State Briefs | US senator proposes delisting Mexican gray wolf
A wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico would be removed from the list of federally protected species under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.
The Arizona Republican introduced the measure last week. He's a critic of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan, calling it a regulatory nightmare for ranchers and rural communities.
The bill calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if a population of fewer than 100 wolves has been established along the Arizona-New Mexico border. If so, the predator would be considered recovered and removed from the endangered list.
Environmentalists say it's an attempt to sidestep the Endangered Species Act.
According to the most recent survey, an estimated 113 wolves roam parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
Flu causing long wait times in Arizona emergency rooms
PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona health officials say emergency rooms across the state are seeing longer wait times than normal because of a record number of flu cases.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said in a release Friday that influenza activity is at a high and several hospitals are reporting a spike in sick patients.
The agency is advising people seek out emergency medical care only if they are at high risk for serious complications or their symptoms are severe.
The department also advises anyone who hasn’t already gotten vaccinated should do so immediately.
Among those considered at high risk of serious complications from the flu are children under the age of 5, adults 65 or older, people with chronic disease and women who are pregnant.
Grand Canyon keeps limits on water use due to pump problem
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (AP) –Week-old mandatory conservation measures water remain in effect at Grand Canyon National Park while work is underway to fix malfunctioning pumps that deliver water to South Rim storage tanks as officials say further restrictions may be necessary.
The park’s utility system provides water to millions of visitors annually in addition to the 2,000 residents who live within the park.
Conservation measures in effect include switching to disposable dishes and utensils at restaurants, serving water by request only and adopting low-water use methods for cleaning hotel rooms. Residents and visitors are asked to limit shower times, turn off faucets when shaving and brushing teeth and wash laundry and dishes with full loads.
Deputy Superintendent Brian Drapeaux says potential next steps could include using hand sanitizer in restrooms and using portable toilets.