KNAU's Morning Rundown: Tuesday, May 18
COVID-19 Vaccinations Grow Among Young Arizonans
Arizona health officials report more than 3.1 million people in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine — almost 44% of the state’s total population. More than 130,000thousand people under the age of 20 have now been partially or fully vaccinated. Earlier this month, the state began offering the Pfizer vaccine to individuals as young as 12 years old.
Fentanyl Discovered At Traffic Stop In Coconino County
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office says deputies found more than 160 suspected fentanyl pills during a traffic stop north of Ash Fork. Officials say the driver of the vehicle, Richard Johnson Jr. was allegedly in possession of methamphetamine and a handgun. Deputies say Johnson was prohibited from possessing firearms after multiple felony convictions in Yavapai County. He was brought into custody on charges including possession of narcotics for sale.
Coconino County released its first annual overdose fatality report in December of 2020, reporting 10 fentanyl-related overdose deaths between October 2018 and December 2019.
Neighboring Yavapai County last month reported 42 fentanyl-involved overdose deaths in 2020, along with an overall rise in overdose fatalities.
Sex Education Law Revived, Moves Through State Senate
The Arizona Senate on Monday passed a reintroduced bill that would require written parental permission before teaching sex education in schools. House Bill 2035 would also bar sex education before the fifth grade. A previous version of the bill passed the state legislature this spring but was vetoed by Gov. Doug Ducey, who said the policy could prevent children from learning about sexual abuse prevention. The new legislation allows students under grade five to learn about abuse and safety. The bill will now head to the House of Representatives for further review. Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman encouraged Ducey on Monday to once again veto the legislation.
Children Injured After Dust Devil Hits Bounce House, YSCO Says
Yavapai County officials say two girls in the Paulden area were injured Sunday when a dust devil picked up the inflatable bounce house in which they were playing. The wind carried the bounce house about 25 feet into the air and 75 yards away, despite sandbags and stakes securing the structure, according to the sheriff’s office. The children were transported to Phoenix and as of Monday were recovering in an intensive care unit. Officials say one girl sustained a broken leg, while the other sustained neck and back injuries.
Fire Restrictions Effective On Navajo Nation
The Navajo Nation on Monday implemented stage one fire restrictions, joining area counties and national forests. Stage one restrictions on the reservation prohibit fireworks, use of firearms without a permit, and the building of fires in undesignated areas. Ceremonial fires will be permitted with a valid license, as will stoves for livestock branding. A fire broke out earlier this month northwest of Shiprock. A 45-acre fire in Cameron was fully contained last week.
Museum Flood Meetings On Tap In Flagstaff
Coconino County officials met Monday and are holding a series of public meetings regarding the Museum Flood Area in Flagstaff as monsoon season approaches.
Officials report flood risk remains high for residents near the burn scar. The blaze charred more than 1,900 acres in 2019, affecting half the area’s watershed. County Supervisor Patrice Horstman stressed maintenance of sandbags in the area to mitigate the possibility of area flooding. Civil Engineer Joe Loverich says flooding could potentially impact more than 400 homes and dozens of businesses. Additional meetings will be held tonight, May 27, and several days in June.