Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Pima Pinal

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  • AIA realignment drastically alters teams’ placements

    On Jan. 20 the Arizona Interscholastic Association unveiled the initial division placement for schools and team sports for the next three school years, but those new placements are hardly set in stone. In addition to the normal appeals process, the AIA informed schools on Friday that they would be looking over the data one more time to make sure the placements were correct and some changes were made Monday morning. According to the memo, several member schools raised questions and concerns over some misplacements. In the days following the initial release, there are a number of curious placements. This was the first time that the AIA used a formula and other factors besides enrollment — rankings history, free and reduced lunch — to place schools in their respective divisions. The idea was to keep less competitive schools from having to compete against traditional powerhouses with much greater resources. Those schools with more free and reduced lunches had lower overall socio-economic demographics, and had fewer resources to spend on athletics.“The ideal assignments would ensure that teams are as fairly‐matched as possible within each division, while maintaining enough stability to avoid excessive division changes,” the AIA said in a statement.Initially both Ironwood Ridge and Mountain View were set to move up to Division I for football, but after reviewing the data Mountain View remains in Division II, while Ironwood Ridge is set to remain in Division I.  The Nighthawks are the only Southern Arizona team to be moved up to Division I.Mountain View would have appealed the decision and may still appeal other placements. 

  • Marana uses podcasts as another way to keep public informed

    In an effort to keep the residents of Marana informed, the town has started a podcast. The podcast, started earlier this month, has already found an audience. “The idea came about because we are always looking at ways to connect with the community,” said Rodney Campbell, the town’s public information officer who also hosts the podcast. The podcasts are part of a larger new media outreach that includes social media, video and the town’s ever-evolving website. “I am really excited. I think what Rodney and everyone is working on, trying to reach people through different mediums is critically important,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “As we live our lives now these devices (cell phones and computers) have changed how we live and learn.”The flexibility offered to those who listen to the podcast was a major reason Campbell and the town decided to undertake the endeavor. “It is a good way if you are sitting at your desk at work, or you are at home doing the dishes, it is something you can listen to,” said Campbell. “You don’t have to sit there and actually watch it on TV or whatever. It is just a way to be able to sit back and listen to it in your car or however you want. It is just a way to get information out to people in a different way. “

  • ‘Tee’d off’ residents speak out

    “It was so easy to get these signatures,” “disrespect of the voices of the residents” and “lost confidence and trust” were just a few of the things said in Oro Valley last Wednesday.The Oro Valley council chambers had standing room only at the beginning of last week’s council meeting, with a majority present to speak during the call to audience portion of the meeting to vent their frustrations, which spawned from a petition for a referendum that did not comply with state law.Before the public could weigh in, Councilman Joe Hornat read the press release sent out by the town explaining that the petitions for the referendum, which would send the council’s vote to purchase portions of the El Conquistador property to a public vote, were not gathered legally.Hornat emphasized one section of the press release.“Since serial number requirement is a matter of state law, the Town of Oro Valley does not have the authority to override that requirement. Numerous case laws make it clear that strict compliance with all statutes is required for a referendum.”For nearly an hour, 16 Oro Valley residents expressed their distaste for how the entire process unfolded, from how it was handled initially to how the town rejected the referendum petition due to a clerical error.

  • Active Life Acupuncture - Hitting the right spot every time

    Needles. You either love them or hate them.But if you’re Nicole Rasor, needles are a method of providing relief for a wide variety of ailments, from back and neck injuries to migraines and metabolic diseases. Rasor accomplishes that relief through acupuncture.As the owner of Active Life Acupuncture in Oro Valley, Rasor first got involved in acupuncture as a patient when she sought treatment for migraines.“I developed migraines when I lived in Los Angeles and worked in the entertainment industry,” Rasor said. “When my husband and I moved to Tucson, I went to the student clinic at the Asian Institute of Medical Studies for treatment, and after six months, I got better. It was then that I decided I needed a new career and decided to study acupuncture because of my personal experience.”Rasor graduated from the Asian Institute with a master’s in acupuncture in 2007 and opened up Active Life Acupuncture.“I get a lot of referrals from physicians,” Rasor pointed out, “and most of those referrals are active individuals who have back or neck pain, or metabolic or hormonal issues. I see some children too, as well as quite a few menopausal women who I help get through that part of their lives.”

  • Ballroom dancing good for the mind, body and soul

    Dance studio owner and instructor Elizabeth Keyes believes that dance is good for you, physically, mentally and spiritually. “It is good for the soul,” said Keyes, who is a Master of Dance and working on becoming a Grandmaster of Dance. “It is very uplifting, it is a very positive thing to do. I cannot say enough about how wonderful dancing is, especially in our times when everybody is in a rush, where everybody is kind of isolated with their cell phone and their computer.  This is time to reconnect with people. “Keyes opened American Dance LLC in 2006 and the studio has been teaching students ballroom dancing since. Among the partner dances they teach are salsa, hustle, waltz, foxtrot, mambo, bachata, paso doble, American and Argentine tango and all the country-dances, to name just a few. The studio has a wooden floor that “floats” underneath, meaning it is very comfortable and provides less wear and tear on the legs and back. In addition to Keyes, there are four other instructors. “We teach very high quality lessons here,” Keyes said. “So when you come in you are being instructed by at least a silver level instructor.” 

  • Oro Valley Councilmember Mike Zinkin appointed to two National League of Cities committees

    Mike Zinkin, a Town of Oro Valley Councilmember, has been appointed to the National League of Cities 2015 Community and Economic Development Steering Committee and the Small Cities Council.Zinkin and the rest of the committee will be tasked with shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocating for cities and towns before Congress. The committee determines the NLC'a federal policy positions on issues like housing, community and economic development and historic preservation and international competitiveness. The Small Cities Council, which is made up of officials from communities smaller than 50,000 in population, works with NLC to ensure small cities are a part of all legislative and advocacy agenda items.

  • Liability on the line at football watch parties

    Mayhem likes more than just college football games – it can show up in many forms when someone hosts a watch party on game day. So, if you’re planning to have a party for the big game this year, you’ll want to have the following tips from Allstate and the Insurance Information Institute in your playbook:Make sure you understand your state laws. Before sending out party invitations, familiarize yourself with your state’s “social host liability” laws. These laws vary widely from state to state. Some states do not impose any liability on social hosts. Others limit liability to injuries that occur on the host’s premises. Some extend the host’s liability to injuries that occur anywhere a guest who has consumed alcohol goes. Many states have laws that pertain specifically to furnishing alcohol to minors.Consider venues other than your home for the party. Hosting your party at a restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your home, will help reduce liquor liability risks.Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive other guests home.Be a responsible host/hostess. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.

  • New website tool lets Oro Valley residents rank priorities for town budget

    The Town of Oro Valley is asking residents to give their input on budget priorities using a new online questionnaire. Oro Valley has usually held open forums to get the residents opinions, but the town says those usually had low attendance. The survey, titles 5 Questions in 5 minutes, asks participants to rank which areas of public service should be the highest priority when working out the budget. The town has also put together a budget information page for residents to look over.The survey will be open from Jan. 26 to Feb. 8. Give your input at: https://auth.orovalleyaz.gov/5-questions-5-minutes

  • Oro Valley Police arrest one of two suspects in armed robbery case

    Oro Valley Police have arrested one man in connection with an armed robbery that took place Jan. 15 at the Marshall's on Oracle and Magee. OVPD identified Jacob Choate as one of two men who made of with $2,000 in Michael Kors purses from the store, according to a media release sent on today. When security tried to stop the robbery, Choate punched the security person in the neck. They believe the other person involved in the robbery to be Gary Thompson, who is not in custody and considered a person of interest in the case. Choate was charged with one count of Aggravated Robbery and is at the Pima County Adult Detention Center. OVPD is asking anyone with information on Thompson's whereabouts to call 911, 88-crime or (520) 229-4900.  

  • Marana, Oro Valley officials worry about state budget

    While Marana and Oro Valley officials say they like the energy and the basics of Gov. Doug Ducey’s message, they worry the budget lacks new taxes and takes from education and local municipalities.More than a week after Ducey released his budget proposal, reaction has continued about his plan to cut 10 percent from state universities, which is estimated to be about $21 million for Tucson’s University of Arizona. Overall, the state’s secondary education industry is slated to take a $75 million hit as the budget currently stands.State Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said reality is the nature of the this year’s budget calls for some tough decisions.“While the budget is still technically balanced, we do have a challenge ahead of us,” he said. “I’d like to think that the governor and the Legislature is going to be on the same page to make these decisions.”Instead of focusing on a new revenue stream through increased taxes, Ducey’s budget cuts secondary education, tourism and others such as creating an increased revenue by way of doubling vehicle license fees, which are currently $8.Ducey hinted at some of his agenda after being sworn into office when he delivered his first State of the State address, first in Phoenix and then in Oro Valley on Jan. 12. In the speech, the state’s 23rd governor alluded to no new taxes and pushing Arizona to become a state where businesses can thrive.

  • Four teenagers arrested for burglary in Oro Valley

    On Jan. 18, at approximately 2:40 a.m. Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD) responded to the Walgreens at Lambert and La Canada in reference to a burglary alarm.  Officers arrived on scene within a few minutes and observed a male leaving the business and running towards the rear of the business.  After a short foot pursuit he was taken into custody.  Officers found the front door glass smashed in and several packs of cigarettes and alcohol on the ground of the Walgreens.  There were a total of four suspects in this burglary.  The suspects were wearing dark clothing, hooded sweatshirts and ski masks.  OVPD Criminal Investigations Unit responded and were able to identify all the suspects in this case.  All four suspects have been arrested and charged with burglary, criminal damage and possession of burglary tools.  Due to the fact that all four suspects are minors their names and photos are being withheld.    One of these suspects is connected to a burglary that occurred at this same business in December of 2014.  Charges are pending on this incident.  These investigations are on-going and OVPD is asking the public if you have any additional information that may assist OVPD with these cases to please call 88-crime, 911 or 229-4900 and ask for Detective Cruce. 

  • Marana School District and town partner to teach civics

    The Town of Marana believes that to have a town that runs well, citizens have to understand how the town operates. The Town of Marana has tried to streamline many of the things that they do and improve communication, with the newest project now aiming at educating local high school students.The new civics class’ timing couldn’t be better for the town as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey recently pushed through legislation that will require high school students to pass a civics test similar to those taken by immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. The new law will affect the class of 2017.Inspired by a program they saw working in other communities, recently town officials began working with the Marana Unified School District to bring an interactive civics lesson to high school students. The lesson is based on a Junior Achievement program called Biztown that had been adapted for high school students. “It is a really innovative, cool, dynamic way you get students to learn more about government, especially local government,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. Although local government is part of the state standards and district’s curriculum, not a lot of time is devoted to local government, especially some of the more detailed ins and outs. 

  • Police Beat

    Oro ValleyPolice Department On Thursday, Dec. 25, at about 1:40 a.m., Oro Valley police responded to a report of domestic violence at a house near Moore Road and Woodburne Way. While en route to the house, police were told that dispatch had received three phone calls from the house. The first was about an intoxicated woman who was hitting her family members. The second was a call saying the same thing, and the third was from a woman saying she had been pushed down the stairs by her brother and she might have broken her ankle. Police learned that the woman was playing music that the rest of the family did not want to listen to. After her brother turned the speakers off, an argument began. Eventually the woman, who had been drinking, tried to leave in her car. The family took her keys to prevent her from driving off, which only exacerbated her anger. While trying to get her to go down into the basement to sleep it off, she slipped on the stairs. The woman was transported to the Oro Valley Hospital to have her ankle evaluated. She was arrested, cited and released for domestic violence disorderly conduct  On Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 6:06 p.m., Oro Valley police responded to the Ulta at 11875 N. Oracle Road in response to a theft from a car. The caller said her laptop had been stolen from her car while she was in the store for about 10 minutes. After coming out of the store and seeing that the laptop was missing, the victim got in her car and drove to her work to make sure she didn’t leave it there. After realizing it was stolen, she drove back to the scene of the crime. The laptop was valued at about $800.  

  • It’s business as usual for local police despite tensions

    Local police departments say despite rising tensions following the nationally spotlighted cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown – two black males killed during altercations with police – they have not employed any new training programs to deal with a potential increase of violence and racial tensions.In part, they say that’s because the places most affected by escalating violence have remained localized to the places in which they occurred – in the cases of Garner and Brown, those being Staten Island, N.Y and Ferguson, Mo., respectively. Furthermore, they say, officers are already trained to be ready for worst-case scenarios.“It’s business as usual,” said Tracy Suitt, public information officer for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. “We’re staying vigilant and staying ready.”The same is true of the Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD), whose Lt. Kara Riley says despite the fact the protests and aggression seems largely localized to cities hundreds of miles away, officers are reminded of basic principles of self-protection.“We’re having those conversations about not becoming complacent,” she said.

  • Tax season is officially under way, officials talk 2015 issues

    Tax season is here, and that means like any year, Tax– particularly those filing without the help of a professional – will be exposed to a number of complexities when filing before the April 15 deadline. Of those, the Affordable Care Act will have one of the largest impacts on the way returns are filed, particularly for individual filers who opted into Affordable Care.For those individuals or families with existing health coverage this process is simple enough – they must only check a box acknowledging prior coverage (at least a year in length).Those who have signed up for affordable care through the Health Insurance Marketplace will receive and must return a 1095A form, or else claim an exemption from the requirement to carry health care coverage.According to IRS.gov, if you don’t qualify for an exemption, and do not have coverage, you could be forced to make an Individual Shared Responsibility payment when filing your return. For the 2014 year, the payment amount is the greater of one percent of your household income above the tax return filing threshold for the taxpayer’s filing status, or $95 per adult ($47.50 per child), limited to a family maximum of $285. Coverage, exemptions, or payment are to be reported on the federal income tax return.

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