UP — Athletes from across the state traveled to Farmington last weekend for the Special Olympics 2014 Four Corners Invitational. The athletes competed in a variety of sports and at the same time made and renewed friendships with other athletes. In the true spirit of athletic competition, these athletes know that giving your best effort, competing with your heart, and showing good sportsmanship is what is important. We were blessed to have so many winning athletes with us last weekend.


UP — The situation at Koogler Middle school's band room at first glance could be considered a DOWN. There are not enough instruments for all students. However, we see that as a good thing, as interest in band appears to be growing rapidly under the direction of teach Scott Ryan. As principal Rick Espinoza said "Students living the love of music can become a lifelong endeavor. That should and is being fostered on our campus." Koogler Middle school is looking for donations of instruments from the community. If you can help, please do.


UP — This isn't just another fish story. The San Juan Bi-Fly Tournament is held each year as a fund raiser for Navajo Ministries. The 21st annual catch-and-release fishing tournament raised nearly $60,000 this year. The money will go toward housing, educating and caring for youth in the community.


DOWN — San Juan County is facing a significant budget deficit. Current review of the financial picture projects a nearly $6 million shortfall in revenues related to changes to the new state-mandated Safety Net Care Pool. We took a look at the reasons for the deficit and several options on how to deal with the crisis in a three-part series. The county commission wants input on how to deal with the budget deficit, which likely will include a mix of staff and budget cuts and possibly even tax increases. Now is the time to speak up to share your views with the commission.


UP — Voters on the Navajo Nation went to the polls Tuesday to sort out the candidates vying for the office of president. The slate of more than 15 candidates was reduced to the top two who received the most votes. Former president Joe Shirley Jr. will face off with former Arizona state representative Chris Deschene in the Nov. 4 general election. Current president Ben Shelly will not be reelected to the office, as he finished seventh in the voting. We thank president Shelly for his service to the Navajo Nation, and wish the best of luck to candidates Shirley and Deschene.


UP — Fall High School sports season is upon us. Thousands of student athletes will take to the playing fields and courts to display their talents. We wish all teams an injury-free season and success. Best of luck in the game and in the classroom.