Some of the best music in the world starts with this Las Cruces family of French horn makers

LAS CRUCES, NM — The best things in life are made by hand and that holds especially true for Jim Patterson of Patterson Hornworks, currently one of a handful of designer-makers of custom hand crafted French horns in the U.S.

Patterson and his wife Cora work together from their home with their sons, Philip and Ian. They have lived and worked here since 2005. This unique world-class instrument making facility started with a repair shop in 1995 in the Los Angeles area. “This all started from doing repairs,” says Jim as he looks over a Double Descant French horn brought in by a customer. Jim, 59, originally from the Los Angeles area, started his musical career at an early age.

Library checks out robotics program to engage young learners

EL PASO — The normally quiet atmosphere of the library with the faint aroma of musty books waiting for stories to come alive is interrupted by the laughter of children ordering brightly colored robots to launch a ball through a hoop, pick up litter and put it in in the trashcan. They love the idea of being in charge of the robots they created with Legos and electronics at the Esperanza A. Moreno Regional Library on Pebble Hills Road where they learn teamwork — working together to complete a project. “The kids don’t just like to build them, they like to decorate them too,” says Gerardo Sanchez, a teacher of computer science at El Dorado High School. Some robot kits reach a height of six feet and weigh in at around 120 pounds, and can cost more than $7,000. The extra parts can cost some $3,000.