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The Year in Review . . . 1999

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • In Memory... the friends and neighbors we said good-bye to in 1999.
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         One of the first big events of the new year was a masked ball. The Royal Renaissance Singers and Operatunity were brought to Ajo by the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts to tell the True Story of Cinderella .
         The Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association continued its winter lecture series tradition with its fifth year of programs. In addition, four Childs Mountain tours were part of the 60th anniversary of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. A checklist of the 391 plants on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge was produced.
         The Ajo chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society held meetings from December through March.
         New school board members Malin Lewis and Lisa Rossi and re-elected board member Lonell Blow were sworn in by board member Kord Klinefelter prior to the first meeting of the year on January 7. They elected Lonell Blow and Kord Klinefelter to continue in their positions as president and clerk, respectively.
         New officers of Western Pima County Community Council began their tenure and new board members took office at the January meeting. New officers were Eric Marcus, chair; Marty Branson, vice-chair; Pauline Driver, secretary; Lisa Rossi, secretary; and Debi Baggett, public relations. Newly elected board members were Pauline Driver, Debi Baggett, and Lloyd Dane.
         Community oriented policing training took place in Ajo. A community assessment of needs preceded the training which was attended by deputies, corrections officers, dispatchers, Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers, and interested local citizens. A community action team addressed two issues -- teen tobacco use and traffic concerns on surface streets.
         Hickiwan District of the Tohono O'odham Nation requested that visitors stop at the District's offices and get a permit prior to traveling or sight-seeing in the District. Getting permits avoids problems and protects residents and visitors alike, they said.
         Reorganization continued at the Ajo Community Health Center with Bertha Hickman appointed executive director and Lydia Larremore as office supervisor. A new physician assistant brought the professional staff to four -- two doctors and two physician assistants.
         Both the high school boys' and girls' basketball teams had losing seasons.
         Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers conducted a KidCare Photo ID program for 130 students in grades one through six.
         Goyo Cruz retired after half a century in the lumber and hardware business.
         The Ajo Gibson Volunteer Fire Department received a 1972 International water truck from Southwest Gas. They also received $600 from Mediacom and $192 from the proceeds of the Vaudeville Show.
         Deputy Bill Fish of the Pima County Sheriff's Department was named Officer of the Year for 1998.
         Ajo Clean & Beautiful, an affiliate of Arizona Clean & Beautiful, which works to preserve and enhance Arizona's beauty and environment, began operating under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce.
         An Emergency Response Team was formed at the request of John Zamar of Phelps Dodge. Team members were Sonja Wade, Chico Ortiz, David Tibbitt, and Steve Monreal.
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         The Rotary Club installed an aluminum can recycling bin at the Ajo landfill. Proceeds from collection of the cans will be donated to the school media center.
         Western Pima County Community Council  celebrated its 10th anniversary following a town hall meeting conducted by supervisor Sharon Bronson.
         Ajo Community Health Center accepted the resignation of John Zamar with regrets. Word was he was temporarily reassigned to a Phelps Dodge facility in New Mexico. Ron Smith was appointed to fill the vacancy.
         While the DARE program was eliminated from Tucson schools, it remained active in Ajo. Since the DARE officer Tony Stevens combines the school program with his other duties, Ajo was able to retain the program.
         Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers added four new members. Wes Snell, Darrell Bathurst, and Frank & Lea Cesarec finished the training program and became active in the Crime Prevention activities of SAV.
         The Piecemakers quilting group created an Ajo Heritage Quilt which they plan to make available for display at Ajo events.
         The 21st annual Old Time Fiddlers Contest took place at the Moose Lodge. Fiddlers came from all over the US and Canada to participate.
         The casino 1.5 miles east of Why on Hwy. 86, the Golden Ha:sañ, opened its doors on February 15. The opening had been delayed 18 months due to litigation between the Tohono O'odham Nation and the State of Arizona. The casino has 84 gaming machines.
         The Ajo Council for the Fine Arts brought an ensemble to town featuring the music of Benny Goodman.
         More than sixty Ajo homes were represented at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day sponsored by the Western Pima County Community Council . Residents took their paints, chemicals, and other hard-to-dispose-of items to volunteers at the landfill for safe disposal.
         A fashion show fundraiser was not only fun for those who participated, but made a considerable dent in the funds needed to match grant funding for improvements at the Ajo Community Health Center. The event brought in $2,221.05.
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         The Ajo Unified School District joined school districts nationwide in celebrating Read Across America Day on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2. Special programs were held and Cat in the Hat hats could be seen in many rooms on campus.
         The Music Man was well-received by two full-house crowds on March 5 and 6. Many members of the community, school, and several organizations worked for almost a year to produce the show. Their efforts were evident and the standing ovation of the crowd showed their appreciation.
         Many animals that would have had to be destroyed have been adopted as a result of articles and pictures published as a cooperative effort between the Ajo Copper News and Pima County  Animal Control staff.
         The House Bill to repeal the RV tax passed in the Arizona House of Representatives. Elaine Richardson will lead the fight for its repeal in the Senate. The tax of 50¢ a night on RV tourists was to be used for Tucson's baseball stadium. Many people have been up-in-arms since its inception.
         The Department of Energy and Public Service Company of New Mexico held a meeting in Ajo to gather public input on the proposed installation of a high-power transmission line. One of the possible routes followed the power line through the Goldwater Range, ran through the Ajo & Why area, and crossed the border near Lukeville.
         The Spring Festival saw all the old regulars performing and selling their wares in the Plaza on Saturday, March 13. In addition, some new activities were available. The Roots Youth Group kicked off its fundraising project. They displayed their Scenic Trash Can Art and commissioned several from businesses and individuals.
         Winners at the Desert Artists' Guild's spring show included Best of Show Maxine Cook and People's Choice Diane Carnright. First place ribbons also were awarded to Carol Rogers, Jackie Andes, Connie Sease, Bob Hastert, and Joyce Batchlor.
         Lawrence Seligman was appointed chief of police of the Tohono O'odham Nation following the resignation of former chief Russell Clanagan in December.
         The Tucson Pima Arts Council funded a folklore residency in Pima County. Steven Hatcher was in Ajo for a month talking with residents and taping stories about their lives and traditions.
         A bus with the words "Ajo Unifield School District No. 15" was abandoned near Gila Bend. It had evidently been used to transport illegal aliens until it stopped running and had to be abandoned.
         Archaeology month was celebrated in Ajo at the Salazar-Ajo branch library with a lecture by archaeologist Adrianne Rankin who gave a lecture updating work being done at Organ Pipe and on the Barry M. Goldwater Range. At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument the 11th annual O'odham Traditions Day was celebrated. An estimated 2000 people watched demonstrations of O'odham traditions including pottery-making, basketmaking, dancing, and games.
         A citizens' proposal for designation of the federal lands near Ajo (including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and the Barry Goldwater Range) as the Sonoran Desert National Park & Preserve brought varied responses from Ajoites--some positive and some negative.
         US Customs inspectors followed two seizures of nearly a ton of marijuana early in March with the largest cocaine seizure ever recorded at the Lukeville port of entry. The 1886 pounds of the illegal drug had an estimated street value of $84,870,000.
         Eagle Scout candidate Anders Peterson organized a Walk-for-Health. He mapped four circular routes  in the area of the Plaza for those who want to stay fit.
         Ajo Clean & Beautiful sponsored by the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce and the Ajo Rotary led Ajo's first Pick-Up and Picnic Day on Saturday, March 27. Many organizations, youth groups, and individual volunteers cleaned up trash and filled a large truck donated by Malin Lewis. Later they enjoyed a picnic at Bud Walker Park with food provided by the Ajo Masons.
         Ajo Unified School District's business manager Robert Dooley was reinstated as principal of the Discovery School in Glendale. He remained part time in Ajo through the school year to finish his contract work here prior to returning to Glendale.
         The public access permitting process for Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Bureau of Land Management, and Air Force and Marines on Barry M. Goldwater Range was made easier and more consistent. All of the agencies agreed to issue similar permits that would be valid on the other agencies' lands.
         Dan Johnson and Eric Krznarich completed training and passed the National Registry of EMTs examination required for certification as paramedics in Arizona. The two have worked for Ajo Ambulance since they were certified as EMTs.
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         Snow could be seen on the mountains around Ajo although none fell in town.
         Boy Scouts celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge with a campout at Tule Well. They visited the monument built by Scouts who assisted in the designation of the area as a refuge in 1939.
         The 22 miles of Highway 85 through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument have been placed on the ADOT Five-Year Highway Construction Program for Fiscal Years 2000-2004 and public meetings were scheduled to give residents and businesses an opportunity to express their views on highway needs on Hwy 86 between Tucson and Ajo.      A bomb scare at the Golden Ha:sañ closed Highway 86 between Why and Tucson for about six hours. No explosives were found in the briefcase that was the cause of the scare.
         Ajo High School was listed in the Family PC magazine as one of the top 100 schools wired for the Internet. AHS has 76 computers for every 100 students.
         The first Kids Care Fair took place on April 17 to give Ajo residents an opportunity to become aware of the programs available for the health, protection, safety, and care of children in the community, as well as opportunities for assistance for parents.
         GED classes taught by Lea Goodwine-Cesarec began in early April and continued through June.
         Maintenance of the footbridge behind the Ajo Community Health Center had been done by Phelps Dodge since the bridge was constructed in the 1960s. When PD announced that it did not intend to continue maintaining the bridge, so many people responded that they used the bridge, it was nicknamed the "Bridge to Everywhere." PD and Pima County agreed that PD would cede all easements to Pima County which will then put a pre-fab bridge in place and maintain it.
         Earth Day, April 22, was recognized by several classes at the school. First graders picked up trash, while other classes did recycling projects.
         A well-planned disaster took place at the high school as part of EMS week. A simulated motor vehicle accident took place on the football field to give seventh through twelfth grade students an opportunity to see what can happen when someone drinks and drives. Other activities included talks with kindergarten through second graders about medical emergencies and how and when to call 911. Third through sixth graders were given CPR instruction.
         Ajo girls placed in seven events at the Ajo Invitational Track Meet. Of the 12 teams, Ajo girls placed 9th with 23 points; The boys were tied for 11th with no points.
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         An Ajo Stage Line bus was seized and the driver detained for questioning by US Border Patrol agents. There were eight undocumented aliens aboard the bus. According to owner Will Nelson, the bus was held in Tucson for two weeks when, following an investigation, he was told he could get the bus. He was interviewed by US Border Patrol. He and his drivers were instructed by US Border Patrol in procedures to follow when boarding passengers at or near the border.
         Mail carriers collected 2,366 pounds of non-perishable food and a $25 donation during its annual food drive.
         The state legislature approved a bill that allocated funding for the Ajo Community Health Center. The request for state funds came after InterGroup ended its contract with ACHC.
         Bob & Sharon Bargabos, Kate Garmise, Earle Hansen, Darrell Bathurst, and Wes Snell of Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers completed training in emergency response. Their first assignment was to assist veteran volunteers with traffic control at the border on Friday, May 28.
         Danny Carver, a senior at Ajo High School, hit three home runs in the final game of the baseball season against San Pasqual.
         The 50¢ a day surcharge levied on seasonal space rentals remained in effect. The repeal of the tax was attached to a technical tax bill that the Arizona Senate did not pass. Petitions continued to be circulated throughout Ajo and surrounding communities protesting the tax.
         Angie Olais won a shopping spree from Ron's Foodliner. She was given five minutes in the store to purchase as much as she could collect up to $400. Her bill for her purchases would have been $401.91.
         Walter N. Richardson applied for and received a Purple Heart for his efforts during the Korean War -- 48 years later.
         A mural was painted on the side of the Shadow Ridge RV park office. The art was brought to Ajo through the efforts of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts, artist Carole Hanks who designed the mural, John Baird who owns of the park and donated the paint, and several artists who donated their time and expertise.
         The Ajo Desert Music Club's annual May breakfast was attended by 89 people. The group heard music of the west at the Ajo Country Club. Scholarships were presented to Ylesia Jones, Renee Martinez, and Desirae Bates for NAUs summer music camp.
         The school science fair winners were Roxanne Gradillas for "The Amazing Jupiter," Rosemary Gradillas for "Tornado Alley," Roger Axford for "Natural Filtration: How the Earth Filters Water," and Anthony Pendergrass for "Astronomy in Action." In addition, Mrs. Keime's kindergarten class won an award for their entry entitled "What's Poppin?" and the first grade students of Miss Walker and Mrs. Merrick won an award for "Worms."
         Award winners were honored at Ajo High School's honors banquet. Seniors were presented with scholarships and certificates for their accomplishments.
         Graduated with distinction at the ceremony held May 27 were co-valedictorians Isabel Nava and Timothy Schumacher, salutatorian Daniel Thomas Carman, Brook Lynn Peed, Stuart Jason Orr, Rachel Mikus, and Reuben Gonzales. Graduated with honor were Patricia Yanez, Rachel Marie Allen, Liliana Carrillo-Vazquez, and Randi Dawn Gonzalez.
         The pool opened on May 27 -- not the new pool, as previously advertised, but the old pool, for one more year. Due to overbidding on the contract, the bidding process was delayed. The groundbreaking was finally held in December with promises that the new pool will be ready for use in May 2000.
         Al Gay filed a claim for damages against Pima County in the amount of $500,000 for Gay's alleged false arrest on December 5, 1998.
         The annual Dicus-Salazar tournament produced enough money so the Ajo Foundation could award four $1000 scholarships to graduating seniors.
         The Grad Night Party was attended by 67 students who celebrated their graduation and that of their friends with an all-night activity-filled party. The event was sponsored by Pima Youth Partnership with the support of many community businesses and organizations.
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         Following a contest to name the Ajo Community Band, they became known as "The Copper Pits." They performed in the July 4 parade -- bringing live music back into the parade.
         Elizabeth Gilbert was chosen Woman of the Year by members of the Xi Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. She has been active in the community and in her church since she came here in 1922 at the age of one month. She was graduated from Ajo High School in 1939.
         Judging of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program entries for Arizona took place in Ajo. The judging was organized by Vergial Harp of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
         Sheriff's deputies, corrections officers, and Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers visited the first grade classes of Mrs. Merrick and Miss Walker. In observance of National Police Week, the classes wrote letters of appreciation to the Ajo Sheriff's deputies for the good work of local law enforcement officers.
         Paving of about five miles of Ajo's streets was completed in June. The process involved reusing the top inch of asphalt already on the streets, adding another inch of material, compacting, and leveling it to produce a road that shouldn't need maintenance for eight to ten years.
         County supervisor Sharon Bronson visited Ajo with members of county departments to discuss the Sonoran desert conservation plan, enhancement of tourism for Western Pima county, the budget problems involved in construction of the new pool, the footbridge, library expansion, and the possibility of a child care facility for Ajo.
         Jose Nogales retired after 29 years in the schools -- 28 of teaching. He taught US history, Spanish, and English as a Second Language. He also coached shot put, discus, and cross-country.
         Two one-act plays and a melodrama were written by Ajo residents and presented by the Ajo Community Players.
         The Tucson Pima Public Library's summer reading program came to the Salazar-Ajo Branch Library with presentations for young readers on a wide variety of topics, such as dry ice, Sonoran desert wildlife, and toys from early days.
         Edward Manuel was elected to a second four-year term as the chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation. He defeated the next highest challenger, Vivian Juan-Saunders, by more than 600 votes. In the Legislative Council races, eight of eleven incumbents were elected including three who were unopposed. In district council races, many incumbents also kept their seats.
         Puerto Peñasco was not included when a fee was imposed on tourists into the interior of Mexico since the resort area is in a free zone. Generally fees are collected at checkpoints set up approximately 15 miles into the country. The road to Rocky Point does not have a checkpoint and no changes were planned for that area.
         Copper Crown Realty moved from its Plaza location where it had been since its inception in 1984. It is now located at 671 N. 2nd Avenue. Arizona Copper Hills Realty, owned by Mary A. M. Smith, moved in to the Plaza location in October.
         The Ajo Desert Sharks swim team looked sharp at its first meet wearing matching sunhats, suits, and with a colorful new team banner. About 30 team members and a large parent booster group attended the meet at which the Ajo swimmers did well.
         Ajo's wastewater treatment plant was the topic of a public meeting on June 16. The plan for a new water treatment plant was presented by Ajo Improvement Company's president John Zamar and engineer Ron Peterson. Following approval of the plan by the Pima Association of Governments, the projected timeline showed bidding taking place by the end of the summer and the project construction completed by the first quarter of 2000.      About 20 kids between 7 and 12 took part in a Bike Rodeo sponsored by the Pima County Health Department. Safety and skills were emphasized.
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         In spite of the fact that some Ajo residents disagreed with the Chamber of Commerce board's decision to celebrate Independence Day on Saturday, July 3, the early festivities drew a good crowd. The day was filled with some traditional and some new activities and many individuals and organizations participated. The community band, officially named the Copper Pits, provided music for the parade.
         A cactus fruit harvest took place at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It was sponsored by Organ Pipe and the Hia Ced O'odham Alliance. Several Ajo residents picked fruit, made saguaro syrup, and heard about Hia Ced O'odham traditions and customs.
         Health care continued to be an issue as Blue Cross announced that the plan newly contracted with  ACHC would be canceled at the end of the year. Efforts continued to try to bring in other HMOs to Ajo residents.
         An unseasonably early and wet summer rainy season began on July 6 and continued through August, adding humidity to the summer heat. The storms gave residents something to look forward to -- finally some green in the desert -- and something to complain about as well -- "What! No phones because of a lightning strike?" Phone service was restored on July 24 at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument after several hours when lightning rendered stand-by generators and batteries inoperable.
         The heat did nothing to deter the undocumented aliens coming up from Mexico. Several died from the heat and dehydration. and many were rescued and treated prior to being returned to Mexico.
         The modular buildings behind the Curley School were finally approved for the Ajo Food Bank. Some remodeling and modification must be done prior to its opening. The revised opening date was spring 2000.
         Members of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts have completed several murals at businesses in Ajo. The initial mural was painted on the north wall of what is now Ben Franklin. More recently a mural was painted on the office building at Shadow Ridge RV Park and inside the Copper Kettle Restaurant. More were planned.
         Students continue to work summer jobs at various places around Ajo, funding coming from several sources. The National Park Service, BIA, and Hickiwan District of the Tohono O'odham Nation gave jobs to eight students and a group leader at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument while the Youth Conservation Corps, the Student Conservation Association, and the Tucson Youth Development Program provided jobs for several young people at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
         A quilt made in 1966 by Goldie Tracy Richmond, a trader at San Simon on the Tohono O'odham Nation, was selected as one of the top 100 quilts of the century. It is owned by the Arizona State Museum and was displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.
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         Ajo's swim team the Desert Sharks did well in its six meets prior to the championships at Flowing Wells. They placed fourth out of seven teams in the championship meet. Individuals brought home many medals to Ajo.
         Jesus Rodelo, Armando Barajas, and Sean Manuel were all injured in a one-vehicle accident on Tuesday, July 27, near Curley School. Rodelo died of his injuries as he was being transferred from an Ajo Ambulance unit to a helicopter for transport to a trauma center. Barajas and Manuel were flown to hospitals for treatment and returned home to recover from their injuries.
         About 50 Ajo residents showed their appreciation to Elaine Richardson and Debora Norris who worked to bring $95,000 to the Ajo Community Health Center in one-time funding that will help replace the loss of revenue due to the cancellation of the InterGroup contract earlier this year. The health center still needs the support of the community to remain financially viable.
         Ajo's first band camp, led by music director Joel Berresford, was successful, according to students who attended and Berresford. They performed in various places around Ajo throughout the week.
         Al Gay accused the Border Patrol of harassing his Hispanic employees and customers. Gay filed a temporary restraining order requesting them to stop conducting searches and questioning people in his businesses in Lukeville without warrants. His request was denied but Border Patrol decided to enact new policies which will limit agents entering Gay's businesses.
         Ajo's command post dedication took place on August 12. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Major Brad Gagnipain, Captain Rick Kastigar, and Chief Deputy Stanley Cheske joined Ajo SAVs, sheriff's department personnel, and many Ajo residents in showing their appreciation for the new addition to Ajo's support system.
         BrookLynn Peed, who worked for the Ajo Copper News for three years, headed off to the University of Arizona to begin her freshmen year. Ramona Yanez replaced her as "teenage slave."
         The Ajo-Canada golf tournament was almost snowed out on July 14 in Fort Macleod, Alberta. Eleven Americans, ten Canadians, and three guests participated.
         The American Citizens Social Club donated $430 to the Ajo school bands for band instrument repair.
         Students, teachers, and administrative staff began another school year on August 23. New staff members include financial director Patti Spencer, and teachers Jackie Andes, Judy Sandquist, Donna Smith, Marsha Stoddard, and Bob Corbin.
         A fire truck equipped with aircraft fire equipment was donated to the Ajo Airport by Pima County.
         Ajo Stage Line added another vehicle to its fleet which was assigned to the in-town dial-a-ride service as part of its contract with the Pima County Department of Transportation. The vehicle was equipped with a wheelchair lift which should improve service to wheelchair-bound residents.
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         The high school football season began with a scrimmage in the mud against the Baboquivari Warriors.
         Cabeza Prieta applied for a lease for the 30 acres adjacent to the current office and visitor center.
         An after-school environmental art class was offered to kids ages 6 to 14 as an activity of the Roots Raices Ta:tk program under the auspices of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance.
         "You know it's hot in Lukeville when your mascara melts and your eyelashes stick together!" said Ladawna Kornack, winner of the You Know It's Hot in Ajo When... contest. Second place #1 went to Rosemary Gradillas who said, "You know it's hot in Ajo when you step outside but your shadow stays inside!" Second place #2 winner was Nellie David, who said, "You know it's hot in Ajo when your flip-flops stick to the asphalt because the bottoms melted!" Although it was not an exceptionally hot summer, the monsoon season was exceptionally long, lasting a record 91 days and leaving behind 7.7 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
         Ajo Improvement Company filed for an increase in its rates which will still leave its customers enjoying a lower rate than most other electric customers in the state.
         Dr. Richard E. Duran was named the new Tohono O'odham Community College interim president. The college will offer accredited courses through Pima Community College until its own accreditation can be obtained.
         Members of Ajo's Ballet Folklorico El Cobre, directed by Lina Olais, attended a dance workshop. The group often performs at events in Ajo.
         Ajo District Chamber of Commerce executive director Renee Basile-Bearse moved to Pennsylvania. Taking her place was Lori Martinez who has been in Ajo for about a year.
         The Ajo Rotary Club continued to collect aluminum cans at the Ajo Landfill with the money earned used for books for the school. Rotarians also took under consideration assuming responsibility for the maintenance of the Solana trees which have been maintained since their planting by Don Fedock, who will no longer be doing the job.
         Mike Hull, Ajo High School class of '78, set up a web site for friends of Ajo: http://www.maddhouse.com/ajo/
         Many groups have contributed to the Ajo High School band which continues to improve its performance at every football game.
         Roots Raices Ta:tk, sponsored by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, and the classes of several elementary teachers have established a garden on the school grounds. It was the beginning of an environmental education project to give students hands-on learning experiences in their own "schoolyard habitat."
         Thirty-five youths from Arizona and Sonora met at Curley School on September 25 to plan for an international youth conference to be held in San Luis Rio Colorado in February 2000. The young people also added an international touch to the garden being developed at the school by building an arch.
         Ajo Stage Line has discontinued its Ajo-Phoenix service for economic reasons.
         Noise that can be heard farther than 125 feet was outlawed by an ordinance passed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Any sound that can be heard beyond the property line or vehicle from which it is coming is illegal between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
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         The Hickiwan District Council removed the board of the Hickiwan Development Authority. According to Manuel Osequeda, a new board has been appointed. Management of the convenience store that shares the casino building was being managed temporarily by Desert Diamond Management. They have been negotiating management of Hickiwan Trails campground, too.
         Following what appeared to be a reaction by several students to a potentially dangerous chemical, the school was evacuated. The Hazardous Materials team and an industrial hygienist gave the school a clean bill of health. Where trace readings were detected, a thorough cleaning was done.
         Senate Bill 1059 was signed into law on October 5 and contained provisions allowing the continued use of the Barry M. Goldwater Range for the US Air Force's training mission for another 25 years.
         The second annual Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN) community-wide block party was attended by many Ajo residents who said they enjoyed the free food, entertainment, and fun. The event was sponsored by the Ajo Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers and many individuals, organizations, and businesses throughout the community.
         Following inquiries from residents, information was provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation regarding legal distances of signs from the center of the roadway. Several signs on roadsides were found to be in violation and were removed.
         A US Border Patrol agent newly assigned to this area, crossed the border into Mexico and returned. Following her return, Mexican agents drew their weapons allegedly threatening another Border Patrol agent. The supervisor brought the situation under control and apologized for the incident.
         Stacy Santos, senior at Ajo High School, was selected to participate in the Hoops Down Under Classic basketball tournament in Australia. She was one of several Arizona girls who formed a team with girls from Wisconsin and placed 5th in the tournament. "Everyone was very nice and I had fun," she said.
         While the homecoming football game against Baboquivari was an unhappy loss, the homecoming activities were exciting, as usual, from the pep rally and the parade to the band's performance and the crowning of Carolyn Lewis and Colin Korolsky as queen and king. Runners-up were Stacy Santos and Jesus Carrillo. Other nominees were Connie Mendoza, Bonnie Mendoza, Emitt Bryant, and Israel Barajas. Last year's queen and king, Randi Gonzalez and Steve Sanora passed their crowns to their successors.
         Don't Mention My Name was the first offering of the Ajo Community Players for the 1999-2000 winter season. It was a mystery/comedy.
         Announcements were made by two separate companies within two weeks of each other that power plant projects were planned for the Gila Bend area. Each has an estimated cost of $400 million. Construction on one project was expected to begin in late 2000 while the other was slated to begin by late 2001. Combined they will provide about 100 permanent jobs in Gila Bend.
         Nicholas Brian Carver, 20, died Saturday, October 16, of injuries received in a tragic motor vehicle accident between Ajo and Gila Bend. Nick and his brother Danny were returning to Peoria from high school homecoming festivities in Ajo.
         Dispatcher Alejandrina Sandoval received a commendation for initiative taken in an incident where her quick response resulted in saving the life of an Ajo resident.
         Ajo District Chamber of Commerce members formed a committee to enhance the economic climate in the area. Their first project will be setting up a business resource center.
         Coach Marc Alop and assistant coach Bob Corbin led the Ajo Red Raider football team in a 2-7 season.
         The girls' varsity volleyball team coached by Rose Cameron and Tom Stidham, had a season record of 16-13. The team played one game in the state meet and lost to Hopi. The JV team had a 6-10 season.
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         The annual Halloween Parade brought out witches, goblins, lions, tigers, gypsies, and Minnie Mouse, along with members of Xi Gamma Pi chapter of Beta Sigma Phi who sponsored the event.
         A series of burglaries beginning in July were finally resolved when Eldon Molina was arrested on November 22 for two of them. Some of the break-ins occurred at the Ajo Community Center at Bud Walker Park, Mediacom, the Ajo pool, and Southwest Income Tax.  The investigation was continued.
         The Ajo Community Health Center has made arrangements for expanded after-hours services to include wound care requiring stitches and treatment for high fevers with accompanying symptoms like sore throat or ear pain. Health care providers can be paged if the patient meets the criteria.
         Ajo Stage Line's discontinued Phoenix service caused several people to gather names on petitions which were sent to both Maricopa and Pima County supervisors requesting rural transportation assistance.
         Ric Marin was named Health Department's Employee of the Quarter for the second quarter of 1999. He has been the office support person in Ajo since 1995.
         Michelle Walsh, 26, died of injuries she received in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 near Tonopah on Sunday, November 7. Two of her four children were injured in the accident.
         Ramon "Moni" Diaz returned home after spending most of October at Phoenix Children's Hospital where he had his right leg amputated below the knee following a traffic accident.
         The Ajo Community Health Center applied for a block grant to have the front of the health center made more accessible. The grant was not approved, so they have initiated a fundraising program to raise the money necessary to do the remodeling. The project was named EZ Access.
         The fall festival in the Plaza was sponsored by the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce and included free entertainment and food, crafts, and activities for all ages.
         The Pima County Health Department began a series of Hepatitis B shots for students. The last of the series will be administered in January.
         A self-sufficiency workshop was sponsored by Pima County Parks & Recreation, the Department of Economic Security, and Pima County Department of Human Services. The workshop taught work search and life skills to assist participants in their transition from public assistance to full-time employment. Ten Ajo residents were graduated from the program.
         A cookbook was created with recipes provided by members of the Ajo Federated Church. The cookbook proceeds were slated for maintenance expenses of the historic church near the Plaza.
         An application has been filed with the Federal Communications Commission for a permit to construct a radio station in Ajo. The FM station is to be established as a non-profit, non-commercial, educational station.
         The seventh annual Veterans' Day Dinner was held at the Mocambo Ballroom. Proceeds were spent on Christmas gifts for veterans living at the Veterans' Home in Phoenix.
         The Arizona Department of Education released the scores for Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) which was taken by more than 45,000 sophomores in the spring of 1999. Ajo students' scores were poor, but were similar to scores from other schools across the state. The test is intended to be taken each year until students are seniors, at which time they are expected to have passed all standards in order to be graduated. The class of 2002 will be the first to be required to pass AIMS for graduation.
         Christina Vega was invited to participate in a basketball tournament showcasing the best juniors in the US. The tournament will be held in July 2000 in Hawaii. She will be doing fundraising projects to earn the money needed for participation in the event.
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         Local quilters, the Piecemakers, made 25 little quilts which they wrapped around dolls and stuffed animals for needy children in Ajo for Christmas. They also donated some to Ajo Ambulance to be given to pediatric patients and to deputies to give to children.
         Manuel Martinez retired from the Ajo True Value Hardware store after 35 years.
         Elizabeth Reyna announced her retirement from the Pizza Hut after more than 18 years.
         After 55 years, Charles Shields received the medals he had earned during World War II.     A gingerbread family created by Sandy Rogers was raffled and the money donated to the Ajo Community Health Center for the EZ Access Project.
         Table Top Telephone Company applied for a rate increase which, if granted, will probably go into effect in the middle of next year.
         Deputies were empowered to identify and solve problems without a directive from above with the adoption of Mission Oriented Policing.
         Family and friends in Why and beyond were thrown into mourning after a two-vehicle collision between Ajo and Why on Highway 85 early Monday afternoon, December 13. Both drivers, Sue Cross and Betty Holcomb, were declared dead at the scene.
         The Ajo school district adopted a fee schedule so that they would meet requirements for accepting donations from individuals who were interested in getting federal and state tax credits.
         The Artists Guild Reception was the site of the unveiling of the "Face on the Barroom Floor." Operatunity was scheduled to be in Ajo on January 28 to present its version of the light opera.
         Long-time school board member Lucille Couch received a "Master of Boardsmanship" for her participation in programs of the Arizona School Board Association.
         The US Border Patrol donated 61 computers to Ajo schools. They will be used for a keyboarding class and in various locations throughout the school.
         Deputy John Taylor of the Pima County Sheriff's Department Ajo District, was named Distinguished Patrol Officer for December.
         Santa's elves, many affiliated with local organizations, provided Christmas gifts, food, and treats for Ajo's children and those in need.
         Concerts at school and at churches helped put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
         Ajo's traditional Christmas Eve celebration was held in the Plaza with Santa Claus as the guest of honor. Jim Bush was presented with a plaque by his fellow Rotarians for his half-century of work on Santa's sleigh.
         Churches across Western Pima County celebrated the traditional anniversary of the birth of Christ with festive services.
         Pima County Sheriff's Department Ajo District plans to have the extra deputies on duty along with the SAVs on patrol and the command center set up in case of emergency, although they anticipate no unusual problems.
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    In Memory
    In 1999 we said a sad good-bye to many friends and neighbors.

     Juan Aguilar Jr.
    Jim Aldridge
    Ninna Alexander
    Robert M. Alley
    Duane C. Amos
    Howard Angel
    Agnes Antone
    Sarah Barber
    Eli Berlin
    Helen Roberts Berry
    Bernice Brown
    Frances M. Bustamante
    Raul Bustamante
    Jesus Carreras
    Nicholas Carver
    Joe M. Celaya
    Phillip Childs
    Winnie Corvelle
    James L. Couch
    Sue Cross
    Armando Cubillas
    Richard Daniels
         Esther Diaz
    Richard B. Dicus
    Margaret Dixon
    Dennis Fadely
    Sidney Fee
    Louise Fincher
    Evelyn Fry
    Etelvina Garcia
    Walter Gillespie
    Barbara Glodowski
    Diana Jo (Pacheco) Gonzales
    Maria Gonzalez
    Sonia Gonzalez
    Calvin L. Gray
    John A. Gregory
    William Guest
    Lonnie D. Guthrie, Sr.
    Charles Hamilton
    Ora Hammons
    Earle L. Hansen
    T. R. Harrison
    Arthur Henke
    Jiggs Hickman
    Adela Hoge
    Betty Holcomb
    LaVerne Ivey
    J.C. "Jiggs" Jacks
    Robbie Kaster
    Robert E. Kelley
    Robert J. Kerns
    Darold Kinkead
    Eithel Kirklosky
    Toni Krausmann
    Willie Lampshire
    Robert Leinard
    Kenneth Lemieux
    Zoleme Leon
    Richard Lindner
    Jimmie Littrell
    Benito M. Lopez
    Ruth Marion
    Dana Martin
    Roy D. Martin
    Roy E. Martin
    Charles L. McNary
    James McSweeny
    Susan M. Milene
    Peggy Mitchell
    Chayo Montijo
    Constancia Cecilia Moreno
    Jorge Moreno
    Nora Lee Nation
    Myrtle F. Page
    George A. Payne
    Miguel G. Perez
    Dale L. Perkins
    Ann Peterson
    Wilbur Ray Phillips
    Alan K. Polley
    Leandro "Lalo" Ramirez
    Mariano Ramirez
    Michael Rau
    Glenn Reichenbach
    Henry F. Richar
    Antonio S. Rios
    Evaristo S. Rios
    Jesus I. Rodelo
    Mildred Rose
    Dale Runyan
    Allan C. Sanderson
    Fidel A. Sanchez
    Victor W. Sease
    Johnnie Sparks
    Patti Jo Steen
    Donald Stephens
    Louis Stone
    Bill Sullivan
    Mary Taylor
    Nelson Taylor
    G. A. Trigueros
    Perfecto Valdez
    Santos Valenzuela
    Soledad Velasquez
    Carol Vetter
    Michelle Walsh
    John Westrick
    Alicia Willson
    Philip Woodring
    Charles Yokum
    Florita Longacre Young
    Mary Zenonian

    They are all are missed.

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