The Explorer: Marana


Recent Headlines

  • Golder Ranch Fire District swift-water rescue responses

    Numerous fire districts and police departments were busy Monday with the barrage of rescues that came as a result of a storm. Golder Ranch Fire District personnel responded to multiple swift-water rescues in all portions of the district including Catalina, Oro Valley, and State Route 79.Around 11:29 a.m. Golder Ranch Technical Rescue personnel deployed to reports of two cars stuck in a wash on W. Hardy Road between N. La Cañada Drive and N. Northern Ave.. When they got there, one vehicle was empty and a second car had a male occupant that was able to get out and get to a sand island in the middle of the wash. After water levels started to lower, they were able to safely wade the water and rescue the man to solid ground without injury. Shortly before 1 p.m., Golder Ranch personnel were dispatched to the area of State Route 79 and Cadillac Wash for another swift-water rescue. A 69-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman had attempted to cross a flooded roadway when their vehicle was overcome by the strong force of the flowing water. As they attempted to exit the vehicle and cross the water on foot, the water grew higher sweeping both the vehicle and the woman patient into the water.With the help of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety, crews searched the river downstream from where the vehicle and the woman plunged into the water. After the water began to recede, the female patient was spotted downstream approximately a quarter mile from the crossing near the vehicle. The woman did not survive the incident. The male patient was evaluated and cleared by Golder Ranch paramedics and refused transport.  The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is currently still investigating.

  • MUSD asking voters for $125 million in bonds

    Marana Unified School District is going to the voters in November to ask for $125 million in bonds.The money, if approved by voters, would be spent on two new elementary schools, a performing arts center, a centralized transportation and maintenance facility, and replacement of portable classrooms with permanent brick-and-mortar expansions, along with building and stadium renovations, buses and furniture. “As our district is growing we need to be able to meet those obligations, such as in the form of construction and the ability to build new elementary schools and equip those schools, in addition to those necessary renovations and capital projects that are needed in order to maintain buildings and keep infrastructure operational,” said district spokeswoman Tamara Crawley.State funding cuts in recent years have eliminated monies for building renewal, new-school construction, and soft capital – which is used for textbooks, computers and classroom supplies – across Arizona. This leaves school districts to turn to voters to approve tax increases in the form of bonds and budget overrides for building and maintenance projects and purchase of vehicles, equipment and supplies. This loss comes out to about $4.7 million a year for MUSD.If voters approve the bond question, listed on ballots as Proposition 417, the school district plans to use the funds within five to seven years. For the typical Marana homeowner, the estimated cost comes out to no more than about $25 per year in property taxes.Some of the larger proposed projects include:

  • Marana Town Talk: Marking a solemn occasion by taking action

    This time of year marks a solemn occasion for anyone who believes in the unquestionable power of freedom and liberty.When terrorists hijacked and later crashed planes in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, they took the lives of almost 3,000 people and injured countless others. The aftereffects continue for millions of Americans, many of whom are looking for productive ways to honor the victims of that terrible day.Five years ago, Congress designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. The designation was the culmination of an effort started by 9/11 family members and support groups. They collaborated to establish the charitable service day as a way to remember victims, survivors and others who rose up in service in response to the attacks.Those of us who live in Southern Arizona have numerous opportunities to spend Sept. 11 and beyond in service of our friends and neighbors.• The town and Marana Health Center are partnering with the American Red Cross of Southern Arizona to host a blood drive Sept. 24. The chapter provides services across 23,000 square miles in five counties and three Native American Reservations.To sign up for the drive, please visit and enter sponsor code: marana or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Volunteer opportunities can be found at

  • Marana Police Reports

    On Thursday, Aug. 28 at about 1:26 a.m., Marana police responded to a call about a stolen car stereo at the Walmart on 8280 N. Cortaro Road. The caller said he went into Walmart for about 15 minutes and when he returned he saw that his stereo was gone. The caller says he thinks he left the car unlocked. The cost of the stereo was about $20. On Monday, Aug. 25 at about 7:30 a.m., Marana police responded to a call about vandalism on the 1300 block of N. Lon Adams. The caller said she closed her blinds on her sliding glass door about 9:30 p.m. and then went to bed. She didn’t notice any broken glass. The next morning at 7 a.m. she saw that the window had been shattered. The estimated cost for repair is about $200. On Sunday, Aug. 24 at 6:10 p.m., Marana police responded to a call about a theft at the 7500 block of W. Sugar Ranch Road. The caller said that about a month ago his Ipad was stolen or lost. Today, he received an alert from the Ipad that it was turned on. The signal showed that the Ipad was in a specific area. The man went to the area, but the resident of the home denied he had it. The police officer searched the home, but found nothing.On Friday, Aug. 22, at about 10:35 a.m., Marana police responded to the 1000 block of W. Warfield Circle in reference to criminal damage. The caller said between Wednesday, Aug. 20 and Friday, Aug. 22 someone had thrown a rock through her bathroom window. The cost to replace the window is about $100. A three-inch hole was found in the window as well as pieces of glass and the rock itself. On Friday, Aug. 22 at 2 p.m., Marana police responded to a call about shoplifting at the Walmart on 8280 N. Cortaro Road. At about 1 p.m., a woman entered the store and began grabbing items from the pet and market area and putting them in her purse. The woman did not pay for the items and was stopped by the door’s exit. The woman had about $155 worth of items. The woman was arrested for shoplifting.

  • Town recruiting Citizens Forum members

    The town has open positions for its Marana Citizens Forum. The forum brings residents, business owners and community partners together to study and address multidisciplinary issues facing the yown. Recommendations are presented to the Town Council.The forum meets for two to three sessions each year. Applications are available at Call 382-1960 for additional information.

  • Mountain View dominates in annual inner-district rival against Marana Tigers, wins 52-2

    The Boot will remain on the east side of I-10. Mountain View beat Marana 53-2 on Thursday night, earning the right to keep the Boot Trophy that the winner of the game gets to keep on their campus. Mountain View has had control of the boot since 1999 and has won all six meetings since the rivalry renewed in 2009.“It’s a good way to start the season,” said Mountain View Head Coach Bam McRae. “We’ve got a lot of things that we need to improve and get better, but at the same time you want to come out the first game and have a great showing and I think our boys did a great job.” The Mountain Lions scored on their first two possessions of the night. Two plays after converting a fourth and six near midfield, Mountain View quarterback Justice Summerset heaved a long pass down the left sideline. The pass was slightly underthrown, but Jeff Cotton adjusted, hauled in the pass, then cut inside making the defensive back miss, and strolled the final 10 yards into the endzone for a 37-yard score. After a Marana fumble near midfield, the Mountain Lions went back to work. The Lions appeared to score on a swing pass from Summerset to Stanley Berryhill. Berryhill hauled in the pass, broke a tackle then tiptoed the sideline before racing 43 yards for the score, except the Lions were called for holding and the ball was moved back to the 14. On the next play Summerset avoided the Marana blitz, scampered to his left and weaved his way through the Marana defense for the score. It was a terrific outing for the junior quarterback making his first start. Summerset was 12-21 for 296 yards and four touchdown passes. All four touchdown passes were to different receivers. Summerset also rushed eight times for 56 yards and two more scores. 

  • Ventana Medical Systems expanding into Marana

    A worldwide leader in innovative cancer diagnostic solutions, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. is expanding its research into the Town of Marana by constructing a 60,000-square-foot facility.The state-of-the-art facility will primarily function as a warehouse and provide services to those in the area as well as those traveling to and from Phoenix. The facility will be located in the Tangerine Commerce Park, which is west of Interstate 10 on West Tangerine Farms Road.Ventana was established in Tucson in 1987 and focuses on tissue-based cancer diagnostics. There is currently a facility at 1910 E. Innovation Park Drive in Oro Valley. The facility offers laboratory professionals who use digital pathology, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization to test and determine cancer diagnostic solutions. Constructing a facility in Marana is an idea that has been in the works for the past few years.“It is kind of a vision we have had and then there was Cottonwood Properties and we began to think of what could potentially happen on that property,” said Bill DiVito, from CBRE – a commercial real estate services firm. “We got the logistics report and I was sold on the idea, because of the location.”Designs, conceptual drawings and pricings have already been made for the facility. It will be a fully air conditioned facility that will hold specialized chillers and refrigerators used for distribution of products. According to DiVito, there is no place in Tucson that has this nice of a logistics building that is right by the freeway. The advantage to having it so close to the freeway is the easy access for those coming from other cities – especially Phoenix. What is also beneficial is the direct and easy access that the Oro Valley Ventana facility has because of Tangerine Farms Road. Ventana’s mission is to improve the lives of all cancer inflicted patients. Right now, there are 1,200 full-time employees working for Ventana. Globally the company has registered products to 92 countries and has had 399 patents granted. With such a highly recognized reputation, Ventana is the type of company that Marana is wanting in the town.

  • Mattamy Homes waits for approval to develop at historic ranch

    Owners of Lazy K Bar Guest Ranch, located north of Saguaro National Park West, were approached by Mattamy Homes who now awaits approval to develop on the historic ranch.Lazy K Bar was homesteaded in 1928 on the original 160 acres of land. Eight years later, the property was turned into a guest ranch. An additional three guesthouses were built along with a dining room and an area to keep horses. The coming years, especially during the 50s and 60s, brought many guests and filmmakers to the ranch. Popular movies such as the “Maverick”, “How the West was Won” and TV series “Gunsmoke” and “High Chaparral” were but a few that were filmed on the ranch. Current property owners, Jim Shiner and Peter Evans, bought the ranch in 1998. For the coming years, the two tried to keep the guest ranch running, but had to close it down in 2006. Since then, the ranch hasn’t reopened its doors.Shiner and Evans have received frequent offers to develop on the 138-acres of land. The property is zoned RR (Resort and Recreation) and if developed as a resort-type could potentially accommodate up to 600 lodging units. The zoning could have a single-family residential development with minimum lot size of 3.3 acres, but would require a conditional use permit from the Marana Planning Commission. The proposal by Mattamy Homes is for the rezoning of RR to (F) Specific Plan. This would permit 178 single-family lots at 1.29 residences per acre. The developer could not be reached for comment.The representative for the property owners, Mike Racy, says that the landowners see the developers plan as a beneficial and reasonable fit.

  • Police Reports – Sept. 3

    Oro Valley Police Dept.On Saturday, Aug. 16, at about 11:18 p.m., Oro Valley police spoke to a woman over the phone about an assault with a deadly weapon incident. The woman told police that while she and her sister were walking home from a restaurant near Oracle and Magee roads, they crossed Oracle Road not in the crosswalk. She told police that a car almost hit her. The car then made an abrupt U-turn and screamed something at them. The were only able to get a partial license plate.  On Friday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m., Oro Valley police responded to a shoplifting taking place at Kohls, 7785 N. Oracle Road. Police were told three women, and one who had a girl who was about 4 years old, were seen shoplifting some items. The women had attempted to steal a Red Croft and Borrow wallet, a Calvin Klein fragrance, two APT 9 bracelets, Jennifer Lopez, two hand lotions, two Simple Pleasures body spray bottles, for a total of $222. Two of the women were cited and released for shoplifting. Marana Police Dept.

  • Marana Schools ask public to approve bond in November

    The Marana Unified School District (MUSD) is sponsoring Proposition 417 on the Nov. 4 ballot to issue and sell $125 million in school improvement bonds.The funds are to be used for school renovations and improvements, construction of new schools and facilities, new and upgraded instructional technology, and air-conditioned, fuel efficient, school buses.  According to school officials, cuts in state funding to schools have reduced MUSD income by $4.7 million yearly.  The average cost to property taxpayers is expected to be about $1.50 per month, $18 yearly.  For more information, visit the MUSD website:

  • Town soliciting nominations for community awards

    The Town is seeking nominations of outstanding residents and organizations to be considered for the Branding Iron and Ora Mae Harn Crystal Legacy awards.The individual Branding Iron Award is given to a person who has made a lasting impact, provided outstanding service and/or shown a commitment to improving the lives of others. The organization honor goes to a nominee that has strengthened the health and safety of Marana through partnerships, innovation, perseverance and/or contributes to the social and economic diversity of the community.The Ora Mae Harn Crystal Legacy Award recognizes individuals or businesses that promote the “Matriarch of Marana’s” commitment to the ideals of the Town and enhance its image through exemplary volunteer service. Harn served on Town Council from 1985-2001 and was mayor on two occasions. She helped start and was later director of the Marana Health Center. She was instrumental in the formation of the Marana Community Food Bank and was one of the founding members of the Marana Rotary Club. She founded and served as the first president of the Marana Heritage Conservancy.Heritage Conservancy President Patrick Nilz (individual) and Arizona Youth Partnership (organization) earned last year’s Branding Iron Awards. Ray and Faye Spitzer won the Ora Mae Harn Crystal Legacy Award.Nominations are due by Sept. 26; awards will be presented during the Annual Rotary Heritage Awards Dinner on Oct. 24. For more information and nomination forms, please visit

  • Labor Day DUI Task Force

    The Marana Police Department will be conducting DUI Saturation Patrols in conjunction with the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force throughout the Labor Day Weekend.  Labor Day Weekend is traditionally one of the most dangerous weekends on our roadways.  Our goal is to make this a safe weekend for everyone, and prevent serious injuries and fatal collisions.  Officers will be proactive in our efforts to prevent these traffic collisions from occurring, and stress the importance of having a designated sober driver and drinking responsibly. We recommend the following: If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation, so you are sure to get home safely. If you’re not sure whether you are impaired, make the safe choice and find a sober driver or ride. If you see an impaired driver on the road, don't hesitate to call 911 and report that driver. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. Always buckle up! Wearing your seatbelt is the best defense against an impaired driver. Operational funding and equipment were made available through grants awarded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

  • Town recruiting Citizens Forum members

    The Town has open positions for its Marana Citizens Forum. The forum brings residents, business owners and community partners together to study and address multidisciplinary issues facing the Town. Recommendations are presented to the Town Council.The forum meets for two to three sessions each year. Each session consists of four 1½-hour meetings, held on Thursdays at the Marana Municipal Complex beginning at 5:30 p.m. The next session will be October and November.Applications are available at Applications can be submitted online and remain active for one year from receipt.Call 382-1960 for additional information.

  • Marana Middle School remains open despite water line break

    An underground water line break has resulted in no running water in some buildings on the campus of Marana Middle School.  Water remains available in one portion of the campus. Portable restroom facilities and hand wash stations are being delivered and bottled water will be available all day.Marana Middle School remains open and will operate on a regular school schedule.   A plumbing company is currently on site actively working to fix the break. It is expected that the water line will be repaired today.The situation is being closely monitored and resources will continue to be provided to meet the needs of students and staff.Marana Middle School is located at 11285 W. Grier Road, Marana AZ. 85653

  • Armed Robbery Alert in Marana

    On Monday, Aug 25, 2014, at approximately 5:40 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the McDonalds at 3830 W. Ina Rd. Suspect entered through the east doors of the business and approached the cashier implying a weapon and demanded cash from the register.If anyone was present and did not speak with Marana Police OR have any information about this robbery, please contact Marana Police Department.

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