August 27th, 2015: Southwest Festival of the Written Word – Outdoor Writing

swword fest
The Outdoors, Nature, the Environment–Writing their stories
 
Visit our website www.swwordfiesta.org

The Southwest Festival of the Written Word is held in Silver City NM which sits at the edge of the Gila National Forest, the Gila Wilderness, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, and is a Continental Divide Trail Gateway Community. Obviously, Silver has a lot of nature surrounding it.  What better place, then,  to listen and talk with authors who are experts when it comes to writing about the outdoors, nature, and the environment.
Three of our presenters-M.John Fayhee, Susan Tweit, and Susan Zakin -discuss the ways and means of outdoor, nature, and environmental writing, in two separate sessions at the Festival. Come listen to their stories, ask questions, and hear their answers.
Outdoor Writing
Evolution, Ethics, Exposure and Extreme
Exaggeration
M. John Fayhee
Friday Oct. 2, 2pm, Church of Harmony

m john fayhee
In the past 30 years, outdoor writing has undergone an
unprecedented multi-tiered metamorphosis. While this
metamorphosis has opened up much in the way of opportunity,
it has brought with it additional challenges and
an astounding level of competition. M. John Fayhee will
talk about publishing basics, article structure, the ethics
of outdoor writing and how to live off ramen.
 
M. John Fayhee is the author of 12 books and has twice been a finalist in the Colorado Book Awards.

He edited the Mountain Gazette for 13 years, was a contributing editor atBackpacker Magazine for 10 years. He worked in the newspaper business for 15 years.

His work has appeared in “beaucoup” national publications, including High Country News, Aspen Sojourner Magazine, Islands, Adventure Travel, The Walking Magazine, Family Camping, Summit, Canoe & Kayak, Outside, Sierra, Sports Illustrated, USA Today & Men¹s Fitness.

His books include The Colorado Mountain Companion: A potpourri of useful miscellany from the highest parts of the highest state (West Winds Press, The Pruett Series: 2012), Smoke Signals: Wayward Journeys through the Old Heart of the New West (Raven’s Eye Press: 2012), Bottoms Up: M. John Fayhee’s Greatest Hits from the Mountain Gazette (Round Mountain Publishing: 2010) and Along the Colorado Trail (Westcliffe: 1992),-the first of three long-backpacking-trip, trail-related coffee-table/nature books he did with photographer John Fielder.

Nature & Environmental Writing
Susan Zakin and Susan Tweit
Saturday Oct. 3, 10am, Seedboat Gallery
susan zakin
Susan Zakin’s books have been described as “brilliant
and irreverent, tough and funny.” Her work ranges from a
portrait of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to a chronicle
of the Earth First Movement. Susan Tweit has won
national and regional awards including ForeWord Book
of the Year and the Colorado Book Award. Her twelve
books, including the memoir, Walking Nature Home, explore
how humans fit into the natural world. The panelists
will talk about their work and answer questions.
Susan Zakin was born in New York City, and moved to the American West in the 1980s.   After publication of her first book,Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement (Viking), she was called “the female environmental Hunter Thompson.” She was awarded a fellowship to train environmental journalists in Madagascar, where she became interested in gem smugglers and mercenary soldiers. Her research eventually led to the novel, The Afterlife of Victor Kamara.

As a journalist, Zakin has written about the environment, art, and politics for national magazines. Her columns have been syndicated to newspapers across the country. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction from The University of Arizona, and has taught creative writing and journalism at universities in the U.S. and Africa. Her books include the anthology Naked: Writers Uncover the Way We Live on Earth and In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster.

susan tweit
Susan Tweit began her career as a field ecologist studying sagebrush, grizzly bears, and wildfires, before falling in love with the stories revealed in the data. Her twelve books, including the memoir, Walking Nature Home, explore the nature of life itself and where we humans fit in the grand dance of species that makes this numinous blue planet a nurturing home.

Her work has won national and regional awards including ForeWord Book of the Year, the Colorado Book Award and the Colorado Author’s League Award (twice). Reviewers have called her writing “graceful and moving,” “magic!,” and “rich in the wisdom of one come face-to-face with the fragility, beauty and poetics of everyday life…”

She is a columnist for Zone 4 Magazine and a regular contributor to Audubonand High Country News.
 

 

Please visit www.swwordfiesta.org for full Festival information and schedule and to read the bios of all the Festival presenters.
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August 27th, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The New Mexico Department of Transportation with Interstate Highway Construction will be holding a public involvement meeting to discuss the NM 90 Hudson Street Bridge Reconstruction Project.  The meeting will be from 6 to 7:30 on September 16th at the Grant County Administration Building, 1400 Highway 180 East.  The NMDOT and the contractor will provide detailed information regarding the project specifications, and will answer questions regarding the timeline of the project.  The public is encouraged to attend.  To request ADA accommodations, call 525-7340.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. announced today revised capital and operating plans in response to the recent decline in copper prices resulting in reduced capital expenditures, lower production levels and lower operating, administrative and exploration costs. These actions are the results of the previously announced review of operating plans for Freeport McMoRan’s mining business.

During the public input portion of the Cobre School Board Meeting held Tuesday, August 25th, Mimbres Resident Linda Pafford expressed her opinions regarding on-line minutes.  She reminded the board that according to the New Mexico Open Meetings Act that minutes should be made available prior to the meeting.  Toy Sepulveda, board president, explained that legal advice said not to post unofficial minutes as they were not a legal document and could not be approved ahead of time.

During the public hearing this morning at the regular commission meeting on whether to expand the Grant County Commission to five members, commissioners after some deliberation, voted to approve the expansion.  James Baldwin, county resident, said he was opposed to a five-person commission.  Commissioner Gabriel Ramos said he had had several people ask if the issue could be put up to voters.  County Attorney Abigail Robinson said a poll could be taken, but it would cause the process to begin all over again, with public hearings. The process would still have to have a unanimous vote by the commissioners and would likely cause the 2016 election deadline to be missed because of the required process steps.  Commissioner Ron Hall moved to approve the motion, and it was approved.

Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez announced CyraCom will create up to 100 new jobs in Las Cruces as it expands to meet growing demand. CyraCom hired its first round of new employees this summer and will hire up to a total of 100 new employees in the next few months expanding its Las Cruces operations to 200 employees.  CyraCom has been doing business in Las Cruces for 10 years and provides translation services by telephone, video, and on-site at client locations. Clients include industries as diverse as hospitals, banks, insurance, entertainment, and government. The company plans to apply for New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program.

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August 26th, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Environment Department are monitoring air quality in New Mexico due to smoke from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest.  These conditions may change on a daily basis.  In areas without air quality monitoring equipment, visibility can serve as a good substitute in determining air quality.  The departments remind residents to use the 5-3-1 approach to gauge air quality: When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, people in sensitive groups should start to minimize outdoor activity until air quality improves. When visibility starts to go below 3 miles, people in sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activities until air quality improves.  For everyone else:  minimize outdoor activities when visibility starts to go below 3 miles.  When visibility is below about one mile, everyone should be staying indoors.

The Silver City Town Council approved amendments to Sections 6-187 and 6-190 of the town’s municipal code regarding animals running loose and the providing of proper care and maintenance, sponsored by District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison.  One amendment is “really is to ensure that folks have their animal on a lead when they’re out in public,” Bettison said. The other amendments prohibit single-point tethering of animals whether on public or private property, with exceptions for working, hunting, or search and rescue dogs. For those pet owners who have no enclosure or fenced yards, a trolley system of tethering is recommended. Access for the dog to shelter, fresh water and fresh food is the driving force behind the ban on single-point tethering, Bettison said.

At the 149th Birthday celebration of the founding of For Bayard in 1866, participants were treated to a short presentation by Florence Bowers about her husband’s great-grandfather, a Buffalo soldier who served at Fort Bayard, almost simultaneously with the founding; ragtime and fiddle music from the 1912 era; and a report on the demolition of the old Fort Bayard Medical Center facility. That Saturday evening, only posts stood where the chain link fence would be put in place on Sunday. By Monday, access to the area was limited.

Anthony Perez of Deming was recently sentenced in federal court in Las Cruces to 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.  Perez was arrested on February 20, 2014, on a two-count indictment charging him and co-defendants Rebecca Torres and Matthew Peña, both of Deming, and Robert Snow, now deceased, with distributing methamphetamine in Doña Ana County.

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August 25th, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

New Mexico Lottery Scratcher sales increased by 14.54% in Fiscal Year 2015 compared to Fiscal Year 2014, offsetting a 13.8% decline in drawing game sales.  Money raised for college students increased this year to $41.1 million, beating last year’s return of $40.9 million. It represents a return of 30 percent, a lower percentage return on sales than Fiscal Year 2014, yet higher dollar return than Fiscal Year 2014.  However, drawing games, including Powerball® and Mega Millions, did not reach as many of the big jackpots that drive big sales as in previous fiscal years. New Mexico Powerball sales were down 18.53%. Nationwide, Powerball sales declined 17.24% collectively.

For a moment in time, it seemed like the 2015 Tour of the Gila would not happen due to lack of funding. The generosity of an anonymous donor and a successful crowd funding campaign brought the race to life and excess dollars for charity.  Jack Brennan, owner of Gila Hike and Bike in Silver City and lead facilitator for the race, chose two charities to donate any excess funds, not used to operate the race. The Lanny Olson Scholarship Fund, offered to WNMU students through the University Foundation, received $1,700. The Amy D. Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting women bikers, also received $1,700.

On Tuesday, Aug. 18, a Santa Clara mother reported to Santa Clara Police Chief Lonnie Sandoval that her 3-year-old son, Regan Maynes, was allowed to go with his grandmother, Myrian Bastidos, 42, of Bayard, on a shopping trip to Deming. Bastidos, according to police reports, assured the child’s father that she would return in 2-3 hours. This was mid-morning of Aug. 18, Chief Sandoval said.  At about 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, Sandoval was told that the suspect Bastidos had been identified and detained at the central border crossing as she was trying to enter Mexico at about 7 p.m., Friday.

Western New Mexico University-Deming has expanded its classrooms to local businesses in hopes of strengthening the workforce in Deming and Luna County through better communication skills unique to the border area of New Mexico.

The 36th Annual Great American Duck Race was held in Deming over the weekend.  The PNM Tournament of Ducks Parade Saturday morning as it crept south down Gold Avenue in downtown Deming. Locals and tourists lined the streets as the Deming High School Marching Band played “Louie Louie,” followed by nearly 70 floats — including Shriners driving miniature cars and motorcycles, local insurance agents, car clubs and Herbalife vendors.  Mary Zischkau, a former Deming resident now living in El Paso, had the fastest duck on the dry track and nine-year-old Jace Moreno finished atop the wet track races on Sunday at McKinley Duck Downs (Luna County Courthouse Park). Each winner took home a winner’s share of $1,345 from the two days of racing.

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August 24th, 2015: Local Headlines

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The Southwest Festival of the Written Word has received a generous New Mexico TRUE grant award from the New Mexico Tourism department.  In an interview, Festival co-chairs, Jeannie Miller and Mary Hotvedt explained, “The 2015 Festival is indeed a New Mexico TRUE event. The Southwest Festival of the Written Word, to be held Friday-Sunday, October 2-4, 2015, is a joyous gathering of over fifty writers who live and work in the Southwest. Festival attendees get to mingle and converse with the presenters and listen to them discuss their craft and work in over forty sessions held in venues throughout historic downtown Silver City. All events—except the Festival Banquet—are open to the public free of charge. No registration is required to attend the Festival.”

Last week, WNMU held a celebration to show the new pool and fitness center to the public.  The pool is five feet deep and less than 2,700 square feet of surface area, and is a saltwater pool, as well as training equipment.  The facility will be open 6 am to 10 pm five days a week.  The facility will cost $50 a month for community members, and will also eventually include a concert area, and an outdoor covered café/bistro.  To complete Spirit Week at Western New Mexico University, students, on Sunday morning, Aug. 23, climbed W Mountain north of Silver City and whitewashed the W for its annual refresh.

The Silver City Unit Honor Guard Units from The Marine Corps League/Detachment 1328 in Silver City and the Upper Fruitland Veterans Association took top honors in the competition which highlighted the 2015 Honor Guard Conference on August 21 at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial in Albuquerque. For the second year in a row, the Silver City unit took top honors in the “Large Unit” competition, while the Fruitland unit captured the top prize in the “Small Unit” competition-units which do not have a Rifle Volley unit.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 588 pounds of marijuana in five seizures Thursday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $470,400.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched a new mobile app to assist schools with conducting indoor air quality assessments (IAQ). The School IAQ Assessment app provides direct guidance from EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit to help protect the health of children and staff.

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August 21st, 2015: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Deming residents can now visit Marshall Memorial Library to check out a pass good for free admission to 15 state museums and historic sites. Governor Susana Martinez unveiled the new program benefitting New Mexico families on Monday at a news conference in Albuquerque.  Created by the Department of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico State Library, the New Mexico FamilyPass admits up to six people to some of the state’s best attractions.  Starting this week, three FamilyPasses  are available for check out by library card holders in good standing at Marshall Memorial Library. Borrowers must be over the age of 18 or have a parent or guardian with them to sign the borrower agreement when checking out a FamilyPass. The pass can be checked out for one week with no renewals.

The Town of Silver City Council will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Grant County Administration Center, 1400 Hwy 180 East, Silver City, New Mexico. The public is invited to attend.

Earlier this week, the New Mexico GOP Chairman completed her circuit of all 33 counties across New Mexico. Deborah Maestas was elected chairman of the state GOP in December 2014, and her visit to Grant County on Monday wrapped up her statewide tour in which her goal was to meet local Republican elected officials and party officers to discuss how the New Mexico GOP can help and lend support to local parties.

The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 75-year-old woman and a 60-year-old woman, both from Doña Ana County, and a 76-year-old man from Valencia County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection. All three are hospitalized with neuroinvasive disease, the more serious form of the illness. A horse from Valencia County has also been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection and is recovering.

Dubbed the New Mexico Women of STEM, 17 women from across the state were honored for their contributions in motivating young women to pursue education and careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)  The honorees come from a variety of organizations across the state. They include Diana E. Northup, Ph.D., University of New Mexico; Cristina Montoya, M.S., Los Alamos National Lab; Mia Kalish, Ph.D., New Mexico State University; Nina Lanza, Ph.D., Los Alamos National lab; Phyllis Baca, M.S., Santa Fe Community College; Rebecca Galves, M.S. NMSU; Turtle Haste, M.S., Albuquerque Public Schools; Teri Roberts, B.S., LANL; Mary Jemin, B.S., Expanding Your Horizons Conferences; Jill Wick, M.S., NM Department of Game and Fish; Lorie Liebrock, Ph.D., New Mexico Tech; Jeri Timlin, Ph.D., Sandia National Labs; Janeen Anderson, B.S., Acaji; Heather Yazzie-Kinlacheeny, B.A., Navajo Technical University, Patty Lopez, Ph.D., Intel; Diane Oyen, Ph.D., LANL; and Jill Hruby, M.S. Sandia National Labs.

An El Paso clinic closed by Texas` tough abortion laws is set to become the state`s first to reopen since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of key restrictions.

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August 20th, 2015: Local Headlines

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The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the largest financial aid organization for Hispanics in the United States, held its inaugural National Leadership Conference in Los Angeles last weekend, inviting 100 undergraduate students to attend from a pool of thousands of HSF Scholars.  Four students from New Mexico were selected, including two from Grant County: Jaime Miguel McCarthy, Silver High class of 2012, and Regan Ramos, Cobre High class of 2013.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) will be chip sealing on NM 11 in Deming next week. There will be a road closure on NM 11 from Florida Street to Pear Street. All commercial traffic will be detoured at Rock Hound through Country Club. Detour signs will be posted.

Connie and Jim Zawacki will once again sponsor the 9-11 “Patriots’ Day Memorial” for the seventh year in a row.  Jim Zawacki said. “We all need to make sure all of the Citizens of Silver City/Grant County are always reminded of the “3,478 Lives Lost On September 11, 2001. As done in the past, and will continue this year, we will be honoring our present day Heroes.  Military, Fire, Police and Emergency Responders will all be invited as our special guests. There will be Honor Guards, Color Guards, Posting of Colors, Patriotic Music and Benedictions throughout the Memorial period.”

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced S.1998, the Middle Class Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act, a bill to increase access to affordable post-secondary education for low- to moderate-income students. The bill would address the significant loss in value of Pell Grants by adjusting them for inflation, reinstate year-round Pell Grants, and increase the number of eligible semesters to 15.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program, which provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities, will now include dairy, flowers and meats as eligible commodities.  The new commodities eligible for facility loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Commodities already eligible for the loans include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities.

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August 19th, 2015: Local Headlines

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The Town of Silver City has reached an agreement with the Lloyds, whose property is adjacent to the Silver City Museum. The agreement calls for the preservation of the large Silver Poplar tree in the Town of Silver City Museum courtyard. The Siberian Elm tree will be removed from the courtyard. The elm tree was examined by the Extension Service and determined to be infected with “slime flux” disease, which will eventually kill the tree and make it a public hazard.  The mature, healthy Silver Poplar tree will stay in place. The Town will continue to work with tree specialists to ensure proper tree maintenance, minimizing any impact on the neighboring property and the Museum.

Gaffney-Oglesby Marine Corps League Detachment 1328 members are available to provide military honors for any branch of the service. For more information or to request and arrange color guard or honor guard services, call Frank Donohue at 575-574-0361.

A scholarship has been created in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Education in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the New Mexico State University Foundation in honor of Gale Moore.  Moore was the creator and publisher of the Glenwood Gazette who died suddenly just over a year ago, much to the dismay and extreme sense of loss of her many friends and fans, as well as readers of the Gazette.  Her cousin, Sharon Wilkening of Texas, Gale’s closest living relative, suggested that the belongings from her house and three storage areas be sold to endow a scholarship for a journalist and communicator.

The sixth annual James H. Pirtle Walk For The Heroes fundraiser will take place Saturday, September 26 and registration is now open for walkers and bikers who would like to participate.  The annual event raises funds for local military charities.  Participants can register through www.walkfortheheroes.com. Registration is $20 per person and includes an official event shirt and lunch. The start line of the 7 mile route for walkers is at the Mr. Stevens old storefront in Hurley, New Mexico at 8:00 a.m. The ending location is Bataan Park in Santa Clara, NM.

A health comparison, completed recently by the New Mexico Department of Health, finds New Mexico among the top 15 U.S. states in key health-related areas including fewest number of cancer or stroke deaths, highest rate of adult seatbelt use, and lowest number of overweight or obese adults. New Mexico has the sixth lowest rate of cancer deaths and the seventh lowest number of deaths by stroke. The state also does well on several other health issues, such as adult safety belt use (9th highest nationwide), heart disease deaths (10th lowest), adult binge drinking (13th lowest) adult obesity (15th lowest), youth alcohol use (15th lowest), and infant mortality (16th lowest).  To see the complete list, visit: http://nmhealth.org/publication/view/general/1799/

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August 18th, 2015: Local Headlines

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The New Mexico Department of Transportation along with Interstate Highway Construction continues with work at the NM 90 Hudson Street Bridge.  Repairs to the intersection of US 180 and Bypass Road beginning on Monday, August 24th at 8:30 am will cause traffic to experience slight delays due to one lane closure for repairs through Friday, August 28th.  Traffic will be managed utilizing flagging operations.  Please use caution when travelling in the area.  The next Public Involvement Meeting for the project will be held September 9th at 6 pm at the Grant County Convention Center.

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at approx. 5:40 pm, the Douglas Police Department was advised of a 80-year-old man, who was missing from the Douglas Area. The man, identified as Mr. Guadalupe Gamboa, suffers from Alzheimer’s and Dementia and was new to the area. Mr. Gamboa is 5’4″, 150 pounds, but may appear shorter due to a back problem. He has gray hair and was last seen wearing a tan or green ball cap, a tan or blue t-shirt, blue jeans and black boots and carrying a small dog.  Mr. Gamboa had a last known address in the Deming, prior to being moved to Douglas by his son and may have been trying to get back to New Mexico. If you have seen Mr. Guadalupe Gamboa, please contact the Douglas Police Department as soon as possible at 520-417-7550.

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) are hosting a no-cost Domestic Well Water Testing event in Lordsburg on August 20 and 21 at the Hidalgo County Agricultural Extension Office. Although well owners are encouraged to periodically test their drinking water, such tests can be costly, starting at $150.  This money-saving opportunity is the chance for Hidalgo County households to check pH, specific conductance, and the levels of fluoride, iron, sulfate, nitrate, and manganese in the well water. These constituents may be naturally occurring or result from sources including fertilizer, animal waste, septic tanks, and refuse dumps. Drinking water with high levels of nitrate can be dangerous to pregnant women and infants, while other contaminants may lead to aesthetic nuisances and other health problems.

Governor Susana Martinez says she’ll be adding teen curfews to the agenda of her 30-day legislative session set to being in January.   KOAT Action 7 News is reporting that the move was made after having discussions with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and City Councilor Ken Sanchez.  Discussions began after two recent high-profile murders involving a bartender and a 17 year-old high school student.  According to Sanchez, two state lawmakers are already drafting a bill that would allow cities in New Mexico to enforce their own curfews.  Berry has said that he supports a curfew, but wants more programs geared towards teens that keep them from going down the wrong paths.

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August 17th, 2015: Local Headlines

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At Fort Bayard National Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, the Gaffney-Oglesby Marine Corps League Detachment 1328 held a short ceremony to commemorate the end of World War II on Aug. 15, 1945, 70 years ago.  Detachment 1328 Commandant Ben Collins gave a short presentation.  “World War II was one of the largest wars in history,” Collins said. “Only twice had Americans gone to war since their founding—the Civil War, which pitted Americans against Americans, and World War I, which was supposed to be the War to End Wars.”

The Run to Copper Country Car Show hosted by the Copper Cruizers Car Club saw a record number of cars come to this show, according to Frank Bielfeldt, treasurer of the club. “We have more than 150 cars this year. The farthest came from El Centro, CA, and we have 90 who came from Arizona. The cars you see out here represent 15 car clubs.”

Hail, heavy rain and strong wind on Sunday afternoon caused damage all around Silver City.  Officers placed stop signs at intersections normally controlled by stop lights along Highway 180 to control traffic.  All around town, crossings flooded and loose soil ran across the roads.  The hail knocked leaves off trees, and the combination of the hail, wind, and pouring rain brought down branches of healthy trees into the streets.

School started for WNMU students today, and students were welcomed back with the fifth annual Bash on Broadway held on Saturday evening.  The Bash offers socialization for both new and returning students and signifies the arrival of the fall semester with music, games and dancing in Historic Downtown Silver City.

The summer rain has provided a respite from the drought, but in return has helped increase rodent populations in the state.  At least one incident of Plague has been diagnosed in Santa Fe.  Hantavirus and tularemia are also transmitted by infected rodents.

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the State of New Mexico will receive $500,138 through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to support outdoor recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. LWCF funds are a highly effective tool for creating and protecting urban and rural parks and open spaces that provide recreation opportunities, enhance communities and create jobs, but the program will expire in September unless Congress takes action. Udall and Heinrich have introduced legislation (S. 890) to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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