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

ADOT brings back exchange program aiding local transportation projects

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation has brought back a program made possible under state law allowing local governments to build transportation projects faster and at a lower cost by reducing red tape associated with federal funding.

The HURF Exchange Program, taking its name from the Highway User Revenue Fund, allows ADOT to exchange State Highway Fund revenues for federal Surface Transportation Block Grant Program funds with eligible local governments. ADOT is required to administer most federally funded projects, but local governments taking part in the program can now administer projects themselves, facing fewer regulatory restrictions and requirements.

“This is a win-win for the state and local communities that would otherwise have to depend on ADOT to manage their federally funded projects,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Enabling local governments to administer their own projects through the HURF Exchange Program helps reduce project costs and time to completion, and allows ADOT to focus its efforts on highway projects.”

Cities, towns and unincorporated portions of counties within a regional planning area with 200,000 or fewer residents are eligible to participate in the HURF Exchange Program. Projects must be programmed as part of the HURF Exchange Program by a region’s council of governments or metropolitan planning organization, be on the federal aid system and improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of travel. ADOT will provide State Highway Fund dollars at the rate of 90 percent of the amount of federal aid programmed for eligible projects.

ADOT will review projects qualifying for the HURF Exchange Program and consult with the Federal Highway Administration to determine which federal requirements may apply. These requirements will be the responsibility of the project sponsor to fulfill and are documented in an intergovernmental agreement.

The state Legislature authorized the program in 1997, but ADOT suspended it in 2009 due to a lack of State Highway Fund revenues. Before that, the HURF Exchange Program facilitated 145 projects with a total value exceeding $90 million.

For more information on the HURF Exchange program, please visit azdot.gov/HURFExchange.

Raws For Paws Recalls Turkey Pet Food Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN is recalling approximately 4,000 pounds of its 5 lb. and 1 lb. chubs of Ground Turkey Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled Ground Turkey Pet Food was distributed throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa directly to consumers and through online mail orders.

The recalled product is packaged into 1-pound and 5-pound sealed plastic tubes, also known as chubs. The chubs are packaged into regular Turkey Pet Food cases and Pet Food Combo Pack cases, which contain a variety of pet food products. The products in question have case codes of 9900008, 9900009, 9900014, and 9900015. The manufacture date of Turkey Pet Food cases is 10/12/2017, and the manufacture dates of Combo Pack cases are between 10/12/2017 and 2/2/2018.

Two illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after testing by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) revealed the presence of Salmonella in some packages of Turkey Pet Food.

Production of the product has been suspended while MDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased Turkey Pet Food should discontinue the use of the product and contact Raws for Paws to determine if their product is subject to this recall and more information about disposal or return instructions. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 612-465-0372.

Redbarn Pet Products Issues Voluntary Recall of Dog Chews

With an extreme abundance of caution, and with the care and concern of pets top of mind, Redbarn Pet Products, LLC of Long Beach, CA is voluntarily recalling a single product, Redbarn’s 7-inch Bully Stick three pack, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

The recalled products were distributed in pet specialty retail stores. Affected product comes in a 2.4 ounce, green plastic bag marked with an expiration date of 112120ABC stamped on the side. The product UPC is #7 85184 25105 8. You can see examples of the packaging here.

Redbarn takes the safety of pets and pet parents seriously. As company President Jeff Sutherland explained, “On 2/5/2018, we were notified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture that a single sample collected from a retail location detected Salmonella. At Redbarn, we test every product lot before it leaves our manufacturing plant. This lot code, expiry date 112120ABC, was tested both at our Redbarn lab and by a third-party testing facility. Those tests were negative for salmonella or pathogens. Despite not being able to replicate these test results or receiving any negative reports from customers regarding these chews, we feel the best course of action is to recall this lot code of the product and keep our customers safe”.

Consumers are encouraged to check the lot code to see if their product was affected. Pet owners who have this product matching this lot code in their homes are urged to discontinue use of the product. Consumers who purchased 7-inch Bully Stick multipacks with the affected lot code are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Again, no illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

Family-owned Redbarn takes the safety of our product, pets, and customers as a number one concern. Redbarn employs an extensive Quality Assurance team that run over 400 safety tests on their products every week. Products like the 7-inch bully sticks are tested multiple times, for bacteria like Salmonella, coliforms and enteros. A product is declared safe to ship only after it tests negatively for these bacteria and other pathogens. As Sutherland explained “In issuing this voluntary recall, in conjunction with the FDA, we are standing by our core values of quality and integrity. At Redbarn, we do the right thing for our customers. That means that we hold ourselves to the highest safety and quality assurance standards and take all precautions to prevent situations like a recall from happening.”

Consumers with questions may contact the company via email at info@redbarninc.com or by phone at at 1-800-775-3849, M-F, 8am-5pm PST.

AZGFD to hold OHV sobriety checkpoint February 17

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) will conduct an off-highway vehicle (OHV) sobriety checkpoint Saturday, February 17 on the Tonto National Forest north of Fountain Hills.

AZGFD is conducting the checkpoint to ensure public safety by detecting and deterring impaired operation of OHVs. Those using an OHV are reminded to use the following safety tips:

  • Never operate an OHV while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Helmets are required by law for all riders under the age of 18 regardless of the off-highway vehicle type. However, they are strongly recommended for all riders.
  • Wear a seat belt at all times, if equipped.
  • Only carry the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. Often many accidents are the result of too many people riding a machine that was designed for fewer passengers.
  • Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.v
  • Never ride alone.
  • Be prepared and equipped with a map, a first aid kit, whistle and have basic tools on hand.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Take an OHV safety education course designed to teach off-road motorists how to ride safely and responsibly.

Remember, state law requires all OHVs in Arizona require a title, license plate and an OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands.
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For more information about OHV use and safety course options, visit www.azgfd.gov/ohv.

Fatal Yuma County off-highway vehicle accident a reminder to practice OHV safety

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds all off-highway vehicle (OHV) drivers and passengers to wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet, in the wake of a fatal accident that killed a 77-year-old Wellton, Arizona man Thursday.

The man lost control of the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was driving when he hit a rut in the roadway and was thrown from the vehicle, according to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the crash. The man was not wearing a helmet and succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.

“It’s critically important for all OHV drivers and passengers to always wear a helmet,” said Kim Jackson, AZGFD Off-Highway Vehicle Safety Education program manager. “Helmets save lives and all riders should make sure they are wearing one before heading out on the trails.”

Helmets are required by law for all riders under the age of 18 regardless of the off-highway vehicle type. However, they are strongly recommended for all riders. In addition riders should remember to:

  • Wear a seat belt at all times, if equipped.
  • Only carry the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. Often many accidents are the result of too many people riding a machine that was designed for fewer passengers.
  • Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.
  • Never ride alone.
  • Be prepared and equipped with a map, a first aid kit, whistle and have basic tools on hand.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Take an OHV safety education course designed to teach off-road motorists how to ride safely and responsibly.

For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s OHV program and safety course options, visit www.azgfd.gov/ohv.

Man nabbed by ADOT used stolen identity to open business, purchase house

PHOENIX – A Goodyear resident who used stolen identities to obtain Arizona commercial driver licenses, open a business and purchase a home was arrested thanks to Arizona Department of Transportation detectives’ use of facial recognition training and technology.

When Jose Casas, 41, visited a Motor Vehicle Division office Dec. 6 to renew his commercial driver license, the system found that his photo closely resembled two others in ADOT’s database. ADOT detectives with FBI training in facial recognition determined that all three of the photos were of Casas.

In 2007, Casas applied for an Arizona commercial driver license using a forged Illinois commercial driver license under the name of a Texas resident. He then used the stolen identity to open a trucking business, purchase vehicles for the business, and purchase personal vehicles and a house in Goodyear.

Detectives served a search warrant Feb. 7 at Casas’ Goodyear residence and arrested him. Casas was booked at the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on several counts of forgery and fraud schemes as well as mortgage fraud.

After being fingerprinted, detectives discovered that Casas had an outstanding warrant from 1996 in Illinois for failure to appear on drug charges, including delivery of narcotic drugs and possession of cocaine. He was booked as a fugitive after the state of Illinois verified the warrant.

The investigation also found that Casas had two other Arizona commercial driver licenses under stolen identities, both of which are currently under medical suspension.

This case is one more example of how facial recognition technology used by ADOT’s Office of Inspector General protects Arizonans’ identities and helps prevent fraud involving state-issued driver licenses and identification cards.

ADOT’s Office of the Inspector General investigates fraud involving driver license and identification card applications; vehicle sales by licensed and unlicensed dealers; and vehicle titles and registration. It also assists state, local and federal law enforcement agencies with investigations.

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.

Pile Burns to Continue on South Side of Williams Ranger District

WILLIAMS – Fire crews will begin burning an additional 500 acres of hand piles scattered across the southern half of the Williams Ranger District beginning Monday of this week.

Inclement weather bringing moisture has presented favorable conditions to continue reducing fuel loads at various locations that include Coleman Lake, Sevier Flat, and Jackass Flat. Conditions will be evaluated daily before burns are implemented to ensure desirable effects and management objectives are being met. Fire managers will conduct operations incrementally at different locations throughout the week.

Smoke production is expected to be minimal with very short duration and disperse quickly to the northeast. No overnight impacts are expected.

Visitors are always reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of prescribed fires, as firefighters, fire-related traffic and smoke may all be present.

All prescribed fires are subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division and to view prescribed burn authorizations for any given day, visit www.azdeq.gov/programs/air-quality-programs/smoke-management

Notifications of upcoming prescribed fires are provided regularly throughout the year. This information can be found at the following sources:

· Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
· Kaibab Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF
· Kaibab website “Recent News”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· Kaibab South Zone Rx Fire: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5160/

High wind advisory until 7 p.m.

WILLIAMS – There is a high wind advisory for the area with sustained winds of 20 to 20-mph with gusts up to 45. The high winds may cause difficulty in driving especially with high profile vehicles. The National Weather Service recommends you consider tying down loose lawn furniture or items that may blow around. The high winds will continue until 7 p.m. tonight.

The winds should remain calm through Sunday and pick up on Monday when snow is expected to blow in. The chance of snow continues through Tuesday during the day and dropping Tuesday night. Wednesday night a chance of showers begins and runs through Friday, according to the long-range forecast.

Temperatures will remain around 50 during the period.