County hosts State Legislative Roundtable

FLAGSTAFF — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Constitutional Officers, representatives from the County Supervisor’s Association and County staff hosted District 6 and 7 State Legislators for a roundtable discussion Tuesday, December 12.

The group discussed the County’s state fiscal and legislative priorities as well as other issues affecting the County. State cost-shifts to counties, transportation funding and forest health were the main topics deliberated in anticipation of the 2018 Legislative Session.

“We appreciate our Legislators joining us for a discussion regarding the County’s state priorities,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Ryan. “It’s crucial that we continue this partnership and open dialogue heading into the next legislative session. We look forward to working together to meet the diverse needs of County citizens.”

Legislators who attended were District 6 Representatives Bob Thorpe and Brenda Barton, and District 7 Representative and Eric Descheenie. All Legislators serve portions of Coconino County.

“On behalf of the Constitutional Officers, I want to thank our legislative delegation for taking the time today to discuss the many issues facing the County,” said Coconino County Treasurer Sarah Benatar who is also the County Representative to the Arizona Association of Counties. “The open discussions we have here are incredibly beneficial to building the relationships we need at the Capitol during the session.”

Counties are constitutional sub-divisions of the State and provide regional services including public safety, elections, economic development and health services. Each year the Arizona State Budget is deliberated and voted on by legislators and signed by the Governor contains financial impacts to counties.

Elk poaching near Flagstaff investigated

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a bull elk, which occurred the evening of December 3. The bull was found north of Route 66 off Rain Valley Road on the east side of Flagstaff near Picture Canyon.

The elk was shot and left to waste in Game Management Unit 11M, where no elk season was going on at the time. Investigating officers believe the elk was shot from a vehicle on Rain Valley Road.

“We are hoping residents in the area remember seeing a vehicle or hearing a gunshot near sundown on December 3 and can provide vehicle or suspect descriptions,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Colby Walton. “We believe someone knows about this poaching and we would like them to come forward with information.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at Callers should provide case number 17-004775 and may remain anonymous upon request, and all identities will be kept confidential.

A reward of up to $1,500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

Lane restrictions beginning this week on Milton Road in Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF – Flagstaff drivers should plan for restrictions on a short stretch of Milton Road during daytime hours beginning next week as the Arizona Department of Transportation has permitted work in the right of way.

This permit work is scheduled to occur on northbound Milton Road between Phoenix Avenue and Mike’s Pike Street Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning December 4 through Friday, December 15. The following restrictions will be in place:

The northbound travel lanes will be shifted and traffic control devices will guide motorists through the work zone.
Left turns will be prohibited in the work zone and the speed limit will be reduced to 30 mph.
Restrictions will be lifted during overnight hours.

Drivers should expect delays and consider alternate routes.

Work on Milton Road in Flagstaff to be rescheduled

FLAGSTAFF – Work that was scheduled to occur on northbound Milton Road this week and next between Phoenix Avenue and Mike’s Pike Street has been canceled because of weather-related concerns. Crews had been scheduled to replace a water line and construct new curbs, gutters and sidewalks on the east side of the roadway.

No dates for when the work will be rescheduled have been announced.

Reward offered in North Rim deer poaching

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering up to $8,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of yet another suspected poacher.

The latest case involves a mule deer buck that was found dead near Mount Logan on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The deer was recovered in game management unit 13A off County Road 5 and is suspected to have been killed sometime between November 17 and 19.

A lawful deer hunt started November 17 in unit 13A, but evidence at the scene suggests that the mule deer buck was possibly poached and edible portions of the animal were left to waste.

“This crime was obviously not the behavior of ethical, responsible hunters,” said AZGFD Wildlife Officer Luke Thompson. “We’re asking anyone who may have been in the area or has knowledge of the crime to come forward with information on this case. Poaching is a crime against all Arizonans and will not be tolerated. One tip could be all that’s needed to bring a poacher to justice.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 and provide case number 17-004571 or use the online form at Callers identities will be kept confidential and people can report anonymously if needed.

Valerie Wyant elected President of the Clerk’s Association

FLAGSTAFF — Clerk of the Superior Court, Valerie Wyant has been named the President-Elect of the Arizona Association of Superior Court Clerks (AASCC). The President works as the liaison between the AASCC, the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo), state legislators and various other agencies.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to represent the Clerk’s Association in the leadership role of President,” said Association President-Elect Valerie Wyant. “In the role of President, I will have the amazing opportunity to participate in and work with a number of statewide and national committees and associations. It is truly an honor to represent the fine women and men who serve as Clerks of the Court in Arizona.”

Wyant worked in the office of the Navajo County Clerk of Superior Court for 13 years, and one year as the Clerk of Superior Court in 2010. Wyant was appointed Chief Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, Coconino County in January 2011. In 2014, she was elected Clerk of Superior Court for Coconino County.

The Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office was established by the Arizona Constitution as one of several elected offices with specific and special duties, serves as the official record keepers and financial officers for the Superior Court. The Clerk of the Superior Court services more than 500 state statutes and court rules.

Wyant will assume the role of President effective January 2018.

Cow elk poaching case being investigated near Strawberry

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a cow elk, which occurred on November 10 or 11 in southern Game Management Unit 5A about 10 miles north of Strawberry.

The elk was found near U.S. Forest Service Road 308H, which is a closed road near USFS Road 308. Evidence found at the scene indicates the poachers were likely camped off the closed road and they also illegally killed an unidentified non-game bird in the same location. There was no elk season going on at the time the poaching occurred.

Investigating officers also discovered bloody fingerprints on litter found at the scene and possible DNA evidence was recovered as well.

“We are hoping the public may remember seeing a camp on the closed road during this particular weekend and can provide some vehicle or suspect descriptions,” Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Garrett Fabian said. “Getting some information now means we won’t have to wait a long time for lab results to come back to identify the suspects.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at Callers should provide case number 17-004469, information obtained will remain confidential and callers may remain anonymous upon request.

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit

Public Situational Awareness Class November 29, 2017

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a public class on Situational Awareness and Response to Active Shooter on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Flagstaff. There is no fee, but pre-registration is required. If you have any questions, please call 928-226-5012.

The purpose of this class is to help citizens understand what they can do to improve their safety during a crisis situation. This is a three-hour class. The first half of the class focuses on how to increase your every day safety through Situational Awareness. The second half of the class teaches a three-step plan known as “Avoid, Deny and Defend” which can be applied to crises such as Active Shooter events. The class includes some video and audio recordings of actual and simulated crises that some may find disturbing. Because of the possibly disturbing audio and video content, attendees must be 18 years of age or older.

For more information, go to

Hantavirus confirmed in recent traveler to northern Arizona

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials have announced a confirmed case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a recent traveler to the County from outside Arizona. The individual traveled to multiple areas in northern Arizona and it is unknown where the current case contracted the virus.

The disease is transmitted to people who come into contact or breathe infected urine, droppings and/or saliva of wild mice (primarily deer mice). People who come into contact with rodents that carry hantavirus are at risk of contracting the disease. The illness has not been found to spread from person to person.

HPS is not limited to one geographic location. It can be present in many areas in the southwestern region of the United States where there is rodent activity, even if mice are never seen.

This is the first confirmed HPS case in Coconino County this year and the sixth case of HPS in Coconino County since 2007. Two cases resulted in death from complications caused by the illness. Symptoms of the illness could include fever, headache and muscle aches progressing rapidly to severe difficulty in breathing. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should see their physician immediately and mention their potential rodent exposure.

To prevent HPS, public health officials recommend the following clean-up methods for areas that may have rodent activity:

  1. Prior to starting cleanup, open all door and windows, especially in areas that have been closed for an extended period such as a garage, storage shed or second homes that are not used year-round. Leave open for 30 minutes before cleaning and if possible, allow direct sunlight on the area.
  2. Do not stir up dust in the infested area by vacuuming, sweeping, or any other means. This will allow virus particles to go into the air, where they can be breathed in, and potentially causing infection.
  3. When rodent droppings or nests are found in and around the home, spray them liberally with a household disinfectant (such as one-part bleach to nine parts water) and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes. Any rodent droppings and rodent nests should be sprayed with a pesticide to kill fleas before disinfecting or disposing the carcasses.
  4. After disinfecting, wear rubber gloves and clean up the droppings with disposable materials such as paper towels, rags or disposable mop heads.
  5. Seal all materials, droppings or nests in double plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash.

Rodent-proof your home:

  1. Prevent rodents from entering the home by plugging or sealing all holes and gaps to the outside greater than 1/4-inch in diameter. Use steel wool, thick wire screen, metal flashing or cement to seal holes.
  2. Eliminate or reduce rodent shelter around the home by removing outdoor junk and clutter, and by moving woodpiles, lumber, hay bales etc., as far away from the house as possible.
  3. Do not make food easily available to rodents. Do not leave pet food in dishes and dispose of garbage in trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
  4. Prevent mice infestation inside your home with the use of traps and proper removal.

For more information regarding HPS, call the Coconino County Public Health Services District at 928-679-8750, toll-free at 877-679-7272 or visit