Here’s a look at some local news:

The Grant County Commission elected District 1 Commissioner Chris Ponce to serve as Chairman and former Chairman, Billy Billings from District 4 was elected to the position of vice chairman. In other matters, the commission voted 4 to 1 against the proposal to for an ordinance to create a tax abatement for low-income property owners in the county. The state requires counties to consider this proposal every two years. The lone in favor vote was cast by District 5 Commissioner, Harry Browne.

Bayard Police Chief, Willy Kerin has announced his retirement after serving in the position for over ten years. Known for being very supportive of the community and the Cobre School District, he will be deeply missed by the community. Before serving as police chief, Kerin was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant in 2001 and was appointed as police chief in 2015. Applications are being accepted through February 15th at Bayard City Hall, located at 800 Central Avenue. A party celebrating Kerin’s achievements and retirement is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, January 31st at Bayard Elementary School.

Hidalgo Medical Service (HMS) in coordination with the Silver City/Grant County Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning to celebrate the opening of HMS “Bridges to Wellness”. Through the U.S. Health and Human Services Department Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Bridges to Wellness” will provide critical behavioral health needs in southwestern New Mexico including Hidalgo and Grant counties. The primary purpose of the “Bridges to Wellness” Behavioral Health Program is to increase collaboration between behavioral health and primary care providers in rural New Mexico that will improve adult patient health with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders with chronic physical health conditions. HMS has provided this new clinic location to accommodate “Bridges to Wellness” located at 1000 N. Hudson Street in Silver City.

Students from Deming High School and Early College High School traveled to Santa Fe to participate in the New Mexico’s Speaker’s Academy at the State Legislature. During their visit, some of the students testified in front of the Judicial Committee regarding House Bill 52-Felony Voting Right in addition to having dinner with Representative Candie Sweetser and Senator John Arthur Smith. In addition, they met with Lt. Governor Howie Morales and Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham and discussed education issues.