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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Wednesday, February 10

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State Vaccination Site Will Launch At University Of Arizona, Ducey Says

Gov. Doug Ducey announced this morning the state will launch another COVID-19 vaccination site — this time at the University of Arizona’s main campus in Tucson. Ducey’s office says the new program will expand an existing site on the campus, opening up more appointments for Arizona residents. Additional appointments will begin Feb. 18, and online registration will open next Tuesday at 9 a.m. Ducey says he plans for the site to eventually operate on a 24/7 basis and that it could distribute doses to as many as 6,000 people on a daily basis.

 

Blackwater-Nygren To Join Arizona State Legislature

The Apache County Board of Supervisors has appointed a new member of the Arizona House of Representatives after former Rep. Arlando Teller resigned to join the Biden Administration. Jasmine Grace Blackwater-Nygren will serve as the state’s newest legislator. Like Teller, she will represent Arizona’s 7th Legislative District, which includes Chinle among vast areas of the Navajo Nation. 

“Ahe’hee’ to everyone who has supported my appointment to this position,” Blackwater-Nygren said, according to Navajo officials.

Navajo tribal officials congratulated Blackwater-Nygren, who is Diné and based in the Red Mesa area. She earned her Juris Doctor along with a certificate in Indian Law at Arizona State University, where she worked for the Navajo Nation Supreme Court before graduating in 2020. Blackwater-Nygren recently passed the Arizona Bar Association Exam. 

 

Shooting Rumors ‘Unfounded,’  MSCO Says

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office says authorities have been made aware of rumors concerning potential shooting at River Valley High School in the Mohave Valley. The rumors are unsubstantiated, according to the office. Authorities say deputies will be on site at the school today nonetheless, and will continue to investigate the source of the unfounded rumor.  Officials say they’ll provide updates as the investigation develops.

 

Sinema, Kelly Call For More Vaccine Despite Biden’s Supply Increase 

Arizona lawmakers are calling for more COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government after the Biden Administration announced an increase in vaccine supply allocation nationwide. President Joe Biden says his new program will increase vaccine supply to states, tribes and territories by 5% compared to last week.  The new initiative will focus on Community Health Centers and underserved communities, according to White House officials

 

Despite the newly announced Community Health Center Vaccination Program, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Mark Kelly demanded a larger and more urgent increase in vaccine supply for Arizona. State lawmakers, with the support of the governor, previously requested 300,000 extra doses from the federal government, with an additional allocation of 300,000 doses each week.

 

Coconino County Officials Caution Against ‘Hoarding’ Vaccine

Coconino County officials urged residents to avoid what they called “hoarding” of COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Officials on Monday discouraged residents from making multiple vaccine appointments, and asked individuals to cancel additional appointments they did not plan on attending. The county’s statement did not cite any documented incidents of residents making multiple appointments.

 

County officials have repeatedly reported a limited vaccine supply and late last month encouraged residents to call state and federal representatives to advocate for more doses.  

 

 

Ducey Launches Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday the state will launch an Emergency Rental Assistance Program meant to provide relief amid the continuing pandemic. The program will serve 12 Arizona counties including Coconino, Apache, Mohave, Yavapai and Gila. Eligible applicants must exhibit a risk of homelessness or housing instability,  including late rent payments or an eviction notice. The program can provide up to $3,500 dollars a month in rental and utility financial aid, according to the department of economic security.  Ducey’s office says an online portal will launch on Feb. 23 for residents to apply.