City to Consider Mural Art Program on Traffic Control Cabinets

The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow will hear about a proposed 12-month pilot program to give private parties the opportunity to install original mural art on City traffic signal controller cabinets. Proponents say mural art beautifies public spaces, builds community, and may discourage visual blight resulting from graffiti vandalism.

Australians Tour Streetcar

Members of the Australian Capital Territory Delegation visited Tucson yesterday to learn about the Sun Link streetcar. They're planning on building a streetcar route in the city of Canberra and wanted to gather information from Tucson officials, ride the streetcar, and learn about the economic development Sun Link spurred since it debuted in July 2014.

Volunteers Still Needed for Tucson Festival of Books

The Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) depends on volunteers to help run the annual event at the University of Arizona. This year's Festival is March 12-13, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day.

Festival volunteers help with author events, assist at information booths, act as food court hosts, set up before the festival and clean up afterward, transport authors, help with the entertainment activities, and address the needs of the hundreds of authors and exhibitors.

Green Infrastructure Maintenance Video

As the City of Tucson installs more green infrastructure along streets and on public properties, maintenance practices will need to be adjusted to fit the designed structures. Crews will need to know the difference between native plants, invasive plants, and excess volunteer plants. They also will need to know proper techniques for pruning.

To learn more, watch the video below.

TPD Gets Grant to Focus on Human Trafficking

The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is the recipient of a $740,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus attention on human trafficking cases. The money will be used to increase undercover operations, train other Southern Arizona agencies, and offer resources to victims. With the grant, TPD now can offer resources to every victim with whom they speak.

New Rules for What You Can Bring to Rodeo

The La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo begins tomorrow and runs through Feb. 28, but attending this year's competition comes with new rules on what you can bring past the entrance gates at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds.

The new public safety rules allow for only clear bags at the venue, similar to the new rules at University of Arizona sporting events. New prohibitions include purses, backpacks, camera bags, fanny packs, and anything that can't be seen through.

Tanque Verde Road, Wilmot Road, Pima Street Improvement Project Begins Next Week

A dual left turn lane on northbound Wilmot Road to westbound Pima Street will be created by widening the east side of Wilmot Road. Additionally, the two triangular islands on the west side of the intersection will be removed, and Pima Street will be reconfigured to accommodate the two lanes of traffic from the Wilmot Road dual left turn lanes. Eastbound Pima Street will be configured to have two designated left turn lanes and one right turn lane.

The roadway surface also will be improved for better rideability.

Tucsonans With Flu Pack Local Hospitals

Arizona leads the United States in the number of flu cases, with Southern Arizona ranked fourth in the country for the amount of increased flu activity this week. Walgreens' flu index tracks the amount of flu medications its pharmacies are selling.

Those who can't get relief through drug store medications are putting a strain on Tucson's hospitals, with wait times as long as six hours at Banner University Medical Center earlier this week. Banner UMC recently came off what it calls an "internal disaster," meaning normal operations of the facility are disrupted.