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SPECIAL REPORT: Yuma’s year in review

FOX 9's Adam Klepp looks back at a busy 2022 in the desert southwest

YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - From the border to agriculture, elections, and more.

The last 365 days have brought challenges and changes to the desert southwest.

2022 began with the first omicron case in Yuma.

Then shortly after, a COVID strike team with medical workers from the military was sent to YRMC as over 100 patients were in the covid unit.

The border was a constant story throughout the year.

As January ended with a visit to Yuma from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

But his visit was met with pushback from local agents, revealed in leaked audio.

In the spring, the Yuma agriculture industry continued to supply the U.S. with its produce.

As a local Taylor Farms plant operated after the end of the harvest season.

After one of their facilities in northern California had a severe fire.

Ag leaders also tested ways to grow produce, and use as little water as possible to get the most amount of food as the southwest continued to experience drought conditions.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending federal abortion protections.

Yumans took to the streets in response to protests for a woman's right to choose.

Over the Summer, Yuma’s county recorder retried just the month before the primaries.

But the August elections went smoothly, as Yumans, and Arizonans nominated Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake to run for governor.

Yuma also re-elected Mayor Doug Nicholls for a 3rd term.

Later that month, Arizona’s current governor Doug Ducey started building a shipping container wall in Yuma’s border wall gaps.

Then made a visit to see them for himself in September.

In October, Izak Lucero took a plea deal in the murder trial of Luis Delgadillo, shot dead at the Econo Lodge in 2020.

Lucero plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder after in August a jury could not reach a verdict.

The Yuma County community also mourned the losses of local talent in 2022.

As Ricardo Madrid, Ruben Hernandez, Andres Sandoval, and Leo Neblina were members of the Selena tribute group "Los chicos del 512" and a tribute group for the Mexican rock band, "Mana."

They died in a car crash on their way to a concert in Kansas.

And Yuman Nick Chavez, a hairdresser, died after a fight with pancreatic cancer.

He owned Nick Chavez salon in Beverly Hills, where he cut hair for clients such as Maria Shriver and George Lopez.

All the major candidates for the statewide races visited Yuma during the run-up to election day in November.

While a majority of Yuma voters chose Blake Masters for Senate and Kari Lake for Governor, Democrat Mark Kelly won re-election for the U.S. Senate, and Katie Hobbs won the governor’s race by just 17 thousand votes.

Then in December, as quickly as they went up, Governor Ducey ordered the de-construction of his container border wall.

As the federal government says they’ll be putting in their own barrier in 2023.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County
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Adam Klepp

Adam Klepp is excited to start his first job in the broadcast news industry as the FOX9 at 9 anchor and as a reporter at 5 and 6 on News 11.

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