Monday, April 22, 2019

Gov. Ducey Signs Texting and Driving Ban

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 3:24 PM

  • Courtesy Photo

Texting while driving will soon be against the law in Arizona after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation banning the use of handheld mobile devices throughout the state.

“Too many lives have been lost because of texting and driving,” said Governor Ducey. “Too many families have needlessly grieved the loss of a loved one due to a preventable tragedy. I called on legislators to provide a solution that will save lives — and I am grateful for their efforts to do just that. This legislation takes important, clear and common sense steps to prevent texting and driving. I thank everyone who worked to get this legislation across the finish line and especially the Townsend family for their courage and advocacy.”

In January of 2019, Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend died in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver. Following Officer Townsend's passing, the Townsend family joined many other families in becoming strong advocates for a ban on texting while driving.

“Distracted driving has to stop,” said Toni Townsend, mother of fallen Officer Townsend. “Although we feel the pain everyday of losing Clayton, we hope that this much-needed reform can save the lives of countless others moving forward. I want to express my gratitude to Governor Ducey and to members of the Arizona Legislature for putting this ban on texting while driving on the books.”

States implementing hands-free laws have experienced 16 percent reductions in fatalities within the first two years. Studies also show that texting while driving increases the likelihood of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.

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Charges Dropped for the Arizona Three

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 2:40 PM

  • Courtesy Creative Commons

On Friday, April 19 motions to dismiss the charges against three students who protested the presence of Border Patrol on the University of Arizona campus last month were granted by two Pima County Consolidated Court judges.

On March 19, Border Patrol agents were on campus in the Modern Languages building as guests of an event hosted by the Criminal Justice Association, a university club. There was no previous school-wide announcement that BP agents would be present on campus that day.

Student activists protested and confronted the BP agents' unexpected presence. A video that captured the exchange was posted online and went viral. As a result, the students involved in the protest received an overwhelming amount of personal threats online.

Afterwards, three female students were charged by the University of Arizona Police Department with Class 1 misdemeanors and released, awaiting a court date that was set for today, April 22.

Denisse Moreno Melchor, Marianna Coles-Curtis and Mariel Bustamante faced charges of interference with peaceful conduct of an educational institution. Moreno Melchor was given an additional charge of threats and intimidation.

UA President Robert Robbins publicly supported the UAPD's decision to charge the students, which was met with hundreds of protestors attending a recent Arizona Board of Regents meeting on campus. They voiced their support for the three students, who came to be known nationally as the "Arizona 3" and pressured UA administration to call for the charges to be dropped. The series of events has become an example for the national debate over free speech on campus.

The three students' court records now say that their charges are "not recommended for prosecution," and their court appearances were canceled. The UA told the Arizona Republic that they respect the court's decision and are reviewing the March 19 incident according to the Dean of Students' review process.

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Arizona Softball Sweeps Stanford, Remains Undefeated in Pac-12 Play

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 12:55 PM

Arizona junior infielder Malia Martinez drives a pitch to left field during the Wildcats' 13-2 win over Stanford University on Saturday, April 20. - CHRISTOPHER BOAN
  • Christopher Boan
  • Arizona junior infielder Malia Martinez drives a pitch to left field during the Wildcats' 13-2 win over Stanford University on Saturday, April 20.

The University of Arizona softball team is in the midst of a historic winning streak, with the Stanford Cardinal serving as its latest victim.

The Wildcats (38-7, 15-0) have won 20 games in a row after sweeping the Cardinal over the weekend. The Wildcats’ latest victories came in convincing fashion, beating the Cardinal by 7-0, 9-1 and 13-2 scores.

Arizona belted three home runs in Thursday night’s 7-0 opener, with Reyna Carranco, Dejah Mulipola and Hillary Edior all going deep. Senior southpaw Taylor McQuillin tossed a three-hit shutout in the pitcher’s circle on Thursday, striking out five hitters in seven innings of work. Friday’s game saw the home side use a five-run fifth inning to ensure a run-rule win, with Mulipola adding two more home runs and five RBIs, while Edior added a double and two RBIs of her own.

Junior pitcher Alyssa Denham threw four innings of one-run ball for the Wildcats on Friday, giving up three hits, while striking out four Cardinal.

Perhaps the brightest moment from Friday’s one-sided victory was the postgame celebration of coach Mike Candrea’s 1,600th win with the program.

Candrea, who started coaching at Arizona in 1986, became the first Division I coach to reach the 1,600-win plateau, taking the feat in-stride. 

“It means I'm older,” Candrea said. “I mean, I always go back to the coaches that have coached here and the players have played here, and to be able to sustain a level for this long, it takes a lot of different people. And so, it's really a tribute to all that have ever been in this program.”

Saturday’s matinee saw Arizona score 12 runs in the game’s third inning, with senior outfielder Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza and Malia Martinez smacking homers for the Wildcats.

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Claytoon of the Day: There's Something Wrong With Rudy

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 9:41 AM

Find more Claytoonz here.

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Monday, April 22

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 1:30 AM

  • Courtesy of Pima County Fair
Pima County Fair. From carnival games to a beer fest to an exhibit on the pharaohs of Egypt, you’ll find there’s something for everyone at the fair—there always is. Thursday, April 18 through Sunday, April 28. Gates open at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The carnival starts at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. 11300 S. Houghton Road. $9 GA, $5 youth 6 to 10, free for kids 5 and under with the purchase of a GA ticket. Admit discount day is Monday, April 22, with $2 tickets for all ages! Details here.

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium. After celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, the Flandrau Science Center wants to take you beyond our planet. Their other-worldly show Life Beyond Earth: The Search for Undiscovered Worlds runs at 4 p.m. on Monday. Buckle in and learn where the lines between science fiction blur into science fact. See what the scientists are finding out in the great unknown. Tickets are available at the door or can be reserved in advance by calling 520 621 4516. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
Witchery. Head on over to Loft Cinema this Monday night to watch a cheesy horror flick. What a great way to keep the weekend fun going! Starring David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair, this movie is sure to make you squirm. General admission $4.The Loft Cinema, 3233 East Speedway Boulevard. 8 p.m. Details here.

Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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XOXO: Where to Rock Monday, April 22

Posted By and on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Pima County Fair
Propelled by his commanding voice, this hard rocker was the engine that pulled 1970s stalwarts Grand Funk Railroad to the top of the charts with hits like “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “I’m Your Captain” and “The Loco-Motion.” Mark Farner’s American Band keeps the train rollin’ at the Pima County Fair. Details here.

From a small village in Niger where secular music was all but prohibited, this Tuareg guitarist traveled to Nigeria in 2008 to record his debut album. This album of spacey autotune, drum machine, and synthesizer became a viral hit in West Africa. Mdou Moctar brings his unique sound to 191 Toole. American folk artist Marisa Anderson kicks things off. Details here.

Renowned for their wild antics, kaleidoscopic guitar work and tunefulness, Cosmonauts land on the stage at Club Congress. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Eventbrite

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Send in the Clowns

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 4:31 PM

  • Courtesy Photo

They say the circus arrives without warning, but what happens when the circus blows its top?

That’s exactly what happens in Quirkus Circus & the Missing Ringmaster, a new addition to the family series at Live Theatre Workshop.

The show attempts the impossible, seeking to create a storyline that can be enjoyed by the youngest members of the audience while also entertaining adults. And while it has moments of perfectly walking this tightrope, it also comes dangerously close to toppling in others.

Under the direction of Kristian Kissel, the players seamlessly mix their interactions with one another and the audience. The choreography and sets are simple but add just enough flourish to take the audience to the big top.

Quirkus Circus is an excellent way to introduce young children to theater. Running at just 45 minutes, it’s participatory, light and overall highly enjoyable.

Quirkus Circus & the Missing Ringmaster is playing at Live Theatre Workshop on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. through June 9. You can buy tickets on their website,, or by calling the box office at (520) 327-4242.

Find the rest of the review at

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Results-Based Funding: Watch This Budget Item

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 3:51 PM


It's coming up on state budget time, which means it's time to start looking at budget numbers while they're still in flux. For me, that means looking at education numbers. Right now, what we have is Ducey's budget proposal, so that's the place to begin.

I'm starting with Ducey's Results-Based Funding proposal. That's the extra money a select number of schools will get because they have shown "results." During its first two years, the program, gave out just under $40 million a year. Ducey wants to more than double the funding this time around. He's proposing $98.3 million, a $58 million increase.

The overall education budget is starved for cash, as it has been for years and will continue to be so long as Republicans run the government. Ducey's proposed Results-Based Funding increases the pain for most of the state's schools by taking $98.3 million out of their budget, money which should be divvied up among all district and charter schools, and hands it to a select group of schools.

If a school wants a piece of the RBF pie, the best thing it can do is serve a wealthy community. That's because schools with an "A" state grade are assured of making the list, and "A" schools are disproportionately in high rent areas. The proposed budget's extra cash will enlarge the pool of schools. That means even more schools in wealthy communities will make the cut.

Ducey has added a new wrinkle this year. His proposal would give some of the funding to "B" schools which serve low income populations.

By adding the "B" schools, Ducey hopes to leave the impression that he needs the $58 million increase for the added low income schools. It's not a lie exactly. That's where more than half of the new money will go, but plenty of it will go to expand the number of schools in high rent areas as well.

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Staff Pick

Hollywood Dream Gala benefiting Dream Factory of Arizona

Help make the dreams of critically ill children in our community come true. Join us for the… More

@ Oro Valley Country Club Fri., April 26, 6-10 p.m. 300 W. Greenock Drive.

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