Here’s a look at local headlines:
Luna County Commissioners voted and approved to re-advertise the vacant county manager position which has now attracted a total of 105 applicants from across the nation. Former Luna County Manager, Ira Pearson, was terminated last year after he was found with probable cause for alleged involvement in county embezzlement. In January, a contract deal for the job was reached with Bruce Swingle, of Sierra County, but he declined to take the position. Currently, out of the top 10 selected applicants, six will be interviewed for the position that include: William “Eric” Christensen; Byron Hollister; Edward “Eddie” Johnson; Tyler Massey; David McSherry; and Mike Shalati.
Gila Regional Medical Center and the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Care Center have announced that medical oncology care at Gila Regional will be provided by, Dr. Antonio Fontelonga, M.D. Dr. Fontelonga, originally from Portugal, has been hired as a staff physician with the UNM Comprehensive Care Center and will be residing in the Silver City area. According to a release, “Fontelonga holds a medical degree from the University of Porto Medical School. He completed post-graduate training and practiced in Portugal for 13 years prior to arriving in the United States in 1992. In the U.S., Fontelonga specialized in hematology and medical oncology. He completed a fellowship in Rochester, N.Y., and has practiced in Nevada and Minnesota. He holds certifications in medical oncology and hematology from the American Board of Internal Medicine.”
Yesterday, at the Grant County Commissioners’ meeting that was held at the Grant County Business and Conference Center, where more than 1000 people turned out, to hear or participate in the debate and to show their support one way or the other, concerning the mines and the 2nd amendment gun legislation. The purpose of the proposed resolutions was to send a message to Santa Fe from the County Commissioners showing the county’s position on HB 220 and HB255, which are considered by many as copper mine killers, and on 2nd amendment gun legislation. After an all day meeting, with hundreds participating in public content, the votes were cast. Here is a recap :
The county commissioners passed a resolution by a 3 – 2 vote, in favor of Grant County becoming a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County and to oppose the gun legislation known as the red flag resolution. The three commissioners voting in favor of becoming a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County and to oppose the Red Flag legislation that takes away gun rights included Billings, Salas, and Ponce in favor. Edwards and Brown voted to not support these resolutions. Grant County has now joined other Second Amendment Sanctuary counties that include Catron, Eddy, San Juan, Lincoln, Socorro, Quay, Hidalgo, Valencia, Chavez, and Union County.
As far as a resolution by the county to NOT support HB 255, which involves third party guarantees and the mine, the resolution was not passed by the commissioners because of a 2 – 2 split vote. Commissioner Ponce excused himself, leaving Billings and Salas to vote in support of the mines, thus opposing HB255. Edwards and Brown voted against support of the mines. Thus no resolution will be sent to Santa Fe regarding HB255. The very important mining house bill 220 however was successful in gaining a majority county commissioner vote to send a resolution to Santa Fe that lets Santa Fe legislators know that the Grant County Commissioners are NOT in support of HB 220. This bill was the one that would mandate that the Secretary of the Environment department deny future discharge permits to its existing and possible future copper mines. The vote was as follows: Ponce abstained from voting, while Billings, Salas, and Edwards joined in voting yes that they were not in favor of HB220. Brown voted, nay, that he was in favor of HB220.