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Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

On a sunny, winter day, Fort Bayard National Cemetery looked its best on Dec. 14, 2019, with wreaths on every gravesite to honor those buried there who served their country with honor.

Dr. John Bell, who served with the Medical Corps in Vietnam, was the master of ceremonies of the event at Grant County's national cemetery. He gave some of the history.

[Editor's Note: This is part 5 and the final article of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session and regular meetings of Dec. 10 and 12, 2019.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

Following presentations at the Grant County Commission regular meeting on Dec. 12, 2019, which can be read at https://grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/55098-grant-county-commission-regular-meeting-grmc-presentation-121219-part-3 and https://grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/55115-grant-county-commission-hears-update-on-gila-national-forest-revised-plan-121219-part-4 , commissioners heard public input.

Tom Bates, Grant County resident:
My concern is not with Grant County, but with the U.S. Customs at Palomas. I teach English in Palomas and am on aboard helping folks there. The border crossing affects a lot of people from Grant County. They can cross into Mexico in a few minutes but coming back can take hours. It does affect those who get medications or dental care because of the affordability there. House Bill 73 in Congress will try to control the greed of medication companies in the U.S. I think the issue at the border is just a matter of management. I think it would only require a second lane. They say it's because of a lack of manpower. I think it's a lack of efficiency. It affects a lot of people in Luna and Grant counties. To me, it's an embarrassment to see such inefficiency. I have talked to Senators (Martin) Heinrich and (Tom) Udall, our New Mexico Representatives Rebecca (Dow) and Rudy (Martinez). I think it's a problem that needs a public outcry. They need to manage the border more efficiently.

Photos by Sandra Michaud

Friday, December 13 was actually a day of celebration when over 1,000 friends and family members attended the 2019 Fall graduation ceremonies for the 173 graduates who participated in the convocation at Western New Mexico University. A total of 267 students graduated this fall. WNMU’s Jennifer Olson said that the Fine Arts Theater was filled and overflow seating in the Global Resource Center and Light Hall Theater was also near capacity.

Photos by Sandra Michaud

Local families and visitors alike could take a step back in time and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Silver City Museum Thursday evening. Around 400 people attended the Museum’s Victorian Christmas festivities with singing, treats, ornament making, Father Christmas doling out gifts to the children, a puppet show and much more. Many museum volunteers and visitors dressed in period costumes and enjoyed posing for pictures.

[Editor's Note: This is part 4 of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session and regular meetings of Dec. 10 and 12, 2019.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The second presentation at the Grant County Commission regular meeting on Dec. 12, 2019 featured Gila National Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca (pronounced men-dohn´-sa] giving an update on the revision of the Gila National Forest Plan.

[Editor's Note: This is part 3 in a multi-part series on the work and regular sessions held Dec. 10 and 12, 2019.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

At the beginning of the Grant County Commission regular meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Chris Ponce announced that County Manager Charlene Webb had received an award at a recent Freeport-McMoRan grant awards ceremony on Dec. 4.

Ponce:
She received an award for all her good work. Our county manager has a tough job. It's great she got this award. She has five different commissioners going in five different directions. You do a good job and we appreciate that.

[Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session and regular meeting.]

After hearing county reports and four presentations at the work session, Dec. 10, 2019, which can be read at https://grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/55082-grant-county-commission-holds-work-session-121019-part-1-hears-presentations, commissioners had a review of the regular meeting agenda set for Dec. 12, 2019.

County Manager Charlene Webb led the review of the agenda. Two presentations would begin the meeting—the monthly Gila Regional Medical Center update and an update on the Gila National Forest Plan revision.

By Etta Pettijohn

Two federal agencies last week filed biological opinions on timber management activities’ impact on the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl on the Gila and other national forests in New Mexico and Arizona -- and seek to dissolve an injunction that briefly suspended all wood cutting recently.

In these opinions, the U.S. Department of Justice and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) summarize the current status and range of the owl in these forests, and how fire management, and watershed management programs may affect them.

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Check out a new column that will talk about the town of Silver City and its news and services. 

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