NewsNet 06-26-14

WATER USAGE IN TUCSON AT 1994 LEVELS - Even though Tucson's population grew by more than 156,000 people since 1994, water usage in the city is about the same now as it was back then. Tucson Water spokesman Fernando Molina says conservation, low flow devices, and fewer swimming pools in Tucson help control water use, but the pricing of water also is a factor. Tucson was one of the first cities to go to a tiered system for water rates in the 1970s. Tucson Water offers homeowners enough water for showers, laundry and drinking at a comparatively low rate. However, when you have a drip system for landscaping, a swimming pool, or a leaky faucet, the next tier can cost significantly more. Tucson Water also is banking some of its allotment from the CAP to help with any potential shortage in the future, Molina said. Read more from Tucson News Now.

MAYOR TEAMS WITH TUSD TO ENCOURAGE DROPOUTS TO RETURN TO SCHOOL - A one-day door-to-door campaign to contact those who dropped out of school within the last 14 months is scheduled for July 18. Volunteers from the City of Tucson and Tucson Unified School District will be joined by those who dropped out of school (and returned) and others to encourage those who left school to complete their education. The Steps to Success walk volunteers will refer the dropouts to a Success Center, where each student will receive an individualized plan to be reintroduced into an academic environment. The Tucson Police and Fire Departments, University of Arizona Athletics, Pima Community College, United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, and others have agreed to take part in the campaign. "Dropping out comes with substantial costs, not only for the dropouts and their families, but also for the communities they live in," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. The Arizona Department of Education reports more than 450 students, ranging from seventh to 12th grade, have been identified as having "unknown" educational status. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

BE PREPARED TUCSON - With the monsoon right around the corner, Tucson officials are urging you to be prepared for an emergency, such as a multi-day power outage or an interruption in utilities. Be Prepared Tucson advises all residents to create a 72-hour emergency kit. Each member of your family, including pets, should have a kit. A website from the City of Tucson, U.S. Department of Energy, Homeland Security, and FEMA has a checklist of everything you need to be ready for an emergency. Watch a Tucson Fire Department/Tucson 12 video on how to prepare for an emergency.

IT'S CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY WEEK - The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is deploying its officers this week to stop vehicles for moving and equipment violations, while concentrating their efforts on seat belt and car seat usage. Arizona’s child restraint law requires that every child under the age of five to be properly secured in a federally-approved child safety seat appropriate to the child’s height and weight. TPD also is partnering with Target Stores, Safe Kids Pima County and Tucson Medical Center to offer free car seat checks. The event will be held this Saturday from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. at the Target at 4040 N. Oracle. TPD nationally-certified car seat technicians will be available to answer questions about car seats, booster seats and child passenger safety. Read the news release, and take a child safety seat quiz at TPD Facebook page.

SUMMER SAFARI NIGHTS PROGRAM CONTINUES TOMORROW AT REID PARK ZOO - Enjoy the Zoo and cooler evening temperatures at a series of themed nights featuring different zookeeper chats, animal encounters, artifact stations, enrichment-making activities, crafts, and scavenger hunts. The event runs every Friday, from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., through July 11. Tomorrow night's theme is Big Cat Night, featuring lions, tigers and jaguars. Learn about big cats in Southern Arizona with the University of Arizona's Jaguar Survey and Monitoring Project and Saguaro National Park. View the schedule and admission prices at Reid Park Zoo.