- Your Voice
A large number of local northwest area athletes will continue their athletic careers at the college level. In total 21 area high school athletes signed National Letters of Intent to accept athletic scholarships, with at least five more signing this week. More athletes, including football and soccer players will sign in the February signing period. There is also a spring signing period in April. CDO had the most athletes sign, with 14 getting an opportunity to sign with four-year schools. Chris Meyers signed with Stanford, a week after winning the Division II state golf championship. That concluded a standout senior season for Meyers, who also won the Gary Durrenberger award for the lowest average. “Its really awesome,” Meyers said of signing day. “We had 14 sign yesterday. We just have a great school. I am just glad that I chose to go to CDO where all the kids are so great. I have made friends that I will be friends with for a really long time. I feel fortunate.”Girls golfer Morgan Messick signed with Northern Arizona, but after verbally committing to the school she decided to take the season off from high school golf and focus on her academics.
Mountain View High School has had five former students killed in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is believed to be the most of any high school in America. This somber fact led to the construction of a veterans’ memorial in front of the school. Nov. 8, the school dedicated the monument to the five, as well as any United States military veteran.“These kids gave their lives for our country, so it’s important,” said Mike Dyer, a former assistant basketball coach at Mountain View and a longtime coach in the Marana Unified School District. The project was spearheaded by Dyer and school equipment manager Tony Esparza, who knew many of those who were slain. Dyer approached former school administrators and was turned away. When Patricia Cadigan became principal, he again made his sales pitches. This time he found a receptive ear but the project could not proceed due to district restrictions regarding memorials being dedicated to individuals due mostly to getting all of the proper permissions from the families. Dyer said he made monthly pitches to Cadigan in an attempt to make it work.“My wife calls me a pest, I call myself persistent,” joked Dyer.Eventually Dyer pitched the idea of a memorial to all veterans and this time he got the OK, but there was a catch.
The Town of Marana’s efforts to improve citizen engagement through the use of new technology were recognized this week when Marana was named one of the best governments for its size by the e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities Program.Marana tied for sixth with Evanston, Ill., among communities with fewer than 75,000 residents. Marana finished first in the category in 2012; the City of Dublin, Ohio came out on top this year.Among the Town’s technology services accomplishments was the development of mobile web sites for signature events, videos for its Community Connections program, cloud-based solutions and a project implementation process.Judging criteria was based on results achieved by cities via the use of technology in operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives despite fiscal constraints.The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, events and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation.
The Town is seeking members for its Marana Citizens’ Forum. The group brings together residents, business owners and community partners to study and address issues facing the Town. Recommendations are then presented to Town Council.The Forum holds as many as three sessions each year. Each session consists of five 1½ hour meetings, held on Thursdays at the Marana Municipal Complex beginning at 5:30 p.m. The next session begins in January or February 2015.Applications are available at http://www.marana.com/forms.aspx?FID=93 (at marana.com under Community/Citizen Engagement). All applications remain active for a year from receipt.Call 382-1960 for additional information.
Northwest Fire crews responded to a single vehicle roll-over accident on Thursday morning at approximately 7:30AM. Crews found an SUV with heavy damage on the side of Interstate 10 near Tangerine Farms Rd.The vehicle had rolled several times, landing in a dry irrigation canal. The driver was wearing her seat belt and the three children that were in the vehicle were all properly restrained in child car seats. The driver was transported with minor injuries to UAMC. The children were uninjured and evaluated by Paramedics for precaution. On scene crews contribute the lack of serious injuries to the driver as well as the children being properly restrained with seat belts and car seats.Northwest Fire would like to remind all drivers and passengers of vehicles that seat belts truly save lives. Adults responsible for children in their vehicle should always ensure children are properly restrained in child safety seats. For information about car seats or assistance with car seats contact Northwest Fire Life Safety Services at 520-887-1010 or visit our website at www.northwestfire.org.The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The Marana Police Department, in conjunction with the Marana Health Center, Marana-Foothills Optimist Club, and Pima County Wastewater will be hosting the final Dispose-A-Med of the year on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Target, 3901 W. Ina Road. Participants are encouraged to bring unused or expired prescription medications, which if not properly disposed, can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Unused drugs that are flushed can contaminate water supply, while those thrown away can be retrieved or sold illegally. All over-the-counter medications will be accepted at the event, including veterinarian medications and vitamins, tablets and capsules. All pills should be kept in their original containers.Metal or glass inhalation aerosol bottles, syringes, epi-pens, liquids, and creams will not be accepted. In its last event in September, Dispose-A-Med collected 187 pounds of medication.Volunteers are being accepted for the coming event. Contact Nancy Lyngby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 275-0902 to sign up or for additional information.
Nearly 300 people, mostly veterans and their families, were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new State Veteran’s Cemetery in Marana. “I think this is the perfect site for a veterans’ cemetery,” said Ted Vogt, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Director.The cemetery is due to be open in early January 2016 and is the culmination of many years of effort to get it approved and opened. The project was spearheaded by Paul Marsh, a Pima Country resident and veteran who has been pushing for the cemetery to be built. “For over a decade Paul has been championing the establishment of a veteran cemetery that serves Pima and Pinal counties and surrounding communities,” Vogt said. “He is a one man thorn in the side of elected officials everywhere,” added Vogt. “It has been a long hard slog.”Marsh was singled out by nearly every speaker as being the catalyst for the cemetery.
The race between Democratic Congressman Ron Barber and Republican challenger Martha McSally remained too close to call as of the Explorer’s Monday deadline, with McSally holding a slim 341-vote lead over Barber.More than 9,000 provisional ballots remained to be tabulated, according to Pima County election staff.The vast majority of the provisional ballots—or ballots that needed a double-check by the Pima County Recorder’s Office to ensure that they were legitimate—were expected to be counted by the end of the day Monday, Nov. 10.But on Sunday, an attorney for McSally asked county staff to set aside provisional ballots that did not bear the proper signature of a poll worker until it could be legally determined whether the votes were valid. The questioned ballots were in four heavily Democratic precincts. Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez refused the legal demand and processed all the county’s provisional ballots before transferring 9,335 to the county’s election division and dismissing 767 as invalid ballots.Attorney Eric Spencer said that based on rules in the state election manual issued by the Secretary of State, the McSally campaign “formally challenges the validity of all provisional ballots that have a provisional ballot form with a missing election official signature.”Barber campaign spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn blasted the legal maneuver.
The officials behind one of two planned Marana outlet malls celebrated the construction of their major project Thursday with an official groundbreaking.The Tucson Premium Outlets, at Twin Peaks Road and Interstate 10, will have more than 90 stores when it opens next fall. Workers have already been at the site for some time, preparing the dirt and beginning to put up the bones for what is expected to be a regional shopping draw.Tucson Premium Outlets will anchor Marana Center, a 170-acre mixed-use commercial center being developed by Vintage Partners. The mall, owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, will have more than 360,000 square feet of leasable space.This project is Simon’s first in Southern Arizona. The company also owns Arizona Mills in Tempe and Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler. The Marana center will most closely resemble the Chandler mall.The Marana project is expected to create 300 to 500 construction jobs plus more than 800 full-time and part-time retail jobs upon opening.Marana Mayor Ed Honea is among the town leaders eager to have the mall. He added that the mall will be a $2 million per year tax base.
Inside Tucson Business hosted its annual CFO of the Year awards on Nov. 5, with town officials from Oro Valley and Marana bringing home awards.Stacey Lemos, the finance director for the Town of Oro Valley, took first place in the government category.From Marana, also in the government category, the town’s finance director Erik Montague took third place.More than 200 attended the event held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley.Other winners included CFOs from companies with more than $15 million, companies with less than $15 million and a nonprofit category.For more photos from the event, visit www.insidetucsonbusiness.com.
Northwest-side school administrators are learning more about the new state standardized test set to replace the AIMS exam, but they’re confident their districts will be ready for the challenge.Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching, or the AzMERIT, exam will come before students this spring, replacing the AIMS, or Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards, exam that has been in place since 1999. Monica Nelson, associate superintendent for Amphitheater Public Schools, said the AzMERIT is a different kind of test. It’s in a computer-heavy format, with drag-and-drop questions and word processing, and it requires critical thinking, such as essays comparing two literature passages.“It’s asking kids to think about things more deeply than a more traditional forced-choice test would have done,” she said.The Arizona Department of Education awarded a $19 million contract earlier this month to the American Institutes for Research to develop the set of exams, aligned with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. State education officials are still hashing out some details, such as whether to make this year a “hold harmless” period as schools and students transition to the new test.Nelson said logistically, Amphi is in good shape, although educators will have to decide whether the youngest test-takers are developmentally ready for a computer-based test.
The Marana Town Council approved a $20,000 contribution to Imagine Greater Tucson (IGT) outreach program, which is working with the Pima Association for Governments (PAG) on regional transportation issues.Robin Shambach, of IGT, spoke during the Nov. 4 meeting in an effort to get local municipalities to contribute funds to the program, which would be matched by PAG. The program, would cover both areas of community engagement and discussions related to transportation infrastructure, with an emphasis on the development of an international trade corridor through the Tucson area and other various plans to enhance regional transportation. Councilwoman Carol McGorray felt that it was important for Marana “to have a place at the table” when it came to regional transportation, especially when it came to trade with Mexico. Mayor Ed Honea was also on board with making sure Marana was included in regional transportation improvements, but added, “I don’t think I-11 (the international trade corridor) will be built in my lifetime. You are talking about billions of dollars in a state that is broke and a county that is broke.”In other business, the council reviewed proposals submitted by two cellular companies looking to use town property for cell towers/wireless communication facilities. Both T-Mobile and Verizon each submitted two locations for these new additions. Bill Daly of T-Mobile, who spoke on behalf of both companies, explained the towers were needed because local residents were using more data and more bandwidth.
Join staff of Tucson Local Media for the monthly Sippin’ Social on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Fox and Hound Smokehouse & Tavern, located at 7625 N. La Cholla Blvd. from 4 to 6 p.m.Pitch story ideas, discuss current news, or relax and enjoy food or drink.Tucson Local Media does not pay for food or drink.
Marana High School invites the community to join them on Saturday, Nov. 29, for the first annual Ugly Sweater 5K Walk/Run and annual Turkey Bowl benefiting clubs/sports at Marana High School and the MUSD Holiday Share Program.Register for the Ugly Sweater 5k and stay for the Turkey Bowl. For almost 20 years, this competitive, yet humorous, flag football game has brought alumni and their families from across the country back to Marana High School. General Information:Date: Saturday, Nov. 29Time: 9 a.m. Walk/Run; 10:30 a.m. Turkey BowlLocation: Marana High School 12000 W. Emigh Road
United Methodist Church has come a long way since they first began. The church officially organized in 2009 with approximately 120 people. Now, at their five year anniversary, there are well over 400 people. To celebrate their five year anniversary, the church is having a special celebratory service where it all began at Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School at 8500 N. Continental Reserve Loop. This special service is being held on Nov. 23, at 10 am with delicious cake to follow. All are invited to see why this church is growing so well.For information, visit www.TheWelcomingChurch.com, or call the church office at 207-6453.