Front Page News

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce brought a speaker back to his hometown to talk to the members at their monthly luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Bruce Ashburn, PNM representative in Silver City, and a Chamber board member, introduced Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Don Tarry.

Ashburn said: "I wish everyone had been with us yesterday. We talked to business leaders, and we visited Silver High School classes, where your PNM CFO spoke to students and the Silver High student council. Next, we went to Western New Mexico University and also visited with students. The man I saw yesterday showed care, and passion and investment in the community. PNM donated $5,000 to each of the school districts, Silver and Cobre. He has been with PNM since 1996. He graduated from Silver High School and his dad was a long-time professor at WNMU. Don Tarry is slated to take over as chairman of PNM when the merger is completed."

Tarry said: "I am so glad to be back in my hometown. My wife is from Silver City, too, but she couldn't be here today. There is a culture here that I just love. I would like to introduce some of the students from Western that I invited here today."

Armando ZamoraOn Friday, October 1, 2021, the New Mexico State Police in Silver City received a report of a missing person, Erica Zamora who had not been seen or heard from since September 26, 2021. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to investigate the incident.

Through the investigation, agents learned that on the morning of Sunday, September 26, 2021, Erica and her husband, Armando Zamora, went to cut firewood in the forest. According to Mr. Zamora, they returned to his house and he dropped Erica off at her residence at approximately 7:30 a.m., on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

Agents learned Armando was currently on probation for criminal sexual contact of a minor (under 13) and wears an ankle monitor. With that information, New Mexico State Police investigators obtained GPS coordinates where Armando and Erica had been cutting wood. A sergeant searched the area and located a deceased female matching the description of Erica Zamora. The female was pronounced dead by the Office of the Medical Investigator and was positively identified as Erica Zamora.

By Mary Alice Murphy

The public had an opportunity to comment on applications for Gila Regional Medical Center Emergency Medical Services Equipment at a meeting Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, 2021.

Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments Priscilla Lucero opened the session and explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a funding opportunity, Emergency Rural Health Care grants for hospitals.

The release included two tracks. Track 1 is for equipment and vehicles. Track 2 is for long-term sustainability of rural hospitals.

"We are only applying for Track 1, with two applications," Lucero said. "The first is for equipment, up to $1 million. Because there is a 20 percent match on the grant portion, the hospital will use $250,000 of its capital outlay received in 2021. The capital outlay was allocated for medical equipment, so it will be used to leverage the USDA grant."

Early and Absentee voting began today at the Grant County Clerk's Office. Everyone needs to get out to make their voices known at the ballot box. This year's ballot includes municipal elections, school board positions, soil and water conservation districts and a couple of school bond issues.

This link leads to a list of everyone running for office in Grant County, NM.

GRANT COUNTY NM - Election and Voting Information 

The schedule for voting is listed below:

By Lynn Janes

The town of Bayard held its regular town meeting September 27, 2021. The meeting started with Mayor Chon Fierro calling the meeting to order and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Attendance at the meeting included Mayor Chon Fierro, Mayor, Pro tem Raul Villanueva, and councilors Charles Kelly and Adrian Ortiz, Eloy Medina.

The agenda for the meeting was approved.

Public Input

Mayor Fierro reminded everyone that they had five minutes each for public input.

erica zamoraThe following is information for the distribution of a Missing Endangered Advisory.

The New Mexico State Police is seeking the public's assistance in locating Erica Zamora, a Hispanic female, thirty-nine-year-old, five-foot-two-inches tall, weighing 230 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Ms. Zamora has a scar on her left elbow. Ms. Zamora was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt and black spandex. She was last seen around 7:00 a.m., on September 29, 2021, at her residence on Rio De Arenas in Arenas Valley, New Mexico. Erica Zamora is missing and is believed to be in DANGER if not located.

Anyone with any information regarding this Missing Endangered Advisory is asked to call the New Mexico State Police at (575) 382-2500 or 911.

By Lynn Janes

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held its regular meeting September 20, 2021. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. The members and audience said the Pledge of Allegiance was not said.[Editor's Note: The Pledge of Allegiance was said, according to Superintendent Hawkins and IT Director Benjamin Potts, who explained to the Beat : "...the board began the meeting without verification that the streaming setup was ready, and so the Facebook and Youtube feeds had a gap where the audio and video for both were being transferred over."] 

Other board members in attendance were Patrick Cohn, Michelle Diaz, Eddie Flores, Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended.

The meeting started with a work session interviewing candidates for strategic planning. The school board members looked at three different companies and two were picked to give a short presentation of their plan to the board, School Architects and Studer Education Group.

Jenai Ali Emmel, CEO and founder from School Architects presented first. She said they had been in business since 2012. They would align to a new vision and organizational design. The company uses a needs assessment with four options. They look at the strengths and challenges of the schools. The board asked if she had done any other schools in New Mexico. She had not worked directly with any but had worked indirectly through other businesses. She was asked if she implemented the plan and she replied she could do both the plan and implementation. Curriculum was addressed and she said they do not do that but could find someone that could help them. She went on to say that they are looking at the big picture for the schools. She was asked what the process looked like should they be hired. Interviewing at all levels would take place and it could be done in person or virtual, and it would take 2-5 days, however on site was preferable.

Members hear good financial news

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Gila Regional Medical Center Governing Board held its monthly meeting on Sept. 28, 2021. Four of the five members, who are also Grant County Commissioners took part in the meeting. Chair Alicia Edwards, Members Harry Browne and Chris Ponce attended in person. Javier "Harvey" Salas attended by telephone and Vice Chair Billy Billings was unable to attend.

Members recognized Robert Scott for 10 years of service at GRMC in nursing.

With no public input, they went into executive session.

Following executive session, when they came back into regular session, they approved the consent agenda of minutes from the Aug. 26, 2021, board meeting.

Under reports/updates, the first to speak was Interim Chief Executive Officer Scott Manis. He noted the hospital continues to adhere to the governor's public health order on masks and vaccinations. "We are in the 87 percent range for employees being vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated have to provide a medical or a religious exemption as well as submit to weekly testing."

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