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

  • RA Sushi rolls out the summer menu

    As temperatures continue to creep toward the triple-degree mark, RA Sushi has prepared it’s summer menu with some cool selections.The standout of the new menu options is the Tuna California Roll. Not just a traditional California roll, this selection is finished with togarashi, garlic and pepper soy sauce, which gives a little kick to the roll ingredients, which includes a tuna mix of avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro.Pairing drinks with the summer menu can also be fun, especially for those looking for an extra kick in their margarita. The Hot Topics Maragarita is a combination of sweet and spicy, Tanteo Tropical Tequila and combier liqueur d’orange shaken with mango puree, lime juice and agave nectar. The kick is not in the liquor itself, however, as the drink is served with a chili-salted rim.Using red seabream, a Japanese seasonal fish, RA Sushi created two menu items, including red seabream carpaccio and red seabream nigiri.The carpaccio is a plate of thinly-sliced fish with lemon topped with spicy yuzu dressing, organic micro greens, truffle salt and lemon zest.The nigiri is seabream on rice, topped with spicy yuzu dressing and truffle salt.

  • County moves forward with tentative budget

    In a 3-2 split vote, the Pima County Board of Supervisors pushed through the county’s tentative budget last week, which if unaltered and formally approved next month would mean a 20-cent overall increase in property taxes for county residents.Voting against the $1.16 billion budget were supervisors Ally Miller of District 1 and Ray Carroll of District 4.Miller, who also opposed placing an $815 million bond package on the November ballot, said the county needs to reprioritize its spending without incurring new debt.It’s the taxpayers who are suffering the consequences, she said in last week’s meeting.“The people of this community just can’t afford it,” she said. “I’ve talked to many constituents who are on the verge of losing their homes.”The increased tax rate would bring the county rate to $5.96 per $100 of assessed value. This would mean an increase of about $31 for residents owning a home worth $152,000, the county average.  

  • Marana ranks 21st in Arizona Safest Cities and Towns report

    According to a study of the most recent FBI Crime Reports, Marana is safer than most places in Arizona. ValuePenguin complied a report ranking the Safest Cities and Towns in Arizona. Marana scored fairly well, coming in at number 21 of the 55 places listed.The study used crime reports from 2013, the latest available. At the time the data was collected, Marana had a population of 37,469 people, with 37 violent crimes per 100,000, 105 property crimes per 100,000, and an overall crime score of 1470.Florence was ranked as the state’s safest place with a crime score of 488, and Tucson and South Tucson coming in at numbers 54 and 55, with crime scores of  5,232 and 9,556 respectively.ValuePenguin weighed the crimes, with violent crimes having a larger effect on the scores than nonviolent property crimes. The study only included areas with more than 3,000 residents.­

Today's Top Headlines

Local News

  • Ironwood Elementary fifth graders reach Odyssey of Mind World Finals

    A team of seven fifth graders at Ironwood Elementary School in Marana Unified School District is competing in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals being held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.Odyssey of the Mind is an international problem solving competition that challenges students to solve problems using creativity and teamwork.Team coach Adele Roberts, a sixth-grade teacher at the school, said the Ironwood Elementary team is the first from MUSD to reach the world finals. They are competing against 59 teams from around the country in their 10- and 11-year olds elementary division. 800 participants are expected to compete in the World Finals in four divisions — elementary, junior high, high school and college.Ironwood team members are Katelyn Boynton, Sophia Northcutt, Mason Peck, Austin Osterkorn, Sean Roberts, Andres Velazco and Grace Wildblood.“The seven students have worked together since the beginning of the school year to solve a long-term problem,” Roberts said. “Their problem, called Runaway Train, challenged them to create multiple self-propelled vehicles that ran on a track and completed numerous required obstacles.”Roberts said the team members choose which type of problem they want to work on at the beginning of the school year, for instance a vehicle, technical or structure problem, and then must create props to exact specifications.

  • OV committee Great Decisions takes on national topic

    Oro Valley is nationally recognized as one of the country’s safest places to live, but that isn’t stopping its community members from proactively uniting to discuss the pertinent subject of what, on the national level, appears to be a deteriorating relationship between police and civilians.The examples are endless and seemingly only increasing – the rioting and unrest following the Ferguson decision, the same in New York shortly thereafter in a similar case of an officer-involved shooting, and the ongoing riots in Baltimore and Madison, to name a few. That’s why last week, the Oro Valley citizens group known as Great Decisions asked Police Chief Daniel Sharp, Town Attorney Tobin Sidles, and Magistrate Judge George Dunscomb to join them in a philosophical discussion that explored the reasoning behind these increasing tensions in a question and answer session at the Oro Valley Public Library.“It’s not necessarily for us to take action, and isn’t necessarily relevant to Oro Valley, but it gives us the opportunity to gain a better understanding of a lot of the nasty stuff that is going on across the nation,” said Bill Adler, who spearheads the Great Decisions group that gathers from mid-January through mid-March each year to explore a variety of topics. Sharp, who worked for the Tucson Police Department for 21 years before transitioning to Oro Valley, said he believes much of the rising tensions stem from the fact citizens in underprivileged areas have become disenfranchised with police because law enforcement has become more about punitive actions than establishing itself as a community resource that offers vocational or drug abuse recovery services, largely due to continued budgetary cuts.

  • Sometimes the beat doesn’t just go on….it parties!

    The SaddleBrooke SilverBelles have been dancing since the ’90s, and although dancers have come and gone in 20 years, the current ensemble has not only dancing in common but friendship, camaraderie and the love of a good party.To celebrate another year of entertaining in various senior living communities and other venues in the Tucson and Green Valley areas, the whole group gathered, along with their special guys, at Director Ann Kurtz’s house for an evening of fun, laughter and, most importantly, delicious food and drink. The Belles take the summer months to work on new choreography, polish existing routines and take a few well-deserved vacation days, as well. Many will be traveling all over the U.S. to attend high school and college graduation ceremonies for grandchildren.The group is currently booking performances for the fall season, and if you would like them to dance at your holiday or birthday party, unit get-together or any other function, call Caryl Mobley at 630-698-2232. They do not charge for performances but happily accept donations to defray costs.Check out their Facebook page to see photos and even a video of a performance at www.facebook.com/pages/SaddleBrooke-SilverBellesPerformance-Dance-Team

Entertainment

  • Pitch Perfect 2: Singing Barden Bellas return on a high note

    In this hilarious continuation to the surprise hit from 2012, Anna Kendrick reprises her role as Beca, orchestrating her collegiate a cappella singing group’s return to competition.  Rejoining Beca on stage is the returning cast of misfits from the first movie, along with politically incorrect competition commentators John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks). “Pitch Perfect 2” marks a stunning directorial debut for Banks (“The Hunger Games” collection), who took on the difficult Hollywood task of making a sequel as good — if not better than — the original film.  “Pitch Perfect 2” delivers a chorus of nonstop laughs throughout the movie using gags, one-liners and expanded storylines on each of the singers. The always amusing Australian stand-up comic Rebel Wilson headlines most of this film’s funniest scenes. As Fat Amy, Wilson provides us with an impeccable, quick-witted physical comedy presence not seen since Leslie Mann’s magnificent, Jim Carrey-esque performance in last year’s “The Other Woman.”Director Banks wisely brings back the head-spinning, sing-off competition that pits all the a cappella groups against each other in an informal, sudden death elimination match. As some ingenious NFL cameos and hit music from the ’80s are mixed into this soundtrack, the throw-down, sing-off challenge has become the trademark moment of the “Pitch Perfect” series.  Never straying too far from solid lyrics and ear-pleasing music, Banks fully understands that audiences not only want laughs but entertainment from this cast of Bellas.A few changes and fresh faces appear in this chapter of the girls’ lives. As Beca continues her lone-wolf ways, seeking an internship at a record label, her fellow Bellas welcome a new addition. 2011 Critics’ Choice Movie Award winner for “Best Young Actress” Hailee Steinfeld, shows off her singing chops as the group moves on to the international championship. Viewers may recognize Steinfeld from 2010’s remake of “True Grit” or last year’s “Begin Again.”Through expanded storylines of each of the characters and a high-water mark for laughter that surpasses even the original blockbuster hit, “Pitch Perfect 2” nails it. Viewers who enjoyed the 2012 Barden Bellas will once again find this one music centric and personality driven. First-time director Banks deserves credit for knowing what audiences have enjoyed along the a cappella competition circuit and for masterfully catering to those viewer desires. Her successful debut is marked by charming characters, pleasing music entertainment and perfectly timed humor. How impressive is Banks’ on-screen singing product? Well, “Pitch Perfect 2” opened last weekend alongside “Mad Max: Fury Road” and earned the top spot at the box office with $70 million — nearly double the gross total of George Miller’s sci-fi classic. Add another win in the sing-off competition for the Barden Bellas. 

  • Fine dining, with on-staff chef is another amenity at Splendido

    Over the last decade, senior citizens are being given a choice when it comes to retired living. Moving from a retirement home they might own in SaddleBrooke to a full-service facility is one of those choices retirees begin to look at as they age.However, even though retirees can’t stop aging, the current generation of Baby Boomers and beyond are controlling the markets and the required standards of living that must be provided by facilities such as Splendido, the independent living facility/community, in Oro Valley.Baby Boomers expect retired living to have all the amenities without the hassle of cleaning or keeping up household chores such as landscaping. And, that’s just the beginning. Beyond the basic living necessities, retirees are now requiring a community within a community. They want social interaction through wine clubs, travel clubs and more. It’s not just about the cliché Friday-night bingo anymore.In a facility such as Splendido, residents also enjoy services from the movie theater, swimming pool and spas to only the best when it comes to dining choices.The stereo type of senior living facilities over the years has been the food is more like cafeteria food – bland, with a lack of variety.

  • RA Sushi rolls out the summer menu

    As temperatures continue to creep toward the triple-degree mark, RA Sushi has prepared it’s summer menu with some cool selections.The standout of the new menu options is the Tuna California Roll. Not just a traditional California roll, this selection is finished with togarashi, garlic and pepper soy sauce, which gives a little kick to the roll ingredients, which includes a tuna mix of avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro.Pairing drinks with the summer menu can also be fun, especially for those looking for an extra kick in their margarita. The Hot Topics Maragarita is a combination of sweet and spicy, Tanteo Tropical Tequila and combier liqueur d’orange shaken with mango puree, lime juice and agave nectar. The kick is not in the liquor itself, however, as the drink is served with a chili-salted rim.Using red seabream, a Japanese seasonal fish, RA Sushi created two menu items, including red seabream carpaccio and red seabream nigiri.The carpaccio is a plate of thinly-sliced fish with lemon topped with spicy yuzu dressing, organic micro greens, truffle salt and lemon zest.The nigiri is seabream on rice, topped with spicy yuzu dressing and truffle salt.

Sports

  • State title completes quest begun in Little League

    They started their quest as Little Leaguers and ended as conquering heroes. A few hours after beating Tucson High 3-1 to win the Division II state baseball championship, the Canyon Del Oro baseball team returned to Oro Valley to show off their hardware. It was the completion of a quest begun almost a decade ago. The nine seniors on the team missed their graduation ceremony, but none of them seemed to care. As one player was overheard saying, “Everyone in our family graduated high school, but I’m the only one with a state championship.”“I’m fine that we missed graduation, this is better than graduation,” said senior catcher Hayden May. “Graduation is boring anyways.”“This is way better, we’ve been waiting our whole lives for this,” said senior Nick Ames.With the school’s Project Graduation party in full swing, the team entered the CDO gym, accompanied by rapper DJ Khalid’s “All I Do Is Win” blaring over the P.A. They may have missed the actual graduation ceremony, but this may have been sweeter.

  • Francis, Dorados embrace high expectations

    The dog pile started somewhere around home plate, the location of the final out of the game. The players on the field were the first to jump on pitcher Nick Ames and catcher Hayden May. The bench players arrived seconds later, having to navigate the dugout railing. Eventually the assistant coaches and the team’s batboy arrived. Only one member of the Dorado team was missing. Head Coach Keith Francis remained in the dugout. Watching his team celebrate, soaking it all in, but giving them the spotlight. “I did it to let them have it,” Francis said. “It’s them, they earned it. Keep me out of it. I am just here to help. I like teaching and that part for me was done. Let them enjoy it.”Francis returned to CDO to win a state title. He knew the demands were high. One local athletic director called it the hardest job in the state. The program was accustomed to winning state championships. They had won seven previously. Francis witnessed two as an assistant and a head coach. CDO is not a program that wins games. They win titles. They don’t just send players to college, they send players to the pros. Francis knew that. He knows that. It may be easy to coach talent, but it is not always easy to managed expectations. Former coach Stephen Ambuehl won games. He went 65-24 in three seasons, but never got past the second round. In fact, the team had not competed for a state title since 2009. While many programs would kill to consistently win 20 games, it is not enough for CDO. Players, parents and the students themselves expect more. At CDO it was perfectly reasonable that the nine seniors would miss graduation ceremonies to play for the championship. Francis came in and demanded more. He demands discipline. He made tough choices with the line-ups and roster, but it paid off. 

  • Sports update: Four Ironwood Ridge wrestlers named academic All-Americans

    Ironwood Ridge had four wrestlers named academic All-Americans by the National High School Coaches Association. Juniors Kyle Taylor, Marco Dominguez, Jeremy Berson and sophomore Jayce Cunha were all named honored by the organization. This is the third time Taylor has been named to the team and the second appearance for Dominguez.Ironwood Ridge wrestlers have also gotten it done on the mat. Danny Vega won the UWW Junior Nationals in Las Vegas for ages 17-20 earlier this month. The win qualifies him for the UWW World Team Trial Finals in Wisconsin June 12-14.  According to Ironwood Ridge Head Wrestling Coach Tim Berrier, all the other qualifiers will wrestle a mini tournament and the winner of that goes against Vega in a best two out of three final. The winner of the final qualifies for the world team that will compete in the UWW Junior World Championships from Aug. 11-16 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.Patrick Klass is recovering from a knee injury but has claimed two tournament titles this spring. He and Cahuna won the Arizona State Greco Roman Tournament and Klass also claimed a tournament crown at the West Coast Nationals in Las Vegas. Neither are considered huge tournaments, but it was a nice performance for a wrestler who missed all of last season with an injury. Former Ironwood Ridge wrestling standout Kyle Webb graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. with a degree in criminal justice. 

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