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KNAU and Arizona News

Morning Rundown: Tuesday, Aug. 3

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It’s Tuesday, Aug. 3. Northern Arizona University student Luis Grijalva finished in 10th place in the men’s 5,000-meter heat earlier today at the Tokyo Olympics. Grijalva, who’s representing his home country of Guatemala, now qualifies for the 5,000-meter final later this week.

Excessive Heat Warning In Effect

An Excessive Heat Warning goes into effect today until Thursday evening for southern regions of Mohave County, including Kingman, Golden Valley and Lake Havasu City. The National Weather Service says temperatures could reach 120° in the Lake Mead Recreational Area and Colorado River Valley.

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Monsoon Activity Subsides; Coconino County Gets Grant For Flood Management

Precipitation is not in the forecast today for the Flagstaff area, though chances for rain will increase this weekend. Coconino County officials say they’ve completed several rock structures in Mount Elden Estates to offset future flood effects.

Coconino County last week received more than $600,000 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to bolster watershed protection; county officials say the funding will be used to maintain water channels and prevent erosion. Deputy County Manager Lucinda Andreani told KNAU last week the project will involve channel stabilization at Mt. Elden Estates.

“Those channels have literally gone from 3 to 5 feet deep to in some places almost 20 feet deep in two weeks,” Andreani said. “So, it's rapidly eroding.”

It comes after monsoon runoff rushed into several Flagstaff neighborhoods three weeks ago, causing an estimated $3.1 million in damages to public infrastructure alone. Several site assessments for damage to private residencies are pending.

AZ COVID-19 Cases Linger Near 2,000-Mark

The Ariz. Dept. of Health Services  reported 1,974 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning. Arizona now holds the 11th highest seven-day case rate and eighth highest death rate per 100,000 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Yavapai County Imposes Public Building Regulations As Cases Rise

Yavapai County Chair Craig Brown says county buildings will generally close to the public starting Thursday to further prevent community transmission, though he says appointments can continue in person to some extent.

“We’re hoping more people [will] get vaccinated, then we don’t have to do this type of lockdown, if you will,” Brown said Monday during a town hall.

Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton on Monday described a large increase in hospitalizations. The highly transmissible delta variant is also present in the county, Horton says, though she added that limited testing hinders more detailed data collection.

The county continues to display high transmission of COVID-19, according to the CDC, along with all northern Ariz. counties.

Elections On Tap In Prescott, Dewey-Humbooldt

The City of Prescott is holding its primary elections today as the town prepares to vote for its next mayor and city councilmembers. Incumbent Mayor Greg Mengarelli is running once again; current Councilmember Phil Goode is also in the mayoral race. Meanwhile, a recall election is on tap today for two council members and the vice mayor of Dewey-Humboldt.

Talks Continue Over Navajo Nation Infrastructure

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says he met with Bureau of Indian Affairs representatives over the weekend to discuss infrastructure funding. Nez is supporting a more streamlined approach to infrastructure development on the Nation, saying that waiting for approval for projects from the BIA has historically slowed down progress. The Nez-Lizer administration has continued to push for road improvements, meeting with Transportation Sec. Pete Butiegieg multiple times this year. A white paper from tribal officials reports more than 64% of roads on Diné land remain unpaved, and that more than 17,583 collisions have been documented within a 15-year time frame.