About Us

The Rio Rancho Observer is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving the city of Rio Rancho and Southern Sandoval County through the highest professional business and journalistic standards. The RRO is published weekly on Sundays, including holidays – and online at rrobserver.com.

We are politically independent and welcome community submissions from all points of view. The Rio Rancho Observer is a member of the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce, the New Mexico Press Association, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and the National Newspaper Association, and a supporter of the Sandoval Economic Alliance.

Each week, our dedicated professional staff pours an enormous amount of creativity, passion and hard work into the creation of your community newspaper. But ultimately it is our advertisers that make the Rio Rancho Observer and rrobserver.com possible. So, please tell them you saw them in the RRO!

Garrison Wells

Garrison Wells

Executive Editor

Garrison Wells has been a reporter and editor at numerous daily newspapers. Among publications are The Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press, Myrtle Beach Sun-News, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the Gazette in Colorado Springs and the Lansing State Journal where he was business editor.  He was managing editor of the Nashville Business Journal. He has written one novel, three poetry books, six books on the martial arts and a screenplay that finished semifinalist at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  He is married to Laura, a nurse practitioner at Lovelace Health System.

Gary Herron

Gary Herron

Sports Editor

Gary Herron moved to New Mexico from Michigan in 1975 and quickly assimilated into the Land of Enchantment.His journalism career began at the Valencia County News-Bulletin in November 1979. He also has worked in the KOB-TV newsroom and spent more than a decade in radio. He started at the Observer in May 2000, and has thoroughly enjoyed covering high school sports and writing about the people in Rio Rancho ever since.

Michaela Helean

Michaela Helean

Staff Writer

Michaela started at the Observer as an intern and is now a full-time staff writer. She covers the weather, business and human-interest stories. She also occasionally helps with crime. She grew up in Rio Rancho and recently moved to Albuquerque with her boyfriend. For fun she likes to go to car events in the area. She also does some landscape photography on her days off. She is studying Journalism at UNM and will graduate in December.

Susan Saunier

Susan Saunier

Ad Consultant

Susan Saunier moved to Rio Rancho in 1973 and has watched the city’s incredible growth since then. She started working with the Observer as a contract paper carrier in 1989 and became a regular employee in 1992. She has worked in multiple company departments and has been an ad executive since 2009. She strives to make her clients feel they’re in a partnership with their community newspaper.