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‘Baby Shark’ creators release Navajo version of viral video

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Creators of the popular video “Baby Shark,” whose song was played at the World Series in October, have released a version in Navajo. Pinkfong, a brand of the South Korea company SmartStudy, said Sunday the video is available online and was created following auditions from Navajo actors. SmartStudy worked with the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, to create a new version of the widely popular tune about a family of sharks. Navajo Baby Shark, is the 20th language version of Baby Shark. The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. The Navajo word for shark translates to “angry fish.”


Sports editor apologizes for tweeting 'scalps' after game

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A sports editor for a New Mexico newspaper has apologized after using “scalps” in a tweet to describe a high school basketball team defeating a team with Native American student-athletes. The world “scalp” has a racist history as white settlers regularly cut off pieces of Native Americans' heads after killing them. Hobbs News-Sun Sports Editor Jason Farmer said Friday his tweet was “very inappropriate and completely insensitive.” Navajo Nation criticized Farmer's social media post, saying such comments should not be normalized.


No more photo-only tours at Upper Antelope Canyon

PHOENIX (AP) — Photographer-only tours will no longer be offered at the globally recognized Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona. The Arizona Republic reports tour operators of the slot canyon, known for its red-orange sandstone walls, announced last week that photo-only tours will cease. The photographer-only tours have led to long wait times as professional shutterbugs try to get that picture-perfect shot.  Visitors with cellphones and cameras on the regular tours can still take photos. But tripods will no longer be permitted. Guided tours are the only way tourists can reach upper or lower Antelope Canyon near Page in northern Arizona.


4 Tucson schools fall to an 'F' after letter-grade appeals

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Four schools in Tucson’s major school districts dropped from a D to an F after the school board finalized letter grades issued by state officials. The Arizona Daily Star reports Tucson schools Magee Middle, Booth-Fickett K-8 and Catalina High School each received an F after the board voted on A-F appeals Dec. 13. Marana Unified’s Tortolita Middle School received an F. This brought Tucson Unified School District's number of F schools to five. All the district’s other school grades remained the same.The grades are based on year-over-year student academic growth, scores on statewide assessments, high school graduation rates and indicators that a student is ready for success at the next level.


Police: 2 found dead after man forced woman into vehicle

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Surprise police say two people who had a past relationship were found dead by officers responding to a report of a man forcing a woman into a vehicle at a movie theater late Friday night. Police identified those killed as 21-year-old Jafar Tigue of El Mirage and 18-year-old Faith Villanueva of Surprise and said they were both shot. Sgt. Greg Welch said no suspect was outstanding but that the police investigation was continuing and that he couldn't confirm the deaths were a murder-suicide. Welch said the responding officers were directed to a vehicle leaving the area of the theater and that they found the vehicle in a nearby neighborhood. He says life-saving measures were performed but unsuccessful.


Official: Feds deny request to use border money for shelter

Pima County officials say the federal government has denied the county's request to use $200,000 of border security funding to help cover the costs of operating a humanitarian shelter for migrants. A member by County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry to the county Board of Supervisorssays he learned of the denial based on a determination that the proposed use of the money wouldn't benefit border security. The supervisors voted 3-2 in May to accept a $1.8 million Operation Stonegarden grant.


Wintry weather restricts access to some parks in Southwest

Wintry weather is restricting access to some national park sites in the the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest. National Park Service sites announcing they were closed Saturday included Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico and Arches National Park in southern Utah . At Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona, officials said 25 miles of State Route 64 between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View. were closed due to snow before being cleared and opened Saturday afternoon. Other park roads were plowed but snowpacked and icy. Bandelier officials cited both accumulated snow and continued snowfall.  Arches officials said crews were working to clear the entry road of snow and ice.


Auction could put trust land in Havasu on development path

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) — A vacant parcel of state trust land across the street from Lake Havasu State Park is set to be put up for sale during a Feb. 12 auction. A sale of the publicly owned property could put it on a path for development in the western Arizona community along the Colorado River. The Today's News-Herald reports that the 12-acre property is now zoned in an agriculture/preservation district. However, a new owner could ask the city to rezone the property to allow commercial development. Profits from the auction would go to trust land beneficiaries, primarily public education.