Public hearing for zoning in Hurley

By Lynn Janes

The town of Hurley held a workshop and special town meeting February 22, 2022, beginning with the roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Attendance of the meeting included Mayor Ed Stevens, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Maynes and councilors, Freddie Rodriguez, and Nanette Day. Mateo Madrid did not attend.

They approved the agenda for the workshop.

Stevens turned the meeting over to Maynes to begin the discussion on the proposed new cannabis ordinance. Maynes handed out a proposed business zoning map. It included the Gateway restaurant area, the Hurley Bar to the end of the street going east and the property west of the railroad tracks. The council discussed the map and asked questions addressed to Maynes.

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Bullard Street Closure, Monday February 28, 8:30am to 9:15 am

Silver City MainStreet with NM MainStreet will have a drone flying over the Big Ditch Park next Monday morning to do topographic work that will be used for improvements to the Big Ditch Park.

Drone footage will also be taken of Bullard Street and other areas of downtown to be used for marketing downtown Silver City. For safety reasons, Bullard Street will be closed to traffic on Monday February 28, from 8:30am to 9:15am between Broadway and College.

Patience and understanding is appreciated. 

Man arrested in Diana Montes Thomas homicide

On January 14, 2022 Diana Thomas, 58 years of age was found deceased in the area of Georgetown, NM. in unincorporated Grant County, the victim of a homicide.

On January 18, 2022 the Grant County Sheriff's Office requested the Public's assistance in the investigation. Numerous tips were received and followed-up. The Sheriff would like to thank the Public for the response to this request.

Through dedicated investigation by Grant County Sheriff's Detectives, assisted by the Las Cruces Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – significant leads were developed culminating in multiple search warrants being granted and executed.

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Deming man accused of production of child pornography

By Roger Lanse

Guillermo Rodriguez Garcia, 39, of Deming made his initial appearance in federal court on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, on charges of production of child pornography. He will remain in custody until his detention hearing scheduled for Mar. 1, a Department of Justice press release said.

On May 18, 2020, Deming Police Department officers were dispatched to a reported incident of sexual abuse of children. Following interviews, Garcia was arrested on Jan. 26, 2021, on state charges of criminal sexual penetration of the first degree, according to a criminal complaint, the release stated. Videos on his cellphone from Aug. 26 and 27, 2019, allegedly show Garcia engaging in sexual conduct with a 12-year-old victim.

If convicted, Garcia faces a minimum of 15 years, to a maximum of 30 years, in prison.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated this case assisted by the Deming Police Department and the 6th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Grant County Commission work session held 020822 and regular meeting held 021022, part 4

[Editor's Note: This is part of a series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session of Feb. 8, 2022, and the regular meeting on Feb. 10, 2022. This report from the work session begins with the reports heard at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After the Grant County Commission discussed at the regular meeting on Feb. 10. 2022, and approved the ordinance on the industrial revenue bond issuance for the Great Divide Wind Farm, the following agenda item was public input.

Misty Pugmire, executive director of El Grito Inc., the Head Start program in Silver City, and who will also serve as the manager of the childcare facility owned by Grant County, said she wanted to give an update on the renovations at the childcare facility. "I want to commend your team. Jason Lockett (county facilities and ground maintenance superintendent) and his workers have done a phenomenal job. They have bent over backwards to get everything ready to open again. We will start up with staff on Monday (Feb. 14, 2022). The licensing department will not check until we set up a classroom. We got a 90-day grant, with which we purchased equipment. We received a Freeport-McMoRan Foundation grant to redo the infant playground. I just started working with the state and got a large recovery grant. We also have landscaping thanks to your crew for getting it done. They put in new toilets throughout the facility. We have 24 children pre-registered, and the director has been working on the recruitment since before Christmas. We were able to flip a couple of grants to help fund the facility. It's coming together and I want to thank you on behalf of the families."

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HealthTech S3 clarifies departure of GRMC CEO

HealthTech S3 would like to clarify two facts related to the departure of Gila Regional Medical Center CEO Kathleen Cahill.

"First, under the terms of our management agreement with Grant County, the CEO is our employee, and hiring and firing decisions are ours" according to a news release from HealthTech S3. "We are committed to consulting with the Governing Board on such decisions, and we regret that in this case, very little time was available for such consultation.

"Second, the company regrets having prematurely announced Ms. Cahill's resignation," the release continued. "Based on our review of her performance, we requested her resignation. We should not have assumed she would accept that offer immediately, and we deeply regret our premature announcement."

Silver School Board heard data and had sports to talk about 022122

By Lynn Janes

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held a work session February 21, 2022. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Michelle Diaz, Patrick Cohn, Eddie Flores, Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended.

The board approved the work session agenda.

Mike Stone from Stone and McGee presented the audit for Silver schools. He said the audit was completed in a timely fashion and sent the Santa Fe by the due date of November 5, 2021; however, the state has been behind, and they didn't receive it back until January. He commented on what a great job the business department did having everything ready for the audit when they came because they got in and out quickly. Stone extended his thanks for all their help. He said they had an unmodified opinion on the financial statements. "That is as good as it gets." He said the district had 41 million in assets and 30 million a year in revenue. The accounting of the district is managed well. Stone reminded the board that the audit is an action item and must be approved or unapproved. Flores asked Stone if this is now public record. Stone said yes when the state releases the audit and that took place last month. The state lets them know when it can be printed.

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Wind Canyon residents find "sky lantern" near house this morning - could set fires

sky lanternLooking south out their back windows this morning two  unidentified Wind Canyon residents saw something orange in the bushes that looked like it could be a tent. The husband drove his ATV down and discovered it was a sky lantern, aka Chinese lantern. Read more about these lanterns here:

Luckily, the ground around it wasn't burnt and the heat source was gone, but as you can see from the attached photo, the balloon was burned. They said they could only imagine what might have happened if a fire on the ground was started.

They have notified central dispatch, but don't expect anything can be done. From what the wife has read these lanterns are illegal in many countries and states, but it doesn't appear they're illegal in New Mexico. If you know anyone who uses them please try to dissuade them from setting them off as Grant County  in a high fire danger area, especially with the high winds taking place.

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