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Grant County 4-H County and District Contest Results
SILVER CITY- 4-H members from around the county competed against each other to qualify for the district contest. 4-H members must compete and qualify in order to attend the district contest held in Truth or Consequences, NM. Several members competed and here are the results!
County Contest Results:

Horse Judging (Novice)
-Dusty & Peyton Waters

Horse Judging (Senior)
-Krysten Jones

Horse judging is the evaluation and ranking of horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Participants defend their decisions through oral reasons in front of a panel of judges. Members gain significant advantages in public speaking and decision-making.

[Editor's Note: This article, part 2 of a multi-article series, reports the presentation from the Grant County Community Health Council.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The second report of the Grant County Commission work session of June 22, 2021, featured three representatives, Jeff Fell, Terry Anderson and Steve Chavira. The three were heavily involved with the Health Council efforts on Covid. Jeff Fell attended on Zoom, because he was attending a 4-H event in T or C, where his son had qualified for rifle shooting competition. He said if anything good had come out of the pandemic, "maybe it's the use of these virtual platforms."

He reported on the Summer Covid Vaccination and Safety Event, held on June 5 in Gough Park. "We had 12 local organizations represented, giving out things to the kids, as well as information. The local Department of Health and the National Guard gave out 45 doses, 37 of which were their first and 8 were the second. Overall, the event was a great success. I want to thank the volunteers and everybody who helped out that day. Lastly, I want to give an update on where Grant County stands on the vaccinations. We're all aware of the governor lifting restrictions soon. On the state website I see two different numbers for Grant County fully vaccinated, one at 58.4 percent and one at 59.8 percent. However, I haven't seen those numbers change on the state website since last week, so I'm confident our numbers are higher than that. I just haven't seen confirmation. About three weeks ago, the DOH here made the decision to shut down their drive-through vaccination events, because HMS has their Covid clinic set up across from the hospital. And so, we've just decided since that clinic is open 8 hours five days a week, we would send people there. However, with the big push the governor sent out last week, the public health office decided to do an impromptu vaccination clinic on Wednesday and 49 or 50 people showed up. It wasn't scheduled, they just decided to hold it and make them available. HMS's clinic was busy last week, too. They had 202 people come in for vaccines and Silver Health Care gave out 40. So, as a community, just last week alone, close to 300 vaccines were given with the monetary incentives. I just want to thank all those who have helped those three facilities with the vaccine, working basically non-stop since last December when we started the vaccine push. Their work is to be commended."

Anderson spoke on behalf of the Community Partnership for Children and the Grant County Health Council.

The first presentation came from Advanced Air.

[Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a several article series on the work session, and this article includes the author meeting with them after their presentation.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first presentation of the Grant County Commission morning work session on June 22, 2021, came from Levi Stockton, president and founder of Advanced Air LLC and Jet Center Los Angeles.

"We just wanted to come by and say Hi," Stockton said. "We are in the middle of our third year here in Silver City, with direct flights to Albuquerque and Phoenix, Arizona. We also have flights out of and into Taos from Dallas and Austin, Texas, on Taos Air, as well as to Carlsbad and Hawthorne in California. Most of our operations are on the west coast and we want to stay in the area to provide everyone the best service we can. For 2019 in Silver City, we had just under 11,000 passengers flown in and out. For your flights out of Silver City, almost 70 percent are to and from Albuquerque, with 31 percent to Phoenix. Last year was a tough year. We had just 5,000 enplanements, last year, but for May we have seen an increase up to 900 enplanements, which we hadn't seen since February 2020. We are 96 percent on time for departures and landings and our completion percentage is 99.8 percent. Usually, the non-completion is for a maintenance issue and usually passengers can go on the next flight. What we generally do, if it's a maintenance issue, we bring in an airplane and have a mechanic on board to fix the issue and return that airplane to service. If you are not familiar with our ticket booklets, it's a great service for the community. We have currently 226 community members signed up for the booklets."

One additional COVID-19 death - Saturday, June 26, Sunday June 27, and Monday, June 28

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 148 additional COVID-19 cases. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

42 new cases in Bernalillo County
5 new cases in Chaves County
3 new cases in Cibola County
3 new cases in Curry County
9 new cases in Doña Ana County
7 new cases in Eddy County
1 new case in Hidalgo County
1 new case in Lea County
1 new case in Lincoln County
4 new cases in Luna County
1 new case in McKinley County
1 new case in Mora County
1 new case in Otero County
15 new cases in Rio Arriba County
1 new case in Roosevelt County
6 new cases in Sandoval County
18 new cases in San Juan County
3 new cases in San Miguel County
8 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Sierra County
3 new cases in Taos County
1 new case in Torrance County
12 new cases in Valencia County
1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County

The Department of Health on Monday reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19:

Monday June 28, 2021
Visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7493/
Fire Phone 575-519-0103 Email: SM.FS.GNFPAO@usda.gov

JOHNSON FIRE
Location: Wilderness Ranger District, Gila National Forest Start Date: May 20, 2021 Size: 88918 acres
Cause: Lightning Vegetation: Timber with grass understory, pinyon and juniper woodlands, scrub, and brush
Total Personnel: 93 Containment: 24%
Resources: 1 Type 1 handcrew, 2 Type 2 handcrews, 1 type 3 helicopter, 8 engines and 3 water tenders

SUMMARY: The fire gained 498 acres yesterday, mostly in the Seventy-Four Mountain area, where the fire continues to creep slowly through brush and make short runs up hill. Fire personnel met with landowners on Sacaton Mesa on the west side of the fire to discuss fire behavior and what can be expected the next few days. The Gila/Las Cruces Incident Management Team would like to thank everyone for their patience and support during the Johnson Fire. Fire has a significant role on the landscape and the Gila National Forest continues to manage fires like the Johnson Fire to ensure a healthier landscape that is more resistant to high severity fires in the future.

INCIDENT OBJECTIVES: Provide for firefighter and public safety and allow fire to play its natural role on the landscape. Values at risk are the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, White Creek Cabin, and sensitive aquatic species in the Gila Wilderness.

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate to light, with areas of backing and creeping.

CLOSURE:

By Etta Pettijohn

The Secretary of State's Office (SOS) last week released a statement stating Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-38) is in compliance with legal and ethical requirements for disclosing financial information.

Dow's unsuccessful Democratic opponent in the 2020 House District 38 race, Karen Whitlock, filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission (NMEC) during the campaign period, accusing Dow of violating conflict of interest and financial disclosure rules while seeking state grants for the nonprofit Appletree Educational Center, a faith-based early childhood education provider the lawmaker founded more than 20 years ago.

Dow claimed the accusations were politically motivated, and deliberately filed during the Commission's blackout period, a 60-day window established in the law to prevent political candidates from filing frivolous complaints to be used as political weapons.

While the Commission is prohibited from responding to the complaint or commenting on it publicly during this period, the accuser can disclose a case, and Whitlock contacted most media in the state with the accusations the week she filed the complaint.

By Mary Alice Murphy

This Gila Basin Irrigation Commission meeting was the first since Dec. 17, 2020, so the first item of business was to approve the minutes from that meeting.

Chairman Dave Ogilvie said the focus of the meeting was to talk about "where we are."

He noted the design for the Upper Gila Ditch was completed in mid-September, but because a landowner would not sign an easement, as the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer requires, "we moved the diversion downstream onto a parcel of The Nature Conservancy land. It required a new look, so we had to redo the engineering. Thanks to The Nature Conservancy supporting the change, we met in December to discuss the new design. We had to develop a request for proposal and send it out for construction at the diversion site. That was a lengthy process."

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

 The Covid Pandemic Team pulled off a surprise party for Margaret Diaz, Silver City NM Department of Health Administrator, on Friday, June 25, 2021 to award her the T-Mobile 2021 Community Member Spotlight Award.

Sabrina Pack of SkyWest Media organized the event with help from team members. About 25 members of the team were on hand for the celebration. One of the DOH employees, Mike Lucero, made a cake for the occasion. T-Mobile had a plaque made recognizing Diaz for Exceptional Service to the Community through the Pandemic. 

Diaz had asked for leave that day, but strings were pulled to keep her in the office, so the award could be made. And the surprise was indeed a surprise. When the door opened for her to come in and she saw the people gathered, she momentarily disappeared from view because of her surprise. 

When she was told of the award, she said: "It's not me. It's the team. Without them, I couldn't have done anything."

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