Ajo Copper News
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1996 News Recap
 Why Ajo Lukeville Development (WALD) was a driving force in the establishment of a dialysis center in Ajo. The ground breaking ceremony took place in January.
 A volunteer fire department member spoke at the Ajo Senior Citizens Club potluck.
 Trish Cutler spoke on "Life at a Desert Waterhole" and a BLM training film discussing what the military is doing to protect the desert were part of the Cabeza Prieta's lecture series.
  Sonja Wade was presented with the Firefighter of the Year Award by chief of the volunteer fire department, Jim Bush.
 The Ajo Rotary celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
 The Red Raider basketball team lost in the 1-A Central Region Conference tournament.
 An Immigration and Naturalization Service officer was accused of assaulting a Mexican citizen at Lukeville.
 The Rural Arts Traveling Exhibition showed at Elvira Gallery.
 VFW held its annual Chili Cook-off which was so successful they ran out of chili to sample.
 AARP and IRS sponsored an income tax preparation assistance program for elderly low-income people.
 John Zamar of Phelps Dodge took part in the ceremony donating the Ajo Community Health Center building and land to the Ajo Lukeville Health Services District.
 The annual Fiddler's Contest at the Moose Lodge took place on February 3 and 4 with craftsmen and vendors participating as well as the many fiddlers and other musicians from all over the US and Canada.
 The Ajo Equestrian Center on Well Road was erected many years ago by the Ajo Roping Club. It is now owned by Pima County Parks & Recreation Department which has requested community comments about the possible relocation of the arena to Tucson.
 Pima County Parks & Recreation held its 4th annual cheerleading competition.
 A mural was one of the projects completed by young people in the Roots-Raices-Ta:ak Program which is supported in part by grants and is sponsored by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance.
 Ajo had its 5th annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day.
 Bugs and the history of the Tonto National Forest were topics of the CPNWR lecture series this month.
 The cremated remains of Wally Hagen, who died in Ajo under suspicious circumstances, were divided between his wife and his children. Marge Hagen, his wife, remains in prison for attempted arson. She will be released in 2002.
 There was a large turn-out for the CofC meeting when the main topic on the agenda was the Roping Arena. Petitions to "Save the Arena" were distributed.
 The Air Force proposed to renew its usage agreement for the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. Comments were encouraged at the public meeting held on February 27.
 Thad Curtis and Ron Ochs announced candidacy for Pima County Sheriff.
 The Spring Festival, co-sponsored by the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce and Pima County Parks & Recreation, included a salsa contest, kiddie korner, volleyball, entertainment, booths, and the presentation of a check to the Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers by Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
 Boy Scouts went on a camp out to Burro Gap.
 The Cactus RV Rally spent $15,000 in Ajo.
 Winnie "Norma" and Claude White were honored as this year's sweethearts at the annual Valentine Party and lunch at the Senior Nutrition Center. They were presented with flowers and a gift by director Helen King.
 The Desert Artists Guild Show and Sale drew 400 people.
 The demolition of old, decrepit buildings on Child's Mountain brought back memories for many. A slide program paid tribute to the 612th ACWRON Radar Station.
 The sixth annual O'odham Day Celebration was held at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument with demonstrations and exhibits of traditional crafts, games, dancing, and farming techniques of the O'odham.
 The PTA held a special meeting hoping to convince children that "Math is Fun!"
 The Ajo High School baseball team played well and got to the championship game before they lost.
 Mary E. Reinhart Simons Walterscheid celebrated her 100th birthday. She was born on February 27, 1896.
 Upset over sudden, substantial increases in property taxes in the Ajo and Why area, an ad hoc committee of residents circulated a petition of protest directed to county assessor, Rick Lyons and county supervisor, Ed Moore.
 Amalia Olea became a US citizen at age 91.
 County tax assessor Rick Lyons explained to a large crowd at the WPCCC meeting the reasons for and possible consequences of recent property tax valuation increases.
 Pima County Parks & Recreation and Tucson Arts Council provided a free art program for Ajo youth. Murals painted on three 4.5’ X 4.5’ canvas boards are on permanent display at the Ajo Community Center at Bud Walker Park.
 The new version of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument's management plan was released and made available for review. A public meeting to explain the new version was held by superintendent Harold J. Smith. His comments were meant to assure attendees there would be no charge to travelers on Highway 85, only those who used the park facilities.
 The 16 members of the Ajo Lions Club continue to be involved with the Vial of Life program as well as collection of old eye glasses and hearing aids.
 Fiesta de Mayo was a success with games, activities, sales, and entertainment. It took place on May 4, so was called "Fiesta" rather than "Cinco" de Mayo.
 In response to questions asked by Ajo resident Harlan Ketelson about whether tax money collected by various taxing entities was returned to Ajo in the form of services, Bill Weekes of the Pima County Central Services Department indicated that Ajo area receives about $60,000 in grant-related services; federal and state income tax revenue is retained by the state or distributed to incorporated cities and towns; fuel tax revenue collected in the Ajo area was approximately $92,000 and the transportation department is scheduled to spend more than $204,000 in Ajo this year; vehicle license taxes bring about $1500 to Ajo; many taxes are imposed by taxing entities, but may have little or no impact on Pima County's services or cost of services or revenue needs. "Finally, let me point out that while Ajo is a designated ‘place’ within Pima County, it is not an incorporated area, and consequently, is not recognized by the state as a measurement locus of either revenues or expenditures," said Weekes.
 Third graders in Ms. Esquivel's and Mrs. William's classes celebrated National Music Week by participating in the annual poster contest. First place winner was Steven Roland, second was Vanessa Reid, and third was Jennifer Hansen.
 The heads of four community organizations signed a letter sent to area businesses expressing concern over possible decrease in service by Arizona Public Service.
 Anna Reynolds, former Ajo resident, signed copies of her book Ajo: the Desert Speaks.
 1996 Ajo High School Honors Banquet recognized the academic achievements of students and announced nearly $20,000 in scholarships presented to Ajo students.
 The summer reading program continued from May through July with cooperation from Tucson Pima County Library and Pima County Parks & Recreation. The theme was "Go for the Gold."
 Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers conducted the KidCare program for the PCPR Tots Program. This was part of the more than 4,000 volunteer hours contributed by the SAVs.
 Billy Korolsky was selected as a member of the 1996 All-Arizona baseball team.
 Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Arizona Game and Fish Department announced an environmental assessment document regarding a research proposal on the effects of water on pronghorn.
 Enhanced 911 services were up and operating and given credit for saving a man's life after it had been in effect only seven days.
 Ajo High School Class of 1996 baccalaureate was May 19, graduation was May 23. Valedictorian was Katherine Schumacher and salutatorian was Amy Martinez.
 Phoenix police department representatives have requested information on the 22-year-old murder of Taylor E. Courtney who was an AHS graduate of 1971.
 Dolores Romero Mendez retired after 46 years of work. Her most recent job was with Pima County Community Services and JTPA.
 A farewell party was held for Father Tony Navarria by parishioners and friends at Immaculate Conception Parish Hall.
 The Ajo Library began the move to its new location. It was closed for four days and had computer glitches for several weeks, but everyone seemed to be pleased with the new location.
 The Post Office hours changed so that mail could arrive in Phoenix earlier. The final time for the deposit of mail is now 5:15 p.m. rather than 5:30 p.m.
 Icel and L.B. Allen celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on May 3.
 Jeri and Jack Petersen were chosen to be Grand Marshals of the Fourth of July Parade.
 A meeting was held at El Dorado Dialysis Center to discuss health service and use of the center. Present were community representatives, Ajo and Tohono O'odham health services representatives, and staff of the dialysis center.
 Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge asked area organizations and individuals to sign petitions of support for the proposal to add the 30 acres contiguous to the present site for an interpretive area.
 The Pima County Parks & Recreation Challenge Golf League program was the first, not only in Ajo and Arizona, but in the nation.
 An arrest was made in the Courtney murder case.
 Candidates Forum on Wed., July 3, was well-attended by candidates. The few Ajo residents who attended listened and responded with questions and appreciation. Judge John Casey was the moderator.
 The Fourth of July in Ajo was spectacular from the parade — one of the longest in recent years with 42 entries — to the festivities and games in the Plaza, swimming activities at the community pool in the afternoon, and the fireworks display at sunset.
 The Rotary District Governor Anthony Brockington of Yuma visited with Ajo Rotary Club members at their monthly meeting at the Copper Kettle.
 The Senior Nutrition Program sponsored special events for Cinco de Mayo, Mother's and Father's Days, and the Fourth of July. The program is open to people 60 years of age or older.
 CofC projects continued throughout the summer even though the Chamber of Commerce visitor center was closed.
 Ajo Lukeville Health Service District board had three seats up for election.
 Arizona Public Service announced an energy support program which can save low income customers up to 30% on their electric bills.
 International Sonoran Desert Alliance announced its intention to create a resource center for the use of the community and other interested groups and individuals. The purpose is education and communication between cultures especially in the areas of economics and the environment and their relations to each other.
 The Knights of Columbus sponsored a free throw contest. Winners were Kerry Williams, Jade Valenzuela, Carlos Yanez, Ryan Rodriguez, Dionne Vega and Colin Korolsky.
 The Girl Scouts had a chance to explore the wonders of science at a science fair held at Bud Walker Park.
 Third Street Kids, a non-profit performing arts company, performed for children and adults and were under the sponsorship of Pima County Parks and Recreation.
 Are You OK? a telephonic reassurance program, a free service provided by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, was announced and went into effect in August. Subscribers receive a computer-generated call each day to ensure they are "okay." If there is no response, the sheriff's department follows up and possibly do a welfare check.
 It was HOT in Ajo!
 Youth Conservation Corps, a joint program of the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and USDA Forest Service celebrated its 25th anniversary in July. The program employs young people and their contribution has been of value to wildlife conservation.
 An informational seminar was held in the Peoria School District for anyone interested in running for school board. There were three vacant seats to be filled on the Ajo School Board.
 Table Top Telephone announced availability of Caller ID.
 AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System), gave members the opportunity to change to another contracted Health Plan. Options were made available both in English and Spanish.
 Ed Pastor's office received misinformation regarding closure of the port at Lukeville. The response upon recognizing the error was "...the Lukeville station is in absolutely no danger of being closed."
 Ajo Landfill changed its hours. It is now open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
 The Department of Economic Security began notifying its recipients of changes which could end benefits for many of its clients. The DES budget was reduced from $13 million to $3 million.
 C.L. and Arlene Tschop celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with their family. They have lived in Ajo for 5 years.
 Breaking a long-held Ajo tradition, room assignments for kindergarten through eighth grade did not appear in the Ajo Copper News. School administrators decided to use the room assignment information as a means for improving attendance at its open house.
 Work began on the Tohono O'odham casino at Why.
 School started.
 The Chamber of Commerce reopened its visitor center and Mine Lookout.
 Monsoon season began with a flurry of lightning and thunder and property damages.
 An emergency medical technician (EMT) training class was offered in Ajo.
 You know its hot in Ajo when...
 Burgers and Books Program sponsored by Pima Youth Partnership, provides free hamburgers, chips, and soda to kids and parents who spend time reading together.
 After hours care was curtailed at the Ajo Community Clinic.
 Jim Powell, former Ajo school superintendent, won four gold medals in Senior Olympics events.
 Dr. Patino announced his retirement. The clinic may hire a physician assistant and has hired a nurse practitioner.
 Louie Walters resigned from the school board due to relocation.
 Mike Price and Carmine Cardamone announced candidacy for state representative.
 Clarence Dupnik announced his candidacy for Sheriff.
 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) presented deeds to land occupied by Coyote Howls RV Park.
 Development of the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas, a project of the Arizona Game and Fish Department is mapping the distribution and documenting information on Arizona breeding birds. Volunteers were needed.
 Elaine Richardson ran for the Arizona Senate.
 Parks & Recreation and Pima Youth Partnership sponsored 12 young people on a camping trip to Oak Creek Canyon.
 Catholic Daughters recognized Roberta Nixon for her efforts in forming the Ajo Cemetery Association and fundraising for the cemetery.
 Al Gay, Mike Aho, and Artie Julander filed a complaint in US District Court against Bruce Babbitt as Secretary of the Interior, the Department of the Interior, and Harold J. Smith, Superintendent of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The suit seeks to stop submission of the proposed General Management Plan and its supplement, claiming it would cause economic damage to the area.
 Ajo Lukeville Health Service District celebrated its 10th anniversary.
 International Sonoran Desert Alliance held its general meeting in Ajo. The organization rededicated itself to creating a resource center with materials on the Sonoran Desert available to all residents and being a forum for international dialogue.
 Debra Norris was a candidate for state representative of District 11.
 Southwest Gas filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission for regulatory approval of its proposed purchase of the natural gas distribution system owned by Ajo Improvement.
 Gene and Maggie Guinn celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They lived in Ajo from 1946 to 1957 and were active in community life during that period.
 Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Lukeville Port of Entry reported that in July a total of 19,016 vehicles applied for entry, 75,856 people were inspected or examined, 25,032 of whom were non US citizens and 185 were returned to Mexico for document deficiencies. In August 61,860 people applied for entry, 20,411 of whom were non US citizens and 163 were returned to Mexico for document deficiencies. The return rate was less than 1% in each month.
 Nancy Harral was introduced as the new co-manager of the CofC.
 The topic of discussion at the Western Pima County Community Council was a proposed location for the Ajo Food Bank. The location is on Well Road near the community pool and has not, as yet, been approved.
 Child Find, a program for identification of pre-school children with learning disabilities, is available on a continuing basis through Ajo Unified School District.
 The Ajo Parent Teacher Association held a fashion show of school uniforms.
 Monique, the Copper News resident office dog, was picked up on her way to work one morning. She spent the week-end in jail.
 Physician Assistant Steve Migdon began working at the clinic.
 Eight propositions to be on the Nov. 5 ballot cover legislative salaries, property tax exemption, sentences for personal use or possession of drugs, Indian gambling compacts, county stadium taxes, lottery revenue for health care and AHCCCS eligibility, effective dates for legislation, and juvenile jurisdiction.
 The primary election decided which candidates would appear on the general election ballot. Candidates for US State Senator were David C. Morales and Elaine Richardson; for US Representative, Ed Pastor, Jim Buster, and Alice Bangle; for State Representative, Steve Benefield, Ora Mae Harn, Debra Norris, and Carmine Cardamone; for Board of Supervisors, Vicki Cox-Golder, Sharon Bronson and Ed Moore. For County Attorney, David White, Barbara LaWall, and Ed Kahn; for Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik and Ron Ochs; for County Treasurer, Michael Stafford and James Lee Kirk; for County Assessor, Rex R. Waite, Sr. and Rick Lyons. 87,012 ballots were cast which was 21.57% of Pima County voters.
 Hickiwan District held a celebration at Vaya Chin with softball, volleyball, calf riding, a pageant with country music and chicken scratch, fun run/walk, dancing, roping, and coronation dance. The 2-day event was to be alcohol and drug free, according to organizers.
 Ed Watson wondered whether anyone was tired of the commercialization of Christmas and would like to celebrate Jesus’ 2000th birthday with a parade. His plans called for a 100 participant parade with floats and costumed participants.
 The Ajo Branch of the Tucson Pima County Library System celebrated the move to its new location with an open house. With the help of Pima County Parks & Recreation staff, school children had a poster contest and following opening ceremonies, the festivities and refreshments in the Plaza and library were enjoyed by all. Several other crowds were seen around Ajo that night as there was a lunar eclipse.
 John Zamar of Phelps Dodge Corporation spoke to about 150 people at the Mine Lookout. The Chamber of Commerce topic for the evening was re-opening of the New Cornelia branch of the Phelps Dodge mining operations. Zamar answered many questions and stated that many decisions remain to be made and if the mine reopens, it will not be for 2 or 3 years.
 Sally and Herb Irvin celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on September 29. They have been in Ajo since 1989 and own Our Store.
 The First Baptist Church observed its 50th anniversary with a celebration to which pastors and members were invited.
 Curtis Taylor was recognized by the SAVs for his work with them. The presentation was made by SAV member Larry Nord at a meeting of the Ajo Rotary Club. Nord also praised Taylor's many other contributions to the community.
 Knights of Columbus held its 22nd annual fund raising drive to help mentally retarded children.
 The library began its annual Thursday night film and program series.
 ISDA and Sonoran Institute sponsored a series of organizational meetings to create an organization which will monitor standards for environmentally sound ecotours and to teach tour guides about the environment and how to teach the public about it. The representatives of the three cultures in attendance were united in their concern for sustainability and the relationships between the environment, economic opportunities, and culture.
 The National Refuge System celebrated National Wildlife Refuge Week October 5 — 12. In celebration Cabeza Prieta NWR held an open house and caravan tour to the top of Child's Mountain.
 VFW and the American Legion joined forces to do a quarterly highway cleanup.
 Mari Zimmermann, owner of Ajo Realty, became licensed as a real estate broker. She believes "Real estate is a service oriented business and takes constant attention to provide the best service possible to customers."
 John Zamar stated in his talk before 150 townspeople that since Tucson Medical Center began providing services at the clinic, things had improved. He started a flurry of letters to the editor commenting, mainly, that the clinic is a good one considering the size of the town, but not improved in the recent past because of retirements of doctors and loss of some services.
 Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department planned several activities in celebration of Fire Prevention Week, including an open house.
 Lt. Paul Wilson of the Ajo Sheriff's Department spoke at the WPCCC meeting. He showed a video about the Sheriff's Department in general, then discussed Ajo specifics in depth mentioning the facility, the staff, and programs.
 Concilia Ayala was promoted to eligibility worker by DES and Steve Migdon, PA, was introduced at the health care providers meeting.
 INS reported that in September, 18,070 vehicles applied for entry at Lukeville Port of Entry and inspectors were responsible for seizure of 933.5 pounds of marijuana.
 Anna M. Reynolds’ book, Ajo: the Desert Speaks, is in its second printing.
 Dixie Lovingier opened Dixie's Desert Realty and says she and her husband, Ken Martin, are permanent residents and eager to join others in community projects to "enhance and protect Adios lifestyle."
 Phelps Dodge Mercantile encouraged people to save their mercantile cash register receipts in a program that awards the school a computer if enough receipts are saved.
 Ron and Georgina Ross won a first place prize for hand-etched glass at the Gila County Fair in Globe. They are Ajo residents.
 The Hia Ced O'odham Alliance sponsored a clean-up at the Indian Cemetery on Darby Well Road.
 Homecoming events included the traditional parade with floats (first place went to the senior class), a pep rally to which the town was invited, painting of the "A," capped by the football game which the Raiders won 50 — 6, and coronation of King Angel Malvido and Queen Sonia Detrick.
 The Cabeza Prieta NWR lecture series began its fourth year of programs with an introduction to the refuge and a video entitled "Petroglyphs and Sunken Ships."
 Pop top tabs collected by VFW is an ongoing project with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House.
 Location of the carillon bells was discussed at the school board meeting. The board gave approval to move them to the Plaza as there is a noise factor disturbing to nearby residents and there was a problem with access. The new owners of Curley School promptly said they were not aware of the problem and would like the bells to remain.
 The WPCCC topic of discussion was charter government. The speaker from UofA explained that, in her opinion; this type of county government could make Pima County run more efficiently, give more direct representation to the residents, and give more authority to the rural, unincorporated areas of the county.
 Mr. Burger opened its doors on Wed., Oct. 30, in the old location of the Big Burger at 3541 N. Hwy 85. It is owned by Ray and Barbara Phillips and operated by John and Debi Baggett and their son Jeremy.
 Three Ajo men received Sheriff's Commendations for lifesaving actions on September 5: Corrections Officer George Carlson, Corrections Officer Barney Seeley, and Sergeant Bill Ned.
 The PTA sponsored a forum for the 10 candidates running for school board to state their platforms and answer questions.
 VFW sold Buddy Poppies to benefit veterans and widows and orphans of veterans. Buddy Poppies have been sold every year since 1922.
 The Halloween parade was sponsored by Xi Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and was followed by a carnival held at the school. Volunteer firefighters handed out treats to the costumed youngsters who went to the fire department.
 Formation of a local credit union was discussed at a meeting sponsored by Ajo Why Business Association and CofC. Plans were made for a committee of 25-30 individuals to do the data gathering and submit required paperwork.
 Cabeza Prieta National History Association held its first formative meeting to encourage volunteers and suggestions and ideas for projects. Will Nelson, president of the organization, Mitzi Frank, vice-president, and June Babcock, secretary, were present and the 17 people attending had some good ideas and showed a willingness to help.
 Three Ajo teachers were honored in Who's Who Among Teachers — John F. Byrnes, Dixie Pearce Grissom, and Orlando Watson McBride.
 Sherry Teachnor is working with insurance companies and state health care system to get care and therapy for Melanie Wright who was in an auto accident in April 1995. $30,000 is needed.
 A parent support group sponsored by Pima Youth Partnership and Parents Anonymous began holding meetings on Mondays.
 Wild Woolly West Festival took place in the Plaza, Saturday, November 9. It was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. It was a day filled with entertainment, activities, drawings, stories, and followed by a Barn Dance. The emcee for the event was Ajo Stage Line owner Will Nelson. Barbara Ford was among several Renaissance-costumed reminders of the next CofC festival which will be March 15. Vendors, including artisans and craftsmen from the Tohono O'odham Nation, had a wide variety of items for sale.
 Sheriff's department personnel honored three Ajo District career employees. Don Schneck retired after 23 years of service. Daniel Maldonado was promoted to Corrections Sergeant. Frank Alvillar was presented with an Honorable Service Medal for 20+ years of service.
 International Sonoran Desert Alliance and Bureau of Land Management have moved their shared office to the Curley School.
 Masonic Lodge presented the play "The Traitor" and awarded a 50-year pin to a member of the Lodge.
 The Ajo Copper News announced that rates will go up in 1997 due to postage increases.
 Gifted Kids are writing a book about Ajo. They would like to talk with anyone who has ideas for them.
 New school board members are Bob Bryant, Kord Klinefelter, and Lonell Blow; Sharon Bronson was elected Pima County Supervisor; County Attorney is Barbara LaWall; Clarence Dupnik remains in his position as Pima County Sheriff; Elaine Richardson was allowed to move from the House of Representatives to the Senate while Carmine Cardamone and Debra Norris were elected to the House of Representatives; Ed Pastor remains our representative in the US House of Representatives.
 Sarah Heaton took over as director of the Food Bank, while Reggie Cantu, former Food Bank director, moved to ISDA.
 Bill Broyles, author of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Where Edges Meet, and Peggy  Robertson, author of Earth Leashed Moon, held book signings in the area.
 Paul Vasquez gave a talk on the desert tortoise at the CPNWR lecture series and the Natural History Association announced another trip to Child's Mountain which was attended by about 60 people who enjoyed the view and the talks given by Bee Meyer on plants and Stan Skousen on geology.
 Desert Artists Guild had a successful show and sale on December 7.
 Several students from the Ajo area and Sells were recognized for academic achievement and involvement in extra-curricular activities in the 30th edition of Who's Who Among High School Students.
 The Ajo Community Health Center staff noted that progress has been made in the program started as a grant from the Department of Health Services with money from the tobacco tax. 198 people are enrolled with 250 the goal. Recruitment continues for another doctor.
 The Rural Arts show was held at the Hotel Cornelia.
 Don Schnell, AHS Class of 1973, co-wrote a bestseller called Fitonics for Life.
 Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson named several aides to her personal staff, one of whom, Tracy Nixon Sepulveda, has Ajo roots.
 Cabeza Prieta was mentioned in a Department of Defense publication which discussed all the environmental projects done by the Air Force on the refuge.
 Jacque Burkhead retired from Arizona Public Service after 2 years.
 A new church has been formed in Ajo. Full Gospel Fellowship began holding meetings next door to Ray Phillips’ insurance office.
 Ajo Improvement refunded an over-collection of purchased power to customers and announced a reduction in its rates. The changes were made possible by construction of a new substation that runs more efficiently.
 Jesus Chico Ortiz was chosen 1996 Firefighters of the Year and presented an award by Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department chief Jim Bush.
 A volkswalking course was set up in Ajo. The course is 6.2 miles and includes parts of the town and surrounding desert areas.
 The physician assistant left Ajo for personal reasons.
 Kliban's Variety Store on the Plaza has announced that retirement is in their plans for the  near future. Mariano & Lupe Ramirez have owned the business since 1973; Lupe worked for the original owner and has worked in the store for 65 years.

             About 100 people celebrated at the Happy Birthday, Jesus parade in the Plaza on Christmas Day following the traditional Ajo Christmas Eve celebration.

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