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Early voting has begun at the County Clerk's officer from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus Saturday, June 2, same hours. At the Bayard Community Center, early voting will begin from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. May 19 and run from Tuesday through Saturday starting again on May 22 through June 2 at the same hours. 

By Mary Alice Murphy

One of the final hearings on Grant County's infrastructure capital improvements plan to take place at the Grant County Administration Center happened Thursday, May 10, 2018, in the late afternoon. Others will take place this week in Cliff, Mimbres and Hachita.

The main topic was the senior centers, now administered by Hidalgo Medical Services.

The county owns the ones in Cliff/Gila and Mimbres, with Santa Clara owning its senior center, and Silver City owning the one in town. HMS manages all of them.

By Mary Alice Murphy

County Manager Charlene Webb asked, at the beginning of the budget hearing, held by the Grant County Commission on Thursday, May 10, 2018, that presentations by department heads be brief.

Jason Lockett of the Maintenance Department said he had requested basically a flat budget, with a few changes for needed equipment.

Clerk Marisa Castrillo said her department had a position frozen. "I would like to request that it be reopened, but I understand that won't be possible. I want to make sure we don't lose it and that it be revisited."

[Editor's Note: This article covers the questions and comments from community members at the Gila Regional state of the hospital event held May 9, 2018. To view an article on the hospital's presentation, visit http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/44171-grmc-holds-state-of-the-hospital-meeting-050918

By Mary Alice Murphy

After Gila Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias opened up the Wednesday evening meeting to comments and questions from the public, a man asked why she had said earlier she did not want to talk about the past.

"This is a place to talk about the future," Arias said. "Come visit me in my office, and I'll talk about the past and I will find answers I don't know."

Update from National Park Service: Chiricahua National Monument has been evacuated and the park is closed.

The human-caused Pinery Fire was first reported Saturday, May 12th, around 1:30pm, in Cochise County. The fire started on private land, moved onto the Chiricahua National Monument, and has since moved northward onto the Coronado National Forest. The fire is estimated to be about 675 acres and is burning through dry vegetation, including grasses and brush, 29 miles SE of Wilcox. The fire is under joint command of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the National Park Service, and the Coronado National Forest. Multiple aircraft have been ordered, including 5 SEATS, 4 heavies, 3 helos, AA, and a lead plane. Seven engines, 2 IA crews, and 2 hotshot crews are working on the ground trying to stop forward progress. Additional resources have been ordered, including four more hotshot crews. The exact source of the fire is under investigation.

margie mckeen rsMargie McKeenThe National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and National Grange have selected New Mexico rancher and educator Margaret 'Margie' McKeen as the winner of its Agriculture Advocate Award for 2018.

McKeen won the award for her efforts to establish New Mexico's largest and longest running agricultural event called 'McKeen Ranch Days,' an annual program held at her ranch where more than 30 teachers and 450 students learn about animal agriculture and life on a working ranch. They learn how to milk a real cow, how to make butter and where honey comes from. In addition, they learn about the compartments of a cow's stomach and the nutrients cows absorb by observing a cannulated cow provided by the USDA Research Center. They also learn about how and why cattle are branded and dehorned.

By Mary Alice Murphy

[Editor's Note: This is the main part of the presentations. Questions and answers from the community will be covered in the next article.]

Gila Regional Medical Center presented its State of the Hospital meeting to about 80 people on Wednesday, May, 9, 2018. The leadership team addressed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. They also laid out portions of the strategic plan going forward to remain independent.

GRMC Board of Trustees Chairman Jeremiah Garcia opened the session.

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

After wending their way through all the Give Grandly booths, regulars to the Silver City Farmers' Market found some of their favorite vegetable and plant vendors on site.

The market is held each Saturday through October in the Main Street Plaza. A second market is held at Ace Hardware each Wednesday morning starting about 10 a.m. during the season from May through October.

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  

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