist veterans and their families. The announcement follows Mayor Rothschild's recent declaration of Tucson's goal to end veterans' homelessness by 2015. News release from U.S. Rep. Ron Barber here, news conference from Mayor Jonathan Rothschild on ending veterans homelessness here.

FINAL SUMMER SAFARI TONIGHT AT REID PARK ZOO: MILITARY NIGHT - Tonight is Military Night at the Reid Park Zoo, and the final night of this year's Summer Safari Friday Nights series. Military personnel will receive one free adult admission with paid child admission. Activities include photo instruction from the Jones Photo table. Crafts provided by Texas Roadhouse, Happy Family Foods, and Pima Air and Space Museum. Live entertainment provided by Tucson Bandstand. Read the info page from the Reid Park Zoo.