Coconino County honors Williams Vikings

FLAGSTAFF – The accolades for the Arizona State champion Williams Vikings continues. Coconino County declared December 5 as Williams Vikings Day in Coconino County by proclamation.

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.

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 www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps.

Supervisors update Winter Parking Ordinance

FLAGSTAFF — The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve Winter Parking Ordinance 2017-11 during a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 7. The new ordinance requires parking restrictions from County maintained rights-of-way during snow season and for the enforcement of parking restrictions either by citation or towing.

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 11-251, the County Board of Supervisors may manage public roads within the County, as well as, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 11-251.05, adopt all ordinances necessary or proper to carry into effect such powers.

“This ordinance will allow the County to better manage issues associated with winter recreation,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Ryan. “This is another tool the County can use to help navigate winter challenges.”

The Board of Supervisors has amended the ordinance to state that between Nov. 1 – April 1 of each year, motor vehicles must be kept clear of County maintained rights of way. Any vehicle parked in such prohibited areas reserves the right to be cited or towed at the owner’s expense (not less than $200.00) due to the possibility of threatening the health or welfare of County residents. Penalties are applicable where violations take place and where signed.

Winter recreation in Coconino County has resulted in increased parking and traffic congestion, littering and other dangerous hazards that negatively impact the health, safety and welfare of residents of the County who live and/or own property adjacent to County highways and roads. Over 80 signs will be disbursed to identified roadways to reinforce the new ordinance.

“I want to thank the community for addressing the challenges of peak winter recreation events in Coconino County,” said District 1 Supervisor Art Babbott. “This new ordinance provides a legal foundation to better serve and protect our neighborhoods and communities. Moving this forward was an important objective of the Community Winter Recreation Task Force to improve safety along County maintained roads and complements the new ADOT no parking signage on the Highway 180 corridor.”

It is a primary responsibility of the County to keep County owned, or maintained, rights -of-way reasonably clear of snow and provide major access for emergency vehicles. Most motor vehicles left parked in the streets become a hazard, both to the County snow removal equipment and to the owner of the vehicle.

Free firewood giveaway at Fort Tuthill County Park

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Parks & Recreation is offering a free firewood giveaway to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday, November 18, at Fort Tuthill County Park near the archery range. The firewood giveaway is a result of recent forest thinning efforts to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

Approximately 25 cords of pine will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The wood will not be ready to burn this winter because it was cut this fall and is green. The wood is cut to firewood length (approximately 18” or less), but not split.

Future firewood giveaways will be in conjunction with local service organizations and chapter houses and will occur after November 18.

For more information on Coconino County Parks and Recreation: http://www.coconino.az.gov/parks.

District 3 County Supervisor Matt Ryan named Board Chair

FLAGSTAFF — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors named District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan as the next chair of the Board. He replaces District 2 Supervisor Liz Archuleta.

Ryan said he was looking forward to finishing out the 2017 as chair and serving the people of Coconino County.

“I’m enthusiastic about taking on this role for the County and feel privileged to have the support of my fellow supervisors,” said Supervisor Ryan, “I want to thank Supervisor Archuleta for providing such great leadership over the past 11 months. As a board, we will work to better the lives of our constituents. I look forward to continuing discussions on zoning and subdivision ordinances, ensuring resource conservation and continuing to focus on improving the County’s infrastructure. We will work to provide overall safety and ensure access to services for Coconino County citizens.”

The Board also named District 5 Supervisor Lena Fowler as vice-chair. Ryan and Fowler began their leadership roles November 7.

“It was truly an honor to serve as Chairwoman of the Board and being able to share the excellent work of the County,” said outgoing Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “I’m proud of what we accomplished as a board over the past year as we improved service delivery, focused on customer service and enacted several justice reform initiatives. I am most proud of the County’s adoption of the Fair Chance Initiative, Ban the Box. This will give people who struggle to find work after incarceration an opportunity to apply for work with Coconino County without the negative stigma immediately associated with checking the criminal history box.”

Coconino County Offices closed Veterans Day

FLAGSTAFF — All Coconino County offices will be closed Friday, November 10 in observance of Veterans Day.

While the administrative offices at the Sheriff’s Office will be closed, Dispatch, Patrol and Detention will conduct business as usual. Records will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please dial 9-1-1 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, dial 928-774-4523 to connect with the non-emergency Dispatch number or to leave a message for one of the administrative offices.

Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) Animal Management will have an officer available from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 10, 2017. Contact the CCPHSD Animal Management office at 928-679-8756 to leave a message and an officer will return the call. Please call 9-1-1 for any emergencies.

Coconino County’s parks and natural areas will remain open during the holiday, but administrative offices at Fort Tuthill will be closed and limited staff or services will be available. The Fort Tuthill Bike Park is open. Drinking water has been turned off at all parks, but bathrooms are still available at Raymond, Peaks View and Sawmill County Parks. Water and bathrooms are available at Louise Yellowman County Park, located in Tuba City.

Adult Probation Department issues Naloxone for opioid emergencies

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Adult Probation Department recently issued Naloxone to all probation officers. Naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan) is an opioid reversal drug used in suspected opioid overdoses.

The department trained all officers to recognize suspected opioid overdoses and how to correctly administer naloxone in the field. While numbers of reported overdoses are low in Coconino County, officers are now equipped to address them.

“Our probation officers routinely conduct home and field contacts with our clients, many of whom suffer from substance use disorders,” said Chief Probation Officer Sarah Douthit. “We wish to ensure that our officers are equipped to deal with crisis overdose situations with the hopes that we never have to deploy these resources. We believe in treatment and recovery and work with our clients to develop treatment plans to overcome addiction. This is one more tool to help in the community in which we live and work.”

In June 2017, Governor Doug Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency to address the State’s ongoing fight against opioid abuse. Working with the legislature and the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Opioid Action Plan was created. Part of this plan created a DHS program to train and equip first responders with life-saving doses of naloxone at no cost to qualifying agencies.

Subaru donates delivery vehicle for Meals on Wheels

FLAGSTAFF – Subaru of America, Inc. donated a 2018 Subaru Outback to Coconino County Community Services Department in partnership with Meals on Wheels America. Keeping with its commitment to support local communities nationwide, Subaru of America and Flagstaff Subaru will present the vehicle to Coconino County during a special ceremony on November 6.

Each month, Coconino County Community Services drives an average of 2,515 miles to deliver meals, and the donated 2018 Subaru Outback will be rotated between all routes helping staff and volunteers to reach a total of 64 seniors and serve 1344 meals each month. The donated 2018 Subaru Outback is wrapped with Meals on Wheels America and ‘Subaru Loves to Help’ co-branding.

The public is invited to the ceremony at Flagstaff Subaru, 4910 E. Marketplace Drive.

Innovative job training program launches this month

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Career Center is launching an innovative job-training program this month to reach individuals ages 16 to 24 who are not in school and not working. StartHere offers these individuals training, resources, mentors, internships and jobs with community businesses.

The initiative kicks off at 2 p.m., October 19, in Bushmaster Park with a public celebration with food, T-shirt giveaways, pickup basketball and a hands-on spray chalk gallery.

“The County is reaching out to individuals who are not in school and not working, and providing a supportive environment for them,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “We will facilitate a training program to connect the youth with local businesses so they can get job experience and learn new skills. This will empower these individuals to grow into an integral part of our community.”

The Career Center is building a network of community support for the program to help individuals gain work experience and exposure to career paths. StartHere has identified six career pathways in growing fields to train program participants in: manufacturing, property maintenance, health care, commercial driving, computer information technology and an exploratory option for undecided individuals.

“There is a shortage in skilled labor across the U.S., and Flagstaff is no different,” said Nestlé Purina Human Resources Manager Jeff Springborn. “As our long-time employees begin to retire, there is a high demand for new skilled workers in manufacturing. Because of this, we recognize that promoting and providing opportunities for training and career development is vital for the sustainable growth of our business and the manufacturing industry.”

Workforce Development Board Member, and Flagstaff Mayor, Coral Evans has been a champion for disconnected youth through her work with the County in the past and is a strong advocate for the new initiative. “I’m really excited about it, it’s long overdue. We live in a world where we expect everyone to graduate from high school and go to college. A lot of us don’t take that direct route. I didn’t. StartHere allows those individuals who don’t fit into a neat box of expectations to grow and take a direct hand in who they are going to be.”

StartHere will be funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) established by the federal government in 2014 to serve disconnected youth who are 16 to 24 years old, are not in school and not working.

“We are implementing a unique public awareness campaign to reach these young people where they are,” said Coconino County Career Center Director Carol Curtis.

For more information, call 928.525.4642 or visit StartHere.jobs.