PROJECTS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION WILL HOUSE OVE 3,000 STUDENTS BY FALL 2014 - Construction is underway on six major student housing projects, all expected to open in fall 2014 or sooner. Together, these projects will house over 3,000 students. Two 14-story towers in the University of Arizonas Main Gate area, called The Hub and Level, will accommodate 590 and 586 students respectively. Another 13-story tower, to be called Park Avenue, will house 393 students. All plan to be open for the fall semester of 2014, as does a student housing project near 4th Avenue and 9th Street called The Junction at Iron Horse, which will house 202 students. Across the tracks, the Cadence, which will house 465 students, is expected to open this fall. Another large student housing project near South Parke Ave. and 22nd Street, The Retreat, is expected to open to 774 students this fall. From the Star.

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON PLAN TO USE $1.8M IN HUD FUNDS FOR SIDEWALKS AND RELATED IMPROVEMENTS - Public comment is requested on the City of Tucson's intent to apply to HUD for Section 108 funds for a Department of Transportation project. The project consists of sidewalk upgrades, new curb access ramp, driveway aprons and curb access ramps compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The proposed work will require a substantial amendment to the Consolidated Plan and fiscal year 2014 Annual Plan. A public meeting on these proposed amendments will be held on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., at the Sentinel Building, 320 N. Commerce Park Loop. Read the official notice here. Section 108 loan application, with project details here.

AT MISSION GARDENS, VOLUNTEER EFFORTS BEAR FRUIT - Rio Nuevo's voter-approved 1999 plan included the historically accurate reconstruction of a four-acre walled garden that was part of Tucson's Mission San Agustín, the site commonly referred to as Tucson's birthplace. But funding came to a halt and the project dried up. The wall was a target for graffiti and the land stood barren. But a group called Friends of Tucsons Birthplace created a plan in 2011 to carry out the Mission Gardens project, using volunteer labor and private donations. Volunteers have worked with organizations including Native Seeds/SEARCH and the Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society to make the garden as authentic as possible. Collected were heirloom trees that are genetic descendants of those planted long ago. Today the gardens are ripe with figs, pomegranates, apricots, quince, sour orange, sweet Mexican limes, pear, plums and grapes. From the Star.

TFD RESPONDS TO NEAR-DROWNING OF 2-YEAR-OLD - Tucson Fire units responded to the 3100 block of North Sioux for a near drowning involving a 2 year-old male. The patient was found in the above ground swimming pool and pulled out. CPR was administered on scene as TFD units were en route. Tucson Fire Paramedics arrived on scene, assessed the patient, and quickly transported the child to the hospital for further medical care. News release from TFD.

GRIZZLY CUBS ARRIVE AT REID PARK ZOO (WITH PHOTOS) - Reid Park Zoo is now the new home to two grizzly bears. The bears were rescued from Montana and this is the first time rescued animals have been brought to the zoo. The two cubs are adjusting to their new home after a 1400 mile move. The Reid Park Zoo rescued the grizzlies Thursday from an area near Yellowstone National Park in Montana after their mother was put down. Construction is underway for the bears new habitat, which will include a waterfall, steps and shelves so the bears can get up close for people to see. From KOLD/KMSB. See the photos here.