Bayard looks at planning and zoning

By Lynn Janes

The town of Bayard held a regular town meeting March 13, 2023. The meeting started with Mayor Chon Fierro calling the meeting to order. Attendance at the meeting included Mayor Pro tem Raul Villanueva councilors Jose Diaz, Eloy Medina, and Frances Gonzales. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to New Mexico flag took place.

The council approved the agenda with one change. The council will postpone the police chief evaluation.

Public input

James Irving wanted to ask some questions about planning and zoning. The council could not answer them in public comment. He provided them with copies of the questions he had. "I understand that under municipal ordinances you are supposed to have a planning and zoning commission." He questioned if they had one and if so, who worked on it. Irving said he had the impression they should have five and the public needed to know who. The commission should also have a zoning officer for people to reach out to. They need some clarity, and it should be on the next agenda and have it all on the public record. He read the ordinance to the council.

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Snell Middle School making strides

By Lynn Janes

The Cobre Consolidated Schools held a Special board meeting at on March 6, 2023. President Serena 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. 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.

Public input on agenda items none currently.

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Homeland Security vehicles in town

By Roger Lanse

Silver City residents reported what appeared to be several unmarked law enforcement vehicles, including an armored vehicle and one pulling a flatbed trailer, in Silver City, the morning of Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2023.

Silver City Police Department Chief Freddie Portillo confirmed to the Beat today, March 29, that the SCPD did partner with the Department of Homeland Security to form a task force on the 28th but would not provide further information. He stated a press release describing the operation would be forthcoming.

Portillo said the rumor circulating that the increased police presence on Tuesday was related to the discovery of bodies in a building on Bullard Street was false.

UPDATE -2: Fatality on the Gila River

By Roger Lanse

Monday afternoon, Mar. 27, 2023, around 2 p.m. five individuals in a raft capsized in the Gila River about 10 miles south of the Grapevine Campground. According to Search and Rescue Coordinator Mark Levesque, one person drowned and four were rescued by helicopter. The condition of those four are unknown at this time.

The Beat is reaching out to other agencies investigating the accident and more information will be reported as it is received.

Five adult men of "near, or at, retirement age," from Lubbock, Texas, according to Laurie Wlosinski, Grant County Search and Rescue/New Mexico State Police Incident Commander of this Mission, entered the Gila River at the Grapevine Campground planning a multi-day float trip ending downstream at the Mogollon Box on Tuesday, Mar. 28, and then returning home. One man was in a canoe, one each in two kayaks, and two in a raft.

UPDATE-2: According to New Mexico State Police staff, the ages of the four surviving men were 58, 60, 61, and 63. The man pronounced deceased by an Office of Medical Investigation official was Tregg Granato, 55.

The group, with the canoe leading, encountered a fallen tree across the river some 10 miles downstream at the bottom of an estimated 200' deep canyon, Wlosinski said. The canoe overturned and that man was swept underwater and drowned. The other four were able to make it to shore and using an emergency communicator device they had with them sent out an SOS ultimately notifying the NMSP.

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Fatality on the Gila River

By Roger Lanse

Monday afternoon, Mar. 27, 2023, around 2 p.m. five individuals in a raft capsized in the Gila River about 10 miles south of the Grapevine Campground. According to Search and Rescue Coordinator Mark Levesque, one person drowned and four were rescued by helicopter. The condition of those four are unknown at this time.

The Beat is reaching out to other agencies investigating the accident and more information will be reported as it is received.

Silver City Town Council has debate about proposed legislation

[Editor's Note: This article got misplaced in transit, so apologies for it being so late.]

By Lynn Janes

Silver City held a regular meeting February 27, 2023. The meeting started with Mayor Ken Ladner calling the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico state flag. Council members attending the meeting included Lucian Farmer, Jose Ray, Nicholas Prince, and Guadalupe Cano.

The council approved the agenda as is. Prince wanted to table resolution 2023-04 and the rest of the council did not agree.

Ceremonies none currently.

Proclamations none currently.

Council comments

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Grant County Commission holds special meeting 032123, part 3

[Editor's Note: This is part 3 and the final of the Grant County Commission special meeting held March 21, 2023. It begins with the budget hearing with presentations by county department heads giving their requests.)

By Mary Alice Murphy

After public input and a report from the county financial counsel, commissioners heard from those who have so far applied for the Gila Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, which readers can access at the links at the bottom of this article.

Following those presentations, commissioners entered the budget hearing where they heard from department heads requesting items for their budget for fiscal year 2024.

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US 180 fog sealing operations in Silver City

SILVER CITY – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One will begin Fog Sealing US 180 from milepost 115 (32nd Street) to 128 (east of Hurley) in Silver City.

Fog sealing is a single application of emulsified asphalt to an existing asphalt surface. This type of maintenance treatment can be a valuable aid to renew weathered (oxidized) asphalt surfaces and improve the surface appearance, seal minor cracks, surface voids, and inhibit unraveling. Most importantly, fog sealing helps preserve the underlying pavement structure allowing the roadway to last for many years to come.

On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, drivers can expect lane closures in both eastbound and westbound lanes. Use caution for workers and equipment in the area, reduced speed limits and flagging operations. Repairs are expected to take two weeks to complete, weather pending.

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