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.