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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

RTA surveying people about Sun Shuttle

The Regional Transportation Authority is conducting a survey to gather public input on Sun Shuttle service, the neighborhood circulator transit service launched in May 2009.

Funded by the RTA, Sun Shuttle serves Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, Sahuarita and Green Valley. Based on survey results, Sun Shuttle schedules "may be adjusted to better meet passenger needs," a release said.

The survey is available online at www.suntran.com through Sunday, Sept. 13.

For more information, call Sun Tran's Customer Service Center at 792-9222 (for persons with hearing and speech impairments, call TDD: 628-1565)

Trico to give $40K in Power Grants for '10

Trico is awarding $40,000 to local non-profit groups through its Power Grants program.

The 2010 funding focus is adults, and their food and basic needs. Qualified non-profits serving the food and basic needs of adults in Trico's service territory are encouraged to apply, a release said.

Power Grants "are one of the many ways that Trico shows its commitment to the community," said Vin Nitido, Trico chief executive officer and general manager. "In these tough times, we want to help out in any way we can."

This is the third year of the Power Grants program. Since its inception in 2007, $80,000 has been awarded to local non-profit groups.

Deadline for 2010 Power Grants application submissions is 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. Applications are evaluated on a competitive basis, and grants are awarded for a single year in amounts up to $10,000.

Grant guidelines and applications can be downloaded from Trico's website at www.trico.coop. Contact Romi Carrell Wittman, communications services director, at rwittman@trico.coop or 744-2944, ext. 1362, with specific questions.

Trico Electric Cooperative, Inc., is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 35,000 customers in northwest Tucson, Marana, Corona de Tucson, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Three Points and Arivaca. Trico is headquartered at 8600 W. Tangerine Rd. in Marana.

Pima College expanding its noncredit slate

Pima Community College's noncredit programs have a new name.

Noncredit programs, previously called "Activities," are now under the name "Continuing Education."

The current schedule of Continuing Education courses and certificates can be found online at www.pima.edu/continuinged.

"The name Continuing Education better reflects our mission to provide flexible personal and career development options to the citizens of Pima County," explained Dr. Terry Sawma, vice president of instruction at PCC.

In addition to the traditional personal enrichment (formerly personal interest) courses, the college has expanded noncredit career and professional development offerings to include courses and certificates in areas such as strategic project management, finance and Microsoft Office.

"The addition of Continuing Education career and professional development courses and certificates offers the opportunity to improve workforce skills, develop new occupational skills and meets the continuing education requirements for many occupational disciplines," said Sawma.

For information, visit www.pima.edu/continuinged or call 206-4500.

College plans to open office in SaddleBrooke

Central Arizona College is about to open a center in SaddleBrooke.

The college, which serves Pinal County, would offer non-credit and for-credit course through the location at 63701 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite T, in the commercial cluster near the heart of the community.

Tom DiCamillo, director of media and community events for Central Arizona College, said the office is "not quite open yet." It should be open by Sept. 30. "It's a good location," DiCamillo said.

Benny de Santiago, one of CAC's community outreach coordinators, plans to be in the SaddleBrooke office two days a week. Initial hours of operation would be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with plans to expand. The phone number is (520) 825-4493. A sign has been ordered.

CAC has had part-time people coordinating largely non-credit classes in SaddleBrooke for some time. For-credit classes would be open to all.

SaddleBrooke is "north of Tucson, but it's in Pinal County," and somewhat distant from other CAC centers and campuses, DiCamillo said. "It's an area of the county with a higher population," and there is demand for services. "People ask, and we respond. That's a really neat thing about this college, we're able to respond to needs of the community."

Workshop for caregivers planned

A caregiver support workshop is planned for Thursday, October 8 at the Lutheran Church of the Foothills from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In conjunction with the Alzheimer's Association, Family Caregiver Outreach Program, and Caregiver Consortium, the Interfaith Community Services is sponsoring the workshop "Build your toolkit for support of caregivers."

The workshop is for clergy, chaplains and congregation-based health program leaders.

"In a time when more and more people are caregivers and when people increasingly turn to their faith communities for help, this will be valuable information," a release said.

The Lutheran Church of the Foothills is located at 5102 N. Craycroft Road.

The cost is $10 per person or $15 per team. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, go to www.icstucson.org or call Karen MacDonald at 297-2738 ext. 221.

Candlelight ceremony to remember kids with cancer

A candlelight ceremony is planned in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Arizona is holding the event Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

Participants are invited to light a candle in memory of a child who died from cancer, or for one who is battling the disease.

Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup will present a proclamation to designate September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

For more information, contact Teri Busey at 300-6562.

OV to hold open house on lands project

Oro Valley plans an open house and information session on the town's planned Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance.

The town is currently working on the project, the goal of which is to identify and address the town's natural and cultural resources in a comprehensive manner.

The protection, restoration and maintenance of environmental resources require an integrated approach.

The open house is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive in the council chambers. Members of the ESL team will be on hand to answer questions.

For more information please contact Mary Davis at 229-4712 or mdavis@orovalleyaz.gov.

Toy store offers theater for kids

Mildred and Dildred toy store in La Encantada shopping center, at 2905 E. Skyline Drive, plans a series of plays for children.

Children are encouraged to participate with the players in these interactive theater performances.

The next performance will be "Little Red Riding Hood," performed in the La Encantada courtyard on Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. and Sept. 13 at 4 p.m.

For more information call Autumn Ruhe at 615-6266.

Mountain lion spotted in Casas Adobes area

A mountain lion was spotted in Casas Adobes on Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to the La Cañada Magee Neighborhood Association.

A resident saw the big cat crossing Casa Blanca about 6 p.m. that day. It was healthy, with a three-foot tail.

The week before, on Paseo Montalban, a dachshund (inside a walled backyard) was mauled. The owner took the dog's body to the vet, "who opined that it was a large predator," a release said.

There have been several sightings of mountain lions in the neighborhood this year.

OV open house on sensitive land Tuesday, Sept. 15

An open house on Oro Valley's Environmentally Sensitive Lands project is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The event, free and open to the public, is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada.

In the Environmentally Sensitive Lands project, Oro Valley is identifying and addressing its natural and cultural resources "in a comprehensive manner," a release said.

"The protection, restoration and maintenance of environmental resources require an integrated approach," it continued. "The town's open space, biologically significant areas, viewsheds and cultural resources must be identified, defined, prioritized and addressed holistically."

Members of the town's ESL team are answering questions at the event. Town residents can "learn about this project, how it affects them and how it will affect the future for Oro Valley."

For more information, contact Mary Davis at 229-4712, or mdavis@orovalleyaz.gov.

Five years for woman who stole $973K from Tucson Museum of Art

A Tucson Museum of Art employee who embezzled $973,010 has been sentenced to five years in prison, according to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Ruth Sons, 62, of Tucson, must also pay $973,010 in restitution.

Between 2003 and 2008, Sons allegedly embezzled $973,010 from the TMA, where she was employed as a bookkeeper and accountant. Last month, Sons pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, both felonies.

"Sons violated not only the trust of her employer but also the entire Tucson community," Goddard said. "Today's sentencing shows that when law enforcement and community organizations work together, justice is served and everyone benefits. I appreciate the great work done by the Tucson Museum of Art staff, the Tucson Police Department and our prosecutors to bring this case to completion."

Sons' position as an accountant gave her access to the museum's payroll, museum shop deposits and petty cash accounts. For more than five years she allegedly conducted the elaborate embezzlement scheme, which included forging the signatures of the museum's chief financial officer and director, stealing cash intended for deposit from sales at the museum shop, and manipulating the museum's general accounting ledger to conceal the embezzlement.

Sons was apparently using the money to fund a gambling habit.

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