October 8th, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Several venues will change where one votes in Grant County during next year’s primary and general election seasons. Some things will remain the same.  Voter Convenience Centers for the Primary and for Election Day, where any registered voter in the county may vote, regardless of where they live include: the Silver City Woman’s Club, Tyrone Community Center, Santa Clara National Guard Armory, Bayard Community Center, Hurley Community Center, Cliff High School, San Lorenzo Elementary School, Grant County Administration Center and the Pinos Altos Volunteer Fire Department.

Outdoorobsession.com recently ranked Silver City number 3 in the 15 coolest towns to visit.  According to the site: Unlike the many abandoned former mining towns that pepper the American west, Silver City has adapted in the post-mining era to become a home for artists, musicians, writers, and students at Western New Mexico University.  Laguna Beach, California ranked at number two, and the number 1 coolest town to visit is Athens Ohio.

A week of campus events aimed to educate the community about gender issues will begin October 16 and run through October 22.  Glam Week at Western New Mexico University will feature several events including guest speakers, an art exhibit, a drag show, live music and a standup comedian.  Glam Week events are sponsored by The Center for Gender Equity, PFLAG, WNMU’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program, Office of Interdisciplinary Studies and Graduate Programs, Office of Cultural Affairs and Department of Expressive Arts.

Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to pass the conference report for the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. Senator Heinrich worked to secure key provisions for New Mexico’s men and women in uniform, military installations, private industry, national laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The NDAA conference report passed the Senate with a vote of 70 to 27.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on the Homebuyer Assistance Act, H.R. 3192, which passed the House today by a vote of 303-121: “As I have said before, buying a home is often the largest purchase a family ever makes,” said Pearce. “Unfortunately, this exciting and transformative process for a family can quickly become nerve-racking, if not completed transparently, in an open process. In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made changes to the existing home buying process that would provide further clarity and simplicity for home buyers. However, the CFPB has not provided the industry with the time it needs to implement these beneficial changes.

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October 7th, Local Headlines

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The Bayard City Council will conduct a work session at 1:30 p.m. and a Regular Meeting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday October 13, 2015 at the Bayard City Hall. Items on the agenda relate to old and new business matters. A copy of the Agenda in its entirety may be obtained at the City Hall Administrative Office during regular business hours by the Friday before the scheduled meeting date.

Disabled American Veterans will meet on October 14 at 10AM Watts Hall, the northwest corner of Swan and 180. The meetings are open to the public, and the group will be presenting a few Quilts Of Valor to some very special Veterans.

In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, a free screening of Innocent Voices will take place Tuesday, October 13 at 7pm. It is based on the true story of a young boy, in an effort to have a normal childhood in 1980’s El Salvador, caught up in a dramatic fight for his life as he desperately tries to avoid the war which is raging all around him.  The movie is free to the public. It is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that several New Mexico Tribes and organizations will be receiving a total of $4.39 million over five years to prevent suicide, fight drug abuse and combat domestic violence through the Indian Health Service’s Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) programs. The MSPI program provides support for Tribal communities to develop culturally appropriate prevention and treatment methods for suicide and drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine. Similarly, the DVPI program helps Tribes prevent domestic violence and support survivors.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced nearly $3 million in grants to address critical issues affecting agriculturally-important plants and animals. The science developed from these grants will provide timely assistance and have an immediate impact for the agriculture community. The awards were made under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE) program, and addresses priority areas of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Don’t forget to vote for the Continental Divide Trail at www.superiortrails.michelobultra.com.  At last count, the Continental Divide Trail here in New Mexico was winning, but Florida and Wisconsin are in a close second and third.  Vote every day through the end of the month to bring this much needed grant money to CDT Silver City and Chama!

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October 6th, Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

On October 4th Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest held their annual Family Day Picnic at Little Walnut Picnic Grounds. They had games such as Bubble Gum bubble blowing, whistle blowing, and Hula hooping, and of course had great food and fun. For more information on Girl Scouts call 538-2481. Make a difference: Volunteer. If you have a passion, share it with a group of Girl Scouts. Girls are more inspired by role models than school subjects.

To mark October as national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Luna County Healing House has begun the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. It began with Healing House staff and volunteers from Wells Fargo tying ribbons around trees along Gold Avenue.  The campaign revolves around raising awareness that domestic violence is not a private matter, but rather a community matter. The campaign aims to raise awareness that domestic violence is not a private matter, but rather a community matter because it impacts everyone, not just the person being abused. The campaign shows community support for survivors and people currently suffering with family violence, who often feel isolated and are blamed for their situation.

Shop with a Cop organizers in Deming have brought together three of the area’s law enforcement motorcycle clubs to add a new twist to the program’s annual kickoff event.  The kickoff event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Kmart, 1205 E. Pine St., and will feature the usual recognition of local businesses, but will also include a bike run hosted by the Deming Armaduras, Bonafide Saints and the Region No. 1 Choir Boys. Kickstands are up for the bike run at 11 a.m., with entry fees at $15 for a single rider or $20 for a double rider. Proceeds are going to benefit the annual holiday gift drive in which local students are given a gift card for a shopping spree at Kmart in early December. The event will include an auction and prizes.

High school seniors who have applied for admission to a service academy are reminded to apply for a Congressional nomination by October 9, 2015. These include the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Students applying to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut do not need a Congressional nomination.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of up to $16.8 million in funding to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The funding is available to local, state and national organizations to test incentive strategies to help SNAP participants better afford healthy foods. This is the second round of awards to be made under the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program created by the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will administer the grants.

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October 5th, 2015: Local Headlines

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The Southwest Festival of the Written Word was held in Silver City over the weekend.  The Festival concluded its free presentations on Sunday with nine additional talks, ranging from freelance writing and the state of the publishing industry to the art of book design and writing song lyrics. The next Festival is planned to return to Silver City in 2017.

In college sports, the WNMU Mustang Football team lost to Fort Lewis College, 34-13 on Saturday.  WNMU will now get set for Homecoming this Saturday against No. 11 Colorado School of Mines beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Orediggers (5-0, 3-0 RMAC) dominated New Mexico Highlands, 51-6 on Saturday.

Going against some of the top running schools around in California, the WNMU cross country teams came in 14th in the women’s race and 15th in the men’s race at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday.  WNMU will return to action this coming Saturday when they will run at the Mesa Cross Country Classic in Mesa, Ariz.

Western New Mexico’s volleyball team remained perfect in conference play, 7-0, after a three set sweep of Colorado Mesa University Saturday night. The Lady Stangs used strong defense to get the 30-28, 25-12, 25-23 straight set win.  WNMU is the only undefeated team in the RMAC and will be home this weekend hosting Adams State on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $113 million in program grants to support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, also known as “specialty crops,” through research, agricultural extension activities, and programs to increase demand and address the needs of America’s specialty crop industry.

The New Mexico Lottery saw some changes this weekend with the addition of a 10X Power Play Multiplier, and lowered odds of winning the Powerball.  With the changes to the lottery, players now have a 1 in 25 chance at winning some sort of prize, compared to previous 1 in 31.8 chance.  However, the Lottery increased the number of white balls from 59 to 69, decreased the red balls from 35 to 26, and overall changed the odds of winning from1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million.

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October 2nd, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Dawn Renee Vierthaler-White, through her attorney Lloyd L. Rabb, of Tucson, filed on Sept. 24, in the Sixth District Court, a complaint to recover damages for injuries related to the death of her husband, Donald White, on May 9, 2013, and a demand for a 12-person jury trial. Defendants named in the complaint are Southwestern Railroad Inc. and its parent company, The Western Group LC.  White died as a result of injuries sustained when the locomotive, of which he was engineer, derailed near Bayard along with six of the eight hopper cars carrying magnetite from the Cobre Mine. The conductor and an unauthorized civilian were also killed in the crash.

The Copper CowBelles continued their long-standing tradition of having a booth at the Grant County Fair. This year’s tables offered free beef recipes; a candy guess contest, balloons and give away bags for children; a fundraiser drawing for a basket of gifts that was to benefit the CowBelles agricultural scholarship and two drawings for packaged beef cuts. Chairperson Katie Donaldson announced that the winners of the beef drawings were Jewell Jackson and Chrissie Souders. The scholarship drawing was won by John Tedford.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement today on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to improve smog-causing emissions standards:  “These updated standards to limit air pollution are an encouraging step toward improving our air quality. Ozone pollution impacts our children’s health and often is the root cause of asthma, shortness of breath, and other respiratory illnesses. I will continue fighting to ensure we create an environment that safeguards the health of New Mexico families.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement in reaction to the Obama Administration’s newly announced federal ozone mandates, which were released today by the EPA.  “The current federal ozone standard has already proven to be effective, despite it not being fully implemented. Yet, instead of allowing these existing regulations to work, the Obama Administration has decided to arbitrarily change the standard further,” said Pearce.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) that will provide more than 500 member museums and science-technology centers with resources to incorporate agricultural science and research in their programs.

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October 2nd, 2015: Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo in Deming

deming rodeo

It’s Pro-Rodeo time in Deming, New Mexico, Friday, October 2nd!   The Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association Sanctioned Rodeo, hosted by the City of Deming and The Deming Visitor Center, kicks off action on Friday Night, October 2nd, at 6pm.  Pro Rodeo action includes bareback riding, saddle broncs, bull riding, steer wrestling, roping, barrel racing and FUN family events. Tailgate parking available for just $25, Mutton Bustin’ and Wild Steer riding at 6pm, sign up at Circle S or Mimbres Valley Feed, performance starts at 7.  $5 per person, $3 per student, free age 10 and under. For more informationcall Deming Visitor Center, 575-567-1962. That is 575-567-1962. Thanks to many sponsors including Deming Headlight and Silver City Sun-News, Spur Lazy Spur Quarter Horses, Phillips Ranch, Circle S, Gertrud and Geraldine Kretek, Western Pump and Supply Company, Joel Nunez, Mimbres Valley Feed and KNFT 102.9 radio.  Enjoy country dancing at 9pm by Yarbrough Band for $10 a person. See you October 2nd at the Deming Pro Rodeo at Deming Cowboy Park Arena.

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October 1st, 2015: Local Headlines

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Reserve Ranger District fire management personnel are preparing to conduct the 2,500-acre Sheep Basin prescribed fire, approximately ten miles southeast of Reserve, NM off Forest Road 141. Ignitions may occur when conditions are favorable anytime from mid-Oct. into Nov. 2015.  This broadcast burn (activity where fire is applied generally to most or all of an area within well-defined boundaries) will complete the 6,500-acre Sheep Basin project. Support for this ongoing wildlife habitat improvement project is provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.  With the onset of winter, district personnel are also planning to burn slash piles at various locations.  These areas will be signed and posted for public awareness.  Pile burning will be ongoing throughout the winter as conditions allow. Objectives of these burns include removing hazardous fuels and reducing the threat of severe wildfires.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation announced today that its scholarship application for the 2016 NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards is now available.  High school seniors who run their own business and plan to attend a two- or four-year university, college, or vocational institute during the fall of 2016 are eligible to apply.  The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation offers scholarships that recognize high school seniors who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and initiative through having established and run their own businesses. The scholarship program’s goal is to raise awareness among the nation’s youth of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the American economy.

With the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) set to expire at midnight, U.S. Senator Tom Udall called on Congress to immediately pass a 60-day extension and continue working to permanently authorize and fully fund the nation’s premier conservation program. Udall’s father, former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, helped secure passage of the LWCF in 1965 and the program has since helped boost the economy in local communities and supported outdoor recreation throughout the nation.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today awarded nearly $20 million through 385 grants to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses.  “These grants will strengthen the economic fabric of our rural small towns and communities by providing capital to small and emerging businesses,” Vilsack said today during a visit to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement today after voting to pass a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through December 11, 2015:  “It’s my hope that this marks the end of governing by manufactured crises and a return to focusing on growing the economy and making sure all Americans get a fair shake at getting ahead.”

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September 30th, 2015: Local Headlines

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Over the next year, many visitors will have the opportunity to let the Forest Service know how their recreational expectations are being fulfilled on Forest Service lands. This opportunity for input is the result of the 2016 National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey which will be underway on the Gila National Forest beginning in October 2015. The purpose of this survey is to provide an estimate of forest recreation visits, the activities engaged in while visiting the forest, visitation trends and the economic impact of recreation visits on local communities.

Quemado Ranger District fire management personnel are preparing to conduct the 3,100-acre Slaughter Mesa prescribed fire approximately eight miles southeast of Quemado Lake. Ignitions may occur when conditions are favorable anytime from Oct. 19 through Dec. 19, 2015. Objectives include improving forest health and watershed conditions, restoring grasslands, enhancing wildlife habitat and reducing hazardous fuels. This prescribed fire will restore pronghorn migration corridors to help prevent isolating the Slaughter Mesa pronghorn population.

The New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services is asking women veterans in New Mexico to take a brief online survey to help the agency assess the needs and level of care provided for the state’s women military veterans.  All women veterans—regardless of war or peacetime era served, length of service, or rank achieved–are invited to take the nineteen-question survey, which should only take a few minutes to complete. The survey can be accessed by going to www.surveymonkey.com/r/nmwomenveterans. It is taken anonymously–no name or contact information will be asked of the participants, who can also skip any questions if they choose.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze announced today that he has selected three veteran land managers to serve in state director positions in New Mexico, Nevada and California.  Amy Lueders will serve as the BLM New Mexico State Director overseeing more than 13.4 million acres of public lands and 26 million acres of federal mineral resources in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  She will report to her new post in Santa Fe later this fall.

Don’t forget to cast your daily vote for the Continental Divide Trail and help bring a $25,000 grant to New Mexico.  Log on to superiortrails.michelobultra.com and vote.  If you would like a reminder to vote, email info@continentaldividetrail.org to be placed on a daily reminder list.  New Mexico still trails behind Florida in votes.  Please help bring this much-needed grant to the Continental Divide Trail of Silver City and Chama.

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September 30th, 2015: Southwest Festival of the Written Word


The 2015 Southwest Festival of the Written Word brings over fifty writers and writing professionals, who live and write in the southwest, to Silver City NM this weekend, October 2-4, to celebrate the magic of the written word.   And “celebrate” is the operative word.   For three days, readers and writers of all ages will visit with and listen to these award-winning authors in intimate venues throughout historic downtown Silver City.

Except for the Saturday night banquet, the more than forty Festival events are open the public free of charge.  The banquet is a sit-down dinner served al fresco on the newly unveiled patio of Light Hall at Western New Mexico University.  Tickets are required and are $30 each, available at Leyba and Ingalls Art Gallery, Mimbres Regional Arts Council, Yankie Creek Coffee House, and at the Festival Headquarters and Marketplace in the Murray Hotel.  They can also be reserved by emailing tickets@swwordfiesta.org

Festival presenters include major award-winning writers in fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir, outdoor writing, science and nature/environmental writing, as well as narrative non-fiction, journalism, and history.  Sessions on the publishing industry, self-publishing, editing, and how to get started with your writing are offered.  The aspects of researching for spiritual writing will be discussed on Saturday morning.  Two Saturday events at the Silver City Public Library feature, again, award-winning writers for children and youth.  Their presentations will be followed by fun word-oriented activities for kids.  And perhaps one could argue that the songwriting session on Sunday morning should be included under poetry but it is, indeed, its own genre.

On Thursday evening, October 1, the Festival Kickoff event premiers “Snapshots”, an original work created and performed by the Virus Theater of Silver City.  The piece is based on the poetry of Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Silver City’s first Poet Laureate and the dedicatee of this year’s Festival.  The performance is at 7:00pm in the Webb Theater, adjacent to the Fine Arts Theater at Western New Mexico University.   “Snapshots” is also scheduled in the Webb Theater on Friday October 2 at 7:30pm and on Saturday October 3 at 1:30pm.

The Southwest Festival of the Written Word offers theatrical premiers, book launches, outdoor dining and insight into writing about border issues, poetry slams, Writers’ Roundtables, a performance of “Love Letters” by A. R. Gurney, and a vibrant Festival Marketplace.  Warm and friendly session venues—galleries, coffee shops, churches, and local libraries–make for comfortable and casual sessions where readers and writers can easily interact.

The Festival starts at 2:00 pm on Friday October 2.  Begin the celebration of the written word  with a visit to the Festival Headquarters and Marketplace at the Murray Hotel, 200 W. Broadway and pick up a copy of Festival Program that includes the full Festival schedule, session descriptions, presenter bios, and Marketplace participants, and a map of the venue locations.

Visit www.swwordfiesta.org for full information about the Festival, including Travel Tips—how to get to Silver City, places to stay, and places to eat and drink.   The Southwest Festival of the Written Word is a New Mexico True adventure that feeds the soul.  Readers and writers of all ages, welcome!

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September 29th, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

On Sunday afternoon, Marines from Gaffney-Oglesby Marine Corps Detachment 1328 gathered for a luncheon on the Wrangler’s Patio to honor Gold Star Mothers, those who have lost children in combat. Grant County has three, Mary Cowan, Mary Lou Grijalva and Kay Beeman.

In sports, Junior middle blocker Shannon Rich helped power the Western New Mexico University volleyball team to a 5-0 start in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play and subsequently was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Senior Quarterback Mitch Glassman was named the HERO Sports Division II Stud of the Week Monday. He also received the award after the first week of the season against Arizona Christian.  Glassman additionally earned the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the week, thanks to his record-breaking performance and personal career high- in passing yards.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) raised concerns over reports of an out-of-state company manufacturing and marketing its products under the guise of authentic chile from Hatch, New Mexico. He issued the following statement today calling for better labeling protections for locally-produced products: “I am proud of our state’s chile farmers for defending New Mexico-grown chile and bringing their case before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Consumers who want to eat New Mexico chile should be able to trust the label. Manufacturing and marketing products that masquerade as authentic chile from New Mexico is outrageous, and I fully support our growers’ efforts to protect authentic New Mexico-grown chile.

The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers whose tax-filing extension runs out on Oct. 15 to double check their returns for often-overlooked tax benefits and then file their returns electronically using IRS e-file or the Free File system.  Although Oct. 15 is the last day for most people, some still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in combat zone localities who typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.

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