November Manager's Message


On Monday, November 20, I formally become the interim town manager for the Town of Marana. Thank you, Marana Town Council, for entrusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to serving this great community with the zeal and conviction we have all grown accustomed to from our town leader, Gilbert Davidson.

Gilbert took the reins as Town Manager during the dark days of the economic recession. Today, he leaves behind a community that is not only financially stable but is sought after by businesses and families who want to call Marana home. Some of us know him all too well and believe that his passion and energy to turn things around will do wonders with the state. We wish him well as he assumes the role of Arizona’s chief operating officer.

We have a great town staff and it’s an honor being a part of this team. Driven by our cultural values—dedicated service, teamwork, respect, and engaged innovation—every day is an opportunity to make Marana the choice place to live, work, and play.

These are exciting times in Marana. People of all ages are moving into our town. With two months left in the year, we have already exceeded our projections for construction of new single-family residential homes. Our challenge is to meet that demand, but also ensure that essential municipal services and quality of life remains a high priority. 

Businesses too are coming to Marana. Over the past few months we have met with executives from large corporations who want to locate thousands of new jobs in Marana. I attribute their interest in us because we’ve earned that reputation of being responsive, providing great customer service and ensuring their investments are sustainable in our community.

The holidays are upon us and that is always a fun time in Marana. Last weekend’s Turkey Trot is the start of the holiday season for many Marana residents and we are just a few weeks away from the Marana Holiday Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting. I have seen a sneak peak of this year’s light show and like all of our signature events, it promises to be our biggest yet. Without giving away too much, we have a great slate of food trucks and vendors on tap, more snow in the snow globe and talented local performers providing the entertainment. Like all of our signature events, the Holiday Festival on Dec. 2 is a free event, making it the perfect outing for Marana families. 

This is a busy week in the Town. On Thursday we formally unveiled the deer sculptures on Tangerine Road. This is a striking public art project that not only celebrates the great wildlife in the area, it also provided Marana high school welding students an opportunity to assist the artist in putting together these magnificent metal sculptures. The statues not only add beauty to the improvements being made on Tangerine Road, but are also a terrific neighbor to Tangerine Sky Park, which is being built adjacent to the statues. 

This weekend, Marana hosts our own 28-mile segment of the El Tour de Tucson. We are proud to again partner with El Tour and are excited to show off Marana to the riders who race through the town, as well as those who are using our Marana Heritage River Park as their starting point. Whether you are a cyclist, or just want to have a good time watching the race, we encourage you to come out to the park and participate in the festivities. 

I am excited about where the town is going. Since coming on board in March of 2014, I have seen so much growth, but we’ve also succeeded in maintaining that small-town neighborly feel. I came to Marana from the Phoenix area, where I last served as Glendale’s interim assistant city manager. Having worked in local government in a variety of roles since 1988, I find Marana different in many ways. It’s at the edge of this region but the center of attention for commerce and employment. It’s a young town growing quickly but always mindful of its deep-rooted heritage and the great outdoors that surrounds us. 

There is so much going on in Marana, which is a good thing. People want to live here, companies want to do business here and Marana Town Hall will bring it all together successfully.

Jamsheed Mehta is the Interim Town Manager for the Town of Marana. The Manager's Message runs monthly in the Marana News/Explorer News, as well as on

El Tour de Tucson Marana 28-Mile Segment Photo Gallery

On Saturday, November 18 the Town of Marana hosted their second 28-Mile Segment of the El Tour de Tucson. The race drew well over 300 riders, who began their journey at the Marana Heritage River Park and winded their way through north Marana before heading south on I-10 and finishing the race in Downtown Tucson. 

Photos by J.D. Fitzgerald/

Deer Dedication: Photo Gallery

On Thursday, November 16 the Town of Marana held a dedication ceremony for their latest public art installation. "Deer at Tangerine Sky Park" was a made possible from a grant from the Pima Association of Governments and utilized the talents of artist Trevor O'Tool, as well as welding students from Marana High School.

The steel deer statues sit on the southside of Tangerine Road, just outside of what will become Tangerine Sky Park.


Marana unveils new deer family as the Town's latest public art installation

Click to view the unveiling ceremony of the new public art installation on Tangerine Road. 


This Thursday, the Town of Marana formally debuted the “Deer at Tangerine Sky Park” art installation. The small ceremony to unveil the five metal sculptures was the culmination of a two-year project.

The sculptures are made of solid steel and feature a family of foraging deer. They are located on Tangerine Road and are part of the Tangerine Corridor Project and will serve as a centerpiece of the upcoming Tangerine Sky Park.

“This project is absolutely beautiful,” said Marana Mayor Ed Honea. “The design is beautiful; the construction is beautiful. It is something we should all be very proud of."

Town of Marana Assistant to the Town Manager Tony Hunter coordinated the project, which was funded by the Transportation Art by Youth fund through the Pima Association of Governments.

This project began with the brainstorm of "how can we get public art in the community, but also how can we get youth involved as well?’” said Hunter.


The Town enlisted the help of Marana High School welding students, who have previously created other metal art pieces for Marana. Once the students were on board, the idea was to get the community on board to help with the search for an artist.

Hunter worked closely with the Marana Citizens’ Forum, who created a Public Art Committee to help come up with project.

“They were a huge help with the project,” said Hunter, who explained the artist selection process with the sub-committee. The parameters were simple. The work had to be metal to accommodate the students' skill set, and it had to represent the Marana community.

Trevor O’Tool's submitted proposal for the deer design was ultimately selected due to how he connected his work to Marana's natural environment.

“It represented our natural environment, but also represented family and our history,” Hunter said.

“It shows how the Town and artists and young people can work together to make something that our Town can be proud of for many years to come,” Honea added.

Installation of the deer was made possible due to the Town of Marana project management team and the Tangerine Corridor Constructors. It was no easy feat to put the deer in place. Not only did they have to be placed in the alignment the artist envisioned, but the sculptures are not easy to move. The sculptures are steel and weigh several hundred pounds. The buck statue weighs over 750 pounds and had to be placed with a forklift. 

They also had to be painted to protect the metal from the elements and the landscaping needed to be completed by the project management team and the contractors. 

The Deer at Tangerine Sky Park art installation is located on the Southside of Tangerine Road, East of Camino de Oeste.


Marana High School Welding Students: Austin Bott, John Campbell, Randall Chambliss, Cameron Daily, Mikaila Rodriguez, Brandon Shulls, Scott Washington. Kenton Webb – Instructor.

Marana Citizen’ Forum Public Art Committee: Ron Hill, Angela Wagner-Gabbard, Don Duncan, Valerie Pullara, Michael Smentek.

Marana News: Marana prepares for El Tour


The Marana News previewed Marana's 28-Mile Segment of the El Tour de Tucson. 

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Marana’s Heritage River Park will be host to food trucks, music and event booths in a festive send off for hundreds of cyclists beginning one of the largest bike-riding events in the nation, El Tour de Tucson. 

“Recreation is an important part of a healthy community,” said Interim Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta. “And we take having fun very seriously.”

While Marana has always been involved with the larger El Tour de Tucson process, it only began hosting its own leg of the race two years ago. The section fits well with Marana’s health-conscious, outdoorsy ethos, as all new roads built in the city are equipped with bike lanes.

“It’s just a great event for our community,” Marana mayor Ed Honea said. “People wear colorful outfits and helmets, and even if they don’t plan on finishing the whole event, they ride their bikes for a little while just to join in the fun.”

In addition to the thousands of pedaling legs, there are multiple legs to the event: cyclists can choose to ride distances of 106, 76, 54, 37 or Marana’s stretch, the shortest, of 28 miles. 

“I feel fortunate we have the shortest leg of the race,” Honea said. “It makes things available for families and non-professionals. Moms, dads and kids can all ride together.”

There will be booths run by a local bike shop, healthy food options and a craft station for families to make signs supporting the cyclists.

Read the rest of the story at the Marana News

Marana In The Media: Bat Boxes

 Courtesy: Sundt Construction

Courtesy: Sundt Construction

One major part of the Ina Interchange Project is the building of two new bridges over the Santa Cruz River. When complete, Ina Road will expand to four lanes and there will be a number of improvements both on the roadway, as well as to the Loop which runs under the bridges.

 The current bridge is also home to hundreds of Mexican bats. The bats are very important to the local ecosystem, most notably in keeping area insect populations under control.

 The Arizona Daily Star has an article on how the contractors and Arizona Game and Fish ecologist are working hard to relocate the bats from the old bridge to the new ones.

Beneath the old Ina bridge over the Santa Cruz River, which will be replaced by a pair of two-lane bridges, you can hear the high-pitched squeaks of the migratory Mexican free-tailed bat before getting a whiff of their roosts’ distinctive smell.

Though it’s the low season, Arizona Game and Fish bat ecologist Joel Diamond told the Road Runner that there’s an estimated 1,000 of the creatures packed tightly into the crevices. At high season, as many as 25,000 call the soon-to-be-destroyed structure home, while a nearby tunnel also hosts roughly 10,000 cave myotis bats.

So, where are the bats going to go when the place they’ve called a seasonal home for years comes tumbling down?

If things go according to plan, they’ll be moving right next door, into bat boxes installed under the new bridges. Game and Fish crews are sealing up the cracks every night after the bats head out to forage for the evening.

Read the rest of the story at the

Sundt Construction is one of the contractors working on the project and they also have a good write-up on their role in the project.

Our work to widen the interstate involves taking down and replacing the Ina Road bridge where Mexican free-tailed bats spend much of the year. It’s their hangout.

Arizona Game and Fish officials estimate about 1,000 bats spend the winter there instead of relocating to Mexico and 25,000 stick around Southern Arizona in the summer. Fortunately, the project team and Arizona Game and Fish Department have devised a plan to make sure the bats aren’t homeless.

The new bridge, which sits next to the old one, has seven bat boxes that replicate the conditions under which the mammals have been living. Each of the boxes has one-inch openings for the bats to crawl into. The boxes provide cooler conditions in the summer and warmer in the winter that bats like.

Read the full story from

Behind the Scenes: MPD Distracted Driving PSA


The Marana Police Department emphasizes innovation in all phases of their operation. From having the latest technology to community policing and utilizing social media to connect with residents, Marana police officers strives to be ahead of the curve.


Streaming live to an online audience, MPD Traffic Officer Bradley Clifford performed a simulated traffic stop where he helped educate the driver on the dangers of distracted driving. The Marana Police Department believes that education is the main objective when conducting a traffic stop, and have altered their philosophy regarding pulling drivers over. Since 2011, the department has pulled over more drivers, but issued less citations. The goal is to make interactions with the police a positive experience, as well as an opportunity to convey safety information to the drivers.

“This is about education,” said Marana Police Department Public Information Officer Chriswell Scott. “We are not here to jam people up with tickets. We are here to educate and get everyone to where they are going safely.”

Tucson News Now was also on-site to capture behind-the-scenes footage of the PSA. After one rehearsal to establish the logistics of the simulated traffic stop, the PSA went Facebook Live.


A key part of the campaign is educating the public that distracted driving is more than just using your cell phone or playing with the radio. Many other aspects of daily life can distract someone from the road.

“We commonly think of distracted driving as talking on the phone or texting, but it can be other things like eating in the car or thinking about a work meeting that you have and not focusing on the road,” Scott explained.

“Our lives distract us a lot,” said MPD Traffic Officer Bradley Clifford. “Our lives are very busy and our minds probably distract us more than anything else. When you get behind the wheel, please focus on safe driving habits.”

The Town has not seen an increase in accidents due to distracted driving, but Marana Police Department wants to make sure their residents remain safe. It is all part of the department’s strategy to be proactive and working with the community to enhance public safety.

Officer Clifford spoke with Tucson News Now following filming of the PSA and had some more good information on distracted driving:

Marana named top digital city


The Center for Digital Government (CDG) announced the winners of the 2017 Digital Cities Survey and Marana was named one of the top-10 Digital Cities in the United States with a population of 75,000 or less. Now in its 17th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement.

“This year’s leading digital cities are leveraging technology to connect disadvantaged citizens with critical information and services, promote citizen inclusion in important government processes and share government data with the public,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens can now meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history. Congratulations to the winners!”

The Town of Marana is committed to remaining at the forefront of technology and trying to be innovative in all forms of public outreach.

“We are constantly looking at ways to improve our residents’ experience when it comes to dealing with the Town,” said Technology Services Director Carl Drescher. “We want that experience to be first rate whether they are visiting our website, utilizing our apps, or interacting with us on social media.”

Embracing technology is another way Marana shows our commitment to top-notch customer service.

“The Town of Marana is dedicated to being a community that is attractive to residents and businesses alike, with customer service that is comparable to the private sector,” said Communications Director Vickie Hathaway. “A professional and strategic digital and technological approach is needed to match the demands, perceptions, and pace of the Town’s target audience.”

Marana was one of six Arizona cities across five categories recognized by the Digital Cities Survey, and one of just two from Southern Arizona. Marana was the only Arizona city of its size to be recognized.

Traffic Update: Cracker Barrel Road (11/13 - 11/17)

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Beginning at 6 AM on Monday, November 13, until the Cracker Barrel Road paving operation is completed, Hospitality Road from the east side of Cracker Barrel Road to the Days Inn driveway will be closed to all traffic.
•              On Wednesday, November 15, from 6 AM to 4 PM, asphalt paving of the eastern half of the roadway will take place. During these paving operations, the movement of haul trucks and paving equipment will intermittently affect traffic flow where Cortaro Road, Hospitality Road, and Arizona Pavilions Drive intersect with Cracker Barrel Road. Flaggers will be present to guide motorists through these work areas.
•              Beginning at 2 AM on Thursday, November 16, traffic on Cracker Barrel Road will be shifted onto the newly paved east side of the roadway so that work can begin on the west side of Cracker Barrel Road.
•              Directional signs and traffic control devices will be set up to guide vehicles through the work area. Speed limits will be reduced to 25 MPH. Business access will be maintained during the next phase of construction.

For your safety and that of the contractor’s personnel, please comply with traffic control devices, flagging personnel, and/or detour signs.

 Travel time through the project area may increase during construction so please adjust your schedule accordingly. Construction may restrict traffic lanes and create congestion. Taking alternate routes is suggested. If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice.

  Stay up-to-date on Town of Marana news, projects, and events. Visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Traffic Update: Marana Road (11/10/17 - 12/4/17)

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Marana Road, from Sanders Road to just west of Sandario, will be closed for reconstruction from Friday, November 10th, until Monday, December 4, 2017. Marana Road traffic will be detoured from Marana Road to Wentz Road to Kirby Hughes then to the frontage road. 

For your safety and that of the contractor’s personnel, please comply with traffic control devices, flagging personnel, and/or detour signs.

 Travel time through the project area may increase during construction so please adjust your schedule accordingly. Construction may restrict traffic lanes and create congestion. Taking alternate routes is suggested.

 If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice.

 Stay up-to-date on Town of Marana news, projects, and events. Visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Marana News: Newly expanded Marana Resource Center opens


The Marana News has a very good story about the expansion of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona - Marana Resource Center.

A buzz of excitement hummed as a group of three-dozen locals waited on the cement patio linking the past, present and future of social services in Marana. 

The crowd gathered to witness the opening of two new slate grey portable office buildings, donated by Cottonwood Properties in May. 

The 3,000-square-foot expansion to what is now called the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona - Marana Resource Center (formerly known as the Community Food Bank in Marana) was the result of years of work by members of the community. 

The Oct. 31 ceremony was the coronation of a project launched two years ago when the food bank received an $80,000 Community Development Block Grant from Pima County, which has been given out to community facilities and infrastructure projects in low-income and rural areas since 1978. 

Read the rest of the story at the MARANA NEWS

PRESS RELEASE: First UNESCO-Approved Gastronomy Tour Program in the U.S. now open in Marana, Arizona


MARANA, ARIZONA (November 8, 2017) –  Discover Marana, the tourism and marketing program of the Town of Marana, is pleased to announce the launch of the Marana Gastronomy Tour program. The tours will take a foodways journey back 1,000 years with Dr. Suzanne Fish, University of Arizona Emerita Professor and Arizona State Museum Curator, to Hohokam archaeological sites that Dr. Fish has studied for decades. Adventurers can sign up now. 

The five-hour adventure includes tastings of gourmet wild foods, Catalina Brewing Company’s craft beer made with wild foods, and concludes with a multi-course small plate tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana. Offered twice a month, through April, the tours are limited to 13 people. The cost is $109 per person.

“Most people don’t know this area as being one of first places in North America where agriculture was practiced 4,000 years ago,” said Laura Cortelyou, Tourism and Marketing Manager for the Town of Marana. “Marana has rich cultural resources and is still a farming area. Growers provide produce to farm-to-table restaurants, BKW Farms grows White Sonora wheat that is used in local craft beer and artisanal baking by Barrio Bread. There are also wild foods educators that teach people how to responsibly harvest from the 450 edible plants in the Sonoran Desert, and beekeepers that produce mesquite and wildflower honey. The knowledge, talent, and creativity that is showcased on the Marana Gastronomy Tour makes a one-of-a-kind experience.”   

According to Jonathan Mabry, Ph.D., President of the Tucson City of Gastronomy nonprofit organization, “The Marana Gastronomy Tour program represents the spirit of the UNESCO Creative City designation. The tour provides a journey that illuminates the unique flavors and peoples, past and present, of the Sonoran Desert.”

Gray Line Tours Tucson is the tour provider and a third-generation family-owned business that has provided premier tours in, and from, Tucson for more than 100 years.

The Marana Gastronomy Tours are the first tours approved by UNESCO Creative Cities Network member, Tucson City of Gastronomy, the first City of Gastronomy in the U.S.  

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Marana Gastronomy Tour Reservations

For tour information visit .

For tour reservations visit .

Marana Visitor Center

13881 N. Casa Grande Hwy #100, Marana, AZ 85653

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 – noon; closed Saturday and Sunday

About Discover Marana

Discover Marana was created in 2014 by the Town of Marana’s Economic Development Department to promote visitation.

Marana is home to the Forbes Five Star-rated Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort, Tucson  Premium Outlets at Marana Center, and Topgolf Marana. Once home to the Accenture Match Play, Marana has nationally-renowned golf courses at Dove Mountain; including Dove Mountain Golf Club, The Gallery, and The Highlands. Marana hosts a start in El Tour de Tucson, the annual cycling event. Marana has the oldest agricultural irrigation canal system found in North America and numerous archeology sites. Hiking, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding are popular activities. For more information, please visit  Follow Discover Marana on Facebook and Instagram.

Airport hosts aerobatics competition


If you were in the area near the Marana Regional Airport on Friday or Saturday, the chances are you might have seen some aircraft doing some fancy flying. The airport was host to the 2017 Tequila Cup, a regional aerobatics competition that has called Marana home since the early 1980’s.


“Everybody appreciates coming to Marana here and the hospitality,” said pilot Will Allen. “The airport is really welcoming for us.”

The event draws aerobatic pilots from all over the western United States. This year’s contest drew 35 pilots who competed in a number of different categories bases on experience levels and aircraft type. In addition to airplanes, there were also a number of glider pilots from the Air Force Academy competing.

Aerobatics is similar to figure skating, except for the fact the event takes place in the sky and not on a sheet of ice. Pilots fly a set of figures and are judged on a number of criteria including accuracy and difficulty.

In addition to the pilots and judges, there are support staff, family members, and even fans who come out for the event.

“It brings a lot of people to the town who might not come otherwise,” said Peter Jelinas who was visiting from Seattle. “The airport brings us here.”

The Tequila Cup is one of a number of regional competitions, which then feed into a national championship every year. The event is sanctioned by the International Aerobatic Club and put on by the AZ Aerobatic Club.

Video of Az Aerobatic Club members and event competitors can be seen below:

Coffee with a Cop

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Come out and meet members of the Marana Police Department. The MPD will be hosting another edition of their Coffee With a Cop on Wednesday, November 8 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

The event is being held at the McDonald’s at 13934 N. Sandario Road.

The idea is that good coffee leads to good conversation, so come out and join Marana Law Enforcement officers for some good friendly talk about the community. Whether you have some questions, some suggestions, or just want to say “hello” this is a great way to interact with Marana Police Officers in a relaxed setting.

You bring the questions and they’ll bring the coffee.

Arizona Daily Star: Voters can trust election integrity


Town of Marana Deputy Town Clerk Hilary Hiser, a certified election official, provided an Op-Ed piece to the Arizona Daily Star regarding Election Integrity and what steps are taken to ensure fair elections. 

A voter recently called me asking how to unregister to vote. The citizen expressed skepticism about our ability to keep her information confidential and general ambivalence regarding the election process. As an election official, I have received a surprising number of similar calls during and since the 2016 election.

The “new normal” includes not only assisting people with registering to vote and directing them to their polling place, but also reassuring them that the fundamental integrity of the election is protected and the results are valid.

Misconceptions regarding election integrity come primarily from the fear that voter fraud is a real and widespread threat. However, the empirical data from state and academic sources do not support that view. Since 2008, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has received only 30 referrals for incidents of voter fraud, resulting in 20 convictions across six counties, as reported by the Arizona Republic.

Justin Levitt, of the Brennan Center for Justice, indicates in his 2017 study that the public often conflates voter fraud with problems or issues related to the administrative process of elections. It is this misunderstanding about the actual procedures of an election that creates a sense of distrust among citizens.

But just because an election official makes a mistake, does not mean we should assume the worst about the process as a whole. In his review of the 2016 Arizona special election, election attorney Joseph Kanefield notes that “elections are rarely perfect endeavors.” He acknowledges that even under the best of circumstances election officials will make mistakes, but those mistakes are quickly resolved.

If anything, our ability as election officials to quickly resolve any issues speaks to the professionalism of the electoral process. Local, county, and state elections occur on an almost yearly basis, from large national elections to small municipal elections. Both Title 16 and Title 19 of the Arizona Revised Statues so thoroughly regulate election procedures and establish voter protections that an actual election runs like a well-oiled machine. Election officials from local, county, and state levels participate in consistent training and are awarded certifications documenting their understanding of the process.

Just like posted public meetings, the administration of an election is open to citizen observers. The Official Canvass of the Vote documents in detail every vote cast during an election. Even the physical security of the ballots is provided the same care and attention as a bank vault full of money.

Running an election is one of the more transparent and heavily audited functions within the government. For example, Pima County’s Election Integrity Commission is a citizen advisory board whose sole purpose is to review election procedures and help improve the electoral process within Pima County, enforcing an additional layer of accountability on election officials.

Is there room for improvement in our management of elections? Of course there is. The 2014 Presidential Commission on Election Administration identified several areas including more accurate voter rolls, investment in new technologies, improved information security, and more efficient voter registration methods.

Shrinking government budgets and increasingly long election cycles only magnify these challenges. However, they are not insurmountable. At a local level, from town and city clerks to county recorders, election officials continue to experiment with voter engagement using the internet and social media.

Local election officials understand the magnitude of what it means to cast a vote, and we take very seriously our responsibility to protect that fundamental right.

Marana Airport host Wright Flight student pilots


The Marana Regional Airport played host to 21 students from Estes Elementary School who were participating in the Wright Flight Program on Friday, November 3. The Marana Unified School District students were not only getting to fly in airplanes, but actually take the controls.

Wright Flight is dedicated to “helping kids reach new heights” in both their classrooms and their personal lives. Wright Flight is a motivational program that teaches today’s youth how to set goals and achieve them. In this case, the goal is to pilot an airplane.

The Wright Flight program teaches that with hard-work, diligence, and focus no goal is out of reach — not even becoming a pilot. Students in the program must not only improve academically or behaviorally, but those who are already excelling can set a personal goal such as doing more community service. The students make a contract with their parents and teachers that has a tangible objective and steps to meet that objective.


In addition, students must make a pledge to remain drug and alcohol free and complete the Wright Flight curriculum, including passing a final test with an 85%. The students who few on Friday had all taken an aviation history class and also had safety training to fly the planes.

Only students who work hard enough to meet their goals and pass the course earn the right to fly. In Southern Arizona only about 75% of those participating in the program make it to the capstone event of Flyday.

The Marana Regional Airport has recently begun hosting Wright Flight events to help the organization handle all of the necessary flights. There are over 1,000 students enrolled in the program in Southern Arizona.

Volunteer pilots take the students up into the air and then turn the controls over to them once they are in the air. The pilots come from a variety of backgrounds including commercial aviation, current and former military, and general aviation enthusiasts. Some donate planes for the project, while Wright Flight also has some of their own.

Thornydale Traffic Update Nov. 6-8


On Monday, November 6 through Wednesday, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, the contractor will pave the side-street and driveway entrances along the south side of Tangerine Road from the Thornydale Road intersection to just west of the La Cholla Boulevard intersection.  The Thornydale Road intersection will also be paved during this phase of work.

Motorists should expect the following:

  • Traffic at the Thornydale Road/Tangerine Road intersection will be reduced to one lane in all directions.
  • Turn movements in all directions are permitted, however, there will not be any dedicated left turn lanes.
  • Officers will be at the Thornydale Road intersection to help direct traffic.
  • Access to driveways along the south side of Tangerine Road will be maintained, however there may be intermittent delays as paving equipment moves through the area.
  • Speed limits are reduced to 25 MPH.
  • Motorists should expect delays.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Kathy or Nanette at (520) 623-3073 or by email at We look forward to working with you throughout the project, and encourage any feedback to ensure the Project Team can deliver a beneficial project for the whole community. 

For more information on this project, please visit For more detailed schedule information please click here.

Please be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians in the area and ensure that dogs, horses and other animals are not in the construction zone to ensure the safety of all.

Marana Named No. 3 Best Small City In Arizona

  Photo by Sean Parker

Photo by Sean Parker

The Town of Marana has been named the third best small city in Arizona according to a study by the personal finance website WalletHub. The website’s analysts compared 1,268 cities across five key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Economic Health, 3) Education & Health, 4) Quality of Life and 5) Safety.

They looked at cities with population sizes between 25,000 and 100,000 and considered only the “city proper” in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area.

Marana was not only rated as the third best small city in the state, but was among the top 30 percent of small cities in the United States.

Marana scored very well in both Affordability and Economic Health.

The Affordability category takes into account Median Household Income, Cost of Living, Homeownership Rate, and Housing Costs.

The Town scored particularly well in Median Household Income and Homeownership Rate where it was in the top quarter of all small cities.

The Economic Health score was based on Population Growth, Income Growth, Unemployment Rate, Share of Population Living Below Poverty Level, and Debt per Median Earnings.

In both categories Marana was among the top 16 percent of cities. Marana also scored well in the Safety category.

Specifically, Marana was 50th in population growth and also scored well in Income Growth, Unemployment Rate, and the Share of Population Living Below Poverty Level. All were among the top 25 percent, with Marana’s lack of people living in poverty among the top-15 percent of all small cities.

The Town also scored well in a number of other sub categories related to education and health including Share of the Population with High School Diploma or Higher, Share of Insured Population, and a Share of Live Births with Low Birthweight.

Marana also scored very well in the Violent Crime Rate.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Areavibes, TransUnion, TripAdvisor, County Health Rankings, Yelp and WalletHub research.

ADOT: Official Ina Interchange Project Update

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The Arizona Department of Transportation has provided an official update on the Ina Road Interchange Project. Much of the information is similar to an update the Town issued in October. 

Over the next three months, drivers in northwestern Pima County will see important advances as the two-year Interstate 10/Ina Road traffic interchange project moves on schedule toward the halfway point.

With pavement now in place for what will become the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 at Ina Road, crews will begin steps to move traffic to those new lanes so work can begin on the westbound lanes of I-10.

The first step: pouring concrete for the bridge decks that will carry Ina Road over Interstate 10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Supports for the bridges have been put in place over the past few months. The deck pour is scheduled to begin about 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Crews will pour the deck only for the western half of the bridge that will cross above the new eastbound lanes of I-10. That will avoid requiring any restrictions on I-10 traffic during the work.

All I-10 traffic will be moved to the new eastbound lanes so work can begin on the westbound side of the freeway. Eastbound traffic will move to the new pavement in mid-December, with westbound traffic moving to the new pavement about a month later. Three lanes will be maintained in each direction until the project is complete in early 2019.

When the work is finished, I-10 will include four lanes in each direction, an addition of one lane each way.

In late December, Ina Road traffic west of the freeway will be moved to the new bridge over the Santa Cruz River. That will allow ADOT crews to remove the existing bridge and replace it with a new two-lane bridge that eventually will carry westbound traffic on Ina Road.

The Ina Road project is designed to improve traffic flow and driver safety in Marana and the surrounding community. The new Ina Road bridge at I-10 will allow drivers to travel without delays for passing trains. Completion is scheduled for early 2019. 

ADOT is overseeing the $128 million project, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority. The town of Marana is contributing $7.9 million toward the cost of the new bridges over the Santa Cruz River west of I-10.

For more information on the project, visit