Celebrations, Oct. 7, 2018

October 8, 2018

New babies

Rylie Rose Mirabal

A Santa Fe family is welcoming its first baby girl after nearly 94 years of male dominance.

Allen and Candice Mirabal of Santa Fe, gave birth to Rylie Rose on Friday, Sept. 4, 2018.

Rylie comes after 93 years and 10 months of only boys born into the family, says an announcement on her birth.

Her grandfather Larry Mirabal, an only child of his father’s generation, and grandmother Valerie Mirabal had five sons and, until Rylie Rose came along, 11 grandsons.

The interesting fact, the announcement says, is Larry was the last living Mirabal in the family and the only one to pass on the family name. Now they have plenty of new possibilities for carrying on the name and are enjoying the thrill of their new princess that ended the nearly 94-year streak of all boys.

Faces & places

Brig. Gen. Nicholas R. Aranda has retired after serving 30 years in the New Mexico National Guard. He was company commander of the 642nd Maintenance Company in Las Cruces, where he set up a special mission to support maintenance training operations with the White Sands Missile Range. He later served as the executive officer of the 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

Aranda volunteered as the support operations officer for the 515th at Logistical Base Seitz in western Baghdad during combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II in 2004. As a result, he proudly wears the 1st Cavalry Division combat patch.

He was responsible for providing transportation, maintenance, supplies and other support for over 40,000 members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Multi-National Force in the Baghdad area. He also was responsible for designing and building a 2 million-gallon bulk fuel site at Camp Victory after the Easter battles that left the 1st Cavalry Division without fuel.

Gen. Aranda was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his actions in Iraq.

Shortly after returning from Iraq, Aranda led the New Mexico National Guard advance party to New Orleans in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and supported a humanitarian effort. He served on border security operations in 2006.

Aranda also served as the senior engineer for the facilities maintenance office. He was responsible for acquiring over $1 million from National Guard Bureau to develop energy conservation projects for armories throughout New Mexico. He recently led an effort to locate a training center on the Kirtland Air Force Base.

Aranda has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a senior executive for JG Management Systems Inc.

Aranda has been married to Debbie for 36 years, and they have two daughters, Nicole and Jamie, and one son, Stephen.

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The North Central Regional Transit District in New Mexico recently was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation with the Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Public Transportation Service in Rural Public Transportation. It was among six rural transit districts honored with the award for exemplifying good community service.

The agencies received the awards during the biannual National Conference on Rural and Intercity Bus Transportation in Breckenridge, Colo.

Established in 2004, the North Central Regional Transit District serves an area encompassing 70 communities, including Santa Fe, across 10,100 square miles in north-central New Mexico. Ridership has grown from 48,000 trips in its first year to 284,285 passenger trips in 2017.

The transit district coordinates with other transportation services to connect riders from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. Moreover, the district continues to be a national model for working with tribes to secure funding and create transit programs to enhance quality of life, such as launching a bus route in partnership with the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

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On Sept. 22, Kaela Waldstein of Santa Fe was awarded a Rocky Mountain Southwest Regional Emmy in the category of Special Event Coverage for her 2017 video International Folk Art Market. The regional Emmys are a chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Her video can be viewed at vimeo.com/225796080.

A segment showcasing a New Mexico brewery also has won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award. Care and Prayer: New Mexico Monks Brew Beer explores the lives and work of the monks at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert outside Abiquiú. The monastery is the birthplace of Abbey Brewing and the ever-popular Monk’s Ale, available on tap and in stores across the state.

The segment, made by Royale Da, a news anchor and special projects reporter for KOAT-TV, along with cameraman Jacob Wiklund.

Education standouts

Several members of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails have earned the century-old organization’s highest honor in the last two years, the Gold Award, which honors a young woman’s dedication to empowering and bettering herself and making the world a better place for others. The prestigious honor, awarded to less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts, requires completion of a seven-step project that aims to solve a community problem. The award comes with scholarship eligibility.

Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world, the organization said in a news release.

Following are the Gold Award winners from the organization’s New Mexico chapter and their project titles:

Madison Tomashot of Taos; Distracted Driving Awareness

Taylor Tomashot of Taos; Stray Hearts Animal Shelter Permanent Shade Structure

Serena Birnbaum of Los Alamos; Choir Risers at the Los Alamos High School

Sarai Rankin of Albuquerque; Positive Imagery Murals at the Homeless Shelter

Laurel McIntryre of Santa Fe; Botanical Garden, Nature Exploration Space for Kids

Karissa Baca of Santa Fe; Creating Hope, empowerment of self through art

Samantha Multari of Albuquerque; Homeless Services Information Center

Mary Coleman of Aztec; Organization, Preparation, Achievement Freshman Tool

Isabel Rodriguez of Santa Fe, Exploratory Outdoor Classroom

Elizabeth Hedenberg of Albuquerque; Inspiring Kids to Study Science

Delanie Montoya of Aztec, Love of Arts, Returned Art Program

Delaney Heileman of Albuquerque, Outdoor Garden Classroom for Children

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Ani Laing of Las Vegas, N.M., was admitted to Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts for the fall semester after completing 10th grade. The campus in Great Barrington, Mass., is home to about 450 students engaged in a rigorous college education.

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Joseph Fine, of Las Vegas, N.M., was named to the Bryant University Dean’s List for the spring 2018 semester. The university is in Smithfield, R.I.

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Newly enrolled students at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., include Tallulah Nepstad of Las Vegas, N.M., a graduate of New Mexico School For the Arts in Santa Fe, and Ethan Sena of Santa Fe, a graduate of Santa Fe High School.

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