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 new total of 119,800 New Mexico COVID-19 confirmed positive cases statewide, an increase of 1,459 new cases. In addition, COVID-19 cases recorded locally are as follows: Grant County has a total 639 positive cases with 217 recovered; Luna County has a total of 2,163 positive cases with 911 recovered; Hidalgo County has a total 208 positive cases with 123 recovered; and Catron County has had 51 positive cases with 12 recovered. Statewide, there are currently 878 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The New Mexico Department of Health and the Public Education Department has announced a delay in the return to in-person after the winter break. The measure is being taken to help mitigate what could be a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases. No in-person will be permitted during the weeks of January 4th and January 11th, 2021 and schools previously operating in the hybrid model may return to their schedules the week of January 18th. In addition, all local education authorities must participate in increased surveillance testing following the winter break including required COVID testing for 10% of onsite staff for at least two weeks prior to offering in-person student services.

The Gila National Forest is welcoming a new Natural Resources Officer, Jeff Shearer, from the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana. Jeff joined USDA Forest Service as a fisheries biologist/hydrologist in the Northern Regional Office and previously worked as a chief of resources and research for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The Natural Resources staff includes hydrology, soil science, wildlife and fish biology, rangeland management, vegetation management, planning and Geographic Information Services (GIS) employees. Jeff and his wife Cara are excited to explore the Gila National Forest, look forward to working with the Forest and its partners, and will be relocating to Silver City in late January.

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