Putting up the Christmas tree at a Foster family get together jolted an old memory when I came across an ornament given to me years ago by a former student.
It was a Sun Devil football player as Santa Claus with the No. 40 inscribed on it. The student meant the Santa to represent ex-ASU great Pat Tillman. At the time the student made the ornament, Tillman was wearing No. 40 as an Arizona Cardinal. While at ASU, he wore No. 42.
What Tillman accomplished in his short lifetime renders the gesture of the gift even more meaningful.
For all teachers and coaches, it's those heartfelt, precious thank-yous received from students during the holidays that make the trials, tribulations and challenges of public education so rewarding.
Youth hoop sign up
Registration for town-sponsored third- and fourth-grade basketball ends December 14. League play begins in early January.
Those who register after the deadline will be placed on teams only if space permits. The registration fee is $20 per player which includes a minimum of 10 games, a team T-shirt and a season ending pizza party.
Call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.
AGFD seeking poachers
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public's help in finding a poacher who killed two elk just south of Mormon Lake, which is southeast of Flagstaff, sometime between Nov. 13 and 17.
The elk were shot in Game Management Unit 5B South near a meadow off the Lake Mary Road and Forest Service Road 124 intersection, approximately three miles south of Mormon Lake. Reports say the poacher took one of the elk out of the field whole and left part of the carcass and legs of the other elk in the field. When the poaching occurred, no elk season was in effect in that unit.
"This is a blatant example of poachers' disrespect for wildlife and the laws and seasons that are established to protect our wildlife resources," says Wildlife Manager Garrett Fabian. "We need help from the public in catching the poacher. If you were in the area recently, please think back about anything you might have seen or heard or any conversations you might have had. Maybe someone doesn't realize he or she has the key to solving this case."
The poached animals are considered a major loss for the residents of Arizona and our wildlife resources.
Anyone with information about the poaching can call the department's Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700. A quick report to the department of any poaching case is important, in order to preserve any evidence. Callers may be eligible for a reward in this case. All calls may remain confidential upon request.