NewsNet 07-01-15

TUCSON'S NEW CITY MANAGER STARTED WORK TODAY - Michael Ortega began serving as Tucson City Manager today. His first day of work coincides with the start of the new fiscal year. He replaces Martha Durkin, who has been serving in the interim since last July and is now Deputy City Manager. After an extensive national search, Mayor and Council hired Ortega in March. The comprehensive interview process included candidate participation in a community forum and interviews with Mayor and Council, a citizens advisory committee, City staff, and labor union representatives. Ortega is a former Cochise County Administrator and Douglas City Manager. He's also held numerous other positions in state and local government.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR JOINS FIGHT TO SAVE TUCSON'S MAIN POST OFFICE - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wrote a letter recently to the U.S. Postmaster General urging her not to close the Tucson Postal Processing and Distribution Center at the Cherrybell station. In his letter to Megan J. Brennan, Ducey said the center plays an important role in the region. “Southern Arizona businesses, residents, veterans and senior citizens rely on the Tucson Postal Processing and Distribution Center for timely and reliable mail service,” he wrote. Tucson Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres and others have been fighting to keep the Southern Arizona postal center fully functional and operating. If the consolidation goes through as planned next year, the only postal functions left at the Tucson facility would be P.O. boxes and retail services.

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE NOW OFFERS FREE GED TESTING - Saying testing fees shouldn't be a barrier to furthering education and job prospects, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and others today announced that Pima Community College (PCC) is offering free GED testing. The testing, available at PCC's High School Equivalency Testing Center, Community Campus, is made possible by a $100,000 donation to the PCC Foundation by Wells Fargo. The bank also is funding scholarships to PCC for GED graduates, as well as various certification tests for occupational licensing. Anyone interested in free GED testing should schedule an exam and use the promo code PIMAFREE at checkout. Free testing will be available until Nov. 30, 2015, or until funds run out. PCC encourages all test takers to sign up for a free preparation class to maximize their chances of passing the exam on the first try. Call (520) 206-3987 for information, or visit PCC Scholarships. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

BE PREPARED TUCSON - With the monsoon in full swing, 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.

SAFETY TIPS WHILE CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY - With the 4th of July fireworks celebrations around the corner, the Tucson Fire Department is urging you to use caution when celebrating. Appearing recently on KGUN9's Morning Blend, Capt. Barrett Baker urged people to attend professional fireworks shows, such as the 19th Annual “A” Mountain Fireworks Celebration at 9:15 p.m. Saturday. If you must light fireworks on your own, follow all the directions and make sure there is adult supervision, he said. He also encourages people to have a hose on hand, just in case. While fireworks use in Pima County is legal, it is still illegal to set them off in Tucson city limits.