Drivers will soon have a new and improved South Mount Vernon Avenue and Senator Highway to travel on in Prescott. Landscaping restoration along South Mount Vernon is underway and will be ongoing through the end of the project. While this work is mainly occurring off the roadway, you should be aware of reduced speeds, lane restrictions and possible flagging operations. As for construction on Senator Highway, expect long delays and closures from time to time between Nathan Lane and South Mount Vernon. Crews are grading the roadway and constructing new curb and gutter. Allow additional travel time and be aware of lane restrictions, flagging operations and traffic stops. Work hours on both roadways are 7 am to 6 pm through this Friday.
Smoke is expected to be in the air as prescribed burning resumes this week. Throughout the month, Prescott National Forest Fire Managers have been working on reducing hazardous fuels in the Sierra Prieta and Groom Creek areas. The burns crew may be treating 183 acres near Willow Springs Camp in the Thumb Butte area. This activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. If conditions aren't favorable, the crew will consider burning slash piles around the Prescott basin. The burns are set for tomorrow through Thursday. For more information on the prescribed burns, call 777-5799.
The silver anniversary celebration of one of Prescott's elementary schools is getting underway tomorrow. The celebration starts at 9 with a public unveiling of a memorial display that commemorates the man for whom the elementary school is named, Abia Judd. Students and staff will participate in guided public tours of the exhibit every half hour starting at 10. This display will educate the community on the lifelong contributions of Judd to Prescott and its schools. Ground was broken in July 1987 for the school at the corner of Williamson Valley and Iron Springs Roads. It opened its doors in August 1988 with 625 students. The official dedication took place the following October with Judd himself cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
Two people are recovering from injuries suffered in a traffic collision on I-17 near New River. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, a truck pulling motorcycles had a blowout at around 11 yesterday morning. The driver apparently lost control and his truck was struck from behind by an 18 wheeler. The truck was pushed from the roadway and into a ravine. The 2 people trapped inside were rescued and airlifted to a trauma hospital. The extent of the injuries is not known, and neither are the victims' names and conditions. DPS officers shut down the southbound lane, causing backups as long as 10 miles for drivers returning home from the weekend. Both lanes were reopened at around noon.
The Humboldt Unified School District is reaping the benefits of the sun. Lake Valley and Mountain View Elementary and Liberty Traditional Schools already have solar systems in place. These systems are put over structures that APS has constructed. District spokeswoman Mariela Bean explains the structures serve 2 important purposes. Three additional schools, Coyote Springs and Granville Elementary and Glassford Hill Middle are also getting solar systems. Bean says these are being installed at all schools at no cost to the district. This week construction is underway at the front parking lots at Coyote Springs and Granville. The new systems at all schools are scheduled to be in place and operational on or before December 31st.