Grant County Commission work session and regular meeting held March 7 and March 9, 2023, part 5

[Editor's Note: This is part five and the final article on the Grant County Commission work session on March 7, 2023, and the regular meeting held March 9, 2023. This one completes the presentations and begins with county reports, as well as continuing work session review and decisions that took place at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After presentations at the Grant County Commission regular meeting on March 9, 2023, next came reports from elected officials.

Treasurer Patrick Cohn was unable to attend but provided his report to commissioners.

Sheriff Raul Villanueva gave the report on February activities of the department. He noted calls for the month totaled 1,336, with Dispatch sending them on 455, and another 881 were self-initiated by deputies. He reported the busiest days of the month were Fridays, with 16 percent higher call volume. The busiest time of day is 7 a.m.- 8 a.m., with a 7.3 percent higher call volume than other times of day.

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Santa Clara PD officers nab fleeing felon

By Roger Lanse

On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at about 8:03 p.m., Santa Clara Police Department officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop at Highway 180 and Ft. Bayard Road on a black Nissan Altima headed east with no functioning taillights. According to an XCPD incident report, the driver of the Altima refused to pull over and instead reached speeds in excess of 100 mph as it headed toward Bayard. As the Nissan and pursuing police units approached Highway 180 and Joan Street in Bayard, the driver slammed on his brakes and slid to a stop. He then exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Giving chase, one of the officers issued commands for the fleeing driver to stop but he would not, in the process falling down a couple of times. The officer made good on threats to tase the driver if he would not stop. The first tase was not effective, but the second made him fall to the ground where he was handcuffed by both officers. In between the two tasings, officers noticed the driver, who was facing away from them, throw a black Glock 19 toward a metal fence.

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Grant County Commission work session and regular meeting held March 7 and March 9, 2023, part 4

[Editor's Note: This is part four of the Grant County Commission work session on March 7, 2023, and the regular meeting held March 9, 2023. This one completes the presentations and reports that took place at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

In the review of the Grant County Commission regular meeting on March 9, 2023, at the work session on March 7, 2023, County Manager Charlene Webb noted presentations.

The second presentation, which was made at the regular meeting, was the annual Grant County Extension Service programmatic efforts and impacts report by Jessica Swapp-Massengill and Lauren Baker.

Swapp-Massengill said she has so far served seven years at the Grant County Extension office as ag agent and 4-H agent and is now county director. She introduced Baker and said she comes from CSU-Pueblo. "She is the right fit for the family and consumer services agent position."

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Deadly crash on State Road 26

By Roger Lanse

New Mexico State Police investigated a double fatal crash around 5 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023, on State Road 26 -- MM 26 near Hatch, NM.

NMSP told the Beat the initial investigation indicates a FedEx semi-truck driven by 24-year-old Mohammed Gotite of Raleigh, NC crossed the center line for unknown reasons and collided head-on with a Hobby Lobby semi-truck driven by 67-year-old Mark Childers of Oklahoma City, OK. Both drivers sustained mortal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

According to NMSP, both trucks carried a co-driver. These two individuals were injured and transported to area hospitals for treatment. Their condition is not known at this time.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Cobre held meeting at Snell Middle School 022723

By Lynn Janes

 The Cobre Consolidated Schools held a regular board meeting at Snell Middle School on February 27, 2023. President Serina Murillo called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Gabriella Begay, Gilbert Guadiana, Elizabeth Dean, and David Terrazas. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Spaletta also attended. 

Reading of the board norms took place with each board member reading a norm. The norms consist of five rules the board strives to adhere to during the meeting. They are listed as actively listen to all perspectives, respond to concerns and questions as a unified board, professionalism expected, assume positive intent, and be positive and responsive. 

The board approved the agenda with changes. Several items they moved and some they removed or tabled. Student recognition and Kiwanis student of the month moved to after agenda approval. Equity council information they removed and tabled some discussions the be held in executive session. 

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Gun safe together with guns stolen

By Roger Lanse

On Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023, at about 2:58 p.m., Grant County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to 10 Mariposa Lane, Upper Mimbres, in reference to the aggravated burglary of a gun safe and guns. According to a GCSO incident report, a witness told deputies she had been there the day before and taken pictures of the now missing gun safe and guns but had not recorded any of the guns’ serial numbers. A deputy told her to send the pictures of the guns to him and he may be able to see the serial numbers. This witness said entry was probably gained through the front door as it doesn’t lock.

Another witness agreed with the first witness that neither of them had seen anything or anyone out of the ordinary prior to discovering the safe and guns missing.

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Dwelling burns near Mangas

By Roger Lanse

The Cliff-Gila Volunteer Fire Department was paged out Sunday, Mar. 5, 2023, to a house/wildland fire at 9513 Highway 180 near Mangas and Blacksmith Canyon. According to Chief Brad Malone, his department was paged out at 10:34 a.m. to an older double-wide mobile home which had burned and started the nearby vegetation ablaze. The cause of the fire was determined to be from a wood stove.

The fire scorched about 20 acres in “really rough terrain,” Malone told the Beat, “And the mobile home was a total loss.” About 34 firefighters, with 11 being from CGVFD, and 12 vehicles were on the fire, about half assigned to the mobile home and half to the wildland fire.

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Grant County Commission work session held March 7, 2023, part 3

Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy

img 6363From left are Commissioner Billy Billings, Commission Chair Chris Ponce, representatives of Silver Regional Sexual Assault Support Services, Chelsea Cooper and Rosalind Burns, and Commissioner Harry Browne.

[Editor’s Note: This is part three of the Grant County Commission work session on March 7, 2023, and the regular meeting held March 9, 2023. This one begins with the review of the regular meeting and gets into the first  presentation that took place at the regular meeting.]

In the review of the regular meeting on March 9, 2023, at the work session on March 7, 2023, County Manager Charlene Webb noted public input was early on the agenda. 

Three people gave public input at the regular meeting. 

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