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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, May 7

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Flagstaff Moves Into Third Reopening Phase 

The city of Flagstaff will move into its third reopening phase May 17 as COVID-19 cases decline countywide. City facilities including the Flagstaff Library and City Hall will reopen with limited capacity. Appointments will be required for certain services. 

 

It’s the third of four phases in Flagstaff’s re-entry plan; the city’s final phase would reopen most city facilities fully. Coconino County reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday; more than 47% of the county population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

 

New Skilled Trade Center On Tap In Clarkdale 

A new educational center for technical trade programs is slated to open this August in Clarkdale. Yavapai College says its Skilled Trades Center will offer courses in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and other trades. The college says the center will be established to bolster jobs in the Verde Valley. A report from Sedona city officials found the Verde Valley experienced a decrease in its labor force in 2016 after years of growth.

 

‘Glamping’ Site To Be Considered Next Week 

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors will meet next Wednesday for a public hearing regarding a potential commercial development about 30 miles east of Flagstaff. Property owner John Gunderman is seeking to develop the land parcel into a luxury camping site; a previous draft of the project drew controversy after proposing stereotypical depictions of Indigenous peoples in the region. Gunderman recently told the Navajo Times he intends to use teepees for the resort if approved. A website for the 2 Guns Resort advertises a water park, miniature golf, and "traditional dance."

 

The public county meeting will be conducted virtually May 12 and streamed over Youtube, Zoom and by telephone.

 

AZ Job Growth Above Than National Average, Below Previous State Rates

The Arizona office of economic opportunity is projecting more than 540 thousand jobs will be added to the state economy within a ten-year period. The state-run department released a report predicting the state’s 3.1 million jobs in 2019 will expand to a total of more than 3.6 million by 2029. By those numbers, the state would experience a growth rate of 1.6% each year. 

 

It’s a slower rate than the one recorded between 2009 and 2019 at 1.9% each year. The state, however, would experience a higher growth rate than the national average, which is projected at 0.4% each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Governor Doug Ducey lauded the report and acknowledged electric vehicle and manufacturing companies that have created facilities in Arizona.

 

Navajo Officials Pinpoint Route For Repairs 

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. on Thursday met with tribal and state lawmakers to discuss road conditions on the Nation. Tribal officials say Hopi Route 60 has needed improvements for decades, and has faced severe rain damage every two years. A 2009 report from Navajo County, Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation described similar conditions — citing a washboard and a "pothole infested roadway."

 

Fire Restrictions Kick Off In Two Counties 

Stage One fire restrictions begin today in both Navajo and Apache counties, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire management. Stage one restrictions prohibit individuals from building fires, using stoves, or other heating devices in areas that are not designated campsites. The protocol also prohibits smoking in unauthorized areas. The department predicts dry regional conditions could lead to an early and active fire season; fire officials expect widespread fire can occur by June if rainfall does not increase.  

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