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Home Grown: Local ag broadcaster, George Gatley, passes away

CBS 13's April Hettinger looks back on his ag devotion to the Yuma community

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The former local broadcaster, George Gatley, known for his agriculture reporting at KYMA among others, has passed away.

George Gatley planted his roots in ag. He broadcasted for 57 years.

Many people, like former KYMA coworker Joe Teposte, remember his positive attitude and look back on the legacy he left behind.

"He was agriculture. He was politeness. He was friendly," Teposte listed. "He's got that old-school style of him."

Bruce Gwynn, who bounced around in many local ag companies, has fond memories of George.

"George Gatley loved agriculture, first and foremost, and most of all, he loved talking about it and reporting about it, and he did it with great respect for everyone in the industry," Gwynn said.

One segment Gwynn remembers in particular was the one about the white fly crisis.

"People working in the field actually had to wear face masks, like we are today, so you can actually breath without sucking up a bunch of white flies," Gwynn explained. "There were millions of them, and he was right on top of that. He knew who to talk to."

His news was always fresh. He reported on ag celebrations as well as ag struggles.

"He actually put the history into every single report that he did and also talked about the science that was behind the agriculture," Teposte stated. "How the fields were kept, how they were maintained."

Aside from his talent at KYMA he was also the host and creator of Southwest Agri-Radio.


George would show up to the field on a first-name basis with just about everyone in the ag community.

"He was listened to faithfully by quite a few people because his information touched everybody," Gwynn said. "He had the cattle reports, the corn reports, the cotton reports, the markets, how they were doing."

George's family celebrated his birthday on March 3 for what would have been his 88th year of life.

The memorial service will be held on March 20th at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Latter Day at 4200 W. 18th St. Yuma, AZ 85364.

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing april.hettinger@kecytv.com.

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