SH15 Spill Update - October 28, 2022

R. Marley folks arrived today at about 7:15 to finish up Phase 1 of the cleanup effort in Jaybird Canyon. Thirty or so bags of material were retrieved with more or less the same contents as yesterday - some larger pieces of tar and rocks, but mostly forest vegetation with Q-tip sized tar bits on them. We inspected the check dams which were functioning as designed, and deployed wattles to capture additional material in strategic locations. Finally, we conducted a top-to-bottom and back again assessment of the drainage to about two miles down from the release site looking for bits and pieces of tar, retrieving about 2 bags total (mostly vegetation and litter with bits or tar attached) beyond the 920-yard check dam.

Based on the amount of cleanup progress made, how little visible tar is left, and the miniscule risk to human health and the environment posed by it, R. Marley is standing down until after the agencies (NMED, USFS, EPA) are able to conduct their own assessment of the drainage cleanup, possibly next week.

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SH15 Spill Update - October 27, 2022

R. Marley folks arrived today at about 7:30 to continue cleanup efforts in Jaybird Canyon drainage. Today's work had the same scope as yesterday's. Forty bags of material (some larger pieces of tar and some rocks, but mostly forest vegetation with Q-tip sized tar bits on them) were retrieved and put in the roll-off bin. We inspected check dams, and they were functioning as designed. Tomorrow we'll finish retrieval of visible tar, tar bits on vegetation, and rocks with tar pursuant to agency direction.

Speaking of agencies, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) are hosting a public meeting about the spill and the cleanup next week on Thursday, November 3, at 6 to 8 at the Grant County Convention Center (the same venue we used for our Community Meeting on October 11). Chris (R. Marley's restoration specialist you met at the meeting) and I will be there, too. NMED's press release is attached.

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Walk for the Heroes took place at WNMU 102222

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

On Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, about 200 people registered to participate in the Walk for the Heroes set up by Jason Quimby, Western New Mexico University veterans affairs officer.

People gathered in the parking lot between the Fine Arts Center Theater and the Juan Chacon Building to hear speakers and to register and prepare for the walk. In addition, folks at several informational tents stood ready to give veterans information. And perhaps the most important table was the food table, where runners and walkers could find something to eat after their exercise.

Two routes had been set up. One circled the WNMU campus, which was about 1 mile, and the second route was a 5K which took off from the same start-finish line but wended its way up onto Boston Hill before returning to the campus.

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Deming man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Jeffery Dean Biddle pleaded guilty on Oct. 26 to production and attempted production of child pornography, receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, and enticement and attempted enticement of a minor. Biddle, 41, of Deming, New Mexico, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, from about June 24, 2021, to Sept. 4, 2021, Biddle used his cell phone to knowingly coerce someone he believed to be an eight-year-old girl to take pornographic photos to send to him by text message. Biddle specifically requested “naked” pictures and asked for nude photographs approximately 24 times. During these text exchanges, Biddle also sent nude photographs of himself. On June 24, 2021, Aug. 1, 2021, and Sept. 4, 2021, Biddle knowingly received and attempted to receive child pornography from the person he believed was eight years old.

By the terms of his plea agreement, Biddle faces a minimum of 35 years and up to life in prison.

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Communication begins with the teachers

By Lynn Janes

The Cobre Consolidated Schools held a board meeting October 10, 2022. President Gilbert Guadiana called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Serina Murillo, David Terrazas and Elizabeth Dean. Gabriella Begay did not attend. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place. Superintendent Jeff Spaletta also attended.

Public comments none currently

The board recited the board norms as they usually do at the beginning of the meeting.

The board approved the meeting agenda with a few changes. Spaletta requested that they remove two items from his report, union president and school fundraisers. They also moved one item to after the student representative report, concerns from Cobre High staff.

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SH15 Spill Update - October 26, 2022

R. Marley folks and a laborer crew of 13 arrived today at about 7:30 to continue cleanup efforts in Jaybird Canyon drainage. Work had the same scope as yesterday, focusing on visible asphalt and sediment stuck together, loose and unattached asphalt, asphalt clumped to vegetation, and easily-removable rocks that had visible tar. We inspected check dams, including those repaired yesterday, and they were functioning as designed. Over 100 bags of material (tar, rocks, etc.) were retrieved and put in the roll-off bin.

Representatives of EPA and other agencies were on site again today, giving their perspective on the progress of the cleanup, and what continued or new work should be done.

Tomorrow: More of the same.

Hot pursuit driver arrested

hot pursuit chase 102522 renee grahamPhoto of hot pursuit coming through Silver City (Photo Courtesy of Renee Graham)

By Roger Lanse

The afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, at around 4:45 p.m., Silver City Police Department officers assisted the Deming Police Department in the pursuit and arrest of Gilberto Arroyos, 47, of Deming. According to SCPD Chief Freddy Portillo the pursuit began in Deming continued north into Silver City and ended in Arenas Valley.

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Stolen property found in plain sight

By Roger Lanse

According to a criminal complaint, all three, Stevens, Deshera, and King, were charged with one count each of aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, retaining stolen property, breaking and entering, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and seven counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. In addition, King was charged with seven counts of retaining a stolen firearm. According to Grant County Detention Center staff, neither of the three are listed as having been booked into the GCDC. A GCSO lieutenant told the Beat that a warrant was issued for their arrest but the three are still at large.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, at about 7:07 a.m., Grant County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to an Airport Road address in Hurley in reference to a burglary. According to a GCSO offense report, the victim at the address told deputies they were at their new house the evening before moving furniture, and when they left they had left the gun safe unlocked and the firearms lying on the bed in the master bedroom, "because he felt they would be fine there."

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