Ajo Copper News
The Ajo Copper News is a weekly newspaper.
It has been serving Ajo, Why, & Lukeville in Southwestern Arizona since 1916.

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Below are weekly news briefs

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2012 News

Deaths, Services

Weddings, Births, Happy News

December 26, 2012 The Christmas Issue with fantastic color art by Hop David. Download the pdf HERE    
December 19, 2012 This week's issue -- December 19, 2012    
December 12, 2012 This week's issue -- December 12, 2012    
December 5, 2012 This week's issue -- December 5, 2012    
November 28, 2012 This week's issue -- November 28, 2012    
November 21, 2012 The Thanksgiving issue -- November 21, 2012    
November 14, 2012 This week's issue -- November 14, 2012    
November 7, 2012 This week's issue -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121107.pdf    
October 31, 2012 This week's issue -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121031.pdf    
October 24, 2012

Red & White Weekend and more! This week's issue -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121024.pdf

Ocrober 17, 2012 Continuing through October....free download of the entire Ajo Copper News. This week's issue -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121017.pdf    
October 10, 2012

Continuing through October....free download of the entire Ajo Copper News. This week's issue -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121010.pdf

October 3, 2012

Read the entire newspaper!
Here's another free digital download -- http://www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews121003.pdf
of the entire issue!

September 26, 2012

The Ajo Copper News is going digital!
Now you can read it all, not just a news brief.
The first issue is free as an 8.4MB pdf download at www.cunews.info/pdf/CuNews120926.pdf
We hope to soon offer digital subscription and single copy sales online.

September 19, 2012

Here is a pdf of the front page with news about WPCCC, highway chipsealing, International Day of Peace, and weather.
Check the Ajo Copper News page on Facebook for pictures and other news.

Here is a pdf of page 2 with obituaries of John Tapia, Tony Perez, Jessie Moreno.

Happy birthday Sue Wright, Ashlee Durham, and Danielle Valenzano.
September 12, 2012

Here is a pdf of the front page with a feature abut the storms that hit Ajo.
Walt Weber has been named as the new justice of the peace for Ajo.
WPCCC heard from the new justice of hte peace, the new chamber of commerce director, and representatives from the county, the school, and law enforcement.

Gertrude Mason, 75, died September 4, 2012, in Tucson
Miguel Rubio Diez died August 23, 2012, in Sonoyta, Mexico.

Happy 70th anniversary Louis & Julia Moreno!
September 5, 2012 Second Saturday events are being planned.
Friends of Ajo are looking for vendors and making plans for the annual Red & White Weekend.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors is expected to name a new justice of the peace.
Reginaldo G. "Nano" Rojo, 92, died August 22, 2012, in Tucson.
John L. Tucker died August 25, 2012, in Phoenix.
John B. McKay died August 15, 2012, in California.
August 29, 2012 Here's a pdf of the front page with news about the new CofC director, school sports funding, and bridge clearance.   Happy birthday Gery Krehbiel and Lesi Jones!
August 22, 2012      
August 15, 2012 Here's a pdf of the front page    
August 8, 2012      
August 1, 2012      
July 25, 2012      
July 18, 2012      
July 11, 2012      
July 4, 2012      
June 27, 2012      
June 20, 2012      
June 13, 2012      
June 6, 2012

The AHS Class of 2012 received diplomas on Friday evening, June 6. Graduating with distinction were valedictorian Cinithia Manjarrez, saultatorian Anitza Mariscal, and Kaiden Bensinger. Graduating with honors were Alexandra Marie Salazar, Marcia E. Martinez, Mariana E. Manrtinez, Arely Crystal Nuñez-Duran, Laymi Ivonne Raya Badilla, and Alexus Nikkole Denny. Also graduating were Paolo-Miral Sayo Asberos, Jonathan Blake, Nataly Chi, Jorge Velazquez Cota, Lisa Marie Espinoza, Adriana Armida Fitts, Estevan Guillermo "Sledge" Garcia, Selena Rosalba Jerez, Nicholas Eric Johnson, Journey Nichole Jones Hickman, Alic Martinez-Celaya, Angel Samuel Netherlin, KeneKona G Richardson IV, Alexandra Marie Salazar, Erin Brianne Sipe, Anthony Thomas Tamayo, JoseLuis Valenzuela III. Photos of graduation and of the 8th grade promotion the night before can be found on the newspaper's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AjoCopperNews

Professional group-daycare and childcare in Ajo will be discussed at forum called Ajo Kids, A Community Conversation on Saturday, June 9, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Walker Park, 290 Fifth Street.

It's for Second Saturday, A schedle of the day's events appears in an ad in the print edition of the Ajo Copper News.

Josefa V. “Josie” Perez, 83, died in Coronado Home in Phoenix on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Mass May 26 in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial Ajo Cemetery. Douglass Funeral Home.

Mary Elizabeth “Emmy” Hockett, 78, died at her home in Ajo on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Services at Ajo Federated Church at 10:30 a.m. on June 12. Douglass Funeral Home.

Congratulations to the AHS Class of 2012!
May 30, 2012

It’s a big week for members of the Ajo High School Class of 2012. Their graduation ceremony will be held this Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in Dicus Auditorium. Eighth grade promotion exercises will be held the day before, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, in Dicus Auditorium.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors recently approved the First Assembly of God Church, 950 North Cameron, also known as the Rock Church, as a food bank agency to provide two related services. Beginning in July, the church will manage a pantry to help food bank clients with emergency food assistance. Also beginning in July, the large once-a-month distribution of food from Tucson will be dropped off at the church the first Thursday of each month.

The pool is open! Lap swim times are Monday through Thursday from 8 to 9 a.m. and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., open swim is Monday through Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m., water aerobics is Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and family swim is Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sign-up for swim lessons begins June 2 at 7:30 a.m. at the pool. The pool is located at Walker Park, 290 Fifth Street. Call Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation at 387-6641 or 387-6555 for more information.

David L. Zozaya, 83, died May 24, 2012, in California. Mass May 31 at Holy Family Church, San Jose, California. Burial in Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California.

Timothy Atkinson was graduated from Yavapai College on May 12 with an associate of arts degree.

May 23, 2012

Funds seem to have dried up for the Ajo gibson Volunteer Fire Department. Donations to date total $16,501.75 while at the same time expenses paid out total $18,777.24. Firefighters say it takes a minimum of $30,000 annually to operate the service. About 300 individuals have made donations this year, but only 14 organizations, including two churches, have made contributions .AGVFD is a non-profit organization that receives no tax money. Firefighters ask renters to contribute $30 each year, homeowners $60, and businesses and organization $100. Checks may be sent to the Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department at PO Box 909, Ajo, Arizona 85321.

VFW Post 3578 will be the site of a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 28. The post will open its doors at noon with the ceremony starting at 1 p.m. A potluck dinner will follow the ceremony.

Military veterans Robert Runge, John “Jack” Breen, and Janet Bloss Kellogg were recognized in a ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3578 last Sunday.

Baccalaureate services for the Ajo High School Class of 2012 will be held at The River, 530 Palo Verde, at 6 p.m. this Sunday, May 27. Eighth-grade promotion will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in Dicus Auditorium. High school graduation will start at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 1, in Dicus Auditorium.

Jose G. Dorame, 94, died on May 16, 2012, at Valley Oasis in Glendale. Visitation at Douglas Funeral home May 24. Rosary and mass on May 25 in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. ; burial will be in Ajo Cemeterye. Douglass Funeral Home.

Norman Harold Leatherwood, 67, died in a medical facility in Goodyear on May 15, 2012. Memorial service May 26, at the Elks Lodge. Douglass Funeral Home.

Linda M. Lucas, 59, died May 6, 2012. No services are planned. Douglass Funeral Home.

Military graveside services for Donald Oglesby Thursday, May 24.

Happy birthday Nico David, Miranda Yanez Kornack, and Mona Yanez

May 16, 2012

The school board meeting, conducted during the power outage, heard from community members and faculty, accepted resignations,and approved teacher and other personnel contracts. AUSD will hold a Math Boot Camp for elementary students from June 6-28 in addition to other summer school activities.

The induction of new members into the National Honor Society at Ajo High School took place on Monday, May 7, in Dicus Auditorium. Inductees were Holly Poole, Lindsey Leon, Arely Nuñez, Alexus Denny, and Kaiden Bensinger, and standing are Laymi Raya, Manuel George, Ana Rodriguez, Jesus Mariscal, Rafael Rendon, and Cassandra Coyle.

Scholarships were awarded at the annual Honors Banquet sponsored by the Ajo Rotary Club. Go to the Ajo Copper News page on Facebook for photos and names.

Sometime during last Wednesday night’s storm and power outage, a group of youngsters smashed the bottom half of the glass door at Radio Shack with a rock and stole easily carried electronic devices such as iPods, X-boxes and digital cameras. The Pima County Sheriff's Department arrested Anthony Garcia and a 15-year-old male when then tried to sell some of the stolen items. Anyone with information on the burglary or the location of unrecovered merchandise is asked to call 387-8539.

Local veterans John Breen, Robert Runge, and Janet Kellogg will be honored by the American Legion and the VFW at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at the VFW Hall, 1764 Ajo-Gila Bend Highway.

Socorro Parra Perez, 85, died in Payson on May 6, 2012. Mass Saturday, May 26, at St. Phillip the Apostle Catholic Church in Payson.

Allen Lynn Northrup, 78, died April 30, 2012 in Tucson. ServicesMay 5, 2012 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church; graveside services were held at the Ajo Cemetery.  Douglass Funeral Home.

Judy Frances Kinkead, 64, died May 9, 2012, at her residence in Ajo. Visitation at the family home on May 12; burial was at Ajo Cemetery. Ddouglass Funeral Home.

Robert Vaughn has been tapped by Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation to lead the management team and efforts to develop the county’s historic Canoa Ranch restoration as the new administrator of the county parks’ special projects division. He will still head the park in Ajo, spending Monday & Tuesday here each week.
May 9, 2012

More than 50 people attended last week’s meeting of the Western Pima County Community Council. The large turnout was the result of two items on the agenda: the Pima County Wireless Interoperability Network (PCWIN), and a change in status for the Ajo Community Food Bank.

Journey Jones was crowned 2012 Cinco de Mayo queen by Dominique Pacheco, the 2011 queen, last Saturday during a fiesta in the Plaza sponsored by the American Citizens Social Club. Runner-up was Marissa Harris. Princesses were Cinthia Manjarrez, Nataly Chi, Anitza Mariscal, and Laymi Raya. Besides the coronation, the fiesta featured entertainment and booths with food & crafts, and raffles.

The results are in for April’s Starbucks Foundation funding contest, and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance is one of the state’s big winners. ISDA took second place, and captured a $20,000 donation.

National Women’s Health Week is being observed May 14 to May 18 this year. Desert Senita Community Health Center will be sponsoring activities for the public nearly each day.

Harold Eugene “Hal” Watson, 91, died in Casa Grande Regional Medical Center on April 18, 2012. No services are planned at this time.

Anders T. Peterson has earned a master’s degree in hispanic linguistics, and was presented his academic hood at a ceremony on May 7, at the UofA’s Student Union Memorial Center. He and his wife Cindy are also celebrating the adoption three brothers Salomon, Xavier, and Francisco.

May 2, 2012

Time-honored traditions will be upheld at a Cinco de Mayo fiesta this Saturday, May 5, in the Plaza. Sponsored by the American Citizens Social Club, which is informally known as the Chu Chu Club, the fiesta will include entertainment, booths with crafts, foods, and other items, and the coronation of the Cinco de Mayo queen.

While it’s not yet clear what the changes will be, it’s clear that big changes are on the way for the Ajo Community Food Bank. Karen Galliazzo, who has managed the local operations for the past decade, said she gave her two-week notice to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona last week. Her position will not be filled, but the group said Ajo will not be left without services.

Robert Broussard is the new minister at Ajo Calvary Baptist Church. Coming from the Phoenix area, he has been in Ajo one month and says he likes the people here.

Edilia L. “Lily” Hickman, 63, died at Gila Regional Medical Center in New Mexico on April 24, 2012. Rosary at Douglass Funeral Home Chapel on May 5 followed by Mass in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Douglass Funeral Home.

Amelia A. “Babie” Garcia, 56, died in Ajo on Thursday, April 12, 2012. Graveside services in Darby Wells Cemetery on April 18. Douglass Funeral Home.

Maliah Isabel Sepulveda was born in Tucson Medical Center in Tucson on April 20, 2012, to Xochitl Eliana Mason & Brandon Sepulveda of Tucson.

Tom Branson will mark the end of a long career as a pharmacist as Tom’s Pharmacy in the Plaza ceases prescription service on May 4.
April 25, 2012

The news from the recent Galileo testing, the benchmarks used to predict projected AIMS results, was a mixed bag, Ajo Principal Brian MacKenzie told the Ajo Unified School District board. Middle school scores generally stagnated or declined. High school students demonstrated strong math and reading growth, and marginal improvement in writing, said MacKenzie. Of particular concern, he said, are the 7th- and 8th-grade indicators. “We were hoping to see more positive results,” from the testing said Superintendent Robert Dooley.

Six young women are vying for the crown of Cinco de Mayo queen — Laymi Raya, Journey Jones, Anitza Mariscal, Marissa Harris, Nataly Chi, and Cinithia Manjarrez.

Loni Lott, a consultant on the Our Town project, facilitated last Saturday’s general sessions for input on creative community visions about the Ajo townsite area, which includes the Plaza and the Curley School. Two general sessions took place, as well as focused discussions with business owners, congregants at Ajo Federated and Immaculate Conception churches, and artists.

Lewis Edward Black, 78, died peacefully at his home in Tucson, surrounded by family, on April 1, 2012 Services Fort Thomas LDS Church on Saturday, April 7.
McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel. Condolences at www.caldwellfuneral chapel.com online.

Cinthia Manjarezz was the Ajo Rotary Club's student guest.
April 18 2012

The Ajo Unified School District board met in its study and regular sessions last Tuesday and Wednesday. Summer school hours were approved. The 16-day high school session will take place June 6-29 on a four-hours-per-day schedule. Elementary summer school, focusing on reading, writing, and math, will also last 16 days, from July 9 to August 2, four hours each day. Total summer school cost for teachers, paraprofessionals, and materials is estimated to be $26,608.

A day of community meetings is beng held in conjunction with Our Town and plans for the Plaza and Curley School area.

Robin Coachman, project manager with the US Department of Homeland Security for the 55 Sahuaro project, says construction of 21 homes is expected to be completed by November.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument celebrated its 75th anniversary with an open house, programs, and an employee reunion.

Josie Castro, 95, died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.Memorial Service at Mariposa Funeral Chapel, 400 S. Power Road in Mesa,  Thursday, April 19. Burial services will be held at the Ajo Cemetery  April 20.

Congratulations Irene Galvez on 25 years with the Pima County Sheriff's Department!
April 11, 2012

Carmine DeBonis and Tom Drzazgowski, the director and deputy director of Pima County Developmental Services, were in Ajo last Thursday as featured speakers at the Western Pima County Community Council meeting. Their main message was to the point: Building permits are not required in Ajo unless the building being done is for commercial purposes. Zoning permits – covering setback requirements, building heights, ingress and egress - are required, but the fee for them has been reduced to $46. Zoning permits had previously cost up to $400.

ISDA is conducting a survey about the Plaza area use and design. A survey form appears in the April 11 issue of the Ajo Copper News or can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/AjoTownCenterSurvey

Work on the USBP's new facility in Why is expected to be completed by July 18, with a move in scheduled for September 20.

There will be a lot going on. The Second Saturday events, including tours, classes, and art events, will be joined by the 75th anniversary of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

John G. “Greg” Goldsberry, 78, died at his home in Ajo. No local services will be held.

Cleodovero “Leo” Romero died March 31, 2012, in Ajo.

Josie Castro died April 4, 2012, in Mesa.
Services are pending through Douglass Funeral Home.


April 4, 2012

Holy Week ecumenical services by the Ajo Pastors Association: Maundy Thursday services will be held at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church on Thursday, April 5;Good Friday services at the Ajo Federated Church on April 6. Sunrise services in the Plaza on Easter Sunday, April 8.

Approximately 20 representatives from Ajo’s business community attended a luncheon presentation Monday from Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona. The event, held in the Curley School auditorium, was an introduction to the statewide non-profit group working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state. It also outlined the benefits of and reasons for local involvement. The event was organized by the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce, the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, and Local First Arizona, with funding from Freeport McMoRan.

Ajo's newest church is The River, a non-denominational church located at 530 Palo Verde Avenue that meets Sundays at 10 a.m.

Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson has asked 10 people to be part of a group looking at ways to best serve Ajo interests through the newly proposed Pima County Economic Development Plan: Estelle Bryant, Ajo District Chamber of Commerce; Robert Dooley, Ajo Unified School District; Fran Driver, Desert Senita Community Health Center; Richard Ducote, Freeport-McMoRan; Linda Lam, Salazar/Ajo Public Library; Cheryl Langer, Why-Ajo-Lukeville Development; Vicki Marshall, Pima Community College; John Peck, Pima County Small Business Commission; Tom Richeson, Project PPEP; and Tracy Taft, International Sonoran Desert Alliance.

No new obituaries  
March 28, 2012

This week is spring break for most AUSD students and employees, but selected students at Ajo Middle and High Schools are attending a spring intersession to get extra academic help. Intersession will run Monday through Friday, March 26-30, from 8 a.m. to noon each day.

A series of Holy Week ecumenical services will start this Sunday, according to the Rev. Dr. Gary Stacy of the Ajo Pastors Association. They will begin with Palm Sunday services at the First Assembly of God Church on April 1.

The Ajo Historical Society held its annual membership meeting on Tuesday, March 13. Lito Castillo, Paulette Walters, and Louie Walters were elected to the board of directors for three year terms.

Celebrating the Sonoran Desert: A Tri-National Symposium took place in Ajo last week with more 250 attending, including representatives from government agencies, universities, Ajo residents, and others interested in the Sonoran desert. Presentations focused on cultural and natural resource issues along with successes and challenges involved in conserving the Sonoran Desert.

No new obituaries

Happy birthday Chloe Krehbiel!

Gerald & Lola (Couch) Wiley celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on New Year’s Day, 2012, by boarding the Grand Canyon Railroad with family members .

March 21, 2012

Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association is holding its last lecture, hike, and tour of the season.

The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce combined its annual meeting with a “State of the Town” dinner last Wednesday. The event, held in the cultural hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, drew more than 60 people. Several people were honored for their contributions: Bob & Dee Hightower, Ernie Green, Aretta Carter, Jim Mitchell, Chuck Johnson, Lee Halvorsen, Carol Yokum, Cheryl Langer, Morgana Wallace-Cooper, Cathy Hutton, Bertie Nixon, and Lonnie Guthrie.

The South Pima Regional Partnership Council of First Things First held its regularly scheduled meeting at the Desert Senita Community Health Center. First Things First came into existence in 2006 when Arizona voters approved an 80-cent-per-pack increase in tobacco products and directed that tax funds collected fund early childhood services for children 5 and under. The South Pima council is chaired by Fran Driver, CEO of Desert Senita.

Henry Francisco, 77, died in Tucson on March 14, 2012.Rosary at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Saturday, March 24. Burial will be at Darby Wells. Douglass Funeral Home.

Alice Marie (Inglis) Kendall died in Freedom Plaza Nursing Home in Peoria on March 6, 2012. Services at the Ajo Federated Church on March 29. Burial beside her husband in the Ajo Cemetery.

Ruby Viola Braseth, 80, died March 1, 2012, in Canada. Private family services in Bashaw, Alberta, Canada. Wombold Family Funeral Homes in Bashaw.

Fred F. Wagner, 98, died March 16, 2012, shortly after returning to St. Paul, Minnesota, from his winter home in Ajo. Interment was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Terri Lynn Garcia was born in Bonner General Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho, on March 10, 2012, to Samantha (Roland) & Antonio Garcia of Moyie Springs, Idaho.
March 14, 2012

The Ajo Unified School District board met in regular session last Wednesday, hearing the superintendent’s report, audience members’ concerns, and taking action on various personnel and business issues. The latest round of reading and writing AIMS tests were completed last week. Diane Alesch-Jackson, a reading specialist, and Jim Jackson, 3rd-grade teacher, tendered resignations. Lonnie Guthrie was named assistant softball coach, and the classified employment of Robin Russell, data analysis assistant, was approved.

The white and green mystery helicopter making scores of back-and-forth trips on the horizon west of Ajo recently was hauling soil to fill in a hole, according to Sid Slone, manager of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Often the helicopter was seen lugging a large white basket or sack beneath it.

PCWIN, which stands for Pima County Wireless Interoperability Network, is a proposed radio system that could give at least 30 agencies within the county – from Tucson Fire and Tohono O’odham Police to Ajo Ambulance and Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department – the ability to talk to each other in real time on a single network. However, the system may be too expensive for the local agencies to participate in.

No new obituaries in the March 14 issue. Tammy Carlos and Chris Aroz repeated their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day, February 14, in an evening ceremony in Santa Rosa.
March 7, 2012

A record crowd gathered for the March meeting of the Western Pima County Community Council last Thursday. The packed house was seen by many as an indicator of the significance of the first topic of discussion: dogs. Furor has been mounting over animal control issues in recent weeks, starting with tie-out issues and escalating when two off-leash dogs killed a resident's cat. The county's leash law is briefly summarized at www.pimanimalcare.org.

The International Sonoran Desert Alliance held its annual meeting.The session featured reports of ISDA activities in 2011, remarks from Lattie Coor, former president of Arizona State University and current CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, ISDA program updates, and the election of ISDA board members Bridget Rendon, Toni Cubillos, and Paul Vasquez.

County Supervisor Sharon Bronson meet with constituents from the business and institutional sector. The agenda included reports from Estelle Bryant of the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce, John Peck of the county’s Small Business Commission, Cheryl Langer of Ajo Arts Alive!,and an update on marketing from Catherine Strickland of the county’s economic & tourism staff. The local impact of the PCWIN radio system was discussed during the open forum.

NEA chairman Rocco Landesman got a good overview of Ajo last week during his tour of Ajo’s central district.“This could be the poster child for the national ‘Our Town’ projects,” Landesman said.

No recent deaths

Kenneth Williams is the new bishop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ajo.


February 29, 2012

Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department firefighters didn’t get much of a rest after extinguishing flames that scorched a shed foundation made of railroad ties in the 500 block of Esperanza Avenue last Saturday. Emergency response crews finished with that incident about 2:30 in the afternoon. Within three hours they were called out for another blaze, this one a shed in the 500 block of Morondo Avenue, just across the alley from the first fire. This time the shed was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived on scene. Since then two more fires have occured in the same area. There is an ongoing fire investigation.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation is beginning its spring sports program. Other programs, incuding crafts classes, continue.

Larry Richard Rogers, 72, died at his home in Cottonwood on February 14, 2012. Services on February 18 in St. Thomas of the Valley Episcopal Church in Clarkdale. Bueler Funeral Home of Cottonwood.

Military service veterans Bob Fulkerson, Jesus Espinoza, and Remberto Bustamante were recognized during a ceremony held by local veterans groups at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3578.

Aremy Dianne Tucker of Phoenix was graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.

February 22, 2012

The Ajo Unified School District board met in regular session last Wednesday, following a study session on Monday. The study session began with a moment of silence in honor of the late Jack Peterson. The board heard details on personnel, administrative, and curricular actions, and received updates from Brian English and Brian MacKenzie. Rose Cameron, former teacher & current board member, was presented framed letter of thnaks for her work in raising money for equipment for the school weight room.

US Border Patrol agents remain busy detaining undocumented migrants, arresting drug smugglers and seizing drugs, and rescuing people in the desert.

Paul John Ortega died at his home in Ajo on February 19, 2012. At Mr. Ortega’s request, no services will be held.

Simon E. Leon Sr., 86, died February 19, 2012. Mass on February 25 in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Douglass Funeral Home.

Maria Guadalupe "Lupita" Dorado, 85, died Friday, February 10, 2012, in Peoria. Graveside in the Ajo Cemetery on February 23. Douglass Funeral Home.

Valentine sweethearts and kings & queens were crowned. Patti Bush and Carol Peek were sorority sweethearts, Kenneth & Faye Hammonds were crowned at the Senior Nutrition Program, Keith & Joyce Brindley were the Why sweethearts, and Aaron Neuman & Tiller Romero were crowned at the Chu Chu Club.

Regina Riccomini & Roger Thun have announced their engagement.

February 15, 2012

Nearly 50 people showed up at the Walker Community Center last Thursday for an update on the 55 Sahuaro project. The first phase of 21 two- and three-bedroom structures are scheduled to be completed by November. The second phase, with 25 more units, has not yet been funded.Each structure will have photovoltaic solar panels, and all would meet ADA standards.There will be two generators on-site in case of power outages, that rental rates would be comparable to those elsewhere in Ajo, and that there would be no wall or fence around the entire property as was earlier suggested.

Academic Awards Night was held was the Ajo schools. Citizenship awards recognized middle school and high school students for good behavior. Other awards included Galileo improvement awards, AIMS awards, perfect attendance awards, Ajo service awards, preparation for college awards, excellence in teaching awards, and honor roll awards.

The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce is working with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. on proposed partnership between Freeport and Local First Arizona, a non-profit working to strengthen local economies through supporting locally owned businesses throughout the state.The CofC has also received a $$52,000 grant from Freeport-McMoRan.

Jack Petersen, 86, died Thursday, February 9, in Tempe, Arizona. Services at Ajo Federated Church on February 25. Private graveside services. Douglass Funeral Home.

Reynaldo Varela “Rey” Alvillar, 84, died February 4, 2012, in Tucson. Mass on February 18 in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Adair Funeral Home of Tucson.

Happy birthdays Hop & Moppy David!

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!

February 8, 2012

Following the extraordinarily busy weekend centered around the fiddlers contest (Henry the Fiddler was the grand champion), quilt show, and vaudeville show, Ajo has another weekend with no dearth of things to do coming up as Second Saturday events include the annual Sonoran Shindig, continuing Arizona Centennial events,crafts sales, and a concert by Igor's Jazz Cowboys.

After visiting campus last week, a quality assurance review team from AdvancED found that the academic program at Ajo High School meets national standards. The team recommended full accreditation for the school. QAR team leader Dr. Nancy Alexander commended the principal and the school for their “commitment to advancing excellence in education.”

Rebecca R. Carrera, 77, died at her home in Ajo on Friday, February 3, 2012 .Mass Saturday, February 11, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Douglass Funeral Home.

Edna May O’Coyne, 93, died February 2, 2012, in Phoenix. ServicesFebruary 8, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Douglass Funeral Home.

Jackson Lee Williford was born in Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa on November 16, 2011, to Ryan & Marina Williford of Ajo.

Happy birthday Joseph Jaye Bejarano

Linda Davis received the Outstanding Site Steward of the Year award for 2011 while Jolene & Ed Northup picked up the Outstanding New Site Stewards of the year award for 2011. The program is a function of the Arizona State Parks system.

February 1, 2012

Ajo's biggest week-ends are adding Arizona Centennial events. Coming up are the annual fiddlers' contest, quilt show, art shows & tours, concerts, vaudeville, and an historic home tour. Meanwhile the community also has a wide variety of regular activities on tap. Among the many groups that sponsor events and programs during the year were Ajo Arts Alive!, Ajo-As-Victim/Ajo Neighborhood Association, Ajo Community Food Bank., Ajo Community Garden Consortium, Ajo Community Golf Course, Ajo Community Players, Ajo Council for the Fine Arts, Ajo District Chamber of Commerce, Ajo Garden Club, Ajo Historical Society, Ajo Lions Club, Ajo Regional Foods Partnership, Ajo Unified School District, Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department, American Citizens Social Club, American Legion & Auxiliary, American Legion Riders, Arizona Youth Partnership, Ballet Folklorico de Ajo, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association, Catholic Daughters, Community Supported Agriculture, Cultural Crafts Class, Desert Artists Guild, Desert Senita Community Health Center & affiliates, Elks Lodge & Elks Ladies, Friends of the Ajo Library, HOPE Coalition, International Sonoran Desert Alliance, Knights of Columbus, Las Artes, Las Damas de Ajo, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Parent-Teacher-Student Association, Piecemakers, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation, Pima County Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers, Salazar-Ajo Branch of the Pima County Public Library, Veterans of Foreign Wars & Auxiliary, WALD, Western Pima County Community Council, Why Senior Citizens, and the Xi Gamma Pi and Xi Alpha Sigma chapters of Beta Sigma Phi.


Herminia Maria Elsmere, 73, died Thursday, January 26, 2012, at Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, New Mexico.  Services February 1, from 1-2 p.m. at Terrazas Funeral Chapel.www.terrazasfuneral chapel.com

Walter Lee Woodard Sr., 71, died January 25, 2012, in the Phoenix area. Service January 30, at Best Funeral Services in Peoria.

Steven Kesler, 64, died January 22, 2012, in Glendale. Services January 27 at West Resthaven Funeral Home in Glendale.www.westresthaven funeralhome.com

Madison and Mason Hipp were born in Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix on January 17, 2012, to Diana & Marshall Hipp of Gila Bend.

Happy 82nd birthday, Rita Galvez!

Happy 64th anniversary, George and Joanne Shackelford!

January 25, 2012

John David Ford was chargedwas charged on four counts of possession and manufacture of a prohibited weapon - an improvised explosive device, and three counts of possession of a prohibited weapon - rocket more than four ounces after PCSD deputies found pipe bombs, bomb making material, and military surface to air missile simulators at his home. He later said he was making "adult fireworks".

Principal Brian MacKenzie reported to the school board that AIMS data showed significant improvement in reading and math test scores over 2010 and many students are applying for college admission.

There were no obituaries in the January 25 issue.

Marie Diehl was presented the Golden Circle for her fifty years as a member of the Xi Alpha Sigma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.

Connie Villaverde and Keith Lowe announced their engagement.

January 18, 2012

Ajo schools issued report cards to students for the fall semester on January 13. Students must return the report cards to school with a parent’s signature to show that their parents have reviewed their grades. Some students had passing grades that were invalidated by excessive absences; they may write a letter of appeal to the school principal.

Many people seem to think they can get help faster by calling the ambulance, sheriff’s department, or fire department direct instead of dialing 911. It’s not true. Even though there appears to be a delay in the call going through, it’s still best to call the emergency number.

William James “Jim” Thomas, 96, died January 10, 2012, in Custer, South Dakota. Mass January 18, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Custer, South Dakota. McColley’s Chapel of the Hills in Custer, South Dakota,www.mccolleys chapels.com

Lorraine Florence Young, 84, died January 5, 2012, in hospice care in Pueblo, Colorado. No service information was available. Imperial Funeral Home

Paula Krehbiel Call received her masters degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University in Kansas on December 11.

Happy birthdays to Toni Cubillas, Lisa Espinoza, and Sandra Vasquez.

January 11, 2012

The first 2012 meeting of the Western Pima County Community Council was held last week and included the seating of new council members, a change in officers, and a variety of community reports.
New members Robert Moreno-Brown and Paul Vasquez were welcomed and Ken Freese was reappointed to the council. The 2012 officers are Deb Morrow, chair; Carol Yokum, vice-chair; Arlene Dreste, treasurer; and Lil Jones, secretary. School matters, homelessness, and workforce development were also discussed.

The Desert Artists Guild hosted a reception January 6, for its 3rd Annual Juried Art Show. Martin Vega won both the People's Choice and the President's Choice awards.

Richard Francis Feldman, Jr., 49, died December 29, 2011, in Taylorsville, Utah. Mass January 6 in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church; burial was in Ajo Cemetery. Douglass Funeral Home.

Happy birthday Paula Krehbiel Call.

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church celebrated its 80th anniversary.

January 4, 2012

The year started with some big changes at Desert Senita Community Health Center. Dr. Richard Reams is joining the staff, the health center is staying open until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and care teamsare being formed.

The Rev. George F. Kraft is the new pastor of Ajo Assembly of God Church.

Green-thumbers and others wanting to grow their own fresh vegetables were encouraged to register for 4-by-13-foot plots in Ajo’s second community garden, which is located on the corner of Cameron and Dorsey near the Rock Church and the former dry cleaners.

Barbara Ford died in hospice in Prescott on Wednesday, December 14, 2011. A memorial service January 7, at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse of Prescott Valley Estates.

Happy birthday


Looking for news from 2011? Try the archives.

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