NewsNet 01-06-15

REID PARK ZOO SETS ATTENDANCE RECORD AND LOOKS TO FUTURE - Officials at Reid Park Zoo are not only celebrating the new year, but they're looking back at a record-breaking year for attendance. A total of 618,482 guests visited the Zoo during the 2014 calendar year, representing a nearly 12 percent increase from 2013, and the highest attendance in the Zoo’s history. Last month was the most-attended month ever, with 82,595 guests visiting. “Tucson residents are embracing the exhibit changes and the conservation education programs at Reid Park Zoo,” said Zoo Administrator Jason Jacobs. “With the significant birth this summer of the first-ever African elephant calf in Tucson, Zoo support and visitation has continued to rise.” In the next year, the Zoo is planning on adding several new features, including a gibbon habitat that will allow guests the opportunity to view the agile apes at several different angles. In addition, the Reid Park Zoological Society is currently raising funds to build a wildlife carousel that will feature 30 exotic animals in an African-themed pavilion. Watch Tucson 12 video of wildlife/zoo expert Jack Hanna speaking about the importance of zoos.

SUN SHUTTLE PASSES MILLIONTH PASSENGER MILESTONE - Sun Shuttle has carried more than one million passengers after more than five years of service. Launched in 2009, the neighborhood transit service, funded by the Regional Transportation Authority, saw ridership of 1,187,767 passengers through October 2014. Sun Shuttle carries passengers around their communities and connects them to Sun Tran services, giving them access to the entire Tucson metropolitan area via public transit. Sun Shuttle also operates in Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, Sahuarita, Green Valley, San Xavier, Tucson Estates and Ajo.

TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES SEASON OF GIVING -  The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is partnering with AmeriCorps VISTA and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for the MLK Food Drive event. Food collected during the drive will go to the new School Pantry Program, where parents can pick up healthy food at their child's school, rather than having to go to the Pantry to pick it up. Peanut butter is the most-needed item, followed by cereal and granola bars. Food drive drop-off boxes are available at each of TPD's five public lobby spaces, through Jan. 19. Drop-off hours are weekdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

REAL CHRISTMAS TREES ARE FIRE HAZARDS NOW - If you still have your real Christmas tree in your house, the Tucson Fire Department urges you to remove it immediately. In a video posted last week on the TFD Facebook page, Capt. Barrett Baker shows you how fast a dry tree can catch fire. One way to get rid of your tree is to take it to one of the City of Tucson's nine TreeCycle sites by Jan. 11. Follow the link below for a list of the site locations in Tucson and Oro Valley.

JOB OPPORTUNITES: CITY OF TUCSON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Start the new year with a new job at the City of Tucson. The Information Technology department is accepting applications for a Database Administrator and a Software Engineer.