PUHS Grad Semifinalist for AZ Teacher of the Year

Leah Oliver, the daughter of John and Patty Oliver, of Elgin, has been named a 2018 Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) Teacher of the Year semifinalist. Oliver,
who is the sports medicine teacher and athletic trainer at Mountain View High School in Marana, was one of only ten teachers chosen for this award.

Oliver, who graduated from Patagonia Union High School in 1978, has won numerous awards, including the Arizona Athletic Trainer of the Year Service Award and the Athletic Trainer Service Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). In
2013, she was inducted into the Arizona Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, the first woman to receive that honor.

In addition, her sports medicine class and student athletic trainers are the most award-winning in the state of Arizona. Under her tutelage, 20 of her students have won the Lanny
Williams Student Athlete Trainers of the year award.

Casas Arroyo Earns FIREWISE Designation

The Casas Arroyo Community in Sonoita became the first in Santa Cruz County to attain a FIREWISE Community designation, as announced by the Sonoita Elgin Fire District Chief, Joseph DeWolf. The National Fire Protection Association’s FIREWISE Program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and act now to prevent future losses. To obtain this, those who reside in Casas Arroyo had to develop and implement a plan to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Many of the Casas homeowners attended the Fire Districts FIREWISE training this fall and went right to work. During the Encino Fire they had been evacuated and felt that the potential of future fire in the area was high. Everyone has been busy removing dead trees and branches around their homes and buildings, mowing extensively, trimming bushes and grasses around their homes, repairing vulnerable roofs, and assisting each other in mitigating the risk of a future wildfire.

For more information on the FIREWISE Program or have a trained FIREWISE inspector come and assess your risk, please call the fire house. There are also resources on the FIREWISE website and Facebook page.



Crossroads Quilters guild members display the charity quilts they will be donating to cancer patients and accident victims. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

Guild Members Quilt for Others

Members of the Crossroads Quilters, led by president Kathy Brown, have been
busy the past few months making “Quilts for Others.” The quilts will be distributed at a cancer infusion center in Tucson, to local law enforcement officers to give to accident victims, and to local cancer patients.

The guild meets twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Monday, at the SEFD Fire Station. It is open to anyone interested in learning how to quilt. Meetings begin at 9:30 a.m.

PRBC Seeking Nominations for Young Citizenship and Entrepreneur Award

The Young Citizenship and Entrepreneur Award was established in 2014, by the Patagonia Regional Business Coalition (PRBC) as one of the highest honors for youth and young adults, for leadership, community service, self-advocacy and perseverance. The winners are dynamic Patagonia, Sonoita, or Elgin residents with the passion and drive to change the world, as well as identify and realize solutions to problems. They are committed to strengthening their communities as well as themselves. There are two awards. The high school award is $1000. The middle school award is $100.

An individual is eligible for consideration if he/she has exhibited outstanding leadership, entrepreneurship, and performed extraordinary acts on behalf of others, whose achievements have greatly enhanced the quality of life for Eastern Santa Cruz County.
Nominations must include all information requested and be submitted by mail/e-mail:

  • Letter of Nomination, which is a (minimum) 200-word narrative of the nominee’s service/accomplishments that qualifies them for this award. Be sure to include phone number/e-mail of the nominator. The nominator may be contacted for information on behalf of the nominee
  • A nominee need only be nominated once to be considered. The number of nominations received per nominee bears no weight in their selection.
  • Must be a resident of Eastern Santa Cruz County (85624, 85611, 85637) or attend school/home school in Eastern Santa Cruz County (85624, 85611, 85637)
  • Middle School age (6th-8th grade) (One middle school winner)
  • High School age (9th-12th grade) (One high school winner)
  • Must be a positive example to peers
  • Must demonstrate leadership in school and/or community
  • Must show exemplary character
  • A “can do” attitude
  • Show entrepreneurial skills/interest
  • High School finalist will be required to be interviewed by the PRBC selection committee
  • Prior high school winners are not eligible, a middle school winner would be eligible for the high school award once they enter 9th grade.

  • ALL nominations should be mailed to: Patagonia Regional Business Coalition, ATTN: Denise Bowdon, PO Box 1007, Patagonia AZ 85624 or email: dmbowdon@gmail.com.
    Nominations will be accepted until March 31, 2018.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Denise Bowdon at
    dmbowdon@gmail.com. The awards will be presented at a location to be determined, in May.

Thieves stole this 2017 white Ford F-350 (pictured here without a black Texas bumper) that was parked at 3282 Hwy. 82 in Sonoita Sunday night, January 21. The owner Caleb Everhart had locked and parked the truck in front of the old SBBI building, hitched to a 2017 flat bed trailer. The thieves unhooked the trailer, went to the back of the lot and stole an older trailer which was obscured from view. They also broke into the building by kicking in the doors but didn’t take anything. “I’ve been told that there were some bikers looking around the yard at trailers,” Everhart said. Everhart, who is president of Monument Steel company, used the truck to haul his equipment. There is a $2500 reward for information leading to the recovery of this truck.

Photo by Marion Vendituoli

A wildland fire in Elgin on January 24 burned 133 acres, between the Elgin Canelo Road and Hwy 83, according to SEFD Battalion chief Mark Bennett. The fire, which was caused by a mower hitting a rock, was the biggest so far of the 2018 fire season in the area. There have been two smaller highway fires since the first of the year. 11 firefighters, 4 trucks and a water truck were involved in fighting the fire. No structures were damaged. Bennett advised that people mowing be careful. “People need to be aware that we’re in fire season,” he said. “and until we get moisture, we’re going to be in fire season.”