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[Editor's Note: This article covers the questions and comments from community members at the Gila Regional state of the hospital event held May 9, 2018. To view an article on the hospital's presentation, visit http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/44171-grmc-holds-state-of-the-hospital-meeting-050918

By Mary Alice Murphy

After Gila Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias opened up the Wednesday evening meeting to comments and questions from the public, a man asked why she had said earlier she did not want to talk about the past.

"This is a place to talk about the future," Arias said. "Come visit me in my office, and I'll talk about the past and I will find answers I don't know."

Update from National Park Service: Chiricahua National Monument has been evacuated and the park is closed.

The human-caused Pinery Fire was first reported Saturday, May 12th, around 1:30pm, in Cochise County. The fire started on private land, moved onto the Chiricahua National Monument, and has since moved northward onto the Coronado National Forest. The fire is estimated to be about 675 acres and is burning through dry vegetation, including grasses and brush, 29 miles SE of Wilcox. The fire is under joint command of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the National Park Service, and the Coronado National Forest. Multiple aircraft have been ordered, including 5 SEATS, 4 heavies, 3 helos, AA, and a lead plane. Seven engines, 2 IA crews, and 2 hotshot crews are working on the ground trying to stop forward progress. Additional resources have been ordered, including four more hotshot crews. The exact source of the fire is under investigation.

margie mckeen rsMargie McKeenThe National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and National Grange have selected New Mexico rancher and educator Margaret 'Margie' McKeen as the winner of its Agriculture Advocate Award for 2018.

McKeen won the award for her efforts to establish New Mexico's largest and longest running agricultural event called 'McKeen Ranch Days,' an annual program held at her ranch where more than 30 teachers and 450 students learn about animal agriculture and life on a working ranch. They learn how to milk a real cow, how to make butter and where honey comes from. In addition, they learn about the compartments of a cow's stomach and the nutrients cows absorb by observing a cannulated cow provided by the USDA Research Center. They also learn about how and why cattle are branded and dehorned.

By Mary Alice Murphy

[Editor's Note: This is the main part of the presentations. Questions and answers from the community will be covered in the next article.]

Gila Regional Medical Center presented its State of the Hospital meeting to about 80 people on Wednesday, May, 9, 2018. The leadership team addressed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. They also laid out portions of the strategic plan going forward to remain independent.

GRMC Board of Trustees Chairman Jeremiah Garcia opened the session.

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

After wending their way through all the Give Grandly booths, regulars to the Silver City Farmers' Market found some of their favorite vegetable and plant vendors on site.

The market is held each Saturday through October in the Main Street Plaza. A second market is held at Ace Hardware each Wednesday morning starting about 10 a.m. during the season from May through October.

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Community Foundation reached its goal for 2018. The fifth annual Give Grandly 24-hour fundraiser on May 5, 2018, had a goal of $150,000 to reach its goal of Five (hundred thousand) in Five (years). The preliminary numbers as of 3:21 p.m. May 10, showed preliminary numbers of $159,224, which comprised 928 donations to 53 organizations.

Truth or Consequences, NM, May 9, 2018—The Black Range Ranger District continued the Area 74 Prescribed Burn today.

Fire crews continued to use hand ignitions to place fire on the ground working towards, including Burnt Cabin Flat and down Forest Road 226. An estimated 3,200 acres were burned yesterday and 3,400 acres today, making a three day total of ~7,800 acres. Ignition operations have ceased and the fire will now move to a monitor status.

mou signing rsPictured at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Western New Mexico University and the Bemba tribe of Zambia are (left to right) Western New Mexico University Chairperson Jerry Walz, His Majesty Chitimukulu Sosala Kanyanta Manga II, New Mexico Lt. Governor John Sanchez and Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard.Silver City, NM – Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard and His Majesty Chitimukulu Sosala Kanyanta Manga II, the king of Zambia's largest ethnic group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of exploring the possibility of bringing higher education opportunities to the Bemba people both online and in face-to-face classes.

Live from Silver City

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