News 12-18-14

Stone and McGee and Company recently completed their audit for the Silver Consolidated District.  Mike Stone reported that the district’s finances were overall in good shape, but some problem spots.  One cause of concern, according to the report, is the district’s cash balance, which is only 1.5 percent of the adjusted budget for the fiscal year. The New Mexico Public Education Department requires a cash balance equal to 4 to 5 percent of the prior’s year budget.   Another issue of concern, according to the report, was that the superintendent gave significant pay increases for some district personnel without the oversight or consent of the school board.  The report states that this could expose the district to litigation because some employees received raises, while others did not.  There was also identification of credit card usage issues. According to the report, the school board has addressed these issues and others.

In case you have not heard, the American Pickers television show is on the road in New Mexico in 2015. They are looking for interesting people with great stories to tell who have lots and lots of cool stuff to look through and people must be willing to be taped for a possible future episode of American Pickers. If you are interested, contact the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce office at 575-538-3785.

WNMU tuition will be increasing by $7.32 per credit for in-state, undergraduate students for the next academic year. This is intended to be able to increase on-campus student job positions, academic scholarships and athletic scholarships.  According to Dr. Sheppard, President, “This money is entirely going back into the pockets of the students for their educational pursuits. None of it will go to overhead or administrative costs.”  Also, the Board of Regents passed a tuition guarantee program.  Beginning next fall, students enrolling at WNMU will benefit from a newly passed, tuition guarantee program, allowing families the ability to budget for their son’s or daughter’s college education.  Students enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester, while maintaining 2.0 GPA qualify for a locked-in rate.

Be sure to come out tomorrow from noon to one at Silver City Wal Mart and locate the Silver City Radio table for KNFT and KSCQ and get registered for the Coca-Cola $500 gift card giveaway. Be a daily winner, including one winner tomorrow on location, and get into the drawing for two $500 Visa Gift Card giveaways. There also be Coca-Cola branded items and 2 liter Sprit and Coca-Cola bottles to be given away! See you tomorrow from 12 to 1 at Silver City Wal Mart.

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Lots of Give-Aways at Silver City Radio

Hope everyone has been tuned it. We continue with a third week of prizes and special giveaways. Next week will be sure not to disappoint with continued Lottery prize packs winning opportunities and Coca-Cola new prizes!

Here is some of why we are so excited at Silver City Radio — Two lucky listeners will win each $500 Visa Gift cards by the end of the week!

Happiness and holidays go together. Coca-Cola and Silver City Radio are teaming up to give you the chance to win great prizes.  Every day from December 15 through December 19th, listen for when to call in to register for the drawing, up to one entry per day, win a Coca-Cola prize pack. Winner of the daily prize pack then get entered into the Grand Prize drawing to win a $500 gift card just in time for the holidays.  The Coca-Cola prize pack is loaded with great Coca-Cola memorabilia and plus, you might even win the $500 gift card.   On Thursday, join us at the Deming Wal Mart from noon to one or on Friday at the Silver City Wal Mart from noon to one to register  in person at our van hit for another chance to win a prize pack. Winners of prize packs then get entered into the Grand Prize drawing for the $500 gift card. Coca-Cola. Open Happiness. Restrictions: Must be 18 years of age or older, legal resident in Grant, Luna or Hidalgo Counties, and can only enter one time per day.

Santa

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December 5th, Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Western New Mexico University recently announced that Dr. Brenda Findley will serve as the next Vice President for Business Affairs.  Findley’s experience includes over seven years as Associate Vice President for Financial Services and Administration at the University of North Georgia, where she oversaw several areas, including the offices of human resources, payroll, and environmental health and safety.    She also served as Director of Human Services at Clayton State University in Georgia, and held several leadership roles at the University of Houston and College of William and Mary.

The Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition spoke at WNMU’s Global Resource Center to discuss school policies with community adults.  According to a recent report, Grant County has the highest heroin and illegal prescription drug use among high school teens of any county in New Mexico.  Three teens from the Silver School District related problems they see in school policies regarding bullying, a lack of consistent enforcement of policies, and the fact that the school focuses too much on dress code and not enough on substance abuse.

According to US Health officials, the flu vaccine may be less effective this winter, and may lead to more serious illness than usual.  According to officials, the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year.  CDC officials are still encouraging people to get vaccinated, as the vaccine is still expected to provide some protection against the current strain.

The annual Kiwanis Gazebo lighting and holiday “Sing Off” will be held today beginning at 5 pm.  As part of the lighting ceremony, Kiwanis and Circle K International students will sing songs of the season in competition for cash prizes to go to their clubs’ service projects and charitable contributions of choice.  All are invited out to the lighting and sing-off at Gough Park, beginning at 5 pm.

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December 4th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The US Department of Transportation has selected Boutique Air to provide Essential Air Service to Silver City and surrounding areas for the two-year period beginning January 1st, 2015 through December 31st, 2016.  Boutique Air will provide 24 nonstop round trips each weak to Albuquerque International Sunport using pressurized 9-seat Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.  Additionally, the Department is extending the service period for Great Lakes Aviation to provide Essential Air Service to Silver City until Boutique commences full service, but no later than March 31st, 2015.  Great Lakes will continue to provide 12 nonstop round trips per week between Silver City and Phoenix, AZ, using Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.

The Kiwanis K-Kids of G.W. Stout are holding a new service project each month of the 2014-15 school year.  In November, the chosen service was a large food drive in which the students delivered collected items to the Volunteer Center in Silver City.  K-Kids and staff collected over a half ton of non-perishable food for the Food Pantry, which equals about 903 meals that will go to families in Grant County.

New Mexico State Police responded to a call around 1 pm yesterday afternoon in reference to a commercial tractor-trailer that had overturned just outside of Hurley.  The driver was reportedly headed toward Deming when he crossed the railroad tracks, went through the guardrail, and crashed.  Bayard firefighters arrived on scene and assisted the driver in getting out of his vehicle, and he suffered only minor injuries in the accident.  No one else was injured.

Katherine Alecksen and Arturo Cruz, both of Silver City, have been charge in connection with the ATM Burglary of Javalina Coffee House earlier this week.  Alecksen is charged with larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer during an arrest.  Cruz is being charge with larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny.  A third suspect is still being sought.  Anyone with information relating to this crime is asked to contact the Silver City Police Department at 538-3723.

The US Department of Agriculture today announced that the application deadline for the Dairy Margin Protection Program will be extended until December 19th.  The program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant.

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December 3rd, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez will be the keynote speaker for the fall commencement ceremony at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) on Friday, December 12, at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Theatre.  Some 265 degrees will be conferred during the ceremony including certificates, associate, baccalaureate and master degrees.  Lieutenant Governor Sanchez is an active member of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association (NLGA) and currently serves as the West Regional Chairman. As Lieutenant Governor, he serves on several boards and commissions including the State Board of Finance; the Military Base Planning Commission; the Mortgage Finance Authority; the Spaceport Authority; and the Community Development Council.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) successfully included several key provisions in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to strengthen national security and New Mexico’s military bases, and boost the economy. The NDAA sets the Department of Defense (DOD) spending levels and policies for the upcoming fiscal year.  Heinrich fought to include the following provisions in the FY15 NDAA: Military Equitable Reimbursement Act (S. 1669): Senator Heinrich introduced a bill with Senator Vitter (R-La.) that would allow the DOD to retain payments for costs incurred during support of non-governmental film productions. Currently, DOD units can accept reimbursement for expenses associated with the use of military assets for production.  Operationally Responsive Space (ORS): Authorizes $20 million to continue the ORS program at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. Since elected to Congress, Senator Heinrich has worked to keep the ORS office at Kirtland Air Force Base and continue small satellite research and development by rejecting multiple proposed terminations.  Air Force T-1A Aircraft Modernization/Replacement: Senator Heinrich worked with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to support language in the NDAA requiring a report on the options to modernize or replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of 178 T-1A Jayhawks.

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $9.7 million in grants to 62 community-based and non-profit organizations, and educational institutions to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged (including tribal) and veteran farmers and ranchers. These awards are distributed through the Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the “2501 Program.”  The 2501 Program has distributed more than $66 million to 250 partners since 2010. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program and expanded assistance to include military veterans. The program is administered by the USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

Silver City High School senior Victoria De Los Santos will be headed to London the day after Christmas to dance on London Bridge. She was selected as one of 700 dancers and cheerleaders from across the United States for this honor. Students auditions earlier this year with the Universal Dance Association.   She will also have the opportunity to see Buckingham Palace and Hard Rock Casino among other sites.

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December 2nd, 2014: Kiwanis Student of the Month

The Kiwanis Club of Silver City celebrated the December 2014 “Students of the Month” at a special luncheon held at the Silver City Lodge No. 8 on December 2, with the meal prepared by members of Georgetown Chapter No. 4 OES. The Kiwanis Club of Silver City’s Student of the Month Program recognizes outstanding students as well as most improved. Students are nominated by teachers, and each student receives at special certificate commemorating their achievement.

Front Row from Left: Xavier Khera-Herbst (Aldo Leopold Middle School); Kennedi Pyper (Aldo Leopold Middle School for November); Chantal Martinez (La Plata Middle School); Alexis Rico (Cobre High School); Anita Sosaya (Calvary Christian Academy).

Back Row from Left: Fawna Long (Cliff High School for November)); Darla Palmer (Cliff High School); Teja Clark (Aldo Leopold High School for November); Moxie Stroud (Aldo Leopold High School); Christopher Willis (Opportunity High School); Zachary Gutierrez (Silver High School).

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December 2nd, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Fire managers are preparing to conduct the Eckleberger Prescribed Fire on the Reserve Ranger District beginning Dec. 1, conditions permitting. The project is approximately 14 miles southeast of Reserve, one mile east of Rainy Mesa Ranch. This 3,000-acre burn will complete the final unit within the Eckleberger project area.  Smoke will be noticeable in the surrounding area during days of ignitions and may linger for a few more days as fuels within the perimeter continue to smolder. The objectives of these burns are to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health.  Fire specialists follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation, and humidity that need to be met before the project begins. For more information, please call the Reserve Ranger District at 575-533-6232.

An ATM was stolen from the Javalina Coffee House downtown around 5 o’clock Monday morning.  According to Silver City Police Chief Ed Reynolds, stealing an ATM is a federal offense, and the FBI could take up the case.  Police were able to follow a trail gouged in the sidewalk to a home near the university, and two men have been taken into custody.  Charges are still pending, and a third suspect is being sought.

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue announced today that more than $2.2 billion was disbursed to 36 states, counties, and political subdivisions as part of the state share of Federal revenues collected in Fiscal Year 2014 from energy and mineral production that occurred on Federal lands within their borders, and offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf.  After Wyoming, New Mexico received the largest allotment of over $579 million.

The Kiwanis Club of Silver City celebrated the December 2014 “Students of the Month” at a special luncheon held at the Silver City Lodge No. 8 this afternoon, with the meal prepared by members of Georgetown Chapter No. 4 OES. The Kiwanis Club of Silver City’s Student of the Month Program recognizes outstanding students as well as most improved. Students are nominated by teachers, and each student receives at special certificate commemorating their achievement.

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December 1st, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Silver City Mainstreet Project is pleased to announce that the 24th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade was a big success.  At the Awards Reception, MainStreet announced the following parade winners: Individual first place award Alyssia Carrillo, Civic/School first place award Guadalupe Nontessori, Nonprofit first place award El Grito Head Start, Commercial First Place award Silver City Daily Press, and the Grand Prize award for the float receiving the most votes was First New Mexico Bank.  Congratulations to all the winners.

The driver of the vehicle who struck Twin Sisters Cycling and Fitness owner Annie Crawford at the end of October has been charged with great bodily harm by vehicle, a third-degree felony.  Kathy Serna told police Crawford was not in the crosswalk and had appeared to be bent over picking something up off the street when she struck Crawford, but surveillance video of the scene showed Crawford was walking upright and clearly within the crosswalk.  Crawford had to be airlifted from the scene and was originally listed in critical condition at an El Paso hospital.

Maria Marrufo of Santa Fe recently claimed a $100,000 prize from the New Mexico Lottery.  Marrufo bought her winning ticket at a Smith’s on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe, which has so far sold 11 large prize-winning lottery tickets.  Since its inception in 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $626 Million for education and more than 90,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.  More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan coalition urging Senate leaders to fully fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) in any end-of-year legislation.  PILT provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of nontaxable federal land within their boundaries, and these resources are critical to rural counties across the country, which use the funding to provide services, such as police, fire protection, and emergency response. The SRS program, which benefits rural counties near national forests, supports public schools, public roads, forest health projects, and other county projects. Along with PILT, rural counties rely heavily on SRS to help provide essential services to residents.  Funding for both PILT and SRS has expired, and unless the programs are renewed, counties across the country will see major budget cuts. Annually, PILT and SRS combined provide more than $700 million to rural counties across the country.

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November 28th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Historical photos and memorabilia items capturing the legacy of Chicano music artists from the Grant County area were recently donated to the Silver City Museum in an agreement signed by the museum and Western New Mexico University President Joseph Shepard.  Photos of bands and singers who performed in Grant County from the post World War II era to 2013 are now part of the museum’s permanent collection. According to Jackie Becker, Curator of Collections and Photo Archivist, the donation is the cornerstone of the collection of photos and stories depicting the history of the diverse local culture.

Free compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are back. Stop by the Office of Sustainability at 1106 N. Pope St. There are usually open Monday through Thursday between 8:30 and 4:30. You can also pick up a free reusable shopping bag. For additional information call the office at 575-519-8987.  The bulb give-away is made possible by Public Service Company of New Mexico, PNM, to help people save money on their electric bill and save energy. The cost of electricity to light one of the free CFL bulbs for three hours a day is $2.41 per year but a standard 75 watt bulb would cost you $9.03. Plus the CFL bulbs should last over nine years.

The results of the Youth Risk Resiliency Survey were recently given to the community.  The survey gauges the healthy, and not-so-healthy, behaviors of Middle and High School Students Across the Nation, and both Silver and Cobre Schools participated in the survey.  The survey in Grant County shows a continued decline in self-reported risky behaviors, including alcohol use, school violence, and suicide attempts.  However, there has also been an increase in youth reporting tobacco use, and the use of prescription pain killers.  The survey results are available at 111.youthrisk.org.

Aldo Leopold Charter School is one of fourteen schools across the nation to be awarded a LRNG Innovation Challenge Grant from the National Writing Project (NWP) to develop, pilot, and share promising strategies to strengthen connected and deeper learning. The LRNG Innovation Challenge is a new program sponsored in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and John Legend’s Show Me Campaign.  LRNG is a new initiative that invests in forward-looking schools and teachers to design innovative projects that take advantage of new technology to support students’ creativity.  Aldo Leopold plans to use the new funds to expand time and space for young people in our community to engage in production-centered, interest-driven learning by coordinating community wide afterschool programs and an eight week “Summer of Science” program that is focusing on STEM education.

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November 27th, 2014: Local Headlines

Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Last week, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the president’s decision to take executive action on immigration:  “Over 40,000 people in New Mexico and millions more around the country are living in immigration limbo while they work and raise families here in the United States. Deporting these children and families isn’t a realistic option. We need to focus our limited resources on securing the border and going after drug dealers, gang members and potential terrorists.”

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, all schools in the Silver Consolidated School District and Administration Offices will be closed from Wednesday, November 26th through Friday, November 28th.  Regular class schedules and business hours will resume on Monday, December 1st.

Niche.com recently came out with its 2015 rankings for elementary schools around the nation.  According to the ranks, the Silver City district ranks 11th in the state, with four local elementary schools making the top 100 list: Sixth Street came in 21st, Harrison Schmitt came in 27th, Jose Barrios came in 39th, and G.W. Stout came in 63rd statewide.

Local conservationist Dutch Salmon was honored with a Luminaria award in Santa Fe earlier this month due to his commitment to conservation efforts.  Salmon has written columns for the Albuquerque Journal and the Las Cruces Sun News, and has authored nine books.  He moved to the area due to the fishing experiences in the Gila River, and was called the “godfather of New Mexico’s river protection movement.”  Salmon was one of seven people in the state to receive the Luminaria Award this year.

The official unemployment rate in Grant County for October was reported at 6.6 percent, the same as in September, but down from 7.3 percent in October of last year.  In Hidalgo County, the unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October.  It was 5.5 percent one year ago.  Statewide, 5.9 percent of the labor force were counted as unemployed in October, down from 6.1 percent in September and 6.7 percent last October.

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