Southwest Dental opens new facility

Southwest Dental Group expanded its local operation, opening a 2,800-square-foot office at 2918 W. Ina Road, Suite 109, in Heritage Plaza. The facility is near its general practice location at 2934 W. Ina Road.

The new facility has eight dental chairs, adding to the 10 chairs at the general dental practice location. The two locations have 20 employees, which include five dentists and specialists.

The group offers general dentistry and specialized services such as oral surgery, periodontics and endodontics.

Harkins to take over Tower's cineplex

Tower Theatres, the Tucson area's lone independently owned cineplex, closed March 28, capping years of financial woes that included barely avoiding foreclosure in 2010.

Phoenix-based Harkins Theaters will take over the 12-screen theater sometime in May, said Tower's managing partner, Kent Edwards.

Edwards announced the closure on Tower's website.

"We have celebrated five years, three months and 21 days as your center for Hollywood entertainment," he wrote. "All in all, Tower Theatres opened over 750 movies starting with 'The Golden Compass' back in December of 2007 right up to this past week with 'The Croods.' "

World Sports Grille closes in Foothills Mall

World Sports Grille, the cavernous restaurant and game room at the Foothills Mall, closed March 25.

Sales and marketing director Sherry Kososkie said the restaurant's parent company, GameWorks, notified them of the closure March 25.

The 15,000-square-foot World Sports Grille, with a large room devoted to video games and flat-screen TVs projecting sporting events throughout the dining rooms and bar, opened in spring 2008 at 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd. It was the GameWorks maiden voyage into the sports bar arena.

Since then, the Seattle-based company has opened a World Sports Grille in Seattle and has one set to open in early April in New Hampshire.

Marana, OV garner budgetary award

The finance departments of Marana and Oro Valley won national recognition for their budgetary presentation skills.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada gave both towns' departments a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, recognizing the towns' Fiscal Year 2013 budgets and comprehensive financial plans.

The towns' documents were rated "proficient" as policy documents, financial plans, operations guides and communications devices, and included 14 mandatory criteria within each category. This is the sixth consecutive year Marana has received the award. Oro Valley has received the award five consecutive years.

Climate change focus of April 27 talk

Sierra Club member Elna Otter will discuss global climate change at Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation April 27.

Otter's free two-hour talk will start at 5 p.m. at the church, 3601 W. Cromwell Drive. She will present a slide show based on work by former Vice President Al Gore that explains basic climate change science and provides updates on new developments and solutions.

For more information, contact via email.

Oracle park offering weekend bird walks

Oracle State Park is offering guided walks and educational talks about the park's wildlife.

The park is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April. Events take place at the Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education.

The park entrance fee is $7 per vehicle. To get to the park from Tucson, drive north on Oracle Road, which becomes Arizona 77, and follow Arizona 77 past Oracle Junction to the town of Oracle. In Oracle, follow American Avenue to a turnoff for Mount Lemmon and the park. Then continue just over a mile to the park entrance.

On Saturday there will be a raptor identification program and evening bird walk at 4 p.m., as well as a bird walk from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday there will be a bird walk from 7 to 9 a.m. Later that day there will be a talk on bighorn sheep at 11:30 a.m.

Reservations are suggested for both events; call 638-5404.

Cactus group sets plant, animal expo

The Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society will hold a free event to show off desert plant and animal exhibits.

The TCSS Expo Pima Prickly Park Celebration will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14 at 3500 W. River Road. Tours and exhibits will teach about prickly pear, cholla and other desert plants, as well as animals.

Attendees can also plant a small cactus in the park or take it home. Vendors will be on hand to give away samples.

For more information, visit online.

Cathalena E. Burch contributed to this report. Email briefs to reporter Phil Villarreal at