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If You Build It ...

Who's ready for some hockey? Evidently, enough of you to fill up a 12,500-seat arena, according to a study released last week by city officials. The national consulting firm Conventions, Sports & Leisure International tells us that a new arena could annually host 40 minor-league hockey games, 18 Ice Cats games, eight arena football games, a dozen concerts, a half-dozen horse-related events, six ice shows, three Monster Truck shows and at least two religious events.

City officials say a new arena would be way better than the current 34-year-old dump, which features lousy concessions, no luxury suites and dressing rooms that simply don't reach the standards of today's celebrities.

The city's demographics show that many residents are too old or too poor to attend regular hockey games or other events, but that college students, Mexican visitors and snowbirds have time and money to spare.

The consultants note that four hockey franchises have failed in Tucson, but suggest that a first-class arena will attract a first-class team, which in turn will draw a first-class crowd. Sure--just look how we support the Tucson Sidewinders out there at the reasonably new Tucson Electric Park! Oh, wait--their attendance is down near the bottom of the Pacific Coast League.

Next up: A report by the end of the year that will tell how much the arena will cost--and how we'll pay for it.


Crackdown!

Responding to a homicide wave earlier this year, the Tucson Police Department's Operations Division South has been cracking down on juvenile and violent crime since last May 27, according to Tucson Police Department spokesperson Lisa Peasley. The deployments, funded through federal grants, led to the arrest of 162 adults and 194 juveniles, as well as the seizure of 166 handguns, rifles and shotguns.

In last week's press release, Peasley noted that "there were no firearm-related deaths in Operations Division South since the emphasis of these deployments was shifted to aggressively pursuing seizures of firearms."

That is, until Wednesday, Sept. 14, when Juan Francisco Favela, 39, was shot to death while using a payphone in front of the La Mexicana Super Carniceria Market in the 4500 block of South Sixth Avenue. Three Hispanic men argued with Favela before one of them shot him.

Police said they charged Ruben Espinoza-Sanchez, 23, with one count of first-degree murder and booked him into Pima County Jail after he turned himself in on Friday, Sept. 16.


Greetings From Titan

New pics are arriving from the Range's favorite spacecraft, the Cassini probe that recently completed another fly-by of Titan, the mysterious moon of Saturn. Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., say new radar images suggest a shoreline is present on Titan's surface.

"This is the area where liquid or a wet surface has most likely been present, now or in the recent past," said Steve Wall, radar deputy team leader, in a press release. "Titan probably has episodic periods of rainfall or massive seepages of liquid from the ground."

We imagine Rocky Point is a more inviting vacation spot this time of the year.


Girls Gone Wild!

Girl-on-girl action is officially on the rise! The federal government released a study last week that showed 18 percent of women ages 18 to 29 have fooled around at least once with another girl. Y'know, from what we've been seeing on TV and reading in Maxim, we kinda thought the percentages would be higher.

In any case, The Range encourages girls to remain open-minded and to explore their curiosity--and, hey, do you mind if we watch?

Sarah Fenske of the Phoenix New Times examined the hot bisexual trend in last week in "The Vagina Dialogues" (check it out at www.phoenixnewtimes.com). Fenske noted that "if blow jobs defined sexual relations in the Clinton era, in the Bush years we've got nothing but, well, bush."

Speaking of blowjobs, the federal study also noted that more than half of U.S. teens between 15 and 19 have had oral sex. Once upon a time, we at The Range thought we were born 20 years too late for all the fun in the '60s; now we realize we were born 20 years too soon for all the fun today.


Raising a Stink

The Copper Era, a fellow publication in the mighty Wick Communications empire, reported last week that East Plantside, Ariz., was struck by a foul odor of unknown origin.

"Other than a small girl being taken to the local medical clinic due to an apparent reaction to the odor, no harm was reported to people or property," according to Copper Era managing editor Walter Mares. "Things just smelled bad--really bad."

Mares quoted one area resident as saying the stench was "kind of like a skunk, but it would have had to have been one hell of a big skunk."

The odor eventually dissipated, according to Mares.

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