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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Thursday, March 18


It's Thursday, March 18. 


COVID-19 Vaccinations Rise; Ducey Anticipates Eligibility For All Adults

Vaccinations against COVID-19 continue across the state as Governor Doug Ducey’s office anticipates eligibility for all adults starting May 1. An estimated 23.1% percent of the state’s population has been partially or fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health Services. 

In a study released Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Arizona as having the third highest vaccination rate among populations with high social vulnerability. Racial and geographic disparities remain in Arizona’s currently available vaccine data, with the state’s Latino population accounting for just 8.9% of vaccinated individuals. In Mohave County, just 15.6% of the population has been vaccinated, falling below the state average.

Snowbowl Compliance Questioned By Indigenous Circle, Sierra Club

Environmental and Indigenous rights advocates are asking U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran to examine the Arizona Snowbowl and its adherence to federal regulations. The Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff and the Sierra Club, along with other groups, say they asked O’Halleran to hold meetings with two congressional committees. They also requested that Rep. Raul Grijalva chair the meetings.  The Sierra Club in a statement last week criticized the Snowbowl, saying the enterprise’s establishment has harmed local Indigenous tribes and the surrounding habitat. O’Halleran responded and told the group they would have a meeting about the matter later this month, according to the Sierra Club.

Dozens Of Manufacturing Jobs Slated For Kingman

Mohave County officials say a new manufacturing facility in Kingman will bring 60 new jobs to the area through the company Shambaugh and Son. The California-based fire protection enterprise will occupy a building on Route 66 for a sprinkler pipe manufacturing facility. A representative for the company says the factory will be completed this fall, resulting in an 84,000-square-foot facility.

New Law Holds Adults Accountable For Encouraging Suicide

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Wednesday allowing prosecutors to charge adults with manslaughter if the adult urges or instructs a child to commit suicide. The bill was introduced to the state house of representatives in January and received unanimous bipartisan support in the legislature with the exception of one legislator who did not vote. The legislation was fueled by the death of a 17-year-old boy after an adult on the internet urged him to commit suicide. Paolla Jordan, the boy’s mother, worked with Rep. Jeff Weninger, who introduced the law.


If you or someone you know is considering suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be accessed in English and Spanish at 800-273-8255.

Downward Trend, Lockdown Continues On Hopi

Hopi tribal officials are reporting a downward trend in COVID-19 cases on the reservation. The office of the chairman on Tuesday reported nine active cases in the last fourteen days, with the majority of cases confirmed in Moenkopi. The Hopi Nation has confirmed 1,244 positive cases among tribal members. A lockdown remains active on the reservation until March 31.

Coconino County Reports Declining Trend In COVID-19 Cases

Coconino County continues to report a declining trend in COVID-19 cases after a surge in January. County officials say 14 new cases were reported Wednesday morning, and no new deaths. Just over 6% of individuals testing for the virus in the county are receiving a positive result. The county released a map displaying vaccine availability — as of Wednesday morning, first-dose appointments were available in Page, Tusayan, Williams and Flagstaff. The county has opened vaccinations to the 1c prioritization group, and adults 35 and older are also now eligible for immunization.


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