Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

SAN JUAN COUNTY — Water in the San Juan and Animas rivers is safe following the mid-March failure of the wastewater treatment facility in Gladstone, Colorado, which treats drainage from Gold King Mine.

A power outage at the facility, which removes heavy metals and other contaminants from the wastewater, caused untreated wastewater from the mine to bypass the facility and enter Cement Creek for around 48 hours starting on March 14. Power has since been restored and the treatment plant is functioning.

“During this incident, we closely monitored real-time data from sondes installed in the Animas and San Juan rivers,” said New Mexico Environment Department Chief Scientist Dennis McQuillan. “Sonde readings for turbidity, pH and electrical conductivity provided no indication that downstream water users would be adversely impacted by this incident.”

Fortunately, because of communication plans put in place since the initial Gold King Mine spill in 2015, local emergency managers and river stakeholders quickly learned of the failure. The cities of Aztec and Farmington, irrigation channel and ditch operators, Navajo Nation communities and others along the San Juan and Animas rivers were promptly alerted to the situation and took action. The small number of ditches running at this time were able to mitigate risk by closing head gates and the cities of Aztec and Farmington closed off water supplies. The City of Farmington also maintains water testing stations which automatically close off the water supply when contaminants in the river are detected.

Quemado, NM, March 25, 2019—For Immediate Release. Due to a staffing shortage, the Quemado Ranger District, Gila National Forest, will be unable to sell any forest products on Thursday, March 28. The office will be open to speak with staff, but you will need to plan to purchase forest products at one of the other ranger districts. 

Forest products can be purchased at the nearest ranger district – Reserve Ranger District, 8 Smokey Bear Circle, Reserve, NM 575-533-6232. We apologize for any inconvenience.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website here.

ALBUQUERQUE – March 25, 2019 – Michele Toon has joined True Health New Mexico as Senior Director of Sales and Account Services. Toon is responsible for leading the True Health New Mexico sales team, developing new business opportunities and creating customized solutions for customer needs. She is a nurse and joins the team with 20 years of medical sales and growth-focused account management experience. Prior to joining True Health New Mexico, Toon worked at Lovelace Health System, Johnson & Johnson and Abbot Laboratories. 

She received her BA in Organizational Management with a minor in Healthcare Administration from Ashford University.

About True Health New Mexico 

True Health New Mexico is a physician-led health plan committed to keeping New Mexicans healthy. True Health New Mexico is available through the commercial market for employer-sponsored health coverage and is dedicated to lowering premium costs, delivering appropriate levels of care, and providing community-based case management to ensure members are well cared for. For more information on True Health New Mexico, go to truehealthnewmexico.com.

“I see these next two years as an incredible opportunity…to help reverse the damage done to our planet, end the scourge of war, and to stop this president’s assault on our democracy and our communities.”

Santa Fe, N.M. — Today, in a message to New Mexicans, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced that he will not seek re-election to a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2020. 

“I’m confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term, because of all the work you and I have done together, along with my wife, Jill, and my incredibly dedicated staff,” Udall said. “But the worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent. That’s why I’m announcing today that I won’t be seeking re-election next year.”  

“Now, I’m most certainly not retiring. I intend to find new ways to serve New Mexico and our country after I finish this term. There will be more chapters in my public service to do what needs to be done,” Udall continued. “In fact, I see these next two years as an incredible opportunity. Without the distraction of another campaign, I can get so much more done to help reverse the damage done to our planet, end the scourge of war, and to stop this president’s assault on our democracy and our communities.”

Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office announced that the television series “Interrogation” produced by CBS Television Studios will begin principal photography mid-March in Albuquerque. 

The series was co-created by Anders Weidemann (“30 Degrees In February”) and John Mankiewicz (“House of Cards,” “Bosch”). Both will serve as executive producers alongside Fabrik Entertainment’s Henrik Bastin (“Bosch”) and Melissa Aouate. The television series is directed by Ernest Dickerson ("Bosch," "The Walking Dead"), who also serves as executive producer, and Patrick Cady.

The production will employ more than 150 New Mexico crew members and approximately 2,500 New Mexico background talent - about 250 per episode. 

“This is another great example of how New Mexico is becoming a destination for both film and television production. These are good jobs that are helping to diversify our economy,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the New Mexico Economic Development Department and a former Walt Disney Co. executive.

Dona Ana County, NM - On March 23, 2019 at around 5:48 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash on US Highway 70 and Brahman exit in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The initial investigation shows a 2005 Yamaha motorcycle was traveling east on US Highway 70 at an excessive rate of speed. For reasons that are unknown, the driver of the Yamaha motorcycle sideswiped a Ford Fusion which was also traveling east on US70 at the Brahman exit. The driver of the motorcycle loss control and the motorcycle came to rest east on Bataan Memorial Highway. The driver of the motorcycle, Ronald Vanzant (24) of White Sands, NM sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and Vanzant was wearing a helmet. The Ford Fusion driver's name will not be released by State Police. There were no other injuries or vehicles involved in the crash. This crash remains under investigation and no further information is currently available.

We couldn’t pass up this snow, can you?!

Red River, New Mexico – Late spring snow on top of a four-foot-deep base means spring skiing is GLORIOUS at Enchanted Forest. So, we're extending our season one more week past our original March 24 closing date.

Every day will be "Dog Days" (ski or snowshoe with your pooch) with discounted Trail Passes ($10 for adults; $5 for everyone else; Children 12 and Under are FREE).Lessons are available with advanced reservations only:  We cannot guarantee we will have an instructor on site every day. Guided snowshoe tours are no longer available, however, our snowshoe trails are mapped and well marked.Everything in the retail store is 40% off, including new Swix ski poles and new winter boots (limited sizes). We still have a few used snowshoes and snowshoe boots for sale as well:  $60 for the Snowshoes, $15 for used snowshoe boots (limited sizes).Book a yurt now through Saturday night, March 30. Spring, summer and fall yurts will be available for booking by April 1, 2019.

Only three in 10 New Mexico adults with pre-diabetes are aware of it

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) joins the American Diabetes Association in recognizing Tuesday, March 26th as “Diabetes Alert Day”. The annual health observance encourages New Mexicans and others nationwide to take a quick, free online Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test and learn if they need to take action that could prevent or delay this chronic condition. 

Family history of diabetes, race/ethnicity, higher body weight, increasing age, smoking, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, and a history of gestational diabetes are all risk factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. To access the free one minute anonymous Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test, visit here

The Department of Health estimates that more than 220,000 New Mexican adults have diabetes and over 530,000 New Mexican adults have prediabetes, a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Only three in ten adults in the state know they have prediabetes, which prevents them from taking important steps to prevent or delay diabetes.

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Editor's Note

Until I can find another reporter, I'm having trouble keeping up, so I began a new series called News Briefs with the date they are posted. They are of interest to readers, but I don't have the time to interview and write stories about the person or issue, so I'm just telling you the bits of information, so you don't miss out.

Anybody interested in a part-time freelance reporter job with the Beat, give me a shout at editor@grantcountybeat.com. You need good spelling and grammar and can write a decent report without any of your opinion in the article. Opinion belongs on the Editorial page.

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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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