JANUARY 8TH MEMORIAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES PERMANENT MEMORIAL - This Wednesday marks the third anniversary of the tragic events in which six people were killed and 13 injured during the mass shooting in Tucson on January 8th, 2011. Since that time, the January 8th Memorial Foundation was founded to establish a memorial to honor the fallen, the survivors, the first responders, and the Tucson community. At today's announcement, elected officials from both Pima County and the City of Tucson expressed their support for a permanent memorial to be located at the Old Pima County Courthouse, 155 N. Church Ave. Details are listed at the Foundation's Facebook page (link below). In addition, letters, cards, and other items left by citizens at community vigils after the shootings are on display this month at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, the Nanini Branch Library, and the Eckstrom-Columbus Branch Library. Read the Pima County Public Library story about memorial displays.
CITY OF TUCSON CLOSELY MONITORING TCC CONCESSION AND CATERING CONTRACTOR - Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda says recent health and safety concerns uncovered by the City at the Tucson Convention Center need to be remedied by Aramark, or the contract with the company could be terminated, perhaps as early as March. Aramark's five-year contract with the City expires in 2016, but the City has an annual option to renew or cancel it. The Pima County Health Department didn't find any problems during inspections last October, but a City inspection team found numerous violations on Oct. 24. Meanwhile, the City of Tucson has a Request for Proposal to search for a private management team to operate the TCC. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
REID PARK ZOO HAD SECOND-BUSIEST YEAR IN 2013 - The Reid Park Zoo hosted 547,040 visitors last year, making it the second-highest attended year in the history of the Zoo (2012 saw record attendance with the opening of Expedition Tanzania). Last year's highlights included the opening of Grizzly Crossing - a new habitat for two grizzly bear siblings rescued from Montana - and the addition of a pair of endangered black and white ruffed lemurs.
SALVATION ARMY BUILDING FACILITY TO HELP TUCSON'S HOMELESS - The Salvation Army is beginning construction today on the New Hospitality House, which it expects will help more people, families and veterans, including those with disabilities and special needs. The new shelter will offer more than 100 beds. The Salvation Army says it has $2 million to start building. The first phase of the construction will cost an additional $5.8 million, funded by loans, which will be repaid via donations. The new shelter will be built next to the current Hospitality House, near 11th Ave and 1st Street. Read more at KOLD/KMSB.
LEARN ABOUT STREETCAR SAFETY - As Sun Link Tucson Streetcar vehicles go through testing along the tracks, the streetcar's management team continues to educate community members and streetcar operators about safety. The "Streetcar Street-Smart" educational safety campaign is an ongoing effort to educate citizens about the streetcars presence and how to be safe around the tracks. Learn more about the streetcar.