Page area birth certificate services expanded

PAGE – The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) has expanded birth certificate services at the Northern Region Office located at 467 Vista Ave., Page, AZ.

Beginning in July, birth certificate services will be available:

Second Tuesday of each month from 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Second Wednesday of each month from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

“Many people never think about whether they have an official copy of their birth certificate until they need it. Birth certificate may be required to obtain a driver’s license, a marriage license, to get a passport, to enroll in school,” said CCPHSD Chief Health Officer Marie Peoples. “Getting a birth certificate now may save valuable time when it’s needed.”

CCPHSD offers certified birth certificates only for births that occurred in Arizona. The cost is $20 each. To obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate from another state, contact that state’s vital records office.

CCPHSD can only correct or amend records for births that occurred after 1997. For births that occurred prior to 1997, correction paperwork must be sent to the State Office of Vital Records. The cost is $30 and includes a birth certificate.

Birth certificate services are also available by mail and at other locations throughout the County. For more information, call the Coconino County Public Health Services District at 928-679-7272 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272 or visit

Life jacket exchange events taking place Saturday, July 8

PHOENIX — Have an old, worn out life jacket? Swap it for a new one. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 8, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is holding life jacket exchange events at four locations throughout the state:

Lake Pleasant — 10-lane boat ramp
Canyon Lake — main ramp
Lake Powell — Wahweap Marina
Lake Havasu City — Windsor Beach

During the exchanges, people with old, worn and less-effective life jackets can swap them for a new life jacket, while supplies last.

It’s important that boaters check to ensure that all of their life jackets are in good condition and that they are the right size and fit for passengers. On average in Arizona, life jackets should be replaced every five years.

“While state law requires that anyone 12 and under must wear a life jacket when out on the water, it’s a good idea for all boat and watercraft users to wear one,” said Josh Hoffman, Boating Safety Education coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Wear it. Don’t just store the life jacket on your boat to check the box.”

New life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting and are much cooler in the warmer weather.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported that in 2016 there were 4,463 recreational boating accidents, involving 701 deaths nationwide. In cases where the cause of death was known, 80 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned and of those, 83 percent were not wearing a life jacket. In Arizona, there were five deaths from boating accidents last year.

“Wearing a life jacket could very well save your life,” Hoffman said.

For more information on boating safety or to register for a hands-on or online safety course, visit and click “Boating Safety Education.”

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office joins Operation Dry Water to raise awareness about dangers of boating under the influence

PAGE – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase knowledge about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI). The goal is to reduce the number of accidents and deaths associated with alcohol and drug use on our waterways.

Operation Dry Water weekend, June 30-July 2, is the national weekend of amplified enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to our community and to the entire recreational boating community as part of the yearlong Operation Dry Water campaign to inform and educate boaters about the hazards and negative outcomes associated with boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Recreational boating is a fun and enjoyable activity. Consuming alcohol while on the water can hinder that experience and create a dangerous scenario for you, your friends and family, and others on the water. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water just as is does when driving a car, even more so because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, noise and the vibrations of the boat. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that you’ve got to stay safe and stay sober while underway.

As Operation Dry Water weekend and Independence Day approaches, law enforcement will be out on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office supports these efforts as they go a long way in ensuring the safety of recreational boaters and water sport enthusiasts.

Tips to staying safe on the water:

  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths*. Alcohol and drugs use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • Wear your life jacket. 83% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket*.
  • Take a boating safety education course. 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known*.

Boaters can take the pledge to boat safe and boat sober, and find more information about boating under the influence at

Investigation of Possible Homicide-Suicide Near Wahweap

PAGE – On June 2, 2017 at approximately 6:00 am the National Park Service Dispatch received a report of two deceased subjects near the Wahweap Swim Beach parking area of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Deputies from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, and National Park Service Rangers responded to the scene and located a 37 year old male and 25 year old female subject from the Page area deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. The deceased have been identified as Raelle Begay and Matthew Franklin both of Page, AZ.

There are no outstanding suspects or concerns for public safety at this time. The incident is being investigated as a possible homicide suicide.

Due to the close proximity of the Utah/Arizona state line, this incident is being investigated through coordinated efforts of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office, Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office, and the National Park Service.

Additional details are not available at this time, but will be provided via similar joint media releases as the investigation continues.

Page hosts 2nd Annual Regional Economic Outlook Conference

PAGE — Coconino County District 5 Supervisor Lena Fowler and the Page Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2nd annual Regional Economic Development Outlook Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Inform, Engage, Act.”

Over 100 participants from across northern Arizona listened to presentations by Supervisor Fowler, Page Mayor Bill Diak, Dr. Wade Rousse from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and others. John Stigmon of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECONA) moderated the day-long event and presented.

“This conference was another tremendous success thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many people,” said Supervisor Fowler. “As people who care about our sense of place and where we come from, we must continue to think of ways we can keep families together and people living here. The people at this conference came up with so many great ideas so that we can continue to work for a prosperous future.”

An education panel with representatives from NAU, Coconino County Community College, Dine College and Navajo Technical Institute discussed the formation of the Page Higher Education Center. Entrepreneurs and business owners in the region also shared the challenges and opportunities of running a small business.

Participants of the conference were encouraged to share information, generate ideas and strategies for future economic development for northern Arizona and the Page region. Stakeholders were challenged to come up with a vision with the impending closure of Navajo Generating Station.

Add time for travel to Page on US 89 Wednesday and Thursday

PAGE – Motorists traveling on US 89 to Page should allow extra time while surface sealant is applied on a nine-mile segment of the roadway just south of Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Work will occur between mileposts 537 and 546 during daylight hours Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18.

The roadway will be reduced to one lane with a pilot car guiding alternating traffic through the work zone. Drivers should observe reduced speed limits and watch for construction personnel and equipment in the work zone.

Sheriff’s Office Investigates Death of Man at Horseshoe Bend

PAGE – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a Scottsdale, Arizona man at a tourist attraction about 5 miles south of Page, Arizona.

On Sunday May 7, 2017, around 9:00 AM rangers from the National Park Service at Glen Canyon located a phone and water bottle at the cliffs edge of Horseshoe Bend and notified the Sheriff’s Office of the suspicious items.

Sheriff’s Deputies from the Page office responded to the area. Deputies and Rangers looked over the edge and saw what they believed was a possible human body 600 to 800 feet down the cliff wall. NPS Rangers summonsed the assistance of Classic Helicopters out of Page to fly officers down into the canyon. A Sheriff’s deputy was flown in and confirmed there was a deceased male.

Deputies and detectives investigated the ownership of the phone found on top and determined the phone belonged to a 34-year-old male from Scottsdale, Arizona. Deputies were able to locate the vehicle owned by the man in parking lot of Horseshoe Bend.

Around 6:00 PM, the Page Police Department was notified by the subject’s girlfriend, reporting he was missing and may be in the Page area and maybe suicidal. He had communicated with his girlfriend around 7:30 PM Saturday night that he was at Horseshoe Bend. On Sunday, the girlfriend found some written communication left at their home in Scottsdale indicating he was contemplating suicide.

The body was removed from the area by helicopter and turned over to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Stranded hiker rescued near Page

BITTER SPRINGS – Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue and DPS Air Rescue helicopter rescued a lone stranded female hiker from cliffs east of Bitter Springs.

On Sunday April 30th, at approximately 4:30 pm Coconino county Sheriff’s Office received a request for a rescue in the Bitter Springs Area. The hiker, an adult Female from Page, Arizona had been hiking alone on a back-country route of Echo Peak when she went off trail and became stuck on a cliff.

The Stranded Female called in to the National Park Service requesting help. The area was outside of the National Park, so Park Service contacted the Sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s Deputies from Page, AZ responded to the area. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded from Flagstaff. The Sheriff’ s office also requested assistance from Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Helicopter from Flagstaff.

The DPS helicopter and a Search and Rescue Short Haul Technician, were able to successfully rescue the female from the cliff face shortly before dark. the female did not require any medical attention and was transported back to her vehicle by Sheriff’s Deputies.

Page to host a meeting Friday concerning the proposed closure of the Navajo Generating Station

PAGE – On Friday, April 28th, the City of Page will host a meeting with Arizona State Legislators concerning the proposed closure of the Navajo Generating Station. The meeting will be held at the Page Lake View Elementary School; 1801 N Navajo Dr (Map) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Page officials, County Supervisor Lena Fowler and Navajo County Assistant County Manager, Bryan Layton will make a presentation to the legislators on insights, economic information, and pertinent valuable details related to the proposed closing of the Navajo Generating Station. The Chairman of the Hopi Tribe and two Navajo Nation Chapter Presidents will also be present.

The State Legislators are most interested in exploring alternative economic means to lessen the plant closure, as well as to learn from various subject-matter specialists what economic decisions will have to be made, and how the Arizona Legislators may be of service to the region.

A press release from the City of Page states:

The Mayor and Page City Officials have already begun the process of looking into economic matters, and developing a clear and candid reporting for the legislators. City of Page officials are not sitting back, but being proactive as we face the challenges directly ahead.

Rescue of Hikers in Waterholes Canyon

PAGE – On March 12, 2017 at approximately 8:45 PM the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and its Search and Rescue Unit responded to a report of two overdue hikers in Waterholes Canyon south of Page, AZ. Two male hikers who began their hike into the canyon at approximately 12:00 PM failed to return to their car as expected. Deputies, with the assistance of a Classic Lifeguard helicopter from Page found the hikers in the canyon between two different rappels. The hikers were stranded and were unable to move up or down canyon. They were ill equipped for their hike and did not have adequate clothing, food, or water.

Search and Rescue teams arrived at approximately 12:30 AM and hiked to the rim above the hikers. A supply kit containing warm clothing, food, water, bivouac sack, hot packs, and a radio was lowered to the hikers. It was confirmed by radio conversation that the hikers were not injured but were stranded. Due to onset of darkness and the risk of a nighttime rescue operation, it was determined that further rescue would wait until daylight. Search and Rescue personnel bivouacked on the rim above the hikers location until daylight.

At daylight the Search and Rescue team established artificial anchors and lowered a rescuer to the hikers’ location. One at a time the hikers were raised to the rim of the canyon using a mechanical advantage rope system. Once at the top of the rim the hikers were evaluated; both refused additional medical care. They were then reunited with the rest of their party.

Later that same day, our deputies in Page, AZ assisted Navajo Police Department in rescuing a teenage girl who had been climbing near the same area.

The Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind hikers entering northern Arizona canyons to be aware of their surroundings and take the appropriate equipment and clothing for the trip. Some canyons require down climbing or rappelling and hikers should be prepared to ascend sections that they have previously descended. While the temperatures during the day may be warm, once the sun sets, the canyon environment can become cold rapidly. Weather should always be evaluated when entering a canyon. Rain upstream from also can cause dangerous flash flooding in canyons.