Grant County Commission work session held April 11, 2023, part 1

[Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a multi-article series on the Comission work session on April 11, as well as on the regular meeting on April 13, 2923. This begins with the first work session presentation.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first presentation of the day featured Phoebe Schoeder, representing the New Mexico Department of Health and reporting on the Grant County Community Health Council efforts addressing community needs.

"This will be a brief report on what the Housing Insecurity Taskforce and the Health Council are working together on," Shroeder said. "I've been working with SPIN (Supporting People in Need) and the Gospel Mission to determine the needs of the community. We are seeing that needs are typically monetary. When I contacted the NMDOH, I learned we will be introducing the harm reduction mobile unit. The first time it will be in use will be on April 22, in conjunction with the Toss No Mas Earth Day clean-up that day. We will be going out to SPIN and the Gospel Mission introducing the services. We will also be working with individuals to get them the services to help them get off substances and connecting them with the mental health services if warranted. Additionally, the Homelessness Taskforce has been working with SPIN and the Gospel Mission to work with the San Vicente Consortium to meet concerns head on. As well as that, we are working on the Community Health Action Plan, that NMDOH is doing in conjunction with health councils across the state. Grant County had chosen to focus on mental health and substance abuse and focusing on those experiencing housing insecurity as well."

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Silver City – Grant County Chamber of Commerce holds monthly luncheon 040623

img 6426Photo (in bad light) and article by Mary Alice Murphy

Silver City – Grant County Chamber of Commerce Director Romeo Cruz introduced Vladimir Gnilozubov, Edward Jones Financial Advisor, to the chamber members at the monthly luncheon on April 6, 2023 at the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center.

Gnilozubov said he knows people have concerns about stocks, market inflation and potential recession. "I saw that as a need for what I do. Value is what I do. I know time is value, and I don't want to waste time for people who come in to see me."

He said his office helps its clients with all their financial issues from beginning investments to estate planning.

"Things have been painful the past two years," Gnilozubov agreed. "They include inflation, the rapid rise of interest rates, wars around the world. It all comes from 2020. It comes down to money supply. The country was printing money with no balance. The money supply increased by 40 percent."

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Fatal Crash Involving an ATV on State Road 35 in Grant County

Grant County, NM – On April 7, 2023, at about 11:00 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash involving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on State Road 35 around milepost 18, northeast of Silver City.

The initial investigation indicates that a Polaris Sportsman ATV, driven by Alexander Harry Yazzie, 35, of Hurley, NM was traveling on State Road 35. For unknown reasons, the ATV overturned, ejecting Yazzie and his 39-year-old female passenger. Yazzie suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. The passenger was airlifted to an area hospital. Her condition is not known.

Alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor in the crash, and helmets were not utilized. This crash is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.

Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt 040823

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

The annual Easter Egg Hunt sponosred by the Silver City Kiwanis Club took place on Saturday April 8, 2023 beginning at 9 a.m. a Penny Park. Groups participating included volunteer face painters, as well as representatives from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and the Silver City Police Department, the Grant County Sheriff's Department D.A.R.E program and the Silver City Fire Department. They took part helping the kids find eggs, find out information about their organizations, and simply make kids and their parents aware of what the groups do. 

According to various members of the local Kiwanis Club, about 4,000 eggs were stuffed with goodies by members from two clubs of K-Kids and three Key Clubs.  About 15-20 kids participated in each of the 13-14 heats that took place. Planning for this annual project takes a lot of volunteer time, but the Kiwanis Club does it for the kids. 

Bayard discusses abandoned building ordinance

By Lynn Janes

The town of Bayard held a work session March 27, 2023. The work session started with Mayor Chon Fierro calling the meeting to order. Attendance at the meeting included councilors Eloy Medina, and Frances Gonzales. Mayor Pro tem Raul Villanueva and councilor Jose Diaz did not attend.

The work session gives the council an opportunity to ask questions about anything on the agenda.

Larry Ojinaga had been put on the agenda to discuss the updates on the abandoned building ordinance. Ojinaga said, "I can't understand why it is taking so long, you have been doing this since September 2022. Nothing ever gets done." Medina explained to him they have a process they must follow, and it takes time. "It has to be done properly; the ordinance affects a lot of people." Currently the ordinance has been given to the town attorney, William Perkins. Fierro said concerning the property that Ojinaga has concern about, it took them some time to track down the owner. Marlena Valenzuela, town clerk, said after they receive the ordinance back from Perkins, they would have to do public meetings and that would take a few months.

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New Mexico Broadband Office announces award in Silver City

By Mary Alice Murphy

On Friday, March 31, 2023. Kelly Schlegel, director of the New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE), and Sandeep Taxali traveled to Silver City to announce a substantial award to WNM Communications to expand service to Cliff and Mimbres.

Wayne Baxter of WNM Communications said that Covid pushed broadband to the front, with students going to school online and adults working from home. "We look at our service area as a whole."

The area covers about 15,000 square miles, with more than 750 miles of fiber optic.

Schlegel said she has worked in software engineering, aerospace and technology for 42 years with 30 of those years spent with Boeing.

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Santa Clara updated on legislative session by Rep. Luis Terrazas

By Lynn Janes

The Village of Santa Clara held its regular meeting March 23, 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 February 16, 2023, meeting.

The council approved the February 2023 department reports.

Mayor’s report

Bauch said they had finally received the long awaited Toro tractor the village ordered a year ago. The unit comes with several attachments and will make the work for the maintenance department easier. 

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Bayard has special meeting March 24, 2023

By Lynn Janes

The town of Bayard held a special meeting March 24, 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 (phone), Eloy Medina, and Frances Gonzales. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to New Mexico flag took place.

The council approved the agenda.

The council went into closed session. The closed session had to do with the discussion and update on Louis Gomez Jr., animal control officer and code enforcement.

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