[ {"id":"2d97cba5-8d54-5c73-b4a1-312daebdc682","type":"article","starttime":"1493348400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T20:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493350324","priority":20,"sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Game and Fish: Quit ratting out Tucson\u2019s mangy coyotes","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/article_2d97cba5-8d54-5c73-b4a1-312daebdc682.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/game-and-fish-quit-ratting-out-tucson-s-mangy-coyotes/article_2d97cba5-8d54-5c73-b4a1-312daebdc682.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/game-and-fish-quit-ratting-out-tucson-s-mangy-coyotes/article_2d97cba5-8d54-5c73-b4a1-312daebdc682.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Mangy coyotes might be roaming your neighborhood, but state wildlife officials say they probably don\u2019t need to know about it. The Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a news release that while it\u2019s \u201cappreciative of calls from the concerned public ... unless (the coyotes) are threatening public safety or alive but not moving, AZGFD is discouraging the public from contacting the agency about coyotes with mange.\u201d","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"76245"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3","description":"Arizona Game and Fish asks that Tucsonans refrain from calling them about mangy coyotes unless the animals are exhibiting troubling behavior.","byline":"Arizona Game and Fish","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":787,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/64/364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3/5902905479130.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1159","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/64/364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3/590290547884a.image.jpg?resize=1159%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/64/364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3/590290547884a.image.jpg?crop=1200%2C675%2C0%2C111&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/64/364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3/590290547884a.image.jpg?crop=1200%2C675%2C0%2C111&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/64/364fce31-aa21-52ae-963b-beb7623cf6d3/590290547884a.image.jpg?crop=1200%2C675%2C0%2C111&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"2d97cba5-8d54-5c73-b4a1-312daebdc682","body":"

Mangy coyotes might be roaming your neighborhood, but state wildlife officials say they probably don\u2019t need to know about it.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a news release that while it\u2019s \u201cappreciative of calls from the concerned public ... unless (the coyotes) are threatening public safety or alive but not moving, AZGFD is discouraging the public from contacting the agency about coyotes with mange.\u201d

The agency has taken a dozen or so calls about \u201cnuisance coyotes\u201d in the past four weeks, mostly on Tucson\u2019s east side. But a gnarly-looking canine on its own isn\u2019t enough reason to call officials.

\u201cUrban coyotes are prone to mange because they tend to have weakened immune systems. Eating garbage and other abnormal foods may be part of the problem,\u201d said Anne Justice-Allen, the agency\u2019s veterinarian and wildlife health program supervisor.

Neither rabies nor canine distemper was found in any coyotes the agency examined.

"}, {"id":"dc344042-9f39-5ba4-a825-6626b096521e","type":"article","starttime":"1493346600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T19:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493349846","priority":43,"sections":[{"steller":"news/local/columnists/steller"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Steller: McSally tinkers with fatally flawed health-care bill","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/article_dc344042-9f39-5ba4-a825-6626b096521e.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-mcsally-tinkers-with-fatally-flawed-health-care-bill/article_dc344042-9f39-5ba4-a825-6626b096521e.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-mcsally-tinkers-with-fatally-flawed-health-care-bill/article_dc344042-9f39-5ba4-a825-6626b096521e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Tim Steller\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"The Affordable Care Act is not \"collapsing under its own weight,\" so it doesn't need a bad replacement.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["affordable care act","health care","obamacare"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#column","#top5","#topread"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"76217"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226","description":"Rep. Martha McSally","byline":"Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star/","hireswidth":1749,"hiresheight":1185,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/5b/85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226/5902a134b1f4c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1122","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/5b/85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226/58af932e8225e.image.jpg?resize=1122%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/5b/85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226/58af932e8225e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"203","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/5b/85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226/58af932e8225e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C203"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"694","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/5b/85ba64ec-290f-5a65-9081-21ee51236226/58af932e8225e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C694"}}},{"id":"1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be","description":"Tim Steller, columnist for the Arizona Daily Star.","byline":"Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1803,"hiresheight":1149,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/46/1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be/58cb3684e3dc1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1170","height":"746","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/46/1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be/58cb3684e2ea2.image.jpg?resize=1170%2C746"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/46/1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be/58cb3684e2ea2.image.jpg?crop=1803%2C1014%2C0%2C32&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/46/1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be/58cb3684e2ea2.image.jpg?crop=1803%2C1014%2C0%2C32&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/46/1463d62a-9b6c-5631-9f20-959711aec8be/58cb3684e2ea2.image.jpg?crop=1803%2C1014%2C0%2C32&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"dc344042-9f39-5ba4-a825-6626b096521e","body":"

\u2018First, do no harm.\u201d

It\u2019s a medical principle that members of Congress ought to keep in mind when messing with our health-care system.

For Democrats pondering the Republican proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, the principle is easy to apply. They\u2019ll vote no \u2014 if they ever get the chance to vote \u2014 because the replacement plan, the American Health Care Act, is worse than what it\u2019s intended to replace. It will lead to millions of people losing insurance without many assured benefits other than an end to the dreaded insurance mandate.

But for Republicans like Tucson\u2019s Rep. Martha McSally, the answer is more complicated.

McSally and many other congressional Republicans ran for election on the idea that \u2014 to use the phrase she and others repeated often \u2014 \u201cObamacare is collapsing under its own weight.\u201d

So McSally has taken a tack of trying to fix the problems with the proposed replacements, rather than recognizing that the replacements themselves might be the biggest problem.

In March, she helped negotiate changes to the original replacement bill: Getting an additional $15 billion for mothers, newborns and people with mental illness or substance-abuse problems was one. She also has argued for a longer transition from the old Medicaid subsidies to a new, pared-down system.

Like much of the congressional GOP, McSally has been wedded since last year\u2019s campaigns to the idea of Obamacare collapsing, a phrase suggesting that any replacement would be better than the ultimate failure of Obamacare. Voters seemed to accept this point of view.

But then a funny thing happened. When President Trump was elected and the public was faced with the possible reality of the Affordable Care Act actually being repealed, it became more and more popular. People began to protest, worrying that under the replacement bill, they would again be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition or due to impossibly high rates charged in \u201chigh-risk pools.\u201d

The idea that insurance companies would no longer be required to cover 10 fundamental services started to worry people.

Just as important, further examination has shown that the Affordable Care Act is not \u201ccollapsing under its own weight.\u201d It has major flaws \u2014 especially the cost of insurance on the ACA marketplaces for people who are not poor enough to qualify for large subsidies. But it is by far better than any alternative presented so far.

In its assessment of the American Health Care Act, the Congressional Budget office said this: \u201cIn CBO and JCT\u2019s (Joint Committee on Taxation\u2019s) assessment, however, the nongroup market would probably be stable in most areas under either current law or the legislation.\u201d

Get that? The insurance market would be stable under either the American Health Care Act or the existing Affordable Care Act, not collapse. The analysis goes on:

\u201cUnder current law, most subsidized enrollees purchasing health insurance coverage in the nongroup market are largely insulated from increases in premiums because their out-of-pocket payments for premiums are based on a percentage of their income; the government pays the difference. The subsidies to purchase coverage combined with the penalties paid by uninsured people stemming from the individual mandate are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by people with low health-care expenditures for the market to be stable.\u201d

Other analyses have found the same thing: There are problems with the private insurance marketplaces that need fixing, but the Medicaid expansion and the overall reduction in the number of uninsured people has been a success.

But this week, the House made another effort at reviving the American Health Care Act, this time with changes that appealed to the more conservative Republicans. When it was revealed that one provision would allow members of Congress to opt out of some changes \u2014 protecting themselves from the weakening of standards under the bill \u2014 McSally submitted a bill that would remove that provision.

Dr. Daniel Derksen, a professor of health policy at the University of Arizona\u2019s College of Public Health, told me the amended bill is aking to \u201crearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.\u201d

\u201cThe American Health Care Act would be a catastrophic disaster,\u201d said Derksen, who also heads the UA\u2019s Arizona Center for Rural Health.

Most important, he pointed out, would be the drastic cuts in federal commitments to support state Medicaid programs.

\u201cThis would take us back to having 1.2 million uninsured Arizonans,\u201d he said.

\u201cThere\u2019s nothing inherently flawed in the design\u201d of the Affordable Care Act, Derksen said. \u201cIt\u2019s a matter of how you can improve on it so that insurers will stay in and customers aren\u2019t trying to decide whether they have a provider every year.\u201d

Among the possible improvements: Making it possible for insurance companies and states to agree to participate for longer terms, maybe three years as in other federal programs, so that the year-to-year uncertainty is removed, and doing so across state lines.

So, for all McSally\u2019s work at trying to improve the Obamacare replacement, perhaps the solution is simpler than tinkering around the edges. It\u2019s to do no harm by saying no.

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Tommy D\u2019Amore estimated that his father\u2019s coaching record was 2,500 wins and 100 losses.

His brother, Doug D\u2019Amore, disagreed. \u201cHe didn\u2019t lose 100 games,\u201d he said. \u201cMore like 10.\u201d

To which their youngest brother, Tyler D\u2019Amore, further stirred the debate. \u201cI lost two games in my whole career with him,\u201d he said. \u201cI remember both of \u2019em.\u201d

The D\u2019Amore brothers are a force of energy and personality, a cross between a Billy Crystal dialogue and an episode of \u201cCheers.\u201d They are the product of their father, \u201cBig Doug,\u201d who was like a character from a 1970s sitcom wearing old Bike brand shorts, high socks with his wallet tucked inside, and big glasses that covered the square footage of his face.

If you grew up north of Ina Road, you (and your kids) surely crossed paths with Big Doug D\u2019Amore. He coached softball at Sports Park, baseball at Arthur Pack, basketball at Tortolita Junior High and every sport in every conceivable league in Oro Valley.

\u201cAt every game, he was the first to arrive,\u201d says Tyler, an all-city quarterback at Ironwood Ridge High School. \u201cWhen the lights went off at Arthur Pack, he\u2019d be the last to leave.\u201d

When Big Doug died last week of a heart attack, 66 years young, the D\u2019Amore brothers got hundreds of text messages and phone calls from those whose lives Big Doug touched: Ka\u2019Deem Carey of the Chicago Bears, former White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson, ex-Nevada Wolfpack shooting guard Michael Perez and on and on.

Every call had the same message: Your dad changed my life.

Over the years, the D\u2019Amore siblings became widely known in Tucson for their athletic careers. Tyler played football at Nebraska-Kearney and basketball at Pima College. Doug, the boys basketball coach at Catalina Foothills High School, played at Idaho State and in Europe. Tommy was a 3-point shooting machine at Montana-Billings. Their sister, Sheri, is married to former Stanford wide receiver Jon Pinckney.

\u201cWith all that we accomplished in sports, it doesn\u2019t compare to what my dad accomplished,\u201d Doug says. \u201cWhen I run into someone around town, it\u2019s not \u2018how are you doing or how\u2019s your team doing,\u2019 it\u2019s \u2018how\u2019s your dad?\u2019 \u201d

After moving to Tucson from Milwaukee in the early 1970s, Douglas John D\u2019Amore, a pool hustler of note, spent more time playing basketball at Bear Down Gym than he did in his UA classrooms. He chose to influence lives rather than work the 9 to 5 shift.

For 35 years, he ran a boys group home near Canyon del Oro High School. Every day was fourth-and-goal with young boys placed into foster care through the state\u2019s welfare and juvenile system.

\u201cAlthough my dad coached basketball and everything else, he coached kids first,\u201d says Tommy. \u201cHis life was like a tornado all around him, but he was perpetually optimistic. He was always saying \u2018take the shot,\u2019 rather than give in.\u201d

At Christmas last year, 68 of Big Doug\u2019s closest friends showed up. The door was always open.

When the D\u2019Amore brothers began the process of going through their father\u2019s possessions, they discovered a letter written 22 years ago by Rene Dulaney, father of former Mountain View High School all-state basketball standout Regan Dulaney.

Tears fell.

Mr. Dulaney\u2019s letter to Big Doug began this way: \u201cYour calling in life is definitely to work with the young. You have a rapport, a strength, a softness and a sense of what to say and what to do to aid young people during their formative years.

\u201cThey all love you and are secure that you love them regardless of their shortcomings. What a blessing you are to so many.\u201d

Tyler played basketball at Ironwood Ridge, stepping into a significant role after the Nighthawks won the 2008 state championship. Big Doug was at all the games. Sometimes he\u2019d get there at 3:30 p.m. for a game that didn\u2019t tip until 7.

\u201cI\u2019d say, \u2018Dad, the game doesn\u2019t start for three hours,\u2019\u201d Tyler remembers. \u201cHe\u2019d always have some of the kids from the group home with him. On the way home we\u2019d talk about how I could\u2019ve done things differently. He\u2019d say, \u2018I agree with 60 percent of what you did, but the coach is in charge; never humiliate the coach.\u2019\u201d

Brian Peabody, who coached Tyler D\u2019Amore at Ironwood Ridge, says that he saw Big Doug at every game. \u201cBut not once did he talk to me about changing Tyler\u2019s role or doing something this way or that way. He was a good man.\u201d

As Foothills reached the Class 4A state semifinals in February, Big Doug was always in the bleachers. He\u2019d get restless, nervous, like all fathers. \u201cHe\u2019d say, \u2018tell Dougie to press,\u2019 or, \u2018I can fix that kid\u2019s shot,\u2019\u201d Tommy says. \u201cBut that was just him. He could negotiate anything with anybody. His heart was in a good place; he quoted John Wooden about doing things the right way.\u201d

The D\u2019Amore boys had difficulty choosing a facility at which to hold their father\u2019s celebration of life Saturday at 3:30 p.m. How many seats will they need? Is 350 enough? Or maybe 500?

Ultimately, they chose Vistoso Funeral Home.

\u201cHe has 150 kids who call him dad,\u201d Tyler says. \u201cI hope he can look down from heaven and see how many lives he touched.\u201d

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An off-duty Border Patrol agent shooting recreationally was involved in the Sawmill Fire, the agency confirmed Thursday.

In an emailed statement, the Border Patrol did not name the agent but said the agent reported the fire immediately after it began. All further questions were referred to a state agency.\u00a0

The fire began Sunday afternoon near Box Canyon about 10 miles southeast of Green Valley and has burned 40,000 acres southeast of Tucson.\u00a0

The fire is being investigated as human-caused, said Heidi Schewel, spokeswoman for the Coronado National Forest. The Forest Service's investigator is investigating the cause of the fire for three agencies that have been affected by the fire: Arizona State Land, where the fire began; the Bureau of Land Management, and the Forest Service.\u00a0

She declined to comment further on the cause of the fire and said a report on the blaze will likely take some time to complete.\u00a0

\"Our investigation is still active and we do not talk about it. That is our policy,\" Schewel said.

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents many Border Patrol agents, would not comment until after the investigation is completed, said council spokesman Art Del Cueto.\u00a0

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Ashleigh Hughes stood beside her teammates, staring at her feet, as last Friday\u2019s ceremonial first pitch was set to begin at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Hughes\u2019 mind wandered a bit as the ceremony began. She thought back to her struggles at Utah the previous week, and focused on ways to improve heading into a key series with Oregon.

Which is why Hughes was confused when the public address announcer said her name.

And why she was floored when she saw her brother walking toward the pitcher\u2019s circle.

Ian Hughes, a senior airman on leave from the Air Force, made a surprise trip to Tucson to surprise his sister.

\u201cIt was shock,\u201d she said. \u201cComplete shock.\u201d

Ashleigh hadn\u2019t seen her brother in two years, and didn\u2019t know when she was going to see him again. The reunion was the highlight of arguably Arizona\u2019s best week of the season. The Wildcats took two of three games from Oregon; the UA, now ranked No. 3 in the nation, will open a series against No. 23 Arizona State on Friday.

\u201cHonestly, I just am really happy I got the time with him,\u201d Hughes said, \u201cbecause who knows when I\u2019ll get the time again.\u201d

A family connection

Ian Hughes chose to enlist a few years ago, in part because of a family connection.

Johnny Grizzle, Ian and Ashleigh\u2019s grandfather, fought in the Korean War in the 1950s. It\u2019s a fact the grandchildren didn\u2019t learn until he died a few years ago.

Raynard Hughes, Ian and Ashley\u2019s father, had long admired the Armed Forces. It was a place, Raynard told his son, where he could train and learn discipline. The son initially resisted. But Ian, a wrestler at Sierra College in Rocklin, California, found college to be a bad fit.

\u201cHe\u2019d say, \u2018I\u2019m not serving in the military,\u2019\u201d Raynard Hughes said. \u201cThen one day he came home and said, \u2018I enlisted into the Air Force.\u2019\u201d

Ian took the ASVAB test, which places enlistees in the branch of the military that best fits their skills. The Air Force is the most challenging branch to test into.

Ian passed with flying colors.

Ian stood out in boot camp as a unit leader, and in fitness and agility exercises. He went to technical school to study aerospace repulsion, and graduated with double honors.

He has been stationed in Dover, Delaware for the last few years as a propulsion technician.

\u201cI wanted something that impacted the mission the most heavily, getting to make the aircraft take off and drop troops where they need to go for supplies,\u201d he said. \u201cI love it.\u201d

Ian said joining the Air Force was about \u201cbeing a part of something\u201d and \u201cthe competitiveness of it.\u201d

\u201cI tested for all the branches,\u201d he said, \u201cand the Air Force was the most competitive.\u201d

\u2018Put a glove on\u2019

Ashleigh Hughes was just 5 years old when she showed the first signs of softball talent \u2026 while playing baseball with her brother.

\u201cI was the fastest one on my team, and she was the second fastest,\u201d said Ian, who is two years older. \u201cShe was the only girl, and I hit it the farthest, but she would hit it almost as far as me.\u201d

Ashleigh was always following Ian around, playing sports with he and his friends, the only girl.

She beat his friends in races, out-played them in basketball.

\u201cI remember somebody said to her: you throw like a girl,\u201d Raynard Hughes recalled. \u201cShe said, \u2018put a glove on.\u2019\u201d

Hughes committed to play at Alabama when she was just a freshman at Antelope High School. By her senior year, she had flipped to Arizona.

Hughes platooned in the outfield as a freshman, then hit .271 as the Wildcats\u2019 starting second baseman as a sophomore.

The Wildcats carry a 45-4 record this season, and Hughes is having the best year of her career. She\u2019s hitting a career-high .384, the third-best mark on the team, and is tied for the team lead with five stolen bases.

\u201cI had a lot of pride watching her get what I already knew she deserved the whole time,\u201d Ian said. \u201cIt was just like an I-told-you. I already knew.\u201d

Ashleigh says her brother played a big part in her sucecss. The two are best friends, attached the hip when they\u2019re together, talking on the phone when they\u2019re not.

\u201cWhen I was little, I started off playing baseball because I wanted to be just like him,\u201d she said. \u201cI was mad at my parents for making me play softball because I didn\u2019t want to. I thought the girls were dumb, I thought they were just going to stand there and pick flowers.\u201d

\u2018A hell of a lot bigger than this game\u2019

As Ian Hughes walked to the pitcher\u2019s circle at Hillenbrand, his eyes focused directly on his sister.

Ashleigh, with tears in her eyes, ran out to hug him.

The 2,746 fans, the players, coaches and television cameras all melted away.

\u201cI was walking out there, and everything else was me and her,\u201d he said. \u201cI didn\u2019t see all the other details until watched the video.\u201d

The reunion was a long time coming. Ashleigh missed Ian\u2019s wedding two years ago because the Wildcats were holding fall drills. Because of their conflicting schedules \u2014 Ian works the night shift on the East Coast, and Ashleigh has schoolwork and softball practice \u2014 the two often have to plan their conversations well in advance.

It was during one of their conversations that Hughes told her brother a secret: Every time a serviceman throws out a first pitch, she imagines that it\u2019s him.

Ian had an idea. He contacted Hughes\u2019 roommate, pitcher Taylor McQuillin, and got enthusiastic approval from UA coach Mike Candrea.

The coach admits he\u2019s \u201ca softie\u201d when it comes to the military.

\u201cI don\u2019t think we do enough for them. To me, it\u2019s a hell of a lot bigger than this game,\u201d he said. \u201cThere was never a doubt in my mind that I would do that.\u201d

Ian returned to the Hughes\u2019 Sacramento, California home two weeks ago, and swore his family to secrecy. Ashleigh didn\u2019t know Ian was back in the west; his social media accounts went dark.

\u201cI had no idea,\u201d she said.

It still didn\u2019t seem real last Friday, when Ashleigh made an impressive jumping catch and ripped a single in a UA win. Ashleigh kept popping her head out of the Wildcats\u2019 dugout and scanning the crowd for her brother.

\u201cI was just like, OK, it did happen,\u201d she said. \u201cIt wasn\u2019t a dream.\u201d

Ashleigh ripped a game-tying single in the second inning of Saturday\u2019s 10-7 win over the Ducks. She pointed to Ian from first base. He was going crazy, jumping and screaming.

\u201cEmbarrassing,\u201d she said, laughing.

The siblings spent the rest of the weekend eating their way through Tucson and hiking Mount Lemmon. Ashleigh convinced Ian to push his departure from Sunday to Monday.

\u201cIt was absolutely amazing,\u201d their father said. \u201cWatching them, watching my son and daughter and their mother interact over the course of the weekend was priceless to me \u2026 to see the look on her face made all the work that we had to go through worthwhile.\u201d

Ian will deploy to Turkey this summer for a 15-month stint, and will spend the four years after that in Okinawa, Japan. Neither Ian or Ashleigh know the next time they will see each other, but they\u2019re making plans. Ian left Ashleigh a note when he left Tucson. It read, in part: \u201cI know that one weekend won\u2019t make up for years of missed memories.\u201d

He also left a piggy bank, and instructions to start saving money so Ashleigh can visit him.

\u201cIt\u2019s been hard because I haven\u2019t had time to go see him,\u201d she said. \u201cThere\u2019s no time. No time feels like it\u2019s enough time.\u201d

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PHOENIX \u2014 House Republican leaders outmaneuvered a bid by Democrats to finally get the Legislature to vote whether to approve the federal Equal Rights Amendment.

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, D-Tucson, complained during floor action Thursday that her legislation to put Arizona on record in favor of the amendment never even got a hearing. So she made a motion that the measure be brought to the full House for an immediate vote.

The maneuver, which is legal under House rules, caught GOP leaders by surprise.

But rather than simply allowing a vote on her motion, Speaker J.D. Mesnard made a procedural motion to instead have the House recess. That was approved along party lines, denying Democrats the vote they sought \u2014 and effectively keeping Republicans from having to go on the record on whether they support or oppose the amendment.

The proposal, approved by Congress in 1972, says that \u201cequality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.\u201d And it would empower Congress to enforce provisions.

That action sent it to the states for ratification. Legislatures in 36 states have acted, most recently Nevada earlier this year; HCR 2012 sought to add Arizona to that list, though four states have taken action to rescind their prior votes.

The measure needs approval of 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.

A parade of Democrat lawmakers urged colleagues in the Republican-controlled House to quash the motion to recess and allow a vote.

\u201cDo you want to go home and tell your daughters and granddaughters that you preferred to take a recess than actually have the opportunity to be leading and continuing to lead the state of Arizona?\u201d asked Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe.

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The Sawmill Fire came within 8 miles of Sonoita-Elgin earlier this week, but its economic effects were starting to burn a hole in the profits of the wineries and vineyards dotting the vibrant heart of Southern Arizona\u2019s wine country.

The wineries lost more than half their customers early this week after the blaze forced Arizona Department of Transportation officials to close State Route 83 off Interstate 10 on Monday, nearly 24 hours after the blaze sparked on Sunday.

ADOT reopened the road on Thursday afternoon to cheers from vineyard operators who were bracing for a catastrophic drop in business this weekend \u2014 one of the final gasps of spring before business drops off for the summer.

\u201cThis is really, really good news,\u201d Flying Leap Vineyards founder and President Mark Beres said moments after ADOT reopened the main road into Sonoita off Interstate 10. \u201cAlmost two-thirds of our sales come on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. \u2026 Getting it reopened for the weekend should do us good. I\u2019m hopeful.\u201d

ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said there will be speed restrictions along Route 83 and possible lane changes while crews repair the guardrails burned in the blaze.

On Thursday, Beres said the closure had cost him 70 percent of his customers earlier in the week. The winery at 342 Elgin Road in Elgin usually sees between 40 and 60 people on weekdays, and nearly three times that on weekends. On Wednesday, just six people came into the winery, he said.

With Route 83 closed, visitors from Phoenix and Tucson had to detour nearly an hour out of their way, taking Interstate 19 to Nogales then cutting over on Route 82 through Patagonia. Another alternative: cutting through Benson.

Kelly Bostock made the trek from her Dos Cabezas WineWorks in Sonoita on Wednesday through Patagonia to get her son to Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson. She came back via Benson.

\u201cIt took me four hours round trip. It was brutal,\u201d said Bostock, who with her husband Todd owns the winery at 3248 Highway 82.

With the road open, the drive on Friday should take about 45 minutes.

A shorter commute is not the only reason Bostock was breathing a sigh of relief that the road reopened. Like Beres, she worried that the closure would devastate sales on what is usually her busiest day. An average of 100 people a day come into Dos Cabezas on Saturdays and Sundays, she said

The 40,000-acre Sawmill Fire was still active Thursday afternoon, but ADOT\u2019s Herrmann said unless it regains strength and threatens Route 83, the road would remain open.

Even with the road open, Sonoita-Elgin wineries could see business slow down this weekend, said Beres\u2019 neighbor Kent Callaghan.

\u201cAny time this happens \u2026 it just shuts everything down for a while,\u201d said Callaghan, the owner/winemaker of Callaghan Vineyard at 336 Elgin Road. \u201cJust the idea that people know there\u2019s a fire down here even when it\u2019s over they tend to shy away. I don\u2019t know if they\u2019re thinking about it or what. It\u2019s just one of those things.\u201d

The fire could not have come at a worse time for the wineries, which depend on spring revenues to get them through the summer slow down. Business usually begins to drop off in mid-May.

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Shares in Raytheon Co. touched an all-time high Thursday after the defense contractor reported higher sales and profits on strong demand for its missiles and other defense systems.

The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company said net sales for the first quarter were $6 billion, up 3.4 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016.

First-quarter net income from continuing operations was $506 million, or $1.73 per share, up 21 percent from a year ago and beating analysts\u2019 expectations.

The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.61 per share in revenue of $5.84 billion.

At Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems, net sales rose 2 percent from first-quarter 2016, to $1.75 billion, while operating income jumped 13 percent mainly due to \u201ca favorable change in program mix.\u201d

During the quarter, the missile unit booked $203 million for AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles for the U.S. and international customers and $159 million for Paveway bomb guidance kits for international customers.

On Thursday, the missile unit reported that its naval Standard Missile-6 missile, which has been adapted to handle both air-defense and surface attack roles, had reached full operational capability after a final series of test flights.

During a conference call Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy cited an evolving \u201cthreat environment that is driving a significant increase in demand signals from every one of our major global markets.\u201d

Raytheon increased its projections for full-year earnings to be $7.25 to $7.40 per share, with revenue in the range of $24.9 billion to $25.4 billion.

The company\u2019s shares have risen more than 9 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor\u2019s 500 index has climbed nearly 7 percent. The stock has increased 21 percent in the last 12 months.

Raytheon stock closed Thursday at $156.26, up 99 cents, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after hitting an all-time high of $158.87 shortly after the market opened.

"}, {"id":"1edb517c-2b92-11e7-9195-e797cd3394a5","type":"article","starttime":"1493329200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T14:40:00-07:00","priority":40,"sections":[{"education":"news/local/education"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"UA loses appeal on proposed veterinary school","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/education/article_1edb517c-2b92-11e7-9195-e797cd3394a5.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/education/ua-loses-appeal-on-proposed-veterinary-school/article_1edb517c-2b92-11e7-9195-e797cd3394a5.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/education/ua-loses-appeal-on-proposed-veterinary-school/article_1edb517c-2b92-11e7-9195-e797cd3394a5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Carol Ann Alaimo\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Plan is now on hold until at least 2019 the UA's accreditation proposal is rejected a second time.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134","description":"An inflatable University of Arizona logo was installed atop the school\u2019s proposed veterinary school headquarters when the UA announced the Oro Valley site in 2015.","byline":"John de Dios / UANews","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/b0/4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134/5609e3b1b0610.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1140","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/b0/4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134/57aa87230c885.image.jpg?resize=1140%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/b0/4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134/5609e3b20df80.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/b0/4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134/57aa87230c885.image.jpg?crop=1763%2C991%2C0%2C171&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/b0/4b01b6ff-7afa-5510-83f8-25ccb9ca3134/57aa87230c885.image.jpg?crop=1763%2C991%2C0%2C171&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"1edb517c-2b92-11e7-9195-e797cd3394a5","body":"

The University of Arizona's long-time dream of opening a veterinary school won't be coming true anytime soon.

The proposed project, which received $8 million from state taxpayers in this year's budget, is now on hold until at least 2019 after the nation's veterinary school accreditor turned down the UA's accreditation proposal a second time.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education first ruled last summer that the UA's plans for the new school were flawed to the point that students might not receive a high quality veterinary education.

The UA spent $10,000 to appeal the ruling and today announced it lost the appeal.

The veterinary school was a signature initiative of departing UA president Ann Weaver Hart, who convinced the state Legislature to make the $8 million contribution.

Provost Andrew Comrie said the university will continue its efforts to obtain accreditation.

He said the UA already is more than halfway there because the accreditor found on appeal that the UA meets 7 of 11 quality standards.

Prior to the appeal, the UA met 6 of the standards.

"}, {"id":"014f8e42-7364-5953-8e58-39977328b896","type":"article","starttime":"1493328600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T14:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493336025","priority":40,"sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona 83 reopened through Sawmill Fire area; air tankers grounded","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/article_014f8e42-7364-5953-8e58-39977328b896.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/arizona-reopened-through-sawmill-fire-area-air-tankers-grounded/article_014f8e42-7364-5953-8e58-39977328b896.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/arizona-reopened-through-sawmill-fire-area-air-tankers-grounded/article_014f8e42-7364-5953-8e58-39977328b896.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Carmen Duarte\nand Caitlin Schmidt\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Air operations are grounded because of high winds.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"76176"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c","description":"Trevor Crain, with the Sonoita-Elgin Fire District, hoses off fire retardant from the home of Bryce Reichardt in Singing Valley.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1783,"hiresheight":1162,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/f3/ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c/59012f217bf3c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1166","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/f3/ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c/59012ef199d7d.image.jpg?resize=1166%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/f3/ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c/59012ef199d7d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C65"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"196","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/f3/ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c/59012ef199d7d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C196"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"667","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/f3/ff35da04-a79f-53d8-abd3-207952004c1c/59012ef199d7d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C667"}}},{"id":"e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493","description":"A horse grazes in grass left unfazed in Singing Valley while the Sawmill Fire rages on April 25, 2017, burning in Southeastern Arizona between Green Valley and J-6.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":1744,"hiresheight":1187,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/56/e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493/59012f21e81fd.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1117","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/56/e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493/59012f21e7104.image.jpg?resize=1117%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/56/e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493/59012f21e7104.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/56/e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493/59012f21e7104.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"697","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/56/e564dd38-6e6d-5c71-8414-6aa4ccc8e493/59012f21e7104.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C697"}}}],"revision":52,"commentID":"014f8e42-7364-5953-8e58-39977328b896","body":"

High winds Thursday afternoon have forced officials to ground aircraft battling the 40,000-acre Sawmill Fire burning southeast of Tucson.

Meanwhile, officials have reopened Arizona 83 through the burn area after the roadway had been closed south of Interstate 10 to near Sonoita since Monday. Traffic delays could occur as highway crews repair guardrails damaged by the wildfire, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office said homeowners in the J-6 Ranch area east of Benson are still under a pre-evacuation order and should be prepared to leave if the fire draws closer. Fire crews have had success in defensive operations but expected gusty winds Thursday are a concern, the office said.

A \"red-flag\" warning for high winds is in place until 7 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Tucson. Another red flag warning will also be in place on Friday afternoon.

And on Friday, the windy conditions are expected to continue with gusts up to 45 mph because of a storm that will pass through the burning area on into New Mexico, said Carl Cerniglia, a NWS meteorologist in Tucson.

The wind conditions expected Friday afternoon may cause the grounding of aircraft \u2014 as it did on Thursday because the wind made slurry drops ineffective.

The fire was 20 percent contained Wednesday night and 606 firefighting personnel from multiple agencies were battling the blaze, which is believed to be human-caused although authorities won\u2019t say more about that investigation.

There are seven helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft assigned to the operation, said Manny Cordova, a fire incident management team spokesman. No structures have been lost that they know of, and there have been no reports of injuries, but homes and ranches remain at risk and the blaze downed power lines, he said.

Hundreds of residences, primarily in rural areas west of Benson and south of Interstate 10 and Mescal remain under pre-evacuation orders, said Carol Capas, a Cochise County sheriff\u2019s spokeswoman. The blaze was about 12 miles from the community of J-6 Ranch, she said.

\u201cWe will have fire crews in the Mescal area working through the night,\u201d said Cordova.

The Cochise County Sheriff\u2019s Office said a \u201cdemarcation line\u201d has been set about six miles southwest of J-6 and if the fire reaches that line, residents will be ordered out immediately.

Cochise County is opening an emergency operations center at 6 a.m. Thursday in Bisbee, which will be manned 24 hours a day to support first-responders in the field and residents, Capas said.

Homeowners were allowed to return to their homes in the Singing Valley and Greaterville areas Wednesday after being evacuated Monday.

One of the homeowners, Bryce Reichardt, posted on Facebook: \u201cWe\u2019re back home. All 11 houses in the neighborhood escaped the flames and everyone is fine. Most of the wood fences are gone.

\u201cThankfully, most of the trees survived since grass fires move so quickly. Our biggest problem is the house is covered with slurry,\u201d he wrote, adding that a crew from the Sonoita-Elgin Fire District washed the slurry off his house, which is in the Singing Valley area near Sonoita.

The blaze is burning through vegetation boosted by the wet monsoon season last summer, according to a weather service tweet. The weather service also said the scar left from the fire can be seen by satellite from space.

While the fire has grown, calmer winds allowed crews Wednesday to complete structure protection efforts in the communities of Hilton Ranch and J-6 Ranch. Crews were also prioritizing structure protection efforts in Rain Valley, which was evacuated, and the Empire Ranch area, officials said.

The Empire Ranch Foundation posted photos on Facebook showing historic buildings were spared, although rolling grassland around them was scorched by the fire at the circa-1880 ranch. The Empire Ranch, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is 10 miles north of Sonoita and 50 miles southeast of Tucson in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

The fire started Sunday south of Green Valley near Madera Canyon and blew northeastward across the northern foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains.

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Border Patrol agents who witnessed a rollover accident Wednesday on Interstate 10 and went to provide aid to the occupants discovered the vehicle was carrying undocumented immigrants in a smuggling attempt, the agency said.

The agents were westbound on I-10 east of Benson when they saw a white pickup truck turned upside down. The agents arrived at the scene and begin administering first aid to the occupants, according to Customs and Border Protection.

There were seven people in the truck, including five Mexican nationals who were in the country illegally, and two U.S. citizens, CBP said in a news release.

The two male U.S. citizens were taken to a hospital for evaluation of their injuries. Only one of the illegal immigrants required treatment at a hospital, CBP said.

The five Mexican nationals were arrested and were to be deported. The two U.S. citizens are facing prosecution for smuggling, the agency said.

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Here's the really cool thing about Tucson's close-knit musical community: They hold hands.

Proof: On Saturday afternoon, the volunteer Civic Orchestra of Tucson is teaming up with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to present its hugely popular instrument petting zoo.

A handful of instruments and the people who play them will set up in the courtyard of Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave., from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Kids can touch the instruments and Civic Orchestra players will explain how they work.

Admission is free and it's a bonus to the TSO's Family Series concert \u201cDusty Locks and the Three Bears\u201d being performed twice on Saturday inside Leo Rich. \"Dusty Locks\" is Tucson author Susan Lowell's Southwest recasting of \"Goldilocks,\" and TSO violist Ilona Vukovic-Gay, who leads the TSO's groundbreaking Young Composers Project, composed the music.

The TSO will perform the concert twice on Saturday, at 2 and 3:30 p.m., at Leo Rich. Admission is $18 for adults, $12 for children under 18 at tucsonsymphony.org or at the door.

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My wife is 60 and still working. When I was 66, my financial planner advised me to \u201cfile and suspend\u201d so that when my wife turns 62, she can claim spousal benefits on my record and let her own continue to grow until she is 70. We are trying to maximize our Social Security. But now I\u2019m wondering if I did the right thing. 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Q: I am 68 years old and retired. My wife is 60 and still working. When I was 66, my financial planner advised me to \u201cfile and suspend\u201d so that when my wife turns 62, she can claim spousal benefits on my record and let her own continue to grow until she is 70. We are trying to maximize our Social Security. But now I\u2019m wondering if I did the right thing. Can you explain the rules to me?

Q: I am about to turn 66. I\u2019m still working. My 64-year-old wife has been getting her own Social Security since she was 62. Can I file and suspend so that I can claim benefits on my wife\u2019s record now and maximize my own retirement at age 70?

Q: I see you recently wrote yet another column about Social Security maximizing strategies. I\u2019m going to ask that you please stop doing that. There are so many other important Social Security issues that we need to know about. We DO NOT need to learn any more about the sneaky ways that greedy and selfish geezers can use to claim unintended benefits out of an already financially strained system.

Q: Please, please, please: No more columns about maximizing one\u2019s Social Security. These so-called \u201cstrategies\u201d don\u2019t apply to most of us and we just don\u2019t care to read about them!

These four recent emails I received illustrate something I\u2019ve learned over the past several years. My readers can be put into two different camps. One group would like me to use each and every column I write to explain Social Security maximizing strategies. The other camp would just as soon I never broach the topic again.

So what is a Social Security columnist to do? To paraphrase Abe Lincoln: \u201cI can please some of my readers all of the time and all of my readers some of the time. But I can\u2019t please all of my readers all of the time!\u201d

Actually, I went back and checked. Out of the 52 columns I\u2019ve written over the past year, 11 have been about maximizing strategies. So that means I\u2019ve covered at least 41 other Social Security topics over the past year. (In many columns, I discuss more than one subject.) But there is no question that maximizing is by far the most frequently discussed issue I\u2019ve written about. And that\u2019s primarily because there has been so darn much misinformation spread (mostly on the internet) about the topic.

And the first two emails illustrate this point. So for the 12th time in now the last 53 weeks, I\u2019m going to once again discuss this controversial topic. (And I hope the readers in the \u201cno more\u201d camp will forgive me!)

For most of the history of the Social Security program, the only strategy you really needed to consider was this: Should you take reduced benefits at 62 (or some other early age) or wait until your full retirement age (currently 66) to claim full retirement benefits?

Then in 1972, Congress introduced another strategy: the idea of delayed retirement credits. The rules have changed over the years, but the law currently says you get a two-thirds of 1 percent credit added to your Social Security check for each month you delay filing for benefits after age 66. That comes out to an 8 percent bonus per year or a 32 percent bonus if you wait until age 70 (the maximum age) to file.

Then in the 1990s, the Social Security law that allowed working seniors to claim full benefits at age 66 (the prior age was 72) included some totally unintended provisions that allowed seniors to \u201cmaximize\u201d their benefits. One of those provisions came to be called \u201cfile and suspend.\u201d This strategy was usually employed by a husband who wanted to wait until age 70 to claim the full 32 percent bonus. But he could file for benefits at 66 and immediately suspend his own benefits, but allow his nonworking wife to take spousal benefits on his record when she came of age. This strategy was actually eliminated last year. But the phrase \u201cfile and suspend\u201d lives on \u2014 mostly on the internet.

People are always asking me if they can \u201cfile and suspend.\u201d But what they really mean to ask me is if they can \u201cfile and restrict.\u201d That is a completely different strategy that is also pegged for elimination. But it\u2019s still good for another couple years. Anyone turning 66 before Jan. 2, 2020, can employ that strategy.

The \u201cfile and restrict\u201d strategy allows one member of a married couple to claim dependent husband\u2019s or wife\u2019s benefits on the other spouse\u2019s record at age 66 while letting his or her own retirement benefits grow \u2014 usually until age 70.

So, for example, the second email I mentioned at the beginning of this column involved a 66-year-old man who has a 64-year-old wife who is already getting her own retirement benefits. He asked if he can \u201cfile and suspend.\u201d That\u2019s the wrong phrase and the wrong strategy. But what he can do is \u201cfile and restrict.\u201d That means he can collect 50 percent of his wife\u2019s age 66 retirement benefit until he is 70 years old. At that point, he can switch to 132 percent of his own.

The gentleman who wrote the first email used in this column was advised to \u201cfile and suspend\u201d when he turned 66. There actually was no real need for him to do that since his wife was not (and still is not) eligible for any benefits on his record. And even if she were old enough, she could not do what he was told she could do. She would not have been able to file for spousal benefits at 62 and save her own until age 70. And because she turns 66 after the Jan. 2, 2020, deadline mentioned earlier, she cannot use the file and restrict strategy. This couple should forget about all this maximizing hoopla. The wife simply has to decide when she wants her own benefits to start.

I just very briefly outlined some very complicated Social Security rules in this column. If you want to know more about the topic, send an email to thomas.margenau@comcast.net and ask me to send you a fact sheet I wrote called \u201cWhen to take your Social Security benefits.\u201d

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PHOENIX \u2014 State school chiefs Diane Douglas wants lawmakers to permanently extend and expand a special sales tax to fund education to keep it from expiring in 2020.

And if they balk, she\u2019ll take her case to the street \u2014 even with legislators having thrown new hurdles into the path of those who want to propose their own laws.

Speaking to the Arizona Business Education Coalition on Thursday, Douglas said she remains convinced the biggest obstacle to recruiting and retaining teachers is salary.

Gov. Doug Ducey has proposed a pay hike, but just 0.4 percent this year and only 2 percent over five years. Lawmakers have responded with a 2 percent increase over two years.

But that, she said, is not going to cut it.

Douglas said boosting the current 0.6 cent sales tax to a full penny would raise an additional $400 million a year. And she wants $300 million of that earmarked for teacher pay.

She figures that would increase salaries by 11 percent, or an average of $5,000.

The most recent numbers from the National Education Association put average teacher salaries in Arizona at $45,477, close to the lowest in the entire country. The national average is $58,064.

The other $100 million would be used for repairs to what she called the \u201ccrumbling infrastructure\u201d of public schools.

Arizona law requires the state to provide for both new school construction and upkeep. But lawmakers, in a bid to save money, have not fully funded that formula for years.

Her demand for an expansion of the levy, first approved by voters in 2000, puts her at odds with Gov. Doug Ducey.

The governor said last month that he supports extending the current 0.6-cent tax beyond 2020, saying schools have become dependent on the dollars. Ducey, however, has balked at any sort of increase.

But even that support for an extension apparently is not absolute.

In a statement after Douglas\u2019 announcement, gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss believes the extension \u201cneeds to be done in a way that makes sense, is good public policy, and most importantly, can actually win support from legislators and the voters.\u201d

The superintendent said that last part should be no problem. Douglas said conversations with parents around the state leave her convinced there is strong public support for both extending and expanding the levy to a full penny.

That, however, still leaves her at the mercy of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

There are not the votes to actually extend the tax, much less expand it, as it would take the support of two-thirds of both the House and Senate.

A simple majority, however, could put the issue to voters, as was done in 2000 when Prop. 301 was first approved. And such a referral would not require the consent of the governor.

Douglas conceded, though, that lawmakers may balk at even punting the decision to voters. That leaves her with the alternative of working with supporters to gather the necessary signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

\u201cI hope we don\u2019t have to go that route,\u201d she said. \u201cIt will save a lot of money.\u201d

The entire initiative process is about to get more complicated and more expensive. That\u2019s because lawmakers have approved \u2014 and Ducey has signed \u2014 legislation to restrict how circulators can be paid as well as requiring judges to disqualify petition drives if there is not \u201cstrict compliance\u201d with each and every election law.

Whichever way the issue makes the ballot, Douglas does not want to repeat the error of Prop. 301 with its built-in self-destruct date. It is that 2020 deadline \u2014 and the potential loss of nearly $600 million in revenues \u2014 that has created the need to act to ensure that the dollars on which schools have become dependent do not disappear and create a funding crisis.

She wants the levy made part of the permanent tax structure \u201cso that we don\u2019t face these endless financial cliffs that we face in our school districts.\u201d

Speaking with reporters afterward, Douglas acknowledged that it might not have become necessary to seek a sales tax hike had lawmakers not voted to cut corporate income taxes.

Corporate levies generated $663 million in 2015. With the various changes already approved, corporations will pay just $263 million in 2020.

\u201cObviously, if you have less revenue, you have less money to go around,\u201d she continued. \u201cIt\u2019s basic economics.\u201d

Douglas said she\u2019s \u201cnot here to lay blame.\u201d

\u201cI believe they did what they think was in the best interests of the state,\u201d she said. \u201cBut now we have other issues we need to address.\u201d

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Tucson Roadrunners general manager Doug Soetaert has been fired.

The first-year boss' termination was announced by the NHL's Arizona Coyotes on Thursday afternoon. The move is part of a front-office shift: Coyotes assistant Newell Brown was also fired, and pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque will not have their contracts renewed.

\"I'd like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club,\" Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. \"They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.\"

Soetaert, a longtime NHL player, spent last season as a western scout for the Coyotes. He was named the Tucson Roadrunners' general manager when the club relocated from Springfield, Massachusetts prior to the 2016-17 season. The Roadrunners started hot, but suffered a blow when captain Craig Cunningham collapsed and nearly died before a mid-November game at Tucson Arena. The team finished the season 29-31-8-0, missing the playoffs.

"}, {"id":"b87e4e28-2b70-11e7-9186-0ff454bc41d2","type":"article","starttime":"1493314860","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T10:41:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493315502","priority":40,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ban on new drivers using cell phones behind the wheel now Arizona law","url":"http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/article_b87e4e28-2b70-11e7-9186-0ff454bc41d2.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/ban-on-new-drivers-using-cell-phones-behind-the-wheel/article_b87e4e28-2b70-11e7-9186-0ff454bc41d2.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/ban-on-new-drivers-using-cell-phones-behind-the-wheel/article_b87e4e28-2b70-11e7-9186-0ff454bc41d2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"PHOENIX \u2014 Saying sometimes parental admonitions are not always enough, Gov. Doug Ducey this morning signed legislation which will make it illegal for the state's newest drivers to use their cell phones by behind the wheel. But not just yet. The legislation which takes effect July 1, 2018 bans not just texting but even making calls for those with a learner's permit as well as teens for the first six months after they get an actual license.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162","description":"","byline":"Arizona Daily Star / File","hireswidth":1793,"hiresheight":1156,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fe/9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162/58f536adcfb0c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1170","height":"754","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fe/9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162/58f53583a3b51.image.jpg?resize=1170%2C754"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fe/9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162/58f53583a3b51.image.jpg?crop=1793%2C1008%2C0%2C49&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fe/9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162/58f53583a3b51.image.jpg?crop=1793%2C1008%2C0%2C49&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fe/9feb2fa6-2b71-11e7-b44d-bbf12a58e162/58f53583a3b51.image.jpg?crop=1793%2C1008%2C0%2C49&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"b87e4e28-2b70-11e7-9186-0ff454bc41d2","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Saying sometimes parental admonitions are not always enough, Gov. Doug Ducey this morning signed legislation which will make it illegal for the state's newest drivers to use their cell phones by behind the wheel.

But not just yet.

The legislation which takes effect July 1, 2018 bans not just texting but even making calls for those with a learner's permit as well as teens for the first six months after they get an actual license.

First-time violations can result in a $75 fine and having the new motorist's restrictions \u2014 things beyond cell phone use like not driving after midnight and limiting the number of other teens in the vehicle \u2014 extended for an additional 30 days.

A second violation is a $100 fine with an extra six months of restrictions. And a third offense results in license suspension for 30 days.

The measure was approved over objections from some legislators who said it should be up to parents to ensure that new drivers in the family aren't texting or chatting.

Ducey said he understands that, having already raised two teen drivers and with a 13-year-old waiting in the wings for his chance.

\"I had more than advice,\u201d he said about his experiences with his sons. \"I had a contract they needed to sign.\u201d

But the governor said that goes only so far.

\"The law is a teacher,\u201d he said. And Ducey said there is a \"tremendous learning curve\u201d for new drivers.

\"So I'm hopeful that parents are advising their kids not to text and drive,\u201d he said. \"Now the law will reinforce that.\u201d

Sen. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said she crafted the legislation to be the most politically acceptable, affecting only the newest drivers and only for six months. Prior measures going back more than a decade which sought to impose a more encompassing ban have proven to be non-starters.

But Ducey said he supports something even more expansive than what landed on his desk.

\"I would have signed a bill that restricted texting from 16 to 18,\u201d the governor said. \"I think your rights, your ability to vote, serve your country begin at 18.\u201d

Ducey's signature means that Arizona will no longer be one of just two states without any laws about the use of cell phones by motorists.

According to AAA, 46 states plus the District of Columbia ban text messaging by all drivers. But while there is no such law in Texas or Missouri, both do ban teens from using cell phones.

With the change in the law, that will leave just Montana with no restrictions.

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The long-awaited temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open its doors to the public in June, but you\u2019ll need to make reservations.

From Saturday, June 2, to Saturday, June 24, the public can tour the temple from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The temple will be closed Sundays.

After that, when the temple, at 7281 N. Skyline Drive, is dedicated, it will be closed to the public, according to press materials.

This is Arizona\u2019s sixth LDS temple and the nearest for local Mormons, who previously had to trek to Gila Valley or Mesa.

Church leadership in Salt Lake City announced the construction of the Tucson temple in 2012 and broke ground in 2015.

In March, James Michael Moeller of the Tanque Verde Ward, was named president of the temple. The temple will be dedicated Sunday, Aug. 13, with a cultural performance celebrating the dedication on Saturday, Aug. 12. The public will have no access to the dedication and limited access to the cultural celebration.

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Arizona Wildcats coach Adia Barnes didn't wait long to fill out her staff.

Morgan Valley was named the UA's new assistant coach Wednesday night. She spent the previous two seasons at Washington under coach Mike Neighbors. Barnes worked alongside Valley during the 2015-16 season. Valley and Barnes were both considered as replacements for Neighbors when he left the Huskies earlier this month to become the new head coach at Arkansas.

Valley won three national championships as a player at UConn. Her teams went a combined 139-8 over four seasons (2000-04). She replaces former UA assistant Kelly Rae Finley, who left last week for a similar position at Florida.

\u201cMorgan is who I wanted from day one and I think this is the best hire in the country,\u201d Barnes said. \u201cShe comes from a championship pedigree having won three National Championships at UConn, while playing in four Final Fours. Morgan\u2019s addition not only gives us an incredible basketball mind, but a specialist in player development and scouting, and a coach who knows how to build a championship culture. I have known her for many years and would go to battle with her any day. She can instill her work ethic and mentality into our players. She can also relate to them because she has been there, and that has extreme value to me. She was instrumental in the success of Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor at Washington. Not too many coaches have her background. Morgan is the complete package and is a perfect complement to our staff.\u201d

Said Valley: \u201cAdia is building something special here and I am honored to be a part of it. This is truly an exciting time to be at the University of Arizona and I feel like the best is yet to come.\u201d

Valley went into coaching when her playing career was over, starting as a student assistant at UConn before taking jobs at Holy Cross, Towson, New Hampshire and UMass. She served as a Virginia Tech assistant before moving to Washington.

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David Hu, Georgia Institute of Technology and Patricia Yang, Georgia Institute of Technology

(THE CONVERSATION) The ancient Chinese practiced copromancy, the diagnosis of health based on the shape, size and texture of feces. So did the Egyptians, the Greeks and nearly every ancient culture. Even today, your doctor may ask when you last had a bowel movement and to describe it in exquisite detail.

Sure, it\u2019s uncomfortable to talk about. But that\u2019s where science comes in, because what we don\u2019t like to discuss can still cause harm. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal infections and other poop-related ailments cost Americans billions of dollars annually.

But trying to stem these problems was not our main motivation for trying to figure out some of the physics of defecation. It was something else, much more sinister.

From personal observation, into the lab

When parenthood hits, it hits hard. One of us is a working dad who survived by learning a new set of skills, one of which was fecal analysis. Years of diaper changes and then potty training turned me from a poo-analysis novice to a wizened connoisseur. My life passes by in a series of images: hard feces pellets like peas to long feces like a smooth snake to a puddle of brown water.

Unlike the ancients, we didn\u2019t believe that we could predict the future from children\u2019s stool. But we did think it was worth trying to understand where all these shapes come from. Having a laboratory to answer questions about the everyday world is one of the distinct pleasures of being a scientist.

As fluid dynamicists, we joined forces with colorectal surgeon Daniel Chu, and two stalwart undergraduates, Candice Kaminski and Morgan LaMarca, who filmed defecation and hand-picked feces from 34 mammalian species at Zoo Atlanta in order to measure their density and viscosity.

We learned that most elephants and other herbivores create \u201cfloaters\u201d while most tigers and other carnivores create \u201csinkers.\u201d Inadvertently, we also ranked feces from most to least smelly, starting with tiger and rhino and going all the way to panda. The zoo\u2019s variety of animals provided us with a range of fecal sizes and shapes that served as independent pieces of evidence to validate our mathematical model of the duration of defecation.

We also placed the feces in a device called a \u201crheometer,\u201d a precision blender that can measure the properties of liquid-like and solid-like materials such as chocolate and shampoo. Our lab shares two rheometers with Georgia Tech physicist Alberto Fernandez-Nieves. We have since categorized the rheometers as the \u201cclean rheometer\u201d and the \u201cDavid Hu rheometer\u201d \u2013 which has seen its fair share of frog saliva, mucus and feces.

The secret to the speed

What else did we learn? Bigger animals have longer feces. And bigger animals also defecate at higher speed. For instance, an elephant defecates at a speed of six centimeters per second, nearly six times as fast as a dog. The speed of defecation for humans is in between: two centimeters per second.

Together, this meant that defecation duration is constant across many animal species \u2013 around 12 seconds (plus or minus 7 seconds) \u2013 even though the volume varies greatly. Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It\u2019s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog\u2019s, at 10 milliliters. How can big animals defecate at such high speed?

The answer, we found, was in the properties of an ultra-thin layer of mucus lining the walls of the large intestine. The mucus layer is as thin as human hair, so thin that we could measure it only by weighing feces as the mucus evaporated. Despite being thin, the mucus is very slippery, more than 100 times less viscous than feces.

During defecation, feces moves like a solid plug. Therefore, in ideal conditions, the combined length and diameter of feces is simply determined by the shape of one\u2019s rectum and large intestine. One of the big findings of our study was that feces extend halfway up the length of the colon from the rectum.

A unified theory of pooping

Putting the length of feces together with the properties of mucus, we now have a cohesive physics story for how defecation happens. Bigger animals have longer feces, but also thicker mucus, enabling them to achieve high speeds with the same pressure. Without this mucus layer, defecation might not be possible. Alterations in mucus can contribute to several ailments, including chronic constipation and even infections by bacteria such as C. difficile in the gastrointestinal tract.

Beyond simply following our scientific curiosity, our measurements of feces have also had some practical applications. Our defecation data helped us design an adult diaper for astronauts. Astronauts want to stay in space suits for seven days, but are limited by their diapers. Taking advantage of the viscosity of feces, we designed a diaper that segregates the feces away from direct contact with skin. It was a semifinalist in the NASA Space Poop Challenge earlier this year.

It just shows that physics and mathematics can be used everywhere, even in your toilet bowl.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/physics-of-poo-why-it-takes-you-and-an-elephant-the-same-amount-of-time-76696.

"}, {"id":"e187574a-2703-11e7-ae28-0faf3d0c9ab4","type":"link","starttime":"1493312400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T10:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493321772","sections":[{"gardensage":"lifestyles/gardensage"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Garden Sage: Dog vomit slime; wild roaches; darkling beetles","permalink":"http://tucson.com/r/garden-sage-dog-vomit-slime-wild-roaches-darkling-beetles/collection_32e51610-26da-11e7-83e7-0f6af46a36a7.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/r/garden-sage-dog-vomit-slime-wild-roaches-darkling-beetles/collection_32e51610-26da-11e7-83e7-0f6af46a36a7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Answers to your gardening questions from an expert in Southern Arizona.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#topstory"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"url":"http://tucson.com/r/garden-sage-dog-vomit-slime-wild-roaches-darkling-beetles/collection_32e51610-26da-11e7-83e7-0f6af46a36a7.html"}, {"id":"b38f62b6-2b53-11e7-bd18-df6f9b65e111","type":"article","starttime":"1493310600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T09:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493324665","priority":30,"sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Tucson toddler drowns in northwest side pool","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/article_b38f62b6-2b53-11e7-bd18-df6f9b65e111.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-toddler-drowns-in-northwest-side-pool/article_b38f62b6-2b53-11e7-bd18-df6f9b65e111.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-toddler-drowns-in-northwest-side-pool/article_b38f62b6-2b53-11e7-bd18-df6f9b65e111.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Caitlin Schmidt\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"This is Tucson's first drowning of 2017.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"eb7399fa-f4a2-11e6-807c-aff5d318bb10","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"640","height":"360","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b7/eb7399fa-f4a2-11e6-807c-aff5d318bb10/58a63b45ae0f0.image.jpg?resize=640%2C360"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b7/eb7399fa-f4a2-11e6-807c-aff5d318bb10/58a63b45ae0f0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b7/eb7399fa-f4a2-11e6-807c-aff5d318bb10/58a63b45ae0f0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b7/eb7399fa-f4a2-11e6-807c-aff5d318bb10/58a63b45ae0f0.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"b38f62b6-2b53-11e7-bd18-df6f9b65e111","body":"

A two-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool on northwest side Wednesday night in Tucson's first drowning incident of 2017.

Just before 7 p.m., Northwest Fire District responded to the 4100 block of West Sugarcane Street, in the area of North Oldfather and West Cortaro Farms Road, for reports of a child who wasn't breathing, said department spokesman Capt. Brian Keeley.

The child's mother, who called 911 to report the drowning, was performing CPR when paramedics arrived and said that the child was found floating in the backyard pool. Paramedics took over CPR and transported the child to a local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased, Keeley said.

The child had been in a back bedroom in the home but was missing when her mother went to check on her. Initial findings indicate that the child was able to open a door to the backyard. Although the pool had a fence, two sections had been taken down the day before for repairs, and the child was able to gain access, Keeley said.

Thirty minutes may have passed between when the child was last seen alive and when she was found in the pool.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident.

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For the third time since 2014, Marana's planning commission has voted to recommend approval for a controversial plan to turn a historic dude ranch into a 178-home subdivision.

But this time, the advisory board's Wednesday night vote \u2014 which is only a recommendation to the Town Council \u2014 was not unanimous.\u00a0

Eighteen members of the public addressed the commission about the plan to rezone the Lazy K Bar Guest Ranch, but not one voiced support for it.

Commissioner Marcia Jakab said that changed her vote to a \"nay.\"

\"I've sat in this position for almost 10 years,\" she said before the roll-call vote. \"And even when we had meetings that were approaching midnight about the landfill, there was always somebody that came forward that was supporting it. And there was absolutely no support in this audience tonight.\"

The proposal would rezone the Lazy K ranch to allow for a subdivision with four times the density currently allowed under \"resort and recreation\" zoning, which permits about 42 homes \u2014 one per 3.3 acres \u2014 or a 600-unit hotel. The new zoning would allow for about 1.3 homes per acre.

In May or June, the development and rezoning proposal will go before the Town Council, which has already rejected the proposal twice.

But for both of those earlier votes, the rezoning plan needed support from a supermajority of council members \u2014 six of seven members \u2014 in order to pass. That's because under state statute, a supermajority is required for zoning changes that are opposed by 20 percent of adjacent property owners.

This time around, the property owners and design firm have found a way to avoid triggering that requirement. The statute requiring a supermajority doesn't apply if the opposition comes from neighboring property owners who are more than 150 feet away from the land being rezoned. So this year, developers added a 150-foot strip of land around the perimeter of the Lazy K property that won't be rezoned. Now the proposal can pass with a simple majority, or four \"yea\" votes. It also means only 103 acres of the 138-acre property will be rezoned.

During the commission meeting, one Marana resident who spoke out said the developer's move was \"devious.\"

\"To me it seems like they\u2019re just doing this to try to get this approved quicker,\" said Joyce Obiol, who lives on Scenic Drive near Lazy K. \u00a0

Linda Morales of The Planning Center in Tucson \u2014 the firm that led the development of the Lazy K rezoning plan on behalf of the property owners \u2014 defended the decision to add the buffer.

\"The developer was willing to give up 35 acres of the site as natural open space to buffer the property and to take it out of the protest area,\" Morales told the commission. \"That 150-foot (condition) was put in by state law because it was deemed to be the area most affected\" by a zoning change.

The latest version of the Lazy K proposal includes at least 60 percent open space. Morales said it also features a hiking trail and preserves the original stone homestead and the existing outdoor fireplace, patio and event lawn as a common area. The homes could cost up to $600,000.

Before casting her \"yea\" vote, commissioner Terry Fehrmann said, \"In review of this plan, I will tell you it's greatly improved\" from two years ago. She noted the developers have made many compromises, including adding more open space and keeping all homes single-story.

Lazy K property owners Jim Shiner and Peter Evans have been trying since 2014 to get a plan approved to finally develop their land. The site is just a half-mile north of Saguaro National Park West, and is west of North Silverbell Road and south of West Twin Peaks Road.

Opponents \u2014 including Saguaro National Park \u2014 have objected to the rezoning. They say it conflicts with Marana\u2019s own general plan, which designates the project site as rural density residential, as well as the town\u2019s draft habitat conservation plan. Many are also concerned about increased traffic in the area.

At the behest of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, the design firm reconfigured the layout of the site plan to minimize the homes' impact on a crucial wildlife corridor between the Tucson Mountains and the Tortolitas to the northeast. But coalition president Carolyn Campbell said last week she still couldn't commit to supporting the latest version of the plan, which now encroaches on natural washes.

For more details, see the Star's Friday paper.

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With a subscription to\u00a0newspapers.com\u00a0you can search the Arizona Daily Star and many other newspapers using keywords or dates, and download articles or pages.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"url":"http://tucson.com/historical-april-arizona-daily-star-front-pages/collection_f69d2dd6-2a04-11e7-b486-8767b1ec10d2.html"}, {"id":"77594d3a-0d0c-11e7-9ce5-033a0f8dc81a","type":"link","starttime":"1493307000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T08:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493325420","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"outdoors":"entertainment/outdoors"},{"hiking":"entertainment/outdoors/hiking"},{"photo":"photo"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Explosion of color - Doug Kreutz's amazing outdoor scenes","permalink":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/outdoors/explosion-of-color---doug-kreutz-s-amazing-outdoor/collection_66a262d0-beb6-11e3-a9be-0019bb2963f4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/outdoors/explosion-of-color---doug-kreutz-s-amazing-outdoor/collection_66a262d0-beb6-11e3-a9be-0019bb2963f4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Hiking enthusiast and Star writer takes advantage of every good photo op.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["sweeps"],"internalKeywords":["#gallery","#editorspick","#kretuz","#latest","#evergreen"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":10,"url":"http://tucson.com/entertainment/outdoors/explosion-of-color---doug-kreutz-s-amazing-outdoor/collection_66a262d0-beb6-11e3-a9be-0019bb2963f4.html"}, {"id":"841313c8-2b55-11e7-a337-33c160bac5af","type":"article","starttime":"1493305200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T08:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493307088","priority":30,"sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Dog rescued from cliff near Bisbee","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/article_841313c8-2b55-11e7-a337-33c160bac5af.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/dog-rescued-from-cliff-near-bisbee/article_841313c8-2b55-11e7-a337-33c160bac5af.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/dog-rescued-from-cliff-near-bisbee/article_841313c8-2b55-11e7-a337-33c160bac5af.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Caitlin Schmidt\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Cochise County search and rescue volunteers retrieved the dog using a rope rescue system.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647","description":"Cochise County search and rescue volunteers rescued a dog Wednesday that was stuck on a cliff in Juniper Flats, west of Bisbee.","byline":"Courtesy of Cochise County Sheriff's Office","hireswidth":1707,"hiresheight":1140,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c5/9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647/59020436adba7.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1138","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c5/9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647/59020436abc46.image.jpg?resize=1138%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c5/9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647/59020436abc46.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c5/9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647/59020436abc46.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c5/9c505eee-2b57-11e7-9aac-3382ea858647/59020436abc46.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"841313c8-2b55-11e7-a337-33c160bac5af","body":"

Volunteers with a Cochise County search and rescue team rescued a dog who was stuck on a cliff near Bisbee after he got away from his owner, authorities said.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office was contacted late Wednesday morning about a dog rescue on Juniper Flats, in the Mule Mountains west of Bisbee, said Carol Capas, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

Animal control officers with the sheriff's office went to the area to see if they'd be able to retrieve the dog, who was stuck on a cliff near the Juniper Flats radio towers.

The dog's owner told officials that she and her dog had hiked down to an overlook so that she could draw some sketches and while she was drawing, the dog got away and ended up partway down a cliff, Capas said.

The woman was unable to reach her dog due to the steep terrain and decided not to attempt the rescue on her own.

Cochise County Search and Rescue volunteers were called out and developed a plan to retrieve the dog using a rope rescue system. Because of previous dog rescues and the use of SAR dogs, volunteers had a K9 rescue harness in their kit. Two volunteers, one of which was a vet tech, were lowered down to the dog, Capas said.

The vet tech had brought a sedative in case the dog became panicked or aggressive, but once they reached him, he began licking their faces and wagging his tail, so no sedative was used.

Volunteers strapped the dog into the harness and lowered him roughly 100 feet down the cliff where he was reunited- uninjured- with his owner.

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Slightly warmer today than yesterday and gusty winds are making a return to the Tucson-area today, and will probably be even stronger tomorrow.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect today from 12 to 7 p.m., mostly for areas east of Tucson, but we'll definitely be affected by tomorrow's warning, which runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

High: 91

Low: 66

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Currently

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Clear, 65.5
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Wind 2 MPH East, 40% humidity
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UV index 1, visibility 10.0 miles
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No precipitation today
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No lightning strikes today
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Today

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9 am: Clear, 71
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Wind 6 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
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26% humidity, UV index 2
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10 am: Clear, 75
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Wind 5 MPH SW, 0% chance precip.
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23% humidity, UV index 4
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11 am: Clear, 79
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Wind 8 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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20% humidity, UV index 6
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12 pm: Clear, 83
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Wind 14 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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18% humidity, UV index 8
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1 pm: Clear, 86
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Wind 15 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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17% humidity, UV index 10
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2 pm: Clear, 87
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Wind 16 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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16% humidity, UV index 9
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3 pm: Clear, 88
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Wind 16 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
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16% humidity, UV index 8
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4 pm: Clear, 89
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Wind 17 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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15% humidity, UV index 5
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5 pm: Clear, 89
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Wind 18 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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15% humidity, UV index 3
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6 pm: Clear, 89
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Wind 18 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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15% humidity, UV index 1
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7 pm: Clear, 87
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Wind 18 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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17% humidity, UV index 0
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8 pm: Partly Cloudy, 85
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Wind 14 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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19% humidity, UV index 0
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9 pm: Partly Cloudy, 81
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Wind 12 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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22% humidity, UV index 0
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10 pm: Partly Cloudy, 79
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Wind 10 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
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25% humidity, UV index 0
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11 pm: Partly Cloudy, 77
\n
Wind 9 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
\n
27% humidity, UV index 0
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12 am: Partly Cloudy, 75
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Wind 7 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
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30% humidity, UV index 0
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\n\n

Friday

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1 am: Partly Cloudy, 73
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Wind 6 MPH SSW, 0% chance precip.
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32% humidity, UV index 0
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2 am: Partly Cloudy, 72
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Wind 7 MPH S, 0% chance precip.
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35% humidity, UV index 0
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3 am: Partly Cloudy, 70
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Wind 8 MPH S, 0% chance precip.
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36% humidity, UV index 0
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4 am: Partly Cloudy, 69
\n
Wind 8 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
\n
39% humidity, UV index 0
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5 am: Partly Cloudy, 68
\n
Wind 8 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
\n
40% humidity, UV index 0
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6 am: Partly Cloudy, 68
\n
Wind 8 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
\n
41% humidity, UV index 0
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\n
7 am: Clear, 68
\n
Wind 8 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
\n
41% humidity, UV index 0
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8 am: Clear, 69
\n
Wind 9 MPH SE, 0% chance precip.
\n
40% humidity, UV index 0
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\n
9 am: Clear, 71
\n
Wind 9 MPH SSE, 0% chance precip.
\n
38% humidity, UV index 2
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10 am: Clear, 75
\n
Wind 9 MPH SSW, 0% chance precip.
\n
34% humidity, UV index 4
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11 am: Clear, 77
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Wind 12 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
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31% humidity, UV index 6
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12 pm: Clear, 80
\n
Wind 16 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
\n
27% humidity, UV index 8
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1 pm: Clear, 82
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Wind 17 MPH WSW, 0% chance precip.
\n
24% humidity, UV index 10
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2 pm: Clear, 83
\n
Wind 17 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
24% humidity, UV index 9
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\n
3 pm: Clear, 83
\n
Wind 17 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
23% humidity, UV index 8
\n
\n
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\n\n\n
\n
4 pm: Clear, 83
\n
Wind 19 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
23% humidity, UV index 5
\n
\n
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\n\n\n
\n
5 pm: Partly Cloudy, 83
\n
Wind 19 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
21% humidity, UV index 3
\n
\n
\n\n
\n\n\n
\n
6 pm: Partly Cloudy, 83
\n
Wind 20 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
21% humidity, UV index 1
\n
\n
\n\n
\n\n\n
\n
7 pm: Partly Cloudy, 82
\n
Wind 20 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
20% humidity, UV index 0
\n
\n
\n\n
\n\n\n
\n
8 pm: Clear, 79
\n
Wind 19 MPH W, 0% chance precip.
\n
18% humidity, UV index 0
\n
\n
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Wood / Arizona Daily Star 2006","hireswidth":1789,"hiresheight":1157,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0c/a0c70118-1b8a-5ed8-9c56-4932befcdd01/58fa868774d22.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1170","height":"757","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0c/a0c70118-1b8a-5ed8-9c56-4932befcdd01/58fa868773eb7.image.jpg?resize=1170%2C757"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0c/a0c70118-1b8a-5ed8-9c56-4932befcdd01/58fa868773eb7.image.jpg?crop=1789%2C1006%2C0%2C75&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0c/a0c70118-1b8a-5ed8-9c56-4932befcdd01/58fa868773eb7.image.jpg?crop=1789%2C1006%2C0%2C75&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0c/a0c70118-1b8a-5ed8-9c56-4932befcdd01/58fa868773eb7.image.jpg?crop=1789%2C1006%2C0%2C75&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"21f76e0c-44b5-501e-878e-81e349952882","body":"

Cinema La Placita next week kicks off its 18th year of showing classic movies in downtown Tucson in a new location \u2014 the plaza of the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

Since May 2000, hundreds of Tucsonans have turned out to watch classic films downtown under the stars every Thursday at 7:30 p.m., May through August. Admission remains $3, which includes popcorn.

The film series got its start, and its name, at La Placita Village.

Erika O\u2019Dowd founded the outdoor film series when she was marketing manager for La Placita Village. Her then-boss, Jane McCollum, who is now general manager of the Marshall Foundation, charged her with coming up with a weekly event to bring people into the plaza. It has grown into a family tradition with her husband, Josh Pope, and daughter.

After news last year that La Placita was to be demolished, the nonprofit movie series migrated over the foot bridges that connected it to El Presidio Park, and into the courtyard of the historic Pima County Courthouse, 115 N. Church Ave. By coincidence, the historic courthouse was designed by Tucson architect Roy Place, who was O\u2019Dowd\u2019s great, great uncle.

The move drew a lot of new faces, O\u2019Dowd said.The historic courthouse, however, began a two-year restoration project the day after Cinema La Placita wrapped up its season last August.

Then the Tucson Museum of Art contacted O\u2019Dowd about moving to its Plaza of the Pioneers.

Moviegoers can dine at Cafe a la Cart and buy beer and wine. And there will be plenty of street parking.

\u201cI\u2019m going to miss being at the courthouse,\u201d she said. \u201cBut it\u2019s been a pretty smooth move.\u201d

La Cocina, tucked inside the walls of Old Town Artisans, is also within walking distance. Moviegoers are also welcome to bring a picnic dinner.

\u201cI couldn\u2019t be more excited about this upcoming season in their beautiful plaza,\u201d she said.

"}, {"id":"67a8db7b-eeda-5fc3-b152-f2254741ec8f","type":"article","starttime":"1493298000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-04-27T06:00:00-07:00","priority":10,"sections":[{"relationships":"lifestyles/relationships"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ask Amy: Daughter wonders how to disclose alcoholism","url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/article_67a8db7b-eeda-5fc3-b152-f2254741ec8f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/ask-amy-daughter-wonders-how-to-disclose-alcoholism/article_67a8db7b-eeda-5fc3-b152-f2254741ec8f.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships/ask-amy-daughter-wonders-how-to-disclose-alcoholism/article_67a8db7b-eeda-5fc3-b152-f2254741ec8f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":5,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":2,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Amy Dickinson\nTribune Content Agency","prologue":"Advice for the real world.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"371","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/57ed8386ef025.image.jpg?resize=620%2C371"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"59","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec477f5a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"179","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec488115.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"612","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/fd/efdb5ae5-e4e0-59c7-8535-f63484bfa7ae/53c34ec452a0f.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"links":[{"id":"9e405d24-3475-52df-a7f8-0247b8436c7e","type":"link","starttime":"1394554380","starttime_iso8601":"2014-03-11T09:13:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493320994","application":"editorial","title":"Advice, horoscopes and other relationship news","permalink":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/","canonical":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1604,"url":"http://tucson.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/"},{"id":"a14a3fd1-99de-55a8-8266-e3d2e5648b6b","type":"link","starttime":"1490169600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-22T01:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1493320994","sections":[{"local":"news/local"},{"retrotucson":"news/retrotucson"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Photos: Then and Now around Tucson","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Photos of buildings, streets and landmarks around Tucson from 40, 50 and 60 years ago, and the same viewpoint today.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["advice","ask amy","relationships","cheating","lying","long distance"],"internalKeywords":["#mobile","#askamy"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":528,"url":"http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/then-and-now-around-tucson/collection_042ea8ea-8588-11e4-8b48-d32f82f6da4d.html"}],"revision":7,"commentID":"67a8db7b-eeda-5fc3-b152-f2254741ec8f","body":"

Dear Amy: My mom died several years ago, and my father has remarried. The woman he married is an alcoholic.

Dad seems to be in denial about this fact, or, perhaps he simply doesn\u2019t care. When my siblings and I have confronted Dad about her alcoholism, he gets uncomfortable, makes excuses and changes the subject.

For years, my siblings and I have told our children that they are never to get in a car with her because she is an \u201cunsafe driver.\u201d

The children are now coming to an age where they are asking questions, wondering why they can\u2019t get into a car with her, why she acts the way she does (falling, stumbling, slurring words, going to bed very early, breaking bones, being downright nasty).

My children are visibly uncomfortable and scared when she is around, and I can\u2019t lie to them any longer. I feel that by keeping this secret from them, I am condoning her behavior, which is not the message I want to send to almost-teenagers about substance abuse.

My siblings think telling my children will result in a major rift, with Dad deciding not to see us any longer. As painful as that would be, I am prepared for that because I need to protect my children. But I\u2019m concerned I will upset my siblings to the point that I will lose both Dad and my siblings.

What can I do to minimize the hurt to all involved? Should I continue as we have and say nothing to my children, or should I answer their questions honestly?

\u2014 Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned: Yes, your \u201calmost-teenagers\u201d should be informed about their grandmother\u2019s alcoholism. From what you\u2019ve reported, there is a significant risk to their safety and well-being. There is no reason for you to disclose or discuss this with others; how your siblings choose to handle this is up to them.

Your kids have already picked up on the fact that something is wrong. Having that confirmed may upset them, but it may come as a relief, too.

Please, do NOT present this as a value judgment (even though you seem bitter about it), but as an unfortunate reality about a family member.

Your father\u2019s wife has a disease, and it is called alcoholism. By being honest with your children, you are showing them that their instincts telling them something was wrong were good. You should talk to them regularly about alcohol use. Obviously, they will be facing risks and temptations in their own lives.

If you haven\u2019t done so already, you should consider finding an Al-Anon group in your area. Talking with others in similar situations may allow you to respond more compassionately. Compassion is definitely called for.

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