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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 4:00 am

Fun-Day Golf Outing Helps Oracle State Park

Golfers of all abilities are invited to a benefit golf outing at the championship SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The four-person scramble competition includes 18 holes on the lush desert terrain, a cart, lunch at The Shack on the Lake at #9, and dozens of give-aways and prizes.

Sponsored by Friends of Oracle State Park (FOSP), all proceeds will be dedicated to funding a limited re-opening of Oracle State Park. In February, March, and April 2012, the park will be opened for the general public every Saturday, and opened on selected weekdays so the popular school environmental education programs can be resumed.

Over the last two decades, thousands of students from area and regional schools learned key environmental principles on the trails and natural washes of the park's oak-manzanita woodlands.

Oracle State Park was closed in October 2009 due to severe state budget cuts. Since then, FOSP has partnered with Arizona State Parks to help preserve the historic Kannally Ranch House and grounds, maintain its 15 miles of hiking trails including those linked to the Arizona Trail, and coordinate removal of dead treees. More importantly, FOSP has worked to reach an agreement with State Parks to help fund limited park operations for three months this spring and three months in the fall.

The golf outing will help FOSP reach its fund-raising goal of $21,000. A membership drive and donations outreach will continue. More about Oracle State Park and its non-profit "Friends" is at www.azstateparks.com and www.friendsosp.org.

Dispose-A-Med coming to Target Dec. 17

The Marana Police Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Meth Free Alliance, Optimist Club, Fraternal Order of Police, Northwest Fire District and Pima County Wastewater, is hosting a Dispose-A-Med event Dec. 17. It is being held at the Target on the corner of Ina and Thornydale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residents are invited to bring unused and expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to be properly disposed. Please, no inhalers or syringes/needles.

Student pharmacists from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, under the supervision of licensed pharmacists, will be available to answer questions.

Boys and Girls Club collects cars

With only a few weeks left, people may want to donate a car to the Boys and Girls Clubs in time for the upcoming tax season. Got an old piece of junk...? We will take it! The Boys and Girls Club will accept any car in any condition providing it has a title. The scrap metal market has never been so high, even cars in terrible condition are welcome. The cars are sold at auction and the funds generated can support your local club. People seeking to donate their car or for more information, call 800-246-0493

Donate a car, get a tax deduction

Donate your unwanted car by Dec. 31 to Cars4Charities, and you will get a year-end tax deduction of at least $500 on your itemized federal taxes.

You'll also help one of hundreds of respected charities at the same time. Cars4Charities will handle the entire donation process, from start to finish. They'll turn your unwanted vehicle into cash and send the entire net proceeds to the charity you select from their list. You can donate your car online at www.cars4charities.org.

Your vehicle does not have to run or be in good condition and it will be picked up in a matter of days, free of charge.

Cars4Charities will provide you with all the paperwork you'll need. To claim your 2011 deduction, your title must be signed and postmarked by December 31, 2011. For details, please visit www.cars4charities.org or call 1-866-448-3487.

OV Police receive grant to combat impaired driving

The Oro Valley Police Department received a grant from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety to combat impaired driving.

The $40,000 grant, which has been approved through September 30, 2012, will fund personnel deployments and equipment, helping the department achieve its mission to reduce impaired driving and the tragic losses associated with this crime.

Recognizing the importance of impaired driver interdiction and education, OVPD will work closely with the Governor's Office to ensure that these funds are utilized in an efficient and effective manner. OVPD has a commendable history in traffic safety and its zero-tolerance approach to impaired driver enforcement.

University gets food safety grant

The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords welcomed a $542,969 federal grant to the University of Arizona last week, that will research ways of improving the safety of the nation's food supply.

The funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was among $10.4 million in grants to universities in 13 states that were announced today. The money will help address a broad spectrum of food safety issues, according to USDA officials.

"Millions of Americans contract food-borne illnesses annually," said Pia Carusone, chief of staff for Giffords. "We welcome this grant for the outstanding College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, which will help ensure that Arizona's farm products are as safe as possible."

The USDA said UA researchers will collect samples from the irrigation infrastructure throughout Yuma to test for the presence and levels of toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella bacteria. Current methods for preventing the growth and spread of the bacteria will be evaluated for their effectiveness and a microbial risk assessment will be conducted, federal officials said.

Yuma is Arizona's epicenter for agriculture and the winter lettuce capitol of the nation. During the winter months, Yuma produces about 90 percent of all leafy greens consumed in the United States.

"We expect that the research and education spurred by these grants will find solutions to some pressing food safety issues," said Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of agriculture. "Additionally, we want to help American consumers, restaurant employees and teachers put new food safety principles into practice. Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for USDA and we will continue to work with our public and private-sector partners on developing solutions to decrease potential risks."

 

 

 

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