Tucson Local Media: Marana

Marana

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  • Council approves sales tax increase to fund police station

    The Marana Town Council held a special study session in addition to their normally scheduled meeting on Feb. 17 and a few major decisions were made.Marana came one step closer to a new police station. At the end of the study session on Tuesday, the Marana Town Council unanimously agreed to initiate the process to adopt a dedicated 0.5 cent sales tax.“I think it is a real positive thing, obviously,” said Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema. “The council and the town continue to move this project in a very positive direction. It is a great thing for the town, it is a great thing for the community and I think, of course, it will help our department grow more and get better and better.”The council approved the sales tax on the condition that it is only in effect until the money to pay for the station is raised. The initial estimates are $18 million, though a final number will be determined later in the process and could be adjusted down if the cost of the station is less than $18 million. According to Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson, this is the first of seven steps that will lead to the completed police station being built and paid off when the sales tax period expires. Conservative estimates have the tax expiring in 2018.The town will now go through the process of getting the tax raise implemented, which includes notifying the public as well as the state. In addition, the town will identify and select a construction project manager and hope to have the position filled by May at the latest.

  • Oro Valley, Marana hosting third annual Move Across 2 Ranges hiking challenge

    The Town of Oro Valley and Town of Marana will once again partner to host the third annual Move Across 2 Ranges hiking challenge on Saturday, February 28, 2015, from 6:45 a.m. to noon.Move Across 2 Ranges gives outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities the opportunity to hike, stroll or trail run two beautiful mountain ranges in the Marana and Oro Valley area: the Tortolitas and Santa Catalinas.Participants can choose one of four hiking challenges:• Mighty (my size) Move - 5 miles• Major Move - 10 miles• Mega Move - 15 miles

  • Fatal rollover at Twin Peaks and I-10

    On Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 3:49 p.m., Northwest Fire District crews were dispatched to an area on the frontage road just sound of Twin Peaks and Eastbound I-10 in reports to a vehicle rollover.When crews arrived on scene, they discovered that the car rolled several times and landed upside down. The man had been ejected from the car during the accident and was trapped underneath it.According to NWFD spokesperson Adam Goldberg, after crews worked for 20 minutes rescuing the man, they were able to get him free and NWFD paramedics evaluated and discovered that the man had suffered fatal injuries.It is unclear if the man was wearing his seatbelt at the time. Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) started an investigation at the scene. Northwest Fire reminds everyone to always wear a seatbelt at all times in a moving vehicle.

  • Marana Police Department solves 28-year-old homicide investigation

    It was a case that looked like it might never be solved.But 28 years after a homeless man discovered the body of 16-year-old murder victim Deanna Lee Criswell in the town of Marana, the cold case is no longer cold.When police initially recovered Criswell’s body, her face was so badly decomposed that identifying her was impossible. She had no identification on her, and no missing person’s report had been filed on her behalf. From the beginning, police were at a standstill not only in identifying the victim, but also in determining a suspect since there were no witnesses to the shooting that took her life.Criswell was buried as a Jane Doe, and for more than two decades the case remained stagnant.But in March 2009, Marana Police Department (MPD) Crime Scene Supervisor Tom Mooney reopened the investigation after he saw photos of the crime scene.

  • Town Manager Davidson believes award shows town’s successes

    Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson was presented with the John J. DeBolske Professional Excellence Award, but in his mind the award is less an individual honor and more a recognition of the job the entire town staff has done. “It is a testament to the hard work we all do at the town,” said Gilbertson. “The award is due to the collected work of many people, which adds up to what we see in the town’s successes.”“Gilbert’s leadership and staff’s commitment to the community make this award an honor for everyone,” added Mayor Ed Honea.The award handed out by the Arizona City/County Management Association recognizes city managers who demonstrate the highest level of professional excellence in local government and who have made life contributions in serving the profession. It’s the highest honor the ACMA bestows on an active member.“It was a tremendous honor to receive the award,” said Gilbertson. “It means a lot that my peers around the state recognize what we are doing in Marana.”Davidson is from Wilcox and did his undergrad and graduate work at the University of Arizona. It was there that he worked with former Tucson City Manager 

  • Avra Valley fissures not a real threat

    There are four known fissures in the Avra Valley/Marana area that are currently inactive according to the Arizona Geologic Survey. Although fissures can be a geologic hazard, the ones in the area do not seem to pose any imminent threats to homeowners. But that does not mean they are not something to be wary of. Fissures are large cracks that develop underground and break open at the surface. According to Michael Conway of the Arizona Geological Survey, the fissures are caused by pumping groundwater in rural areas. Since the four fissures in Avra Valley are inactive, the main concern for residents is if a contaminant got into a fissure and into the groundwater. “They are essentially conduits to the groundwater,” explained Conway. As water is pumped out of the ground, the water table can drop, leading to the surface sinking a bit and the cracks opening up. Conway said that fissures are often popular dumping grounds and that it is not unheard of to see 55-gallon drums dumped near them, or even into them. If a toxin were to get into a water supply through a fissure, or any other way, it could render the water undrinkable. 

  • Marana moves ahead with tax increase for police station

    The Town of Marana came one step closer to a new police station. At the end of a special study session on Tuesday, the Marana Town Council unanimously approved to initiate the process to adopt a dedicated 0.5 cent sales tax.“I think it is a real positive thing, obviously,” said Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema. “The council and the town continue to move this project in a very positive direction. It is a great thing for the town, it is a great thing for the community and I think, of course, it will help our department grow more and get better and better.”The council approved the sales tax on the condition that it is only in effect until the money to pay for the station is raised. The initial estimates are $18 million, though a final number will be determined later in the process.According to Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson, this is the first of seven steps that will lead to the completed police station being built and paid off when the sales tax period expires. Conservative estimates have the tax expiring in 2018.The town will now go through the process of getting the tax raise implemented, which includes informing the public as well as the state. In addition the town will identify the and select a construction project manager and hope to have the position filled by May at the latest.For more details on the police station study session, as well as other details from the study session and ensuing council meeting, see the Feb. 25 edition of the Marana News. 

  • Marana Town Council hosts study session, special meeting

    The Marana Town Council had a busy day on Feb. 10, conducting both special study session and a special meeting.The study session centered on two items,  the fiscal year 2015-1016 budget and minor amendments to the Town of Marana General Plan’s road network map. Town Manager Gilbert Davidson and Town Finance Manager Erik Montague each spoke about the budget and  specifically its role in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. After a brief introduction by Davidson, Montague got into more detailed discussions of the budget and town finances. He started off by explaining that the town has $23.7 million in reserves.“As a result of tough decisions we have been able to modestly add back to reserves,” explained Montague. Montague added that the importance of the reserves are to give the town liquidity, flexibility and capacity, but added that the town does not “hoard resources” and they are “looking to deploy them for appropriate programs and projects.”

  • Marana Police officer shoots, kills suspect

    A domestic violence suspect is dead after a man drew a weapon on a Marana Police Officer early morning of Monday, Feb. 16.Daniel Lawrence Caldwell, 56, was wanted by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department following an aggravated assault and domestic violence incident at the 4900 block of Volk drive, near Avra Valley Road and Anway Road.According to Jose Alvarez, spokesman for the Marana Police Department, Caldwell allegedly got into an argument with his girlfriend in which he pulled a gun and fired at least one round into the refrigerator.By the time deputies arrived at the residence, Caldwell had fled the scene. Deputies had information that he was going rent a room at the Super 8 Motel near Cortaro and Interstate 10, where they then asked for Marana Police Department’s assistance around 3 a.m.“We went over there, and knocked on the room he was supposed to be at, and he wasn’t there,” said Alvarez.Based on the description of Caldwell’s vehicle, Marana Police Department Officer Cesar Nelson, a 6 year veteran, was able to locate Caldwell’s vehicle in the Cracker Barrel restaurant,  but the suspect was nowhere to be found.

  • Ventana Medical Systems breaks ground in Marana

    A 60,000 square-foot Ventana Medical Systems logistics facility is one step closer to a reality in the town of Marana.On Monday, town officials welcomed Ventana Medical Systems (VMS), a member of the Roche Group, with a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site near the Interstate 10 and Tangerine Road intersection.The project is to be overseen by landowner Cottonwood Properties as one of several to come in what is being called the Tangerine Commerce Park. Ventana’s new mulituse facility will serve as a storage, distribution and assembly point for the company’s cancer diagnostic instruments, complementing Ventana Medical Systems’ tissue-based diagnostic solutions center in the neighboring town of Oro Valley.The current storage and distribution warehouse on Tucson Boulevard will no longer be utilized.“We’re excited about bringing Ventana closer together,” said Daniel Zabrowski, president of VMS. “Our products serve and benefit millions of cancer patients each year, and this state-of-the-art facility is going to be the launching pad for that mission to be realized.”VMS will be the first development in Tangerine Commerce Park, but town officials expect future, significant projects to follow suit.

  • No reported cases of measles in Pima County

    Pima County to date remains untouched by the Disneyland-based measles outbreak that health officials have linked to more than 100 total cases in 14 states, including seven in Arizona.Health officials with the CDC say the outbreak was likely reintroduced to the U.S. by travelers abroad, though transmission has come largely due to the fact that fewer people are getting their immunizations in recent years than in 2000, when the disease was declared eliminated from the U.S. “When you consider that, and combine it with the fact that Disneyland is a travel destination for many people from different countries where measles is more prominent, that’s the perfect storm to create an outbreak,” said Dr. Francisco Garcia, Pima County Health Director.Since 2000, there has been more than a 100 percent increase in Arizona in the number of unvaccinated children – and that trend carries on to other states as well.Furthermore, statistics from a recently published blog by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble shows troubling data for Arizona schools and childcare centers, which are required to report their vaccination coverage and exemption rates for 19-35 month-olds, kindergarteners, and sixth-graders.According to Humble, kindergarten vaccination exemption rates in the 2013-14 school year were the highest they’ve ever been at 4.7 percent, which takes into account immunization averages for measles as well as other diseases like varicella and Hepatitis B.

  • 11 new officers welcomed to the Marana Police Department

    Over the past six months the Marana Police Department has added 11 new police officers and on Feb. 4 those officers were sworn in as part of a badge pinning ceremony at the Marana Municipal Complex. “We have 11 very strong people who have come into the organization over the past six months and that is going to help us take it to the next level,” Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema said at the ceremony. A judge swore in the 11 officers, then one by one they had their names called and had their badge pinned on by their loved ones. Some had their spouses pin the badge, while others had parents or fiancés. Tiffany Banghart had her young children Abigail and Noah pin her shield to her uniform.“It is a really special thing,” said Officer Banghart. “I really love that they have been a part of it. They have seen me go through the training and I have been away for awhile, so it is kind of including them in it. It is very special.”Of the 11 new hires, seven were to replace departing officers and four were new positions. Of the seven who left the department, five retired, one moved to another department out of state and one left police work altogether.  “For the organization it shows how much we are growing and we are bringing in top-notch people,” Rozema said. 

  • Head-on collision on Linda Vista Blvd.

    Just before 10:00 a.m., Northwest Fire and Mountain Vista Fire both responded to a two vehicle car accident east of Hartman Lane on Linda Vista Blvd.No further information is available about the accident while the two departments compile the information together.

  • Marana deputy chief to attend elite FBI training academy

    Marana Deputy Police Chief Ruben Nunez will accomplish a career goal, and benefit the department when he attends the FBI National Academy in April. He will be the first Marana Police Department employee to undergo the training.“It has been a career aspiration of mine to attend this prestigious leadership course,” said Nunez. “I have attended the Northwestern University Police Staff and Command course and the Senior Management Institute for Police, SMIP in Boston and adding the NA is the crown jewel to my career.”  The FBI National Academy (FBINA) which is located on the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia. It was established in 1935, and since its inception has graduated over 37,000 law enforcement officers.  The FBINA holds four sessions per year and approximately 250 students from all 50 states, U.S. Territories, as well as, over 160 foreign nations attend each session.  Each session is approximately 11 weeks long and all students reside in the barracks at the Base.Nunez has enrolled in six courses: Advanced Investigative Strategies for Violent Crime, Leadership, Spirituality, Wellness and Vitality, Labor law issues for LE Administrators, Fitness in LE, Conflict and Crisis Management and Networking and Enrichment.“The courses offered at the NA are undergraduate and graduate level courses that range from legal issues, leadership, and behavioral science to forensic science, fitness/health, and law enforcement communication,” explained Nunez. The courses are just part of the experience. Interacting and learning from the other law enforcement officials on hand, both instructors and other students, is another benefit. 

  • Marana Unified School District annual Spelling Bee

    After 39 rounds, Marana Middle School’s Matthew Glasshoff won the Marana Unified School District spelling bee last week. He will go to the Pima County spelling bee with Tressah Moon, from Picture Rocks Intermediate School, Dani Robbins, from Twin Peaks Elementary School, Grace Hala’ ufia, from Marana Middle School, and Sam Herschler, from Tortolita Middle School will be the alternate.

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