Front Page News

By Roger Lanse

Town Manager Alex Brown, at the Town of Silver City’s Mar. 26, 2019 council meeting, stated Interim Police Chief Freddie Portillo has been hired as Silver City Police Chief. Brown said an interview committee was set up and the committee received 51 applications for the position, of which 22 met the minimum requirements. Of the 22, according to Brown, the committee narrowed down the number to five individuals. These five were interviewed and were ranked. The committee recommended two of the five for a final interview. “One of them was Interim Chief Portillo,” Brown said. After some input from the community and some checking up on the other individual’s history, Brown stated he decided to do no further interviews, but asked the committee to resubmit additional names for consideration, but the committee didn’t feel comfortable recommending anybody else. After reviewing all available information, Brown said he agreed with the committee one-hundred percent. “Chief Portillo was far and above the best applicant. He knows the community. He knows the law. He’s actually gone back to school. He’s taken leadership programs. He’s been working extremely hard and he’s proven himself to be very capable and competent.”

According to a report in the Deming Headlight at https://www.demingheadlight.com/story/news/immigration/2019/03/25/el-paso-area-border-patrol-checkpoints-temporally-closed-due-migrant-influx/3267831002/?cid=facebook_The_Deming_Headlight  the following checkpoints are temporarily closed to let officials deal with the migrants seeking asylum at the ports of entry and to address those crossing illegally in desert areas.

Checkpoints in the El Paso Sector include:

NM 15
(Mile Post 7 to 25.3)
Silver City, NM

Silver City: The New Mexico Department of Transportation District One office (NMDOT) has posted an alert for Thursday March 28, 2019:

By Roger Lanse

A call came into the Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority on Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019, advising that several males were fighting in the street in the area of Kelly Street and Broadway and at least one knife was involved. At approximately 1:15 p.m., a Silver City police officer was dispatched to the scene.

According to a SCPD report, two adult male witnesses stated that Sammy Chavez, 31, of Silver City (homeless), assaulted them, coming at them aggressively with a knife in his hand.

On March 17, 2019 at approximately 6:00 pm, Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Gila Regional Medical Center in regards to a reported domestic violence incident. It was determined that an adult female victim had been severely beaten with resultant significant bodily injury. Deputies also determined that the suspect, Jessie Westmoreland of Tucson Arizona had also beaten the victim’s dog, a brown-and-white female Pitbull Terrier. The dog had run-away and her (then) whereabouts were unknown.

A short time later, a witness contacted dispatch and reported seeing the suspect abusing the dog, that the dog was safe at her residence. Deputy Mark Torrez responded and interviewed the witness then checked the dog, no visible injuries were evident. Deputy Torrez then contacted the Silver City Police Department, an officer met him at the High Desert Humane Society where the dog was safely placed in the shelter.

Hidalgo County, NM – On March 24, 2019 at around 3:30 p.m. the New Mexico State Police investigated a triple fatal head on collision on Interstate 10 at about mile post 19 near Lordsburg.

The initial investigation indicates that a 2015 Freightliner tractor trailer was traveling east on Interstate 10, when for unknown reasons it crossed the center median and hit a west bound 2013 Kenworth tractor trailer head on. The Freightliner’s trailer hit a 1999 Dodge pickup that was also traveling west. Both tractor trailers caught on fire.

Editor's Note: This is the second of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session of March 19, 2019]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The second presentation at the Grant County Commission work session on March 19, 2019, came from Gila Regional Medical Center.

GRMC Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias thanked Commission Chairman Chris Ponce for spending time to get a tour of the hospital with the Chief Financial Officer Richard Stokes and herself.

Notes taken and compiled by C.J. Luhrsen

The meeting was sponsored by the NM Cattlegrowers Assoc. and facilitated by Republican Party of Luna County Chair Russ Howell. Around 500 people from at least five counties attended. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and Xochitl Torres-Small were all invited, but none attended. Yvette Herrell, Mick Rich, and Dr. Gavin Clarkson did attend.


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