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By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commissioners this morning at their regular meeting, Thursday, July 19, 2018, after hearing an hour and a half of public input, some on the hospital and some on the Wildlife Services contract, moved into executive session to discuss disposal of county property, specifically the Gila Regional Medical Center.

After their deliberations, they came out of session. Commissioner Brett Kasten made the motion to keep the hospital as is.

By Mary Alice Murphy

Alex Brown, Silver City manager, said the whole recycling saga started about three months ago. "We took a load to Tucson and got a $4,000 bill. Before we had gotten a check for the materials. The following month, we were ready to take a delivery to Tucson, and we were informed that the company was no longer taking single-stream recycling products."

Brown said he called around, including to Albuquerque. They, too, were no longer taking in recycling from others. "In fact, they were stockpiling their recycled materials and received a citation from the state because of the large amount of materials they had."

"I called El Paso," Brown said. "They wouldn't even talk to us, because they were not taking new customers."

Jemez Springs, NM – The lightning-caused Hidden Valley Fire was first reported on Tuesday, July 17 around 3:30 pm on Valles Caldera National Preserve. The ¼-acre fire is currently burning within a recent forest thinning area on the north flank of South Mountain. Given favorable conditions, including monsoonal rains, high humidity, and the availability of fire crews, the preserve intends to manage the fire to decrease fuel loads in the thinning unit in order to reduce undesired fire behavior in the future.

"Wildfire is a natural component of our forest and grassland ecosystems, and when conditions permit, we strive to safely manage these naturally-caused fires," said Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “Unlike during the recent San Antonio Fire on the preserve’s north rim, the monsoon rains have created safe conditions to manage the Hidden Valley Fire,” he added.

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first item of business was the director's report, which had been sent out to all members.

Cari Lemon, Grant County Community Health Council director, added that she had been approached by Anna Daggert, the new FORWARD New Mexico program director.

"She asked me how she could help with the Red Hot Children's Fiesta, coming up in September," Lemon said. "It will be our 17th year."

When asked how she was promoting it this year, Lemon said she had sent out a save the date to past participants, as well as an application for a booth.

Grant County 4-H has been busy this summer between judging contests and preparing their show animals for the upcoming fair season. 4-H members traveled to Lordsburg, NM, June 20-24 to compete at the District Judging Contest. Those teams and individuals that competed and placed at the District Contest are as follows: 

Acres: ~4,786 Start Date: June 30, 2018

Cause: Lightning Location: 4 miles northeast of Saddle Mountain, Gila NF
Fuels: Timber (litter, grass and understory) Total Personnel: 7
General Information: The Owl Fire began on June 30, 2018. The fire is located on Aspen Mountain and has crossed FR 209 into Frieborn Canyon in an inventoried roadless area (IRA). Heavy fuel loads will continue to hold heat. The fire perimeter is 95% contained.

Fire Operations: The fire has transitioned to an ICT5. An engine crew will continue to monitor Frieborn Canyon for fire activity. Completion of the suppression repair on Horse Mesa will be suspended until a drying trend occurs. Aerial seeding has begun to stabilize high severity burn areas.

"Care at Gila Regional is still better than anything you can get in Las Cruces," Dr. Skee concluded.

By Mary Alice Murphy

Dr. James Skee said he has been practicing in Grant County, in Silver City, for 37 years. He is the Interim CEO of Silver Health Care clinic, where he worked alongside the founders Dr. John Bell and Dr. Dye. Prior to that he began one of the first five rural health clinics, with Johnson Foundation grant money, in Willsboro, New York on Lake Champlain.

In reference to the Gila Regional Medical Center, where he practices, he said since he has been in Silver City, he has seen all kinds of administrators come and go. "I was chief of staff and on the Medical Executive Committee and served on the Board of Trustees from 2005-2009, where I was vice chairman and chair of the Finance Committee. I was on all sorts of special committees, including peer review. Several administrations ago, Dr. Robinson and I chaired a committee to map out a plan for the future of the hospital. I founded and ran the original primary care Independent Physician Association until we formed the Gila Multi-Specialty IPA, and I'm currently on the board. I've been on state and national advisory boards, so I have a fairly broad perspective and I do a lot of reading."

Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

The two-day event, a first for Silver City, brought lots of local residents and a few visitors and vendors from outside Grant County to try the wines, purchase a bottle or two, and check out the other vendors of everything from food to jewelry to clothing to art works to kitchen accessories.

Live from Silver City

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The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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