Arizona Edition

Jonathan Athens Director of Communications, Cocopah Indian Tribe

Mosquito test samples in Yuma County showed positive cases of West Nile virus, a mosquito born illness that can transfer to humans.

This week a bipartisan group of 20 United States Senators announced a $1 trillion deal on infrastructure. Though the details are still to be worked out, the framework received the support of 17 Republicans in a procedural vote.

City of Somerton

This episode of Arizona Edition is part two of an interview that aired on KAWC’s Arizona Edition on July, 2, 2021.  

This story aired on KAWC’s Arizona Edition on July 2, 2021   


Lou Gum

Part two of this series aired on KAWC’s Arizona Edition on June 25, 2021. To listen to part one visit here.   

Host (Lou Gum):  

Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

The tentative budget for Yuma County next year is more than 50 percent higher than last year's. What does it include? And where did the money come from? On this episode of Arizona Edition Yuma County Administrator Susan Thorpe speaks with KAWC’s Lou Gum on this year's budget.  

Yuma International Airport

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) says over 1.4 million people passed through airport security Thursday. That's up from a little over 230,000 people on the same day last year. Airports across the country are seeing improving passenger numbers, but people flying is not the only measure of an Airport's health in a community. 

On this episode of Arizona Edition, Gladys Brown the Director of the Yuma International Airport speaks with KAWC's Lou Gum on why Yuma International is receiving statewide recognition following a global pandemic.

Behind the Yuma Multiversity is a push to expand access to higher education in Yuma County by a coalition of local individuals and businesses.

As the first full academic year within the pandemic comes to an end for teachers and students we speak with Gina Thompson, Superintendent of Yuma Union High School District. We’ll talk about lessons of resilience and citizenship, upcoming graduation ceremonies, and what looks to be an ambitious summer school schedule and hiring season.  

Arizona Edition, Host Lou Gum.

The Cocopah are known as the river people for their historic and cultural connection to what is today called the Colorado River.

The Colorado intersects the Cocopah Reservation today at a couple of points, but it is harder to get to the waters than it used to be just a couple of generations ago.

On this week's Arizona Edition, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls talks about the increasing number of refugees released in Yuma and reflects on a year of pandemic in our community.

10,000 American baby boomers turn 65 every day and immediately confront a choice regarding their future healthcare. This week we hear about a growing trend for American seniors – choosing a private insurance plan for their Medicare coverage.


Recently, the U.S. Border Patrol began releasing refugees and asylum-seeking migrants in Yuma County. While they aren't in the area long, there are few aid agencies to help them transition out.  

Arizona Edition - Our guest this week warns that politicians, and the media, hype up coverage of the U.S.-Mexico border for political gain and for ratings. Clara Long focuses on immigration and border policy as Associate Director for US Programs at Human Rights Watch. 

From the 1940s to the 1990s the federal government detonated hundreds of nuclear devices at a test site in Nevada, spreading radioactive fallout to the winds of the American southwest.  Downwind cancer victims linked to that fallout later got an apology and a path to compensation in the form of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in 1990 but many say it wasn’t enough.

College enrollment is down nationwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As vaccines are administered and virus numbers improve, Arizona Western College, the community college that serves Yuma and La Paz Counties, is looking to reconnect lost students and expand access to higher education in the region. AWC President, Dr. Daniel Corr, talks about a new partnership with the state's three public universities and a push by state lawmakers to allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees.  

The former director of Arizona's health department, Will Humble, says zip-code level data on Covid-19 vaccination rates statewide would show low numbers for disadvantaged populations. But will the state release the information?  


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has asked the federal government for more COVID-19 vaccine for state residents. Most will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but in Yuma County, because of its ease of transport and storage, health officials chose to distribute the Moderna vaccine. 


The Arizona Department of Health Services Covid-19 dashboard says the first case of COVID-19 was collected on Jan. 22nd, 2020. 


One year later, there are over 700,000 cases in the state and more than 12,000 people have died from complications of COVID-19. 


From day one, standing on the medical frontlines against COVID-19, 95,000 Arizona nurses. 



Until recently, those in Yuma and other communities in our region had little choice if they wanted to pursue a career in social work.  While Northern Arizona University’s Yuma campus offers a bachelor's degree in Social Work, a master’s level program meant traveling out of town, most likely to Phoenix. 




Yuma County Public Health District

This episode of Arizona Edition aired Friday, Nov. 6 2020.

Victor Calderón/KAWC

In this episode of Arizona Edition, KAWC's Andrea Perez-Balderrama reports on what Yuma County can tell us about the Latino vote.




Having served nine years in the past, Democrat Bill Mundell is seeking another term on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which among a number of duties, regulates monopoly utilities. 

Mundell served from 1999 through 2008 on the commission before being term limited from office. He would go on to seek another term in the 2016 election along with fellow Democrat Tom Chabin. 

Capitol Media Services file photo



Before COVID-19 quarantines were imposed, Charlene Fernandez drove to the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix every Sunday when the state House of Representatives was in session. 


Brandon Mejia


One of the highly contested races on the General Election ballot is for Yuma County Sheriff this year.  

Brandon Mejia


Each year tens of thousands of winter visitors escape the cold and head to Yuma whether it's by RV, hotel, or residency the impact of visitors is noticed throughout the city's economy.


Arizona voters will have another chance to vote on legalizing the use and sale of marijuana for adults in November. 

Brandon Mejia


With the general election less than 50 days away, the Yuma County Recorder's Office is preparing for an election impacted by a global pandemic, misinformation, and voter insecurity.