Tucson Local Media: Marana


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  • Mayor's address stresses "the future is now"

    The Town of Marana held its annual State of the Town speech and luncheon on April 17. The event was at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain and afforded Mayor Ed Honea the opportunity to brief local residents, business owners and town partners about what was happening in Marana.The theme of the event was “The Future Is Now” and Honea stressed how prior planning has led to the many of the successes the town is having now. He pointed specifically to how the idea of the Twin Peaks Interchange led to the opportunity for the Marana Premium Outlets to open this fall. Honea called the mall “community changing” and stressed it was the first of many projects by developers in the area which could include more shopping, car dealerships, hotels and restaurants.Nearly 440 people were in attendance while emcee Dan Marries of KOLD News 13 provided entertainment. Marries, who works and resides in Marana, has become the go-to host for events put on by the town. Marana Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Ed Stolmaker jokingly booked Marries to host next year’s State of the Town, as well as next July’s Star Spangled Spectacular.It was the mayor’s speech that was the focal point. He mentioned how the economic slowdown of the mid-2000’s led to the creation of the Marana Strategic Plan and that each version of the document guides the town to future endeavors.

  • Sheriff warns about stranger approaching children

    The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is seeking help from the public and is asking for extra vigilance. On April 14, at approximately 3:15 PM, deputies with the Tucson Mountain District learned about an incident involving an 8-year-old girl.The child was asked by a man in a white mini van to “Come here.” This occurred at approximately 7:20 AM in the 7000 block of North Guthrie Road (near the intersection of Ina Road and Sandario Road). The girl ran back to her nearby home. The van was described as an older model vehicle with faded white paint and square lights. The male individual was described as being of darker complexion with curly brown hair.Chief Deputy Chris Nanos said the described incident is of particular concern as our investigators learned that neighboring Marana Police Department has received reports of a similar nature.Anyone with information on the case and/or the identity or whereabouts of the individual observed is urged to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME

  • Marana Police release video in Feb. cruiser ramming

    Viewer discretion advisedThe Marana Police Department released dash cam video today from a February incident in which an officer used a less common form of lethal force to stop an armed crime spree suspect- ramming with his patrol car.Officer Michael Rapiejko struck Mario M. Valencia as Valencia, armed with a rifle just stolen from the Walmart at 8280 N. Cortaro Road, walked along West Coca Cola Place on the morning of Feb. 19. On dash cam video, Valencia can be seen and heard firing a round into the air as officers close in on him and shout commands near the Coca-Cola bottling plant and self-storage.Rapiejko accelerates his patrol car and strikes Valencia near the entrance to Continental Ranch Self Storage, sending him flying into the air and knocking the rifle several feet out of his grasp. Valencia suffered serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, and left the hospital two days later. He is now in Pima County Jail on several counts of robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, arson and theft related not just to the Walmart shoplift but a string of alleged crimes in midtown Tucson. No officers were harmed, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office declined to charge Rapiejko over his use of force.Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema said Rapiejko’s actions saved lives, including Valencia’s.Read the April 22 edition of the Explorer and Marana News for further details.

  • MPD Citizen’s Academy provides hands-on police training

    A 12-week commitment sounds like a lot, but I found that the 12 weeks I spent at the Marana Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy was one of the most rewarding experiences I have gone through.The program is open to people who either work or reside within Marana and I found myself looking forward to the once a week meeting. The program is structured so that each week was very unique in its own, with different topics and discussions.It is perfect for someone like me who has always been fascinated by the different aspects of law enforcement, but is also perfect for people who want a better understanding about the people who make up their local police department or those who just want to know where their tax dollars are going.The academy gives you a better understanding of how and why the Marana Police Department operates through presentations and plenty of hands-on experiences. Each different department and division within the MPD had a member come out to explain their role in the operation. You begin to understand just how many moving pieces there are to the department and what roles each division has. You learn it is far more than just the officers you see out in the community.Through this program I was given the opportunity to do ridealongs with on-duty officers and watch them conduct traffic stops, talk to the community and make a difference. From pulling drunk drivers off of the street, to helping a new Marana resident feeling safe in their community, these men and woman are there. It gave a great insight into the people who are out there on the streets.Students in the academy were taught how to pull fingerprints as a crime scene technician using simple and effective techniques utilized by the department.

  • Robinson, Cervi inducted into Marana High School Hall of Fame

    The Marana High School Hall of Fame is for all former students and teachers who made great contributions during and after their time at the school, but it is two former athletes who were honored as part of the 2015 class at a reception at the school. Multi-sport athletes Jerry Robinson and Sherry Potter Cervi were honored as much for their work in the community as their efforts in competition. Robinson was the state’s first African-American quarterback at a predominantly white high school and helped lead Marana to a state championship in football and a state championship appearance in basketball. After graduating in 1967, he went on to attend Western New Mexico and Cochise College before finally finding a home at Cal Western University (now known at United States International University) in San Diego. He competed in both basketball and football and was named to the Division II Kodak All-American Team in 1972.Despite great feats in athletics, his work in the community in San Diego has had the biggest impact. After college he went into banking. Along the way he also became President/CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and was Executive Director of the Bayview Community Development Corporation (BCDC), which develops affordable housing, business and community opportunities in the San Diego area. The youngest of 12 children raised by a single father after his mother passed away when he was 7, Robinson had a number of family members on hand and during his speech Robinson joked that there were few articles written about him that did not mention older brothers Paul and Cleo, both of whom were standout athletes and also members of the Marana High School Hall of Fame. 

  • Two new principals hired for MUSD schools

    Mountain View High School and Marana Middle School will have new principals next year, as their current principals move on to new positions within the school district. Todd Garelick and Heather Pletnick were approved by the Marana Unified School District Governing Board as principals of Mountain View and Marana Middle School, respectively. Both will assume their new roles on July 1.Garelick will replace Patricia Cadigan after she resigned her position as principal following her hire as Marana Unified School District Executive Director.Garelick has 22 years in education and has been the associate principal and athletic director at Mountain View since 2009. After  15 years teaching high school economics, government, law enforcement, and coaching soccer, Garelick began his administrative career in 2007 as assistant principal and athletic director at Ruidoso High School in Ruidoso, New Mexico. In 2009, Todd and his family moved to Tucson, where joined the Mountain View staff.“Mr. Garelick possesses a strong knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessments. Over the past six years, he has overseen multiple academic departments including career and technical education, physical education, world language, and social studies as well as the implementation of various state and national assessments,” Marana Unified School District said in a release. “He is committed to the delivery of quality instruction in the classroom and the development of a rigorous and relevant instructional model.”

  • Marana State of Town draws near

    The Town of Marana will host its annual State of the Town address on April 17 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive.Town Mayor Ed Honea will deliver the address to town officials and members of the community to identify past and ongoing accomplishments in Marana as well as future endeavors and goals. The Marana Police Honor Guard will present the colors, and Marana High School students will sing the national anthem. Check-in and business display tables begin at 10:30 a.m. and the address begins at noon.The Marana Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event in partnership with the Town of Marana and the help of Signature Sponsor CalPortland, Diamond Sponsors Chasse Building Team, Pima Federal Credit Union, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, and Tucson Electric Power, and Ruby Sponsor Pulte Homes. Last year’s event drew in a crowd of more than 400 people, with the mayor touching on topics of attracting tourism, retail and commercial development, recreational opportunities, and education.

  • Show combines baseball, fun with math and science

    The Bobby and Baxter Show, STEM Edition came to Thornydale Elementary School last week, bringing a unique learning opportunity to the Marana school. The hour-long presentation by Arizona Diamondbacks organist Bobby Freeman and team mascot D. Baxter Bobcat mixed humor and music with lessons on math, science and nutrition. Thonrydale was one of just two Tucson-area schools to get the show. While clearly designed to be fun and engaging, the show aimed to showcase math and science in a fun and interactive way, using a baseball as the backdrop to most of the lessons. “It used to be more rah-rah stuff, now there is more education,” noted Ricardo Valerdi, an associate professor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering. Since its inception the show, which does give a healthy dose of “Let’s go D’Backs chants” has added principles of the STEM program, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.Freeman was not only the master of ceremonies, but also provided the music during the show. After introducing his furry sidekick, the two got volunteers from the students to play a series of games. The first focused on reaction time, having teams answer math questions as fast as they can. “Reaction time is important in sports,” explained Freeman. 

  • Garbage truck rollover injures one

    Northwest Fire District and the Marana Police Department are currently working a scene where a garbage truck rolled over near 14000 W. Avra Valley Road on a service road where it was heading to the Marana Regional Landfill.According to Northwest Fire District's Adam Goldberg, a single patient was transported to Banner UMC Trauma Center by a ground ambulance in serious condition.The cause of the accident is currently unknown.

  • Marana program outlines plans to maintain and improve roads

    As the Town of Marana prepares their 2016 Budget, the Town Council heard a presentation from Marana Public Works Director Ryan Benavides on the proposed 6-year Pavement Preservation Program. Benavides explained that the town maintains 511 miles of assault, roughly the distance between Marana and Malibu and the goal of the program is to be proactive in the maintenance of the town’s roads, which, according to Benavides, can “delay the rate of deterioration of the asphalt, while reducing the reduce overall maintenance costs, improve pavement conditions over time, increase safety, while reducing liability and higher customer satisfaction each year.”Benavides said the long term goal is that when someone spots a pothole in town, “we can deploy staff fast enough to have the pothole filled by the time they get their Starbucks coffee and get back home.”He added that they are “just about that fast” and explained that every truck has the mix that can temporarily fix a pothole until a work order can be generated to properly repair the pothole. The town uses the Overall Condition Index (OCI), a grading system, to determine the type of treatment that will be applied. The OCI uses two methods, with 20 total steps, that combine to create a rating. It is essentially a checklist where they look at things like depth of cracks, size of potholes and combine that with general observation of the roadway for a 1,000-foot segment. Scores are tabulated, giving each roadway a score.  The ratings are used to help decide what types of treatment will be used for each road repair. A repair could be either a minor repair or a moderate repair. A minor repair would be something along the line of a crack seal, where a moderate repair would be more akin to a chip seal. If a roadway can no longer be preserved it goes to capital improvement program, where it would be reconstructed and resurfaced. The town’s current average OCI is 77 percent, which Benavides said is fairly high. When the program was instituted two and a half years ago the town’s rating was 78 percent, so the program has been able to maintain the roadways.

  • Mountain View welcomes McSally

    It is not easy to keep the attention of 25 high school students for over an hour, but that is just what Congresswoman Martha McSally did last week at Mountain View High School. McSally accepted an invitation to speak to Ryan West’s AP Government class and the students paid rapt attention to the rookie representative. McSally did her part, giving a candid, engaging talk that was neither a thinly disguised campaign speech, nor was it a bland rah-rah, sugarcoated view of American politics. “It is part of my role as a leader in the community and as a congresswoman to share my experiences and try to and encourage young people,” explained McSally. “To be paying attention to the issues of the day that are impacting them.”West invited McSally to speak to the class and she was able to accept the invitation to speak to his class The talk at Mountain View was part of a district outreach during her two-week district work period.“It’s important to have government officials like Congresswoman McSally come into the classroom because it shows my students that there are many opportunities to learn beyond the textbook,” West said. “They got the chance not only to hear from, but ask questions to someone who is living the concepts we talk about every day.”McSally appeared comfortable in front of the students and kept them engaged, making them laugh on several occasions and not glossing over their questions.“It also serves to humanize political figures,” added West. “Students see them on TV in short clips and they seem like a character in a movie. Today they got to see that she is a real person that they can relate to. This will help them remember the concepts better, and apply what they learn to real life in a way that shows them the relevance and value of an education.”

  • Marana, County plan budgets

    Pima County If all goes as expected, the Pima County budget will see overall expenditures reduced in the coming fiscal year, a recurring trend since the 2007-08 fiscal year, from which time the county budget has decreased by $294.2 million. The decrease in spending this year comes because of cost shifts from the state legislature, according to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, who shortly after the state’s budget was released penned a Budget Control Measures memorandum to the Board of Supervisors. In it, he called the totality of the cost shifts, amounting to $23 million, “unprecedented,” and noted that Pima County will be “substantially more affected than any other county in Arizona.”“We bear twice the burden of this state transfer than the nearest comparable county, Maricopa; the largest and most populous county in Arizona. We cannot absorb these state cost shifts without a significant impact on our budget and services,” Huckelberry wrote. In the memo, Huckelberry highlights several areas where cost-saving measures will be implemented, including travel and training activities, capital equipment purchases, purchase of supplies and materials except those necessary for health, safety, and welfare, and an expected two percent reduction in expenses for all departments and agencies. 

  • Town exploring wetlands option for ‘Lake Marana’

    Nature lovers, particularly birders, have descended upon the El Rio Open Space since its flooding in September of 2014. Now the town is exploring the possibilities to make it a permanent wetlands, but there are a number of obstacles and challenges to find solutions to before that can happen. The area, nicknamed “Lake Marana”, floods annually during the monsoons, but the breach that normally fills the former borrow pit from the construction of I-10, was widened during the severe storm in September and a second breach has been allowing effluent from the Marana Water Treatment Plant to divert into the open space. This has kept the ponding in the area fairly constant. “It has been incredible to watch the wildlife and birds that make this area their home or resting place,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “The town is committed to creating and sustaining natural open space areas.”The area has become a destination for wildlife, especially birds, but it has also led to some issues for local residents, most notably insects and foul odors due to stagnant water.The town is exploring how to make the location a permanent wetlands area, this would not only continue to serve the birders who are drawn to the area, but it could lead to federal money and other financial considerations that would help to not only preserve the area, but aid the town in the upkeep. At a recent Marana Town Council study session consultant Ricardo Aquirre outlined a number of federal initiatives and programs that can help the town to improve the area. 

  • April 7 Marana Town Council agenda

    The Marana Town Council will have a normal council meeting on Tuesday night, with a number items on the agenda. It will be the first regular meeting since March 17, though the council held a nearly three-hour study session on March 24, mostly discussing budget issues and plans for the El Rio Open Space.There will be a Public Hearing on the possible rezoning of 30.6 acres of land located south of CortaroFarms Road and east of Sandy Desert Trail. The petitioners hope to change the zoning from Low-Density Residential (LDR) to Medium Density Residential (MDR).The council will also be asked to approve an exchange of real property. The hope is to exchange property in the Sky Ranch subdivision for a parcel of equal value off of Tangerine Road to used for the proposed Tangerine Corridor Community Park.

  • Bystanders rescue woman after vehicle rolled into canal on Cortaro/I-10 frontage road

    Multiple people were driving on I-10 this afternoon when they saw a vehicle roll and plunge into a canal alongside the frontage road near Cortaro and I-10.University of Arizona student Andrew Miles and Marana resident Alexander Stuart's quick actions helped rescue the four occupants of an older white car.According to Northwest Fire District (NWFD) spokesperson Adam Goldberg, the vehicle was driving North on the frontage road parallel to I-10 when the vehicle lost control and rolled onto the roof in the canal.Among the four occupants of the car were two men and two women in their late teens to early 20's. One woman was trapped and under water in the canal."I was on the freeway and I saw a bunch of people running towards the car on the frontage road, so I ran down to help. A bunch of people were trying to push the car over by hand and I knew it wasn't going to work so I ran back, grabbed my truck and hooked it up with a chain," said Miles.According to Miles, the first pull didn't quite get the vehicle over, so Stuart grabbed his truck and helped pull it completely over.

MPD Ramming with Chief Rozema Commentary

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