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KNAU and Arizona News

KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, May 28

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Spur Fire Contained In Bagdad After Evacuation Order Set For Hundreds

Yavapai County officials say between 25 and 30 homes were destroyed after a wildfire broke out in the community of Bagdad.

The Spur Fire prompted an evacuation order Thursday for 575 residents — a shelter has been established at Hassayampa School in Wickenburg about 60 miles away. 

R.C. Helton of Yavapai County’s Office of Emergency Management told KNAU this morning the fire is fully contained, and that a team is slated to conduct damage assessment today.

The county’s 911 emergency lines also resumed Thursday night after a pause in operations. Officials with the Department of Forestry and Fire Management say the fire had burned fiber optic cables in the area, affecting phone lines, and that other power lines were paused as a safety precaution.

Yavapai College Prepares For In-Person Return, Others To Follow 

Yavapai College is set to fully resume in-person classes next Tuesday as the institution enters its next reopening phase. The college is asking individuals to continue wearing masks if they have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. Northern Arizona University plans to begin its phase of full in-person instruction in late August at the start of the semester.  At Coconino Community College, a full return is also planned for the upcoming fall semester.

Flagstaff Housing Survey To End Friday Night 

A city-led survey assessing housing in Flagstaff is set to close Friday at midnight as officials develop a 10 Year Housing Plan. The survey is also available in Spanish.

 

It comes after the city declared a housing crisis in December 2020. A month-long public comment period is set for August, before city officials plan to present a draft in September.

A city-conducted report released earlier this year found Flagstaff’s median housing cost rose by more than 53% since 2010, and that the city's housing costs are 33% higher than the national average. 

As of 2019, the median cost of a home had reached $385,000.

‘Bike Strike’ To End Carbon Emissions Slated For Saturday 

Advocacy and community groups plan to gather at Flagstaff City Hall Saturday to call for a phasing out of carbon emissions. 

Demonstrators will congregate on bikes in support of a zero-emission plan, according to the Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance. 

The City of Flagstaff earlier this month released a draft for a carbon neutrality plan that would strive to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2030. The plan includes a goal to install 2,000 new residential solar systems within the next decade.

Navajo-Owned Lumber Company To Set Up Shop Near Sawmill Chapter

A Diné-owned lumber and logging company has been cleared to lease 18 acres of land on the Navajo Nation, according to tribal officials. Navamill Lumber and Logging will also rent a facility near the Sawmill Chapter in eastern Arizona. President Jonathan Nez applauded the decision, saying the new establishment would help promote local, Navajo-owned businesses while supplying building materials on the reservation.

Diné Pride Scholarship Applications To Close Today

The non-profit Diné Pride says it’s awarding youth scholarships to two high school seniors from the Navajo Nation; the $1,000 grants were created specifically for students who identify as queer, LGBT or Two-Spirit. Diné Pride says applicants must discuss a contribution they made to the LGBTQIA community; the deadline to apply is Friday, May 28, before midnight.

 

Funds Go To AZ Mental Health Support Services

Gov. Doug Ducey says he’s allocated $550,000 dollars to non-profit organizations that provide mental health services. The funding will be divided among thirteen organizations including the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and the Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation. 

Native Americans for Community Action CEO Jeff Axtell says the grant will bolster NACA’s therapy, transportation, and ceremonial services. 

An estimated 20.4% of Arizonans report symptoms of depressive disorder, based on a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation taken in recent weeks.

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