Front Page News

wendys fireBy Roger Lanse

According to Capt. Nathan Schwarz of the Silver City Fire Department, the department was called out to a structure fire at Wendy's on Superior, at 1:28 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 2021. When firefighters arrived at 1:31 a.m., Schwarz said flames were shooting out the roof. Workers were in the building closing up when they called Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority advising dispatchers of the fire.

Scammers reportedly using text messaging technology to steal the identities of New Mexicans

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The New Mexico Office of the State Auditor has issued a Risk Advisory warning New Mexicans to be aware of fraudsters using cellphone text messaging technology to scam recipients. The Motor Vehicle Division is reporting the text messages appear to be an attempt to steal social security numbers and other personal identifying information.

Do not click on links, do not reply. 

For full details, a copy of the Risk Advisory is attached. You may also find it online by following this link: RISK ADVISORY | Fraud Alert: "Smishing": Scam.

New Mexicans concerned about potential instances of governmental waste, fraud, and abuse should contact the OSA. Reports may be made anonymously through our website at or by calling 1-866-OSA-FRAUD. You may also speak to an investigator by calling 505-476-3800.

Risk Advisory: "Smishing" Scam

SILVER CITY-While this year's State 4-H Contest was nothing like it has been in the past, Grant County youth continue to excel. Several youths from around the county competed in contests along with other 4-H members from around the state.

This year Livestock Judging Team consisted of:
Kylee Jones, Nolan Vermillion, Ketch Bays, and Tucker Gatlin one team one which placed 6th, and team two, Colter Massengill, Kaleb Newman, Clayton Peterson, and Krysten Jones placed 7th. Ketch Bays placed 12th as an individual and Kylee and Krysten Jones placed 19th and 20th respectively out of 47 other youth individuals in the state.

Krysten Jones placed 9th as an individual in the horse judging contest. Trey Greeman placed 3rd in impromptu speech and won the State Talent Contest!

Luna County, NM – On July 20, 2021, at approximately 10:58 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a multiple vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 10 near milepost 105, east of Deming, NM.

The initial investigation indicated a 2006 Ford Explorer SUV, occupied by a 21-year-old female driver and two passengers, a 41-year-old female and 13-year-old juvenile were traveling west on Interstate 10 near milepost 105, when their vehicle sustained a tire blowout. The Ford came to a stop in the right lane of travel and was struck by a 2018 Freightliner Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) that was traveling westbound. After the crash, the Freightliner CMV overturned onto its side in the roadway and was struck by two other CMV's that were also traveling westbound, a 2022 Peterbilt CMV and a 2003 Volvo CMV. The driver of the Freightliner CMV, Daniel Quintana (37) of Las Cruces, NM sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. All three occupants in the Ford and the drivers of the Peterbilt CMV, a 77-year-old male and the Volvo CMV, a 48-year-old male were uninjured.

Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor and seat belts appear to have been only utilized by all three CMV drivers. This crash remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.

Photos of award and story by Mary Alice Murphy

img 1534Mario Kirker with belated Combat Action Ribbon added to his WW II awards

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Christopher Saxman for notifying me of the award and for sending me information about it.]

Christopher Saxman, Grant County resident, heard World War II Veteran Mario Kirker's story of shooting down a Japanese aircraft during World War II, when Saxman was having some upholstery work done by Kirker and his son.

"I saw his awards and saw that he did not have the Combat Action Ribbon among the awards," Saxman said. "As a fellow vet I wanted to help him get what he deserved. I looked up the regulations for a CAR, and then pasted in the parts where his combat experience qualified him and, along with some photos of Kirker, sent it to the Navy Records Department.

By Roger Lanse

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, at approximately 12:08 a.m. a Silver City Police Department officer was waved down by a male the officer recognized as David Jennings, 45, no address, standing in the Laundryland parking lot on N. Hudson Street. Jennings told the officer he had been shot, and, according to an SCPD narrative, when Jennings lifted his shirt, the officer observed what appeared to be an entrance wound, bleeding and swollen.

Jennings told the officer he had been standing in the car wash bay pulling weeds when three subjects appeared in the ditch and one of them had a gun. The narrative stated Jennings said he heard a pop and felt pain in his stomach. The officer stated he immediately called for an ambulance. EMS determined there was no projectile in the wound.

Other officers began to walk the ditch, one south from the Visitor Center and another north from Old Mill Road. Three suspects were found lying face down in the ditch near Spring Street, the narrative said. They were Dillon Bittinger, 23, of Silver City; Gabrielle Parra, 23, of Albuquerque; and Brandon Durniak, 22, of Silver City. Also seized was a black Crosman F4 .177 caliber pellet rifle.

By Roger Lanse

On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at about 8:48 p.m. a Silver City Police Department officer was dispatched to the Seasonal Overnight Shelter at 610 N. Silver Street to a male reported as under the influence of an unknown substance. When the officer arrived the supervisor of the SOS advised she had picked up Will Macdonald, 22, homeless – Silver City, from the jail earlier that day and he hadn't been acting 'ok' since. He had tried to jump in front of a vehicle and had been challenging others to a physical fight while in the shelter.

According to an SCPD incident report narrative, the officer, "made contact with Will who was sitting down on the ground in front of the shelter. I asked Will if he was alright and Will began shaking his head 'no.' I asked Will if he had consumed any substance and Will shook his head 'yes.' I observed Will had a blank stare and was looking towards other subjects at the shelter in an angry manner."

"Will stood up and started approaching a citizen in an aggressive manner. I placed my right hand on Will's chest to stop Will from approaching the citizen, and at that time Will used his left hand to grab a hold of my wrist before pushing my arm off of his chest. After Will pushed my arm I used both of my hands to grab and maintain control of Will's arms. (Another patrolman) assisted by grabbing Will's right wrist, (and we) placed both of Will's arms behind Will's back before Will attempted to pull both of his arms towards the front of his body. At that time, (the other officer) applied a gooseneck wrist lock on Will's right wrist before Will was lowered to the ground. At that time I was able to place Will under arrest by handcuffing both of his hands behind his back, double locking the handcuffs and checking for tightness.

leah barrios runaway

aiden martinez

Grant County, NM - The following information is for the distribution of a Missing Runaway Advisory from the Grant County Sheriff's Office (GCSO).

GCSO is searching for Leah Barrios, 17, of the White Signal, NM area in Grant County. She was last seen on July 18, 2021, at around 4:00 p.m. She is described as 5'04" tall, weighing 157 lbs., with long brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, black shorts with black and white "Vans" brand shoes. She is believed to be in the company of eighteen-year-old Aiden Martinez. They are believed to be traveling in a 2013 white Dodge Challenger with New Mexico license plate AYKM92. Their destination is unknown, but they are believed to be in the Edgewood or Albuquerque, NM area.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Leah Barrios, please contact the Grant County Sheriff's Office at (575) 388-8840 or dial 911.

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