November 19th, 2014: Toys for Tots Football Game

GRMC toys for tots

Gila Regional Medical Center EMS are having a charity football game at the Silver High School this Sunday, November 23, 2014.  They are asking for the support of the community.  The entry fee is $4.00 or a toy for a boy or girl.   The teams are Gila Regional Medical Center against the combined team of the Silver City Police and the Silver City Fire Department. Game begins at 3:00.  All proceeds will go to the local marine corp croup to distribute the toys and money raised for the event.

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November 19th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has made the necessary roadway repairs throughout NM 152 that was initially closed due to flooding in September.  The NMDOT has lifted the closure for NM 152 in Kingston as crew members have repaired various sections of the road in order to have it passable and safe for the traveling public.  However, the NMDOT Maintenance Section will be working on NM 152 around mile marker 30, as this section of the roadway will need to be closed in order to repair the culvert.  Work began this morning, and is expected to be complete by 3 pm tomorrow.

The Silver City Town Council, at it’s Monday meeting, heard many concerns and reports, including questions regarding the single-use plastic bag ordinance.  Mayor Michael Morones replied to the comment by stating that most of the questions can be answered by staff of the affected vendors.  Councilor Cynthia Bettison commented that certain issues with the current animal control ordinance need to be addressed.  Also mentioned at the meeting were the painting of two water tanks by WNMU, and a reminder of the upcoming March 3rd municipal election.

US SenatorTom Udall released a statement after voting against a bill to mandate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Udall stated “I support responsible oil and gas production in New Mexico, which provides millions of dollars a year for education in our state, and I will fight as hard as anyone for investing in American infrastructure and jobs. But few energy issues have been as politicized as this one, and that’s a big part of why I voted no today. I do not believe Congress should intervene and pass a law simply to mandate approval of one specific pipeline for one private company.”  The bill failed to win the support needed to move forward.

Every department and caregiver at Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) are looking at ways to create operational efficiencies. Wayne Heath, Director of Behavioral Health Unit and Security, identified the need for the continued use of the GRMC golf cart for patient transport. Mike Martin, GRMC Senior Telecommunications Specialist, volunteered to refurbish the cart. It took him over 20 hours of his personal time to fix the old cart. Today it is officially back in use on the GRMC campus where it is used to meet various patient transport needs.  This collaborated effort between these two GRMC departments not only saved the hospital money but resulted in a way to better serve our patients and community.

The Deming Elks Lodge 2750 recently donated $500 to the Gila Reading Council of Deming.  Each year, the Gila Reading Council hosts a Literacy Showcase, in which teachers choose the work of students, and a book is filled with the stories and poems, and then published by the school.  The program is committed to showing local children the joy of writing, and teaching them a lifelong love of reading.  The donation from the Elk’s Lodge will help the Gila Reading Council host the Literacy Showcase in February next year.

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November 18th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, a house burned to the ground sometime between Friday morning and Saturday afternoon on Burro Springs Road near Tyrone.  The owner of the house is missing, and human remains were found inside the structure.  Identification of the remains is pending.  The house fire went unreported, and the home’s owner was last seen around 2:30 Friday morning by her neighbor.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation closed a portion of NM Highway 174, which leads to the Catwalk Trail.  The Glenwood Ranger District closed the district’s gates on the roads in October after extensive flooding of the area.  The District is working with the NMDOT to clean the roadway.  The Catwalk Trail has been closed since September of last year due to heavy rains and flooding, which caused damage to the trails.  Repairs are currently underway, and reconstruction of the lower portion is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

The Interstate Stream Commission heard public input from both sides in regards to the possible diversion of the Gila River at its meeting on Friday.  The meeting was the last before the Commission meets to make a final decision on whether or not to pursue the project, which would lead to storage of the Gila River Water.  As part of the project, the federal government would provide $66 million for either the diversion or storage of alternate water need projects.  The project has been widely controversial.

Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich voted for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, a bill to help expand access and improve the quality of child care for children and families. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 88 to 1 and will move the President’s desk to be signed into law.  First passed in 1990, the Child Care and Development Block Grant serves as the primary source of federal funding for child care assistance and helps provides child care services for low-income family members who work, train for work, or attend school. In New Mexico, the grant serves 19,800 children monthly and has provided $39,774,805 in total funds for child care and development.

Western New Mexico University has entered an agreement with Coca-Cola Company that includes a $10,000 sign-on bonus, benefiting the Department of Athletics among other areas.  The contract with Coca-Cola includes the addition of new vending machines, recently installed across campus. WNMU will receive commissions from all sales. The sign-on bonus is just one of several benefits from the new partnership showing Coca-Cola’s dedication to the success of students in different areas including campus life and academics.

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November 17th, 2014: Local Headlines

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On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill HR 5682 to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The bill would put an end to the delay of the project that has gone on for over six years.  Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement in response to the bill’s passing: “After six years of stalling by this administration and Senate democrats, it is time for the President and Harry Reid to remove politics from the decision and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Pearce. “This bill will provide shovel ready jobs for Americans, and will increase American energy independence while strengthening our national security. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act on this important piece of legislation before the end of this Congress.”

The NMDOT Maintenance Section will be working on NM 152 in the Silver City are at mile marker 30.1, as this section of the roadway will need to be closed in order to repair the culvert. The crew will commence work at 6:00 am on Wednesday November 19th with all restrictions lifted by 3:00 pm on Thursday November 20th.  Traffic alerts and notifications will be posted on nmroads.com, or by calling 511 in the state of New Mexico.

A rancher in the Mimbres Valley River area called the Grant County Sheriff’s office last week to report what appeared to be human remains in the river bed.  Deputies responded and confirmed, but due to the lack of light, had to return on Friday morning to resume their investigation.  OMI also arrived on scene Friday morning, and the remains were removed from the scene and the scene cleared by Friday afternoon.  The Sheriff’s Office is waiting to release any further information until the OMI can identify the remains.  The investigation is ongoing.

The New Mexico Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo was held in Deming this weekend at Cowboys Park Arena.  The high score Sunday for saddle bronc went to Ron Aragon, who scored a 69.  Unfortunately for attending rodeo fans, cowboys received ‘no time’ in steer wrestling and no score in bareback riding during the rodeo events Sunday afternoon.

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November 14th, 2014: Local Headlines

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The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Bayard Branch of First American Bank yesterday, and the Silver City Branch of First American Bank earlier today.  AmBank recently merged with First American Bank, which has served New Mexico since 1903.  First American Bank Market President Michael Trujillo cut the ribbon at the Bayard Branch yesterday, after guests were invited to the ceremony by the Star Spangled Banner, performed by the Cobre High School Band.  The Silver High Band played at today’s ribbon cutting as well.

The Silver City Police Department has initiated bicycle patrols in the downtown area.  Two officers applied for the new duty.  Three weeks ago, the officers received training in Scottsdale Arizona.  Training included maintaining the bike, cycling history, mounting and dismounting in a high-risk situation, maneuvering, and use of a sidearm.  The team will primarily patrol Bullard and Hudson streets and the connecting side streets, and large events will also be a priority.  The Police Department also purchased 10 new police cruisers for the force, for a total of $335,000.  8 of the new Dodge Chargers are already in use, while the remaining 2 await logos and final inspections.

Dan Lere, Superintendent of Deming Public Schools, recendly announced that the new Deming Intermediate School will be built at the intersection of Pear Street and Hermanas Grade on the southwest side of Deming.  Building at this site could save the school district nearly $2 million as opposed to other proposed sites, which would require the school to either pay for a change in the intersection to make it safe for buses, or hundreds of tons of fill dirt to level another spot.

Dollar General and Wal Mart both reported receiving anonymous bomb threats on Monday.  The callers demanded the stores fill five green dot cards with $500 loaded on them, or the caller threatened to set off a pre-placed bomb inside the store.  Upper management was notified, and the police were called and reported to about the incident.

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November 14th, 2014: First American Bank Ribbon Cutting

2014 - First American Bank in Bayard

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held  at the First American Bank, formerly AmBank, in Bayard yesterday afternoon.  In the above photo, First American Bank’s Michael Trujillo cut the ribbon while guests, employees, and local dignitaries watch.  Below and right, the Bayard High School Band was present to play the National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremony.  Below and right, Michael Trujillo presents a donation to the director of the Bayard High School Band.

2014 - First American Bank in Bayard - Bayard HS Band2014 - First American Bank in Bayard - donation to Bayrd HS Band

A second Ribbon Cutting will be held today at 11 am for the First American Bank in Silver City.

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November 13th, 2014: Local Headlines

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The Gaffney-Oglesby Marine Corps League Detachment 1328 is joining forces with Kiwanis International, Copper Country Cruisers, the Saint Francis Newman Center, Coca Cola, and other community churches and organizations for the 2014 Toys for Tots campaign.  To help a child this Christmas, please leave a new, unwrapped toy for a child ages birth through seventeen in one of the following locations before December 10th: Saint Francis Newman Center, Indian Hills Baptist Church, Infant Jesus Catholic Church, Episcopal Church, Curves, or Station 1 or 2 of the Silver City Fire Department.

The Republican Women of Grant County recently donated books to school libraries.  One of the oldest projects of the club is the Mamie Eisenhower Literacy Project.  The goal is to promote literacy by donating books to libraries.  This year, members donated books to several school libraries, including Cobre High School, Silver High School, and Calvary Christian Academy.

The Gila Regional Medical Center Auxiliary recently announced that fifteen applicants were awarded the Alice Hamm Memorial Scholarship by the Auxiliary Scholarship Committee.  The applicants are all accepted into an accredited professional health care program to achieve an Associate Degree of Nursing, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, or a Health Management degree.  A total of $15,000 in financial assistance was awarded.  The majority of applicants are attending WNMU, with a few attending NMSU, UT El Paso, and Ashford University.

Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched around 9:30 am on Veterans Day in reference to an aggravated burglary complaint.  The victim stated that approximately 50 firearms were stolen, as well as a flat screen TV and a handheld mobile radio.  Sheriff Raul Villanueva encourages anyone with information on this incident to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 574-0100.  Crime Stoppers is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the aggravated burglary.  Call 538-5254 to contact crime stoppers.

November 15th is America Recycles Day, and Silver City will join 1,000 other communities by having a recycling collection drive from 9 to noon at the Office of Sustainability.  It is an opportunity for community members to recycle old electronics, paper, plastic, tin and aluminum cans and glass bottles and jars.  In addition, community members can drop off burned-out CFL bulbs, old cell phones and batteries, and the Lions Club will be collecting eyeglasses.  It will also provide an opportunity to pick up a free reusable shopping bag to replace single use plastic carryout bags, which will no longer be provided after January 8th. For details on acceptable materials, go to the recycling page at www.townofsilvercity.org.

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November 12th, 2014: Local Headlines

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Orlando Chavez, who escaped police custody after a car chase on October 27th, turned himself in to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.  Chavez allegedly led Hurley Police and other law enforcement officials on a chase after a Hurley Police officer tried to pull him over for an outstanding traffic warrant.  He was eventually caught, but escaped the Hurley Police Department after breaking his shackles while the police had their backs turned.  Chavez turned himself in to the Sheriff’s Office last Thursday.

Over 100 people attended the 239th Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Monday evening.  Master Gunnery Sergeant Dean Bearup served as the master of ceremonies and attendee Dan McBride was recognized for his service during World War II.  Attending members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Border Patrol were also recognized.  After dinner, several Marines spoke briefly of what it meant to them to be a Marine.  Toasts were made, the benediction was giving, the Marine Hymn was sung, and the colors retired.  A dance followed at the end of the evening.

Hurley Elementary Principal Margaret Kessler at the Cobre School Board’s meeting on Monday introduced a Buddy Reading project to the board.  The project involves sixth grade students teaming up with kindergarten children for an hour each Friday afternoon to read to the younger students, answer questions about school, or anything else they may need.  Also at the meeting, Superintendent Robert Mendoza announced that the Thanksgiving Break would last from November 24th through the 28th, and a Thanksgiving dinner would be served at the schools before the start of the break.

According to the Deming Police Department, a 17 year-old minor male approached 31 year-old Christopher Montano at his residence at approximately 6 am Saturday morning.  According to Police Chief Brandon Gigante, the incident was over a young woman both men had been involved with.  The minor confronted Montano with a baseball bat, and stuck him in the head.  Then, Montano took the bat and struck the minor repeatedly.  Montano then called Central Dispatch to report a possible murder at his residence.  When police arrived, Montano was standing over the apparently lifeless minor, and struck him again.  The minor was airlifted to an El Paso hospital for treatment and Montano, after receiving treatment for his head wound, was arrested without incident.

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November 11th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

A small 1960 brass Forest Service badge was reportedly stolen from the Silver City Museum last week.  According to Jacqueline Becker, who is responsible for collections, the piece went missing from a mannequin after it was cut off the uniform.  The badge is valued around $100.  Anyone with information with any information in this case is asked to call the Museum at 388-5721, or to contact the Silver City Police Department at 538-3723.

Western New Mexico University’s campus-wide accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Higher Learning Commission.  The next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2022-23.  WNMU was found to have no accreditation issues identified in the 2014 Systems Appraisal, and the university was also credited with making improvements in all portfolio categories since the 2010 Systems Appraisal.  WNMU Provost Jack Crocker explained the importance of accreditation to colleges and universities. “Universities with a loss of accreditation are prevented by federal rules from providing financial aid to students. Other colleges and universities would not accept academic credits for transfer. Academic degrees would lose credibility. In short, a loss of regional accreditation could shut down a university.”

Three nonprofits in Silver City will be able to spend less on electric bills and more on providing essential services to clients after receiving a Reduce Your Use Grant from the PNM Fund, a division of the PNM Resources Foundation.  The 2014 Reduce Your Use Grants awarded $250,000 to help nonprofits throughout New Mexico complete projects that reduce their energy use and lower their utility bills.  Funded projects include solar panels and installation, new energy-saving windows and weather-stripping.  Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest received $5,000 to install six new windows in the Girl Scout Little House in Silver City. The new windows will save a significant amount of electricity, allowing Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest to spend more money on other programs.  Silver City Gospel Mission will also replace windows with its Reduce Your Use Grant, allowing more funds to be invested in the food pantry, shelters and clothing bank.  Thanks to the PNM Reduce Your Use Grant, the Volunteer Center of Grant County will install three solar panels to provide electricity to their well which supplies a half-acre garden and two greenhouses. The well was funded by a previous PNM Resources Foundation Grant.

Christmas tree permits will go on sale at Gila National Forest offices starting Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.   The public can start purchasing the permits four days earlier than normal. By providing the additional service, families can obtain the permit and cut their Christmas tree during the Thanksgiving holiday along with any visiting family or friends and avoid the after Thanksgiving Day rush.  Permits sell for $5.00 each with a limit of one permit per household, or free permits are available for the aromatic piñon trees. Any tree species up to 10’ high may be cut.

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November 10th, 2014: Local Headlines

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The Autumn Harvest Arts and Crafts Fair was held over the weekend at the Grant County Convention Center.  The Fair boasted various artists and crafters from around Silver City, as well as other parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.  There were a variety of gift items available, from homemade ornaments and vases to wood crafts and sewing crafts.  Also on scene were an old-fashioned soda seller and other food vendors who enticed attendees with pleasant aromas.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has appointed Andrew Welch as the new director of the New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS).  Welch will be responsible for managing the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, and 11 clinics that provide primary care and mental health services to veterans throughout New Mexico and southern Colorado. He will oversee a budget of some $448 million, according to the VA.  Welch began his VA career in 1987 as a dietitian at the Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Join the American Legion Post 18, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Gaffney-Oglesby Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, and Ladies Auxiliaries in Honoring Veterans on Veterans Day tomorrow, November 11th.  The Legion and comrades will be at the Fort Bayard National Cemetery beginning at 10 am, and will offer a special tribute to World War II Veterans.

The American Legion Bataan Post 4 will honor its Vietnam veterans, along with all veterans of the armed forces, during Tuesday’s annual Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park — next door to the Deming-Luna-Mimbres Museum, 301 S. Silver Avenue.   The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. The scheduled program will include speakers representing the county, city and local veteran organizations. Reggie Price, commander of the American Legion Bataan Post 4, is the keynote speaker. Price is retired from the U.S. Air Force and was on active duty with the New York National Guard when he served in Deming during Operation Jumpstart; to protect and strengthen our nation’s borders.  The Legion plans to conduct an Unserviceable Flag Ceremony. If you have a flag you wish to retire you may drop it off at the Post Home, 619 W. Spruce St. or the Chamber of Commerce office, 103 E. Ash St.  A free lunch for all veterans, their immediate family and children will be served at the Post Home immediately following the ceremony. Non-veteran can dine for $6.

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