KNAU's Morning Rundown: Tuesday, June 2
Today is June 1 — recognized as the start of Pride Month for communities across the country. Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta last week declared June 2021 Pride Month for the town. Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon signed a proclamation last summer designating the last week of June as Diné Pride Week. Events celebrating the LGBTQ community were largely cancelled or modified last year amid the pandemic.
Socially distanced and outdoor events are slated for communities including Flagstaff and Window Rock this month.
Coconino County Sheds Mask Mandate, Low-To-Moderate Transmission In Schools
A long-standing mask proclamation has been rescinded — effective today — in Coconino County.
County health officials on Friday reported 21 new cases over a recent seven-day period. The county also reports low COVID-19 transmission rates for school districts including Page and Tuba City Unified; along with moderate transmission rates for Flagstaff and Williams Unified.
An estimated 49.2% of the county has received a vaccine, displaying one of the state’s highest inoculation rates. A mass vaccination site on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff will reopen tomorrow after closures for Memorial Day.
Donations Continue For Cyclists Struck By Driver In Downtown Flagstaff
Flagstaff businesses and residents are gathering funds for a group of cyclists who were struck when a tow truck driver ran a red light Friday evening, killing 29-year-old Joanna Wheaton. Normand Cloutier of California struck six drivers in total; he was charged with death by a moving violation.
The Flagstaff Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry from KNAU regarding conditions of the hospitalized cyclists.
Flagstaff restaurant Mama Burger says 100% of its proceeds today will go to those affected by the crash, while GoFundMe campaigns continue to circulate. Several restaurants say they’re donating proceeds from the weekend to those affected, while Flagstaff Team Trivia says a virtual trivia night is on tap tomorrow to raise funds.
Sacred Mountain Prayer Run On Tap After Cancellation
An annual Sacred Mountain Prayer Run is underway in Flagstaff, according to organizers with Native Americans For Community Action. The communal trek is being conducted virtually; NACA organizers say participants can run outside or on treadmills until June 5 to participate in the event, which is typically hosted at the San Francisco Peaks. It’s one of many summer events resuming this year amid a decline in COVID-19 transmission; the run was cancelled in 2020.
Flagstaff Council To Discuss Tentative Budget
The Flagstaff City Council is slated to discuss and potentially adopt a tentative budget for the 2021 fiscal year Tuesday. The proposed budget constitutes more than $84 million — including more than $6.1 million dollars for COVID-19 relief.
If adopted, the budget would also include a 14.7% decrease in funding for Flagstaff police, though the spending plan would still allocate more than $21.8 million for city law enforcement. The proposed budget also includes a 13.7% decrease in funding for fire management services compared to last year.
City officials say public input will continue to be accepted into a public council meeting on Tuesday, June 15.
Bagdad Fundraising Continues After Spur Fire Containment
Community groups are organizing to assist Bagdad residents after a wildfire prompted evacuation orders for hundreds of residents in the mining town. Evacuation orders were lifted Friday; the Spur Fire reached 90% containment Sunday.
Organizers for the Prescott Farmers Market say they’re working with the Bagdad Food Bank and coordinating donations to the community. Donations to the market’s Feed Your Neighbors program are slated to go directly to Bagdad residents throughout June.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has allocated a grant for fire assistance in Bagdad, according to Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli.