Local First continues

by Deborah Mendelsohn

The second Local First Arizona Workshop was held April 25 and two more are planned later this year, Aug. 29 and Oct. 24.

The workshop was led by both Karalea Cox and Kimber Lanning. The focus was on the organizations and groups already working in one fashion or another with visitors, how well they are fulfilling their potential and what they need to be more effective – from the community’s point of view. These are features of the “capacity building” that Karalea talked about in the first workshop.

This process is to clarify the wider structure we have for building visitor interest in our county, so that our individual efforts in our businesses, welcome centers and programs will have the most possible synergy supporting them.

In the final two workshops — August 29th and October 24th — we will have that community capacity matrix as a platform as we focus in on the specifics of what we offer visitors: our businesses, historic and nature sites, events, trails and so on. In that phase we will get creative, collaborative, and organized, to keep improving and polishing up our assets and to make them known in the wider world.

It’s fine to bring someone who did not attend workshop #1. None of the final three workshops require attendance at the previous one(s).

Clifton tourism in action

by Jeanette West

The Business Association of Chase Creek AZ (BACCA) unveiled a new Clifton Tourism brochure and presented the finished product to the Clifton Town Council. These brochures, donated to the Town of Clifton, will be sent to all 65 Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) Visitor Centers throughout the State.

Ray and Jeanette West, Directors of BACCA, created and designed the brochure to promote tourism for both the Clifton and Morenci area. BACCA promotes tourism, businesses, environmental and historical preservation. This new brochure serves as a vivid illustration of the many sights to see and visit while in the area.

These new brochures will also be on display at the Clifton AOT Visitor Center located in the Historic Clifton Train Depot, an iconic symbol of Clifton. The brochures will also be on display for distribution at a variety of local businesses throughout Clifton and Morenci.

The AOT recently bestowed State certification on the Town of Clifton Visitor Center after a rigorous inspection. The Clifton Visitor Center features over a hundred brochures covering all the regions in the state, Northern, Western; Southern, Central (including the Phoenix metro area), and of course the Eastern range of Arizona. The Clifton Visitor Center is staffed by an all-volunteer cadre of supportive local residents. Jeanette West serves as the Manager along with volunteers Rowena Nelson, Laura Washington, Becky Scott, Esther Jackson and Joe Pena.

This beautifully illustrated full-color brochure highlights Clifton Rails and Morenci Rocks, and uses a whimsical approach to showcasing the neighborhood. An Arizona Eastern locomotive, is superimposed over the image of the Historic Clifton Train Depot, with the mining hills glistening above both on the cover of the brochure. Barbara Ahmann and Don Lunt provided the photography. An exquisite painting by Victor Navarro highlights local landmarks with a imaginative description of things to do and places to go.

The brochure features an illustrated fold out map with realistic renderings of places to see and where to shop. The graphics work was created by Dillon at CMI of Safford.

BACCA thanks Freeport Mc-MoRan for providing a grant to offset much of the costs associated with the development of this important tourism brochure. The Town of Clifton and the listed businesses made it possible for BACCA to design and print an initial run of 15,000 copies.

The Clifton Visitor Center is located at 100 N. Coronado Blvd. Hours of operation are Thursday through Monday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The center offers a wide array of maps, brochures and magazines for both Arizona and New Mexico. One can also find FMI Activity Guides and Economic Development Information among the items offered to the public.

Life-saving vest

Greenlee County Deputy Jon Mennen is flanked by Undersheriff Pat Sexton (l) and Sheriff Larry Avilla in the photo below. Currently on light duty after being shot in the line of duty, Deputy Mennen was wearing a safety vest which proved life-saving. The company Point Blank presented Mennen with the newest, lightest vest they manufacture in thanksgiving for what a company rep described as a ‘save’. Congratulations all around.

Photos below are close-up views of other items presented to Mennen.

vest1 sized




Fairgrounds nearing century mark

by Ákos Kovach

Among the numerous wonders and attractions in Greenlee County thousands of visitors choose the excellent facility known as the Greenlee County Fairgrounds to visit for fun and frolic.

Located just north of the Town of Duncan, access to the Fairgrounds is easy. From I-10 near Lordsburg exit at NM 90 and head northwest. Coming from Phoenix, or points in-between, take US 70 also known as the Old West Highway. Driving in from Tucson? I-10 just past Willcox, north on SR 191 until it junctions with Old West Highway then east to Duncan.

All roads lead to Duncan? Well yes, these do. And once in Duncan keep your eyes open for landmarks like the Duncan High School electronic billboard coming in from Safford, the railroad tracks are on your left, next a handful of buildings and voila you are at the intersection of Main Street (State Highway 75) and Old West Highway. Town & Country Supply is on the corner, turn left – go north.

Coming in from New Mexico as you enter Duncan from the east you cross the railroad tracks, pass through commercial and residential areas and stay alert for the Bakery sign, Hilda’s and then Town & Country all on your left.
The intersection of SR 75 is on your right – go north – over the bridge and through the woods to the Fairgrounds you will go. For the traveling equestrian public the Fairgrounds offers dozens of stables and an exercise arena; rodeo followers will enjoy our Junior Rodeo Series; and pro rodeo events that culminate during our County Fair September 17-20. The Fairgrounds is home to Mud Races, carnivals and outdoor music and dancing – on August 8, the Yarbrough Band, 2014 AMA winners, will play at the Fairgrounds Ramada.

Junior Livestock ; 4H, Little League; Duncan PTA, FFA, Rodeo Royalty and many others call the Fairgrounds ‘home’ and for good reason. The fairgrounds has been home to these and many other events for generations and plans are in the works to keep going, keep growing and making the Fairgrounds a place for everyone to feel welcome and invited. Please follow the Fairgrounds on Facebook but find additional information on several websites and Facebook pages use Greenlee County as your key word while searching for news in this area. Come for a day, stay for a lifetime, but do visit Greenlee County.

Reading Nook News

by Karen Soohy

Are you an avid reader? Want to find out more about what kind of books are being offered in the literary world?
When you go to the Greenlee County Library website and click the State Wide Database link on the left side you can find a data base that is very useful.

Remember this is available on any home computer by entering a library card number. If you don’t have a card, come to the library to get yours. They are FREE!!! This article will talk about the Books and Authors button on the page.

Books and Authors lets you explore published books at a whole new level. You can browse by Authors, Titles, Genres, Award Winners, Expert Picks and also a category called Who? What? Where? When in which you can put in a type of character, time period, location and story type and it will recommend books that fit that profile for you.

The database even previews upcoming books and also allows you to create an account so you can review books with your opinion. This account will let you save a book list so you can have all your favorite searches in one place, too.

The books in this data base are all recommended by librarians or other experts, are award winners or are on best seller lists. So if you are looking for your next “good read”, this is one place you will want to check out.

Once you find a book, go to your local library to find out if it is already on the shelf….if not make a request for it and see if we can get it for you.

While you are on the Greenlee County Library Website you might also want to check out the link on the right side to the Eastern Arizona Courier. The online edition gives you free limited access to many of the headline stories making news in our county. Check it out!

Don’t forget to stop by your library to use Ancestry.com which is free on the computers in the library building.

Library Quote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons.

Duncan to host 8-man all-star game

Dozens of Arizona’s top 8-man high school football players once again converge on Duncan June 3 -7 for the annual Class 1-A State Football All-Stars Game.

Players will be accompanied by their coaches and families. This is the second time Duncan High School has hosted this prestigious event. The players, representing high schools across the state, will be assigned to two opposing teams.

Practices will be held on Thursday and Friday, the All Star game will be played at 6:00 pm on Saturday, June 6th, on the Duncan High School Football Field. The public is invited to observe the practices as well as to attend the big game. PTA official Dustie Robinette noted, “There will also be a passing tournament that will take place on Saturday. We hope some of the 11 man players from the area join in the fun.”

The tournament will consist of underclassmen from schools across the state preparing for the upcoming football season. Any school interested in attending can call Duncan High School for more information.

Many of these players and coaches came last year and had a great time, but we are doing our best to bring new players and families to Greenlee County, said Robinette. We are really looking forward to hosting these young men, it is an honor for Duncan. More volunteers are needed to help with numerous tasks. Additional sponsors are also being sought. Anyone needing more information or to be a sponsor should call Dustie Robinette at 909-208- 4623 or 928-359-0400.

Superintendent Merrell convinced fellow coaches four years ago to allow Duncan to host the All-Stars Game in what is viewed as a remote corner of the state. Merrill argued that Duncan High School was serious about its sports program and had an excellent playing field. Some players, coaches and families will be traveling up to half a day in order to participate in this year’s event and enjoy Greenlee County hospitality.

Renew, refill, repurpose

by Akos Kovach

There is a rhythm to the hustle and bustle created by positive activity. It flows along like a river bringing life-giving renewal.

Yes, there are some classic old structures worth saving and restoring as long as there is a demonstrable way to sustain the maintenance and even more important have a use for the building.

And beyond saving old buildings there is the ever-present request for a truck stop, but the reality is even with impressive traffic count figures tallied by ADOT ( over 800 trucks on average per day, over 8,000 vehicles on average per day along SR 191 through Clifton ) what we can truly expect to attract is a large fuel station, suitable to handle big rigs but generally one designed to accommodate the traveling public while also providing convenience shopping, and a nice place to enjoy a meal.

Thinking BIG and planning outside the comfort zone of “it’s always been this way” can be uncomfortable, like stretching out a new pair of shoes so they fit better. But finding new uses for your favorite old movie house or five and dime stirs up old memories which can cloud the vision for opportunity. This is why the planning and discussion phase of Growing Greenlee is so very important.

Everyone sees a need for more housing, and happily contractors are currently in the process to buy land and build homes. More homeowners increase our population. Higher population figures improve our ability to attract major retailers, more restaurants and services and ultimately a hotel to fill the gap between the rooms available in Greenlee County and what we really need and can support.

All of these factors and many others all play a role in Growing Greenlee. Take tourism as an example. By partnering with other regional tourism destination points (like Willcox, Benson, Tombstone) and or leveraging the resources of tourism promoters like the Western Heritage Cultural Center, Greenlee County can begin to attract visitors in large numbers, which boosts sales tax revenues and supports local businesses. See how that works?

For example, in June the Duncan PTA will be hosting a FIVE-DAY Event! A repeat of last year’s highly successful 8 Man High School Football All-Star Game. But this year new faces will be in the audience, college reps, and even 11 man team players may participate in the ‘Passing Link’ also called a “Passing tournament” event.

It all begins on Wednesday June 3 when most players and coaches arrive. We are looking to build on the list of sponsors to take advantage of new ways to attract a larger audience of family, friends and spectators. We are gathering items to place in ‘goodie bags’ for players and coaches; adding places to take the players and coaches during the heat of the day on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, plus bringing in a band for musical entertainment and a dance.

For more information about how to be a sponsor contact Dustie Robinette at 928-359-0400 or 909-208-4623.

So let’s review: to grow we must change, change is sometimes uncomfortable but so are dirty diapers and we change them, too.

World-class customer service

by Ákos Kovach

Where is Greenlee County? This is a question often asked of Greenlee County ambassadors as they travel the state.

Where is Clifton? Where is Duncan? You have a golf course? And yes, this gets frustrating.

The old attitude was to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’, but the new Board of Supervisors are eager to change for the better. We all agree on the need for new residential housing; a hotel with meeting space and many also hope we can attract a fuel station that can accommodate big trucks as well as the traveling public while offering convenience products and an additional restaurant.

But just as in life, business must take one step at a time. We need to be certain of our best choices, finding like-minded investors, and generating the best possible image for visitors and travelers to take home with them after spending a little time in Greenlee County.Continue reading