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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, June 18

It’s Friday, June 18.


President Joe Biden signed a law Thursday recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. It commemorates the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas discovered slavery had ended — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed.


Juneteenth Black Business Expo Slated For Flagstaff, Prescott

An outdoor event highlighting Black-owned businesses is slated tomorrow in Flagstaff; organizers will present and discuss the history of Juneteenth. 


Khara House is part of the Southside Community Association and Chair of the Coconino County African Diaspora Advisory Council.


“One of the messages that we’ve been sharing throughout the past year is that Black history is American history,” House says. “The history of the Black community of Flagstaff is Flagstaff’s history.”


The city, she points out, held several Green Book locations — safe spaces for Black people traveling in the Jim Crow era. The Motel DeBeau in downtown Flagstaff provided one of those spaces. House also notes the prominent role Black community members played in the city’s once-thriving lumber industry. 


Flagstaff organizers held a virtual Junteenth celebration last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Prescott Jazz Society, meanwhile, will hold a festival tomorrow morning at the Yavapai County Courthouse.


Northern Arizona University To Follow Executive Order From Ducey 

Northern Arizona University plans to comply with a recent executive order issued by Governor Doug Ducey; the new statewide mandate bans public universities like NAU from requiring COVID-19 tests or mask mandates among unvaccinated students. 


President José Luis Cruz Rivera says the university will hold a series of town halls and is encouraging NAU community members to “consider receiving the vaccine.”


The university had previously required daily health checks, mask mandates, and COVID-19 testing among students and staff throughout the pandemic.


Credit Coconino National Forest
Backbone Fire.

New Fire Southeast Of Camp Verde

Officials with the Coconino National Forest say a new wildfire has reached about 1,200 acres near the Fossil Creek recreation area.  The fire is 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, and 15 miles southeast of Camp Verde as it burns brush and grass. The Fossil Creek recreation area has closed. The U.S. Forest Service recommended Pine and Strawberry residents be ready for potential evacuation. A cause of the Backbone Fire has not been reported.


Carbon Neutrality Passes In Flagstaff

The Flagstaff City Council voted this week to pass the Carbon Neutrality Plan — it aims to bring the city to net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030. The plan includes a goal to install 2,000 new residential solar systems within the next decade. The policy also aims to shift to solar powered-operations at the Red Gap Ranch and Flagstaff landfill by 2025. City officials say some corporations in Flagstaff have pledged some form of reduction in carbon emissions, including W.L. Gore and Associates, a material sciences firm, which aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The carbon neutrality plan is described as a living document that may see adjustments in coming years. 


Fentanyl Workshop On Tap As Overdoses Rise in Yavapai County 

A Yavapai County-based non-profit will hold a seminar next Wednesday, June 23, to teach community members about fentanyl. Matforce, an organization that focuses on substance use disorder, will discuss preventing fentanyl consumption along with Prescott Valley Vice Mayor Lori Hunt at the Dewey-Humboldt Town Library. A report from Matforce and the Yavapai County Medical Examiner says five teenagers died in 2020 after consuming pills laced with fentanyl, and that more than half the overdose deaths reported in the county last year involved the deadly opioid.

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