KNAU’s morning round-down: Wednesday, June 16

It’s Wednesday June 16th.

The National Weather Service reported a high of 94 degrees in Flagstaff yesterday, setting a new record on June 15th. The previous high was in 1974 at 92 degrees. An excessive heat warning, meanwhile, applies to lower elevations in northern Arizona, which is due to be raised on Friday evening.

Ducey prohibits requests for unvaccinated college students

Governor Doug Ducey passed an executive order on Tuesday banning public universities and community colleges from mandating face covers and other requirements for students who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

The policy prohibits compulsory COVID-19 tests at universities – unless there is a “significant COVID-19 outbreak in a shared apartment”. Approval for the mandatory tests must be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services. According to the regulation, public universities are not allowed to require students to submit information about vaccinations.

Ducey placed the order shortly after a letter from Arizona State University set test requirements and mask requirements for unvaccinated students. It also comes as Northern Arizona University prepares for a full face-to-face semester this fall. The NAU had imposed a mask requirement, tests and daily health checks in the past school year.

Former congressman takes part in the race for governor

Former US MP Matt Salmon has announced his bid for the 2022 gubernatorial election. In a campaign video, Salmon supports the protection of the second amendment, tax cuts and describes itself as “100% pro-life”.

Salmon represented Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, including Flagstaff and parts of the Navajo Nation, between 1995 and 2001. He later represented parts of Mesa and Gilbert in the 5th District. In previous years, he opposed the Affordable Care Act, pressing for the release in 2016 of Amir Hekmati, a Flagstaff man and US Marines imprisoned in Iran.

Kelly Introduces Legislation for Metro Designation

Senator Mark Kelly tabled a bill Tuesday that would allow Flagstaff to maintain its current designation as a Metropolitan Statistical Area. MSAs include cities with more than 50,000 residents. However, the Office of Management and Budget is considering a move that would require MSAs to have a population of at least 100,000. The change in policy would downgrade Flagstaff to a micropolitical category with more than 140 other cities. Kelly says he will propose the bill to concerns within communities about losing federal funding opportunities. He co-drafted the legislation with Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota.

Navajo police are looking for missing woman

The Navajo Police Department is seeking pertinent information in their search for a 62-year-old woman who was last seen in Sweetwater, Arizona. According to police, she could drive a silver Ford F-150 from 2005. The NPD asked for information to the Shiprock District.

COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Tusayan. planned

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open in front of the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater in Tusayan tomorrow. Coconino County officials say they will be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those ages 18 and older, along with the Pfizer vaccine for those ages 12 and over.

No appointments are required in the free clinic. The county’s data, last updated June 5, shows that nearly 59.6% of residents of the Grand Canyon area have been fully vaccinated against the virus – one of the highest rates in the county.

Another clinic is planned for Heritage Square in Flagstaff today. An estimated 45.8% of the city’s residents are fully vaccinated.

Chino Valley cancels July fourth event due to fire restrictions

The city of Chino Valley will cancel a fireworks event on July 4th in light of fire restrictions and arid conditions in northern Arizona. Mayor Jack Miller said in a statement yesterday the decision was made after consulting local fire department managers. The decision is made when a fire continues to burn in Cornville and weeks after the Spur Fire triggered hundreds of evacuation orders for Baghdad residents.

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