Local News


Authorities have confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in Pinal County during Arizona’s mosquito season. It’s the first confirmed case outside of Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county. Health officials said this week that the case was found in a county resident. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. About 20% of people exposed to it have minor symptoms such as headaches, fevers, aches, nausea and fatigue. People over the age of 60 or those with certain conditions like diabetes, hypertension and cancer are more likely to become severely ill from the virus.

Grand Canyon National Park/via AP

Authorities say a body found at the Grand Canyon is believed to be that of a Hungarian man who was reported missing in July. Grand Canyon National Park officials said the body believed to be 45-year-old Gabor Berczi-Tomcsanyi was found Monday about 430 feet below the rim at Yavapai Point. A park spokesperson said the man was a Hungarian national who lived in Hong Kong and who was traveling in the U.S. Southwest. Officials said they believed he entered the park on or around July 19. His family reported him missing on July 29 to Las Vegas police.

Arizona on Wednesday reported more than 3,200 additional COVID-19 cases and 10 more virus-related deaths as rolling averages for cases and deaths continued to climb during the current surge. Johns Hopkins University data shows that Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks by more than 600. The rolling average of daily deaths rose from about 17 deaths to more than 24 during the same period.  A judge has scheduled a Sept.

Huge gaps between air quality sensors in the western U.S. have created blind spots in the warning system for wildfire smoke plumes sweeping North America this summer. That comes amid growing concern over the potential health impacts for millions of people being exposed to the pollution. Government programs to alert the public when smoke becomes unhealthy rely on monitoring stations heavily concentrated around major cities on the West Coast and east of the Mississippi River.

Vida Volkert/Gallup Independent via AP

Hopi leaders have ordered a reduction in the number of cattle grazing on the reservation. It’s the first phase in a plan to conserve water resources as the tribe continues to experience severe drought. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP

Federal scientists are launching an effort to better understand the hydrology in the U.S. West. 



Mexico has accepted its first group of refugees from Afghanistan. Five women and one man arrived Tuesday in Mexico City, where they were welcomed by Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. Ebrard told the group, “Welcome to your home.” The refugees belong to a group involved in the field of robotics. They had to travel through six countries to reach Mexico. They fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country earlier this month. Ebrard says Mexico will grant them “whatever legal status they consider best.” That could include giving them asylum or refugee status.

Authorities say a man wearing a fake U.S. Border Patrol uniform and driving a bogus patrol vehicle has been arrested in southern Arizona after attempting to smuggle migrants into the country. Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol agents arrested the driver and 10 migrants near Tucson. The interim Chief Patrol Agent of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, John Modlin, says the bogus car was a cloned vehicle similar to ones used by the Border Patrol. Modlin also says the driver was wearing a fake Border Patrol uniform when arrested.

AP Photo/Matthew Brown, file

An Indigenous leader from New Mexico and former U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt are calling on the federal government to overhaul its oil and gas leasing program to ensure the protection of cultural resources. 



UPDATE 8/24/21: Crews at the Grand Canyon have found a hiker missing since Sunday from the Hermit Creek Camp area. This afternoon, search and rescue personnel located Arturo Hernandez from Surprise via helicopter along the Hermit Trail near Breezy Point. Officials say he’s in stable condition and awaiting a helicopter evacuation.

Crews at the Grand Canyon are conducting a search for a hiker missing since Sunday from the Hermit Creek Camp area.