Here’s a look at today’s local news:

The newly opened Tu Casa substance abuse and mental health treatment center held a ribbon cutting ceremony last Friday at the new location at 32nd Street By Pass Road in Silver City. Since the facility opened in October, Tu Casa has serviced over 250 patients and provided individuals with hundreds of sessions. Tu Casa supplies support services for patients released from treatment centers and include therapists, counselors, various medical professionals, and certified peer support specialists. The center is waiting for a final license to open a crisis triage center that will enable Tu Casa to be open 24/7 in responding to substance abuse and mental health crises.

The New Mexico Public Education Department released their “Educator Preparation Programs Scorecards” recently with Western New Mexico University receiving a total average score of a “B.” According to the New Mexico Public Education Department, “The educator preparation program was evaluated on admission facts, candidate facts, the hiring and retention of its graduates, and the performance of the program’s graduates in the teaching field.” New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico also received a B grade although WNMU earned a higher average total score in the evaluation.

During a meeting this week, the Bayard City Council appointed Charles Kelly, to fill the vacant city council seat that had been held by Zeke Santa Maria, who passed away earlier this year. Members of Santa Maria’s family attended the meeting and were presented with a plaque from Mayor Chon Fierro, for Santa Maria’s years of service to the Bayard community that included 14 years as city clerk and 29 years on the Bayard city council. The council received 3 applications for the position including former mayor and councilor, Charles Kelly, who will now serve in the position until November of 2021.

Youth members of the “Gage Gophers 4-H Club” in Deming, donated new toys and various Christmas gifts for children staying at the Luna County Healing House. Families impacted by domestic violence are offered emergency shelter, protection order advocacy, counseling, immigration advocacy, education and training classes at the Healing House. The members of the Gage Gophers 4-H engage in hands on projects in areas of health, science, agriculture and citizenship and learn how to be proactive leaders in their community. Thank you, 4-H members for making a positive difference for kids at the Healing House.