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THE VOICE OF THE EAST VALLEY SINCE 1891 AND WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR LOCAL REPORTING

THE SUNDAY

Deal to save TechShop falls apart

Tribune

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This Week

NEWS ............................. 4 Mesa Republican targets billboards that tout marijuana

BUSINESS................... 12 Depainting planes is Mesa firm’s ticket to success

EAST VALLEY

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FREE ($1 OUTSIDE THE EAST VALLEY) | EastValleyTribune.com

Chandler/Tempe Edition

INSIDE

Gilbert family helps fight eating disorders Sunday, December 17, 2017

Growing problem in EV: ‘Drugged driving’ BY JIM WALSH Tribune Staff Writer

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15-year-old underaged driver smokes marijuana and plows into a motorcyclist, who suffers third-degree burns as his bike catches on fire and second-degree burns as he skids on the pavement. Mesa police cite this Aug. 4, 2015, collision at Broadway Road and Stapley Drive – in which the now-36-year-old motorcyclist somehow survived – as a graphic example that illustrates the changing dynamics of drivingunder-the-influence cases. In a deadly trend in the East Valley – as well as throughout Arizona and the nation – more DUI cases are showing a combination of alcohol with potent drugs, including powerful painkillers and even heroin. Phoenix and East Valley officers say they are seeing more drug cases, while impairment See

SPORTS ......................16

DUI on page 5

(Tim Sealy/Tribune Contributor)

Traffic officers from the East Valley and around Arizona gathered at the state Capitol several weeks ago to kick off the state’s annual effort to curb drunk drivers over the holiday period.

Mesa Fire leads way in use of drones

Hamilton interim coach took tough job, honored by district

BY WAYNE SCHUTSKY Tribune Staff Writer

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EVENTS .................... 20 Troupe Vertigo puts new spin on ‘Nutcracker’

COMMUNITY......... 10 BUSINESS.....................12 OPINION.................... 14 SPORTS........................ 16 FAITH............................ 18 CLASSIFIEDS............. 24

(Brian Kotsur/Special to the Tribune)

The Mesa Fire and Medical Department uses drones in a variety of capacities, including gaining a 360-degree perspective on damaged structures.

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esa Fire and Medical Department is a pioneer in the use of drones to respond to emergency situations, and its pilots have evolved into a valuable resource for first responders and municipalities across Arizona. While many of the department’s pilots had little to no experience with drones – also called unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs – prior to the program’s inception, they have developed into experts and now use the technology to respond to structural fires, large commercial fires, search and rescue operations, and other emergencies in Mesa and surrounding areas.

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“These guys were excellent students and they became excellent pilots,” instructor John Nunes said. “I would put them up against any drone pilot in the United States.” Nunes is a drone pilot and industry expert who provided training for Mesa Fire and Medical Department’s drone program. The department’s foray into drone use began when then-Fire Chief Harry Beck and Assistant Chief Mike Dunn tapped Deputy Shift Commander Brian Kotsur to look into the technology. Kotsur, who had no experience with UAVs at the time, began researching the technology and was connected with Nunes by Captain See

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DRONES on page 3

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East valley tribune - Chandler/Tempe December 17 2017  
East valley tribune - Chandler/Tempe December 17 2017