Historic Fort Tuthill Quad Dedication

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Parks & Recreation dedicated the Historic Fort Tuthill Quad Tuesday. The dedication celebrated the renovation of the Historic Quad, a site that served as the summer training facility of the Arizona National Guard from 1929-1948, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Renovation of the Historic Quad began in 2016 and was engineered by Peak Engineering and built by Kinney Construction Services.

“I want to thank voters of Coconino County for making the renovation of this historic site possible,” Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “This project shows that as a community, we greatly value our parks and open space. I’m proud that we could renovate this historic place to better represent the people who served our country at Fort Tuthill.”

The Historic Quad renovation upgraded the site’s infrastructure, including water, electricity and communication. Crews constructed several major drainage systems to accommodate water flow in the Quad so historic mess halls would be conserved. The electric was upgraded on-site and features connection points for special events. A public announcement system was also installed.

“The renovation of the Historic Quad at Fort Tuthill Park is a beautiful and historic addition to the other attractions and public private partnerships we have here,” said District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan. “I really hope people come out to see and enjoy all the park has to offer.”

The main entrance to the Historic Quad features two sections of concrete stamped with “USA WPA”. These are sections from the Works Progress Administration era of the Quad during the 1930s. Two of the historic fence columns that run along the eastern perimeter of Fort Tuthill County Park were moved to the Historic Quad. The 1930s era columns were salvaged from an ADOT roadway construction project and are located between the two buildings housing the Fort Tuthill Military Museum.

This project used funds from Coconino Parks and Open Space (CPOS) sales tax, a 1/8 cent sales tax approved by voters in 2002 that raised $33 million to acquire open space, develop parks, and make improvements to existing parks. As part of the ballot measure, voters approved to “complete restoration of historic portions of Fort Tuthill and continue fairgrounds improvements.” The project budget is $4.7 million.

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

AzCourtHelp.org earns international award

FLAGSTAFF — The National Association for Court Managers (NACM), in partnership with the International Association for Court Administration (IACA), awarded AzCourtHelp.org top honors for this year’s top 10 Court Technology Solutions Awards.

The awards are given each year to recognize courts that make the best use of technology to improve courts’ service and access to the public. AZCourtHelp.org was selected to receive the award over entries from Dubai, Rwanda and several other states within the U.S.

“I want to congratulate the courts for this great achievement and receiving this worldwide recognition,” said Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “It is the court system’s innovative ideas and dedication to the community which continually make our system more efficient and more accessible for everyone.”

AzCourtHelp.org offers free assistance to people who need help resolving disputes or have legal questions regarding divorce and custody, landlord/tenant issues, civil dispute and criminal charges. Residents outside of Flagstaff can participate due to an onsite and virtual legal self-help program which helps save time, effort and money to more fully understand their legal rights and obligations. It’s also helpful to self-represented litigants who would not have access to legal resources in their area.

Coconino County Superior Court and the Law Library are major stakeholders of AzCourtHelp.org and selected to pilot this program because of available resources and previous success with innovative programs. Other stakeholders that contributed to the development include:

• Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts
• The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education
• Arizona State Library, Archives, & Public Records
• The Office of the Arizona Attorney General
• The Department of Economic Security’s Division of Child Support Services

Free live webinars on popular topics are available at AzCourtHelp.org/public-events or you may attend in person at the Coconino County Law Library.

Registration open for Mormon Lake elk viewing workshop August 19

FLAGSTAFF — Ever wonder what it would be like to see hundreds of elk in one place at one time? That opportunity is possible during the elk viewing workshop hosted by the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience (AWWE) with support from the Game and Fish Department’s WOW (World of Wonder) program and Mormon Lake Lodge.

Workshop presentations are scheduled for 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. The workshop includes a presentation and a field trip to watch elk in their natural habitat near Mormon Lake.

Mormon Lake is unique as it is only one of two natural lakes found in Arizona. During the early fall, hundreds of elk can be observed at the site and along Lake Mary Road.

“The AWWE is a collaborative group represented by dedicated individuals from the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, U.S. Forest Service, the Arizona Wildlife Federation and the Game and Fish Department providing 30 watchable wildlife sites within 30 miles of Flagstaff,” said Betsy Emery with the City of Flagstaff. “This workshop is a great way for people to learn about AWWE and the watchable wildlife opportunities in Northern Arizona.”

The workshop will include a minimal fee of $10 per person and kids 12 years and under are free. Presentations are starting at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. Participants will attend a presentation, located in the Town Hall at Mormon Lake Lodge and also go on a field trip. The field trip location will be determined that day based on where the elk are observed.

Spotting scopes will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, water, snacks and appropriate clothing.

Anyone interested in registering for the workshop will need to go to the Game and Fish portal.

Mormon Lake Lodge is located about 25 miles south of Flagstaff (take Lake Mary Road and turn off on Mormon Lake Road). For directions, visit www.mormonlakelodge.com.

Fleas test positive for plague in additional location in Coconino County

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

CCPHSD is notifying area residents and the burrows, which are located on private property, will be treated. The area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

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.

Joint Land Use Study contract awarded

FLAGSTAFF — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors awarded MAKERS Architecture & Urban Design the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) contract during a regular board session this week.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment awarded Coconino County a $532,700 grant for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) earlier this year. The grant will be used to hire a consultant to provide recommendations for land uses that are compatible with the military missions of Camp Navajo and the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station while also supporting economic development and community values.

The County issued a request for proposals (RFP) soliciting consultants to perform the study in April, 2017. MAKERS submitted the most competitive proposal and after deliberation, the selection committee determined it had the best plan to meet the RFP requirements and community interests.

“We are pleased to have MAKERS working with the County, the City of Flagstaff and the community on this important study,” said Vice-Chair of the Board and District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan. “Our military installations are vital to our economic vitality and our national security and an integral part of Coconino County. It’s important that we all work together. MAKERS has a solid team of experienced professionals and is prepared to conduct the extensive public outreach we requested to develop recommendations.”

MAKERS will start the project by developing a detailed communications and feedback plan for public involvement that includes key stakeholders and community leaders.

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I want to thank all partners for their hard work on the JLUS project,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta.

City of Flagstaff Councilmember and Chair of the JLUS Policy Committee, Celia Barotz said, “I’m pleased MAKERS was awarded the JLUS contract and am enthusiastic about the upcoming stakeholder meetings and community conversations. Given the development pressures in the Flagstaff area, this study couldn’t have come at a better time.”

MAKERS is an award-winning architectural and urban design firm providing services to clients throughout the Pacific Northwest and the United States. Founded in 1972, the firm provides a client-oriented business approach stressing attention to project requirements, design quality and budget.

Investigation of Apparent Suicide at Walnut Canyon

FLAGSTAFF – On August 6 around 3:20 pm the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suicidal subject in the Walnut Canyon area. The subject had texted a friend that he could be found in a canyon east of Flagstaff beneath the island. He was suspected to be carrying a handgun.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, National Park Service Rangers, and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Ranger helicopter searched for the subject. Just before dark, he was located deceased within Walnut Canyon National Monument, a short distance from the Island Trail. On August 7 the Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue along with DPS Ranger performed the body recovery.

The deceased has been identified as Christopher Preston 49 year old male of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The subject had an apparent gunshot wound. The body has been released to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation on this matter.

Paving scheduled on Interstate 40 near Interstate 17 junction next week

FLAGSTAFF – Motorists traveling eastbound on Interstate 40 to Flagstaff should allow extra time while paving continues near the I-17 junction. Paving is scheduled from 2 a.m. to noon both Tuesday, August 8, and Wednesday, August 9. A single-lane restriction will be in place to accommodate work between mileposts 195 and 197, located one mile west of Butler Avenue.

Drivers should use caution and watch for construction personnel and equipment while paving is underway.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

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 https://www.cdc.gov/plague/.

Forest Service to Host Public Meetings for Arizona National Scenic Trail

Albuquerque, NM – The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture will host six public meetings in August throughout Arizona to discuss development of a comprehensive plan for the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

The comprehensive plan is being developed in partnership with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Parks, local governments, and the Arizona Trail Association. The plan will guide management of the trail for the next 15 to 20 years.

The Arizona National Scenic Trail stretches over 800 miles from Mexico to the Utah border. Thousands of hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and horseback riders enjoy the trail each year. It stretches through seven Arizona counties, four National Forests, one state park, four National Park Service sites including Grand Canyon National Park, and two Bureau of Land Management units. The Arizona National Scenic Trail was added to the National Trails System by Congress in 2009. It is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails nationwide.

“This trail has been a community project from day one,” said Laura White, Forest Service Trail Administrator. “We hope supporters of the trail will take this opportunity to help us craft a long-term vision for its management and protection.”

All public meetings are open house format and run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A short presentation on the plan will begin at 6 p.m. Meeting dates and locations are:

  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017
    Julia Randall Elementary School Gymnasium 600 S Green Valley Pkwy., Payson, Arizona
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2017
    Kanab City Library Multipurpose room, 374 N Main St., Kanab, Utah
  • Thursday, August 10, 2017
    Flagstaff Aquaplex Community Meeting Room A, 1702 N. Fourth St., Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    Patrick K. Hardesty Midtown Multi-Service Center, 1100 S Alvernon Way, Tucson, Arizona
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    Superior Chamber of Commerce, 165 Main St., Superior, Arizona
  • Thursday, August 17, 2017
    Pyle Adult Education Center – Multipurpose Room B, 655 E Southern Ave., Tempe, Arizona

Topics covered at each meeting include trail management, connectivity with local communities, access for recreation, and long-term protection. Attendees will be able to review the preliminary Forest Service proposed action and provide feedback.

The meetings are scheduled during a 60-day comment period that begin August 1.

Information on the Arizona National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/azt/land-resources-management/

The National Trails System is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. More information can be found at: https://www.trails50.org/

For more information on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, please contact Laura White at (520)-388-8328 or laurawhite@fs.fed.us.