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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Tuesday, April 27

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Flag Fire Continues In Hualapai Mountains; County Emergency Declared

Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson has declared a county emergency due to a fire burning in the Hualapai Mountains. The Flag Fire was reported Sunday afternoon, when it originated about 11 miles south of Kingman; it has surpassed 1,400 acres, though county officials say the fire did not progress dramatically as of Monday evening.

Firefighters will take on a "more direct attack" today amid higher humidity, according to the Bureau of Land Management. TheNational Weather Service predicted a 40% chance of scattered showers in the Kingman area as of Tuesday morning.

The BLM has not released estimates for containment of the fire, and reports the fire’s cause is not yet known. Evacuations are effective for the Pine Lake Community. The county has also directed Pinion Pines and Atherton Acres to prepare for evacuation, though no official order has been released. The Red Cross is operating a shelter at the Palo Christy high school in Kingman.

Flagstaff Policing Meeting Draws Demonstrations, Hundreds Of Comments

Members of the public weighed in Monday evening as Flagstaff city officials discussed policing operations in a meeting lasting more than four hours. Mayor Paul Deasy had called a special meeting to discuss budgeting options for the Flagstaff Police Department, along with funding for alternate response units, drawing demonstrations outside City Hall. 

Deasy said the city also received more than 900 emails concerning the issue. The left-progressive group FlagStats in recent days encouraged the public to contact city officials and support defunding of the police department. State Sen. Wendy Rogers, meanwhile, says she arrived in Flagstaff yesterday to protest against defunding of the police.  

FPD reported last week an officer fatally shot a civilian once in the year 2017, once in 2018, and once in 2019.

Thousands Of AZ Vaccine Appointments Vacant; Coconino County Plans Pop-Up

Coconino County officials say they’ll be operating a pop-up clinic to administer first and second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic is slated for Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the county courthouse in Flagstaff; no appointment is required. County data estimates 45.7% of the county has been partially or fully vaccinated.

State officials announced late Monday afternoon that about 2,900 vaccination appointments remained available at Northern Arizona University’s newly opened vaccination site in Flagstaff. The Department of Health Services reported nearly 60,000 vaccine appointments remained available at state-operated sites. The announcement comes as supply outpaces demand in some states. 

Hoffman Announces Re-Election Bid For State Superintendent

Superintendent Kathy Hoffman has announced her re-election bid to serve as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Hoffman says she plans to limit individual campaign contributions to $180 per donor; Phoenix-based special education teacher Kareem Neal will serve asHoffman’s campaign chairman

Hoffman was elected to a first term in 2018 and in recent months has been a vocal critic of Gov. Doug Ducey’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hoffman earlier this month opposed a now-vetoed senate bill that would have restricted LGBTQ education in Arizona schools.

Love For Our Elders Club Launched To Combat Isolation

An organization at Yavapai College is distributing letters to senior residential facilities to mitigate isolation during the pandemic. A Yavapai College spokesperson says former caregiver and current student Erin Markham launched the Love For Our Elders Club, which has distributed hundreds of letters to seniors so far. The effort comes as studies continue nationwide to examine the effects of isolation during the pandemic.

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