Flagstaff, AZ – A Navajo soldier has been killed in action in Afghanistan. 21-year old Army Specialist Troy Orion Tom, of Beclabito, NM, was killed on Tuesday when his squad went to help another squad under heavy attack. Tom was the son of David Tom, a council delegate to the Navajo Nation. He was the ninth Navajo soldier killed in action in Afghanistan.
Flagstaff, AZ – SCA Tissue is laying off 17 people at its Flagstaff paper mill. The company blames recent economic trends. The mill will be shutting down one of its two paper-making machines and going to half capacity Friday. And as Arizona Public Radio's Laurel Morales reports the shutdown may have broader impacts on the city.
Flagstaff, AZ – A Flagstaff landmark and much used park is celebrating a new look. A group of citizens and city staff turned out for a ribbon cutting this afternoon to celebrate improvements made at Buffalo Park. Arizona Public Radio's Theresa Bierer has more.
Flagstaff, AZ – State health officials have given school districts guidelines for how to deal with potential swine flu outbreaks this fall. The 10-page guidance memo from the Department of Education gives districts and charter schools guidelines for how to prepare, respond and recover from a pandemic. Recommendations include emergency response plans, school closure and recovery plans, and continuing education for students kept home for long periods because of the flu. Across the state, public health officials are working with school districts to help plan mass vaccination clinics.
Flagstaff, AZ – A wildfire burning on the Coconino National Forest has grown to nearly 700 acres since igniting yesterday. A spokesman for the Forest Service says the Taylor Fire started early Sunday morning about 13 miles southwest of Flagstaff near Sycamore Canyon and Turkey Butte. Smoke and falling ash were widely reported yesterday. But, fire managers say they expect smoke to begin settling today into Sycamore Canyon and drift downhill into the Verde Valley. No injuries have been reported and no structures have burned.
Flagstaff, AZ – The legislature is expected to miss a deadline today for repealing a state property tax that had been suspended for three years but is set to take effect again. State law requires counties to set tax rates today. Both chambers of the legislature have approved the repeal. But the House must sign off on changes the Senate made to the proposal before it heads to Governor Jan Brewer for her signature. If the tax takes effect, the owner of a 200 thousand dollar home would pay an additional 70 dollars in taxes annually.
Flagstaff, AZ – President Barack Obama and his family toured the Grand Canyon Sunday. The park closed off West Rim Drive for four hours for the private visit. But park superintendent Steve Martin told Arizona Public Radio's Laurel Morales that didn't stop people from trying to catch a glimpse of the first family.
Flagstaff, AZ – President Obama and his family are scheduled to visit the Grand Canyon Sunday. The President is taking advantage of The National Park Services' last "fee-free" weekend of the summer. The campaign encouraged Americans to visit their national parks. The President's visit to the Grand Canyon is strictly personal and he will not be making any public appearances. Park Service officials say those visiting the Canyon on Sunday should plan on delays and some disruptions and closures because of the President and First Family's visit.
Flagstaff, AZ – This year's traditional Hopi Snake Dance will be closed to non-American Indians. Tribal officials say that's because of illegal photography and a lack of respect for tribal traditions and ceremonial practices. Officials say the tribe will confiscate cameras, cell phones and other recording devices. The Snake Dance is an elaborate days-long ceremony in which Hopi tribal members pray for rain.