City News

City of Tucson Opens Sandbag Drop-Off Location

Residents who no longer want to keep sandbags distributed earlier this week in preparation of severe weather can return the bags to the parking lot of the Ward 5 Council Office at 4300 S. Park Avenue. The drop-off location opened today at 10 a.m. and will remain open until Friday, September 26, 2014 at 5 p.m. Staff from the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Streets and Traffic Maintenance Division will collect the sandbags at the end of each work day. Staff will not be on hand to collect sandbags from residents.

Ajo Way - Country Club Road to 14th Avenue Resurfacing Project Work Rescheduled Until Tomorrow

The milling and paving work scheduled for today on Ajo Way from Country Club Road to Kino Boulevard has been canceled due to wet roadways. Crews will resume milling and paving operations on Saturday, September 20, 2014 beginning at 5:30 a.m. Crews will work until 6 p.m. tomorrow, weather permitting. During this work two lanes of travel will be maintained in each direction. 

Ajo Way - Country Club Road to 14th Avenue Resurfacing Project Update

In order to finish the paving operations on a section of Ajo Way from Country Club Road to Kino Boulevard, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., will shift its paving operations to daytime hours on Friday, September 19, 2014. Crews will begin taper milling at 5 a.m. and begin mainline paving at 8:30 a.m. Crews will work until 5 p.m. Crews will return Saturday morning, September 20, 2014 at 5:30 a.m. and are scheduled to complete the paving operations by noon. During this work two lanes of travel will be maintained in each direction. 

NewsNet 09-18-14

THOUSANDS TURNED OUT FOR FREE SANDBAGS YESTERDAY - Even though the expected big storm yesterday never really materialized, the City of Tucson handed out thousands of sandbags to help residents prepare for the worst. The National Weather Service originally predicted up to four inches of rain in Tucson before the storm changed course. The Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) quickly assembled six distribution points, helped residents fill the sandbags, and offered advice on where to place them. In addition, TDOT crews spent yesterday cleaning washes of fallen tree limbs, shopping carts, and trash to allow water to flow properly. Read more from KVOA.
SEE THE BABY ELEPHANT TOMORROW - Weather permitting, the baby African elephant at the Reid Park Zoo will make her public debut in the main exhibit tomorrow morning at 8:30. The Zoo opens at 8 a.m. After the debut, zookeepers will allow the calf to have daily access to the public-facing side of the exhibit daily from 8 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  It's a big week for the baby elephant, as she's also the subject of a naming contest (see story below).
Watch Tucson 12 archive video of the calf's first days of outside
HELP NAME TUCSON'S BABY ELEPHANT - The Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant is a couple days shy of being a month old, but she doesn't have a name yet. However, that's about to change. After weeks of calling her "Tucson's Big Baby," the Zoo has selected two names, and the public will get to pick the winner. The names choices are "Imvula" and "Nandi." Tucson 12 recently caught up with Zoo Education Curator Vivian VanPeenen to explain the names and the online voting at the Arizona Daily Star's website (voting link below). The winning name will be announced next Thursday.
Vote online
Zoo Cams
Baby Elephant FAQ
Reid Park Zoo Flickr page
Reid Park Zoo Twitter
Reid Park Zoo Facebook
TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN FEDERAL REVIEW PROJECT - The Tucson Police Department (TPD) has been nominated to participate in the Comprehensive Law Enforcement Review Project, which is a U.S. Department of Justice program the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office will be managing. COPS recently was tasked by the U.S. Attorney General to lead the project that will examine what the United States has learned in policing since the Crime Commission was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Eight team review panels will examine existing reports, studies, and practices in a number of key areas related to law enforcement. The review will help identify current gaps in the criminal justice system, particularly those that focus on the organization and delivery of police services.
Tucson Police Department Facebook page
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS ON THE DOWNTOWN LINKS PROJECT - The City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have a Downtown Links website to give citizens information and updates on one of the largest transportation projects in Tucson. The $76 million project will result in a four-lane roadway north of the Union Pacific Railroad that will link Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10, Broadway Boulevard with 4th Avenue, and downtown with the neighborhoods to the north. Downtown Links also will provide alternate access to downtown, new and safer underpasses and railroad crossings, and improved sidewalks and bike paths.

NewsNet 09-17-14

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 P.M. TOMORROW - The Tucson area and surrounding communities are under a Flash Flood Watch through tomorrow afternoon. The National Weather Service says conditions for widespread flooding are developing, and rainfall amounts could total two to four inches by late tomorrow. Monitor forecasts closely, take quick action if Flash Flood Warnings are issued, and stay away from washes. The Tucson Fire Department says it only takes as little as eight inches of water to move a vehicle. When in doubt, wait it out.
CITY OF TUCSON PREPARED FOR POTENTIAL FLOODING - With the Flash Flood Watch in effect, the City of Tucson is prepared for any emergencies that may arise. City services are coordinated in one place to make response as fast as possible. Monitor the City's website and social media (links below) for late-breaking information, including free sandbag availability. Pima County also has information for those outside of city limits.
City of Tucson
Pima County
City of Tucson Twitter page
City of Tucson Facebook page
Tucson Fire Department Twitter page
Tucson Fire Department Facebook page
Tucson Police Department Twitter page
Tucson Police Facebook page
TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT URGES YOU TO BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCY - September is National Preparedness Month. Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker and crew show you how to prepare for 72 hours of distress. Tips include keeping a gallon of water on hand for each person, stocking a three-day supply of non-perishable food, having a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, and more.
American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter safety tips
Tucson Fire Department Facebook page
HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS AFTER STORM DAMAGE (OR AT ANY TIME) - Tucson transportation crews are prepared to respond to calls after heavy storms. Is there a tree in the road after a thunderstorm? Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation, (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app.
Tucson Department of Transportation:
BABY ELEPHANT'S MAIN EXHIBIT DEBUT DEPENDS ON WEATHER - The Reid Park Zoo had hoped to have Tucson's nearly month-old elephant out on the big exhibit by now, but the weather has changed the timetable for the public debut. In this Tucson 12 video, Zoo Education Curator Vivian VanPeenen says zookeeepers are monitoring the weather conditions..

Be Prepared

The storm might turn out to be no big deal, but are you ready if the power goes out for an extended period? Check out this video from Capt. Barrett Baker of the Tucson Fire Department or visit Be Prepared Tucson.

Red Cross Safety Tips

From our friends at the Southern Arizona Red Cross:

Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Most of these drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a pole of stick to make sure that the ground is still there before you go through an area where the water is not flowing.

Hurricane Odile

Remember that over the next few days, our area is expecting severe storms. Most flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. Moving water as little as one or two feet deep will carry away most vehicles and can knock a person off their feet. Keep children away from creeks and washes when heavy rain is in the area. Be especially careful at night when water depth and road conditions are harder to see.

The advice from our Fire Department is: WHEN IN DOUBT, WAIT IT OUT!!

Rasheem Parks Named TEP Aztec Power Player of the Week


Tucson, AZ – The Pima Community College football program and Tucson Electric Power have teamed up to select a student/athlete every week to be named the TEP AZTEC Power Player of the Week.

Freshman quarterback Rasheem Parks was this week’s selection after he played the final two-and-a-half quarters of Saturday’s game. He went 17 for 31 with 205 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in Pima’s 36-20 loss against Mesa Community College at the Kino Sports Complex (FC Tucson Stadium).

NewsNet 09-16-14

STAY OFF WET ROADS AND BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCY - With heavy rain in the Tucson weather forecast - and numerous swift water rescues last week - the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) is urging motorists to stay away from washes when it rains. In addition to that warning, September is National Preparedness Month, and TFD urges you to be prepared for 72 hours of distress. Tips include keeping a gallon of water on hand for each person, stocking a three-day supply of non-perishable food, having a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, and more. In addition, the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter has published safety tips about what to do - and not to do - during heavy rain. Some of those tips include not walking or driving through water, staying away from power lines, watching for snakes and small animals that could get into your home, and being alert for potential gas leaks.
CITY OF TUCSON ENTERS INTO CONTRACT FOR PRIVATE MANAGEMENT OF TCC - The City of Tucson has signed the final contract with SMG for management of the Tucson Convention Center (TCC). The contract runs from Oct. 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. The contract can be extended with 10 one-year renewals at the City's sole discretion. SMG will be paid a fixed annual fee of $135,000, with annual increases consistent with the Consumer Price Index - not to exceed two percent in one year. SMG also is eligible for an incentive fee not to exceed the annual fixed fee amount, if certain conditions are met. SMG is a global leader in convention center management and currently operates properties throughout the southwest. Several TCC employees have accepted jobs with SMG, while others accepted other jobs in the City. For those who haven't accepted jobs, the City's Human Resources Department will continue to work with them to find other civil service positions.
BABY ELEPHANT TO GET NAME SOON - After weeks of calling her "Tucson's Big Baby," the Reid Park Zoo is getting close to naming the elephant calf born Aug. 20, on Tucson's birthday. The Zoo has come up with two names, and you can vote on your favorite. Watch a Tucson 12 video about the naming process.
Zoo Cams
Baby Elephant FAQ
Reid Park Zoo Flickr page
Reid Park Zoo Twitter
Reid Park Zoo Facebook
TUCSON COMMUNITY INVITED TO HELP DESIGN ALL-AGES PLAYGROUND - The City of Tucson, Lend a Hand Senior Assistance, and Humana Inc. will join organizers from KaBOOM! (a national non-profit organization that has built more than 2,300 playgrounds) tomorrow to begin design plans for a one-of-a-kind, multi-generational playground. The customized playground, funded primarily by Humana, will be created with personal drawings and other input from local community members, including children and seniors. The existing playground at La Madera Park, 2700 E. La Madera Drive, is in need of replacement, as it is outdated and contains some unusable components. Organizers say the community will come together to design senior-focused and adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths to promote good posture, balance, and flexibility. There also will be traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a multi-generational space. The design meetings will be held tomorrow at JP Industries, 2851 N. Country Club Road. Child-focused design talks will run from 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., with adult volunteers helping in the process from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Read the news release.
SUNGO CARDS ACCEPTED ON BOTH SUN LINK STREETCAR AND SUN TRAN BUSES - The SunGO card is the best way to pay fares when riding public transit in Tucson. The card works on both the Sun Tran bus system and the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. A SunGO card with unlimited rides for a month is just $42. If you're an occasional rider, you can load the SunGO card with a cash value to pay the $1.50 one-way fares whenever you use transit. In addition, there are many discounts available for students, low-income residents, senior and others. If you have a promotional U-Pass, the free ride period has expired. Please visit the UA Parking and Transportation website to buy your discounted pass. If you ride the streetcar, you must have a SunGO card, or purchase a day pass with cash or a credit card from a vending machine at the stop. Cash is not accepted on the streetcar. Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about SunGO cards.


Beginning tonight, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin to improve the roadway conditions on Ajo Way from 14th Avenue to Bernard Drive and on Ajo Way from the Kino off-ramp to Country Club Road. The contract also calls for resurfacing Country Club Road 200 feet north and 200 feet south of Ajo Way.

The pavement improvement project is part of the $100 million, five-year street bond program - Road Recovery. The Road Recovery program is funded by voter-approved bonds.


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