Summer ramada reservations available for County parks

FLAGSTAFF – County Parks and Recreation will begin accepting summer ramada reservations on February 20, 2018. There are 11 ramadas at four County parks available for rent.

Ramadas are used to host parties, reunions and get-togethers. They are available for rent seven days a week, for half or full days. Reserving a ramada for a party or special occasion will guarantee space and ensure utilities are active.

Customers may reserve a ramada online by going to coconino.az.gov/parks/ramadas. People may also reserve them by going to the Parks and Recreation Administration office located at Fort Tuthill County Park, 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Prices range from $46-$114 for ramada rentals. A staff member will follow up with a confirmation within one business day. For reservations less than 24 hours in advance or questions, please call the Administration office at (928) 679-8000.

Victim of Kachina Village homicide identified

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Sheriff’s office has identified the victim of the February 9 homicide in Kachina Village. The victim is 53-year-old Timothy Scott Larson, a resident of Kachina Village.

The incident is still under investigation and no additional information is available at this time.

If anyone has information regarding the incident, please contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-338-7888 (option 1 to speak to a Dispatcher or Deputy) or 928-774-4523 (option 1

Coconino County Offices closed in honor of President’s Day

FLAGSTAFF — All Coconino County administrative offices will be closed February 19, 2018 in honor of President’s Day.

While the administrative offices at the Sheriff’s Office will be closed, Dispatch, Patrol and Detention will be open. 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.

In the event of a snow storm or other impactful weather during the holiday, County Public Works crews will be deployed to keep County roadways open and passable.

Coconino County’s parks and natural areas will remain open, but administrative offices at Fort Tuthill County Park will be closed and no staff or services will be available. Drinking fountains and hose spigots have been turned off at all parks, but bathrooms are still available at Raymond County Park, Peaks View County Park, and Sawmill County Park. Water and bathrooms are available at Louise Yellowman County Park, located in Tuba City.

Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) Animal Management will have an officer available from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. February 19, 2018. Contact the CCPHSD Animal Management office at 928-679-8756 and leave a message and an officer will respond. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Homicide in Kachina Village

FLAGSTAFF – On Friday February 9, 2018, at 4:40 pm, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to Gambel Oak Trail in Kachina Village after receiving a report of a fight in progress. Deputies located an unconscious male who was later pronounced dead. One suspect is in custody and the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

On February 9, 2018 at 4:40 pm, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a resident in the Kachina Village community reporting what the person believed to be a fight in progress taking place on Gambel Oak Trail, a street located behind the caller’s house. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area and located an unresponsive male lying in the middle of the roadway on Gambel Oak. The victim was being guarded by an aggressive dog which was ultimately removed from the scene by a neighbor who knew the dog.

Deputies on scene performed CPR on the victim until Highlands Fire personnel arrived on scene and continued lifesaving efforts. Lifesaving efforts were not successful and the subject was pronounced deceased.

During lifesaving efforts, deputies were able to identify a possible suspect. The suspect was ultimately taken into custody and booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility on one count of Homicide 2nd Degree.

The suspect is 28-year-old Collin Tarr of Kachina Village. He is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.

No other suspects are believed to be involved at this time. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation. Further information will be made available as it is available.

County announces 2018 Spelling BEE

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County’s top 21 spellers will compete at the County Spelling BEE this weekend. The County BEE will begin at 10 a.m. on February 10 in Coconino High School’s mini-auditorium at 2801 N. Izabel St., Flagstaff.

The 2018 Coconino County Spelling BEE consists of home, public, charter and private school students from throughout the County who won their school or district Spelling BEE. Each year the Rotary Clubs from Flagstaff, Grand Canyon and Williams school districts donate the monetary prizes for the top three spellers. The clubs also provide experienced, qualified judges who determine if the contestants have spelled the words correctly.

The winner of the County Spelling BEE will advance to compete with 26 other top spellers at the state level. The Arizona Educational Foundation State Spelling Bee is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 24 at AZ PBS, 500 N. Central Ave., Sixth Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004. The winner of the state bee will represent Arizona at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May or early June of 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The County Spelling BEE is coordinated and hosted annually by the County Superintendent of Schools Office. Spectators are welcome to attend.

For information please contact Elizabeth Sorg at (928) 679-8070 or e-mail esorg@coconino.az.gov.

Property Tax Exemption Programs

FLAGSTAFF – The Assessor’s office is now accepting applications for the Widow/Widower and Disability Property Tax Exemption Programs.

Arizona law offers several property tax exemption programs for individuals. This program reduces the taxable value used to calculate an individual’s property tax bill. These programs are designed for widow/widowers and disabled persons, although there is an income limitation. The deadline to apply for an individual exemption is April 1, 2018.

“In Coconino County, we have worked collaboratively with the Treasurer and Community Services to notify homeowners of these programs with great success,” said Assessor Armando Ruiz, “This year we will continue our Mobile Service Days, in which we provide services in many of our communities throughout the County. This is a great opportunity for residents to come ask questions, apply for exemptions and find more about the great services our offices have to offer.”

Application Information:

Widow/Widower Exemption:

  • Must be a resident of Arizona
  • Resided with your spouse in Arizona at the time of the spouse’s death or come to Arizona before 1969
  • Meet the income and property valuation qualifications

Disability Exemption:

  • Must be over the age of 17
  • Certified 100 percent totally and permanently disabled by a doctor
  • Meet the income and property valuation qualifications

Income Qualifications for 2018:

$32,447 for an individual or $38,926 for a household. Some sources of income such as VA benefits and Federal Social Security may be excluded from the exemption income limitations

To speak with the Assessor regarding the property tax exemption programs, please call the Assessor’s office toll free at (877) 679-7120, visit the Assessor’s office at 110 E. Cherry Ave in downtown Flagstaff or visit a Mobile Service Day location near you.

Joint Land Use Study Community Meeting

FLAGSTAFF – The public is invited to attend a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) meeting on February 6. There will be a presentation at 6:15pm with opportunities for the public to ask questions and provide feedback.

The project team will summarize project goals and present an initial list of compatibility issues and shared interests between United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS), Arizona Army National Guard Camp Navajo (Camp Navajo), and local municipalities. Coconino County, the City of Flagstaff, NOFS and Camp Navajo are working together to conduct the JLUS, a cooperative planning process that promotes compatibility between community development and the minimization of military operations on adjacent communities.

WHAT: Joint Land Use Study Community Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, February 6, 2018. from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Ponderosa Fire Dist. Station 82, 11951 W Shadow Mountain Drive, Bellemont
WHO: The public is invited.

See www.coconinojlus.com for further details and information on upcoming events.

Free flu shots offered at CCPHSD Clinic

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) is offering free seasonal flu shots (while supplies last) at the CCPHSD Clinic in Flagstaff. To schedule an appointment, call the Clinic at 928-679-7222 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272.

Influenza (flu) activity continues to increase in Coconino County. Health Officials recommend that individuals who have not received a flu vaccination get one now. Getting a flu shot can reduce the risk of getting the illness and lessen the severity of the symptoms and complications associated with the flu.

An additional 103 cases were reported from Jan. 14 – 20, bringing the total number of confirmed flu cases in Coconino County through Jan. 20 to 527. This total is higher than the five-year average of 109 confirmed cases during the same period. The number of flu cases reported represents a small proportion of the true number because many people do not seek medical care and do not get tested.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. It is strongly recommended that everyone 6-months old and over get a flu shot each year.

It’s especially important that the following groups get a flu vaccination either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than 2-years old
  • Children with special healthcare needs
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes and can cause death.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu shot, good health habits will help you stay well. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:

  • Wash your hands frequently during the flu season.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth with your upper sleeve or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Don’t share eating utensils, cups and straws.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Additional information is available at www.coconino.az.gov/health. Contact your healthcare provider or call the Coconino County Public Health Services District Clinic at 928-679-7222 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272.

Annual bald eagle event set for Flagstaff January 27

FLAGSTAFF — Did you know that Arizona is visited by over 200 bald eagles during the winter?

To learn more about these amazing birds and to see live eagles, the public is invited to attend the Annual Bald Eagle Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Willow Bend Environmental Educational Center at 703 E. Sawmill Road in Flagstaff.

Several programs will be offered during this year’s event, which is hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, and the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience (AWWE).

The cost for the event is $10 per participant for each program or free for Willow Bend Members. All programs, except field trip, will be held at Willow Bend. The day will also include an opportunity to see live bald eagles up close and a chance to talk with dedicated individuals from Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation.

  • 8-10 a.m. – “Early Birds” Field Trip: Join wildlife biologists for an early morning field trip searching for wild bald eagles and local waterfowl around Lower Lake Mary south of Flagstaff. The meeting location will be provided when you register. Personal transport is required and carpooling encouraged. In case of inclement weather field trip will be cancelled.
  • 10-11 a.m. – “Eaglets” Family Presentation: A family-focused interactive program especially designed for families with young children (ages 4-12 years old). Learn about and view live eagles.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – “First Flight” Community Presentation 1: Learn about the incredible bald eagle from an Arizona Game and Fish biologist and view live eagles up close. The presentation is open to all ages. Please note this is the same presentation as the 1 p.m. session. Please only sign up for one presentation.
  • 1-2 p.m. – “Fully Fledged” Community Presentation 2: Learn about the incredible bald eagle from an Arizona Game and Fish biologist and view live eagles up close. The presentation is open to all ages.

“Educating people about wildlife, conservation and management is a goal for Willow Bend and Arizona Game and Fish,” says Moran Henn, Willow Bend director. “We are very excited to be partnering with Game and Fish, AWWE, and Liberty Wildlife for this year’s event.”

To register for one of the programs offered or for more information, visit www.willowbendcenter.org.

Safest decision when snow is forecast? Put off driving

PHOENIX – Because of the rapidly changing nature of winter storms, the Interstate 40 grade west of Williams got so much snow in brief period overnight Tuesday that the freeway temporarily closed.

This illustrates one of the central messages of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Know Snow campaign: If you can put off driving when snow is expected to be falling, do so. The amount of snowfall can exceed initial forecasts and be especially heavy in areas that make driving an even greater challenge in winter weather, as is the case with Ash Fork Hill on I-40 between State Route 89 and Williams.

In addition to the obvious safety risks, slide-offs and crashes on highways slick with snow and ice can tax first responders, exacerbate traffic backups and make it more difficult and time-consuming for ADOT snowplow drivers to clear roadways. For the snow that began Tuesday night, slide-offs and crashes also occurred on Interstate 17, which remained open but slowed to a crawl in areas.

When driving on a slick roadway, the keys to safety include slowing down, leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and the one ahead, and avoiding sudden braking that can result in a skid.

Those looking to head north this weekend to play in snow should park in designated areas and keep in mind that highway shoulders for emergencies only. Parking on a highway shoulder can endanger you, your passengers and other drivers. In addition, first responders may need to use the shoulder.

ADOT has installed 24 signs at higher elevations of US 180 northwest of Flagstaff to remind drivers that shoulders are for emergencies.

Those traveling to popular snow-play areas should leave prepared to spend significant time in winter weather, as traffic at day’s end is often heavy on highways including US 180 toward Flagstaff. Locations of designated snow-play areas around Flagstaff are available at flagstaffarizona.org (click the Winter Recreation link) or by calling 1-844-256-SNOW.

ADOT’s winter-driving tips available at azdot.gov/KnowSnow include dressing for frigid temperatures, having a fully charged cellphone, keeping your tank at least three-quarters full and packing an emergency kit that includes blankets, extra clothes, snacks and water, sand or cat litter for traction, and a small shovel.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.