STUDY: NEARLY A THIRD OF ARIZONANS HAD INADEQUATE OR NO HEALTH INSURANCE IN 2012 - A new study shows 32 percent of Arizonans — 1.8 million people — were either uninsured or underinsured in 2012. The report, released today by the Commonwealth Fund, found 79 million people under the age of 65 were uninsured or underinsured in the United States, putting them at risk of not being able to afford needed health care or medical bills in 2012, before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The open enrollment deadline to sign up for health insurance under the ACA is March 31. The next enrollment period begins Nov. 15. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
GROUP WANTS CITY IDENTIFICATION CARDS TO PROTECT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS - The Protection Network Coalition in Tucson wants to issue undocumented immigrants City identification cards to prevent immigration investigations and provide other benefits. Proponents say the effort is modeled after a similar program in Oakland. Under the plan, the Tucson ID could be used as a bus pass, in health clinics, or even as a bank card. It also would be recognized by all City services including law enforcement, meaning Tucson Police would not have to call immigration enforcement in specific situations. Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero says the cards would be great for the economy, but she says Pima County would be a better choice to run the program, since it would be able to cover more people and services. Opponents of the card say it amounts to amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Read more from KVOA.
REID PARK ZOO WELCOMES NEW OTTER - "Hasani," a male African spotted-necked otter, came to the Reid Park Zoo from the Toledo Zoo on Feb. 20, but only went on exhibit last week. The one-year-old is easily distinguishable from female “Pfeiffer” by his white upper lip. Zoo officials say Hasani and Pfeiffer have become fast friends, and can be seen swimming and playing together on exhibit each day. Learn more about Hasani.
YLAND FOUNDATION PROMOTES WATER CONSERVATION - The Wyland Foundation's National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation begins next month. To get ready for the challenge, which Tucson won last year, Wyland's Mobile Learning Experience recently visited a Tucson school to teach children about the importance of clean water and conservation. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that encourages environmental awareness through educational programs, public art, and community events. Watch the story on Tucson 12.
TUCSON FIRE DEPARTMENT URGES RESIDENTS TO HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN - One of the best ways to stay safe in an emergency is to know how to deal with it before it happens. Tucson Fire officials say every family should develop an escape plan and practice it. In the latest KGUN9 installment of "No Bad Days with Barrett," Fire Captain Barrett Baker offers some tips on formulating a plan and being prepared.