The New Mexico State Police have filed a criminal complaint against the Luna County Manager, Ira Pearson, Deming school board member, Billy Ruiz, and two county maintenance employees. The complaint, filed last week in Luna County Magistrate Court, alleges that a maintenance worker was directed to purchase plumbing material in Las Cruces to be used at Pearson’s personal residence while on county time. In addition, it is alleged that the men had been working for Pearson on the side while being on county time on other occasions.

The 2018 PNM New Century of Service grants have been awarded and 3 Silver City based organizations received $10,000 for their proposals that include the National Center for Frontier Communities, Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, and the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society. The grants are designed to promote economic development, education, and the environment by rewarding innovative organizations that will create new products and services.  According to a release by PNM, “Priority for funding is given to projects that demonstrate a clear path to sustainability, have a well-defined timeline for implementation; show tangible results, fuel a stronger New Mexico through measurable economic impact and more.” In addition to the three Silver City organizations, the Asombro Institute for Science Education in Deming was awarded a $25,000 grant.

A lightening sparked fire was battled and contained on the Billings Ranch located in the White Signal area last week. More than 30 volunteer firefighters from Tyrone, Ft. Bayard, Whiskey Creek, and Pinos Altos worked the fire that started out at five acres and eventually spread to 140 acres due to strong winds. There were no structures affected or injuries reported.

Sensei, Chad Petty, from Silver City’s Oni Ken Karate won Grand World Champion in Black belt kata at the 2018 USAMA World Championships in Riverside, California.  Chad is also now the lightweight world champion in the black belt division in kumite (fighting). Congratulations!