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.

Coconino Sheriff’s Office Leads Multi-Agency Response to Two Separate Rescues

FLAGSTAFF – At approximately 1:20 pm Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a 70 year-old female with a broken ankle in West Clear Creek near the Maxwell Trailhead which located approximately 55 miles south of Flagstaff. Members of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit are currently responding and conducting a coordinated rescue effort assisted by hotshot crew personnel from the Coconino National Forest and Blue Ridge Fire Department.

Also occurring at this time, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Search and Rescue Unit are responding to a report of a male subject injured from what was reported to be an approximate 30 foot fall. The subject fell while climbing near Water Holes Canyon which is southwest of Page. This call came in at approximately 3:40 pm.

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.

Several Recent Multi-Agency Winter Related Rescues in Northern Arizona

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies and Search and Rescue Unit responded to five snow related rescues over this past weekend.

On Friday January 20, 2017 deputies responded to a female in medical distress who was stranded in the snow when the all-terrain vehicle she and her companion were driving became stuck in the snow. The female and her male friend had gone for an ATV ride off Slayton Ranch Road north east of Flagstaff when they got their UTV stuck in deep snow on a hill. The couple had a disagreement and the male walked away to get help.

The female who was pregnant and had other medical conditions began to suffer from hypothermia and experience various degrees of consciousness. Deputies aided by citizens with ATV’s attempted to reach the female victim, but were unsuccessful due to the deep snow. A deputy was able to hike to the female and began to render aid until Search and Rescue personnel and a medic from Guardian Ambulance were able to get to the victim by way of a specialized tracked UTV. The female was transported to a waiting ground ambulance and transported to Flagstaff Medical Center where she was admitted for treatment of hypothermia.

On Saturday January 21, 2017 Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to a subject who had become stuck in chest deep snow while snowboarding in the back county on the south side of the San Francisco Peaks. Two ski patrol personnel from the Arizona Snowbowl responded from the top of the mountain with snowshoes, while nine Search and Rescue volunteers responded from the Kachina Trail. Ski patrol made contact with the victim and were able to assist him down the mountain to the Freidlein Prairie Road to Search and Rescue’s waiting snow cat. The subject was transported back to the Snowbowl and re-united with his party.

On Sunday January 22, 2017 Coconino County Deputies and Search and Rescue began a search for two overdue snowmobilers in the Jacob Lake area. Two subjects had checked into Jacob Lake Lodge and left the area for a snowmobile trip to an unknown destination. When the subjects had not returned by late that evening, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted. Deputies contacted a flight crew from Classic Air Medical out of Page who were in Flagstaff at the time. The flight crew agreed to fly the Jacob Lake area on their trip back to their base.

The flight crew located two snowmobiles headed toward Jacob Lake on the Ryan Road. The subjects made it back to Jacob Lake prior to sunrise. They reported they snowmobiled to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, but on the return trip they encountered deep snow. Their snowmobiles became stuck in the deep snow requiring them to dig out the machines and delaying their return. Neither of them required medical attention.

On Monday January 23, 2017 the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a snowboarder who was in the back country and had suffered a possible broken leg. The subject left the ski area of the Arizona Snowbowl and entered the back country on the south side of the San Francisco Peaks. The subject jumped an unknown object and fractured his leg. Four ski patrollers from Arizona Snowbowl and 13 Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers responded to the area.

The ski patrol descended from the top of the mountain with a toboggan while Search and Rescue responded from Freidlein Prairie Road in a snow cat. Ski patrol located the victim, provided initial treatment and prepared the subject for transport. Search and Rescue personnel hiked uphill from Freidlein Prairie to break trail for the ski patrol’s descent. The patient was safely transported by toboggan to the Search and Rescue snow cat and transported to a waiting ambulance.

Monday January 23, 2017 evening, the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue responded to assist the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZ DPS) with a tour bus that had become stuck in mud just off the highway. Around 4:00 PM the AZ DPS received a call of a tour bus stuck just off Hwy 180 on Forest Road 417. Troopers responded to the area and found the bus driver had followed his GPS directing an alternate route to Page, AZ. The bus became stuck in the mud about four miles off the highway. The bus was fully loaded with 45 tourists from South Korea. Highway 180 was closed at the time due to drifting snow in Kendrick Park.

The rescue of the tourists was further affected by one of the series of snow storms that hit the area around 5:00 PM. The storm resulted in a quick accumulation of six to eight inches of snow in the area. DPS began shuttling the tourists to a staging area near the highway using several of their four wheel drive patrol vehicles. A citizen also assisted in shuttling the bus passengers. Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue arranged for a bus and three employees from the Williams Unified School District to transport the tourists to a local motel.

BOAT SAFE, BOAT SMART, BOAT SOBER

Coconino County Sheriff Photo.

Coconino County Sheriff Photo.

PAGE — On Saturday, August 13th 2016 law enforcement agencies in Northern Coconino County will be conducting an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and boating safety checkpoint at Lake Powell from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. In an effort to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and drug involved boat collisions, OUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the waterways as well as to inform and educate the public of the dangers of impaired boating.

OUI checkpoints are a proven-effective method for achieving this goal. By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Game and Fish Department believe boaters can be deterred from operating watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, members of the boating community are encouraged to ensure their vessels are properly outfitted with required safety equipment to ensure a safe voyage.

Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vessels may be checked for safety equipment and operators who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested. Our objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering operating a watercraft after consuming alcohol or drugs-Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober! Deputies of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will partner with Officers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Page Police Department. It is our desire that this two pronged approach of public awareness/education and strict enforcement will allow boating enthusiasts to have an enjoyable and safe recreational experience in Coconino County.

Safe boating recreation is a must, and everyone should take a minute and remember to check your boats, personal watercraft and all equipment before launching at your favorite lake or waterway. Make sure you have all required safety equipment, such as proper fitting life jackets and working fire extinguishers.

Fish Lake Powell

AZGFD Photo

AZGFD Photo

PAGE — Lake Powell can be an angler’s dream this time of year for striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and walleye. With around 1,750 miles of shoreline, you can sometimes go days without seeing another angler … unless you want to.