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   A public hearing on an application requesting rate adjustment for Ajo Improvement customers came at the same time Southwest Gas Corporation filed an application to reduce its rates. While the gas rate decrease went through, Ajo Improvement later withdrew its request.
   The Red Raiders basketball team ended its season with a 7 and 25 record for all games played. The Lady Raiders were in fourth place in the conference with a 9 and 5 record for conference games.
   Ajo Stage Line celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party in the Plaza.
   The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce sponsored the annual Community Clean-up. A few businesses and organizations and many individuals participated, although the turnout was not as large as organizers had hoped. Ajo Masons provided a picnic lunch for participants following the clean-up.
   Ajo Vision, a volunteer group working to implement aspects of the Ajo Comprehensive Plan completed last year, received a grant from PRO Neighborhoods to hold a community forum in April.
   The Ajo office of the Pima County Public Health Department has added new services including making travel vaccinations available for international travelers.
   The Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association continued its winter lecture series and Childs Mountain tours.
   State Senator Elaine Richardson announced her candidacy for the newly created 7th Congressional District for the US House of Representatives.
   The Phoenix bus route under contract with Ajo Stage Line was threatened due to lack of funding. Pima County stepped in and maintained the service on a one-trip-a-day basis through April. The service was supported by Pima County until May. Alternate sources for funding have yet to be identified.
   Don Olsen and Dave Rollins of Olsens IGA Marketplace broke ground for the new IGA at McMahon Road and Hwy 85. Completion was anticipated about October 1, but no construction had begun by the end of the year.
   A group of volunteers from Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association, and International Sonoran Desert Alliance worked to eliminate the invasive plant known as fountain grass from the road to Childs Mountain.
   It snowed! Close to two inches of snow fell on Ajo on Wednesday, January 30. It was the most snow since about 1968, according longtime residents.
   A phone call from an alert resident to Pima County Sheriff's Department on January 28 resulted in the arrest of at least two men and recovery of 357 pounds of marijuana hidden in a culvert behind the Curley School.
   The Old Time Fiddlers Contest brought more than 100 fiddlers, and even more listeners, to the Mocambo Ballroom. Fiddlers could be heard for days practicing, jamming, playing for dancers, and competing.
   The monthly meeting of the Western Pima County Community Council had speakers from the State Preservation Office. They talked about the newly designated historic district and benefits available to owners of property in the district.
   The annual Vaudeville Show put on by the Ajo Community Players and other talented people in the community played to a full house.
   An automatic blood pressure machine was purchased with funds donated by Ajo residents to Desert Senita Community Health Center.
   Money for the Bob Poole Scholarship Fund was raised at a recital by several students and school staff members at Dicus Auditorium.
   The Sonoran Shindig, a nature-related event, was attended by a crowd of several hundred. The winners of photography and poster contests were announced. A Coyote Howling Contest, free entertainment, and lots of activities kept folks busy throughout the day.
   The community was invited to participate in the selection of a new superintendent for the Ajo Unified School District. The selection committee was made up of three community members, two certified staff members, one classified staff member, and the school financial director.
   The Ajo School Arts Partnership received a grant to conduct activities pairing students and local artists throughout the school year. Performing and cultural arts were included in the program.
   The Lady Elks and the Piecemakers donated the proceeds of fundraisers to the Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department.
   Eighth grader Ashley Maya won the Spelling Bee and Elinor Campion was the runner-up. The event was revived this year; the last one was held in 1993.
   Dr. Seuss' birthday celebration included prominent residents reading to kids and telling stories. PYP held its meal and reading party with games and prizes, and free books from the Reading Is Fundamental program. The next day kids celebrated Read Across America day with reading and cupcakes.
   Parents Anonymous held workshops to teach participants how to deal with anger. The free workshops were held in addition to their regular Friday sessions for parents.
   Parts of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument were closed to public access from March 15 through July 15. The closing was court-ordered in response to a Defenders of Wildlife lawsuit citing the need to protect endangered pronghorn during birthing season when they are particularly vulnerable to disturbances.
   Desert Senita Community Health Center added three new board members raising the total to fifteen. The new board members were Sarah Haas, Stella Capoccia, and Sonja Wade.
   The health center received a rural health grant to focus on diabetes in the community. The program will provide $200,000 each year for the next three years to help those with diabetes recognize the disease and learn to deal with it.
   The high school drama club presented The King & I with students joined by teachers and other community members in forming the cast and crew.
   The Ajo Community Players presented a melodrama that delighted their audience.
   The Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department began its annual fund drive. The firefighters needed to raise money not only for operating expenses but also for a new fire truck.
   AIMS test scores were low for many students throughout the state. Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards is a controversial testing tool. Passage of the test may be required for graduation from Arizona schools in the near future. Ajo's administrators and staff said they continue to work to meet the standards and help kids succeed in school.
   The 12th annual O'odham Traditions Day at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument featured demonstrations, games, talks, and hands-on activities as part of the day-long program.
   The Ajo Masons continued to reward fourth graders for reading by giving away awards, prizes, and pizza.
   Fourth graders participated in the Great American Backyard Bird Count with assistance from the Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association's members.
   Minerals Research & Recovery's Ajo operation submitted a permit proposal to Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. If the permit appeared less restrictive than the previous one, it was because of the corrected status for the company from a primary source to one with lesser impact on the air quality. Several residents from the community spoke against the permit at the hearing on March 19, saying they were plagued by dust and that the permit neglected to address off-site particulates in the air. No changes were made to the permit as a result of the hearing.
   Easter Sunday, now called Resurrection Sunday by some churches, was celebrated with the traditional sunrise service in the Plaza.
   More than 300 people attended a community forum in the Curley School. Most responded positively to a proposal to create a complex combining low-cost housing and work space for artists with space for retail businesses and community activities. Grant writing was successful bringing in two large sums that are being used for feasibility studies, architectural and financial planning, and surveys.
   Several Ajo elementary students received awards for posters entered in the Fair Housing Month poster contest. The poster of the grand prize winner, first grader Cinnamon Robles, was exhibited throughout southern Arizona.
   About 100 people attended the Aloha Party sponsored by the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts. Several Ajo men showed off their skills as hula dancers.
   US Customs agents confiscated more than four tons of marijuana during an investigation at Menager's Dam. One smuggler was shot and a US Customs agent was injured during the incident.
   Mike Hipp, Ajo's UPS guy for 25 years, was given a surprise retirement party by the community.
   Students First remodeling of the public school campus began in April and continued throughout the summer and into the fall.
   Rehabilitation of two injured birds culminated in their release at Bud Walker Park and at a site on Well Road by Stella Capocci working with Cry in the Wilderness Rehabilitation Center. They have a 75% chance of survival following rehabilitation and release in the Ajo area.
   Golden Eagle Distributors provided a one-time award of $500 to each of five Ajo organizations whose members spent a day picking up trash along Highway 85 between Ajo and Why. A picnic lunch prepared by Ajo Lions Club members for the volunteers followed the clean-up.
   Roger Di Rosa returned to Ajo as manager of Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. He worked for USFWS in Ajo from 1979 to 1985 and spent the intervening years at refuges in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
   Amy Alvillar, Judy Salcido, and Elinor Campion were awarded scholarships to attend NAU's summer music camps by the Desert Music Club and the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts. Megan Candelaria was selected to attend a summer seminar on medical careers.
   Pima County Department of Transportation continued to support one trip a day by Ajo Stage Line from Ajo to Phoenix for two months while alternative funding sources were sought. Since no funding sources were identified, service was terminated.
   The AHS golf team ended its season with a 5 and 10 record. The softball team had a 9 and 3 record. The baseball team's record was 0 and 6. The boys' track team's record was 16 and 27; the girls' record was 28 and 11.
   The Cinco de Mayo fiesta offered fun, food, and entertainment to an appreciative crowd.
   Alma Montijo, Eduardo Padres, and Ashley Pearson, students in the Ajo public school, and Jonnie Morgart from Ajo Calvary Baptist Academy were among Arizona entrants who received awards for their Junior Duck Stamp designs. All the Arizona entries were judged at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
   Ashley Pearson, Dominique Pacheco, and Kimberly Robles received awards for their posters in the annual contest sponsored by the Desert Music Club.
   Dr. Robert Dooley was selected as the superintendent of Ajo public schools. A former financial director for the Ajo public School, he and his wife returned and bought a house in Ajo. He began working July 1. Controversy surrounded an ad hoc committee formed to help choose the new school superintendent. Some members of the committee believed their recommendation was ignored by the school board. The board said they believe they selected the best person for the position.
   Dooley replaced Marc Alop who retired at the end of the 2001-2002 school year. Alop had been with the district for seven years serving as principal, coach, and superintendent.
   Mail carriers conducted their annual food collection and gathered 1884 pounds of food for the Ajo Food Bank.
   The Greenway house was included on the Arizona Preservation Foundation's Most Endangered Property List for 2002. The APF said that the buildings on the list were threatened most by vandalism, neglect, and encroaching development.
   Barbara Silva, Dan Morales and Cruzita Avalos retired from the Ajo Unified School District. They provided a combined 82 years of service to the district. Morales continued in his position as technology advisor for the 2002-2003 school year.
   The Desert Senita Community Health Center continued its efforts to start an assisted living center. Bids for materials and services required for designing, fabricating, and erecting a modular building and associated site work for the unit on the campus of the health center were accepted in May. The bid was awarded to ESB Modular Manufacturing of Marana. When the federal government releases the funds, construction will begin.
   Graduating senior Ryan Orr signed a letter of intent to play college football at Dakota State University in the fall.
   The members of the Ajo High School Class of 2002 were awarded diplomas Thursday evening, May 23. Ramona Michele Yanez was valedictorian and Danita Lynn "Pita" Allen was salutatorian. Both young women graduated with distinction, as did Kerry Lynn Williams. Graduating with honors were Ryan Michael Orr, Samantha Marie Roland, and Erica Barragan. Other class members were Jesse Dean Adams, Stacy Bryant, Jose Eli Campa, Jason Vincent Manuel, Julia Araceli Moreno, Ashley Danielle Paul, Cesar Renteria, Lisa Robles, Maria Teresa Rivas, Danielle Kristine Trebes, Christina Valenzuela, and foreign exchange students Nicolas Gomez Haensel and Martina Müeller. Rob Petersen of the AHS Class of '73 was the guest speaker
   The Ajo High School stadium was dedicated as part of the graduation ceremonies. Jack Petersen Stadium was named in honor of the former teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent of Ajo schools.
   Graduating seniors and underclassmen celebrated by attending Pima Youth Partnership's Grad Night Party from the time the ceremony ended until breakfast at 5 a.m.
   Katherine Walters took the responsibility of the Ajo Community Swimming Pool for the summer. She was a lifeguard in past years and took over for Margot Bissell who had more time to spend with her family this summer.
   Leslie Segura represented Ajo when she participated in a national volleyball tournament in Hawaii.
   Drug seizures and deaths due to exposure to the extreme heat were near-daily occurrences dealt with by US Border Patrol and other border law enforcement agencies. Desert deaths had reached 20 by mid-June with more anticipated.
   A modular unit purchased by Desert Senita Community Health Center was relocated to Lukeville for clinics for those who cannot travel to Ajo for care. Permits must be obtained and regulations dealt with before the facility can begin operations.
   Fatima McCasland began working as Outreach Coordinator for a diabetes outreach program at the Desert Senita Community Health Center funded by a rural health grant for education of diabetics with the assistance of aides called promotores. More than 100 people were signed up for the first series of classes and are awaiting the hiring of a nurse instructor by Pima County, a partner in the project.
   Ajo Calvary Christian Academy concluded its first year of educating young people. One eighth-grade student finished the program but the school said it would add ninth grade so he could continue his education there.
   The US Post Office raised its rates for first class mail at the end of June. The Ajo post office lobby hours changed, too, with a reduction of hours due to budget restrictions. Declining mail volume and revenue were cited as the reasons for the changes.
   Long-time resident Chuck Rasmussen and his dog died in the desert after his car apparently became stuck in the sand.
   The Fourth of July celebration included a parade, festivities in the Plaza, and swimming in the afternoon for the kids, but no fireworks. All area fireworks were cancelled due to high fire danger throughout Arizona.
   The Ajo Copper News newsstand rates increased from 25¢ to 35¢ per issue. Subscription rates increased as well.
   US Border Patrol personnel, including BORSTAR agents trained in emergency medical services, were joined by a controversial Samaritan Patrol made up of volunteers from metropolitan areas to search for migrants in the desert.
   People arrested on weekends and holidays now must wait for a corrections officer to drive them to Tucson to appear before a magistrate there rather than being seen by Carlton Oglesby acting as a pro tempore justice of the peace. All temporary justices of the peace must be lawyers according to a new court order that forced Oglesby to vacate the post. The need to transport prisoners to Tucson for arraignment was said to be a temporary solution while problems with a video link are ironed out.
   Pima Youth Partnership conducted a Life Choices and Challenges workshop as part of its summer day camp for kids.
   About 400,000 Pima County voters received new voter registration cards in the mail reflecting federal, state, and precinct redistricting.
   Karen Galliazzo was named the new coordinator of the Ajo Food Bank.
   Plans for school improvement were made by members of the School Improvement Team consisting of teachers, parents, and administrators. The plan includes professional development, making use of outside facilitators, and tying state standards into every lesson. The focus on academics may involve additional effort on the part of the staff, students, and parents, but elimination of the designation "school in need of improvement" is the goal, team members said. The plan was instituted when school opened.
   Funding was awarded to Desert Senita Community Health Center to provide oral health services including primary prevention, restorative services, emergency services, rehabilitative services, and referrals to specialty services. A dental facility with equipment has been purchased, as well as a lot to put it on.
   The Desert Sharks swim team placed fourth out of eight teams in the championship meet on July 20 at Flowing Wells in Tucson.
   Kandice Duvall began working as Ajo's public health nurse. She and her husband had been winter visitors for several years prior to relocating here permanently earlier this year.
   A Tucson group to recall Pima County Supervisor for District 3 Sharon Bronson was formed. The group was unsuccessful in obtaining the required number of signatures.
   Kris Eggle, a National Park Service law enforcement ranger, was killed at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument while responding with US Border Patrol agents to intercept a vehicle illegally crossing the border. One of two Mexicans who were being pursued by Mexican officers was also killed at the scene. The motorcade in honor of the fallen ranger consisted of more than 100 vehicles and a helicopter. About 600 people attended a funeral service at Ajo Calvary Baptist Church where Eggle was a member. He was buried in Michigan.
   Gibson Park was renamed in honor of Forrest "Rick" Rickard, a former resident who was influential in establishing parks and preserving history for future generations.
   The Students First renovation construction remained incomplete but school started on schedule. Five new teachers were on staff: Barbara Kment teaching sixth grade, Vally Maddala teaching physics, chemistry, biology, and physical science, Ilsa Castillo teaching math and Spanish, Susan Spitzer teaching music, and Katie Walters teaching fifth grade.
   Community Development Block Grants were awarded. A grant of $100,000 for development and preservation of the Curley School went to the Curley School Project. Another $100,000 was awarded to AGVFD toward the purchase of a new fire truck. Both were supported and encouraged by county supervisor Sharon Bronson. AGVFD later received another grant for the whole purchase price of a fire truck, so they did not accept the CDBG funds.
   Desert Dialysis met in Ajo and expressed an interest in providing dialysis services. Their subsequent search for nursing staff and other employees identified no potential employees so the project was abandoned.
   The Primary election, September 10, gave voters the opportunity to decide which candidate would represent each party in the November election.
   The campaign of Elaine Richardson brought a crew from KGUN-TV 9 to Ajo to do a story on Desert Senita Community Health Center.
   Marty Branson took over as chairman of the Ajo Lukeville Health Service District board of directors while Kate Garmise became chairman of the Desert Senita Community Health Center board.
   A survey conducted by the Ajo District of the Pima County Sheriff's Department showed that most of Ajo's citizens were satisfied with the services of its deputies. When asked what they thought were the biggest problems, they said motorist driving behavior on Hwy 85 and in residential areas including erratic, reckless, and unlawful driving, speeding, and driving while under the influence of alcohol. The second biggest problem, they said, was drug smuggling. The increasing numbers of undocumented aliens traveling in the area was third. That was a change from the results of a similar survey done in 2000 when the biggest concern was smuggling, second was burglaries, with undocumented aliens remaining at third.
   Winning entries in the Ajo Copper News "You Know It's Hot in Ajo When..." contest were announced. Michelle Pacheco took first place with "You know it's hot when you throw a block of ice in your swamp cooler to cool your house off (and think it's just like air conditioning)." Second place went to Robert Maxfield for "You know it's hot when you go to your mailbox and get your mail and take your frozen food out and put inside to thaw and cook for dinner!" The other second place was Gil Campos for "You know it's hot when your dog starts growing camel humps."
   Ajo Calvary Christian Academy began its second school year on September 3. The private school has a Christian-based curriculum for pre-school through ninth grade students.
   Several ceremonies honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks took place in Ajo including a service in Ajo Calvary Baptist Church, a memorial in the Ajo Cemetery conducted by the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary, and a candlelight vigil in the Plaza.
   A man calling himself Dwayne Thompson was taken into custody by deputies. The Arizona Republic had published his picture, identifying him as William Novick, a fugitive suspected of being a serial child molester. As soon as Ajo residents saw the picture, they began calling the Pima County Sheriff's Department in Ajo to identify an elderly man who was a frequent visitor at the Ajo CofC office and the public library, and a bagger at Olsens Marketplace. Arrested on charges of child molestation in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Texas, he was taken to a Maricopa County jail by the US Marshal's Office before being moved to a federal facility.
   A Native American reunion was held near the Ajo Historical Museum. Many current and former Ajo residents enjoyed getting together for food, festivities, and visits with their friends.
   The Arizona Fire Training Association named Sonja Wade Fire Trainer/Instructor of the Year. Wade is a firefighter for the Why Fire Department and organized an interagency training program in Western Pima County. She owns First Link, headquartered in Ajo.
   About 50 people attended a school board candidate forum held by the Ajo School Parent Teacher Organization. The eight candidates -- Fred Fout, Lisa Lopez, Andrea Mulcahy,  Lisa Rossi, Ken Kermode, Malin Lewis, Jerry Scott, and Karen Fry -- for three vacancies on the school board were introduced and then answered questions submitted by members of the audience. Keith Stone was the moderator.
   Candidates for all offices were invited to a WPCCC meeting. Candidate for US Representative for District 7 Ross Hieb, candidates for Arizona representatives for District 25 Jennifer Burns and David Stevens, and a representative from candidate for governor Matt Salmon attended along with local school board candidates Ken Kermode and Lisa Rossi.
   The Ajo elementary school, kindergarten through eighth grade, received a rating of "maintaining adequate performance" by the Arizona Department of Education, which evaluated all the schools in the state and gave each an achievement placement rating. The high school rating, based on scores from the AIMS test, was "underperforming." A School Improvement Plan has already been approved by the state and is being implemented. The high school was given a rating of "above average" for having a low dropout percentage.
   With the addition of three new deputies, the Ajo District of the Pima County Sheriff's Department was at full staff for about a month. Lt. David Allen said he had hoped to maintain a full staff longer than that but people keep moving on. He said he would continue to advocate for a full staff of deputies for the Ajo District.
   Among the many activities at the Salazar-Ajo Branch Library were a lecture by author Patricia Preciado Martin and, as part of One Book, One Community, a discussion of Bless Me Ultima.
   The Arizona Game & Fish Department responded to reports of danger from coyotes entering neighborhoods. Agents relocated or killed coyotes, especially in the Why area where a coyote reportedly bit a youngster.
   The Lyons Hotel ruins were removed from property on Estrella following its purchase by the Desert Senita Community Health Center. While it was located within the historic district, it had not been identified as a historic building and serious deterioration made it a hazard that required removal.
   The Ajo Red Raider volleyball team ended its season with a 17 and 7 record. The football team ended its season with a 5 and 3 record.
   Progress continues on the Head Start Early Childhood Learning program. Organizers of the program, which will initially be geared to four-year-old children whose families are at or below the federal poverty level, are hoping to have a building in place on the school campus and two teachers hired so classes can begin in January.
   Some area residents were briefly stranded when fishermen in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, formed a barrier across the highway connecting Rocky Point with Lukeville. The fishermen were angry over a new Mexican law that prohibits trawling for shrimp in a marine reserve in the Upper Gulf of California created to protect endangered species. Fishermen said the enforcement of the law was hurting them economically.
   Fifteen propositions, state candidates, and local candidates were on the general election ballot on Tuesday, November 5. On the state level, District #25, which includes most of Western Pima County, will be represented by Manny Alvarez and Jennifer Burns in the Arizona House of Representatives, and by Marsha Arzberger in the Arizona Senate. In Congressional District #7, Senator Raul Grijalva will represent Western Pima County. Locally, the Ajo-Lukeville Health Service District filled one of two positions when Linda Feidt ran unopposed. Because her candidate forms were received late, Karen Gonzales' name was not on the ballot, but she was notified by the board of elections that she was elected. The ALHSD board will decide whether she has been elected or appoint her to the second position at its January meeting. Three positions on the Ajo Unified School District board were filled by the re-election of Lisa Rossi and Malin Lewis and new member Ken Kermode. Running unopposed for two positions on the Why Fire District board were Norm Paden and Jesse Denning. Also re-elected were Justice of the Peace John Casey and Constable Bob Harral.
   Desert Senita Community Health Center reorganized its management. Former consultant Ed Sicurello began his new position as executive director on December 1. His former partner, Marty Schaller, continued as consultant, and Bertha Hickman, who was executive director, stepped aside and is now director of operations for the health center.
   Vandalism at Minerals Research & Recovery in early November destroyed equipment and ruined products. The company offered a reward for information about the incident.
   A fashion show was held to raise money for the Desert Senita Community Health Center. About 100 attendees were rewarded with fashions, fun, and prizes.
   Birds on Bikes, motorcycle riders with turkeys to donate, filled the Ajo Food Bank's freezer with 20 birds for Thanksgiving dinners for those in need.
   A draft of an Environmental Impact Statement for Immigrations & Naturalization Service and US Border Patrol was available for comments.
   The newly formed Ajo Garden Club held a community clean-up and made plans for other activities to beautify Ajo.
   The Lions Club annual turkey shoot brought residents out to try for top scores.
   Several area veterans received military medals years after their service was finished. Some of the men were from Sells. Those from Ajo were Leonard Garcia (postumously), Angelo Mattia,  and Alex Ramirez.
   A Citizens Corps Council was formed in Western Pima County under the leadership of Lt. David Allen of the Pima County Sheriff's Department. The Citizen Corps is a component of the USA Freedom Corps. Organizing volunteers and devising ways to be better prepared for disasters and other emergencies are the priorities, said Allen.
   The Stockmen's Bank and Ajo District Chamber of Commerce closed Lomita Avenue for the first annual Ajo Copper Days & Great Western Street Fair on Saturday, November 23. Everything from blood pressure checks, contests, and flowers to jewelry, raffle tickets, and Kachina dolls were there. A dinner and dance followed that evening.
   Pollinator gardens have been planted along a corridor from Gila Bend to Puerto Peñasco. Ajo students participated with help from Pima Youth Partnership and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance. It is part of a project to monitor migratory pollinators such as hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, and provide food for caterpillars.
   Students at the San Simon School took part in a science fair. Maria Lopez, Leboria Lopez and Monique Victor were the Judges' Choice winners in the grade 2-4 division, Diana Lopez, Sarah Cruz, and Melody Monte in the grades 5-8 division, and Lisa Lopez in the grades 9-12 division. Best of Show winners were Jericho Parra in the grades K-1 division, Cody Lopez in the grades 2 – 4 division, Breeanna Miranda, Alvaleah Ortega, and Rosanna Juan in the grades 5-8 division, and Robin Santos in the grades 9-12.
   Public comment was encouraged on a proposal to evaluate the environmental impacts of constructing a vehicle barrier that would span the length of the international border in two national parks – Organ Pipe Cactus and Coronado. The purpose of the barriers is to reduce risks to national security and to public and worker health and safety, and to protect the resources in the two park units. Organ Pipe superintendent Bill Wellman said the barriers would deter dangerous vehicular traffic but are not expected to reduce foot traffic.
   The school board changed its meeting night to the second Thursday of each month. Changes may be made due to sports or other schedule conflicts. The new policy will begin with the January meeting.
   One steam generator headed for the Palo Verde Power Plant near Buckeye made its journey from Puerto Peñasco along Hwy 85 as far as Gila Bend. It remained there through the end of the year. The second is still parked in Lukeville and should be moved along Hwy 85 sometime in the future. The trek from Peñasco to the power plant was originally scheduled to take place in October.
   The Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department indicated that bidding was in progress for the new fire truck and, once the contract was awarded, the vendor would provide an estimate for the completion date.
   Donations are being taken for the Ajo High Athletic Banner Fund. The school hopes to place championship banners in the high school gym.
   The resignations of physician assistant Newell Belnap and of board member Esperanza Workman were accepted with regret by the board of Desert Senita Community Health Center. The departure of Belnap raised questions that the board attempted to answer.
   Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management explained the procedure for developing a long-term management plan. They said they will be conducting public meetings beginning in the spring for the plan that will guide BLM management activities for the next 15 to 20 years. A similar process is being conducted at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
   The Ajo/Gibson Volunteer Fire Department personnel said they will be conducting assessments of buildings to help them determine how to handle a scene prior to an emergency.
   The Ajo School Arts Partnership finished a six-week session and will begin a new session in January with artists giving students experience with various art forms and media.
   The holidays were heralded by two concerts by the community choir, with a prelude by the community band, in Ajo Federated Church. Both groups were directed by Susan Spitzer. Pageants and other celebrations also added to the festive season.
   As usual, Santa's first stop on Christmas Eve was the Plaza where a huge crowd welcomed him. A Christmas concert followed at the Ajo Federated Church. Throughout the season, residents enjoyed parties and drives around town to check out the holiday light displays.
   On Christmas Day, many people headed to church to celebrate the birth of Christ.
   Happy New Year!

Welcome to our world
    In the 2002 issues of the Ajo Copper News, we printed birth announcements, welcoming to our world:
Cameron June Andrew
Joseph Jaye Bejarano, Jr.
Dillon Andrew-Ray Blake
Madison Nichole Blakely
Ramon R. Borrego
Daniel Jerome Bryant
Catalina Diana Canto
Cooper Wayne Crum
Mariah Ignacia Ortiz Diaz
Esela Esparanza Escalera
Adam Jacob Favot
Liliana Isabel Garchow
Ciria Amanda Garcia
Elias James Garcia
Jasmine Tahyz Garcia
Noah Alexander Gonzalez
Cienna Nicole Goodwin
Kamdan Jase Hightower
Seadra Pilyar-Diana Johnson
Gavin Jay Shawn Kimes
Bryson William Korolsky
Andrew Braidon Kuzmic
Sean Patrick Lagunas
Dakota Shaye Landrum
Demetrius Luis Leon-Guevara
Christina Marie Lewandowski
Cecilio J. Lewis
Christopher Reyes Lopez
Marian Mariscal Rios
Mariana Mariscal Rios
Annette Martinez
Karisma Angelique Maya
Jasminne Nicole Montijo
Steven Noel O’Donoghue
Amy Elena Olea
Infinity Frances Puffer
Ashley Angel Reyna
Esai Robles
Abigail Victoria Salinas
Anyssa Marie Tijerina
Devyn Luc Wade
Rigoberto Yon, Jr.

May they rest in peace
The obituaries of many friends and neighbors appeared in the Ajo Copper News in 2002.
Serapia Aguila
Frank Alexander
Josefita Alvarez
Willie Arviso
Dick Auge
Bob Barger
Janice Becker
Armando V. Bon
James E. Brown
David Camarillo
Charles Camarillo
Ailene Campbell
Oran Campbell
Atanacia Castillo
Martha Celaya
Rodrigo Celaya
Sianna Charley
Marcus Childs
Kathleen Cohin
Andrew Daniel
Nettie Decker
Andronico DeLaCruz
Frank Dewitt
Harriet Dittsworth
Lorene Doughty
Hugh Drake
Kristopher Eggle
Joe Ervin
Laura Estrella
Loranza Farmer
Wanda Farmer
Dina Fejarang
Albert Fenn
Warren Fenzi
Abigail Fitts
Edward F. Ford
Norma C. Garcia
Ray Giger
Cynthia Gould
Mark T. Grooms
Maggie Guinn
Joe Gutierrez
Daniel Holst
Charlotte Hopper
Bill Hunter
Mary Johnson
Eleanor Keenan
Buster Kinkead
Thelma Leinard
Lupita Leon
Concepcion Lopez
Jesus G. “Jesse” Lozano
Mary Lunsford
Socorro Macias
Luis Malvido
Scott McCandless
Elizabeth McKay
Charlotte McNeilis
Martha J. Mohon
Michael Monreal
Olive Jean Hammett-Morales
Marion Morton
Rebecca Mota
Ella Mae Oglesby
Mary Alison-Owens
Eufemia Patino
Geraldine Petersen
Maya Pineda
Benjamin Pino
George L. Pohle
Bill Powers
Bill Price Sr.
Ray Price
Lilly Rains
Salomon Ramirez
Manuela M. Ramirez
Charles Rasmussen
Willard “Pete” Reid
Richard Reisner
Roy T. Riley
John Robertson
Margaret Robertson
John Robinson
Ofelia M. Robles
Hector Rojo
Robert Ross, Sr.
Frank Sanora
Osila Sanora
Ygnacio Sanriquez
Michelle Santiago
Vivian Seaberg
Edna Simpson
Clifton Ira Stewart
Faye Stewart
Cecil G. Talboy
James Thomas
Alice Tucker
Cecil Vanpool
Ernestina Vega
Jose Vega
J.E. Wallace
Margaret Watkins
Winston Wells
Josephine Wertz
James Ray Williams Sr.
Wanda Williams
Mallie Woods
Mary Ruth Woods

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