Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Due to the continuing heat and dry weather conditions, Black Bear activity is increasing in the Gila National Forest and homes in close proximity.  Forest officials remind homeowners and those visiting recreation areas to take extra precautions to minimize human and bear encounters in forested areas: proper food storage and disposal of garbage, recognizing signs of bear activity, storing pet food in an enclosed building, and keeping bird feed cleaned up under bird feeders.  While walking in forested areas, make noise to alert bears that you are in the area and look for bear scat or claw marks.  If you see a bear exhibiting unusual behavior, contact your local New Mexico Game Warden or the Local Forest Service.

Santa Clara officials are progressing with several improvement projects including streets and a new low-water crossing.  New water lines will be protected by a concrete structure, which is being installed to replace the old dirt crossing at Mill Street.  The project is due to be completed July 7th.

The Star Fire, one of 14 fires reported after the week’s thunder storms, has now burned 55 acres near Wall Lake in the Gila Wilderness as of yesterday.  Firefighters have been working to get the line of containment around the Star Fire completed.  Crew includes a Smokey Bear Hotshot Crew from Ruidoso, fire jumpers, and Gila Forest fire fighters and at least one helicopter dropping water on hot spots.

New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell made a trip to Deming on Wednesday to mark the official opening of the Macho Springs Solar Facility, the state new largest solar power plant. “This 50 megawatt solar power project provided about 300 jobs during the construction phase, which is a huge boost to New Mexico’s ailing construction industry,” Powell said. “It will provide a constant stream of revenue for our public schools. This project will provide clean, efficient solar power to El Paso Electric service customers and the lease payments could generate as much as $10 million for our school kids over the 40-year term of the lease.”