Arguments ‘For’ and ‘Against’ WUSD ballot question sought

FLAGSTAFF – Williams Unified School District #2 will hold an override election to exceed its revenue control limit by 10 percent on November 7, 2017. Voters will be asked to vote on the following issue:

  • To adopt a General Maintenance and Operation Budget which exceeds the revenue control limit specified by statute by 10 percent for fiscal years 2018-2019 through 2022-2023 and in fiscal years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025, the amount of the proposed increase will be 6.66 percent and 3.33 percent, respectively, of the District’s revenue control limit in each of such years. The 2018-2019 budget override authority represents an extension of the existing 10 percent budget override. If the override is not approved for continuation, the existing 10 percent override will phase out by reducing one-third for fiscal year 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The estimated tax rate to fund the continued override in fiscal year 2018-2019 is $0.39 per one hundred dollars of net assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes.

The Coconino County Superintendent of Schools will prepare an informational pamphlet for the election. The pamphlet will be mailed to households of registered voters who reside within the school district.

Arguments “For” and “Against” the special budget override are being requested by the County Superintendent of Schools Office for inclusion in the informational report. The County School Superintendent shall review all factual statements contained in the written arguments and correct any inaccurate statements of fact. The County School Superintendent shall not review and correct any portion of the written arguments which are identified as statements of the author’s opinion.

Arguments are to be 200 words or less and be typed or printed and signed by the author. The arguments shall include the name of the district, author’s name, the name of any entity submitting an argument, address, telephone number and the author’s signature. The entity and author’s name will be printed in the informational pamphlet. All submitted comments must include these criteria.

Arguments must be received by 5 p.m. August 14, 2017, in the Coconino County Superintendent of Schools office, Ponderosa High School, 2384 N. Steves Blvd., Flagstaff, AZ 86004. Faxes will be accepted at (928) 526-1469; however, the original must be mailed to Coconino County Superintendent of Schools by the stated deadline.

For more information regarding the statements, call (928) 679-8070. For more information concerning the election, contact Williams Unified School District at 636 S. 7th St. Williams, AZ 86046, or (928) 635-4473.

Fleas test positive for plague in Coconino County

RED LAKE – Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials confirmed that fleas collected in the Red Lake area, approximately five miles northeast of Williams, tested positive for plague (Yersinia pestis). The tests were conducted by the Center for Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University.

CCPHSD is notifying area residents. The burrows are being treated and the area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

This is the first location in the County where fleas have tested positive for plague this year. Because the disease is endemic in Coconino County, there are likely additional locations with infected fleas. CCPHSD Environmental Health staff will continue to collect and test flea samples from locations throughout the County.

CCPHSD is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals. The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal. To limit possible exposure, people are encouraged to avoid rodent burrows and keep dogs on a leash as required by Arizona State law.

An abundance of active prairie dogs doesn’t indicate disease is present. However, a sudden die-off of prairie dogs and rodents, may be an indicator of plague. Persons noticing a sudden die-off of rodents or rabbits are urged to contact CCPHSD Environmental Services at 928-679-8750.

Symptoms of plague in humans generally appear within two to six days following exposure and include the following:  fever, chills, headache, weakness, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands (called “buboes”) in the groin, armpits or limbs. The disease can become septicemic (spreading throughout the bloodstream) and/or pneumonic (affecting the lungs), but is curable with proper antibiotic therapy if diagnosed and treated early.

Persons living, working, camping or visiting in areas where plague and/or rodents are known to be present are urged to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of exposure:

  1. Do not handle sick or dead animals.
  2. Prevent pets from roaming loose. Pets can pick up the infected fleas of wild animals, and then pass fleas on to their human owners. This is one of the common ways for humans to contract plague. Cats with plague can also pass the disease on to humans directly thorough respiratory droplets.
  3. De-flea pets routinely. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
  4. Avoid rodent burrows and fleas.
  5. Use insect repellents when visiting or working in areas where plague might be active or rodents might be present (campers, hikers, woodcutters and hunters).
  6. Wear rubber gloves and other protection when cleaning and skinning wild animals.
  7. Do not camp next to rodent burrows and avoid sleeping directly on the ground.
  8. Be aware that cats are highly susceptible to this disease and while they can get sick from a variety of illnesses, a sick cat (especially one allowed to run at large outside) should receive care by a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment to reduce human exposure to plague.
  9. In case of illness see your physician immediately as treatment with antibiotics is very effective.


More information is available at

Game and Fish officers keep Arizona’s waterways safe as part of Operation Dry Water

PHOENIX — Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officers made contact with hundreds of boaters the weekend before the Fourth of July as part of Operation Dry Water, a national awareness and enforcement campaign that targets people who are operating a boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Alcohol is a top factor contributing to recreational boater deaths, and the initiative’s goal is to increase safety on Arizona’s lakes and rivers and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries.

This year’s weekend of enhanced enforcement took place June 30 to July 2, in advance of the Fourth of July, which fell on a Tuesday. During those three days AZGFD officers stopped 812 boats, 74 of which had a designated driver. Three arrests were made for operating watercraft under the influence, 94 citations were written, and two individuals were arrested for driving motor vehicles under the influence. Statewide, 89 AZGFD officers participated in the initiative.

The lakes and waterways patrolled were: Lake Havasu, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Pleasant, Lake Powell, Apache Lake, Bartlett Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake and Roosevelt Lake, as well as Bullhead City and Parker Strip along the Colorado River.

AZGFD has been participating in Operation Dry Water since the initiative began in 2009. AZGFD partners with local agencies on the effort, which is done in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is .08 blood-alcohol content, an operator is in violation of the law and may be prosecuted for operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs.

While on the water, boaters should also keep in mind:

State law requires all passengers 12 years old and younger to wear a life jacket while onboard and that each passenger must have a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Drowning is the most common cause of death in boating incidents — always wear your life jacket.
Anyone being towed by a boat or on a personal watercraft, such as a Sea-Doo or Jet Ski, must wear a life jacket.
Know the “Rules of the Road.” Navigation rules identify who has the right of way and determine the required direction of travel.
Never allow passengers to board or swim while the engine(s) are running. A boat’s propeller can still be spinning while the motor is in neutral. Always make sure no one is near the propeller before starting the boat’s engine.
Paddle boards, kayaks and canoes are considered watercraft and users are required to have a wearable personal flotation device onboard while on the water. These watercraft must also follow the same navigation laws pertaining to all watercraft.

For more information on boating safety or to sign up for a boating education course, visit

Red Cross Issues 10 Ways to Help Keep Kids Safe as They Head Back to School

TUSCON — School will be back in session soon and the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to help make the trip back to the classroom a safe one.

“Safety should be the top priority for all students, especially younger children and those heading to school for the first time,” said Kurt Kroemer, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Greater Phoenix.   “Whether riding, biking or walking to school, we want everyone to arrive and then return home safely.”




If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:

  1. Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
  2. Tell children they should only board their bus – never an alternate one.
  3. Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  4. Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
  5. Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.
  6. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
  7. If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
  8. Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going.
  9. When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards.
  10. Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.


WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down – especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.


Parents should also make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. They should also teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.


TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS Red Cross training can give someone the confidence and skills to help with everyday emergencies from paper cuts to school sports injuries. A variety of online and in-class courses are available at People can download the free Red Cross First Aid App ( for instant access to expert advice whenever and wherever needed.


Arizona conservationists to be honored at 2017 Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet​ August 19

PHOENIX – The Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation, together with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, will induct five individuals into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame.

The Foundation’s 20th Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place during the annual Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Chaparral Suites Scottsdale at 5001 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale.

The inductees for this year’s event include:

  • Steve Hirsch, of Phoenix, is being inducted posthumously. Steve was a prominent attorney, avid outdoorsman and the son of Bob Hirsch, a prior Hall of Fame inductee and acclaimed outdoors columnist. Steve’s passion for Arizona and its wildlife led him to serve as a director and the president of the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation for more than 16 years. Steve’s leadership and vision provided the driving force for Wildlife for Tomorrow as it worked closely with the department to support projects that benefited the management and enjoyment of Arizona’s fish and wildlife resources, youth educational activities and projects that made a difference to wildlife habitat in our state.
  • Larry Voyles, of Phoenix, has devoted his 43-year career to wildlife conservation and outdoor heritage, including nine years as director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. He began his career with AZGFD as a wildlife manager and in 2008 was selected as the agency’s director. He worked to modernize the department and unified the 50 states’ conservation agencies to improve wildlife conservation efforts nationwide. He is a national leader in shooting sports, recruitment and retention.
  • Jean Wilson, of Yuma, who has served Yuma County readers for decades through her outdoors column in the Yuma Sun and has dedicated her life to encouraging families and children to appreciate the outdoors. She regularly runs clinics and classes designed to get people to enjoy fishing, hunting and archery.
  • Steve Clark, of Glendale, who is a founding member of the Arizona Elk Society and has worked tirelessly for the past 17 years to carry the organization and its mission forward. He also serves on the Arizona Livestock Recovery Board and the Arizona Natural Resources Committee, was recognized as Civilian Conservationist of the Year in 2010 by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and Conservationist of the Year in 2015 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
  • Warner Glenn, of Douglas, a fourth-generation Arizona cattle rancher who operates two ranches in Cochise County. In addition to ranching, he operates the hunting guide service established by his father – legendary hunter Marvin Glenn. In 1991, Warner Glenn was among the founders of the Malpai Borderlands Group, a conservation ranching organization that established a system of scientific-based ecosystem management on more than 1 million acres of ranch land in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

The Hall of Fame event will include a social hour and silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m., with dinner being served at 6:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony. The evening will also feature a live auction, exciting raffle prizes, and musical entertainment by the Back Porch Bandits.

Individual tickets are $70. A table for 10 is $700. A table of 10 and a full-page ad in the full-color banquet brochure is $1,200. The options for ordering tickets are:

  1. Download a ticket ordering form, fill in the requested information, and either scan and e-mail to or mail Wildlife For Tomorrow, c/o Duane Wellnitz, 719 W. Wildwood Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85045.
  2. Call Duane Wellnitz (Wildlife for Tomorrow Board Member and Ticket Chairman) at (480) 625-9540.
  3. Purchase your tickets on the Wildlife for Tomorrow website at

Wildlife for Tomorrow was created in 1990 to enhance the management, protection and enjoyment of Arizona’s fish and wildlife resources. The foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide additional support for projects and education activities where traditional resources are not adequate.

The Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame was developed in 1998 by the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation to honor those who have made significant contributions to Arizona’s wildlife, the welfare of its natural resources and the state’s outdoor heritage.

ADOT detectives nab man accused of stealing identity of baby killed 35 years ago

PHOENIX – A Tempe resident who allegedly stole the identity of a baby killed 35 years ago has been arrested thanks to Arizona Department of Transportation detectives’ use of facial recognition training and technology.

Acting on a tip from the Social Security Administration, ADOT’s Office of Inspector General found that Jeremiah Ash, 35, had for the past several years been using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of Michael Anthony Lewis II, who was 10 months old when he was killed in Oceanside, California.

ADOT detectives located the Arizona driver license in Lewis’ name and ran the photo through the facial recognition system. The system got a hit from Ash’s profile in the state’s driver license database. The detectives, who have FBI training in facial recognition, determined that both of the photos were of Ash.

In December 2012, Ash applied for an Arizona driver license under the stolen name at the Tempe MVD office. Two years later, he returned to apply for a motorcycle endorsement under the same name.

ADOT’s investigation found that Ash has an extraditable warrant out of Michigan for failure to pay child support. He was arrested on July 19 and booked at the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on identity theft and forgery charges.

A search warrant carried out by ADOT detectives at Ash’s Tempe residence uncovered falsified documents in the victim’s name as well as literature on how to steal a person’s identity.

The Social Security Administration provided the death certificate for Lewis, revealing that he was the victim of a homicide in 1982.

Ash used the same stolen identity in Florida to obtain a driver license. ADOT detectives notified Florida officials, who are now building their own case against Ash.

This case is one more example of how facial recognition technology used by ADOT’s Office of Inspector General protects Arizonans’ identities and helps prevent fraud involving state-issued driver licenses and identification cards.

Kaibab National Forest maps trails as part of topographical initiative

WILLIAMS – The Kaibab National Forest has taken on a major trail mapping project as part of a larger Forest Service topographical initiative aimed at producing new and more accurate maps for employee and public use.

Throughout the summer, employees and interns have been re-mapping miles upon miles of trails across the 1.6-million-acre Kaibab National Forest by hiking each and every one of them. On a typical day, recreation intern Mary Bielamowicz and geographic information systems intern Michelle Barton grab their tablets loaded with the ArcGIS Collector app, a mapping and spatial data analysis application, and select a trail to hike. The tablets have a GPS chip, so even when they are offline, they can map trails that are far from any Wi-Fi signal.

Once they are on the trail, they map the beginning mile point, ending mile point, note maintenance needs and issues along the route, and take photos of signs or any other special features. When other employees map trails, they follow the same process. The Collector app syncs back to ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online is cloud-based, which means that everyone on the system can see what others have mapped, what specific information has been gathered, and what trails still require attention. This allows for an organized, consistent process that will result in updated, high-quality data that can eventually be shared with other employees and members of the public.

The Forest Service is putting focus to the topographical initiative because many of the agency’s maps are based on outdated U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, so there are inconsistencies and errors in the data.

“When you’re out there, even when you’re an experienced hiker, you want to know where you’re hiking,” Bielamowicz said.

Alongside visitor safety, accurate trail mapping also contributes to firefighter and other Forest Service employee safety. For example, if a fire crew needs to leave an area quickly, they have to know which trail will be fastest, or which will lead them to their next location.

The creation of new topographic maps includes re-mapping trails and streams, taking more high-quality aerial photos, and making more exact digital elevation models. This larger, coordinated effort to upgrade topographic data and map products, which is being led by the Forest Service Southwestern Regional Office, will eventually provide for better visitor experiences, improved safety, and more precise management decisions on the Kaibab National Forest. Topographic maps remain indispensable tools for everyday use in government, science, industry, land management planning and recreation.

“What we will be able to say is that in 2017, we had new trail maps, new hydrologic data, and new resource photography,” said Mark Christiano, geographic information systems coordinator for the Kaibab National Forest. “Better data will lead to more informed decisions, and that’s why this initiative is so important.”Follow the Kaibab National Forest on Facebook and Twitter @KaibabNF.

Information sought on killing of pregnant mule deer near Saguaro Lake

MESA — Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief program is offering up to a $1000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the possible poaching of a mule deer doe.

On the evening of July 10, Maricopa County deputies received reports of shots fired, and found the dead deer in a wash north of the Butcher Jones Recreation Area of Saguaro Lake. The doe was pregnant and nearly full term.

“We hope the public will come forward with information regarding this incident,” Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Laura Orscheln said. “Losing a pregnant doe that was nearly full term equates to the loss of two deer from the population, not just one. It is a loss to wildlife enthusiasts across Arizona.”

The Department relies on the citizens of Arizona to assist in the reduction of wildlife violations. If you have any information or knowledge of this incident, please call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at 1-800-352-0700 or use the online form. Callers should reference case number 17-002615.

Callers will remain confidential and can remain anonymous if desired. A reward of up to $500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

Each year, the Department pays cash rewards to individuals who report wildlife crimes in Arizona. Money for rewards comes from criminal poaching fines, civil restitution by violators who commit wildlife crimes, and donations.

Agencies Safely Dispose of Grenade at Schuff Steel

FLAGSTAFF – On August 2, 2017 around 9:10 am Deputies responded to Schuff Steel in Bellemont, AZ for a report of a found hand grenade in a construction area. The grenade was located by employees while they were installing new equipment. The grenade was partially exposed above ground in an industrial area. Deputies secured the scene and evacuated the immediate area. Members of the Flagstaff Police Department Bomb Squad and Navajo Army Depot (NAD) Explosive Ordinance Division responded.

The device was a WWII era hand grenade and appeared to be intact. The grenade was secured in an explosives safe container and transported to NAD where it is scheduled to be destroyed.