NewsNet 12-22-14

TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT SHOWS HOLIDAY SPIRIT - The Communications Division of the Tucson Police Department (TPD) last week gave gifts to all 71 students of the nonprofit Imago Dei Middle School in Downtown Tucson. The tradition began four years ago. Many of the students and families have limited means and the goal was to provide them with a happy holiday season. Gifts included shoes, socks, shirts, sports equipment, CDs, gift cards, games, toys, and similar items based upon a wish list from the students. Also included were gifts of classroom supplies. The event was in partnership with the Imago Dei Middle School Board of Directors and Santa’s Helpers, Inc., who donated jackets and sports equipment to the students. In addition, the TPD division this morning also gave gifts to residents of Strauss Manor at Pantano, a nonprofit senior citizen apartment community for low-income residents. Donations included food for their emergency pantry, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, small appliances for residents in need, along with a small gift for each resident of the 80 units.

MORTGAGE DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE STILL AVAILABLE - Approximately 20 assistance grants remain for the Tucson NeighborhoodLIFT® program, sponsored by Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America®, and the Primavera Foundation. Each grant provides $15,000 toward a mortgage downpayment for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Tucson area median income – about $68,400 for a family of four – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan. Among other things, potential buyers must complete an eight-hour homebuyer education session with the Primavera Foundation or another HUD-approved counseling agency. For more information, contact Primavera at (520) 882-5383.

VETERANS COURT HELPS VETS IN NEED - Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court (RMVTC) directs veterans charged with certain offenses to rehabilitation services and helps at-risk veterans avoid further legal difficulties. The Tucson City Court program began in 2009 to help military veterans and active-duty service members who have had run-ins with the law. Certain veterans can get assigned to the RMVTC and end up in a diversion program. Veterans who don’t fulfill their requirements, drop out, or re-offend go back to traditional court and are on their own. Last October, the RMVTC was awarded two federal grants totaling $2,339,277 over four years. Both grants are from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will be used to expand treatment services for veterans. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star, and watch a Tucson 12 video about RMVTC.

TRASH AND RECYCLING ON HOLIDAY SCHEDULE FOR NEXT TWO WEEKS - The Christmas and New Year’s holidays will be observed this Thursday and next Thursday, and residential and commercial trash and recycling will not be collected on those days. The Los Reales Landfill also will be closed on both holidays. All City of Tucson customers with regular Thursday or Friday collections will have their trash and recycling services delayed by one day for both weeks. All City offices are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Read the news release.
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Environmental Services

HOW TO STAY WARM AND SAFE WHEN TEMPERATURES DROP - Temperatures in Tucson are expected to be mild during the daytime hours for the next few days, but still dip into the mid-to-upper 30s some nights this week. Tucson Fire Capt. Barrett Baker and crew show you the basic safety tips for keeping warm.
Tucson Fire Department's Facebook page