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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Wednesday, April 28

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Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project Underway

A spokesperson for the First Mesa Consolidated Villages says the Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project is now underway. The project seeks to produce safe drinking water on Hopi by constructing new pipelines on the reservation. FMCV administrator Ivan Sidney announced this week that water pipes were delivered near West Polacca, and that construction for the new water lines will take a year or less. Sidney says funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs will extend the water supply to Keams Canyon. The tribe’s water supply has been cited for high levels of arsenic; the chemical element is naturally occurring but can cause diseases including cancer. The project will largely be funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

UArizona Joins State Universities In Return To In-Person Classes

The University of Arizona plans a return to in-person classes for the coming fall semester. President Robert Robbins disclosed to students and personnel the institution aims to resume most classes in person by August. Northern Arizona University also plans to return to in-person learning in the fall. 

NAU announced Friday it was managing 56 cases on and off campus. NAU does not release a total number of COVID-19 cases, though the university’s data dashboard shows nearly 1,400 positive COVID-19 tests have been documented over the course of the current spring semester. 

J&J Returns Through Indian Health Service

Navajo Nation health officials reported no new COVID-19 cases and no recent deaths Tuesday as the Nation moves into a new phase of its reopening plan. 

Tribal health officials estimate 95, 769 people were fully vaccinated as of last Friday. Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be administered at the Inscription House in Kayenta tomorrow; health officials say walk-ins are permitted. 

The Indian Health Service has also resumed its use of the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine after a pause earlier in the month. 

Kaibab National Forest Officials Mull Internet Installation 

Kaibab National Forest officials say they’re considering installation of a new fiber optic line to provide high-speed internet for the Grand Canyon Unified School District. The fiber optic line would stretch nearly 54 miles, running through local ranger districts and federal land, along with state and privately owned areas. The forest service is requesting public comment on the issue. 

Flag Fire Continues In Hualapai Mountains

A wildfire continues to burn southeast of Kingman in the Hualapai Mountains. The Bureau of Land Management says the fire is at 1,400 acres as of this morning, though the BLM acknowledged limited visibility as a problem in monitoring the fire. An estimated 275 personnel have been assigned to the fire, which had zero percent containment as of Tuesday evening. 

 

Mohave County officials estimate about 200 households in the Pine Lake area were ordered to evacuate earlier this week. The cause remains under investigation.

Updates on the fire can be viewed here.

 

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