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Thu, Jan. 20

Briefs: Arizona reports 450 additional COVID cases amid data problem



PHOENIX – Arizona on Tuesday reported only 450 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 102 more virus deaths as state officials said it’d be another couple of days before the reporting system recovers from a data-processing problem.

The latest figures increased the state’s pandemic totals to 1,150,432 cases and 20,963 deaths, according to the Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard.

The number of additional cases reported Tuesday was far below the latest seven-day rolling average of daily new cases while the number of additional deaths was well above the rolling average of daily deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks, rising from 2,260.9 on Oct. 10 to 2,572.3 on Sunday, while the rolling average of daily deaths rose from 35 to 60.3 during the same period.

On Monday, when Arizona reported only 158 additional cases and no additional deaths, the department said there was a data-processing problem over the weekend. The problem was corrected but likely would continue to affect numbers through midweek, officials said.

On Tuesday, the department said the problem continued to impact dashboard updates and that figures reported Wednesday and Thursday “are likely to be higher as delayed numbers are added.”

Page school district superintendent rescinds his resignation

PAGE – The superintendent of the Page Unified School District who resigned Sunday after allegedly making a racist remark at a board meeting last week now intends to stay on the job.

District officials shared Larry Wallen’s decision to rescind his resignation in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Wallen said he’s embarrassed following the allegations of the remarks and apologized “for creating this kind of disharmony.”

Phoenix TV station CBS 5 reported that parents in the eastern Arizona school district allege Wallen made a racist remark about indigenous students at an Oct. 19 school board meeting.

The parents said Wallen called indigenous students “brown kids” following questions about having more virtual teachers in the classroom with the help of a classroom assistant, rather than having a physical teacher. The discussion was in response to the district’s plan to fill the void of teachers and other faculty members who have left.

“What people don’t know is my whole family is Navajo,” Wallen told CBS 5. “My wife’s Navajo, my grandkids are Navajo, my son’s Navajo,” Wallen said. “And to think I would make racist remarks is... after 35 years on Navajo is very unforgiving.”

Police: 2 killed in wrong-way crash on Tempe surface street

TEMPE – A man and a 2-year-old girl who were passengers in a vehicle driven by a teenager were killed in a wrong-way crash on a Tempe surface street, police said Tuesday.

The teenage driver and the child’s mother were injured in the crash that occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Monday in northbound lanes of Price Road near Southern Avenue, police told local news outlets.

A woman who was driving the other vehicle also was injured, police said.

Detectives were investigating whether the teenage driver was under the influence, police said.

No identities were released but police said the teenage driver was a juvenile.

Tucson police: Body is found in a pond on city’s south side

TUCSON – A body has been found in a pond on Tucson’s south side, according to authorities.

Police said officers were working with the Tucson Fire Department to recover the body.

It was spotted early Monday morning in water near the Kino Sports Complex.\

Police said an investigation is underway and there was no immediate word on the person’s gender or a possible cause of death.

Arizona collects over $1,500 in fantasy sports tax in August

PHOENIX – Arizona collected just under $1,600 in tax revenue during the first four days of fantasy sports contests after they became legal in August.

The Arizona Department of Gaming on Monday reported the first revenue figures from sports gambling authorized by the governor and Legislature earlier this year.

The state is expected to make significantly more from sports betting, which became legal about two weeks after fantasy sports contests. The first revenue figures for sports betting are expected in late November.

State data shows that DraftKings and FanDuel each collected about $75,000 in fees for fantasy sports between Aug. 28 and Aug. 31. FFPC collected $25,000 and Yahoo Fantasy Sports about $600. They pay the state 5% of their profits, which totaled $1,581.11.

FanDuel and Yahoo did not report any profits.

Navajo Nation: No COVID-19 deaths for 18th time in 26 days

WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 37 more COVID-19 cases, but no coronavirus-related deaths for the 18th time in the past 26 days.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals to 36,161 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The known death toll is at 1,474.

Tribal health officials had reported 24 new cases and two deaths on Sunday.

Based on cases from Oct. 8-21, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory notice for 48 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Tribal officials still are urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks while in public and minimize their travel.

All Navajo Nation executive branch employees had to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing.

“We know how to reduce and even stop the spread of COVID-19, but it takes all of us making the right choices for ourselves and others each and every day,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement Monday.

The tribe’s reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

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