Child Dies After Boating Accident Near Navajo Canyon

NAVAJO CANYON, Arizona – National Park Service Dispatch at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area received a report on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at approximately 5:20 p.m., of an accident in which a six-month old boy received major head trauma. It was reported the accident happened when a houseboat was trying to dock on a beach in the area of Navajo Canyon, approximately 12 miles from Antelope Point Marina. Reports are that when the boat struck the beach an adult fell on the child. The vessel had 13 people on board, including several small children.

National Park Service Rangers were patrolling in the area at the time of the incident and responded immediately. While transporting the infant by boat to Antelope Point Marina, emergency first aid was provided, including rescue breaths and chest compressions. With the assistance of the Page Fire Department, the child was transported to the Page Hospital for further evaluation.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Page Hospital to conduct an investigation into the incident. The child was flown to the Salt Lake City Children’s Hospital. During the early morning hours of September 18, the child was pronounced dead. The family resides in Bluffdale, Utah.

This incident is under investigation by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.

Coconinco County Deputies Respond to Lake Powell Injuries and Damages from Microburst

PAGE – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of injuries on Lake Powell due to a microburst in Page. High winds and heavy rains hit Page about 12:50 yesterday. Multiple injuries reported were reported that include two reports of overturned houseboats and dozens of swamped and sinking powerboats and jet skis. Most of the injuries and boat damage occurred on the Utah side of Lake Powell.

Classic Lifeguard Air Rescue was unable to respond during the high winds, but was able to launch later and transported patients off the lake. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded with two patrol boats to assist the National Park Service and Utah State Parks Rangers.

Assessor visits Page Community Center

FLAGSTAFF – Assessor Armando J. Ruiz will hold a meeting at the Page Community Center at noon, Monday, August 21 to discuss property tax assistance and exemptions for senior citizens. Assessor Ruiz will present information regarding the Senior Property Valuation Protection Program and other programs that seniors may take advantage of.

“Seniors that meet the eligibility requirement for the program have their property values frozen for three years, meaning the value used to calculate taxes for their home cannot increase whatsoever for three years, which has the effect of reducing the amount of taxes low-income Seniors pay,” said Assessor Ruiz. “This program offers a significant benefit to our constituents who are on a fixed-income and need help with their property tax bill.

Assessor Ruiz is presenting on programs offered by the Assessor’s office while the Page Community Center serves lunch. Staff will be available to assist seniors fill out and process their application starting at noon, Aug. 21, at the Page Community Center, 699 S. Navajo Dr., Page, AZ 86040.

For further questions about property tax assistance, call the Assessor’s office toll free at 877-679-7120 or visit http://www.coconino.az.gov/Assessor.

Cliff Jumping Accident August 14

PAGE – On the afternoon of August 14, 2017, National Park Service Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dispatch received a report of a cliff jumping accident at Anchovy Point on Lake Powell in Coconino County, Arizona. Anchovy Point is a popular area for swimming and fishing and can be accessed from shore. It is located between the Glen Canyon Dam and the Wahweap Marina.

A 25-year old male reportedly attempted a cliff jump of approximately 30 feet. Two witnesses accompanying the victim stated that after entering the water he resurfaced and attempted to swim but experienced difficulty due to the wind and wave conditions. The victim has been identified as Erick Kallestewa of Hotevilla, Arizona.

Assisting at the scene of the accident were National Park Service personnel and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. A private vessel on scene assisted, who had witnessed one of the subjects attempting to rescue the victim. All three subjects were from Hotevilla, Arizona.

Due to the water depth in excess of 170 feet, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was dispatched to the area. Search efforts resumed during daylight hours on August 15. At approximately 10:45 a.m., Kallestewa’s body was recovered by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dive Team and ROV specialists.

The incident is currently under investigation by the National Park Service, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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 www.coconino.az.gov/birthcertificates.

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 www.azgfd.gov/boating 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 operationdrywater.org.

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.