Here’s a look at some local news brought to you by Silver City Radio.

At the time of compiling this report, the New Mexico Department of Health, announced a total of 22,816 New Mexico COVID-19 confirmed positive cases. In addition, COVID-19 cases locally impacting the area are as follows: Grant County remains at 71 total cases with 28 recovered; Luna County remains at 254 total cases with an increase to 79 recovered; Hidalgo County remains at 90 total cases with an increase to 36 recovered; and Catron County remaining at 5 total cases. Statewide, it has lowered to 119 individuals currently hospitalized and an increase 9,744 individuals designated as totally recovered.

Management from Freeport McMoRan has issued an update providing information on Chino operations in Grant County. Market conditions and the global economy impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic caused Freeport to furlough most workers since Spring. Since that time, Freeport has been evaluating various operating scenarios with the goal of developing plans to secure a long-term future that would benefit all stakeholders, including employees. Freeport is hoping by the end of the year they can restart Chino under revised operating plans that include beginning at a reduced rate but providing employment for approximately 60% of the current workforce with the hopes of increasing rates over time. The proposal extends the furlough period for up to nine months before taking steps to eliminate positions. In addition, management is evaluating the possibility of offering a program whereby active and furloughed Chino employees could voluntarily resign with a severance package. The intent is to resume operations at a reduced rate no later than January 2021.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration for funding that would provide $300 per week additional payments to New Mexico residents receiving unemployment benefits. According to a release, “U.S. Department of Labor guidance allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by NMDWS to count as 25% matching funds for the program.” At this time, it is unclear when and how much funding will be available and there is no need for claimants to contact the NMDWS who will announce more information once it becomes available.

This has been a look at some local news. Thank you for listening to Silver City Radio.