The Explorer: Marana

Marana

Recent Headlines

  • Marana area motorcycle accident

    Northwest Fire District units responded to the area of Grier Road and Galleno Ave, near Marana and Interstate 10,   just after 6:00pm Friday night after a motorcyclist lost control of his bike and crashed into a tree.  Another rider on a separate motorcycle called 9-1-1 to report the incident.  The motorcycle was the only vehicle involved in the accident. A 20 year-old male suffered critical life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.  He was airlifted to the trauma center at UAMC for treatment of his injuries.  The patient was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.The Marana Police Department was on scene to conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident.No traffic delays or closures resulted from the accident.

  • Protests held in Oracle, Congress debating immigration funding

    The controversy surrounding where to place tens of thousands of children crossing the U.S. border, mostly in Texas, continued in Oracle last week as organized protests were held to protest and support up to 50 children being placed at a boys’ school.In a July 14 release, Carl Shipman of the Sycamore Canyon Academy boys school, said they were not taking sides in the controversial issue, but only providing temporary shelter for the immigrant children.With reports that the children could be bussed to the school on July 15, residents assembled along Oracle Road last week. Many protested the children being placed in local facilities, while others held signs in support of the children.“Sycamore Canyon Academy is not taking a position on the immigration debate in any way,” said Shipman. “We believe it is for others to decide. Our mission is to improve the lives of youth, and we will continue to fulfill our mission by focusing on our work with children.”About 50 people made up each of the parties, which were separated by a short distance. Politically, they were much further apart.

  • Scammers claim to be police, ask for money to pay fines

    As law enforcement agencies and the public become savvy to a specific form of a scam, criminals are finding different ways to manipulate victims out of their hard-earned money. A current scam affecting a handful of Northwest residents each week makes people think they are talking to someone who is there to protect them - the police.Sgt. Dean Nesbitt, with the Oro Valley Police Department, said criminals have gone to the point of researching a victim’s police department’s website to use actual department names, which adds another level of validity to the scam.“Law enforcement is not going to call you over the phone and ask you for money,” Nesbitt said.Some of the most recent incidents where the caller poses as a police officer are where they ask the victim for their name to confirm that is whom they are talking to. They then tell the victim that they have an unpaid red-light camera ticket or they missed jury duty and there is a warrant out for their arrest. They can also threaten the victim with turning off their utilities or having some of their property repossessed. 

  • Commitment to fitness

    After more than a year in training, more than 20 officers with the Marana Police Department (MPD) took a physical fitness test at Marana High School on July 18.Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema felt like his department was in good shape, but like any police department, the overall physical fitness level needed to be improved. Not only are fit officers more productive on the job, but they tend to have a better overall quality of life, according to Rozema. “We know through studies that law enforcement has a pretty low life expectancy,” said Rozema. “Some of it is due to stress, some of it is due to the sedentary nature of the job. All kinds of factors play into that. As much as it is for the public and community, it is equally for the officers and their health and their well being, so that when they get to retirement they are actually able to enjoy their requirement.”The challenge handed down by Rozema for officers to take part in the added training was on a volunteer basis. Many of the officers accepted the challenge.“We were looking at something that can improve the quality of life of the officers and after we retire, after we leave the Marana Police Department we can enjoy life, enjoy spending time with our families,” said Officer Scott Criswell.The program and standards are the result of a year long staff study conducted by MPD Physical Fitness Instructors, Department Command Staff, and Town Legal Advisors.  These standards were selected by the Department’s Physical Fitness Instructors and approved by the Town of Marana’s Legal Department because they have been validated as being job related for law enforcement officers.  

  • Marana student designs new school logo

    Levi Morse did not like the Marana High School logo and decided to do something about it. Morse teamed up with his older brother, Shawn, and designed a new tiger-head logo. Now, it is being used around the schoolWith a common nickname like the Tigers, Marana had a lot of options for logos and mascots, but Morse wanted more. “Marana lacked individuality, seeing as the tiger is a very common mascot,” Morse said. “Also, clip art, or generic logos are not, and will not ever be, aesthetically pleasing. I felt that (Marana) would soon be my alma mater, so it should have a look that I would look at and be proud of. This was somewhat my inspiration.”Morse’s father has an ornamental ironwork business and both Levi and Shawn have spent time creating CAD designs and cutting them out with a plasma torch, so  Levi approached Shwan about helping him with the new logo. At first they tried to create a side profile logo that would be a counterpoint to Mountain View’s “cyber cat” but their initial attempts did not quite work the way they had hoped. Several months before Shawn had created a tiger head design that was loosely inspired by an Arizona Wildcat logo, so the two set about altering it for the new school logo. “I emphasized that I wanted it to be defining, something unique, and most importantly, to have the letters M-H-S in it,” Morse explained. “Once we had this basis, we sent designs back and forth trying to formulate something that would wow any passerby.”

  • The right answer: make breakfast more fun

    For most parents, weekday mornings before school are like a challenging math problem: pack backpacks and lunches, plus get yourself ready for work – minus the luxury of unlimited time. But skipping breakfast should not be part of the equation.And, really, it can be fun! Especially when you keep a few go-to breakfast recipes up your sleeves and stay well-stocked on morning favorites – such as whole grain cereal, fresh fruit, rolled oats, yogurt and flavorings.In fact, layer on the love by helping your early risers make their own breakfast parfait, such as the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait with Trix Granola. Start with a see-through glass or container so everyone can admire their parfait progress. These super-stacked beauties are also customizable so every family member can choose his or her favorite ingredients – and top them up as they see fit.Just a few minutes set aside for that first family meal of the day will help to start things off with a dash of fun – and flavor.   Fruit and Yogurt Parfait with Trix Granola:

  • Immigrant children in local facilities, Congress debating

    While Congress is in Washington debating President Barack Obama’s proposal to spend more than $3 billion to address the immigration crisis the nation is currently facing, and Republicans argue that border security measures need to be taken immediately, the Department of Health and Human Services is still struggling to find housing for the more than 65,000 immigrant children that have entered the U.S. from Central America over the last year.Tucson is one of those locations, with a facility on Oracle and Drachman roads being used to house up to 280 children in the 144-bed facility.Texas-based Southwest Key is housing the children at a facility on Oracle Road, north of downtown. The building used to be a motel, and most recently a studio apartment complex.In June, the Southwest Keys website advertised for more than 270 jobs in Tucson, ranging from cooks to teachers and youth care workers.Ally Miller, the District 1 supervisor of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, jumped into the debate last week, sending a letter to Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer.“In light of the recent public protest in Murreita, Calif., I believe it is in the best interest of the public to be better informed, prepared and educated as to any health concerns that have arisen as a result of the children and young adults being kept in the area,” Miller said. “I want to ensure the information we have and that in which is being distributed, is accurate and comprehensive so that residents are confident in the management of this public health matter.”

  • Housley works to perfect cowboy poetry

    Eldon Housley is relatively new to the world of Cowboy poetry, but is by no means new to being a cowboy. Housley, whose poems tell the adventures of his grandson Jake and his dog Buster, is a frequent performer and is making a name for himself as both a poet and singer of “old time cowboy songs.”Housley got into cowboy poetry by accident. A friend had a book and soon found himself inspired to write his own poem. That first one would become the template for his future poems, weaving a tale of the adventures he, his grandson and his dog had.“Every cowboy has to have a really good dog, and I had a great dog named Buster,” Housley said. “Every cowboy has a trusty sidekick, and mine is my grandson Jacob, or Jake as I call him,”At the time, Housley was spending a lot of time with his grandson and buster, so it was easy to chronicle their adventures. That first poem poured out of him faster than he could write it.“Eventually I had to just write down rhyming words and go back and fill in the rest later,” said Housley.While on vacation at a ranch on the New Mexico border, Housley met musician Kip Callahan. The two took turns singing cowboy songs and eventually Housley was encouraged to read one of his poems. Callahan was impressed and told him about a big cowboy poetry gathering Prescott that had open mic opportunities. Housley attended the gathering and made his public debut.

  • 2014 SRO funding approved

    As local districts prepare for the new school year, many are also making plans to have school resource officers on site thanks to $12 million in state funding approved by the School Safety Program Oversight Committee.Both the Marana and Amphitheater school districts will benefit from the added funding. Marana schools will have a high school resource officer, and a junior high school officer. Amphitheater High School was approved for one officer.Altogether, 137 schools statewide will get a school resource officer (SRO).School safety has become a national discussion with the increase of school shootings. There have been 75 school shootings since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012.Oro Valley Police Chief Danny Sharp said he supports increasing SROs inside local schools. Even before the state funding was approved, the Oro Valley Police Department has provided an SRO at all schools located inside town limits, that includes Ironwood Ridge and Canyon Del Oro high schools.Sharp said he was in Portland Ore. after one of the most recent schools shootings where the suspect opened fire, killing one. Sharp said in the incident, it was the school’s SRO who took action to prevent more lives from being lost.

  • Marana Police creates new physical fitness program

    Marana Chief of Police Terry Rozema has instituted a new wellness program for the Marana Police Department.  This program is unique, because traditionally very few police agencies across the country have an established fitness or wellness program.  “The public has a reasonable expectation that those of us who protect them are competent and capable. Therefore it’s incumbent on leadership to continually look for ways to ensure our personnel are mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to provide a level of service that exceeds expectations. The Marana Police Department’s new “Fit for Duty” program is an additional element of our ongoing efforts to provide our community with the best police service possible and give our employees everything they need to carry out their responsibilities with excellence,” said Rozema.The purpose of the program is to encourage the Department’s sworn officers to maintain healthy levels of fitness.  Police Officers need to be physically fit to deal with the physical demands of the job.  Officers are also historically prone to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and a myriad of other health related problems.  The program and standards are the result of a year long staff study conducted by MPD physical fitness instructors, department command staff, and town legal advisors.  These standards were selected by the department’s physical fitness instructors and approved by the town’s legal department because they have been validated as being job related for law enforcement officers.  The program is voluntary for officers to participate in and officers can earn rewards based on their performance.  The program consists of the following - Agility Course, 300 meter run, maximum bench press, push ups, sit ups, vertical leap, and a 1.5 mile run.

  • Continental Ranch works to save agave plants

    The Continental Ranch Homeowners Association (HOA) has been able to turn a negative into a positive. When many of their agave plants were infested with agave snout weevils, the HOA found a way to repurpose one type of plant.Agave snout weevils or agave borer weevils attack agave plants, boring holes on the plant and leaving a bacterial secretion in the holes which begins a rotting process in the plant. The weevils then lay their eggs in the holes and when they hatch, the babies eat the rotten part of the plant. Generally a plant infested with weevils does not survive. Rob Palfreyman and the rest of the landscape committee discovered that many of the agave plants around Continental Ranch had been attacked by the insects, but Josh Seng of the Continental Ranch Community Association noticed the octopus agaves that they planted did not get attacked by the pests. When the octopus agaves flower they send up a stalk that has a number of golden flowers but also have seed capsules and bulbis or “pups”. These pups are basically baby plants. The downside of the octopus agave, and all other agaves, is that they die after flowering, so the landscape committee had the idea of taking the pups and replanting them.“Someone on the committee, I wish I could say it was me, had the idea that we should harvest them,” Palfreyman said, “We wanted a way to give back to the community.”

  • Banner Health to acquire UA Health Network

    Phoenix-headquartered Banner Health has reached an agreement with the University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) and the University of Arizona (UA) to create a statewide health care organization and a comprehensive model for academic medicine. The agreement would have Banner Health acquire two hospitals in Tucson — the UA Medical Center-University Campus at 1501 N. Campbell Ave., and UA Medical Center-South at 2800 E. Ajo Way, and also make a commitment of $500 million toward capital projects at those hospitals.Banner Health is the largest health system in the state and operates 16 hospitals in Arizona, with its closest to Tucson being Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, which Banner Health took over in June.As part of the 30-year agreement and in support of the UA College of Medicine in Phoenix, Banner Health also would turn Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix into a faculty-based medical center. In addition it would provide “substantial” financial support for the UA College of Medicine.Banner Health said it anticipates generating approximately $1 billion in new capital, academic investments, and other consideration to the University and the Tucson area.The agreement came after votes by the UAHN and Banner boards of directors in support of proceeding with negotiations, and a vote by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to authorize UA to also move forward with UAHN and Banner. A Banner statement noted the parties will work together toward final definitive agreements, which are anticipated to be completed and signed in September. The definitive agreements also must be approved by ABOR and the boards of directors of UAHN and Banner. 

  • Drywall falls and injures three

    Northwest Fire District crews were dispatched to a reported building collapse at 3912 W. Ina Road shortly after 2:00pm on Monday. The shopping center (Embassy Plaza Shopping Center)) is a strip mall style shopping center that has two main buildings.  The buildings are connected by the breezeway where the incident occurred. A full alarm was dispatched to the scene including specialized building collapse equipment on board the technical rescue truck. When the first engine arrived within 4 minutes they were able to quickly determine that drywall had collapsed from the breezeway roof area but that no structural damage or collapse had occurred.Three of the suits of the strip mall along the breezeway area are occupied by the Department of Economic Security (DES).  4 people that were waiting in the breezeway for appointments at the DES office were struck by the thick drywall that fell approximately 15 feet down from the ceiling area.  2 of the patients (a 35 year-old female and a 58 year-old male) were treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries that are described as minor and non-life threatening.  A third person was treated at the scene by Northwest Fire paramedics and released. The fourth person struck by the drywall denied any injury.Building officials from the Town of Marana believe that wind gusts may have brought air into roof vents causing a pressure increase in the attic space of the breezeway.  This pressure increase from winds in the area may have caused weakened and aged drywall to loosen from the nails that are used to install the drywall causing it to fall.  Water from recent rains was ruled out as a cause of the collapse.The breezeway was secured by caution tape to prevent anyone from entering the hazard area.  Property management staff was at the scene and working with investigators from the Town of Marana Building Department to determine the cause and begin the process of demolition and repair of the affected area.  The DES offices will remain open.  Staff from the office has asked that clients use the rear entrance of the offices until repairs are made. 

  • Three Points man found dead in abandoned well

    Chief Deputy Chris Nanos advises on July 2, 2014, Sheriff’s Department Homicide detectives were in the desert area on Phillips Road west of Sierrita Mountain Road conducting follow-up on a missing person. During their investigation, they located a deceased male in an abandoned well approximately twenty five feet down.He was later identified as 75-year-old William Sattler. He died from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.Detectives from the Robbery/Assault Unit, Burglary Unit, and Night Detective Squad responded to assist the Homicide Unit. They served multiple search warrants at various locations. One person, identified as 51-year-old Donald Stewart was taken into custody for questioning. He was later transported to the Pima County Adult Detention Complex and booked on one count of First Degree Murder.The Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Unit, Pima Regional Bomb Squad, and Northwest Fire Department assisted in extracting the victim out of the well.The victim’s name will be released pending next of kin notification. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.

  • Resident recalls nine-year service in Air Force

    Mary Ferris came to Oro Valley in 1985, by way of Boston, by way of Madrid, Spain, by way of Goose Bay, Labrador, by way of St. Paul, Minnesota— and a few other places in between.Over her 83 years, Mary has quenched again and again her thirst for world travel, thanks not only to her husband’s work in the hospitality industry but the career she held herself before their marriage: as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force.During her nine years in the military, Mary served stateside and overseas, achieved her goal of being a flight nurse, and, with her wings, tended to wounded special forces men in the early days of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.On the lighter side, she took advantage of the “hops” the Air Force made available, seeing Hong Kong, Thailand and Hawaii. While serving in Japan, she climbed Mount Fuji. Travel opportunities spurred her to join the military and decades later remain among her fondest memories.It started in 1954, when Mary was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. She had earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing three years prior from the College of St. Catherine, now St. Catherine University, in her hometown of St. Paul and worked at a civilian hospital at first. But she was an adventurous and spirited young woman. She wanted to see the world, meet new people, and find out more about herself, having grown up as an only child.“I was given a lot of love and a lot of care and got so much attention that I kind of wanted to go out and see what I could do on my own,” she said.

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