18 illegals intercepted near Silver City

By Roger Lanse

A Grant County Sheriff’s Office deputy received a call from an Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputy at 11:19 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in reference to a vehicle travelling east (north) on Highway 90 possibly carrying undocumented non-US citizens. The HCSO deputy described the vehicle as a black GMC Yukon. 

According to a GCSO offense report, deputies intercepted the black GMC  going east on Highway 90 by Calvary Chapel. They also observed a silver-colored Scion stop in the middle of the roadway. When the deputies made contact with the driver of the Scion, he identified himself as a Border Patrol agent. The BP agent advised deputies that in addition to the black GMC, a white GMC was also travelling east on Highway 90 and was behind him. While speaking to the BP agent, the white GMC passed them and deputies began following that vehicle, the report said.

Deputies followed the white GMC as it turned left onto Truck Bypass Road and again turning left onto Highway 180 headed west.

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Pass Fire grows to 7,261 acres on Gila National Forest

Low intensity fire continues consuming understory fuels in grass and pine forest

TRUTH OR CONSESQUENCES, NM, May 26, 2023 – The Pass Fire on the Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District has grown to approximately 7,261 acres since it ignited May 17. It is located south of New Mexico Highway 59, about 1.5 miles west of Wolf Hollow Campground, and along the northern Gila Wilderness boundary. A Type 3 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire tomorrow morning.

“We are allowing fire to play its natural role in this fire-dependent ecosystem, while protecting firefighter and public safety, infrastructure, and other values at risk,” said Agency Administrator Elizabeth Toney. “The fire burned fairly quickly through continuous grass across Cooney Prairie, and is currently creeping through pine understory, backing down slopes and occasionally torching in regenerating junipers.”

Ponderosa pine forests in the Southwest were sculpted by frequent, low-to-moderate fire conditions that promoted open, multi-aged stands on a diverse landscape with variable fuels that resisted large continuous fires.

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Grant County Commission holds work session 050923 and regular meeting 051123, part 8

[Editor's Note: This is the eighth and final article of a multi-part series on the Grant County Commission's work session on May 9, 2023 and regular meeting on May 11, 2023. This article continues with a review of the regular meeting agenda at the work session and provides decisions made at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission, at its work session on May 9, 2023 continued to review the regular meeting agenda. County Manager Charlene Webb talked about the asset deletions and transfers, which were numerous. At the regular meeting, commissioners approved the transfer of a 2013 Ford Escape to the Grant County Airport. A request from the WNMU Police Academy garnered the program 15 old GoPro 7 cameras and accessories. Various items could not be located, including lawn mowers and furniture, but they were obsolete or no longer needed, so the county approved their deletion from their assets.

Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the county and the Sixth Judicial District to renew pre-trial services. The county contributes $70,000 a year to the program. "That why we see our inmate population be lower than previously," Webb said.

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NM 152 Roadway Opening - opened 3 p.m. today 052523

NM 152 Roadway Opening

KINGSTON – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has reopened NM 152 "Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway" as of 3 p.m. today.

In March, the NMDOT had to close NM 152 due to stress cracks found in the pavement just east of Emory Pass. Inspection determined that the material under the roadway had become overly saturated due to our wet winter months. With the abundance of moisture under the roadway sandwiched between the original roadbed, expansion occurred causing large cracks to form. The crew has been on site making repairs and repaving.

NMDOT appreciates the patience of users of NM 152 and is happy to announce the beautiful Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway has officially reopened!

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is committed to the safety of the traveling public and appreciates your cooperation with this closure. For updated information visit: New Mexico Department of Transportation at www.nmroads.com or call 511.

Grant County Commission holds work session 050923 and regular meeting 051123, part 7

[Editor's Note: This is the seventh of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission's work session on May 9, 2023 and regular meeting on May 11, 2023. This article continues with a review of the regular meeting agenda at the work session and continues with a report from GRMC and several agenda items at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

County Manager Charlene Webb continued the work session review of the regular meeting agenda of May 11, 2923. The next item addressed the monthly Gila Regional Medical Center update to the commissioners.

Interim Chief Nursing Officer Cynthia Lewis gave a brief report. She noted that the days of cash on hand for the hospital had risen to 111 in March. The hospital had a loss of $5,000 in March, but that was almost break even, which is the goal of the administration. "We expect a good fourth quarter of the fiscal year."

District 1 Commissioner and Chair Chris Ponce asked if the hospital has begun its 5-year plan on infrastructure.

Lewis said she thought so but could not give any detail, but she would ask Interim Chief Executive Officer Margie Molitor and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Banks to give an update when they return. She also thanked them for the proclamations for the hospital, nurses and EMS.

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Economic prosperity ideas for community

NMFALeft to right NMFA Managing Director Lending Ron Cruz, Regional Finance Managers Mark Montoya and Ryan Olguin, Lead Finance Manager Carmela Manzari, and SWNMCOG Director Priscilla Lucero

Photo and article By Lynn Janes
As part of a statewide tour NMFA (New Mexico Finance Authority) visited Silver City to provide information about the organization. The state legislature created NMFA in 1992, with the intent to help with financing for projects that impacted infrastructure, economic development, and the quality of life in New Mexico. When the agency started, it had 30 employees and now has grown to 60.
The meeting took place May 18, 2023, at the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center. They had also offered the meeting through Zoom. Four finance directors attended, and others attended online.

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Hurley discusses budget and community projects

By Lynn Janes

The town of Hurley held a budget workshop May 17, 2023, beginning with the roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance. Attendance to the meeting included Mayor Ed Stevens, Mayor pro tem Richard Maynes and councilors Nanette Day and Reynaldo Maynes. Keana Huerta didn't attend.

The council approved the agenda.

Lori Ortiz, city clerk, started the discussion about the upcoming budget. She had made the changes requested from the first budget workshop. One of the changes increased the budget for animal control to accommodate a full-time person. The council received the budget and it showed the difference that change would make. She also included some new line items to add the purchase of a washer and dryer, security cameras and pressure washer for the shelter. Ortiz said those items would cost about $2,000 but she added an extra $1,000 to make sure all would be covered.

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Armed Forces Day Celebration – recap  

1st adbThe 1st Armored Division Bank out of El Paso, performed at the Armed Forces Day Celebration on May 21, 2023

Photo and article courtesy of Karen Beckenbach.

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Karen Beckenbach of the Grant County Community Concert Association for this recap. This editor attended and would like to report that it was excellent. This editor also took a bunch of notes and photos and will try to write it up sometime in the not too distant future!]

The Armed Forces Day Celebration was held Sunday May 21 at Bataan Memorial Park and was a great success. The event started with members from the Marine Corps League and Vietnam Veterans of America posting the colors followed by Emcee Raul Turrieta having attendees stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. After Raul paid tribute to the active-duty military, Gold Star Families and veterans he introduced the guest speakers, Dr. John Bell who gave a brief history of Fort Bayard. The next speaker, David Morrison, gave a passionate speech about the men from Grant County who were sent to Bataan, eventually captured and forced on the infamous Bataan Death March then ended up on the Hell Ships that were sunk by friendly fire. Of the 112 men from Grant County that went to Bataan only 45 returned home. He implored us to never forget their sacrifice and to take time to read the history posted in the Park. The final speaker was Phillip Torres, director of the Fort Bayard National Cemetery who spoke of the history of the Cemetery, his desire to enhance the cemetery, and to commemorate it as a final resting place that pays tribute to all who have given their service and sacrifice along with their loved ones to our nation. Memorial Day Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29, 2023, at Fort Bayard National Cemetery.

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