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Front Page News

By Lorie Hildebrand

Cobre School Board Meeting
Monday September 9, 2019  5 p.m.

The Cobre School Board met in the Cobre High School library Monday. All members were present. They were given an update by Deputy Superintendent George Peru on the status of ongoing Maintenance of Facilities. The leaks in the roof of Snell Middle School, Hurley, and Bayard Elementary schools are being fixed. Where the welds come together is a problem of leaking. Progressive Roofing is working on a fix. The new dishwasher for Central Elementary is up and running fine. Bayard Elementary did not test theirs yet as had no dish detergent. Parts for the high school dishwasher should be arriving this week. It is a pressure reducing valve. The geothermal system is on the fritz again at Snell. Delta Plumbing is working on it. School maintenance has no one trained right now to keep the system running. Peru would like to see someone in the department get the opportunity to gain experience with the system. “We may have to replace up to two thousand feet of pipe. It is rusting from the inside out” Peru said. The High School is having problems with the HVAC air conditioning systems also.

The reason for the band-aid fixes is to keep the ratings of the Cobre schools up above 100 to facilitate funding for new schools. Right now they are about 70 on the scale. “So we want to save as much money as possible and band-aid all we can.” Peru said.

Bayard City Council Meeting
Monday September 9, 2019 2 p.m.

By Lorie Hildebrand

The Bayard City Council met Monday at their regular meeting. During the work session, councilors asked City Clerk/Treasurer Kristina Ortiz for clarification of some of the details of the ordinance. “ ROVs are not allowed on Hwy. 180 or Hwy. 356 except to cross. This includes following on the side of the highway as this is private property,” Ortiz said. Bayard Police Chief Lee Alirez said that his department is ready, and he sees no real problems ahead.

Another work session discussion was by Councilor Eloy Medina. He would like the council, in the near future, to look at paid positions for EMS and Fire in Bayard. Recruitment is way down and no volunteers are stepping forward to boost the numbers of Fire Department and EMS personnel. “Public Safety needs to be a top priority of this Council and town,” said Medina. Other councilors agreed. Ortiz will call other communities and see how they are addressing this issue.

Location:
The southwest slope of Apache Mountain, on National Forest System Lands, Quemado Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Catron County, NM

Incident Start Date: September 4, 2019 Size: ~150-160 acres Cause: Lightning
Percent Contained: 0 IC: Gabe Castanon, ICT4

Summary:

By Mary Alice Murphy

After preliminary items finished at the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity on Sept. 3, 2019, public comment was next. Chris Overlock, noted that he had no vested interest in the NM CAP Entity's proposed diversion.

"But I am angry that my money continues to be wasted on this unrealistic project," Overlock said. He then read a poem written about damming the Gila River.

Location:
Turkey Run drainage, south of Burnt Cabin Flat and NM State Hwy. 59, on National Forest System Lands, Black Range Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Sierra County, NM

Incident Start Date: August 27, 2019 Size: 61 acres Cause: Lightning
Percent Contained: 0 IC: Dustin Roper, ICT 4

By Lorie Hildebrand

Hurley Town Council held the sixth in a series of workshops for Ordinance 23 C – “creating and maintaining a public nuisance unlawful.” Mayor Ed Stevens said the “purpose is to promote health, safety and welfare of residents to maintain outside buildings, lands, and rights-of-way.” “This is for a better community and a pleasant place to live,” further stated the Mayor.

Town Attorney Benjamin Young of Holt Mynatt Martinez P.C. of Las Cruces was present for the first time. He is helping the town to create a new ordinance with public input for the near future. Young has been the town attorney for three years. He received copies of letters submitted by the residents to the town. Amendments or revisions can happen after the town has a working ordinance. Young said the letters reflect residents' concerns that they are being targeted when other yards and lots don’t seem to be. Mayor Stevens said that when people get cited it is then up to the judicial branch to set penalties and make sure compliance is done. The council cannot legally do things to these properties without court approval.


Location:
The southwest slope of Apache Mountain, on National Forest System Lands, Quemado Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Catron County, NM

Incident Start Date: September 4, 2019 Size: ~140 acres Cause: Lightning
Percent Contained: 0 IC: Gabe Castanon, ICT4

Summary: The Apache Fire was reported on Wednesday, September 4. It is located on the southwest slope of Apache Mountain, at approximately 8,500 feet elevation. The fire is located in very steep, 90-100% slope, inaccessible terrain. The fire is currently burning in mixed conifer and ponderosa pine with heavy amounts of down and dead material. Last evening fire growth was primarily to the southeast, with some growth upslope towards the east. Smoke during the day is expected to move to the northeast towards Sand Flats however; tonight smoke modeling results indicates emissions could settle along Highway 32. Early next week, Monday and Tuesday, a low pressure systems is forecasted with the possibility of moisture. The passing of the cold front could result in smoke impacting Highway 32 and 12 in the Apache Creek area.

Location:
Turkey Run drainage, south of Burnt Cabin Flat and NM State Hwy. 59, on National Forest System Lands, Black Range Ranger District, Gila National Forest, Sierra County, NM

Incident Start Date: August 27, 2019 Size: 34 acres Cause: Lightning
Percent Contained: 0 IC: Dustin Roper, ICT 4

Summary: The Cox Fire was reported on Tuesday, August 27. It is located on the north of the Turkey Run drainage, at approximately 8,000 feet elevation. The fire is burning the 2005 Boiler Fire footprint and the Area 74 Prescribed Fire planning area. The fire is currently burning in mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper, and grasses with heavy amounts of down and dead material. Fire managers will be utilizing this natural-caused fire to restore and maintain fire's role in the ecosystem, reduce hazardous fuel loads, protect Mexican spotted owl habitat and help reinforce a fire-resilient landscape.

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