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Thu, May 26

Briefs: Navajo Nation: 79 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths for 3rd day

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but no deaths for the third consecutive day.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals since the pandemic began to 43,277 cases with 1,593 known deaths.

Navajo Nation officials reported 270 cases and one death Friday, 220 cases Saturday and 242 cases Sunday. The figures released Monday included 18 delayed reported cases.

Based on cases from Dec. 24-Jan. 6, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory for 61 communities due to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

“We see an increase in the number of communities identified with uncontrolled spread from 42 communities last week to 61 communities this week,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said. “Everyone must use extreme caution in public places and health officials now recommend wearing two masks in public due to the high level of transmissibility of the omicron variant.”

Nez said “it’s safe to say that the omicron variant is widespread on the Navajo Nation and across the country, but the data indicates that symptoms are often less severe among those who are fully vaccinated and those who their booster shot.”

The reservation covers 27,000 square miles and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Pima County administrator rehabbing at home after bike crash

TUCSON, Ariz. – Longtime Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry now is recovering at home after a period of hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Huckelberry was hit by a car while bicycling in downtown Tucson on Oct. 23.

Huckelberry’s family says he sustained a serious head injury and broken ribs.

His wife, Maureen, says her husband continues an aggressive therapy regimen, including physical, occupational and speech therapies.

She also says they are considering options for the timing and viability of his return to work.

Huckelberry has been the county administrator since 1993.

Chief Deputy County Administrator Jan Lesher was named the acting county administrator in December while Huckelberry recovers.

Couple found dead in Arizona home in apparent murder-suicide

CHANDLER, Ariz. – A married couple has been found fatally shot in their Chandler home and it appears to be a murder-suicide, police said Monday.

The two bodies were discovered around 6:30 a.m. Sunday and police said the man and woman each had a single gunshot wound.

According to police, 76-year-old Sheldon Butler called to say he had shot his wife, who was identified as 74-year-old Linda Butler.

Officers arrived at the home and found the couple dead at the scene.

Police said a motive wasn’t immediately known.

A gun was recovered from the scene and a ballistic test was being done, police said.

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