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Tucson NewsNet

NewsNet 03-20-14

ANALYST: WILDCATS HAVE THIRD-HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF WINNING NCAA TOURNAMENT - Political and sports analyst Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight.com, picks the Arizona Wildcats as third most-likely team to win the NCAA basketball tournament, after Louisville and Florida respectively. The statistician gives the Wildcats a 13 percent probability of winning the championship game. The Cats (30-4) top the West division of the tournament. They face Weber State (19-11), beginning at 11:10 a.m. tomorrow in San Diego. The game will be televised on TNT. Silver accurately predicted the outcome of the 2008 presidential election in 49 of the 50 states and all 35 U.S. Senate races that year. In 2012, he correctly predicted the presidential winner of all 50 states and 31 of 33 U.S. Senate races.

TUCSON PROCEEDS WITH PRE-ANNEXATION AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT OF 163 ACRES ON SOUTHEAST SIDE - The Mayor and Tucson City Council this week voted to move ahead with the process of annexing land at South Kolb Road and East Valencia Road. The goal is to bring in more tax revenue from future retail sales in the proposed commercial development, while also growing Tucson's portion of state shared tax revenue. Tucson's Annexation Manager Mike Czechowski tells Arizona Public Media the Century Park Marketplace site's retail development will be a few years away, but there is a desire for retail development in the Rita Ranch area.  Changes to the Valencia and Kolb roadway intersection are planned, but those will be done by the Regional Transportation Authority, not the City. Watch the interview at Arizona Public Media.

FOURTH AVENUE STREET FAIR THIS WEEKEND - The Street Fair begins tomorrow and runs from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., through Sunday. The Fair takes place on Fourth Avenue, between Ninth Street and University Blvd. The free event features more than 400 arts and crafts booths, food vendors, musicians, street performers, and a hands-on art pavilion for children. Visit the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association's website for parking and road closure information.

TUCSON IN CONTEST FOR 'BEST U.S. CYCLING TOWN' - USA Today and 10Best.com, a travel content website, are asking readers to vote daily for their favorite cycling city. Tucson is one of the 20 nominees from which to choose and is the only Arizona city on the list. The voting deadline is April 14. Read more about the contest from 10Best.com.

TRAFFIC ALERT: PANTANO ROAD CLOSURE AT TANQUE VERDE ROAD - Southbound Pantano Road, just north of the Tanque Verde Overpass, will be closed temporarily on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 9 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. The closure of the single lane roadway will allow crews from the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division to safely remove and replace a streetlight pole. Traffic on westbound Tanque Verde Road will have access to the Pantano Road off ramp before the bridge to allow motorists to enter the residential area north of Tanque Verde Road. Motorists will not be allowed to travel under the Tanque Verde Road bridge to head south on Pantano Road until the work is complete. Electronic message boards will be in place to notify motorists of the temporary closure. Read the TDOT news release.

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NewsNet 03-19-14

PIMA COUNTY RESIDENTS TO VOTE ON NEW ANIMAL CARE CENTER - Pima County Supervisors voted yesterday to ask voters in November to approve $22 million in bonds to build a new animal shelter. The vote comes almost two weeks after 35 dogs were moved to a large tent built near the current Pima Animal Care Center (4000 N. Silverbell Rd.) to temporarily ease overcrowding. The Pima County Bond Advisory Committee requested the single measure, giving it priority over more than 130 bond projects submitted by various agencies under active consideration by the committee. A larger bond election could be held in 2015. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR CITY OF TUCSON GRANTS - The City is accepting proposals for Economic and Workforce Development Grants and Special Events Grants for Fiscal Year 2015. The development proposals should include items for small business and development, job training and education programs for adults, at-risk youth, and at-risk adults. Special events grants will be awarded to those who help develop the local economy via emerging and established special events that promote the community, economy and tourism. Proposals are due no later than Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4 p.m.

PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT MAKES PROGRESS ON 9-1-1 OUTAGE INVESTIGATION - Pima County continues its investigation as to why its 9-1-1 emergency system went down for more than 20 minutes Monday, and that investigation has answered a couple of questions. A Sheriff's Department news release says two issues have been identified. The first was a telecommunications network issue that led to the interruption in service. That problem has been resolved. An additional software issue that affects some call center workstations has been identified and is being remedied, the release says. Officials say the service interruption affected unincorporated areas of Pima County. During the time the 9-1-1 system was down, it was determined 54 calls were not answered. Once the service was restored, dispatchers immediately attempted to contact all callers to see if they still needed help.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: TUCSON WATER TECHNICIANS - Tucson Water has openings for two Senior Engineer Technicians, in Plant Design and in Distribution Design. Be part of the Tucson area's long-range water planning and engineering to benefit Tucson Water customers. Applications are being accepted through March 25. View the job description.

HOW TO FIND ANSWERS ABOUT CITY SERVICES - Are you looking for a job in the City? Do you need to know how to pay your water bill? How do you request a police report? The answers to these questions and more are available on the new Tucson Answers website. You can search topics or browse categories to get you the answers you need. The site is an example of open source code developed by city governments and non-profit organizations to be adopted and re-used by other cities at no cost. In this case, the site is modeled after a similar site created jointly by the City of Honolulu and Code For America. Tucson Answers also is available via a widget on the City of Tucson's main website.

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NewsNet 03-18-14

CITY'S PRIMARY JOBS INCENTIVE HELPS MINING-TECH COMPANY EXPAND - Modular Mining Systems recently completed a roughly $10 million expansion, adding about 50 new jobs with salaries averaging more than $60,000 per year. The company took advantage of the Primary Jobs Incentive from the City's Economic Initiative Office. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres helped cut the ribbon Friday for the company's new Integrated R+D and Support Center. Modular Mining Systems employs 600 people worldwide, with 225 at its Tucson corporate headquarters, 3285-3289 E. Hemisphere Loop. The Primary Jobs Incentive Program provides a credit of construction sales tax for qualifying expenses such as job-training, public infrastructure improvements and/or offsets to impact fees. The City also waives building permit fees for qualifying projects.

PIMA COUNTY SEEKS ANSWERS ON 9-1-1 OUTAGE - Pima County is trying to figure out why its 9-1-1 emergency system went down for about 20 minutes yesterday. Officials say the interruption in service affected unincorporated areas of Pima County, including the Catalina Foothills, Casas Adobes, and the Town of Sahuarita. During the time the 911 system was down, it was determined 54 calls were not answered. Once the service was restored, dispatchers immediately attempted to contact all callers to see if they still needed help. The Pima County Sheriff's Department is working with its 9-1-1 telecommunications provider, CenturyLink, and equipment supplier, Cassidian Communications, to identify the cause of the interruption and to take action to prevent a repeat incident. Read more from KVOA.

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK BEGINS ON GRANDE AVENUE - Crews from Granite Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), began work today to improve roadway conditions on Grande Avenue, from Congress Street to Starr Pass Boulevard. The project is part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year "Road Recovery" bond program. The project begins with crews lowering manhole and water valve covers. Crews will work Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Because Grande Avenue is a two-lane road, pilot cars and flag crews will be used to direct travel through the work zone. The project is scheduled to be finished by Friday, March 28, 2014. Read the news release from Tucson Department of Transportation.
Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report

TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT (TFD) OFFERS SAFETY TIPS -  Slips and falls are two of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States. They account for nearly 9 million visits to the emergency room every year, according to the National Safety Council. In KGUN9's "No Bad Days With Barrett," TFD Captain Barrett Baker shows you how to stay safe, including throwing away your throw rug.

HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS - Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? Is a tree limb hanging too close over a roadway or sidewalk? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to tdotsr@tucsonaz.gov. You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app for iOS and Android.

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NewsNet 03-17-14

"IF YOU KNEW TOM, YOU KNEW THAT HE LIVED HIS POSITION:" TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT MOURNING LOSS - The Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is mourning the loss of Fire Investigator Tom Quesnel, who died last week from cancer. Quesnel began his career with Tucson Fire in 1989 and became a fire cause investigator in 1994. He was scheduled to retire at the end of next year. Quesnel was known nationally for his knowledge and expertise in investigating major fires throughout the Southwest. Since his illness was determined to be work-related, TFD will fly flags at half-staff and members will wear badge shrouds to honor Tom's life and career.  In addition, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is requesting that all City flags fly at half staff. Read more about Tom Quesnel at TFD Facebook page.

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Crews from Granite Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin work tomorrow to improve the roadway conditions on Kolb Road from Golf Links Road to Wilmot Road via Grant Road north of Tanque Verde Road, and 22nd Street from Kolb Road to Swan Road. These pavement improvement projects are part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year "Road Recovery" bond program. Both projects will begin with crews lowering manhole and water valve covers. The work will take place Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. through Friday, April 18, 2014.  During the utility-lowering phase of the projects, crews will close one travel lane while maintaining two travel lanes in each direction. Read the news release from Tucson Department of Transportation and the Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report.

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT FOR SUN TRAN PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGES AND FARE INCREASES - The City of Tucson is seeking public comment on proposed service changes and fare increase that could go into effect in July 2014, if approved. The proposed service changes would affect 28 of the 40 fixed routes. These proposals were based on a report developed to help bridge the $33 million gap predicted in the City’s general fund for Fiscal Year 2015, and would decrease the City’s general fund contribution to transit. You can email comments to suntraninfo@tucsonaz.gov, call (520) 792-9222, or mail them to: to Sun Tran, Attn: Marketing, 3920 N. Sun Tran Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711. There are also several Open House events. Read the news release and learn more at Sun Tran's website.

ARIZONA WILDCATS GET NUMBER ONE SEED FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT - For the sixth time in the team's history, the University of Arizona Wildcats' Men's Basketball team has clinched a number one seed for the annual "March Madness" NCAA Championship tournament. The Cats (30-4) top the West division of the tournament, which begins this week. They will face Weber State (19-11), beginning at 11:10 a.m. Friday in San Diego. The game will be televised on TNT. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

'FIX A LEAK' WEEK AWARENESS CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY- Today is the start of "Fix A Leak Week," where Tucson Water and the EPA's WaterSense division remind people of the amount of water collectively lost through minor household leaks. Tucson Water's website has links to online calculators measuring the impact of drips and leaks, as well as information about how to find and fix leaks. The website offers tips in both English and Spanish and has activity learning pages for kids. You also can call Tucson Water (520-791-3242) or email TW_CustomerService@tucsonaz.gov to request a free, individualized survey of your home water use.

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NewsNet 03-14-14

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), is continuing its road repair program associated with the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program. Sunday, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., crews will be repaving Houghton Road, from Interstate 10 to Dawn Road, near the Pima County Fairgrounds. Since sections within the construction zone feature only two travel lanes, crews with flags will help direct travel through the area. The work is expected to be finished by next Friday.
Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report

TUCSON’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE TOMORROW - The annual parade starts at Stone Avenue and 17th Street at 11 a.m., looping around to Armory Park after a trek through Downtown Tucson. The event begins at Armory Park at 10 a.m. with live Irish music, dancers, entertainment, a children’s game area, food, drinks, and merchandise vendors. There also will be floats, military units, local dignitaries, media and entertainment personalities, along with civic, cultural and social groups. Streets along the parade route will be closed at various points through the day. Learn more at the URL below. Read more about Downtown Tucson Partnership.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA ENDS WINTER COMMENCEMENTS - The University of Arizona announced yesterday that it's ending December commencement ceremonies to better focus on its events in May. In a news release, the UA says students who plan to graduate in December can take part in the cap-and-gown ceremony in May, either a semester before or after their graduation. The school says it will save about $100,000 a year by not holding the winter ceremonies, using that money instead for more-elaborate spring ceremonies. Colleges will continue to hold convocation ceremonies to recognize individual graduates at the end of both spring and fall semesters. Read the Arizona Daily Star and UA News.

VETERANS COURT KEEPS SOME VETS OUT OF JAIL - The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) and the Tucson legal community are working together in operating the City of Tucson Veterans Court, a diversion program that keeps veterans charged with misdemeanor crimes out of the regular court system and helps them into treatment. Watch the story on Tucson 12.

GET THE LATEST TUCSON NEWS AND INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER - "Like" the City of Tucson on Facebook to get the latest news, community updates and fun facts about Tucson local government and our community. You can also "Follow" the City of Tucson on Twitter for timely, concise updates throughout the day.

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NewsNet 03-13-14

BREWER NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION - Saying "it's the right time for me to move on," Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced yesterday that she will not seek a third term as governor. Brewer replaced Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2009 when Napolitano resigned to become Secretary of Homeland Security. As Arizona's Secretary of State at the time, Brewer automatically ascended to the state's top post. Despite a two-term limit for Governor, Brewer maintains she would have been eligible for an additional term, since she wasn't elected to her first term, but opponents threatened to challenge that assumption in court. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.

LATINO LITERACY ROUNDTABLE TOMORROW - Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero (Ward 1) is partnering with the University of Arizona and others for the third annual Latino Literacy Roundtable. The Roundtable provides an opportunity for scholars and community members to meet, discuss, and share information about the development of digital literacy for Latinos in English and Spanish. The free event will be held tomorrow at the Arizona Historical Society from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration is required and can be completed by emailing: overall@u.arizona.edu.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENT SAVES TAX DOLLARS - Go behind-the-scenes to watch the City of Tucson put Lean Six Sigma management principles to work to improve workflow, reduce errors and improve efficiency in maintenance and IT operations. Lean Six Sigma is a business and data-driven approach to reducing waste and increasing customer satisfaction. Watch the training session on Tucson 12.

CAN CITIES AND SUBURBS WORK TOGETHER? - Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says it makes more sense to fund cities and their suburbs as large metro areas, rather than politically separate entities. Smith, who is running for the Republican nomination for Governor, says the federal government doles out funding to states, which have all the power, because they funnel it down to local governments. Those governments are left to compete with each other for money, while they are responsible for directly serving constituents needs. In an interview with Governing Magazine, Smith says that in an ideal world, federal funding for programs wouldnt filter through states - metro areas would instead have a direct line to the source, but he says that's not likely to happen any time soon.

PREPARING FOR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY - The Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is always on-call to come to the rescue, but the best thing you can do to stay safe is to always be prepared for an emergency, such as keeping your medical information on the refrigerator. In "No Bad Days with Barrett" on KGUN9, TFD Captain Barrett Baker offers some tips.

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NewsNet 03-12-14

CITY OF TUCSON ROAD RECOVERY BOND ANNUAL REPORT RELEASED - The $100 million road improvement bond package, approved by City of Tucson voters in 2012, is restoring, repairing and resurfacing more than 200 miles of streets over five years. The Citizens' Bond Oversight Commission monitoring the program just released its annual report to Mayor and Council and Tucson voters. The report provides details of the work being done and plans of future work.

TUCSON POLICE TO SHARE MORE OF ITS "TYPICALLY UNSEEN" WORK - The Tucson Police Department is using its Facebook and Twitter pages to highlight some of the work it does that often goes unnoticed by the public. In a posting on Facebook, TPD says it "will be highlighting Department related events, activities, and providing more crime prevention information; but most notably will be our effort to highlight the work typically unseen by the public. We intend to achieve this by highlighting arrests or efforts of department members on incidents that would not necessarily ever rise to the level of a typical press release." TPD is introducing the hashtag #TPDebrief on Twitter, meaning more information will be linked on Facebook.

GOVERNOR BREWER APPOINTS TUCSONAN TO ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday appointed two new members to the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), replacing two members whose terms expired in January. Tucsonan Ronald Shoopman, president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, has been appointed to replace Regent Dennis DeConcini. Brewer also appointed Phoenix attorney William Ridenour, founder and managing partner of Ridenour Hienton & Lewis, PLLC, to succeed Regent Anne Mariucci. Both men will serve eight-year terms, pending confirmation by the Arizona Senate. The Arizona Board of Regents is the governing board for Arizona's three public universities. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

LAST OPEN HOUSE ON REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS - Tomorrow is your last chance to provide feedback on the Pima Association of Governments' short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The program includes projects to be scheduled for construction or design during FY 2015-19 across the greater Tucson region. The value of improvements identified within the TIP is approximately $1.07 billion. Tomorrow's open house is scheduled for 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Joyner-Green Valley Library, 601 N. La Canada Drive in Green Valley.

CITY OF TUCSON TO PARTICIPATE AT FESTIVAL OF BOOKS - Visit the City of Tucson booth (#263) this Saturday and Sunday at the Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) and learn about the Mayor's Reading Challenge and the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. TFOB features more than 450 authors and presenters, 250 exhibitors, and opportunities to meet famous authors, poets, writers and journalists. The annual event will be held this weekend from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the campus of the University of Arizona.

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NewsNet 03-11-14

TUCSON POLICE RECEIVE GIFT OF DEFIBRILLATORS - Some Tucson Police cars will be equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to help save the lives of people in cardiac arrest. The 50 AEDs, worth about $100,000, were given to the department by the Steven M. Gootter Foundation. Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor says police officers often are on the scene of an emergency before firefighters and paramedics, and any equipment that will help police save lives before they arrive is appreciated. The Tucson-based Steven M. Gootter Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to save lives by defeating sudden cardiac death through increased awareness, education and scientific research. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Steven M. Gootter Foundation:

SACRAMENTO NEWSPAPER HIGHLIGHTS TUCSON'S ALLURE - Following Canadian Traveller magazine calling Tucson a city of "boundless possibilities," the Sacramento Bee newspaper also encourages its readers to visit Tucson and the many attractions and scenery it has to offer. The newspaper highlights Saguaro National Park, El Tiradito, 4th Avenue shopping, Hotel Congress, downtown entertainment, Old West history, and more.

TUCSON PARTNERS WITH PIMA COUNTY TO HELP WITH HOUSING ASSISTANCE - The City and County are collaborating on an interactive website to help residents in need of housing assistance. The Housing Help and Resources website uses interactive questioning to help people find housing programs for which they may be eligible. The site, available in multiple languages, offers information about 62 housing programs offered by 22 providers. It also includes information about rentals and landlord/tenant rights.

TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS THIS WEEKEND - The annual event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the campus of the University of Arizona. The Tucson Festival of Books features more than 450 authors and presenters, 250 exhibitors, and opportunities to meet famous authors, poets, writers and journalists. There will be book signings, panel discussions, live entertainment, food vendors, children's activities, Science City, and dozens of free activities for all ages. Parking and admission are free.

TEEN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT ZOO - The Reid Park Zoo is recruiting teenagers to help teach Zoo visitors about wildlife and conservation, and assist with special events at the Zoo. Teen volunteers, who must attend an intensive training course in June, do not work with zookeepers or behind the scenes. Applications are available now. The deadline to apply is April 1st. Learn more about the volunteer program.

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NewsNet 03-10-14

CITY TRYING TO LAND 6,500 NEW JOBS -  The City of Tucson and TREO, the regional economic development agency, are trying to recruit Tesla Motors Inc. to locate a $5 billion factory to make lithium-ion batteries for the company's electric cars. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says land within the city has been identified and that land has access to the Union Pacific mainline and the interstates. He also says the city has tax incentives to add to whatever incentives are offered by the Arizona Commerce Authority to lure Tesla to the state. Three other states reportedly are competing for the plant as well. Tesla says it plans to directly invest $2 billion in the new plant, with the rest of the $5 billion coming from its partners. A company timeline shows Tesla wants to pick the site this year, build the facility in 2015, and begin production by 2017. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER ARENA IMPROVEMENTS START TODAY - The project will enhance the fan experience by improving the comfort, functionality, and appearance of the arena. Some of the renovations include upgrading the restrooms, revamping concession stands, developing a new entryway, improving the lighting and sound systems, and adding new seats with cup holders. The $7.8 million remodel is funded through the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District and was approved by the Rio Nuevo Board on June 25, 2013. The renovations are scheduled to be complete in December 2014. Read the news release.

TRAFFIC ALERT: ST. MARY'S ROAD RESTRICTIONS - St. Mary’s Road is reduced to one travel lane in each direction, from the westbound I-10 frontage road to Church Avenue. The restriction will be in place while the contractor completes street lighting and landscape installation. This work is scheduled to be finished by the end of this month. The final layer of pavement also is scheduled to be placed at the end of this month. The roadway will be striped in late April, after the asphalt pavement has had time to cure. The $7.3 million Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)-funded roadway improvement project began in November 2012. Read the news release.

FESTIVAL DEL LIBRO DE TUCSON - Tucson celebra los libros y la alfabetización en la feria anual del libro en Tucson. Este evento de dos días se llevara a cabo el 15 y 16 de marzo de 9:30 a.m. a 5:30 p.m., en el patio de la Universidad de Arizona. Contará con más de 300 presentaciones, 200 expositores, y un sinfín de oportunidades para conocer a famosos autores, poetas, guionistas y periodistas. Habrá firma de libros, mesas redondas, puesta en escena, entretenimiento en vivo, vendedores de comida, actividades para los niños y la programación Science City, y decenas de actividades gratuitas para todas las edades en los patios de la Universidad de Arizona.
Tucson Festival of Books

PIMA COUNTY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER JOBS - The Pima County One-Stop Career Center's Summer Youth Program is accepting job applications from youth between the ages of 14 and 21. The deadline to apply and call (520-798-0546) to set up an assessment test is this Friday. Last summer, more than 1,450 young people in Pima County earned minimum wage and gained valuable experience while working for the City of Tucson, Pima County, the University of Arizona and dozens of participating local businesses. Work hours range from 20 to 40 hours per week. Placements range from four to seven weeks, depending on the specific work or education program.

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NewsNet 03-07-14

TRAFFIC ALERT: DOWNTOWN RESTRICTIONS TOMORROW - If you plan to head downtown for the Old Pueblo Grand Prix bicycle races and 2nd Saturdays Downtown tomorrow, prepare for traffic detours and restrictions. Beginning at approximately 1 p.m., Stone Avenue will be closed between Franklin Street/Toole Avenue and Congress Street. Also, Pennington Street between Church Avenue and Stone Avenue will be closed, as will Church Avenue between Franklin Street and Pennington Street. Alameda Street will be closed between Main Avenue and Scott Avenue. Additionally, Council Street between Stone Avenue and Meyer Avenue, and Washington Street between Church Avenue and Meyer Avenue will be closed. All roads should reopen by approximately 10 p.m. Read the news release.

TUCSON POLICE TRAINING FOR NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT - Tucson Police officers have been undergoing training at the Public Safety Academy, in preparation for the success of the University of Arizona Wildcats in the upcoming NCAA tournament. TPD says it has crowd management plans for both evenings of the Final Four, before and after the games, if the Cats continue their winning ways. Assistant Chief Brett Klein says TPD expects to have more than 300 officers on the streets the evening of the championship game and they will be assisted by Pima County Sheriff's deputies and officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the University of Arizona Police Department. Read more from Tucson News Now.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS SOLICITED FOR CITY OF TUCSON GRANTS - The City is accepting proposals for Economic and Workforce Development Grants, and Special Events Grants for Fiscal Year 2015. The development proposals should include items for small business and development, job training and education programs for adults, at-risk youth, and at-risk adults. Special events grants will be awarded to those who help develop the local economy via emerging and established special events that build the community, economy and tourism. Proposals are due no later than Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4 p.m.

MAGAZINE: "TUCSON IS A CITY OF BOUNDLESS POSSIBILITIES" - Canadian Traveller magazine features Tucson in its latest issue, calling the city "a place where the freedom to be/think/experiment/try intersects with a world of boundless possibilities." The magazine points out our virtually year-round sunshine, spectacular desert and mountain views, and Tucson's rich history of Native Americans, ranchers and frontiersmen of the Old West. It also talks about our famous restaurants and multitude of entertainment venues. Read the article.

TUCSON RECORDS WARMEST WINTER ON RECORD - The National Weather Service reports Tucson just finished its warmest December-February on record, beating the previous record-holding period of 1980-81. In the past three months, Tucson’s average temperature was 56.9 degrees. That’s 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous record. Records were first kept for the Tucson area in 1895. The Weather Service also says this is the 15th-driest winter on record, with 0.84 inches of rain falling at Tucson International Airport, which is almost two inches below normal. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
 

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