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Program brings electricity to 20 Navajo households

A program to bring electricity to Navajo families added 20 households to the northern Arizona grid over the weekend.

A number of homes on the Navajo Nation lack electricity, which means they must heat their homes with wood or coal.

Flashlights or kerosene lamps light up homes at night and coolers serve as refrigeration.

So power companies from around the country, including Salt River Project, got together for Light Up Navajo.

The program turned on the lights for 230 homes a few years ago, then stopped when the pandemic hit.

The utilities hope to connect 300 homes over the next couple of months.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.