The Explorer: Oro Valley

Oro Valley

Recent Headlines

  • Golder Ranch, Oro Valley providing free sand bags for storm runoff

    In preparation for a second round of storms, the Town of Oro Valley and Golder Ranch Fire District are partnering to provide free sand bags for residents who may need to protect areas of their homes from storm runoff. Due to a limited number of sand bags, only Town of Oro Valley residents and/or residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are eligible.Not sure if you live within Town or Fire District boundaries? Click here for an Oro Valley map. Click here for a Golder Ranch Fire District map.Sand bags can be picked up today, Tuesday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at one of two locations:· Golder Ranch Fire Station 377 – 355 E. Linda Vista Blvd.· Golder Ranch Fire Station 370 – 3835 E. Golder Ranch RoadPlease note: Quantities per person may be limited, and bags are very heavy.

  • 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.

  • Oro Valley council makes exceptions for local businesses

    On Sept. 3, the Oro Valley Town Council rezoned and approved the development of a store that will have a functional water feature. The council also approved the use of larger banner signs that will be along Ina Road to promote Tohono Chul Park.The store, which is expected to be Tucson Koi and Water Gardens, will be located on the east side of Oracle Road, just south of the shopping center at Oracle and Magee roads. Half of the existing property was zoned R1-144, low density residential, and the other half was zoned R-S, a zone that permits a mixture of residential and limited commercial use. The council rezoned the entire lot to neighborhood residential. A large amount of the discussion centered on a demonstration koi pond that would be installed and used to house the fish the store would sell, as well as be an example of what a customer could install in their house. Oro Valley resident Bill Adler was the only resident to speak to the council on the issue, and was opposed to allowing the use of a water feature to house the koi fish.“I oppose any use that promotes the use of water for ornamental purposes,” said Adler, who helped create the landscape code revision in 2007. He said he felt the koi pond was ornamental, as it is designed into the front landscape of the property. Tucson Koi and Water Gardens does not build koi ponds, but sells supplies for them. The town’s code says, “The use of water for ornamental purposes, such as water fountains, as a component of landscaping is not permitted.”

  • Northwest Medical Center, Oro Valley Hospital among data breach victims

    Northwest Medical Center and Oro Valley Hospital are among the medical facilities under parent company Community Health Systems (CHS) to have been impacted by a cyber attack that is said to have compromised the personal information of approximately 4.5 million medical patients across the nation.The attack is one of the latest in a growing trend of fraud schemes that have recently infiltrated big-name retailers like Target as well as several banks and hotels.According to Kimberly Chimene, director of system marketing at Northwest Medical Center, letters have already been sent out to patients thought to have been affected by the attack. Postmarked from identity theft protection company Kroll, the letter informs patients they may have had personal information such as name, address, telephone number, employer names, and social security numbers compromised. The letter also details how to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Southern Arizona is urging patients who may have been affected to accept the offer.According to a press release sent out shortly after the breach was discovered, Kroll nor CHS will be contacting patients by phone, but by mail only. 

  • Tucson Rough Riders 21st annual Trail Dust Days

    Join the Tucson Rough Riders for the 21st Annual Trail Dust Days, October 16-19, featuring a weekend of 4-WD fun and games at Catalina State Park with off-road runs, a raffle, games, food, and camping. There will be day runs on Friday and Saturday, catered dinner Saturday evening, poker rally Saturday night, and a raffle Sunday morning. Vehicles must be prepared with safety as well as the off-pavement equipment required for each run. Registration fee: $40 in advance (by Sept. 15) or $50 on-site and includes dash plaque, raffle ticket, and three days of fun. Camping available at Catalina State Park for $15 in the group area or $25 with hookups. Visit for more information.

  • Mayor Hiremath to give fifth State of the Town Address Sept. 12

    Oro Valley Mayor Dr. Satish I. Hiremath will offer his fifth State of the Town Address at a luncheon Friday, Sept. 12, starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort in Oro Valley. The event is hosted by the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce. In the lobby beforehand, more than 40 businesses will have representatives at tables to tell their stories to an expected crowd topping 600. The business expo opens at 10:30 a.m. that Friday.“Oro Valley State of the Town is one of the community’s premier gatherings,” said Dave Perry, Chamber president and CEO. “It’s a moment to celebrate Oro Valley’s achievements, and to contemplate its very bright future.”On Aug. 26 Hiremath and councilmembers Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters were re-elected to four-year terms.On the lunch menu is beef tenderloin, served by the Hilton El Conquistador Resort. Long-time Chamber member Bob Workman will serve as master of ceremonies. Colors will be presented by the Oro Valley Police Department and the Golder Ranch Fire District color guards and choir members from Pusch Ridge Christian Academy will sing the National Anthem.Tickets $60 a person or $600 per table. For tickets or more information, please call Dave, Alex or Greg at 297-2191. You may also email Alex at or visit the Chamber’s website at

  • GRFD reminds residents the importance of being prepared

    September is National Preparedness Month. Are you and your family prepared for a major disaster? Disasters like Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 have put the issue of preparedness at the forefront but most people still confess that they have not taken the necessary steps to empower themselves with the essential materials needed to survive for up to 72 hours. Golder Ranch Fire District would like to charge the public with the task of creating a 72-Hour Preparedness Kit for their families. Items to pack in your 72-hour preparedness kit:•   Water (3 gallons per person to last 72 hours)•   Foodo  (i.e. ready to eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, infant food, etc.)

  • Flake to send rep to SaddleBrooke office hours

    Sen. Jeff Flake will send a member of his staff to SaddleBrooke on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Melissa Martin, a member of Flake’s Tucson office staff, will hold office hours at the Pinal County Sherriff’s Substation in SaddleBrooke to help residents with any problems they may be having with federal agencies, or to get messages to the senator.Office hours serve as an opportunity for residents having problems with social security, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or other federal agencies to seek assistance. Appointments are recommended but are not necessary. Help will be available in both English and Spanish.The office hours will run from 9-10 a.m. The sheriff’s substation is at 63701 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite C.For more information, contact Flake’s Tucson office at (520) 575-8633.

  • BASIS Oro Valley teacher wins educator award from Yale

    Adrienne Fluitt of BASIS Oro Valley has been recognized by the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a recipient of the 2014 Yale Educator Award.The Yale Educator Recognition Program recognizes outstanding educators from around the world who support and inspire their students to perform at high levels and to achieve excellence. Of this year’s 306 nominees, who represent 39 states and 20 countries, 53 teachers and 30 counselors were selected to receive the award. Matriculating students are invited to nominate high school educators, and a committee of Yale admissions officers reviews each nomination individually and designates recipients. In August, the winners were sent engraved desk sets and congratulatory letters, and administrators of the high schools were notified of their achievement.Fluitt teaches Advanced Placement literature and psychology and is the college counselor for the Oro Valley school.

  • NWMC first to upgrade to da Vinci Robot

    Northwest Medical Center has become the first hospital in Tucson to upgrade its technology for robotic-assisted surgery to the newest da Vinci Xi system, which means less time for surgical patients under anesthesia and vastly improved ergonomics for surgeons operating the robot.The da Vinci Xi system allows for multi-quadrant surgeries where the instruments must be able to reach from the pelvis to the chest, compared to the previous da Vinci model, the Si, that might need to be repositioned during a procedure, depending on the type of surgery.Kim Chimene, director of system marketing for Northwest Healthcare, said Northwest Medical Center has two da Vinci machines — the newest Xi and a Si unit — and that the hospital will evaluate the possibility of upgrading the Si machine in the future. “Robotic surgeries don’t cost any more than other minimally-invasive surgeries,” Chimene said, “but they minimize the amount of time that patients are in the hospital, compared with traditional open surgeries.”Chimene noted that many complex gynecological oncology and general surgery cases require either the patient or robot to be repositioned during surgery, which takes time. The new Xi robotic-system upgrade gives surgeons anatomical access from virtually any position, often eliminating the need for repositioning, she said.“The ability to easily access different areas of the abdomen without having to reposition the equipment or the patient is very important when we’re performing gynecological cancer surgery on our patients,” said Hank Hallum, MD, a gynecological oncologist. “This new system provides us the flexibility to do that.”

  • Oro Valley mayor election reaction

    In the Oro Valley primary election, incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath was reelected over challenger Pat Straney.According to the unofficial results, Hiremath received about 61 percent of the 10,095 votes, while Straney had about 38 percent of the votes. There were 11 write-in votes.Hiremath, who ran as a one-term mayor four years ago, is pleased to know the residents of Oro Valley chose to re-elect him for another term.“Oro Valley is in phenomenal shape,” Hiremath said. “I like to think the second term is going to be more of what I call the fun stuff. We don’t really have any severe issues to solve anymore.”Hiremath was speaking about the deficit the council dealt with and turned into a surplus during its past four-year term. He said he and the council can now focus on what he now has his sights on.Hiremath is going to “focus on how we increase sales tax revenue. Everything I do will be geared toward that.”

  • Oro Valley town council election reaction

    Last week in the Oro Valley primary election, the two incumbent council members, Mary Snider and Joe Hornat, along with incumbent Vice Mayor Lou Waters were re-elected over challenger Don Bristow.In the unofficial results, Snider and Water each received about 28 percent of the 24,096 votes, Hornat with about 25 percent and Bristow with about 17 percent.While the incumbents feel it was a win for Oro Valley to have another four years of consistency on the Oro Valley Town Council, Bristow felt it was difficult to run a grassroots campaign while being overwhelmed with the special interest groups.Bristow, who doesn’t plan to run for council in the future, is proud of what he and his campaign were able to do.“I was honored to run for the Oro Valley council and to be supported and encouraged by the many concerned citizens who felt their voices weren’t being heard,” he said.He added that he plans to continue to be very involved with the town.

  • 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.

  • Oro Valley school holds annual fundraiser

    Copper Creek Elementary School held its annual fundraiser, the Hawk Walk, last week. In lieu of selling candy or similar items, students get donations from family and friends. They then walk around a course that covers most of the school’s campus while encountering many surprises along the way.The event was topped off with Principal Tanya Wall and Administration Assistant Wendy Cronk entering into the “Messy zone” to be turned into sundaes by the top donation collectors and one raffle winner.

  • Developer, residents at odds over proposed Oro Valley development

    Residents of four homeowner’s associations are butting heads with Davis Development and Properties, LLC over a proposed neighborhood development in proximity to Canada Del Oro’s Highlands Wash.Known as the River’s Edge/Melcor Planned Area Development (PAD),  Davis Development and Properties, LLC initially pitched the project as a 61-acre, 64 single-family-residential development on the south side of Naranja Drive, approximately one-half mile west of First Avenue.Still in the preliminary stages, the developer has not yet submitted a formal application to the town, but Don Davis, co-owner of Davis Development, says the project is still moving forward pending results of continued engineering and hydrology studies, given the project’s location in a flood plain.Plans have changed some since the project’s inception. The latest blueprint is slated for the design of approximately 64 homes on 20 acres. The reduction from 61 acres to 20 acres came following a study by the WLB Group which indicated only about a third of the land was buildable. The homes would be erected along the eastern border of the wash in a north-south direction in an area zoned CR-2 single-family cluster, adopted under Pima County’s 1994 zoning ordinances and translated to Oro Valley’s equivalent of a PAD.While co-owner Rod Davis says the results of the continued engineering studies will ultimately determine the number and style of homes as well lot sizes, a pre-application submitted to the town on Dec. 20, 2013 indicates lots ranging from 6,900 to 40,000 square feet. 

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