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1998 News Recap
 Western Pima County Community Council celebrated its ninth anniversary. Newly elected board members Dianne Gallerani and Artie Julander were installed.
 Proceeds from the Vaudeville Show put on by the Ajo Community Players were contributed to the Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department. All performers in the show were local talent.
 A portrait of Lillie Salazar painted by Hector Sotelo was unveiled in a ceremony at the Salazar-Ajo Branch Library, Salazar was head of the library for 12 years before her death in May 1997.
 The registration point for a year-round 11k volkswalk was set up at the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce. The volkswalk is located at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
 The Tucson Symphony Orchestra played in Dicus Auditorium.
 Ron Youngs, 63, of Phoenix died in a fall down a 100-foot shaft in the Gunsight Mine.
 Handicapped accessible ramps were added to the sidewalks along Solana.
 Community First Bank began operating in Ajo. The company bought rural branches from Bank One.
 Firefighters of the Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department fought their first blaze of the year.
 Dean & Arla Hadfield commemorated their 50th wedding anniversary spending the day with their daughter Sheila Hadfield Lundgren and her family.
 The Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association offered several Childs Mountain caravans as well as continuing the winter lecture series with six programs about the Sonoran desert.
 The Vietnam Wall was on display in Sells. The traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that stands in Washington, D.C. held the names of three local men who were recognized along with 58,000 others who died during that war.
 Pima County Health Department and the Ajo Community Health Center sponsored events in recognition of Heart Month.
 The boards of Ajo Community Health Center and Ajo Lukeville Health Service District continue to struggle with the clinic's finances. Paul Vasquez, Karen Gonzales, Susan Guinn-Lahm, and Tony Ramon were introduced as new ACHC board members.
 El Nino didn't keep the fiddlers from jamming in the parking lot, entering fiddling contests and playing for dancers at the 20th annual Old Time Fiddlers Contest held at the Moose Lodge. Jesse Stockman of New Mexico was the grand champion.
 Seniors Juan Diarte, Malin Lewis, Peter Roberts, Hans Peterson, Alex Flores, Colleen Walters, and Angelina Valenzuela played their last basketball games for Ajo High School against San Pasqual.
 The Western Pima County Community Council held its 7th annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day. About 80 households participated by disposing of their hazardous items with the volunteers from WPCCC.
 A silent auction brought in money for the school band. Glen Barrett donated hand-crafted wooden chairs and footstools and bids were submitted through the mail.
 The 4th annual VFW Chili Cookoff was won by May Burchfield & Lee Thompson. In second were Jerry Hyde & Millie Boozer with Aaron Doyle & Rose Ritz in third.
 Why Utility elected officers at its annual meeting: president Curtis Taylor, senior director Don Schnell, and directors George Hagen, Joe Hammonds, Norman Paden.
 The Ajo Council for the Fine Arts sponsored Igor and the Cowboys bringing jazz to Ajo as their final program of the season.
 The Xi Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi recognized members who have belonged to the sorority for 15 or more years with their highest honor, the Order of the Rose. Those honored were Cindy Orr, Susan Gilbert, and Paulette Walters.
 Among new programs offered for visitors at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument were a van tour of the Ajo Mountain Drive and a fine arts experience. A 13-passenger van was driven by a ranger who explained and entertained along the route. The Artist in the Outdoors program gave visitors an opportunity to talk with artists and view the monument through the eyes of the artists who worked at various stops along the scenic loops. Local artists Loretta Musgrave and Diane Carnright volunteered to work in the park -- rough job, but somebody had to do it!
 Gwen & Bob Kingdon were honored as Valentine sweethearts by the Senior Nutrition program.
 Janet Allen was honored as Xi Gamma Pi's sweetheart.
 Adult literacy was the focus of meetings under the auspices of the Salazar-Ajo Branch Library.
 The members of Ajo Masonic Lodge #36 honored the women in the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star on Valentines Day.
  The Ajo High School Student Council received two awards at the state convention. The outstanding Student Council for 1996-97 was awarded for the 15th time. Their other honor was a new award given only to the top five student councils in the state.
 Members of the Roots Youth Program held an open house at the International Sonoran Desert Alliance office in the Curley School. The program provides opportunities for youth ages 12 to 17 in Ajo to explore the natural and cultural history of the Sonoran desert and to meet youth from other parts of the region.
 Miles Manuel, 6, died after falling from a fence into a pool in the backyard of a vacant house.
 Lt. Paul Wilson was transferred to the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center and Sgt. David Allen was chosen to fill the vacancy. He was promoted to lieutenant in March and was given the position as his new permanent assignment.
 Preston & Thelma Butikofer celebrated their golden wedding anniversary while spending the winter in Ajo. Idaho Falls, Idaho remains their summer home.
 The Ajo school board planned to seek permission from voters to dispose of real estate. They also asked for, and got, public opinion of the four-day school week.
 The Ajo Education Association participated in the Read Across America program, a national effort co-sponsored by the National Education Association and the Dr. Seuss Foundation. Students, parents, volunteers, teachers, and community members joined to make the day a celebration of reading. Reading was the main focus of the day, but prizes were awarded as well. The Pima Youth Partnership held a Burgers & Books Family Literacy Night in honor of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday.
 The National Federation of Music Clubs presented awards of merit to the Desert Music Club, the Ajo Music Club's presentation of "Crusade for Strings," and the Ajo Copper News.
 Lon Brown retired from the pastorate after 43 years of serving Southern Baptist churches. The church called their former pastor, the Reverend Mitch Vader, as their next pastor.
 Pima County supervisor Sharon Bronson held a town hall meeting in Ajo to discuss issues of concern to residents. With Bronson were many department representatives who answered questions and noted concerns of  about 75 residents who attended.
 June & Ray Gregerson celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary at a dinner party in Ajo where they have spent 11 winters.
 Twelve students in Sandra Schiffman's fourth grade class visited the Ajo Copper News office to learn more about newspapers and writing in general.
 The Ajo Community Players presented an Agatha Christy mystery "Murder at the Vicarage." Meanwhile, Ajo High School drama club presented the musical "Luann." Both plays were popular.
 The CofC and PCPR co-sponsored an art exhibit in the Plaza as part of an extended festival. The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus performed in their Big Top, the Spring Festival took place on Saturday, and the Desert Music Club held a program of chamber music on Sunday afternoon to round out the weekend.
 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument's general management plan was approved by the Pacific West regional director on January 28. The final step in the planning process resulted in a plan that will direct managers of the monument over the next 15 to 20 years.
 Approval was given to remove target darts that litter the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Teams of volunteers began the arduous task of figuring out the best way to remove the large, heavy objects.
 Ruth Wood Cantrell of Reno, Nevada judged the Desert Artists’ Guild's Fine Arts Show on March 7.
 O'odham traditions were celebrated at the 8th annual O'odham Day celebration at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
 A public meeting held by the Ajo Unified School District showed public support for the five-day school week. While some favored the four-day week, others agreed that the five-day week was more beneficial to students. The board voted to return to the five-day week beginning in August.
 In a school election, 170 voters agreed that the school board could sell, lease, or barter two pieces of school-owned property. When the superintendent's house on La Mina and the site of the old elementary school buildings are sold, the money must be used for capital improvements and plans include a cafeteria on the present campus and repairs to the current school building which was built in 1956.
 El Nino was blamed as flowers spread in fields across the desert floor while those suffering from allergies sneezed.
  The final act of a long, on-going case was completed with the demolition of the house at 120 Rocalla. Beginning in 1993, the house was the site of arrests for narcotics. Following several years of investigation and effort by the Pima County Sheriff's Office and others, substantial evidence was finally gathered which resulted in the arrest of several people and confiscation of a large amount of cash and narcotics. The Pima County Attorney's Office petitioned the court for the forfeiture of the residence under RICO statutes. The residence, which was in dilapidated condition was demolished on March 25.
 The furor over possible rezoning of land at Rasmussen and Well began.
 Sara Olea retired after 25 years of service to Ajo as a representative of the Pima County Juvenile Court.
 Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers Karen Snell and Larry Nord received recognition for their work at an awards dinner in Tucson. Snell was named Volunteer of the Year and received an award for 5000 hours of volunteer work. Nord received an award for volunteering for 1000 hours.
 Table Top Telephone Company and seven of its suppliers provided, free of charge, approximately $30,000 worth of materials, equipment, and labor to rewire the school for future telecommunications and electronic devices the school may purchase.
 The rezoning of the parcel at the corner of Rasmussen & Well roads created quite an uproar throughout Ajo and into Tucson as more than 50 Ajo residents attended the zoning commission and the board of supervisor's meetings to protest or show support for the efforts of developer Mike Wirth to rezone the 54-acres for a mobile/manufactured home community. The density of the proposed project and other concerns were addressed by the board of supervisors in July and the issue was resolved when they approved the rezoning with some contingencies.
 Ajo's literacy group concluded its tutor training session and new tutors received certificates from Pima County director of adult education Greg Hart.
 Construction of the Air Route Surveillance Radar-Series 4 facility began on Childs Mountain on April 1.
 Western Pima County Community Council speaker John Zamar of Phelps Dodge discussed permitting in preparation to the opening of the Ajo mine.  He also discussed the Waste Water Treatment Plant that has been proposed.
 Preparations for the production of "The Music Man" began with auditions scheduled and summer activities arranged. The musical is scheduled for March 5 and 6, 1999.
 The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team including Micheline Fournier, Cynthia Hunter, Rita "Pili" Mariscales, Mollie Pullum, Francy Garchow, and Tommy Woods were presented with certificates following 25 hours of instruction under Red Cross representative Arlene Tschop who recently moved from Ajo.
 The Easter Bunny visited Ajo for the annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Pima County Parks & Recreation.
 The Greenway House was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The certificate was presented at the initial activity of the Arizona Site Steward Archeology Conference which took place at the Greenway House.
 The Ajo Community Band began practicing in the garage of the Ajo Copper News. They hoped to be able to perform for various community functions such as the 4th of July and the Christmas Eve festivities.
 Eight members of the National Honor Society did a community service project at the Ajo Cemetery.
 Renee Basile-Bearse began her new job as executive director of the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce.
 Ajo Ambulance celebrated its 7th birthday.
 Sonny Leon was arrested after leading a group of law enforcement officers from a number of agencies on a chase through the desert. Leon had pointed an automatic weapon at Deputy Tony Stevens and had struck Detective Frank Alvillar's vehicle, knocking him to the ground. Alvillar sustained minor injuries. Leon also shot at a police dog before the chase was ended and Leon was arrested. He was later indicted by the Grand Jury on charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of endangerment, interfering with a service animal, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.
 Four entries were chosen as finalists for the public art for Ajo's pool which is scheduled to open in 1999. Diane Carnright and Ricardo Marin were two Ajo residents chosen as finalists. The other two were Simon Donovan and Diane Shanz, both of Tucson. Diane Shanz was selected to create the public art component and will work with the architects from Durant Architects to incorporate decorative ceramic tiles into the pool area.
 At Ajo's Track & Field Invitational meet, Colleen Walters placed first in 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles; she placed 6th and 8th in the state meet in those events. The Ajo 400 meter relay team placed second. Members of that team were A. Frazer, C. Lewis, K. Bradley, and N. David. Barry Keime placed first in the high jump and later was 2nd in the state. The photo in the Ajo Copper News showing his winning style, also showed the winning style of sportswriter and photographer Bob Harral, who won an award for the photo.
 Ron's Foodliner opened in the Plaza in the space vacated by the Phelps Dodge Mercantile when it closed in January after operating in Ajo since 1931.
 A double issue of the Journal of the Southwest entitled "Dry Borders" included articles written by Ajo landowner Bill Broyles.
 The American Citizens Social Club, better known locally as the Chu Chu Club, sponsored the annual Fiesta de Mayo in the Plaza. Many residents and visitors enjoyed entertainment, food, sales booths, and festivities.
 The National Park Service held three meetings -- in Phoenix, Tucson, and Ajo -- to get input from the public regarding appropriate speeds on the section of highway 85 within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The preferred speed seems to be 65 mph by those living in Mexico and those headed for the Mexican border. At 55 mph a few extra minutes and fewer accidents are likely, according to the NPS. The road serves two purposes -- getting people from one place to another and protecting the resources of the national monument -- and the issue will apparently remain unresolved for some time.
 Gregorio Nevares Cruz & Adelaida Lizarraga Trejo were married in Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico in 1947. They celebrated their golden anniversary this year.
 Kevin Griffith of the Pima County Sheriff's Department was promoted to sergeant. Griffith has been in Ajo since 1995.
 Lupita Murillo of channel 4 in Tucson was the speaker for the 5th grade DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) culminating activity and graduation.
 Operation Brass Ring was a special law enforcement effort by US Customs Service to increase narcotic seizures at high risk points of entry such as Lukeville. During the 180-day crack-down inspectors seized several vehicles containing excessive amounts of illegal drugs.
 A nationwide auto theft prevention program replaced the Combat Auto Theft (CAT) program that had been provided by Pima County Sheriff's Department personnel. The new program is WYC (Watch Your Car) and is similar to the CAT program, but participants must register in the state in which they have a valid drivers license and automobile registration.
 Ajo's top students were recognized at the Ajo Rotary Club honors banquet.
 Ajo's all night graduation party kept the graduates, their fellow students, and a few alumni busy and well-fed until the morning sun sent them all home.
 David Castillo was the speaker for Ajo High School graduation when 23 Ajo seniors were graduated. Deborah England was valedictorian and Gardenia Saavedra was salutatorian for the AHS class of 1998. Brissa Bustamante, Elis Castillo, and Colleen Walters were graduated with distinction and Gabriella Castillo was graduated with honors.
 Alex Frazer, outstanding track team member, and outstanding boy and girl track team members Barry Keime and Colleen Walters were honored at the spring sports banquet. Peter Roberts was named to the first team of the All-Conference Baseball team and was Ajo's player of the year in baseball. Malin Lewis was named to the second All-Conference team. Randi Gonzales was named to the first All-Conference Softball team and Ajo's most valuable player. Rachel  Allen was named to the second All-Conference team.
 The school board voted to give the teachers a well-deserved raise.
 Several years ago, WALD arranged for Ajo Stage Line to use the old PPEP van for its local dial-a-ride service. When owner Will Nelson bought a new van, WALD donated the old van to the Casa Hogar Orphanage in Sonoyta.
 Burgers & Books, a popular reading program sponsored by Pima Youth Partnership, ended its monthly activities with a reading time, pool party, and burger feast.
 Memorial Day weekend saw a plethora of reunions, including one for the AHS class of ‘68. The class of 1966 celebrated the 50th birthday of many of its members.
 Susan Spitzer joined the Ajo Community Band as director. The County Attorney's Office established the Bad Check Program to help merchants and individuals collect on bad checks. The chief investigator and head of the program came to Ajo to explain the program and encouraged participation.
 A new chapter of AMVETS received its charter at the AMVETS state convention in Phoenix on May 16. Steve Rogers is the commander of the new post.
 Roy & Catherine (Broom) Shelly celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
 The traditional summer activities continued this summer: Ajo Foundation's Memorial Day Reunion weekend, the library's summer reading program, summer day camps, t-ball, Little League, baseball skills clinics, NAU music camp, flag day ceremony, and 4th of July festivities.
 A new activity provided by the Ajo Community Players was a play "just for those who stayed throughout the hot summer." The play was called "Let's Murder Marsha."
 Judy Rood became designated broker and manager of Copper Crown Realty.
 The Ajo Why Business Association dissolved, its officers to become committee members in the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce. After several years as separate business organizations, the reunification was said by many to have brought a more positive attitude back into the business people of Ajo.
 The controversial rezoning of the 54 acres at Rasmussen and Well Roads was approved by the Board of Supervisors with some contingencies.
 Ray & Clydene Workman renewed their vows during their golden wedding anniversary celebration.
 Despite continuing efforts to find a home for the Ajo Food Bank, nothing permanent  has been arranged. The delivery of food from Tucson was interrupted due to a lack of communication when personnel left for extended leaves. Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson said she is continuing her efforts to intervene with Tucson Food Bank and PCPR staff to resolve the issue.
 The Ajo Desert Sharks swim team had 18 members compete in a meet in Marana.
 "Tidepools" in ceramic tiles was approved as the public art component at Ajo's new pool. Diane Shanz of Tucson will create the tidepools with the help of 45 to 50 Ajo residents who will be able to glaze tiles of sea life forms.
 In spite of clouds and a little rain, the 4th of July progressed as usual. The parade began at 8:30 a.m. and moved down Solana to the Plaza where the color guard of Luke Air Force Base raised the flag and festivities began. Entertainment, booths, and games were topped off by fireworks in the evening. The 162nd Flight Wing of the Air National Guard fly-by was obscured by clouds in some areas, but could be heard as they circled the area. Many organizations did their part in celebrating Independence Day.
 The Phillies, the Pirates, and the Braves were Ajo's Little League teams. They played 3 teams from Gila Bend. The Gila Bend Reds won the championship.
 A US Border Patrol van blew a tire and rolled on Highway 85 about 15 miles south of Why. Six were reported hospitalized because of injuries. Ajo Ambulance responded and was joined by units from Sells EMS and Rural Metro from Gila Bend. Off-duty paramedics from metropolitan agencies also stopped to help.
 Tohono O'odham Police Department conducted a gun buy-back in response to the death of Amber Lynn Rios, 9, in May after being accidentally shot by a playmate.
 Quilters from Ajo sewed kimonos for premature babies at Tucson's University Hospital.
 Ajo's Desert Sharks swim team participated in several swimming meets this summer.
 The executive board of the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce participated in a planning meeting and met with members of the Casa Grande CofC.
 Phelps Dodge unveiled a safety logo. Entitled Zero & Beyond, they hope the heart-shaped logo will build an identity for PD's safety effort.
 Work continued on highway 85 through Crater Range north of Ajo throughout the summer and beyond. ADOT's efforts included blasting some rock to widen shoulders, extending the ends of concrete drainage culverts so they were a safer distance from the roadway, and continued with resurfacing of the road for a smoother ride and better breaking. The work was scheduled for completion at the end of 1998.
 A councilman from Mesa made a statement, jokingly, mentioning the heat in Ajo. Several Ajo residents took the remark to heart and contacted councilman Dennis Kavanaugh who said his comments were taken out of context and, by way of apology, said that he has been to Ajo and it has a "comfortable hometown flavor."
  Several undocumented immigrants and a hiker reportedly died due to exposure to the desert heat in what has been a fairly cool summer with temperatures ranging from 70° up to 111°F.
 More than a dozen Ajo youngsters enjoyed the Hook-a-Kid on Golf program sponsored by local community members and businesses.
 The Childs family announced that because of abuse to their property they were closing it to the public. The Childs Ranch, Hot Shot Ranch, and the surrounding property owned by the Childs family are now off-limits to non-family members.
 Despite notices posted in the area, Pima County zoning amendments were expected to have little effect on life in Ajo. The Hillside Development rezoning proposed no peaks in western Pima County for protection and the Riparian Habitat might have an effect on building in or near mapped washes if they exceed 1/3 acre or a 14,000 square foot site. The Buffer Overlay zoning amendments may affect the two residents living within one mile of Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
 Winners of the annual "You Know It's Hot in Ajo When" contest held by ACN were Christopher Bearse, Amber Alegria, and Cheto Olais.
 Robert F. Fulkerson, 19, became the Navy's youngest ensign. The grandson of Bob & Julia Fulkerson of Ajo, the young man received his degree in political science from ASU when he was 18.
 School began on Monday, August 24, returning to the five-day week in spite of opposition by many teachers, students, and parents. The community was divided, but the school board approved the return to the five-day week.
 About 60 people turned out for the annual Ajo Picnic in Payson.
 The swimming pool closed its doors forever at the end of the 1998 season. The new pool design has been approved. It is scheduled for construction this winter and should be completed in time for the 1999 summer season.
 Dolores Maya, secretary to the superintendent, retired after working in various jobs in the schools since 1974.
 Intergroup decided to cancel its contract with Ajo Community Health Center. Besides severely disrupting the health care of nearly 500 Ajo people, the move may affect the ability of the health center to provide care to the whole community. The long-range financial impact of the potential loss of 27% of its business is still unclear.
 The girls’ volleyball team placed second in the Greenfields Tournament early in the season and second again in the Ajo Invitational Tournament.
 John Zamar was elected to the position of vice president, secretary, treasurer of the Ajo Lukeville Health Service District.
 September 11 was proclaimed 9-1-1 Day across the state. According to commander of the Ajo District of the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Lt. David Allen, Ajo is the only district to have a communications section. The staff is responsible for answering five phones, two intercoms, and three radios, all while monitoring one visitor center, two electronic doors, and the whereabouts and welfare of both the corrections officers and deputies on duty.
 Christina Barnett was named Queen for 1998 at the Fiesta de Septiembre which was held at Bud Walker Park. The fiesta concluded with the Queen's Ball. It was sponsored by Pima County Parks & Recreation and the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts.
 Ajo Ambulance, Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department, Pima County Sheriff's Department, Tohono O'odham Police Department, and Arizona Department of Public Service continued responding to automobile accidents and other emergencies.
 La Ruta de Sonora (The Route), a new organization to promote and coordinate ecotourism activities in the Sonoran desert, met with members of community organizations and businesses to identify people with expertise and interest in environmentally sensitive economic opportunities.
 The post office became a construction zone as old brass window boxes were replaced by modern keyed lock-boxes.
 The Ajo Copper News had its 75th birthday. The paper was founded in 1916, making it 82 years old; however, the volume number which is supposed to change yearly, is now at 75. The staff's best guess for the discrepancy is that there were a few years when the issue numbers got changed but the volume remained the same for another year. Computer users with Internet connections may find the Ajo Copper News at www.tabletoptelephone.com/~cunews/index.html
 Pima County public health nurse Cathy Burke of Ajo was honored as 1998 Public Health Nurse of the Year.
 While the school budget decreased, the tax rate actually increased.
  Vern Rockwell retired after working for the Ajo post office since 1988.
 Stellar Brass, a sextet of Air Force musicians, gave a free concert. The six young men excelled in technical skill, enthusiasm, and showmanship, according to local music lovers who attended.
 The town of Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, 40 miles south of Ajo, just south of the Mexican/American border, celebrated its 300th anniversary with activities and ceremonies sponsored by the municipal government General Plutarco Elias Calles.
 Hickiwan held its annual Ceksan Tash, a two-day celebration filled with activities.
 The Ajo landfill moved to a new level which is anticipated to be able to serve Ajo residents for another two years.
 The management plan for the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge was released for a final round of public comment before its final version gives the refuge personnel direction for the next 15 to 20 years.
 Funding was received for the Ajo Historic District to allow a professional consultant to prepare the required historical and architectural documentation for the National Register nomination.
 Ajo was isolated from the rest of the world, at least as far as phone calls were concerned, at two different times. The failures were caused first because of a fiber optic system failure at US West in Phoenix and later a failed cable linking Table Top with US West. Sheriff's Department personnel and volunteers responded and the PCSD mobile command center was brought in to assist with emergency phone needs in Ajo.
 Ajo's Roots-Raices-Ta:tk youth group participated in a clean up event at BLM's National Public Lands Day in Sierra Vista.
 The volleyball team placed eighth in the state championships, losing to Pima High School. The varsity season record was 18-6; the JV season record was 10-6; the PCPR team scored 7-1. The football team did not fare as well with a 1-7 season.
 Getting Arizona Involved In Neighborhoods (GAIN), the replacement for the Neighborhood Night Out, saw about 200 Ajo residents entertained, fed, given prizes, and provided with information about safety and neighborhood activities. The event was sponsored by Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers and community businesses & organizations were generous, so everything was free.
 The Roots Youth Group, Xi Gamma Pi sorority, and the school each provided Halloween scary fun and excitement for kids and adults.
 Junior high school students protested and the school board approved replacement of lockers. The board also approved a land exchange with the county which may provide a home for the food bank.
 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the Hickiwan District of the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs sponsored and provided funding for the first annual Tohono O'odham youth ranger program which took place at the monument.
 Ajo First Baptist and Ajo Heights Baptist Churches merged to form Ajo Calvary Baptist Church.
 Randi Gonzales and Steve Sanora were crowned Queen and King at Ajo's 1998 homecoming festivities. The football team was slaughtered, but the band joined the afternoon parade along with the first place float of the junior class, the second place float of the senior class, and the third and fourth place floats of the freshmen and sophomores, respectively.
 The general election showed few changes. New local additions included Malin Lewis, Lonell Blow, and Lisa Rossi elected to the school board and Paul Vasquez and Deborah Arens elected to the Health Service District. Judge John Casey and constable Wanda Wriston were re-elected with no opposition.
 The Arizona Native Plant Society held its 1998 state meeting in Ajo.
 The Romance of the Ranchos IV, Ajo's gala outdoor dinner dance, brought in funds for another season of programs to be presented by the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts.
 A baby bobcat wandered into the yard of a home near the Plaza. He was taken into custody by Arizona Game & Fish personnel.
 The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce sponsored its fall festival with an emphasis on local artists. Many talented local artists and entertainers demonstrated, exhibited, and sold their wares beside the traditional booths with food and information. The Ajo Stage Line bus was dedicated by Pima County supervisor Sharon Bronson and PCDT public transit administrator Felipe Sanchez.
 While official word was lacking, work was going on at the Golden Has:an Casino 1.5 miles east of Why on the Tohono O'odham Nation leading some to hope the casino would open soon.
  The fundraiser auction and dinner for the "Music Man" brought in generous amounts from local residents and businesses. The show will go on, said organizers of the musical which is scheduled for production March 5 and 6, 1999.
 Public input regarding the draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) for the Barry M. Goldwater Range indicated general support for the proposed continuation of military operations with only a few concerns mentioned.
 Volleyball players Eva Cabanillas (Rookie of the Year), Carolyn Lewis (Most Inspired Players of the Year), and Rachel Allen (Player of the Year) were honored at the fall sports awards banquet. All six players on the varsity team -- Rachel Allen, Stacy Santos, Carolyn Lewis, Eva Cabanillas, Bonnie Mendoza, and Randi Gonzales were named to the Volleyball All-Regional team. Jesus Carrillo was named most valuable player in football and Barry Keime was most outstanding football player.
 Returning winter visitors flooded the paper with letters about the RV tax. Not all could be printed but all were against it.
 Ajo Stage Line's new bus was sideswiped by a Sun Tran bus while unloading passengers in Tucson. There were no injuries.
 CofC volunteers went on a day-long trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to learn more about the facility and activities available. Others learned more about the park at its holiday open house.
 The Western Pima County Community Council election brought new representatives to districts 1, 3, and 5 -- Debi Baggett, Pauline Driver, and Ed Rydeen -- and new at-large representatives -- Lisa Rossi and Lloyd Dane -- to the Council.
 The CofC held its first annual Community Awards Banquet to honor Ajo people who have worked to improve the quality of life in Ajo. Honored were Margaret Anderson, John Zamar, Lonnie D. Guthrie, Jr., Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department, Ajo Copper News, BrookLynn* Peed, Sharon "Coozie" McBiles, Don Fedock, and Renee Basile-Bearse.
 Glensheen’s Daughter: The Marjorie Congdon Story by Sharon Darby Hendry is a documentary about a woman known to Ajo residents as Marge Hagen. She lived in Ajo and was convicted of arson here and accused of murder.
 The feast of the Blessed Juan Diego was celebrated by Native Americans and others of the Roman Catholic faith. In Ajo a drizzle clouded the day, but did not stop worshippers.
 Why Ajo Lukeville Development (WALD) continued to work on grant applications and plans for an Adult Assisted Living Home in Ajo. Plans call for the home to be located in the building known as the superintendent's house at 500 La Mina.
 The new Ajo Community Band joined the Ajo Community Choir for their annual Christmas concert which packed the house two nights in a row.
 Larry "Gunner" Gibson was convicted of first degree murder in the slaying of Taylor Courtney in 1977.
 One of Santa's first visits of the year in his newly refurbished sleigh was to Ajo's Plaza. He left Curley School's tower and landed in his sleigh to the sound of the Ajo Community Band playing Christmas carols. The Plaza and streets were packed with children as well as adults who enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve town gathering. Many continued on to the Federated Church for their annual concert. Others wandered through town admiring the many decorated homes. The McBiles and MerMel were winners of the CofC's Christmas Lighting contest.

In Memorium
In 1998 we said our final sad farewells to:
James Aday
Anthony Alegria
George Allen
L. B. Allen
Mike Allen
Joel Alley
Inez F. Antone
Marciano Antone
Rosalie Antone
Soila Antone
Ruth Archer
John Armfield
Matilde Aroz
Quintella Baier
Juanita C. Bailey
Richard Ballesteros
Alfred Barry
Eli Berlin
Connie Bernal
Edward Blount
Linda Saline Bridgewater
Helen Briggs
Cathryn Burke
James Burkhead
Rose Candelaria
Fecundo Cañez
Pete Cano, Jr.
Andrew Crane
Geraldine Davis
Frank Deaton
Rufinie Dietz
Laila Douglas
J. Robert Doyle
Dick Durham
Angela L. Encinas
Mildred A. Fee
Jodie C. Fincher
Daniel Fitts
Peggy Jean Gibson
Willie L. "Hoot" Gibson
Nell K. Guinn
Bill Harrison
Jackie Hefner
John W. Hipp
Bura T. Hughes
Cruz Jerez
Lewis P. Joaquin
William Judd
Eugene L. Kennedy
Mary Krznarich
Lylis Lemieux
Carmen Lopez
Ivan Lopez
Jo Belle Lopez
"Nipsy" Lopez
Rosa Lopez
Daniel Luna
Benigo "Benny" Macias
Salvador L. Mancilla Sr.
Carmen Manuel
Miles S. Manuel
Bertha Martinez
Frank F. Maya
James J. McGrady Jr.
Margaret "Rita" McGrady
Russell Melton
Consuelo Mendivil
M. E. Michael
Lonnie Miller
Ward Miller
Edwin Mitlyng
Marcela Montijo
Aurelio P. "Chambers" Moreno
William E. Nixon
Bernard Pablo
"Chilin" Perez
Fernando Perez
Alice R. Ramsey
Ruth Irene Rasmussen
Amber Rios
Alice A. Rogers
Anna Rosenbaum
Fr. Maurice Roy
Cecil B. Salyer
Vera Shively
Carlota Sotelo
Barbara Starling
Dunbar Susong
John H. Tait
Julia E. Taylor
Eugene Templeton
Sandra Walker Terry
Richard "Dick" Thompson
Isaac N. Toler
Freda Tolley
Jesse Torgerson
Aurelio Torrez
Michael Valisto
Jose E. Vanegas
Reynaldo Vega
Maxie Walker
Mary E. Walterscheid
Bill Webb
Floyd A. Webb
James R. Weems
Ruby May Welch
Victor O. Wetzel
Thomas E. Wiley
Jay Aaron Woods
Ronald Youngs

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