GRMC Governing Board holds last meeting 062923; turns over governance to Board of Trustees

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

img 6754From left are GRMC CFO Patrick Banks, Interim CEO Margie Molitor (slightly behind), Governing Board Chair Alicia Edwards, Member Harry Browne (slightly behind), Recognition Recipient Cristian Smith, Member Billy Billings, Risk Manager/Compliance Officer Denise Baird, and Member Eloy Medina.

img 6762Photo 2 From left are GRMC CFO Patrick Banks, Interim CEO Margie Molitor (slightly behind), Governing Board Chair Alicia Edwards, Member Harry Browne (slightly behind), Recognition Recipient Tami Bates, Risk Manager/Compliance Officer Denise Baird, and Members Billy Billings and Eloy Medina.

Gila Regional Medical Center Governing Board Chair Alicia Edwards opened the monthly meeting on June 29, 2023 by welcoming the members of the incoming GRMC Board of Trustees.

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Gospel Mission sustains fire damage

By Roger Lanse

A Silver City Police Department officer was dispatched to 116 S. Bullard Street (Sierra House) at about 10:55 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023, in reference to a pile of leaves that was on fire.

According to an SCPD incident report, when the officer arrived, he could see light smoke drifting behind the Sierra House and an active fire on a wall of a building at 111 S. Texas Street (Gospel Mission). The officer used his fire extinguisher to put out the wall fire, then noticed a pile of leaves on fire south of the Sierra House. The officer also observed John Elizalde, 43, address listed as homeless, sitting on a bench in the immediate area.

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Hidalgo Medical Services provides community updates on Addiction Medicine and Crisis Intervention Services.

In 2015, Grant County selected Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) as the service provider to provide substance misuse treatment in Grant County. HMS worked closely with the county to open the newly constructed Tu Casa facility. At the time, Dan Otero, HMS CEO, and Dr. Neal Bowen, HMS CMHO, worked with other community and state leaders to attain licensure to become a Community Mental Health Clinic (CMHC). Tu Casa opened its doors to provide outpatient behavioral health treatment as a CMHC. Later, HMS attained licensure to provide Crisis Triage Center (CTC) at the same facility. Once the state issued reimbursement rates to HMS and appropriate staffing levels were achieved, Tu Casa CTC opened its doors to provide crisis stabilization treatment for anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis for up to 23 hours a day, seven days a week. The CTC was opened at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic; unfortunately, due to our inability to maintain the daily patient projections for sustainability, the CTC lost over $70,000 a month for two consecutive months. HMS had to make the difficult decision to close the CTC services temporarily.

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Antelope Fire controlled at 38 acres, crews extinguishing hot spots today

Antelope Fire is located in a remote area of Black Range Ranger District

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM, July 7, 2023 – Thanks to quick response and strong aerial support, crews have established containment line around all sides of Antelope Fire. Crews are working to identify and extinguish sources of heat within the fire perimeter. The Vail Interagency Hotshots, Lone Peak Hotshots, Santiam Modules 1 and 2, and Crew 621 remain assigned to Antelope Fire today.

"I'm grateful for the hard work and fast action of responding fire and aviation resources, on whose wings and shoulders this success rests," said Black Range District Ranger Bret Mellott. "Aircraft and Hotshot crews are in especially high demand during peak fire season, so we are lucky that these resources were on hand and readily available to respond."

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Fourth of July Parade 2023 part 2

This is the second part of the 5-part photo essay of the Fourth of July Parade 2023

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

Photo added: Person of interest named in Timmons murder

By Roger Lanse

A New Mexico State Police spokesman told the Beat today they have identified a person of interest in the June 26, 2023, Dragon Fly Trail homicide of Stephen Timmons, 62, of Silver City.

Joseph William Costello, 29, of Fort Bayard, NM, was arrested on Friday, June 30, 2023, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 180 and Ft Bayard Road, when he ran a red light on his motorized bicycle and almost caused a crash. According to the spokesman, a U.S. Forest Service agent detained Costello and contacted the Grant County Sheriff's Office for assistance. GCSO deputies arrested Costello on an outstanding bench warrant. However, during the arrest procedure, Costello, a felon, was found to be in possession of a handgun and was additionally charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

As the investigation continued in the days following, NMSP Investigations Bureau agents learned Costello is believed to have threatened and shot at or near several individuals in the area of the Dragon Fly Trail system.

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Pass Fire Update July 6, 2023

Pass Fire

Gila National Forest Incident Commander - Robert Laeng IC and Josh Johnson IC(T) 

Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm  Email:

Acres: 59,904
Location: 40 miles west of Winston, NM
Containment: 32%
Personnel: 121, 1 Type 3 Helicopter
Start Date: May 18, 2023
Cause: Lightning
Fuels: Timber, piñon/juniper and grass

Yesterday, high temperatures with light winds, fanned some interior smokes to rise and slowly burn. All smokes are within the planned boundaries and are doing good by cleaning out ground fuels and improving forest health. The Pass Fire is being patrolled and monitored especially in areas where the fire is still smoldering.

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Murder suspect arrested

By Roger Lanse

Friday, June 30, 2023, New Mexico State Police officers arrested Joseph William Costello, 29, believed to be involved in the murder of Stephen Timmons on June 26, at Dragonfly Trail near the Fort Bayard National Cemetery. Costello, according to court records and Grant County Detention Center personnel, was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony, and on an active bench warrant for violating conditions of his release by a Deming court for an earlier charge of criminal trespass. He was booked into the GCDC that day, June 30.

Costello is being held on a no bond hold. A pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for July 11, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. in Silver City District Court.

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