NewsNet 06-27-14

PROPOSED DOWNTOWN HOTEL ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG - The developer of a proposed AC Marriot hotel at Broadway and Fifth Avenue will need to pursue an archaeological clearance to qualify for an $8 million HUD 108 federal loan to help build the project. The archaeological clearance is a federal requirement for HUD 108 loans, which provide states and communities a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects. Developer Scott Stiteler, manager of Tucson Urban LLC, is in the early stages of the loan process. Read the memo to Mayor and Council from City Manager Richard Miranda.

BANNER HEALTH TAKEOVER OF UA HEALTH NETWORK A STEP CLOSER - The University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) and the University of Arizona announced yesterday that they have signed a Principles of Agreement document to negotiate a transaction with Banner Health. A final agreement would lead to the creation of the state's largest private employer, with more than 37,000 employees. According to a joint news release, the signed document formalizes discussions and is intended to lead to definitive agreements sometime in the fall. The proposed transaction is anticipated to generate approximately $1 billion in new capital, academic investments, and other consideration and value beneficial to UA and the community, the release said. UAHN has 6,300 employees working at its two hospitals, health plan and medical group. The UAHN and Banner Boards of Directors and Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) have voted in support of proceeding with negotiations. Final agreements are expected to be completed and signed this September, and the deal is expected to close a few months later.

SUN TRAN GETS NEW CNG BUSES - The City of Tucson and Sun Tran have received 10 of 24 new buses using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Once all arrive by January, they will replace 14-year-old CNG buses. The new vehicles use a lower-emissions engine than standard fuel and older CNG buses, improving air quality in Tucson. The buses, costing a little more than $512,000 each, were purchased with funding from the Federal Transportation Administration, City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority. Read more from Tucson News Now.

TWO FORMER WILDCATS HEADING TO NBA - Former University of Arizona basketball players Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson learned their futures yesterday, with Gordon being drafted by the Orlando Magic and Johnson going to the Houston Rockets. Gordon was selected fourth by Orlando in the first round, the fourth highest selection ever for an Arizona player, while ex-teammate Johnson went to Houston as 42nd pick in the second round. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

STAY SAFE AT THE BBQ THIS SUMMER - It's summer and (if you can brave the heat) that means plenty of backyard barbecues. However, Captain Barrett Baker of the Tucson Fire Department says barbecuing is one of the top ways to start a wildfire. Just yesterday, an unattended grill sparked an eastside house fire that left two residents displaced. Barrett Baker and and his colleagues share some tips on how to make sure your next cookout is a safe one.