NewsNet 08-27-14

THE 2014 TUCSON GEM, MINERAL & FOSSIL SHOWCASE CREATED $120 MILLION IN DIRECT SPENDING - A new economic impact study of this year's Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase shows $120 million in direct spending by show owners, exhibitors and buyers - a 20 percent increase over the $100 million spent in 2007. FMR Associates in Tucson conducted the study in February and employed the same methodology it used in the previous gem show economic studies in 2000 and 2007. Studies are only conducted once every seven years. The primary objective of the studies is to measure the specific economic and tax revenue benefits for Tucson and Pima County. The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase attracts tens of thousands of buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, and guests to Tucson each year. Dozens of shows are held at various locations. Next year's Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase is scheduled for Jan. 31 - Feb. 15. It will be the first year the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar will be in operation during the shows, which organizers say should boost attendance and create excitement about the success of Downtown Tucson. Watch Tucson 12 video about the latest study.
TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT (TPD) RECRUITING OFFICERS - TPD is looking for motivated and dedicated individuals to join its team. Successful candidates from this testing period will be considered for any funded academy class(es) within the next six months. Applications are being accepted through Sept. 14. Managing conflict is a regular part of the job, as is handling numerous physical and mental demands. Recruits must be a least 21-years-old when they graduate the academy, but the application process can begin at age 20. Learn more about TPD recruiting, and ride along with an officer who gives advice about joining TPD, from Tucson 12 archives.
NEW BABY ELEPHANT PHOTOS POSTED - Reid Park Zoo's week-old baby African elephant is doing well. The Zoo recently uploaded a series of new pictures to its Facebook page (link below). There's still no official word on when the baby will get a name, or when she will be on public exhibit, but you may be able to catch a live glimpse of her on the Zoo's webcam, or in the distance, in the early morning hours. You can also follow the calf's progress at the Reid Park Zoo and City of Tucson social media sites.
Reid Park Zoo Flickr page
Reid Park Zoo Twitter
Reid Park Zoo Facebook
City of Tucson Facebook
City of Tucson Twitter
TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT OF TRANSIT CENTER - The City of Tucson is seeking a developer for a 4.7-acre site in the heart of downtown (Congress Street and Sixth Avenue) to create a multi-modal, mixed-use development incorporating a modern transit center. Adjacent to the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar line, the area currently consists of the Ronstadt Transit Center and two surface parking lots. More than $930 million in recent private and public investment - including new restaurants, shops, businesses, and housing - are near the site. Upcoming investments near the area include a grocery store, a new hotel, additional housing, and roadway improvements. The City’s goal is to transform the development site from a single-use transit center into a mixed-use development that contributes to an active, economically-robust downtown. Request for Proposals are due by 4 p.m. tomorrow. More information is available from the City of Tucson Office of Integrated Planning.
RIO NUEVO BOARD TO OPEN TALKS WITH DEVELOPER FOR PLANNED HOTEL PROJECT - The Rio Nuevo Board voted yesterday to formally enter negotiations with developer Allan Norville, of Nor-Generations, to possibly build a $100 million hotel project on 8.5 acres of Rio Nuevo land downtown. The site is along Granada Avenue, east of Interstate 10 and north of Cushing street, near the Tucson Convention Center. Norville’s plan - offering to pay $5.6 million for the land - calls for a 140-room hotel, a 96-unit apartment complex, a visual arts center, three museums, and a theater. Norville also says he'll build a 120,000-square-foot exhibition hall on his property adjacent to the Rio Nuevo land. If the two sides can’t settle on a deal, the board can negotiate with the other bidder, Ron Schwabe of Peach Properties. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.