Coconino County Offices closed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

FLAGSTAFF — All Coconino County administrative offices will be closed January 15, 2018 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. 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 p.m. January 15. 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.

County Board appoints James Jayne Interim County Manager

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Board of Supervisors selected James Jayne as Interim County Manager. Jayne is replacing previous Manager Cynthia Seelhammer, who resigned today.

Seelhammer, a 2017 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award Winner, served as County Manager since 2013. She has more than 30 years of experience working for small towns, large cities and counties in three different states.

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I want to thank County Manager Seelhammer for her outstanding work and dedication to the citizens of Coconino County,” said Chairman of the Board Matt Ryan. “Under Cynthia’s leadership, the County had many successes such as the education effort that led to the passage of Proposition 403 to fund county roads, the purchase of State Trust Land at Fort Tuthill and overhauled our outdated technology systems to save tax payer dollars and better serve our customers. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Jayne will serve as County Manager while the Board of Supervisors determines the process for hiring a permanent manager. Jayne has been with Coconino County since August 2017 serving as the Director of Special Initiatives, responsible for Public Affairs and Community Relations, Public Works and various special projects.

Prior to coming to Coconino County, he served as the Navajo County Manager since 2003. Preceding his time with Navajo County, he served as Executive Secretary for the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Chief of Staff in the AZ House of Representatives, worked at the Arizona Water Banking Authority and in the U.S. Congress. Jayne earned his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and his MPA and Certified Public Manager Certification from ASU.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me by the Board of Supervisors and I look forward to working closely with the Board, other elected officials, department directors and the team members who serve the County,” said Jayne. “I will continue to build strong relationships and partnerships with the communities, local governments and organizations throughout the County to help meet the needs of our residents.”

The County Manager provides overall management of county government functions and serves as liaison between the County Board of Supervisors, County Elected Officials and Department Directors.

Electronic WIC program launched in Coconino County

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Department of Health Services has completed a multi-year effort and launched a system replacing paper checks with a card for families that participate in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program. The new system, called “eWIC,” will make it easier for families to access healthy foods.

“The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) WIC Program provides services to nearly 2,000 participants each month,” said CCPHSD WIC Program Manager Lorraine Ornelas. “The move to eWIC means that our WIC families can shop throughout the month for the same healthy WIC-approved foods. With eWIC, clients have their WIC benefits on one convenient card.”

WIC families can also download the EzWIC app for Apple and Android devices. The app will allow them to search the WIC Food List, scan items in the store to see if they are WIC-approved and check their current benefit balance.

WIC is a successful public health nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and connections to community services for income-eligible women who are pregnant and postpartum, infants, and children up to five years old. To learn more, call the CCPHSD WIC Clinic at 928-679-7850 or visit www.azwic.gov.

Fox in Oak Creek Canyon tests positive for rabies

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) was recently contacted regarding an individual in the Oak Creek Canyon area (near Sedona) who was attacked by a fox. CCPHSD Animal Management responded and sent the fox to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) State Laboratory where it tested positive for rabies.

The individual who was exposed is receiving post exposure rabies prophylaxis treatment. CCPHSD is providing signage for area trails, and notifying local businesses in the area.

Rabies is an infectious disease that affects the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord of animals and humans. It is caused by a virus present in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to humans through contact with the live virus.

The Coconino County Public Health Services District recommends taking precautions to protect yourself and your pets from rabies. Keep all pets current on vaccinations and obey leash laws. Do not let pets roam freely. Avoid wildlife, especially those exhibiting unusual behaviors which can include; showing no fear of humans, aggressive behavior, staggering and/or acting sickly, and nocturnal mammals active during daytime.

Call 911 if a wildlife emergency occurs. To report unusual wildlife sightings or behavior call the Coconino County Public Health Services District Animal Management Program at 928-679-8756.

Coconino County offices closed for winter holidays

FLAGSTAFF — All Coconino County administrative offices will be closed Monday, December 25, 2017 and Monday, January 1, 2018 for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

While the administrative offices at the Sheriff’s Office will be closed, Dispatch, Patrol, and Detention will be open. Records will be closed on Monday, December 25 and open Monday, January 1, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with limited staffing. 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 hazardous 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 during the holiday, but administrative offices at Fort Tuthill will be closed and limited staff or services will be available. The Fort Tuthill Bike Park is open. Drinking water has been turned off at all parks, but bathrooms are still available at Raymond, Peaks View and Sawmill County Parks. 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 working on Monday, December 25 and Monday, January 1, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact the CCPHSD Animal Management office at 928-679-8756, leave a message and an officer will respond. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies.

County hosts State Legislative Roundtable

FLAGSTAFF — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Constitutional Officers, representatives from the County Supervisor’s Association and County staff hosted District 6 and 7 State Legislators for a roundtable discussion Tuesday, December 12.

The group discussed the County’s state fiscal and legislative priorities as well as other issues affecting the County. State cost-shifts to counties, transportation funding and forest health were the main topics deliberated in anticipation of the 2018 Legislative Session.

“We appreciate our Legislators joining us for a discussion regarding the County’s state priorities,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Ryan. “It’s crucial that we continue this partnership and open dialogue heading into the next legislative session. We look forward to working together to meet the diverse needs of County citizens.”

Legislators who attended were District 6 Representatives Bob Thorpe and Brenda Barton, and District 7 Representative and Eric Descheenie. All Legislators serve portions of Coconino County.

“On behalf of the Constitutional Officers, I want to thank our legislative delegation for taking the time today to discuss the many issues facing the County,” said Coconino County Treasurer Sarah Benatar who is also the County Representative to the Arizona Association of Counties. “The open discussions we have here are incredibly beneficial to building the relationships we need at the Capitol during the session.”

Counties are constitutional sub-divisions of the State and provide regional services including public safety, elections, economic development and health services. Each year the Arizona State Budget is deliberated and voted on by legislators and signed by the Governor contains financial impacts to counties.

Coconino County honors Williams Vikings

FLAGSTAFF – The accolades for the Arizona State champion Williams Vikings continues. Coconino County declared December 5 as Williams Vikings Day in Coconino County by proclamation.

Valerie Wyant elected President of the Clerk’s Association

FLAGSTAFF — Clerk of the Superior Court, Valerie Wyant has been named the President-Elect of the Arizona Association of Superior Court Clerks (AASCC). The President works as the liaison between the AASCC, the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo), state legislators and various other agencies.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to represent the Clerk’s Association in the leadership role of President,” said Association President-Elect Valerie Wyant. “In the role of President, I will have the amazing opportunity to participate in and work with a number of statewide and national committees and associations. It is truly an honor to represent the fine women and men who serve as Clerks of the Court in Arizona.”

Wyant worked in the office of the Navajo County Clerk of Superior Court for 13 years, and one year as the Clerk of Superior Court in 2010. Wyant was appointed Chief Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, Coconino County in January 2011. In 2014, she was elected Clerk of Superior Court for Coconino County.

The Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office was established by the Arizona Constitution as one of several elected offices with specific and special duties, serves as the official record keepers and financial officers for the Superior Court. The Clerk of the Superior Court services more than 500 state statutes and court rules.

Wyant will assume the role of President effective January 2018.

Hantavirus confirmed in recent traveler to northern Arizona

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials have announced a confirmed case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a recent traveler to the County from outside Arizona. The individual traveled to multiple areas in northern Arizona and it is unknown where the current case contracted the virus.

The disease is transmitted to people who come into contact or breathe infected urine, droppings and/or saliva of wild mice (primarily deer mice). People who come into contact with rodents that carry hantavirus are at risk of contracting the disease. The illness has not been found to spread from person to person.

HPS is not limited to one geographic location. It can be present in many areas in the southwestern region of the United States where there is rodent activity, even if mice are never seen.

This is the first confirmed HPS case in Coconino County this year and the sixth case of HPS in Coconino County since 2007. Two cases resulted in death from complications caused by the illness. Symptoms of the illness could include fever, headache and muscle aches progressing rapidly to severe difficulty in breathing. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should see their physician immediately and mention their potential rodent exposure.

To prevent HPS, public health officials recommend the following clean-up methods for areas that may have rodent activity:

  1. Prior to starting cleanup, open all door and windows, especially in areas that have been closed for an extended period such as a garage, storage shed or second homes that are not used year-round. Leave open for 30 minutes before cleaning and if possible, allow direct sunlight on the area.
  2. Do not stir up dust in the infested area by vacuuming, sweeping, or any other means. This will allow virus particles to go into the air, where they can be breathed in, and potentially causing infection.
  3. When rodent droppings or nests are found in and around the home, spray them liberally with a household disinfectant (such as one-part bleach to nine parts water) and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes. Any rodent droppings and rodent nests should be sprayed with a pesticide to kill fleas before disinfecting or disposing the carcasses.
  4. After disinfecting, wear rubber gloves and clean up the droppings with disposable materials such as paper towels, rags or disposable mop heads.
  5. Seal all materials, droppings or nests in double plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash.

Rodent-proof your home:

  1. Prevent rodents from entering the home by plugging or sealing all holes and gaps to the outside greater than 1/4-inch in diameter. Use steel wool, thick wire screen, metal flashing or cement to seal holes.
  2. Eliminate or reduce rodent shelter around the home by removing outdoor junk and clutter, and by moving woodpiles, lumber, hay bales etc., as far away from the house as possible.
  3. Do not make food easily available to rodents. Do not leave pet food in dishes and dispose of garbage in trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
  4. Prevent mice infestation inside your home with the use of traps and proper removal.

For more information regarding HPS, call the Coconino County Public Health Services District at 928-679-8750, toll-free at 877-679-7272 or visit www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps.

Supervisors update Winter Parking Ordinance

FLAGSTAFF — The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve Winter Parking Ordinance 2017-11 during a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 7. The new ordinance requires parking restrictions from County maintained rights-of-way during snow season and for the enforcement of parking restrictions either by citation or towing.

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 11-251, the County Board of Supervisors may manage public roads within the County, as well as, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 11-251.05, adopt all ordinances necessary or proper to carry into effect such powers.

“This ordinance will allow the County to better manage issues associated with winter recreation,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Ryan. “This is another tool the County can use to help navigate winter challenges.”

The Board of Supervisors has amended the ordinance to state that between Nov. 1 – April 1 of each year, motor vehicles must be kept clear of County maintained rights of way. Any vehicle parked in such prohibited areas reserves the right to be cited or towed at the owner’s expense (not less than $200.00) due to the possibility of threatening the health or welfare of County residents. Penalties are applicable where violations take place and where signed.

Winter recreation in Coconino County has resulted in increased parking and traffic congestion, littering and other dangerous hazards that negatively impact the health, safety and welfare of residents of the County who live and/or own property adjacent to County highways and roads. Over 80 signs will be disbursed to identified roadways to reinforce the new ordinance.

“I want to thank the community for addressing the challenges of peak winter recreation events in Coconino County,” said District 1 Supervisor Art Babbott. “This new ordinance provides a legal foundation to better serve and protect our neighborhoods and communities. Moving this forward was an important objective of the Community Winter Recreation Task Force to improve safety along County maintained roads and complements the new ADOT no parking signage on the Highway 180 corridor.”

It is a primary responsibility of the County to keep County owned, or maintained, rights -of-way reasonably clear of snow and provide major access for emergency vehicles. Most motor vehicles left parked in the streets become a hazard, both to the County snow removal equipment and to the owner of the vehicle.