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Begins with presentation from Gila National Forest on current activities

[Editor's Note: As this was another lengthy meeting, the report on the Grant County Commission work session of Feb. 23, 21 will be broken into several parts. This is part 1.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After approval of the Grant County Commission work session agenda for Feb. 25, 2021, the first presenter was Beth Ihle, Gila National Forest Silver City District Ranger. She announced that the forest would be reopening campgrounds and recreation areas, including Gomez Peak, in the Silver City area on March 15. "We will begin putting our sites on recreation.gov for people to reserve camping or other recreation uses, so they will be able to do it from their computer without having to walk into the office to do it. We will have more information coming out on it."

Thirteen additional COVID-19 deaths

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 299 additional COVID-19 cases. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

84 new cases in Bernalillo County
10 new cases in Chaves County
2 new cases in Cibola County
1 new case in Colfax County
3 new cases in Curry County
52 new cases in Doña Ana County
13 new cases in Eddy County
12 new cases in Grant County
3 new cases in Guadalupe County
7 new cases in Lea County
5 new cases in Lincoln County
1 new case in Los Alamos County
10 new cases in McKinley County
21 new cases in Otero County
3 new cases in Rio Arriba County
1 new case in Roosevelt County
13 new cases in Sandoval County
12 new cases in San Juan County
1 new case in San Miguel County
14 new cases in Santa Fe County
10 new cases in Taos County
2 new cases in Torrance County
12 new cases in Valencia County
7 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility

The Department of Health on Thursday reported thirteen additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19:

By Roger Lanse

At about 6:16 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, a Silver City Police Department officer was dispatched to the Laundryland business, 407 N. Hudson Street in reference to an aggravated battery call. According to a blotter report and an offense report narrative, when the officer arrived, he made contact with a 36-year-old male whose face was covered with blood and who had a laceration on the rear of his head. The male asked to be taken to the hospital. When asked where the battery had occurred the victim stated: "where the bridge is."

While EMS treated the victim, the narrative stated, the officer followed a blood trail leading from the door of the laundromat to a small pool of blood next to a foot bridge leading to Bullard Street.

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission held a brief special meeting on Feb. 23, 2021 to approve the canvass of the Cobre Consolidated School District 2021 special all-mail election.

The election was held to present a 2-mil levy to continue funding for maintenance of school maintenance needs in buildings and vehicles, including buses.

The continuation of the mil levy was defeated by 469 for and 491 against.

Fourteen additional COVID-19 deaths

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 448 additional COVID-19 cases. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

105 new cases in Bernalillo County
19 new cases in Chaves County
10 new cases in Cibola County
3 new cases in Colfax County
4 new cases in Curry County
1 new case in De Baca County
70 new cases in Doña Ana County
100 new cases in Eddy County
1 new case in Grant County
1 new case in Hidalgo County
7 new cases in Lea County
7 new cases in Lincoln County
1 new case in Los Alamos County
4 new cases in Luna County
3 new cases in McKinley County
7 new cases in Mora County
17 new cases in Otero County
8 new cases in Rio Arriba County
4 new cases in Roosevelt County
14 new cases in Sandoval County
11 new cases in San Juan County
4 new cases in San Miguel County
14 new cases in Santa Fe County
13 new cases in Sierra County
4 new cases in Socorro County
6 new cases in Taos County
1 new case in Torrance County
1 new case in Union County
6 new cases in Valencia County
2 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility

The Department of Health on Wednesday reported fourteen additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19:

By Roger Lanse

Two resolutions supporting applications for funding to the New Mexico Finance Authority under the Colonias Infrastructure Fund were approved by the Silver City Town Council at its Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 meeting. Town Manager Alex Brown presented the two resolutions: one for water system improvements relative to renovating the second oldest of three water tanks at Chloride Flats, and a second for Phase III of the Ridge Road improvement project.

Brown advised the oldest tank of the three at Chloride Flats is currently being renovated and this application is for renovation of the second oldest tank. The town, he said, has had a regular maintenance program for the past 10 years for all three tanks and that would continue once the renovation of the oldest two tanks is complete.

Brown told council Phase I and Phase II of the Ridge Road project is currently under way from Highway 90 to Bobwhite Drive, and Phase III would take the improvement from Bobwhite Drive to the city limits at Lance Drive. He said the county has acquired funding to do the design part of Ridge Road improvements from Lance Drive to the Grant County Detention Center. "So, this is, hopefully, to get that road, our portion of it, finished."

[Editor's Note: Correction is in bold in the Yellow section.]

Turquoise Level will include minimal health restrictions

SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico's Red-Yellow-Green framework for aligning county-level requirements and guidelines with local virus risk has been modified to permit more day-to-day and commercial activities, reflecting the improving COVID-19 outlook across the state as New Mexicans help drive down transmission and vaccine distribution contributes to decreased community spread.

The framework includes a new least restrictive level where all categories of business can operate indoors with minimal occupancy limitations, depending on the risk level of the activity. A county will reach this least restrictive level, the Turquoise Level, by meeting key health criteria for two consecutive two-week periods and effectively graduating out of the Red-Yellow-Green framework, provided the virus remains suppressed.

An updated Department of Health public health order is attached to this news release and is effective Wednesday, Feb. 24. [Attached below]

By Roger Lanse

On Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at about 5:33 a.m., Grant County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to an aggravated battery call with shots fired at 2277 Highway 61, San Lorenzo (Sherman), NM. When officers arrived, they found a 32-year-old man residing at 2277 Highway 61, who had been shot in the lower back with what appeared to be a .22 caliber weapon.

According to a GCSO offense report narrative, witnesses stated they heard four shots then two more. There has been an ongoing feud between neighbors in the area, witnesses said. From witness's reports, it seems as if both the victim and another man, Able Misquez, 54, of 2283 Highway 61, were shooting.

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