Front Page News


· Reserve Ranger District on the Gila National Forest

· 4 miles north of Eagle Peak Lookout

· Catron County, New Mexico

Start Date: May 22, 2018 Size: ~800 acres

Cause: Under investigation Vegetation: Grass, heavy timber

Smoke: Smoke may be visible in the area around Eagle Peak

Resources: Three Type 6 engines, two Type 1 Initial Attack Crews, one Type 2 Initial Attack Crew, Heavy Air Tankers.

Incident Commander: S. Norton, ICT3

Buzzard Fire

Reserve Ranger District on the Gila National Forest

· 4 miles north of Eagle Peak Lookout

· Catron County, New Mexico

With steady progress being made on the underground utilities and College Avenue beautification project, College Avenue will be closed at A Street on either Wednesday, May 23, or Thursday, May 24, 2018. The road will be blocked off at the intersection of A Street, so traffic will be rerouted south to 8th Street and back to College Avenue via N. Lyon and B streets.

This closure will allow crews from Western New Mexico University to bore under the pavement of College Avenue and make way for campus utilities.

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

Three European horseback riders and their driver began their Continental Divide Trail trek on May 11, at Antelope Wells, New Mexico, on the border with Mexico.

Their driver, Juergen Goldmann of Germany, stayed with them until May 17. "I retired to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, but I've worked with Peter before. I was available for this part of the trip to provide water to the riders and horses."

Most items were approved at the regular session on May 17, 2018.

By Mary Alice Murphy

After two presentations, which can be viewed at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/44324-grant-county-work-session-held-051518-part-1 Grant County commissioners at the work session on May 15, 2018 addressed the regular meeting agenda for May 17, 2018.

County Financial Officer Linda Vasquez presented the expenditure report ending on May 8, 2018. Total expenditures were $1,818,522.19, with three payroll periods equaling $389,585.54. Extraordinary expenses over $10,000 are listed in this table:

2018 0519 sgt. thomas vitaleSgt. Thomas Vitale"It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of New Mexico State Police Sergeant Thomas Vitale. Sergeant Vitale suffered an unexpected medical incident while on duty today, May 19, 2018, and did not survive. Sergeant Vitale was a dedicated and hard-working member of the New Mexico State Police family, and he will be sorely missed."

Sergeant Vitale served with the New Mexico State Police for 18 years and was assigned to District 12 Deming, NM. He is also a veteran of the United States Army. He is survived by his wife and three children.

img 0046From left are Commissioners Alicia Edwards and Brett Kasten, Commission Chairman Billy Billings presented the First New Mexico Bank Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo proclamation to John Myers and Sean Ormand, with Commissioners Gabriel Ramos and Harry Browne behind them.

Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy

At the beginning of the Thursday, May 17, 2018, regular session of the Grant County Commission, members heard the Gila Regional Medical Center financial report from Chief Financial Officer Richard Stokes.

"The State of the Hospital meeting went well," Stokes said. "We had between 80 and 100 people attending. We took one action item immediately following the meeting—the patient statement redesign. I also thank that lady for coming to meet with me about her concerns."

Commissioners hear update on asset management plan and information on loan and counseling benefit plan

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission work session held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, began with two presentations. The first was from Aaron Sussman of Bohannan Huston Inc. with an update on the county asset management plan.

"We've been working on the plan since last year," Sussman said. "It's an internal tool for Grant County to make as effective decisions as possible, especially to address roadway assets. The mission is to look at the assessment of the roads and future expenses to maintain and repair the roads. The idea is for you to figure out how to best put your resources to use. We want to make it as useful and functional to the county as possible. We want to contrast existing maintenance to what is possible."

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