Arizona sheriffs launch program to promote safety for wildfire season

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona wildfire season could start early in 2018 thanks to an unusually dry and warm winter. Arizona’s Sheriff’s Association wants Arizonans to be prepared to the state’s wildfire season.

All the state’s sheriffs have adopted a “Ready, Set, Go!” program that helps educate residents about proactive measures to take before an emergency and how to act when their community is threatened.

On March 1, the Arizona Sheriff’s Association in partnership with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs launched their statewide education campaign to increase awareness of the RSG program.

[RELATED: Gov. Ducey: Warm winter means challenging wildfire season ahead]

“We’re excited and proud to implement the Ready, Set, Go! Program for all hazards across the state,” said Arizona Sheriff’s Association president, Mark J. Dannels. “Our primary goal is to keep Arizonans safe and we believe the message of preparing early and being set to evacuate at a moment’s notice will help us achieve that goal.”

The three tenets of RSG’s are to get READY by preparing before hazards threaten the community, be SET by maintaining awareness of significant dangers and to GO or evacuate when the danger is current and life-threatening.

READY: Prepare now

-Be aware of hazards that can threaten your community.

-Register for your county’s emergency notification system.

-Create defensible space around your home by keeping grass mowed short and trimming vegetation.

-Build an emergency supplies kit. Start with the five P’s: people and pet supplies, prescriptions, papers, personal needs and priceless items.

SET: Be alert

-There is significant danger in your area.

-Consider voluntarily relocating to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area.

-This might be the only notice you receive.

GO!: Evacuate

-Danger in your area is current and life-threatening.

-Evacuate immediately to a shelter or to family/friends outside the affected area.

-Follow instructions from emergency personnel, and stay on designated evacuation routes.

For more information about hazards in Arizona Emergency Information Network’s website and for additional “Ready, Set, Go!” information follow Arizona Sheriff’s Association or AZ EIC on twitter.

(via AZFamily)

How to travel more efficiently at Sky Harbor during spring break

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – March is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s busiest month.

According to Sky Harbor, during March, the number of people at the airport jumps by more than 15,000.

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Source: PHX Sky Harbor Airport)

 

“On a typical day, 120,000 people use the airport, but on its busiest days in March, more than 135,000 passengers fly through Phoenix,” said Heather Lissner, public information manager for Sky Harbor.

 

 

 

The airport’s busiest days during the month are Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday. The airport expects March 11 to be one of their busiest days of the entire year.

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PHX Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3. (Source: PHX Sky Harbor Airport)

America’s Friendliest Airport has provided tips on how to fly with ease in order to help both travelers and employees during spring break season:

  • Double-check your bags at home to make sure you haven’t packed anything that is on the TSA Prohibited Items List, especially souvenir items.
  • Give yourself plenty of time before your flight, it is recommended that domestic fliers give themselves arrive two hours before their flight and international fliers at least three hours before. Sky Harbor has top ranked restaurants and museum exhibitions that you can enjoy while waiting for your flight.
  • Check your flight status with your airline before coming to the airport.
  • Check the status of the security wait times before arriving at the airport and continue to review wait times once at the airport.
  • Search for parking based on convenience or price and/or reserve a spot before arriving at the airport.
  • Fliers who are being dropped off can skip the traffic by boarding the PHX Sky Train at 44th Street.
  • Reserve rental cars in advance.
  • The Terminal 3 Modernization Project comes with a lot of changes. If you are not familiar with our terminal or you haven’t visited the airport in a while you can learn more online.

For additional travel tips from America’s Friendliest Airport, visit skyharbor.com.

(via AZFamily)

Gov. Ducey updates autonomous vehicle executive order

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona will continue to be the national leader in the development of self-driving technology.

Gov. Doug Ducey updated his executive order regarding the self-driving vehicle testing process in Arizona on Thursday.

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Gov. Doug Ducey (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)

“The executive order established safety guidelines for the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles, but also instructed the state to eliminate unnecessary regulations and hurdles to the new technology,” the Governor’s Office said in a statement. “Arizona is recognized as a leader in welcoming new technology and innovations. Since the executive order, Arizona has become home to testing for many of the technology and automotive companies that are leading the innovation into the new frontier.”

[MORE: Arizona political stories]

The revised executive order will include updates to keep pace with emerging technology and require all automated driving systems to follow all federal and state safety standards.

[RELATED: Uber coming to AZ to test self-driving cars, governor says ‘Welcome’]

“As technology advances, our policies and priorities must adapt to remain competitive in today’s economy,” said Governor Ducey. “This executive order embraces new technologies by creating an environment that supports autonomous vehicle innovation and maintains a focus on public safety.”

[RELATED: Driverless cars arrive in AZ amid fears they will kill jobs]

The safety standards include the vehicle and companies to:

  • Comply with all Arizona traffic and safety laws,
  • Meet all applicable certificate, title registration, and licensing and insurance requirements,
  • Work with the Departments of Public Safety and other relevant law enforcement agencies to develop protocols on how first responders interact with fully autonomous vehicles in emergency and traffic enforcement situations.

Companies that are testing self-driving cars in Arizona include General Motors, Uber, Intel and Waymo.

(via AZFamily)

APS customers will begin to see bill decreases this month

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Some utility customers will see a smaller bill.

Starting March 2, customers with Arizona Public Service, or APS, will start seeing an average reduction of $5.40 on their monthly bills, the company said.

These reductions are a result of $119 million in federal corporate tax cuts.

[RELATED: APS wants to lower customers’ rates thanks to federal tax overhaul]

According to APS, in anticipation of federal tax reform, the company included a new adjustor in their most recent rate review to pass savings directly back to customers. The savings exceed the $95 million revenue increase from the company’s 2017 rate settlement.

[READ MORE: Trump signs tax bill before leaving for Mar-a-Lago]

“The Arizona Corporation Commission approved this refund of $0.004912 per kWh beginning with March bills. The refund will appear as a line item on customer bills called the Tax Expense Adjustor Mechanism (TEAM),” said APS in a statement. “The calculation is based on energy usage (kilowatt-hour) and will vary month to month and customer to customer. APS expects to refund customers additional savings from federal tax reform later this year, subject to the full impact of the new law and approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission.”

[RELATED: New changes coming to APS customer billing plans]

Customers can find information about how to reduce energy and which service plan best meets their unique needs at aps.com.

(via AZfamily)

Tips for visiting the Grand Canyon during Spring Break

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (3TV/CBS 5) – Spring Break brings increased traffic and wait times for Grand Canyon National Park visitors.

Vacationers who plan to visit the Grand Canyon should prepare for the heightened level of traffic.

According to National Park Services, during Spring Break, “traffic regularly backs up at the South Rim entrance stations, with the longest wait time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Parking lots, especially near Grand Canyon Visitor Center, start reaching capacity by 11 a.m.”

The Grand Canyon is also undergoing construction on the Grand Canyon Village roads, and that will add to the congestion.

Park officials urge motorists to stay alert and follow the detour signs, temporary stop lights and other traffic control signs. GPS units are not considered reliable in helping to avoid the construction but people can check construction delays online.

The park has started up two more shuttles to help decrease traffic:

– The Tusayan (Purple) Route

The Hermits Rest (Red) Route

Other shuttles offered by the park include:

The Village (Blue) Route

Kaibab Rim (Orange) Route

Hikers’ Express Shuttle

Visitors can get more information about bus and shuttles at the National Park Services website.

Grand Canyon National Park also wants to remind visitors to take safety precautions while at the park.

“Prepare for your hike ahead of time, visit the Backcountry Office, and know yours and your group’s abilities. If you plan to travel with a pet, please know which trails are pet-friendly and use the South Rim Kennel instead of leaving your furry loved one in a car. Remember to lock your vehicle and secure all valuables. Don’t forget to pack your hoodies and beanies!” said NPS.

(via AZFamily)

Upgrades are coming for ASU’s Camp Tontozona

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona State University’s Camp Tontozona will be receiving upgrades.

Sun Devil Athletics and Sun Devil Football announced that Camp Tontozona will undergo changes that include a new synthetic field replacing the natural grass and other minor renovations.

According to the athletics department, the new field will include a water system for cooling and cleaning the field, sleeves for the field goal posts, field striping for multi-sport use and more.

The camp was first opened in 1960 under Sun Devil Hall of Fame coach Frank Kush. It recently re-opened in 2012 after a four-year hiatus.

Throughout the years, Camp T experienced extreme weather that made it mandatory for the team to move their practices to Rumsey Park in Payson, or cancel them all together. The new synthetic field will help maintain scheduled practices by reducing the chances of flooding.

“Since the football program’s return to Camp Tontozona, we’ve been assessing a solution for mother nature’s impeding disruption each and every season,” said Ray Anderson, Vice President for University Athletics and Athletic Director. “We are pleased to provide more assurance of an efficient and productive practice experience at Camp T.”

Other upgrades will include power to sideline for low power coaching equipment, such as removable scoreboard, timer and laptops; field striping; leach field rims, lids, and manholes relocation; and additional lighting along roadway.

The project is expected to be done in August before the start of camp.

(via AZfamily)