Flagstaff, AZ – Hundreds of people lined the streets of Flagstaff yesterday as a motorcade brought home the body of a local fallen soldier. Veterans and citizens gathered on Milton Road and Route 66, waving flags and carrying signs honoring the life of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Eric Lindstrom. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 12. Lindstrom was a graduate of Flagstaff High School and served on the Flagstaff Police force for several years.
Flagstaff, AZ – A 62-year-old retired teacher who spent nearly three years in jail for the fatal shooting of a hiker near Payson has been released from custody. An order signed yesterday by a Flagstaff judge allowed Harold Fish to be released pending a new trial in the case. Fish claimed he acted in self defense when he shot and killed Grant Kuenzli in 2004 while both men were hiking in the Coconino National Forest. However, prosecutors said Fish overreacted and self defense wasn't justified. Fish was sentenced t 10 years in prison.
Flagstaff, AZ – The number of independent voters in Arizona is on the rise. New registration figures released yesterday by Secretary of State Ken Bennett show the number of registered Independents has increased by nearly 18,000 since April. Arizona currently has 890,000 Independent voters. Meanwhile, the number of registered Republicans dropped by about 2,000, bringing the state total to just over 1 million voters. Republicans account for nearly 37% of all registered voters in Arizona, Democrats make up about 34%, while Independents are now at 30%.
Flagstaff, AZ – A Federal Appeals Court has rejected arguments challenging National Park Service rules allowing commercial rafters to use motors on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Several environmental groups sued the park service in 2006 over its Colorado River management plan that allowed the sue of motorized rafts. The groups argued that the park service ignored its own rules that say use of the canyon shouldn't impair the wilderness quality of the area. The environmental groups favored the phase-out of motorized boats.
Flagstaff, AZ – Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. is recovering after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. A spokesman for Shirley says the President underwent surgery Saturday at a hospital in Gallup, NM. He was released yesterday. Tribal Vice President Ben Shelly says President Shirley has bee ordered by his doctors to stay home and get some rest. Shelly assured Navajo lawmakers convening for the first day of their annual summer session yesterday that the Executive Branch of the Tribal Governments is fully functioning.
Flagstaff, AZ – Arizona is applying for 7 million dollars in Federal grants to prepare the state to handle the Swine Flu. Governor Jan Brewer's office says roughly 5 million is being sought for work related to vaccine distribution and laboratory operations. Another 2 million would be for preparedness program for health care workers and a general education campaign. The campaign would be aimed at education people about when to see their regular health care provider, when to stay home, and when to ask for emergency treatment.
Flagstaff, AZ – The investigation of a reported abduction at the Grand Canyon has ended after investigators found that no one had, in fact, been kidnapped. National Park Service investigators said yesterday that a vehicle had been driving through an apartment complex last week with someone in the trunk. That person reportedly popped the trunk several times to startle a female friend. Authorities say the action was interpreted by witnesses as someone trying to escape from the car and it was reported to authorities. Investigators canvassed the area and set up a tip line.
Flagstaff, AZ – The Navajo Nation Council begins its annual summer session today. Council members are said to be working on a way to stop an election that would cut the number of Lawmakers by more than half and give the tribal president more authority. The major push is one delegate's move to repeal a law that the Navajo Nation passed seven years ago as an attempt to preserve cultural traditions among tribal members. The legislation to repeal the "Dine Fundamental Law" is not currently on the Council's agenda, however lawmakers could easily add it during the summer session.
Flagstaff, AZ – The Arizona Game and Fish Department will hold a special summit tonight on bears. The public event will be held at the Prescott Valley Civic Center. Game and Fish agents will present information about bear and human wildlife conflicts. Agency Spokesman Zen Mocarski says topics will include the decision making process for lethal removal and why tranquilization and relocation isn't always an option. Agents will also discuss this summer's numerous bear-human encounters across northern Arizona.
Flagstaff, AZ – An Obama administration official says Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce today that his department is temporarily barring the filing of new uranium mining claims on about one million acres near the Grand Canyon. The official says the land with be "segregated" for two years so that the department can study whether it should be permanently withdrawn from mining activity. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.