PHOENIX – Arizona’s three state universities will comply with a federal mandate for government contractors and require their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, unless waived, announced Friday officials.
The University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University requirement includes undergraduate and graduate students who are also employees of the university, the Board of Regents said. of the State in a press release.
The statement cited President Joe Biden’s executive order regarding meeting federal guidelines on COVID-19 in the workplace and said universities had “hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts, funding critical research, jobs and educational efforts ”.
“We respect individual opinions regarding the vaccine and will include disability (including medical) and religious accommodations that comply with federal rules,” the statement added.
A spokeswoman for the regents did not immediately respond when asked what would happen to an employee not meeting the mandate.
The University of Arizona “has already received amended federal contracts that include this requirement,” President Robert Robbins said in a statement. “While we respect individual opinions regarding the vaccine, we will continue these mission-critical efforts and comply with this new requirement.”
In another development, Arizona health officials reported 2,399 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 38 more deaths on Friday.
Authorities identify drowning victim as Californian, 75
LAKE HAVASU CITY (AP) – Authorities have identified one of the two people who drowned in the Colorado River as a 75-year-old Californian.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona said Friday divers were continuing their search for the body of a woman who also drowned on Thursday.
Authorities say the two victims were traveling in their boat when the woman fell into the river while trying to retrieve a personal item. James Weaver of Valley Center, Calif., Then entered the water to help but lost consciousness.
The woman fell below the surface shortly after.
Weaver was taken to shore. But efforts by boaters and first responders to save lives have failed.
The drownings occurred near Topock Gorge, about 15 miles north of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Mormon Mesa Temple opens to visitors ahead of rededication
MESA (AP) – After being closed for more than three years, Arizona’s oldest temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens for five weeks of rarely allowed public visits prior to its dedication December 12.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was closed in May 2018 for a major renovation that included new roofing and drainage, windows, furniture and finishes, additional trees and landscaping, and construction of a new center. reception.
The touring period that started on Saturday will continue until November 20 with tours offered every day except Sunday. Church officials said they anticipate strong interest in the tours and recommended making reservations in advance.
After the period of public visitation preceding the dedication, access to the sacred temple will then be limited to members of the church.
In what is widely known as the Mormon Church, temples are different from chapels or meeting places, where Mormons attend Sunday services and everyone is invited to worship. Temples are the place for special ceremonies, such as weddings.
This is only the third time in its nearly 100-year history that the Mesa Temple has been open to the public, KNXV-TV reported.
Originally known as the Arizona Temple, the Mesa Temple was originally dedicated in 1927 and was rededicated in 1975 following expansion and renovation.
Some of the recent renovations, including neoclassical rugs and furniture, checkerboard floor patterns, and new door hardware, aim to recreate the temple as it was when it opened in the 1920s, according to reports.
Two popular annual events, a Christmas light show and the Easter show, will return in 2022, church officials have announced.
The church established deep roots in Arizona in the 19th century when thousands of Mormon settlers trekked from Utah through hundreds of miles of wilderness and the Colorado River.
The other church temples in Arizona are located in Gilbert, Phoenix, Tucson, Snowflake, and near Thatcher.
QAnon figure says he’s running for Congress in Arizona
PHOENIX (AP) – Ron Watkins, a prolific promoter of 2020 election plots who is closely linked to the QAnon movement, says he is running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona.
Watkins has a large and staunch following among Donald Trump supporters who believe in the former president’s false claims that he lost the election to fraud. His candidacy could shake up the race in one of the GOP’s top congressional pickup targets.
Watkins filed documents with the Arizona Secretary of State this week and then posted a video on Telegram repeating his claim that the election was stolen from Trump.
It is not clear whether Watkins currently lives in Arizona or his 1st Congressional District. In the days leading up to his announcement, he posted photos of himself with Republicans Kari Lake, a former television presenter running for governor with Trump’s endorsement, and Tom Horne, a former attorney general and superintendent of public schools who are running again to lead the Department of Education. He supported both candidates.
Watkins did not answer the phone and did not respond to text messages and emails sent to the contact information for the expression of interest he filed with election officials in Arizona.
Watkins was the longtime administrator of 8kun and its predecessor, 8chan, online message boards known for disinformation and hate speech, and which were instrumental in seeding the QAnon conspiracy movement. He said he gave up the role last year.
Arizona’s 1st District, which covers vast swathes of rural northern and eastern parts of the state, is a prime target for Republicans. The boundaries are still drawn by the state’s independent redistribution commission, but it is widely believed that the district will be one of the most competitive in the state.
Outgoing Democrat Tom O’Halleran is a former Republican and retired police officer serving his third term.