Tucson Local Media: Home of The Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times, and Inside Tucson Business

  • Scene 1: “Mindy Anna Jones” now showing at Great American Playhouse

    The latest rendition from the local theater group at The Great American Playhouse rolls back the clock to a time when the mystical Aztecs ruled the land, but that doesn’t mean that 20th century rock songs are in short supply. As musical and well choreographed as ever, the most recent GAP play brings a new twist on a familiar character. “Mindy Anna Jones and the Lost Ark of Time” follows a heroic young archaeologist, Mindy Anna Jones (Jennifer Ackerley Lawrence), as she attempts to keep the powerful Ark of Time out of the hands of the nefarious Roman (Sean MacArthur) and his goons. But there is more than meets the eye to this group of adventurers. The battle for the Ark of Time will lead all who are in pursuit on a wild chase throughout time, creating ample opportunity for clever pop culture references, hilarious set pieces, and even character transformations. The play is penned by local theater staple Nick Seivert. Seivert’s writing style has its own particular formula, one that brings forth a recipe rich in volume and silliness. Seivert also plays the role of the wise and whimsical Montezuma, illustrating his talent for making people laugh both with his acting as well as his writing.The bright shining star of the play is the actress in the title role, Jennifer Ackerley Lawrence. The charismatic superwoman, Mindy Anna Jones is the part Lawrence was born to play, and she embraces the task with perfect transformation, complete with a brilliant smile and a cracking whip. Lawrence has flown beneath the radar in recent GAP productions, but “Mindy Anna Jones” is truly her coming out party. Randy McDonald, now notorious for his bottomless energy reservoir, plays the very confused Orizaba, a lackey to the primary villain. The part was surely written with McDonald in mind, as Orizaba’s role is that of a bling wearing, rap lyric slinging punk in a jumpsuit. Here McDonald is given free reign to do what he does best – get the crowd going. The role was a little over the top at times, but seeing McDonald and Sean MaCarthur tag team a musical mash up of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” with Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” was something special, and may have even been the highlight of the entire evening.  Amy DeHaven is cast perfectly as Augusta, the evil girlfriend of Roman.  DeHaven has no equal when it comes to playing an English accented, smug and ruthless female villain, as femininely treacherous as Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. 

  • Marana, Oro Valley officials worry about state budget

    While Marana and Oro Valley officials say they like the energy and the basics of Gov. Doug Ducey’s message, they worry the budget lacks new taxes and takes from education and local municipalities.More than a week after Ducey released his budget proposal, reaction has continued about his plan to cut 10 percent from state universities, which is estimated to be about $21 million for Tucson’s University of Arizona. Overall, the state’s secondary education industry is slated to take a $75 million hit as the budget currently stands.State Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said reality is the nature of the this year’s budget calls for some tough decisions.“While the budget is still technically balanced, we do have a challenge ahead of us,” he said. “I’d like to think that the governor and the Legislature is going to be on the same page to make these decisions.”Instead of focusing on a new revenue stream through increased taxes, Ducey’s budget cuts secondary education, tourism and others such as creating an increased revenue by way of doubling vehicle license fees, which are currently $8.Ducey hinted at some of his agenda after being sworn into office when he delivered his first State of the State address, first in Phoenix and then in Oro Valley on Jan. 12. In the speech, the state’s 23rd governor alluded to no new taxes and pushing Arizona to become a state where businesses can thrive.

  • Marana School District and town partner to teach civics

    The Town of Marana believes that to have a town that runs well, citizens have to understand how the town operates. The Town of Marana has tried to streamline many of the things that they do and improve communication, with the newest project now aiming at educating local high school students.The new civics class’ timing couldn’t be better for the town as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey recently pushed through legislation that will require high school students to pass a civics test similar to those taken by immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. The new law will affect the class of 2017.Inspired by a program they saw working in other communities, recently town officials began working with the Marana Unified School District to bring an interactive civics lesson to high school students. The lesson is based on a Junior Achievement program called Biztown that had been adapted for high school students. “It is a really innovative, cool, dynamic way you get students to learn more about government, especially local government,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. Although local government is part of the state standards and district’s curriculum, not a lot of time is devoted to local government, especially some of the more detailed ins and outs. 

Today's Top Headlines

  • (Jan. 30) Today's Top Headlines - ISIS launches attack on Iraqi city of Kirkuk

    CNN: Terrorists from ISIS have launched an attack on the oil-producing northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.Recently, there has been speculation that ISIS might attack Kirkuk to force Kurdish troops to divert their efforts away from Mosul, ISIS' stronghold in Iraq, which is about 100 miles to the northwest.Read the full story on CNN.

  • (Jan. 30) Today's Top Headlines - Suge Knight Arrested for Murder After Hit-and-Run

    Rolling Stone: Marion "Suge" Knight is begin held on a $2 million bail after being charged with  murder. Knight, the founder of Death Row Records was involved in a fatal hit-and-run Thursday afternoon.Knight's lawyer says his client was behind the wheel when an unidentified 55-year-old man was killed, but that it was an accident.Read the full story on Rolling Stone.

  • (Jan. 30) Today's Top Headlines - Border Patrol agents seize $300,000 in meth

    USA Today: This week, in three separate arrests, Border Patrol agents seized $300,000 worth of meth.On Monday, a narcotics-detecting dog alerted officers in Nogales, the cargo area of an SUV, where the agents found 47 pounds of methamphetamine valued at nearly $140,000.Later Monday, officers at a different crossing area in Nogales discovered 36.5 pounds of methamphetamine, worth nearly $110,000 in the wheel wells of an SUV.On Tuesday, Border Patrol found more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at more than $40,000, within the transfer case of a truck.Read the full story on USA Today.

Local News

  • Second arrest made in Marshall's robbery

    Oro Valley Police have arrested the second suspect in connection with an armed robbery that took place Jan. 15 at the Marshall's on Oracle and Magee. Gary Thompson was arrested yesterday and charged with Aggravated Robbery. Police believe he is of two men who made of with $2,000 in Michael Kors purses from the store, according to a media release sent on today. When security tried to stop the robbery, the other suspect Jacob Choate, punched the security person in the neck. Choate was arrested last week.

  • Miners Co-op returns to Marana

    The Miners Co-op Rock Show is back in Marana this year as one of the more than 40 shows operating under the umbrella of the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase.With 37 vendors currently registered, the Miners Co-op places an emphasis on showcasing rocks taken directly from the ground by miners – though the event will also boast various minerals as well as jewelry. The show is calling Marana home for the second consecutive year. Previously it was stationed behind Kino Hospital, but their contracted space was bought out from under them, forcing a move.“We decided to venture out further to see what else was out there for us,” said Alby Davis, who spearheads the Miners Co-op.Davis, a former hospital administrator and lifetime rock hound, said the town of Marana was “extremely helpful” in relocating the show.The show will be held at 6149 Travel Center Drive, and is expected to feature:

  • Despite opposition, council passes Ina/Silverbell rezoning

    Two rezonings passed at the Jan. 20 Marana Town Council meeting, one with no opposition and another that was more controversial. It was the second of the rezonings that was the more controversial of the two. The debate was whether or not to amend a prior agreement over approximately 61.2 acres of land located on the west side of Silverbell, south of Ina. The prior agreement was for 41 lots and a total site disturbance of 30  percent. The developer was now asking for 56 lots and a total site disturbance of 37 percent.The plan submitted at the meeting had undergone a few final changes after the developer met with neighbors and the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Preservation. “It has been poked, prodded and polished,” said Cynthia Ross, a Marana town planner. The new plan had 13 new conditions in addition to the 23 changes from the original plan approved in 2002. Among the biggest changes was a plan for the developer to replant any non-invasive native plants that might be disturbed in the development, a maximum 10,000 square foot grading envelop and an increase in the amount of buffer from the development to the surrounding properties and the two wildlife corridors that cut through the property. Although a slightly different plan received the support of the Marana Planning Commission, in the newest plan two lots were eliminated and internalized to the site. All two-story houses were limited to 25 feet and clustered north of the power easement so that no two-story homes would be south of that easement. That was a change from the planning commissions’ recommendation, which called for only single story houses. 

Entertainment

  • Saturday Puzzles 1-31-15

  • 2015 Art Safari

    EVENT:                       2015 ART SAFARIDATE:                          SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2015HOURS:                       Galleries open 11:00 AM, receptions run from 5:00 or 6:00 PM till closing (varies from 8:00 PM to midnight)ADMISSION:                 FreeLOCATIONS:                CENTRAL TUCSON GALLERY ASSOCIATION MEMBER GALLERIES:                                      BAKER + HESSELDENZ FINE ART, 100 E 6TH Street, 760-0037, www.bakerhesselsdenz.com

  • Arizona Opera: Mozart's Magic Flute inspired by Steampunk

    Arizona Opera brings a brand new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute to the stage March 7th at 7:30 pm and March 8th at 2:00 pm in Tucson Music Hall, Tucson.  The production was conceived by Stage Director Daniel Rigazzi, who has worked for numerous seasons with the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera as an Assistant Stage Director.  Rigazzi teamed with Scenic Designer John Pollard and Costume Designer Leslie Bernstein.  New York based Pollard, known for his work in film and television, including a nomination for his work on American Gangster (2007), worked alongside Bernstein, whose credits include numerous productions in theater, off-Broadway, and work on the popular series, "Law and Order".  Her stunning costumes feature mythical woodland animals, headpieces, armor, animatronic birds in cages and huge wings for the Queen of the Night.The production is a magical, surreal world, set inside Tamino's imagination, and filled with allusions to dreams and the idea of nature vs science. The imagery, inspired by the paintings of René Magritte with a nod to Victorian-era "Steampunk" style, takes the audience to an exciting place where imagination and reality blend together for Mozart's masterpiece. The cast features tenor David Margulis as Tamino, soprano Sarah Tucker as Pamina, baritone Chad Sloan as the bird-catcher Papageno and Lindsay Russell as the imposing Queen of the Night. Nicholas Masters rounds out the cast as Sarastro with Scott Terrell conducting.  Children from the Tucson Boys Choir and Arizona School for the Arts will be joining the cast of The Magic Flute, filling roles of  the three Spirits and the Papageni children.  Full cast list and bios are available at www.azopera.orgThe Magic Flute Special Ticket Package for FamiliesArizona Opera is offering a special Magic Flute Family Ticket Package, which includes 50% off tickets for kids/students (under 18 years), Dinner at Cibo Urban Pizzeria, a Commemorative Magic Flute poster and a free download of The Magic Flute Readers Theater, as performed by students from the Arizona School for the Arts.
Phoenix Families:  Visit www.azopera.org/flutefamily to take advantage of this offer.
Tucson Families:  Please call 520-293-4336 for details.

Sports

  • MV boys, CF girls to host playoff games

    The Arizona Interscholastic Association released their soccer playoff brackets and five area teams qualified for the state soccer playoffs in Division II and III.Three area boys teams qualified for the Division II state playoffs and two will face each other in the first round.Mountain View earned the No. 4 seed and will host No. 13 Canyon Del Oro on Wednesday. Mountain View beat CDO 4-1 on January 16.Catalina Foothills also qualified for the playoffs and will travel to No. 3 Nogales for their first round game on Wednesday.The Catalina Foothills girls are the No. 5 seed in the DII playoffs and will host No. 12 Independence. The Falcons are the lone area team to qualify for the playoffs. Ironwood Ridge lost their final game of the year to Corona Del Sol, to end any hopes of the playoffs. They finished the season 9-3 and ranked 19th. Marana was 8-4, finishing 21st.Although not ranked in the top-16, Pusch Ridge won their section and are the No. 16 seed in the DIII playoffs. The Lions will face No. 1 Walden Grove on Tuesday. The host Red Wolves are 12-0 in regular season games. 

  • Mountain View wraps up sectional crown

    Although the Mountain View boys soccer team was in no danger of missing the state playoffs, they left no doubt when they clinched an automatic berth by beating Ironwood Ridge 2-1 and winning the sectional championship.The second ranked Mountain Lions wrapped up the Division II, Section VI title and improved to 10-0-1 in the regular season.The Mountain Lions jumped out to a 2-0, then held off a late Nighthawk rally. Jonny Bruss scored on a penalty shot from outside the box in the 6th minute to put Mountain View up 1-0. Ian Kesterson sent a ball into the box that an Ironwood Ridge defender failed to clear and ended up scoring an own goal.Ironwood Ridge cut the lead in half with a Gabriel Villa goal in the 33rd minute.Mountain View will likely be joined by section-mates Canyon Del Oro and Catalina Foothills. Despite a winning record Ironwood Ridge will not make the playoffs when the brackets are released on Friday.

  • Falcons win section, eye playoff run

    With their 8-0 win over Flowing Wells on Tuesday night, the Catalina Foothills girls soccer team won another sectional title. First year coach David Lemon not only continues the tradition of winning that former coach Charlie Kendrick established, but did so in what was seen as a rebuilding year.The Falcons improved to 9-0-2 in regular season games and 13-1-3 overall. They are 8-0 in section games, one game better than Ironwood Ridge and two games better than Marana and CDO.The Falcons are ranked fifth in the state, one spot better than Sahuro. The two teams battled to a tie on Monday.Ironwood Ridge still has a shot at the postseason, though Marana and CDO are likely on the outside looking in.  

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