A brush fire was reported on Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch in Elgin at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14. SEFD, Patagonia Volunteer Fire & Rescue, AZ State Forestry, the DOC Crew, and U.S. Forest Service were all present in battling the blaze, named the Babo Fire. By 2:51 p.m on November 16 the AZ State Forestry reported the Babo fire a hundred percent contained. The fire burned through 2483 acres and is believed to be human-caused. No homes, buildings or lives were lost in this fire.

Art Walk 2018

With delightful weather, locals and tourists enjoyed the various galleries showcasing unique art by local and area artists at the annual ArtWalk in Patagonia, which also featured two free performances by the Santa Cruz Singers at the Santa Cruz Foundation for Performing Arts, performing works by Brahms and Paul McCartney.

A shopper with her purchase, “Hark, the herald angels sing.”
Zach Farley presents his one of a kind hand-made instruments.
Mary McKay and her daughter serve Mesquite Smoked Barbeque during the Artwalk. Photos by Aisha Sander

A view of the Hermosa Project in the Patagonia mountains.

Hermosa Mineral Deposit Renamed In Honor of the Late Don Clark

South32 announced the renaming of a major mineral deposit located at its Hermosa project, in honor of the man who played a critical role in its early development: Donald Clark.

Under the plans, the ‘Central’ deposit will now be renamed the ‘Clark’ deposit recognizing the project’s former President and Chief Executive Donald ‘Don’ Clark, who died in 2014.

South32 Chief Development Officer Simon Collins said: “Don played a pivotal role in establishing a greater understanding of the mineral endowment at Hermosa and his involvement should rightly be remembered. I am pleased that we are able to recognize Don’s significant contribution in this way and ensure that his legacy and memory lives on through our work.”

Clark served as the Chief Executive Officer of Wildcat Silver Corporation – the mineral exploration company, which became Arizona Mining Inc. – between 2006 and 2008. He also held the roles of Chief Financial Officer and Interim President and served on the company’s Board of Directors until October 2013.

Hermosa contains the high-grade base metals Taylor Deposit, the Central Deposit, a zinc, manganese and silver oxide resource – which will be renamed the Clark deposit – as well as an extensive, highly prospective land package with potential for discovery of polymetallic and copper mineralisation.

Work recently started on Hermosa’s twin exploration declines, which will allow drilling to test extensions and enhance understanding of the project’s existing high-grade resource. The milestone comes as South32 works towards further optimization of the project’s design and development.

Senior Center News

By Valerie Hing

SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO), the agency that provides half the money necessary for the senior lunch program Monday through Friday, held its Board meeting in Cady Hall on November 16. The Senior Center provided lunch for its 30 Board
members, most of whom are elected officials of SE Arizona.

The Senior Center hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for about 80 people. The Eastern Santa Cruz County Food Bank provided five turkeys while the Senior Center provided mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, coffee and drinks.

The center is seeking a volunteer driver who would also enjoy attending live simulcast operas performed by the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The live performances are shown at the Cinemark Theater in Sierra Vista and usually begin at 10 a.m. The van or bus would leave Patagonia at 8:30 a.m. Upcoming performances include “La Traviata,” “Adriana Lecouvreur,” “Carmen,” “La Fille Du Regiment,” “Die Walkure” and
“Dialogues de Carmelites”. The van and bus can hold five and seven passengers. Tickets to attend the opera cost $23.

In other news, the tai chi classes have ended, but practice sessions will continue at the same times, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meditation classes also continue at 5 p.m. Fridays.

Funding is still needed for the Woodie Winans Memorial Endowment Fund which supports the senior center. Donations are eligible for state tax credit. Information cards have been mailed out to the community.

The Senior Center will be closed Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1. For more information, call Patra at 520-604-8119

Competing at the Natl. Skillathon Contest were (from left) John Hubbell, Juliana Quiroga, coach Amanda Zamudio, Alexandra Pallanes, and Ralphie Quiroz.

The National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest is held each year in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Santa County 4-H team earned their spot to compete on Nov. 12 by placing as the top Arizona 4-H skillathon team at the state 4-H Livestock Skillathon at the University of Arizona last January. This was the second year Santa Cruz County competed in the event and it was a great educational opportunity.

Livestock skillathon team members competing were John Hubbell, Alexandra Pallanes, Juliana Quiroga, Jesus “Ralphie” Quiroz and coach Amanda Zamudio. The team placed 19th overall and especially excelled in the livestock feeding rotation placing 7th. The skillathon contest gives youth many valuable opportunities to develop communication, problem solving, teamwork, and decision making skills. These skills will help give these outstanding members the edge for success in the workplace.

The team would like to thank everyone that helped them travel to the contest and fundraised to get there. Another group of Santa Cruz County 4-H members are preparing for the 2019 Arizona Livestock Skillathon Contest that will be held on Dec. 28, at the
Arizona National Livestock Show.

A demonstration of classical Charro riding took place in the arena at the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival. Photo by Cheryl Rogos

Empire Ranch Festival

The Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House was rebranded in 2018 as the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival. More than 1,900 guests who arrived at the ranch north of Sonoita on Nov. 3 were delighted to be able to explore the re-opened Ranch House and enjoy the varied and exciting activities of the day.

Fast-paced action in the Main and Field arenas featured the colorful and exciting riding of the Charros y Modelos de Tucson, B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry (Mem.) military riding, and the Tombstone Ghost Riders mounted shooting. Skilled demonstrations by BLM’s Wild Horse
and Burro Program and horsemanship by Lanny Leach captivated all. The Tombstone Vigilantes drew lots of laughs with their old West skits and antics.

Throughout the day everyone enjoyed visiting the Western skills and livestock demonstrations, the non-profit and vendor booths, and listening to the Cowboy Conversation talks on Empire Ranch history, local ranching, and Western movie making. The Bill Ganz Western Band, Cowboy Way, and Ballet Folklorico la Paloma & Danza Cultural Mexicana celebrated Southeast Arizona’s rich cultural heritage with wonderful music and dance.

Over 100 volunteers, including Sierra Vista Girl Scout Troops 104, 419 and 1224, Copper State Renegades Equestrian Drill Team, the Sonoita Rodeo Royalty, and the Sonoita Border Patrol Explorers, ensured the day’s success.

Empire Ranch docents conduct tours of the Empire Ranch headquarters,
sharing the rich history and traditions of the ranch.

Become an ERF Docent

Are you interested in learning more
about the Empire Ranch and sharing
your knowledge with visitors to the
Empire Ranch? Then join us for the next
Empire Ranch Foundation Docent Training Class on Saturday, January 19, 2019,
from 9 am to 2:30 p.m.

Docents conduct monthly Empire Ranch House tours that provide a general introduction to the history of the Empire Ranch, its buildings and its people. Each docent provides an average of two monthly tours annually. Upon completion of the Docent Training Class each
docent receives individual tour training.

If you’re interested in participating as a docent, please let us know by January 14. You can register via the ERF website or by calling (888) 364-2829, or emailing Alison Bunting,

Veterans Day 2018

Volunteers prepare to place flags on the graves of veterans at the Patagonia Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day. Photo by Cynie Murray

Missoula Children’s Theater At Elgin School

The renowned Missoula Children’s Theater is coming to Elgin School December 10 – 15! This week-long residency is made possible for Elgin students through tax credit and parent donations. A little red truck will pull into our town with everything it takes to mount a full-scale musical production of “Gulliver’s Travels.” The truck will have a team of directors, lights, costumes, props, and make-up, everything except the cast. That’s where Elgin students come in. The school has declared that week “No Homework Week” for participants. All Elgin School students in grades K-8 are eligible to try out. Please join us at the performance on Saturday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Mountain Empire Rotary Club News

The Mountain Empire Rotary Club (MER) continues its mission to enrich our community. In October we were proud to honor Aspen Miller, Senior at PUHS, with the Student of the Month award. For November we honored Jesus Lopez Barreda. The students are selected by the teachers at PUHS based on criteria of strong Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. The Student of the Month receives a
$100 bill and a certificate of merit, along with recognition at a PUHS assembly and at the Rotary Club meeting.

MER has been awarded the first Literacy Award by Rotary’s District 5500 (Southern AZ). The Club received this award for outstanding work in providing superior literacy programs to local schools; dictionaries for 3rd Graders, Birthday Book Club, Student of the Month, and the College Scholarship program.

MER has been awarded a matching grant of $937 for its project to provide new, hygienic flooring at the Kino Border Initiative Comedor, in Nogales Sonora. The Comedor feeds up to a few hundred migrants twice daily, along with providing basic medical attention, legal assistance, and a phone call to their family back home (wherever that may be). The Kino
Border Initiative is a Non-Profit organization that aids citizens across the border in Nogales, Sonora who are migrating North. The existing floor of the Comedor consists of a rough, cement floor that is irregular and grooved. MER will match the $937 to have a new floor installed that will allow for thorough, daily cleaning and disinfecting.

Last, but certainly not least, the Fred Sang Memorial Rotary Park at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds is finally finished, merely awaiting the official signage. Please look forward to a Grand Opening Ceremony in the (hopefully) near future! Meanwhile we hope you and your friends and family will enjoy the park with its two covered Ramadas with grill grates, five picnic tables, two horseshoe pits, and two corn hole games. Stop and smell the roses (now dormant) in the beautiful garden. The Mountain Empire Rotary Club is a small group of your neighbors who are working to enrich and build our community (Sonoita, Elgin,
Patagonia); please join us if you want to make a difference! Contact Susan Scott,
susanscott15@msn.com, for details and/or please visit us at one of our meetings the 2nd and 4th Thursday, 5:30 p.m., at The Steak Out Restaurant.