The new half-cent sales tax dropped like a bombshell during a heated South Tucson City Council meeting, in which residents shouted at the city staff and elected officials.
John Vidaurri, the recently hired city manager — the fourth person in the last five years to hold the post — was the target of ire among many at the meeting, mostly for his $80,000-a-year salary, when he made the pronouncement: the 1-square-mile city on Tucson’s south side is running on borrowed time.
“A half-cent sales tax increase will keep this thing going for three years,” Vidaurri said. “Within three years we’re going to be bankrupt and we are going to be de-incorporated. We have cut services. You have to consider a secondary property tax to keep the city going. That’s the bottom line.”
In reality, the financial outlook for South Tucson could be worse than Vidaurri said at the meeting.
A brush fire in the Horseshoe Lake area burned 28 acres and firefighters remain on scene to watch for hot-spots, Tonto National Forest service officials said.
The brush fire began Saturday near Horseshoe Dam on the Cave Creek Ranger District.
The River Mesquite Campground, Horseshoe Campground and Willow Wash were evacuated, Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, an MCSO spokesman, wrote in a tweet.
People were asked to relocate for their own safety and to allow firefighters and their equipment to deal with the fire, according to a Facebook post by the U.S. Forest Service for Tonto National Forest.
It is unclear if the campgrounds are still evacuated, and when the campgrounds and the lake are expected to reopen, John Scaggs, Tonto National Forest spokesman said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix
VIDEO: Two people were killed Saturday night in Phoenix by the same hit-and-run driver, and police are still searching for the suspect.
The two accidents happened just after 10:30 p.m.
The first happened near 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road. Phoenix police say the driver of a Lincoln Town Car struck 17-year old Nester Lopez, who was crossing 43rd Avenue.
Lopez was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Maribel Dominguez is Nester's grieving mother. She says her son went to the store to grab some snacks and that was the last time she saw him.
“I'm devastated, all he did was go for ice cream and chips," she said.
Sunday, family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor Lopez' memory. As his mom sobbed, she says she’s distraught and wants justice for her son.
KPHO-TV CBS 5 Phoenix
VIDEO: Tucson Fire Department goes over safety tips as a part of the national pet fire safety day on Monday.
The national holiday is observed as a reminder to keep animals safe, knowing how to treat the animal, and preparation in case of emergency.
Barrett Baker, Battalion Chief of Tucson Fire Department says “When it comes to the things that are around the house that could potentially burn them, obviously heaters, fireworks, any sort of open flame. It’s really just important to know where the animals are and prevent them from getting to those fire hazards.”
The safety tips to prevent pets from starting fires are "extinguish open flames, remove stove knobs, invest in flameless candles, secure young pets," that's according to the American Red Cross. Baker says if the animal is exposed to fire or inhalation, take them to the veterinary hospital or if they are inside an active fire, wait for firefighter crews to rescue them.
The CW Tucson
As monsoon thunderstorms crossed portions of the Prescott National Forest this afternoon, firefighters have been busy chasing smoke reports across the forest.
The 100 acre Castle Creek Fire is burning approximately 6 miles east of the community of Crown King in the Castle Creek Wilderness (T10N, R1E, S27). The fire’s location, conditions on the ground, and weather, including predicted monsoonal moisture is providing the opportunity to use this natural ignition to restore fire to the landscape and achieve multiple resource benefits; including improving forest health and habitat diversity. Smoke from the Castle Creek Fire may be seen from I-17, Dewey, Mayer and Prescott Valley. The fire is being monitored by firefighters and poses no threat to life or property.
The Cellar Fire is burning approximately 4 miles north and east of Wagoner (T10N, R2W, S5).