UP – Farmington High School's football team will play in the school's first-ever state championship game today. We hope the community throws their support behind the team and fills the seats at Hutchison Stadium. Whatever happens as the No. 2 Scorpions face No. 1 Goddard High school, the team will be making history. Farmington High's only other state title came in 1952, one year before New Mexico started its playoff system. It will also be the first in 51 years that Farmington High has played for a football state championship. The last time that happened was in 1962, when the Scorps fell 34-20 to Carlsbad High. After the Scorpions beat Belen High School in the semifinals on Dec. 1, head coach Gary Bradley spoke about the power of the home crowd at the game. "The crowd gave me tingles. I try not to look at the crowd or judge anything, but I peeked up there a couple of times today. The atmosphere was beautiful." Hopefully, Farmington steps up again today to support the Scorps.
DOWN – Fewer than 800 people turned out to vote in San Juan County's special election on Tuesday. According to unofficial counts, 458 residents in unincorporated San Juan County cast ballots in favor of a measure to allow restaurants in the area to serve beer and wine. Another 311 voted against the measure. Considering that a little less than 39,000 residents live in unincorporated parts of the county, that's a paltry response. That's less than 2 percent of registered voters. It's even tinier than turnout for the county's last single-issue election, which was for the approval of an emergency medical services gross receipts tax. Less than 6 percent of registered voters cast ballots in that election. But despite the low turnout, the most recent election still cost the county about $50,000, according to the county clerk. While we commend Chris Taylor of Fisheads San Juan River Lodge for collecting enough signatures to force an election, we think it's a shame that more people didn't turn out to vote.
UP – There's nothing like the holidays to bring out the best in people. And that's what happened on Thanksgiving, when more than 830 people got a free meal at the Farmington Civic Center. That simple act of kindness has been a Farmington tradition for decades – at least 30 years, according to our archives -- and it exemplifies one of the city's best attributes: its generosity. Businesses and community members donated the food, and more than 100 volunteers served it on Thanksgiving. Especially this holiday season when the economy is still slow and many people are unemployed or underemployed, we encourage you to reflect on your blessings and consider helping out someone else. If you're looking for a place to start, Catholic Charities and the Farmington Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are collecting donations from 9 a.m. to noon today at LDS Stake Center, 4400 College Blvd. The Cans for Christmas food drive benefits ECHO Food Bank, which faces a food shortage heading into the holidays.
DOWN -- It's always sad to see a local business shutter. The owners of Golf USA say that after more than 20 years in business, they will close their Farmington store at the end of this year. Owner Tom Watkins cited a sluggish economy and a nationwide trend of people buying fewer golf rounds as reasons for the company closing its doors. Even more unfortunate is that Golf USA is the second sporting goods store over the last few months to announce plans to close. Zia Sporting Goods announced in October that it was going out of business after more than 30 years in the community.