It's Wednesday, January 27. Start your morning with some of our top Arizona headlines:
Snowfall Blankets Northern Arizona After Record Dryness
The region’s latest winter storm brought more than two feet of snow into parts of Coconino, Navajo, Gila and Yavapai counties. In its final report, the National Weather Service recorded up to 25 additional inches of snow in Williams, up to 28 in Payson, and up to 35 in Kachina Village south of Flagstaff. The abundant precipitation comes after Arizona recorded its driest monsoon season to date in 2020.
The NWS has predicted slick road conditions for northern Arizona into Wednesday morning. The state’s Department of Public Safety yesterday recommended avoiding travel after a tractor-trailer slid off I-40 in Flagstaff. Forecasters expect scattered rain and snow showers to return on Friday. Up-to-date road closures can be found at the Arizona Department of Transportation’s website and official Twitter.
Ducey Mandates Vaccination Acceleration Plan
Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday issued an advisory to quicken the pace of vaccine distribution statewide. Under the new mandate, healthcare organizations administering the vaccine must report data to the state government. Ducey’s advisory also allows the state to transfer vaccines to areas where the doses will be administered as quickly as possible. Arizona officials have worked in recent weeks to accelerate vaccinations, establishing a 24/7 mass vaccination site at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium. An additional site at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium is set to begin vaccinating residents early next week. Arizona currently exhibits the second highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in the country — trailing only behind Rhode Island, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccinations Resume At Mass Site In Yavapai County
Spectrum Healthcare will reopen its mass vaccination site today at 10 a.m. after heavy regional snowfall caused a delay in administration. The healthcare provider on Monday launched the vaccination site at Prescott Valley’s Findlay Toyota Center, before cancelling vaccinations on Tuesday amid the inclement weather. The healthcare provider says individuals with cancelled appointments will be automatically rescheduled for a vaccination next week. Last week, Spectrum announced it had booked approximately 15,000 vaccination appointments in Yavapai County.
Nez, Lizer Deliver State of the Navajo Nation Address
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer discussed COVID-19, education, and housing earlier this week in the winter council session’s state of the Navajo Nation address. Nez encouraged a continuation of remote learning on the reservation and in nearby communities as tribal health officials continue to report COVID-19 cases. He also acknowledged economic obstacles on the Nation in recent months — including the shutdown of the Navajo Generating Station. Nez says his administration will soon propose a housing project for veterans and other disadvantaged residents.
“We also are going to introduce the sweat equity, meaning that families that are getting these homes built will also be a part of constructing their homes for themselves, and that’s a way to empower our citizens,” Nez said this week.
Ethics Complaint Filed Against Arizona State Senator
A former assistant for state Sen. Wendy Rogers filed an ethics complaint against the newly elected lawmaker, according to the Arizona Capitol Times. Michael Polloni told the outlet Rogers had exhibited consistent verbal and physical misconduct. He alleges Rogers implied he was lying after he contracted COVID-19, and says the senator made insulting comments about his weight and family. Rogers did not return requests for comment from the Capitol Times, and has not immediately returned an email from KNAU requesting comment. The senator represents the sixth legislative district, which constitutes Flagstaff, Tusayan, and Snowflake among other northern Arizona communities.