Letter from former Grant County Manager

On May 4, I was informed by GrAnt County Commission Chairman Ponce and Vice Chairman Browne, that I would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into complaints regarding the county manager. I was not provided the specific allegations against me, and I cooperated completely with the investigator. Yesterday, May 24, I was notified by County legal representation of the same statement that chairman Ponce would read minutes later to the public. The allegations were unsubstantiated and the County Manager would be terminated.

I am disappointed I won't continue to serve in that capacity. I was not provided a copy of the investigation report into the allegations against me, and never had the opportunity to address my leadership, the Board of County Commissioners, throughout this entire process. Numerous requests were made for both.

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CORRECTED- evacuation time ADDED: map and smoke outlook Black Fire Daily Update 5/25/2022

Evacuations updated as containment steadily increases; Warming trend will bring active fire behavior

Acres: 167,378 acres
Location: 31 miles NW of Truth or Consequences
Containment: 14%
Personnel: 747
Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Cause: Human-caused, under investigation
Fuels: Timber and tall grass
Structures Lost: 2

Please see evaluation map at bottom of article.

Evacuation Update:

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Code enforcement committee looks at nuisances

By Roger Lanse

Mayor Ken Ladner stated that Town Manager Alex Brown has put together a code enforcement committee which has identified certain properties in town relative to the nuisance ordinance passed last meeting. Ladner thanked Brown, Silver City Police Department Chief Freddy Portillo, Silver City Fire Chief Milo Lambert, and Code Enforcement officers for their work on this project. Ladner said, "We have so many properties in Silver City that are being demolished by neglect, and, so, they are going to be addressing that. And, thank Councilor Ray for partly sponsoring that ordinance."

Ladner then caught Portillo off guard by asking why there was a smile on his face recently. Portillo said it was because of a new baby girl he and his wife were blessed with named Arianna, or Ari, for short.

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Gila National Amends Stage II Fire Restriction Order  - open flames prohibited

Gila National Amends Stage II Fire Restriction Order

Silver City, NM, May 24—With the Gila National Forest experiencing a very active fire season during unprecedented drought conditions, forest leadership has taken steps to decrease the chances of additional human-caused wildfires. The forest has amended the stage two fire restriction order, implemented initially on May 17. In the amended order, any open flame, including camp stoves and flammable gel canisters, is now prohibited. Additionally, only generators with spark arrestors within a three-foot cleared diameter can be operated. All previous restrictions apply. This order is effective from May 24 until Dec. 31.

Updated Gila Stage II Fire Restrictions- Prohibited Actions:

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GRMC Governing board met 04/28/22

grmc recog 4675Recognizing the 20-year stint of service at GRMC by Ernesto Garcia, in red, from left are CEO Tony Thompson, Governing Board member Harry Browne, Garcia, board members Chris Ponce, Alicia Edwards and Javier "Harvey" Salas.
Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy

At the beginning of the Gila Regional Medical Center Governing Board meeting on April 28, 2022, Chair Alicia Edwards, who also serves as a Grant County Commissioner, announced those who have served and continue to serve the hospital.

She saved the longest serving one until last. Others include Melissa McCants for 15 years of service in the float pool, Robert Trotter for 15 years of service in infusion, Marlene Lambert for 10 years in recovery, Faviola Garcia for 5 years in EMS, and Rene Medina for 5 years in physical therapy.

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County manager terminated for no cause

By Mary Alice Murphy

After an extensive executive session following other business of Grant County in a special meeting on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the commissioners came out of the closed session.

District 1 Commissioner and Chair Chris Ponce read a statement.

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Black Fire Daily Update 5/24/2022

Active Fire Behavior Continues; Red Flag Warning Issued Today
Daily Update 5/24/2022
Acres: 154,911 acres
Location: 31 miles NW of Truth or Consequences
Containment: 11%
Personnel: 646
Start Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Cause: Human caused, under investigation
Fuels: Timber and tall grass
Structures Lost: 2

Overview: There is red flag warning in effect today from 12 pm-8 pm. A shift in winds may push the fire in different directions than the past week. Firefighters assisted by aircraft have been working to suppress this fire since it was discovered by building firelines ahead of the fire, as well as direct line closer to the fire where safely possible. Firefighters are challenged by the size of the fire, rough terrain and limited access.Fire Update: The Black Fire showed active fire behavior Monday, with increased activity on the northeast side of the fire in Beyer’s Run and the southwest corner. Fire progression on the east has slowed.

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Wendy's to open soon

wendys rebuild croppedBy Roger Lanse

Ten months have passed since a fire destroyed the interior of the Silver City Wendy's on July 22, 2021.

Following the damage to the inside of the restaurant, and subsequent demolition of the entire building, construction has started on a new Wendy's. Rick Crippen, site supervisor for Gray West Construction out of Anaheim, CA, told the Beat that July 21, 2022, is the turnover date for the new restaurant. Construction began March 7.

Crippen, a traveling supervisor who lives in Michigan, said construction is on schedule but they were delayed for two weeks at the outset by a change order which specified an ADA drinking fountain be installed inside the restaurant. "That's the first time I ever heard of installing a drinking fountain inside a restaurant," he said.

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