Deadly crash on State Road 26

By Roger Lanse

New Mexico State Police investigated a double fatal crash around 5 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023, on State Road 26 -- MM 26 near Hatch, NM.

NMSP told the Beat the initial investigation indicates a FedEx semi-truck driven by 24-year-old Mohammed Gotite of Raleigh, NC crossed the center line for unknown reasons and collided head-on with a Hobby Lobby semi-truck driven by 67-year-old Mark Childers of Oklahoma City, OK. Both drivers sustained mortal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

According to NMSP, both trucks carried a co-driver. These two individuals were injured and transported to area hospitals for treatment. Their condition is not known at this time.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Cobre held meeting at Snell Middle School 022723

By Lynn Janes

 The Cobre Consolidated Schools held a regular board meeting at Snell Middle School on February 27, 2023. President Serina Murillo called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Gabriella Begay, Gilbert Guadiana, Elizabeth Dean, and David Terrazas. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Spaletta also attended. 

Reading of the board norms took place with each board member reading a norm. The norms consist of five rules the board strives to adhere to during the meeting. They are listed as actively listen to all perspectives, respond to concerns and questions as a unified board, professionalism expected, assume positive intent, and be positive and responsive. 

The board approved the agenda with changes. Several items they moved and some they removed or tabled. Student recognition and Kiwanis student of the month moved to after agenda approval. Equity council information they removed and tabled some discussions the be held in executive session. 

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Gun safe together with guns stolen

By Roger Lanse

On Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023, at about 2:58 p.m., Grant County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to 10 Mariposa Lane, Upper Mimbres, in reference to the aggravated burglary of a gun safe and guns. According to a GCSO incident report, a witness told deputies she had been there the day before and taken pictures of the now missing gun safe and guns but had not recorded any of the guns’ serial numbers. A deputy told her to send the pictures of the guns to him and he may be able to see the serial numbers. This witness said entry was probably gained through the front door as it doesn’t lock.

Another witness agreed with the first witness that neither of them had seen anything or anyone out of the ordinary prior to discovering the safe and guns missing.

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Dwelling burns near Mangas

By Roger Lanse

The Cliff-Gila Volunteer Fire Department was paged out Sunday, Mar. 5, 2023, to a house/wildland fire at 9513 Highway 180 near Mangas and Blacksmith Canyon. According to Chief Brad Malone, his department was paged out at 10:34 a.m. to an older double-wide mobile home which had burned and started the nearby vegetation ablaze. The cause of the fire was determined to be from a wood stove.

The fire scorched about 20 acres in “really rough terrain,” Malone told the Beat, “And the mobile home was a total loss.” About 34 firefighters, with 11 being from CGVFD, and 12 vehicles were on the fire, about half assigned to the mobile home and half to the wildland fire.

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Grant County Commission work session held March 7, 2023, part 3

Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy

img 6363From left are Commissioner Billy Billings, Commission Chair Chris Ponce, representatives of Silver Regional Sexual Assault Support Services, Chelsea Cooper and Rosalind Burns, and Commissioner Harry Browne.

[Editor’s Note: This is part three of the Grant County Commission work session on March 7, 2023, and the regular meeting held March 9, 2023. This one begins with the review of the regular meeting and gets into the first  presentation that took place at the regular meeting.]

In the review of the regular meeting on March 9, 2023, at the work session on March 7, 2023, County Manager Charlene Webb noted public input was early on the agenda. 

Three people gave public input at the regular meeting. 

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Santa Clara decision to purchase Bradley Hotel approved at Feb. 16, 2023 regular meeting

By Lynn Janes

The Village of Santa Clara held its regular meeting February 16, 2023. Mayor Richard Bauch called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Pro Tem Albert Esparza, trustees, Olga Amador, Arnold Lopez, and Peter Erickson attended.

The council approved the agenda for the meeting.

The council approved the minutes from the January 26, 2023, meeting.

The council approved the January 2023 department reports.

Mayors report

Bauch said "We received the new police units, and they are very nice." They had gotten two, but they are black. "I was concerned originally because they are the SUV type, and I was concerned about the access to the officer, but I saw it was done well." Each unit has four-wheel drive.

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Santa Clara holds work session 021423

By Lynn Janes

The Village of Santa Clara held a work session February 14, 2023. Trustees, Olga Amador, Arnold Lopez, and Peter Erickson attended. Mayor Richard Bauch and Mayor Pro Tem Albert Esparza did not attend.

First on the agenda had to do with the possible purchase of the Bradley Hotel by the village. Sheila Hudman, village administrator, gave the council the information about the property. The price of the property would be $120,000. It consists of six city lots. Each lot size is 25 feet by 150 feet. The building sits on two of those lots and has a square footage of approximately 4,000. The structure needs a lot of work. A portion of the adobe needs repair. Adobe Techniques will be coming to give an estimate. The first floor has been gutted and the floor joists replaced by concrete. The electric had been done as residential and will have to be upgraded to commercial. All plumbing would need replacement. In the past they had a fire and some of the roof joists would need repair. The top floor would need to be gutted. Hudman said an architect had come and looked at the property and said it could be saved but it would be time consuming. She pointed out that if the city owned it, they could get funding and it would be designated a historical landmark. The property has also been made part of the Five Points projects. The project has promised to help with the repairs also. Currently the city has funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021which came from covid money and was made available to help communities make improvements. Hudman said they had several people look at the property and could buy it but not afford the repairs. A couple of nonprofit entities have approached the village interested in renting office space. "This building is the only adobe in the village left that they could save."

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SE Group holds public input session 030823

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

On Wednesday evening, March 8, 2023, SE Group, the consulting firm chosen by Grant County to do a study and determine needs for improvement of Grant County parks, held a public input session at the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center.

Although turnout was not as many as they hoped for, the representatives from SE Group, including Senior Recreation Planner Drew Pollak-Bruce, Lindsey Romaniello and Caleb Weathers, said they appreciated all the feedback they could get, and had received a lot of input at a visit earlier in the day about the Gila Community Park.

The five parks under review include the park in Gila, the Grant County Fairgrounds, the Hurley Community Park, the Hachita Park and the Bataan Memorial Park.

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