Ajo Copper News
ACN home page Search Archives ../subscribe.html Contact us

News from 1994
 Karen Fry was elected president of the WALD board of directors. Other directors were Mollie Pullum, Robert Rose, Bobbie Hargis, Michael Lane, Jack Garchow, John Tucker, Veronica Hewitt, Tony Ramon, Kathleen Byerley, and V. Lee Grover.
 James L. Armstrong retired as plant superintendent of the New Cornelia Branch of Phelps Dodge Corporation. John Zamar added Ajo to the properties under his management.
 The sale of the Ajo area telephone exchange to Table Top Telephone by US West was the topic of hearings and meetings in Ajo. The sale has not yet been finalized.
 Lucille Couch was elected school board president and Lito Castillo was chosen to serve as clerk. Other board members were Vickie Rucker, Benito Lopez, and Robert Trebes. Melissa McBride was the student representative. Ajo Copper News publisher Hop David was presented the Arizona School Boards Association media award for his reporting.
 The Western Pima County Community Council installed Diane Gallerani as their newest member; other members of the non-governmental council were Will Nelson, Freeman Fry, Dodie Nash, George Skinner, John Tucker, and Roberta Nixon.
 The Rural Arts Traveling Exhibit arrived in Ajo for its annual exhibition. It featured the work of several local artists.
 The first announcements by candidates running for office began to trickle in.
 Juanita Arias was sworn in as postmaster of Lukeville.
 The sixteenth annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest was held at the Moose Lodge.
 Margot Frame began work as the new Ajo site coordinator for Pima Youth Partnership.
 Debate about the proposed sale of the local phone exchange continued.
 Malin Lewis, Dallas Gordon, and Richard Walker received award from Pima County Parks & Recreation for their support.
 Al Gay did his share in creating controversy with a series of ads usually decrying the National Park Service at Organ Pipe and Highway 85 conditions.
 The Lady Raider basketball team were crowned regional champions but came up short in the state tournament.
 The Ajo Rotary Club played hosts to foreign exchange students visiting here.
 Nellie Jo David came in first and Malin Lewis Jr. second in the annual school spelling bee.
 Statehood Day was celebrated in front of the courthouse with the unveiling of plaques honoring local people who have served Ajo, Arizona, and the nation. The first plaque memorialized those who have served in elective office at federal, state, or county level. The second plaque recognized those who have served on the Western Pima County Community Council.
 Edie & Earl Hansen were honored as sweethearts by the Senior Nutrition Program.
 Gabrielle David was feted by her sorority sisters in the Xi Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi as their sweetheart.
 Table Top Telephone held an information meeting for the community which was attended by many people with questions.
 The annual community talent show, sponsored by the Desert Music Club, showed that small towns do house big talent.
 The Western Pima County Community Council continued to be the forum for discussion of issues, large and small, confronting the community. The WPCCC co-sponsors some public meetings with the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce.
 Ajo Ambulance began a three-month interim management of the ambulance service in nearby Gila Bend.
 The Spring Festival, sponsored by Pima County Parks & Recreation and the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce filled the Plaza with activities, entertainment, and food.
 Local public safety officials were relieved when college and university spring break went by without a highway fatality.
 Ecumenical Easter sunrise services were held by local churches outside the Ajo Historical Society Museum.
 A one-car rollover near San Simon resulted in the deaths of two students.
 The Ajo school gave reduction in force notices to 26 employees, citing budget problems. When school resumed in the fall, not all had lost their jobs.
 Full school consolidation was postponed.
 Ruthie England, Amy Martinez, Mia Sanora, Rex Silva, Jeremy Mikus, and Kathy Schumacher were inducted into the National Honor Society.
 The Ajo school board considered budget cut recommendations.
 The AHS baseball and softball teams ended their seasons with solid advances but no big trophies.
 Fiesta de Mayo was celebrated in the Plaza with traditional fun.
 Many turned up at a school board meeting to defend the sports program, in danger of cuts because of budget problems.
 John Tucker resigned from the Western Pima County Community Council. He was a charter member and was recognized by his fellow councilors for his service. Ray Jensen was seated as his replacement.
 The Arizona Corporation Commission, U.S. West, and Table Top Telephone continued hearings and negotiations in the proposed sale of the Ajo area exchange.
 Plans for a dialysis center to open in September were announced; the plans are now on hold.
 Public input was requested for a comprehensive management plan for the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
 Ajo High School held graduation ceremonies for the Class of 1994. Jera Rucker was valedictorian and Todd Farmer salutatorian. Graduating with distinction were Patrick Walters, Sonia Nicholson, Christy Roberts, and William Schumacher. Graduating with honors were Alex Beltran and John-David Allen. Kenny Farmer delivered the keynote address, as he had at the class’s eighth grade graduation.
 Frank Nogales was the speaker at the eighth grade commencement. Delivering the student addresses were Deborah Sue England, Josef Sipos Jr. and Colleen Walters.
 Olsens Marketplace opened.
 David Allen was promoted to sergeant by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
 A meeting to discuss border issues was held in Sells.
 Bill Korolsky, Robert Trebes, and Chris Lopez were recognized for their baseball skills.
 The community was asked for help by the financially troubled Ajo District Chamber of Commerce to keep the 4th of July going.
 The Ajo Cemetery Association reached its perpetual care fund goal of $25,000. They started in 1986. Roberta Nixon, the driving force behind the association, noted that this accomplishment did not mean they didn’t still need money and volunteers to help keep the cemetery in good condition.
 A political candidate forum was held by the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce.
 Organ Pipe made a "bad parks" list in Outside magazine which cited problems with drug smugglers crossing the border.
 Three Russian biologists visited Cabeza Prieta, Organ Pipe, and surrounding area to study wildlife and land management.
 Ajo once again celebrated the 4th of July with parade, Plaza festivities, and a fireworks display at the end of a long day. Malin & Myreel Lewis were the parade marshals; they also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reunion of the vast Lewis clan.
 A construction bid for the new site of the elementary school from Sellers & Sons was accepted by the school board. Negotiations continued on an exchange agreement with Phelps Dodge and the school involving Brown Field, the baseball field, and Barr Field. A contract with Ajo Community Health Center for provision of health services for the coming school year was approved.
 Ajo began its summer slump as the mercury climbed in the thermometer. Daily highs exceeded 100°.
 Former Ajo resident David Howard was hired as town manager of Gila Bend.
 WALD (Why-Ajo-Lukeville Development, Inc.) continued its work on economic development and community service projects.
 Residents were advised to register if they were not already on the voter rolls.
 Floyd Lacewell retired from U.S. Customs as the region’s Resident Agent in Charge after 23 years with the service.
 Pima County Parks & Recreation began winding up a busy summer season of youth sports, including baseball, softball and T-ball, and other activities.
 Right-of-way rules were proposed by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, aimed at setting confusion over the existence and management of many western highways across public lands.
 The school board approved land deals with Phelps Dodge regarding property exchange and the sale of Curley School.
 A candidate forum was held by the Democratic Precinct Committee.
 Cabeza Prieta National wildlife refuge manager Bob Schumacher said he was pleased with citizen participation in workshops in Ajo held as part of the effort to develop a comprehensive management plan for the refuge.
 A survey of walkers’ routes for possible development by the Arizona Department of Transportation was begun.
 School started on Monday, August 22.
 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument celebrated National Parks Day with free admission.
 Public comment was invited on a revised recovery plan for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn antelope.
 The Ajo Health Food Club, an ordering cooperative, started meetings for the winter season.
 The sale of the Ajo area telephone exchange was put on hold.
 The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce was awarded a Community Development Block Grant through Pima County for 135 new street lights as part of their Dark Skies project.
 Ajo Senior Citizens Club donated child and invalid room stickers to the Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Dept. for distribution to those who need them.
 Area property owners received their annual property tax statements.
 Phelps Dodge presented the deed to the 1.75 acres the Moose Lodge sits on to Moose Governor Kevin Tallant.
 VFW Post 3578 and its Auxiliary conducted remembrance services for POW/MIAs. They were joined by Boy Scout Troop 692 and Girl Scout Troop 2500 in a candle-lighting ceremony.
 Wanda Wriston took the Democratic nomination for constable in a contest with incumbent Jack Garchow in the primary election. John Casey was unopposed for justice of the peace.
 The Ajo Booster Club asked for help in raising funds for athletic programs.
 Phelps Dodge Mercantile announced a program in which it would give the school a computer in exchange for collected PD Mercantile register receipts.
 The Ajo Rotary Club announced its student guests for the coming year: Michael Zimmerman, Katie Walters, Daniel Carrillo, Jeremy Mikus, Melissa McBride, Denise Lacewell, Marla Gulick, Melanie Peed, and Rex Silva.
 Fifteen arrests of seven individuals, including several who are technically juveniles, were made in seven cases of theft and burglary and about $2000 of property recovered by the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept.
 The Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers opened their ranks to new members. New members had to complete training programs.
 Ajo High School celebrated homecoming on September 30. Billy Malvido was crowned king and Jackie Vega queen. Runners up were Robert Trebes, Sara Workman, Jon Garchow, and Jaime Bryant. The varsity football team defeated St. David 48-6. The sophomores took first place for their float, the seniors second, juniors third, and freshmen fourth.
 The WPCCC asked for candidates for its December election.
 The Ajo/Lukeville Health Service District passed on a community Development Block Grant they had been awarded to the Ajo Food Bank to help the food bank with new quarters.
 Veronica Hewitt, manager of the Ajo Community Health Center, left to take a position with the Yosemite, California, clinic. Interim clinic management will be by three department heads — Bertha Hickman, Carlos Yanez, and Dr. Wm. McDonald.
 Alfredo Luna tendered his resignation as superintendent of the school system, to be effective June 30.
 Parents were invited to eat with their children in the school cafeteria for National School Lunch Week.
 Jim White of Cross Roads Behavioral Health asked for registrations for adult day care as he began working on an adult care center program.
 Border Volunteer Corps members were at work on several community service projects for Western Pima County.
 The school board nominated Benny Lopez for the annual Arizona School Board Association award in recognition of his many years of dedication to the Ajo schools.
 The Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers sponsored a KidCare ID project which fingerprinted and took pictures of youngsters.
 The Oktoberfest celebration in the Plaza had gave a German flavor to the traditional Plaza-style festivities.
 An era ended with the announcement that the Plaza had been sold to Mer-Mel Investments, Inc., whose principals are Ajo residents Pat & Bob Hemenway. The announcement was made, appropriately, at a public meeting in the Plaza’s park. The Hemenways said they would be conservative about changes, with the most obvious being changes in plants in the park which would have to be replaced because of old age and disease.
 Lutheran communion services were resumed. They are being held at 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month (except in January) in the Ajo Federated Church through the winter season.
 The Rev. John Cossey assumed duties as pastor of the First Baptist Church.
 The annual Halloween Parade of Costumes was sponsored by the Xi Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. Winners were Chynna Davis, Ashley Bowen, Brandon Bryant, Frankie Alvillar, and Amber Hunter. Chynna was the grand prize winner.
 The Ajo-Lukeville Health Service district voted to put management of the Ajo Community Health Center up for bid. The clinic has been managed by Samaritan Health System; SHS and Tucson Medical Center are both expected to submit bids.
 Winter visitors and residents began flocking back to the area.
 Katie Walters was chosen by the 1A Central volleyball coaches to serve on the all-region first team. The team was eliminated in the playoffs.
 Six football players were chosen for all-region honors: Chris Lopez, Danny Hernandez, and Robert Trebes were named to the first team; Jerome Orosco to the second team; and Billy Korolsky and Lionel Olea received honorable mention. The football team was eliminated in the playoffs after tying for the conference championship.
 Ajo Ambulance began offering ACLS service as service director Lonnie Guthrie and Jim Dawdy received their state certifications as paramedics.
 Keith Keime was named to replace Wick Lewis on the Ajo-Lukeville Health service board. Lewis resigned because he is moving to Flagstaff.
 The Hickiwan District hopes to build an RV park about three miles east of Why; if the project is approved, they may ask the Tohono O’odham Gaming Authority to install slot machines in the park.
 Ajo celebrated Thanksgiving quietly; many friends and relatives came "home" for dinner.
 Paul P. Vasquez was made a Bank One vice president. Vasquez serves as manager of the Ajo branch of the bank.
 The Bureau of Land Management invited public opinion on their area plan, which could be reviewed at the library.
 Raul Mojica rolled a perfect 300 game at the Ajo Bowling Lanes and collected on two 30-year-old pledges of prize money from the bowling lane and the Ajo Copper News.
 The Arizona Corporation Commission recommended a fraction of the US West requested rate hike.
 The Ajo Food Bank continued to offer food programs to the communities of Western Pima County from its location in the old Catholic School. It is seeking a new location even as it is faced by money problems and program cutbacks.
 The community was asked to pitch in and help pay for the annual Christmas Eve celebration in the Plaza.
 Many in the community were upset when the big tree in the old band shell was removed just before Christmas. Plaza owners said the decision was made by people who were responsible for decorating the Plaza for Christmas and based on difficulties and safety.
 People drove by and admired Christmas displays as the town readied for the holidays. Many of the displays were entered in the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce COLD contest.
 A large crowd attended the Western Pima County Community Council meeting on December 8 to hear Phelps Dodge executive John Zamar explain the corporation's plans for Ajo. Zamar says he plans to address the WPCCC once a quarter to keep the community current with PD plans.
 The Ajo-Lukeville Health Service district awarded the clinic management bid to Tucson Medical Center.
 Firefighters in the Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department ended their busy year fighting a disastrous fire at Wiley’s Laundry. They called in the Why and Sells fire departments to help battle the blaze which destroyed the Wiley business and home on Thursday, December 15.
 Santa Claus made several trips to Ajo, including his special appearance at the Christmas Eve festivities in the Plaza where he lit the two new trees and heard last minute wishes from youngsters.
 Ajo churches joined those around the world in celebrating Christmas.



In Memory

 With the good news there was also the sad as the Ajo Copper News printed the obituaries of the friends and neighbors who died in 1994.
Rest In Peace
Maurice C. "Bud" Goodell
Inez Mills Klomhaus
Rebecca B. Hickman
James Howell Fincher
Ignacia M. Olivas
Leona "Peggy" Oliver
Helen Chaney
Alice L. Torgerson
Ruby E. Dittmar
Manuel M. Rendon
Alfredo Melendrez
Beulah Beal
Frances L. Brooks
The Rev. Dr. Sidney Sandusky
Sofia N. Jimenez
Donald "Smitty" Smith
Leonard Charley
Evelyn M. Corn
Carlota L. Torrez
Adelina M. Robles
Ralph E. Bustamante
Everett Valisto
Robert Gholson
Antonio Bustamante
Nan B. Shultz
Louie Darnell
Blanche Fitzhugh
Evelyn Jones
Cecil C. Howard
Ralph O. Diaz
Edward Bennett
Leonard Puffer, Sr.
Christine Edwards
David C. Harrison
Charles Ross
Charles E. Lonsway
Maria P. Lizarraga
Daniel L. Moore
Alejandro S. Vanegas
C.D. "Kelly" Totten
Arnulfo Mota
Guadalupe "Lupe" O. Ramirez
Ramona Mattia
Roberto Ramirez
Morris B. Massey
Rafael M. Nevarez
Doris Jackson
Leonard Karnick
Pat Malcolm
Clyde F. Thixton
Aline Giger
Cleo L. Mercer
Jack Winstead
Robert Gabovda
Mary Frances Petty
Matilda "Tillie" Yanez Rojo
Daniel R. Osife
Douglas A. DeFrang
Leonard J. Jones
Irene Granillo
John W. Newett
Donald Wallower
Addie Lue Davis
Ofilia Terrell
Russell F. Fraley
Bill Barrick
Jennie Ruth Robinson
Alton A. Fitts
Ramona Mike
Thelma C. Anderson
Gilbert Espinoza
Karol "Susie" Barrick
F. Eugene Ellett
Harold Atchison
Florence Nevarez
Margarita Worsham
Lorena Yanez Jones

ACN home page Search Archives ../subscribe.html Contact us

Copyright 1998-2002 by Ajo Copper News