News 01-06-15

Today U.S. Senator Tom Udall was sworn in for his second term in the U.S. Senate.  He issued a statement that in summary discussed several challenges being faced as a state and a nation.  He discussed how too many New Mexico families are still struggling in the wake of the economic recession. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he has pledged that he will continue to work to ensure New Mexico’s federal installations have stable funding, while also helping build a strong private sector economy that sustains new, good-paying jobs.  He also touched on helping researchers at Los Alamos and Sandia Labs with faster technology as he pledged that he would keep pushing for the Department of Energy to make tech transfer a priority.   Tom Udall will also be serving on the Commerce Committee this year and will continue to champion reform of the Senate rules to fix the dysfunction that in his words “is paralyzing the Senate.”

The Southwest Firefighter Recruitment Program for the 2015 wild land fire season is beginning tonight at the Grant County Conference Center.  To be accepted into the program, candidates must meet all of the attendance requirements, successfully complete a 40 hour training course and pass a Work Capacity Test, which involves walking three miles with a 45 pound pack in 46 minutes.   Application packets are available at the Gila National Forest Supervisor’s office in Silver City from 8 to 4.  For more information on tonight’s meeting and the entire program, contact Gabe Holguin, Gila National Forest Staff Officer, at 575-388-8233.

The Grant County Search and Rescue were busy Friday after a hunter got lost Friday afternoon during the snow storm that passed through the area.  The hunter was lots in the vicinity of Little Walnut Road.  Grant County Search and Rescue found the hunter the same day. He was unharmed.  The hunter was able to alert authorities by calling 911 from his cell.  This enabled the New Mexico State Police to track his GPS coordinates, which led to the team to be able to locate him by 9pm Friday.

It turns out that the trial that was supposed to be underway for Filemon Varela, Jr. on Monday has been postponed because of a suppression order and the state appeal of this. Varela is charged with two counts of murder in the first degree and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun for a person under the age of 19. He was 16 years old at the time he allegedly shot and killed his two cousins. He is being charged as an adult.

In regional news, the Luna Rossa Winery of Deming has received prestigious international awards for their work in the winery business.  The owner of the winery was named the Entrepreneur Abroad Award recipient in Italy. The award recognized D’Andrea for his skill in business operations in Deming. He shares his success with all of his family and employees who have helped make the business a success. Luna Rossa Winery is located at 3710 West Pine Street in Deming.