Shelley Smithson

Freelance Reporter
Shelley Smithson

Snow hung on pine branches as Flagstaff’s Marine Color Guard honored Arizona’s centennial this morning at the Pioneer Museum.

Locals visited the museum throughout the day where a new Centennial exhibit is on display.

The exhibit is a preview of a larger exhibit planned for the spring.

It will showcase each decade of Flagstaff’s history.

Sixty eight-year-old color guard member Johnny Anaya was born and raised in Flagstaff.

He says his favorite memories are of the Flagstaff All-Indian Powwow, which occurred every Fourth of July between 1929 and 1980.

Flagstaff employer W.L. Gore & Associates  has lost a patent dispute that dates back to 1974.

On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling against Gore that ordered the company to pay $371 million to C.R. Bard.

Bard makes catheters and claimed that Gore infringed on its patent for vascular grafts.

According to Bloomberg News, Bard claims that Gore now owes the firm $783 million in interest, royalties and fees.

The court upheld earlier findings that Gore intentionally infringed on Bard’s patent.

The Italian real estate developer planning a major resort near the Grand Canyon is suing the town of Tusayan to block a vote on the development.

Stilo Development Group USA filed suit this week against the tiny town of Tusayan, located at the southern entrance to the Grand Canyon.

The suit came as a surprise to town leaders.

They had voted last fall in favor of rezoning and annexation agreements for the firm’s commercial and housing developments.  

The Arizona Board of Regents has come out against a bill in the state legislature that would limit financial aid to students at state universities.

House Bill 2675 would require all undergraduate students at state universities to pay at least $2,000 per year toward tuition and fees.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, says many students who qualify for free tuition are academically challenged and would fare better at community colleges.

The last of five Tuba City Chapter officials accused of granting themselves excessive bonuses was ordered to repay $20,000 to the Chapter Tuesday.

Charlene Nez, the chapter’s secretary and treasurer, is one of five officials investigated by the Navajo Office of Ethics and Rules.

The five were ordered to repay a total of $80,000, but so far, none face criminal charges.

Streetwise Cycle

While environmentalists are praising a decision by the National Park Service to abolish bottled water sales in the Grand Canyon within 30 days,  concerns about corporate influence at public parks  linger.

The plan to ban plastic water bottle sales in the Grand Canyon goes back to 2010.

But just before the new policy was to take effect, the Park Service halted it.

Critics complained that the parks chief caved in to Coca Cola, which bottles Dasani Water and has donated $13 million to the parks.

The Hopi Tribe is seeking $20 million from the federal government to clean up arsenic in drinking water.

In the Hopi communities of First and Second Mesa, naturally occurring arsenic levels in drinking water exceed federal limits by as much as  four times.

Arsenic has been linked to cancers and circulatory problems.

Hopi water director Lionel Puhuyesva says  the tribe decided to sue the government, rather than ask Congress for money.

Tobias Alt

Grand Canyon National Park will begin banning the sale of bottled water inside the park within 30 days.

The decision could cost the park’s concessionaire, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a pretty penny.

But the company is applauding the park’s decision.

Chris Lane, vice president of sustainability at Xanterra, says the company lobbied for the ban.

“Our foremost goal is to reduce waste and the impacts associated with bottled water," he said.

Public art is back on the agenda for the Prescott  City Council.

The Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council will report to city leaders on its plan to draft a city public art policy.

The non-profit organization will study how other cities balance competing ideas about public art.

Public art has been a source of controversy over the last two years in Prescott.

Last year a bench with religious symbols was removed from a city park after officials deemed it unsafe.

The Navajo Division of Public Safety is in danger of losing $ 35 million in federal funding.

The Navajo Times newspaper reports it has obtained a letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to President Ben Shelly outlining the federal agency’s concerns.

The letter cites a recent Navajo Times investigation of Public Safety Director John Billison.

The newspaper reported that a protection order was issued against Billison in Phoenix in 2004 after a woman claimed he had repeatedly assaulted her.