Study shows high costs of extreme heat in Phoenix
PHOENIX – Extreme heat is expensive.
That’s the conclusion of a study presented Dec. 6 by The Nature Conservancy, which commissioned a review of the costs of rising temperatures in Phoenix.
Together with infrastructure consultancy firm AECOM, the environmental non-profit organization known for its nature reserves and efforts to protect biodiversity has this time turned its attention to the country’s hottest large metropolitan area.
David Hondula, a former Arizona State University climatologist who now heads Phoenix’s new heat response and mitigation office, said the report would be helpful for cities like his to secure funding for measures to to cool the quarters. He served on the study’s advisory committee.
Phoenix has always been scorching hot, but climate change has made it even hotter, with temperatures in early September still climbing to 111 degrees. Temperatures reached up to 118 degrees during the summer. The city is the fifth largest in the country, with 1.6 million inhabitants.
Those most vulnerable to heat are often found in poor and racially diverse communities, where many households cannot afford the heat waves that are becoming more frequent, widespread and severe. Maricopa County in Phoenix recorded 323 heat-related deaths in 2020,
The extreme heat is already costing residents of the Phoenix metro area $ 7.3 million per year in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for heat-related illnesses, according to the study. Maintaining roads in the metro area costs transportation agencies more than $ 100 million a year as streets and highways warp, shape and crack from high temperatures.
The study concluded that planting enough trees to provide a canopy for a quarter of the desert city and covering all buildings in the area with “cool roofs” made of materials that do not absorb heat could help the city. city to save billions of dollars over the next three decades. .
New rules take effect for the state’s pot industry
SANTA FE – New rules governing the manufacture, sale and transportation of recreational marijuana in New Mexico have come into effect.
The Cannabis Control Division of the New Mexico Department of Regulation and Licensing made the announcement on Dec. 28, saying the rules allow the division to continue to streamline the licensing process for businesses. of cannabis as the state moves towards recreational sales in the coming months.
Under legislation passed earlier in 2021, the rules were expected to be in place by January 1. Sales are expected to begin by April 1.
More than 300 license applications across all sectors of the cannabis industry have been submitted to date, according to the Cannabis Control Division. Each is under review.
The rules that went into effect include final manufacturing requirements that replace emergency rules passed in the fall to protect workers and improve workplace safety. The rules also cover the licensing of retail stores and transportation guidelines for the safe delivery and distribution of cannabis products by licensed couriers.
Council sends big checks to tribe members
WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation Tribal Council has voted to send checks for $ 2,000 to each qualified adult and $ 600 to each child using $ 557 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.
The council’s vote to send the checks to approximately 350,000 tribal members was approved on Dec. 30 by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
The ruling will affect a portion of the roughly $ 2.1 billion the tribe receives from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. Payments will automatically be sent to tribal members living on or off reserve who have requested relief funds as part of a previous round of hardship assistance payments.
It is estimated that 250,000 adults will each receive $ 2,000 and parents or guardians of 95,000 tribal members under the age of 18 will receive $ 600 for each child.
At the same time, Nez approved checks for $ 300 for tribal residents aged 60 and over who have already shown they need more help. The checks will come from nearly $ 16 million of remaining cash that the tribe has in relief funds approved by former President Donald Trump.
Earlier in December, a committee of the council met to consider how to spend $ 1.2 billion in virus relief funds. They discussed spending the money on a large number of infrastructure projects and the $ 207 million payments that Nez had agreed to provide.
Accused of crimes, the sheriff must surrender
BLACKFOOT – Eastern Idaho Sheriff Charged With Threatening Group Of Church Youth With A Gun And Assaulting One Of Its Leaders May Remain In Office But Must Hand Over All His guns to the Idaho State Police.
A judge’s Dec. 29 ruling also requires Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland to have no contact with the alleged victims.
Earlier in December, the Idaho attorney general’s office charged Rowland with aggravated assault and battery, aggravated assault and the misdemeanor of displaying a firearm. Rowland did not plead guilty on December 29, his first court appearance on the charges. The first appearances concern procedural matters such as informing people of their rights.
In court documents, investigators from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office wrote that a group of youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were participating in an activity on November 9 in which they attended provided thank you notes to members of the congregation. The girls, aged 12 to 16, stuck the notes on the doors of worshipers, then rang their doorbell, running away before they could be seen.
According to court documents, seven of the youth group and an adult leader traveled to the Rowland neighborhood to leave a note for the sheriff and his wife. Members of the youth group and Rowland both reportedly said that after the group left the note, Rowland stopped their car from driving away, pulled the adult driver of the vehicle by the hair and pointed his handgun at her. head, shouting insults at him.
Rowland agreed to take time off shortly after the allegations surfaced in November, but has since returned to work.
Rowland said he had received threats in recent months and was concerned about people coming to his home. In a statement, he denigrated residents of the nearby Fort Hall reservation of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, referring to the intoxication, calling them “not good people” and saying their proximity was the reason for his actions.
COVID outbreak hits missionary training center
PROVO – A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ main missionary training center in Provo, Utah, church officials said on Dec. 30 .
The Provo Missionary Training Center, which resumed in-person training in June, requires all missionaries to be fully immunized and is also performing COVID-19 testing.
Face coverings will now be required in all interior spaces and missionaries will not attend their assigned missions unless they have tested negative for COVID-19 or completed the necessary quarantine periods, a said church spokesperson Sam Penrod.
Newly arriving missionaries will have to take a negative COVID-19 test when they report to the center, he said.
After several missionaries tested positive during the week, all 588 missionaries in the Provo center were tested and a total of 91 tested positive. Very few of those who tested positive reported feeling sick or having symptoms, he said.
The center is still operating at reduced capacity and has enough space to separate those who have tested negative from those who have tested positive for the respiratory virus.