Local News

State Capitol News
7:57 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Arizona's Unemployment Rate Drops To 6 Percent

Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from March.

The national unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.4 percent in April.

The state Department of Administration says Arizona's economy gained 2,200 non-farm jobs last month.

Across Arizona's economy, seven of the 11 sectors added jobs and four reported losses in April.

Analysts say Professional and Business Services added 3,300 jobs with Government adding 1,900 jobs and Construction 1,300 jobs last month.

KNAU and Arizona News
4:22 am
Fri May 22, 2015

The Slide Fire: 1 Year Later - Ecological Recovery Of The Burn Area

Map of the Slide Fire burn area.
Credit Arizona Highways

Every day this week, we've been hearing from some of the people closest to last year's Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. We've checked in with investigators, evacuees, emergency responders and firefighters. And today, we hear from two fire scientists about the ecological recovery of the burn area. We start with Rory Steinke, Watershed Manager for the Coconino National Forest and leader of the Burn Area Emergency Response Team.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Officials Kill Troubled Mexican Gray Wolf

An endangered Mexican gray wolf. About 110 of the federally protected animals make up the experimental population in eastern Arizona and New Mexico.
Credit endangeredwolfcenter.org

An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been shot and killed by wildlife officials in western New Mexico. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the federally protected animal had been involved in so-called “nuisance behavior.” 

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:23 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Deschene Lands Job At Department Of Energy

Chris Deschene
Credit AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

A former Navajo Nation presidential candidate who was disqualified over a language fluency requirement has landed a job with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The agency announced this week that Chris Deschene is the new director of its Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs.

Department director Ernest Moniz says Deschene has cultivated relationships with tribes and has extensive experience in business and energy development, and natural resources.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:14 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Kingman Passes Ban On Smoking In Cars With Kids Present

Kingman drivers will have to put out their cigarettes if they have kids in the car under a new smoking ban that takes effect this summer.

The Kingman Daily Miner reports councilmembers narrowly approved the ban with a 4-3 vote Tuesday, making it a secondary offense to smoke in a car with people under the age of 18 present.

E-cigarettes are also covered under the ban. Retailers from Phoenix asked the council during the meeting to consider exempting vapor products.

The ban goes into effect June 18.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:17 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Brain Food: How The Slide Fire Changed Community Preparedness

Robert Rowley, director of the Coconino County Department of Emergency Management, points to the area in Oak Creek Canyon where thousands of firefighters battled the blaze
Credit KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

KNAU's Slide Fire series continues with a special installment of Brain Food. In early May of 2014, Coconino County emergency responders practiced a community disaster exercise. At the time, none of the participants knew just how soon they'd have to use it in "real time".

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KNAU and Arizona News
3:32 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Grand Canyon Airport Upgrades Raise Concern of Conservation Groups

The public comment period for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Plan ends next week. It includes an upgrade to the state-owned Grand Canyon National Park Airport. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservationists have raised concerns about the project’s potential effects on the Canyon.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Ex-Navajo Nation Lawmakers Plead No Contest In Criminal Case

Two former Navajo Nation lawmakers have pleaded no contest in a criminal case, avoiding a trial on charges that they used their positions to enrich their families financially.

Jack Colorado and Harry Clark signed plea agreements with prosecutors Monday, the same day jury selection was to begin.

The men entered pleas to a single count each of eroding Navajos' confidence in the integrity of their government — the lessor offense of conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors will drop six counts of bribery against each of the men after sentencing, which hasn't been set.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Slide Fire: 1 Year Later... Fighting the Blaze

Fire fighting personnel observe smoke from the Slide Fire from the Oak Creek Overlook in May 2014. Eventually, more than 1,000 people were on hand to fight the fire which grew to more than 21,000 acres.
Credit USFS

When fighting the Slide Fire one year ago, crews had to negotiate some of the most challenging terrain in the Southwest along with extremely dry and windy conditions. The 21,000-acre fire became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest, and more than a thousand personnel were called in to fight it. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Muise about how what officials and firefighters approached battling the blaze and what they took away from the experience.

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Earth Notes
4:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Earth Notes: Where There's Smoke, Plants Notice

Credit USDA Forest Service

Smoke is a complicated substance. Most people who live in or near western forests have a good feel for how it affects people. But what's less well known is that it affects plants, too.

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