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Page man arrested for urging killings of Navajo over virus

PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities in northern Arizona have arrested a man for writing a racist social media post accusing Navajo people of carrying the coronavirus and calling for their deaths. The Page Police Department announced Tuesday that 34-year-old Daniel Franzen was taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to incite an act of terrorism. Police say they received reports Monday of a Facebook post that urged people to use “lethal force” against the Navajo community because they were “100% infected” with COVID-19. Investigators say they traced the post to Franzen. He has been booked into Coconino County jail. The city of Page borders the Navajo Nation, the nation’s largest Native American reservation.


Arizona governor orders self-quarantine for NY travelers

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday ordered anyone flying into an Arizona airport from coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days. Ducey said the action was needed to prevent the growth of infections in the state, which already has cases in all 15 counties. The governor last week issued a stay at home order for all residents, which advised them to leave their houses only to obtain or work in essential services.


Scaled down funeral held for slain Phoenix police officer

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix police commander killed in the line of duty is being remembered at an intimate funeral that primarily consisted of family. About a dozen mourners sat in the pews of St. Jerome Catholic Church on Tuesday during a funeral Mass for Cmdr. Greg Carnicle. Normally, a church would be packed for a fallen officer’s funeral. However, coronavirus-related restrictions against large gatherings remain in effect. The Phoenix Police Department livestreamed the service on Facebook. They hope to later have a wider public memorial. The 31-year police veteran and two other officers were shot March 29 while answering a call about a roommate dispute. The gunman was killed.


Southwest air quality benefits from stay-at-home orders

Fewer motorists in Arizona and Nevada following the states’ stay-at-home orders appears to be improving the air quality and decreasing the effects vehicle emissions have on the environment. Both states released their reports Monday after at least a week under the states’ respective stay-at-home orders. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide are pollutants that contribute to smog and poor air quality and are emitted from the transportation sector, including cars, trucks, commercial aircraft and railroads. Environmental officials say more study is required.


Pima County board appoints Betty Villegas to fill vacancy

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A retired Pima County official has been appointed to fill the county Board of Supervisors vacancy created by the March 28 death of longtime Supervisor Richard Elias. The board on Tuesday appointed Betty Villegas to fill the remainder of Elias’ term, which expires in December. Villegas was the county’s affordable housing director when she retired in 2018 after working for the county for 23 years. She previously worked in the banking industry. Villegas had expressed interest in the appointment but is not among those who filed to run in the 2020 election for the District 5 seat on the county board. Elias, a Democrat, was  member of the county board for nearly two decades.


Former Ak-Chin chairman dies unexpectedly over weekend

MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — A former chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community has died. The tribe says 57-year-old Louis Manuel Jr. died unexpectedly Sunday. Manuel served multiple terms on the Tribal Council and oversaw the community whose reservation is near Maricopa. Current tribal Chairman Robert Miguel called Manuel a great leader, father, husband and friend. He says Manuel loved his community and always put his people first. A spokesman for the tribe did not elaborate on the cause of death but said it's not related to the coronavirus. Funeral services are pending. Flags have been lowered within the tribal community in honor of Manuel.


Phoenix dispensary told to stop selling virus 'stabilizer'

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s top prosecutor has ordered a Phoenix dispensary to stop marketing its products as treatments for the coronavirus. Attorney General Mark Brnovich says he sent a cease-and-desist letter to YiLo Superstore Dispensary on Friday over claims of having a “Coronav Immunization Stabilizer Tincture.” Brnovich’s office had been alerted to promotional text messages as well as a website tying the product to the novel coronavirus. Brnovich said in a statement Monday that attempts to exploit consumers during a public health crisis will not be tolerated. Brnovich’s office says the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any vaccine to immunize against, prevent or treat COVID-19.


Virus puts event planning industry on brink of devastation

PHOENIX (AP) — The events industry, which exists to bring people together, has been hit particularly hard by fallout from the coronavirus. All around the U.S., bouncy houses for children’s parties and stacks of folding chairs and tables for graduations, weddings and Bar Mitzvahs are being warehoused as event planners heed social distancing guidelines. Some companies are trying to find creative uses for their equipment and services as they undertake the onerous process of applying for federal assistance and begging banks for loan extensions. For many it’s becoming increasingly difficult to survive with no firm end in sight to the social clampdown.