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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Monday, February 15

It's Monday, Feb. 15. Start your day with some of our top morning headlines: 


Coconino County Opens Vaccinations To Full ‘1B’ Category

Coconino County officials have expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine — all residents in the 1B category can now sign up for vaccination. The county had previously prioritized certain groups within the 1B category. 

New groups eligible for the vaccine include food and agriculture workers, power and utility employees, and adults with high risk medical conditions living in shelters and other group settings. Vaccination appointments are available through Northern Arizona Healthcare, along with the Fort Tuthill site. County officials say individuals will be asked to provide proof of their eligibility, though vaccinations are free of charge. A full list of vaccination sites can be found at the county site

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Yavapai County Reports Decrease In Cases, Braces For More Vaccine

Yavapai County’s top health official says the community will receive 9,400 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week. 

Last Thursday, Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton announced additional appointments will be made at local points of dispensing and healthcare providers. The county is still vaccinating 1B residents due to what Horton says is a limited vaccine allocation. 

Those eligible for vaccines in Yavapai County include residents 65 and older, along with protective service industries. Horton says available appointments will be posted for Spectrum Sites. A list of pharmacies administering vaccines in the area can be found at the county website. Horton last week reported a decrease in daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the community. 

Mohave County To Expand Vaccine Eligibility Starting Wednesday

Mohave County health officials say they’re expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Feb. 17. Vaccine doses will be available for adults 65 and older, along with education and childcare workers. 

The expansion will open vaccine availability to more than 37,000 residents between the ages of 65 and 74, according to the Mohave County Public Health Department. 

Mohave County officials — along with those in Coconino and Yavapai counties — say the weekly allocation of vaccine supplied by the state has not been sufficient. North Country Healthcare’s Lake Havasu Clinic, along with Mohave County Community College in Bullhead City, are among dozens of sites administering the vaccine. A full list of providers can be found here.

Jeronimo Vasquez To Fill Seat As New Coconino County Supervisor 

Coconino County has appointed Jeronimo Vasquez to serve as the county’s newest supervisor following Liz Archuleta’s resignation. Archuleta left the board to join the Biden Administration’s Department Of Agriculture. Vasquez is a 21st Century Community Learning Center Coordinator, at Killip Elementary School and serves on the Board of Directors at North Country Healthcare. As a Democrat and resident of the county’s 2nd district, Vasquez will fill the current position through the 2022 election. 

Judge Denies Injunction Seeking To Stop Oak Flat Land Swap

A federal judge has refused to stop a land swap that would allow the Rio Tinto copper mining company to purchase the Oak Flat area near Superior. The coalition Apache Stronghold sued the U.S. Forest Service earlier this year to stop the mining company from purchasing the land. 

The land is considered sacred by the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has been a site for cultural ceremonies for centuries. Apache Stronghold President Dr. Wendsler Nosie said Friday he was disappointed, but plans to appeal the case to a higher court. 

Nosie has compared the land parcel to Mount Sinai in its sacred status among Indigenous people. The Tonto National Forest says it does not comment on litigation.  

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