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[Editor's Note: This is the first of a multi-part series of articles on the long, combined work session and regular meeting of the Grant County Commission held on Jan. 9, 2020. This one covers election of chairman and vice chairman, as well as the first presentation, which was by the Grant County Extension Service.]

The first major item of business on the agenda addressed the election of officers, usually a routine majority decision.

When District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Chris Ponce asked for nominations for chairperson, District 3 Commissioner Alicia Edwards said she would like discussion on "how we select our chairperson. I thought we should have had a conversation on it last year, but we didn't. The question I have is: Have either of you, who have served as chairman (Ponce and District 4 Commissioner Billy Billings), ever blocked an item on the agenda?"

One-vehicle crash near Bill Evans Reservoir leaves two dead

By Roger Lanse

UPDATE: According to a GCSO offense report the 1989 red and gray Dodge pickup went off the road about three miles past the Bill Evans Lake turnoff on Bird Sanctuary Road. Deputies were guided to the crash site by a Riverside resident who witnessed the accident.

The report stated that deputies found Maryann Poulsen, 34, of Woodland Hills, Utah, deceased, under the wreckage of the pickup, and Leif Aaron Coty Carter, 40, also of Woodland Hills, Utah, also deceased, with what appeared to be a bullet hole in his head and holding a handgun in his right hand

By Roger Lanse

Silver City Police Chief Freddie Portillo told councilors at the Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2020 town council meeting that 10 code enforcement citations, regarding principally yards, weeds, and structures, were issued in 2019. Calls for service through the Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority were 26, while 68 calls were directed to the code enforcement officer. Portillo also mentioned that the code enforcement officer works closely with the animal control officer and the Silver City Fire Department. Uncovered load citations issued in 2019 numbered 28, up from 2018 when 8 were issued, Portillo stated. Approximately 10 businesses were not up to date with licensing and fire inspection and they were helped to come into compliance, according to Portillo.

In answer to a question from District 3 Councilor Jose Ray Jr., Portillo said that a 2-year-old child riding in a side-by-side would need to be in a properly installed and secured car seat to avoid being cited for a child restraint violation.

On January 13, 2020 at approximately 11:30am, Grant County Sheriff’s Detectives served a felony arrest warrant at 36 Old Arenas Valley Road in Arenas Valley. Dominic Munoz, age 21 was taken into custody without incident. Munoz is charged with three (3) felony counts of Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor and one (1) felony count of Child Endangerment. Munoz is being held without bond at the Grant County Detention Center pending arraignment.

SANTA FE – New Mexico drivers voiced their concerns about US-180 between Deming and Hurley. The asphalt is deteriorating due to weather and wear and tear. Debris is then kicked up, causing damage to drivers’ windshields.

NMDOT listened to their needs and last week, provided $1.3 million for improvements. The two lane highway frequently traveled by drivers living in southwest New Mexico is about to get a makeover with a micro-surfacing project. Workers are already on the roadway collecting debris and sweeping the area. The re-surfacing will begin in early February and should take about three weeks to complete.

Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales said, “The response is part of our Governor’s administration and NMDOT’s commitment to improve our state’s infrastructure and address New Mexican’s concerns. The entire state deserves to drive on safe, efficient roadways.  I personally drive US-180 serval times a week. I know what the drivers are experiencing. I’m so pleased NMDOT heard the concerns of the people in the area and responded so quickly.”

NM 90 southbound lane at milepost 41 “Hudson Street Bridge” will have workers and equipment in the area for rock shoulder placement. A flagger operation will be in place for the safety of our crew. Motorists are asked to reduce speed, obey posted signs, and be cautious of personnel and equipment in the area. This closure will be in place daily from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm all week.

In spite of loss of federal construction funding, "it's about the water"

By Mary Alice Murphy

For the first item of business on the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity regular meeting on Jan. 7, 2020, Howard Hutchinson, representing the San Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District, moved to retain the officers from 2019. They are Chairwoman Darr Shannon, representing Hidalgo Soil and Water Conservation District; Vice Chairman Vance Lee, representing Hidalgo County; and Secretary Van "Bucky" Allred, representing Catron County.

Shannon introduced the Open Meetings Act for 2020: "It is identical to last year's, except for the dates." Members approved the OMA 2020.

No one stepped up to give public input.

[Editor's Note: This editor just received an extremely threatening SCAM phone call OSTENSIBLY from the Social Security Administration. Do not call back or you will be scammed. I listened and hung up, because I knew it was a scam I will also report it to the Office of the Inspector General.]

This is information from The U.S. Social Security Administration website FAQs: https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-10018

If there is a problem, we (the U.S. SSA) will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed.

Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Social Security employees also will not:

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Editor's Note

New classified for Silver City church seeking office manager.

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The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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