Area Tour Given To State Officials


New Mexico Rep. (Dist. 38) Rebecca Dow, along with Neal Brown and local business owner Jake Forestner had the chance to show off the economic potential of Sierra County last month.
Members of the New Mexico Association of Commerce & Industry (ACI), CenturyLink, New Mexico Hospitality Association, Presbyterian Healthcare System, Taos Ski Valley, Public Service of New Mexico (PNM), Freeport-McMoRan, and several other state legislators toured the area as well as parts of Grant County Dec. 13-15.
“As we toured the state I saw positive economic outcomes when people put aside partisan politics and come together around common goals,” said Dow. “It’s going to take people of all persuasions coming together to turn the curve on poverty in New Mexico.”

Turtle Flies For New Year


New Year’s revelers gathered at T-or-C’s Healing Waters Plaza for the annual ascent of “Theresa Tortuga” (inset), denoting the transition to 2018, Sunday evening, December 31. A record number of participants joined for this year’s celebration, which began with a procession from the T-or-C Brewing Company that safely delivered Theresa to the plaza.Those on hand were fortified against the chilly night air with an ample supply of warming food and refreshments offered by Friends of the Carole Wheeler Dog Park and Doggies in the Desert. Local musical group “Cat Alley” was also on hand and kept circulation flowing with a steady stream of toe-tapping favorites. Organized to coordinate with the currently more-famous ball-drop at New York’s Times Square, Theresa Tortuga ascended above Healing Waters Plaza at precisely 10 p.m. local time. Joining for a countdown and a resounding cheer, everyone appeared to enjoy the unique new tradition and happily welcomed-in 2018 together.

WWTP Welcomes Big Improvements


The Truth or Consequences Wastewater Treatment Plant continues to move through a series of major upgrades and renovations as 2018 is set to arrive. Earlier this week, contracted crews with SmithCo Construction were focusing on the Phase-Two installation of two new concrete clarifiers. Wastewater Division Director Jesus Salayandia said this addition would greatly enhance the facility’s operational capacity. Salayandia also confirmed the full completion of Phase-One upgrades and looked forward to seeing the remaining improvements in place and operational within the not-too-distant future.

Woman Crashes Into Buildings Arrested For Child Abuse, DUI

Police beat

A 27-year-old mother of three faces her second set of abandonment or abuse of a child charges after an early Christmas Eve morning crash, where her young children were passengers in the SUV she crashed into a pillar between the Comfort Inn and Denny’s Restaurant.
Britt E. (Marr) Diaz was sentenced to 364 days of unsupervised probation on May 4, 2017 for a July 2016 incident, which landed her behind bars on two charges of abandonment of a child. Through a plea deal with the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Diaz pled no contest to one count; the second charge was dis-missed and she received a punishment of one year, less one day, of unsupervised probation.
Despite that sentence less than eight months ago, Diaz admitted to witnesses, paramedics and police that she had drank beer, smoked weed and taken sleeping pills before driving her newer model grey SUV.

2 Co-Workers Arrested For Embezzlement

Police beat

Two former employees of Lynn’s Landscaping have been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy to commit embezzlement after police believe they worked together to take equipment from their boss to use on side jobs, as well as charged items to his company account at a local hardware store for their own benefit.
In November, Lynn Cramerer reported to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Department that he was missing numerous tools and equipment from his shop. A week later a woman called Cramerer saying that she had hired two of his employees, Cheyenne Grijalva and William Fry, to do some work at her residence and they hadn’t completed the job. Furthermore, the woman reported she was missing items from her home.
Through the course of the month-long investigation, SCSD Lt. Baker questioned Grijalva and Fry individually, who eventually admitted to taking items from their boss to do side work on the weekend with the intentions of returning the equipment.

Spaceport Tours Return


Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in eastern Sierra County, New Mexico, announced this week the re-launch of the Spaceport America Experience Tour.
In partnership with Final Frontier Tours, space enthusiasts and visitors can now have a hands-on, fun experience inside a real commercial space launch facility.
“We are excited to welcome back visitors from around the world to Spaceport America and to New Mexico,” said Rosa Bañuelos, Spaceport America Business Development.
Visitors begin their journey at the Spaceport America Visitor Center, an historic adobe building located at 301 S. Foch St. in Truth or Consequences, NM, where the old frontier meets the new. The Visitor Center is packed with exciting educational and interactive space exhibits and is the point of embarkation for the tour to the spaceport. Visitors can purchase tour tickets online or in person prior to journeying out to the Spaceport America site on rolling multi-media theater shuttles.

PUAB To Restress ECA Plan

City of Truth or Consequences

Following up a question from Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB) Chairman George Szigeti regarding the implementation status of the approved Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) December 18, city manager Juan Fuentes reminded members that city commissioners only approved a name change from the often maligned “Pass Through” charge appearing on monthly utility bills.
Fuentes said while commissioners supported the title revision, they did not endorse a proposed change in how the related charge is calculated.

Man Arrested, Charged With Sexual Assault

Police beat

Truth or Consequences Police have arrested a 22-year-old T-or-C man after he pushed his way into a woman’s house and attempted to force himself upon her.
Charges have been filed against Jonathan Dunn, 22, of T-or-C, accusing him of aggravated burglary, attempted criminal sexual penetration and battery on a household member following the incident on December 7.
Court documents indicate that Dunn went to the home of a woman he knew, and while she was speaking with him at the doorway she said that he began asking who was inside the house.
Despite the woman being alone, Dunn allegedly pushed his way in and then struck
the woman before attempting to force her to have sex with him.

Final YESCO Review Endorsed

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners rendered a 3-to-2 decision in support of a motion to finalize a contract with Year-Out Energy Services C o m p a n y (YESCO) during the board’s December 13 session. This proposed con-tract would ensure the replacement of municipal water and electric meters with state-of-the-art digital equipment. Mayor Steve Green entered the motion directing administrative staff to obtain information requested during the morning’s session, assure completion of the contract, and to secure a legal review of the measure. The motion also emphasized that board approval would in no way obligate the city to any future decision.

Comment On Area Wolf Release Deadline 12/26


Sierra County residents have just until Dec. 26 to comment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2018 Mexican Gray Wolf release and translocation plan, which includes several releases into New Mexico, and at least one in Sierra County.
Seven New Mexico packs are being considered, including one in the San Mateos, along with five in Arizona.
The agency plans the cross fostering of about a dozen pups into as many as six wild wolf packs throughout the experimental range in New Mexico and Arizona. Cross fostering involves placing pups born in captivity into dens to be raised by wild wolves.
Eight pups have been cross fostered since 2014, with at least four surviving the year they were placed in dens, and some have since bred and had pups of their own, according to the USFWS.

Hillsboro Embraces Holiday Spirit


Hillsboro residents welcomed visitors, neighbors and friends to the community’s annual “Christmas in the Foothills” celebration Saturday, December 2. While most activities were centered around the community center, the downtown district was decked out proper with holiday cheer and local proprietors were out in force to welcome guests with a wide array of treats and treasures. Meanwhile, eager volunteers and vendors filled the community center with a seeming unending variety of handcrafted wares, art, and “just got to have it” gifts. The event also featured an ample supply of baked goods, refreshments and tasty snacks, ensuring patrons were happy and well-fortified for the holiday shopping fun.

Agencies Struggling To Find Permanent, Safe Homes


Christmas came a little early this year for William and Landon Johnson, as their grandparents legally adopted them both recently.
Having a permanent, loving home, however, is something many children will only dream about, but never get to experience.
Ten-year-old William and seven-year-old Landon had spent time off and on with the grandparents (now their parents). The New Mexico Children, Families, and Youth Department (CFYD) contacted the grandparents, asking if they would consider becoming the boys’ fulltime parents.
“We had been married one month when the CYFD contacted us,” said Don Johnson. Don, 61, is the father of a grown daughter, and his wife, Jody, 58, the mother of two grown sons.
And while Landon and William like gifts such as play station and Batman brands, they both said their best Christmas present is having a stable and loving home with Grandma and Pawpaw

City PUAB Votes Against YESCO

City of Truth or Consequences

With a 2-to-1 vote November 20, members of Truth or Consequences’ (T-or-C) Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB) rendered a majority decision against a proposed water/electric meter replacement program being forwarded by officials with Yearout Energy Services Company (YESCO).
This decision will present city commissioners with a recommendation to forego further consideration of the meter replacement plan.
Prior to the vote, YESCO senior sales representative Scott Griffith and project manager Alex Montano reviewed the firm’s proposal and specifically outlined recent adjustments made in response to previous concerns expressed by city commissioners. This revised information included a price-per-meter estimate, as well as a reaffirmation that meter accuracy would be guaranteed throughout the proposed 20-year repayment plan.

Ring In 2017 With Turtle Ascension

Turtle Ascension

Want to celebrate but don’t want to stay up until midnight? Not a real party animal but wouldn’t mind bringing in the New Year with a little music, a little food and a little something different?
Then be sure to come to the second annual Turtle Ascension at the Healing Waters Plaza. Cat Alley will be playing starting at 7 p.m. at the Grapevine Bistro and at 9 they will move to the Plaza.