Flagstaff, AZ – The Navajo Nation Council begins its annual summer session today. Council members are said to be working on a way to stop an election that would cut the number of Lawmakers by more than half and give the tribal president more authority. The major push is one delegate's move to repeal a law that the Navajo Nation passed seven years ago as an attempt to preserve cultural traditions among tribal members. The legislation to repeal the "Dine Fundamental Law" is not currently on the Council's agenda, however lawmakers could easily add it during the summer session.
Flagstaff, AZ – The Arizona Game and Fish Department will hold a special summit tonight on bears. The public event will be held at the Prescott Valley Civic Center. Game and Fish agents will present information about bear and human wildlife conflicts. Agency Spokesman Zen Mocarski says topics will include the decision making process for lethal removal and why tranquilization and relocation isn't always an option. Agents will also discuss this summer's numerous bear-human encounters across northern Arizona.
Flagstaff, AZ – An Obama administration official says Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce today that his department is temporarily barring the filing of new uranium mining claims on about one million acres near the Grand Canyon. The official says the land with be "segregated" for two years so that the department can study whether it should be permanently withdrawn from mining activity. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Flagstaff, AZ – Last month on the day the Environmental Protection Agency announced Coconino County to have the cleanest air in the United States, smoke from a prescribed fire caused many problems for people in Flagstaff. This week a lightning caused fire near Williams is causing some smoke in the area. Arizona Public Radio's Laurel Morales talked to a Flagstaff pulmonologist to learn about smoke's effects.
Flagstaff, AZ – Unemployment in Arizona rose half a percentage point during June. That brings the state's jobless rate to nearly 9%. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below June's national average of 9.5%. Arizona lost nearly 15,000 non-farm jobs in June. It also had job losses in several industries such as manufacturing, business services, government, and leisure and hospitality. However, the construction industry was among four economic sectors that has gained jobs last month.
Flagstaff, AZ – A prosecutor says psychiatric reports explain why a nine-year-old St. John's boy killed his father's roommate. However, the reports have been sealed by court order. Yesterday, an Apache County Judge set a sentencing date for the case of September 22nd. The sentencing will come months after the boy struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to one count of negligent homicide in the shooting death of Timothy Romero.
Flagstaff, AZ – An excessive heat warning remains in effect today for the Lake Havasu Area and most of the state's northwestern deserts. Temperatures are expected to reach nearly 117 degrees today along the lower Colorado River Valley. A hight of 124 is expected today in Death Valley. Temperatures should decrease slightly by Sunday, but still be well above normal into next week.
Flagstaff, AZ – This weekend, Grand Canyon National Park will join other parks across the country and waive entrance fees. It's the second of three "Fee Free" weekends scheduled by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. He says it's a way of encouraging Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit their National Parks. Visitors who come to Grand Canyon National Park this Saturday and Sunday will be allowed free entrance and free parking. The final "Fee Free" weekend is set for August 15th and 16th.
Happy Jack, AZ – The 4th of July Complex fire burning near Happy Jack has grown to nearly 1,000 acres and is expected to get even bigger. Officials with the Coconino National Forest say fire crews have begun control lines to the north of the fire near the southern end of Blue Ridge Reservoir. Forest Managers have extended a fire closure area to include a portion of the Blue Ridge Reservoir. For specific details of the fire closure area you can log onto www.fs.fedus/r3/coconino.
Flagstaff, AZ – The Coconino County Sheriff's office and Search and Rescue unit are mourning the loss of one of their volunteers. The Coconino County Sheriff's office says 22-year old Joe Rommel was killed Tuesday in a car accident. Rommel had been a volunteer for the county's Search and Rescue unit since 2005. He specialized in technical and alpine rescue. Joe Rommel was originally from Tucson, but came to Flagstaff to attend NAU.