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9:41 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

State Briefs: Grand Canyon tram project stalls

Grand Canyon tram project stalls

PHOENIX (AP) – A project to build a 1.6-mile tram that would take visitors into the Grand Canyon is on hold for a few months after failing to gain enough support from Navajo Nation lawmakers.

The proposal must go through four committees before the tribal council votes. Two committees voted it down, a third wanted to table it and another, in which the whole council will debate the project, had not yet considered it before the spring session ended last week, The Arizona Republic reported.

The council could approve the measure even if the committees do not. But Larry Foster, a former Navajo council member and political adviser, said the measure is struggling for broad backing.

Officials confirm deaths of 2 endangered wolf pups

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Wildlife officials have confirmed that two endangered Mexican gray wolf pups died last month.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish detailed the cases in a monthly report released Thursday.

The agency says a female pup with the Hoodoo Pack was found dead in Arizona in March. The cause remains under investigation.

A male pup with Arizona’s Bluestem Pack died after being captured for a medical evaluation. Officials say testing confirmed the animal had canine distemper.

The most recent survey conducted by federal and state officials involved in the reintroduction program showed at least 113 wolves spread between Arizona and New Mexico. That marked an improvement over the previous year.

The survey also showed that 50 wild-born pups survived in 2016 compared with half that the previous year.

Ethics hearing set for Maricopa County justice of the peace

PHOENIX (AP) – A state commission has scheduled a May 15 hearing to consider charges accusing a Maricopa County justice of the peace of violating state ethics rules during his 2016 election campaign.

The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct has said the proceedings against JP Andrew Hettinger could result in sanctions ranging from an informal reprimand to removal from office if Hettinger is convicted.

One charge centers on Hettinger’s use of a website that redirected internet traffic from an address apparently named after an election opponent to his own website. Another is about campaign material that didn’t clearly describe his status as a non-incumbent candidate.

Hettinger has acknowledged making mistakes but said the commission should dismiss the complaint against him.