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Tucson map designed for staycationers

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A local group has distributed 50,000 maps it hopes will get you to pay a visit to Tucson.

The Tucson Small Wonders Map is designed to encourage Arizonans to do a staycation.

"We're really working on encouraging people to take some of their vacation time and money and explore Arizona and so many of the interesting towns, places, businesses and attractions that we have here," said Deanna Chevas of Local First Arizona, which is distributing the maps.

Chevas said the map features great businesses that are within walking distance of downtown Tucson. One is Reilly Craft Pizza.

"Those owners renovated an old mortuary," Chevas said. "The space is beautiful and the food is fantastic. There's also Exo Roast, which is a coffee place. They roast the beans there but they also make great cups of coffee. That's also beautifully renovated."

In addition to Tucson, Local First has developed Small Wonders maps for Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale and the Verde Valley. The maps are available online and at Sky Harbor, among other places.

You can download the maps at Small Wonders.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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