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Top 10 Stories for Page Lake Powell in 2013

January 02
23:51 2014

As we jump into the new year, here’s a look back on the top 10 stories for Page Lake Powell in 2013.

89 Highway Collapse

Highway 89 Collapses South of Page

Highway 89 Collapse Cuts Off Page

In February, a well-traveled section of Highway 89 broke off and slid down the cliff just a few miles from the junction of Highway 89 and 89A in the area known as the “Big Cut.” Direct access was immediately cut off between Page and Flagstaff, Lee’s Ferry, Marble Canyon and both rims of the Grand Canyon, forcing travelers to make lengthy detours to get where they were going.

Government Shutdown Closes National Parks

Thanks to the October 1 Federal Government shutdown, all 401 national parks, including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument closed during peak tourist season. This not only hurt government employees, but caused significant loss for local businesses as well. While the national parks were closed, Navajo Nation parks stayed open.Navajo tribal parks include Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park which manages Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, the Upper part of East Waterholes and Lower part of East Waterholes. The federal government shutdown officially ended on October 17, but Arizona and Utah National Parks were able to open sooner thanks to state funding.

Navajo Generating Station Owners Pull Out, Lease Extended

It was an active year for Navajo Generating Station, one of the area’s major employers. Two of its six owners, NV Energy and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, decided to pull out, divesting themselves of coal-generated energy. After months of negotiations, the Navajo Nation agreed in July to extend the NGS lease to 2044. But depending on EPA decisions, it might not make it. In November, NGS’s future as a reservation coal plant was the subject of hearings scheduled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The final verdict will be made sometime in 2014.

Navajo 20 Debuts as 89T

U.S. 89T Update

U.S. 89T Update

After a major landslide closed U.S. 89 between Bitter Springs and Page, the Navajo Division of Transportation, ADOT, BIA and Federal Highway Administration joined forces to pave N20 as a detour route. It took 79 days to pave over 20 miles of dirt road. Construction officially began on May 21. N20 is now U.S. 89T and will be utilized to restore essential traffic from U.S. 89 while repairs are made. Once U.S.89 is repaired, N20 will revert back to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Flash Floods Wash Out Highway 89

In August, a flash flood through Honey Draw sent a slurry of mud over a section of Highway 89 in Page between Haul Road and Lake Powell Boulevard, forcing closure of the road and burying the Maverick Country Store parking lot in mud. Antelope Canyon was also hit by flash flood during that storm. No injuries were reported. This was the first major flash flood in Page since 2009.

View David Rankin’s video of the flash floods:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VD5GxluHN8

Page Hosts Fireball Run

In September, Page was a destination city for the “Fireball Run,”
an 8-day, 2000 mile, life-size trivia game, played live routing through inspiring destinations across the United States. Fireball, the country’s largest and longest “active recovery effort” for missing and abducted children raises some $29 million towards the Race to Recover America’s Missing Children.

View the Twist Thompson and Vance Hummer for the Fireball All Stars & Movie Cars plus many more of the cars that rallied to raise money and bring publicity to the cause of missing children. Every Fireball Run team is assigned a child missing from their home region. While competing in the adventure it’s their mission to distribute 1000 posters throughout the journey in an effort to raise awareness for and aid in the recovery of that missing child.

BearHeld

Wayne Gustaveson with Rescued Bear Cub

Bear Cub Rescue

A bear was actually rescued from the waters of Lake Powell in September. A bear cub showed up on the shoreline of Face Canyon looking for food. The bear visitation was correctly reported to the National Park Service. Park officers found the bear and escorted it away. But the bear came back. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officers were sent out with tracking dogs and wildlife experts. No houseboats were parked on the beach. A visitor came over the hill and asked “Can you help me? There’s a bear on my boat.” The tranquilizer gun was loaded and the bear was shot with an anesthetic. Just before passing out the bear decide to make one more rush to freedom.

He plunged off the boat into Lake Powell, swam a few yards and then went limp. Jason Nicholes, UDWR Wildlife Biologist, knew the bear was now in serious trouble. He stripped off his shirt tossed his cell phone on the ground and jumped in the lake. He grabbed the bear after an Olympic free style swim and held the bear out of the water until the boat could come pick them both up.” — Wayne Gustaveson

Read Wayne Gustaveson’s entire account at:
https://www.lakepowelllife.com/bear-rescued-lake-powell/

Three New City Council Members Elected

Page voters elected three new council members in May. Dugan Warner, Michael Bryan and Levi Tappan took office, defeating former councilmen Lyle Dimbatt and John Mayes, and replacing Vida Makowski who didn’t run for reelection.

Two New Property Taxes Voted Down

Page voters also showed their disdain for new taxes. Twice. The property tax to pay off the city’s debt was rejected in the May election. A few months later, the Coconino Community College’s plea for a property tax increase was voted down as well.

Page High School Fire Closes School for 2 Days

In early December, Page students got an unexpected holiday thanks to contained fire at the Page Unified High School. Due to transportation issues, all Page schools, including the Tse’ Yaato’ High School, were closed on December 3 and 4. The Page unified School District will not have to make up the two days lost due to fire. The schedule remains as published.

Listen to Fire Details from Principal and Security

Click to ListenMidday KXAZ FM 93.3: Paul Gagnon and Angelo Santana 12/06/13

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