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

At the time of this report, the New Mexico Department of Health, announced 5,503 New Mexico COVID-19 confirmed positive cases. There have been 119,601 tests performed statewide, 209 current COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and 1,576 cases designated as having recovered according to the Department of Health.  In addition, sadly there has been 242 COVID-19 related deaths recorded statewide. Positive COVID-19 cases in Grant County rose to 16, Luna County with 8 cases, Catron County remaining at 2, Sierra County with 1 case, and Hidalgo County with no confirmed cases.

 The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents held a virtual meeting this week and approved a fiscal year 2020-21 budget and furthermore approved two new Master’s Programs. The approved budget will be presented to the New Mexico Higher Education Department, but it is expected that it will be necessary to change the budget once the legislature meets in special session to determine the overall state finances. The board approved the addition of two programs: a Master of Arts in History and the state’s only Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education: Trauma-Informed Practices. Regents also approved changes to the faculty and student handbooks as well as the staff senate constitution. In addition, WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard announced that the university will move spring commencement to a virtual live ceremony on Friday, May 29th and Zoom all 300 participants.

The Gila National Forest has announced that they are reopening three more recreation sites. According to a release from the Gila National Forest, some of the factors considered when deciding to open a site include state and local health and safety guidelines, seasonal availability, and facility conditions. Other recreation areas and campgrounds may not be immediately open and available for use.  The sites that will be reopening are Mogollon Box Day Use Area on Silver City Ranger District, the bathroom facilities at Snow Lake on Reserve Ranger District, and the bathroom facilities at the Emory Pass Vista on the Black Range Ranger District. The public is encouraged to check the Gila National Forest website for specific recreation sites prior to traveling or making plans.

Starting tomorrow, May 16th , according to amended state health orders, All retailers may operate according to COVID-Safe Practices at 25 percent fire code occupancy and masks or face coverings will be required of everyone in public places, with exceptions for eating, drinking and exercising and medical requirements.

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