KNAU's Morning Rundown: Thursday, February 11
It's Thursday, Feb. 11. Start your day with some of our top morning headlines:
COVID-19 Vaccinations, Virus-Related Deaths Increase
Health officials have administered more than one million total COVID-19 vaccine doses statewide, according to Gov. Doug Ducey’s office. Ducey called the report a ‘major milestone’ in the state’s vaccination rollout. State lawmakers including Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have formally asked the federal government after Ducey's a request for additional doses was denied by the Biden Administration.
Listen: KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius discusses Coconino County’s vaccine rollout with Interim Health and Human Services Director Kim Musselman.
FUSD Pinpoints Dates For In-Person Return
The Flagstaff Unified School District has established upcoming calendar dates for a return to in-person classes. The governing board will discuss the dates at its next meeting on Feb. 23 — keeping local COVID-19 data in mind, according to a district spokesperson.
If approved, the district would allow a return on the week of March 22 for some groups, including kindergarten through third grade students. More students would return the week of March 29, including students fourth through eighth grade.
The district says the phased return would include in-person classes five days a week, with teachers instructing students online and in-person simultaneously. Students will have the option to remain online for the remainder of the current school year.
New Coconino County Supervisor Could Be Appointed By Friday, Officials Say
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors will review applications from 13 qualified Democratic candidates to fill the vacant seat left by Liz Archuleta, according to a county spokesperson. Former Supervisor Archuleta announced her resignation from the Board following her recent appointment to the Biden Administration’s Department of Agriculture.
Candidates under consideration include former Flagstaff City Council candidate Anthony Garcia, learning coordinator Jeronimo Vasquez, and public health professional Carmenlita Chief. See the full list here.
The board will conduct a public forum beginning tomorrow at 8 a.m., and according to a statement from the county, a candidate could be chosen by Friday, Feb. 12. Members of the public can view resumes and cover letters from the applicants, and submit comments, through the county website.
Border Update: National Emergency Cancelled, ‘Vast Majority’ Of Migrants To Be Turned Away
President Joe Biden this morning cancelled a national emergency the Trump administration had used for construction of a southern border wall, The Hill reports.
Migration policy, however, remains in flux. U.S. Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday the “vast majority” of migrants who arrive at the border will be turned away, according to Reuters. Psaki cited the pandemic as a principal reason, though a top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously told then-Vice President Mike Pence there was no public health reason to issue a full border closure.
Apprehensions in the borderlands are rising, according to Customs and Border Patrol — officials announced that border crossings had increased by 6% in January, compared to the previous month.
Psaki’s announcement comes after Biden announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations and introduced an immigration reform bill. Deportations have continued despite the moratorium.