SVH CEO Resigns

Issues surrounding the management of Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) continued to mount, as the governing board's May 31 regular meeting culminated with the resignation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Zimmerman. This development and a series of other internal matters prompted the governing board to roll up their sleeves for an extended executive session.

Issues surrounding the management of Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) continued to mount, as the governing board’s May 31 regular meeting culminated with the resignation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Zimmerman.
This development and a series of other internal matters prompted the governing board to roll up their sleeves for an extended executive session.
In addition to the now vacant CEO position, the afternoon’s agenda included planned closed-door discussions concerning staff attrition, satisfaction, and performance, as well as hospital leadership concerns. The board’s executive session further included discussion concerning a list of sub-contractors for the first phase of the hospital construction project, which was tabled during the regular meeting.

Hopkins Hangs Up School Hat

There are many people in Sierra County who remember very well Hank Hopkins as their elementary school principal. Some remember him in that role and then saw their own children beginning their education at the school with Hopkins at the helm. Before he took on the job of Director of Human Resources for T-or-C schools, Hank was already an institution, known and respected across all the schools in Sierra County. Many former students, now parents themselves, remember him greeting them with a handshake and a few friendly words every single morning as they arrived at school.
Hank began as an elementary school teacher in Las Cruces before returning to his hometown, to work in the schools he himself attended.

WNMU To Reinstate Local Classes

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Thanks to quick action by Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra) community leaders and officials from Western New Mexico University (WNMU) convened and successfully found a way to maintain WNMU’s presence in Truth or Consequences., WNMU has agreed to continue offering classes at the Gardner Learning Center.
In April, WNMU announced plans to close satellite campuses in Gallup, Lordsburg and Truth or Consequences in response to recent budget cuts.
The satellite campuses offer as well as academic support to students such as tutors and advisors. In addition, the campuses partner with local school districts to offer dual-credit classes, allowing high school students to get a jump-start on achieving their higher education goals.
After WNMU’s announcement, Dow met with community and university officials to work on options to keep WNMU in the community. A new agreement negotiated by Dow between the city of Truth or Consequences, WNMU and the WNMU Adult Education Department will allow WNMU to continue providing instruction at the Gardner Learning Center.

HSHS Celebrates Success, Graduation

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The hardwood floor of the gym was covered, a stage set up at one end, and rows of chairs filled the room on Monday, May 22. Almost an hour before Baccalaureate was scheduled to begin, people were filing in. With their finals finished, a senior class trip to the Cliffs as a memory, the seniors were waiting for their entrance for a celebration of song, prayer and praise.
Before a crowd that filled chairs and bleachers, a large number of members of the senior class made their entrance. Down the center aisle they came, two by two, to their seats set in rows before the stage. As they marched in, a well-rehearsed five-piece band played a rendition of Pomp and circumstance.

Simmering Issues Boil Over At SVH

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You choose; suspicions about financial mishandling, worries about the substantial debt Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) poses for the community, brinksmanship, politics, personal issues, or recent solar events? Whatever is driving present interactions between SVH’s Joint Powers Commission (JPC), governing board and administrative staff has yet to be revealed through the public discourse offered during recent hospital board sessions. Aside from curt comments, raised eyebrows, scowls and an obvious effort by all parties to maintain confidentiality about the issues at hand, both the JPC and governing board have offered the public very little toward identifying the source of all the smoke that seems to have been increasing in density of late.

School Board Votes Against 4 Day Week

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You could hear a pin drop. The room was just that silent. The school board had just voted. For a full minute or more people looked around. It seemed like no one outside the board knew what had happened. Finally a couple voices spoke up. “What just happened here?” The question was amplified by stirrings from a confused audience that was not at all sure what had just been proposed and passed by the board.
Without looking at the hundred or so members of the community still gathered, the board said that they had voted to accept the version of the school calendar for the coming school year that mirrored the current calendar, but included Fridays.
It was only then that everyone understood that the board had rejected the proposed four-day school week plan. The room erupted into shouts. Some present shouted out in anger,

County Approves Retiree Health Care

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With a unanimous vote May 17, Sierra County Commissioners approved Ordinance #17-011 establishing a Retiree Health Care Act. With this action, the commission assured county employees, retirees, spouses and their dependants would begin receiving the added benefits and security July 1.
Prior to the morning’s regular session, commissioners convened a public hearing to obtain comments about the proposed ordinance. While no citizens came forward during the session, statements from administrative staff and comments of support from Sheriff Glenn Hamilton reassured the board a majority of employees would welcome the addition.

Village Welcomes New Trustees

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After formally accepting the resignation of Trustee Wanpen Root during their May 11 regular meeting, the Village of Williamsburg Board of Trustees turned their attention to two new applicants and subsequently approved the appointment of both candidates with unanimous votes.
Joining the board to fill out the current Position-4 Trustee term will be Mary Gagne and taking over Position-2 Trustee responsibilities will be long time community resident William Frazier.
Board members have been working short staffed since early February, when former Trustee Ron Hoskins Sr. tendered his resignation, and were then faced with quorum concerns, when Trustee Root submitted her letter of resignation in mid-April.

School Threats Causing Big Concern

Police beat

“Rumor and hear-say” of a possible planned attack on Hot Springs High School (HSHS) are said to be the cause of low attendance on Tuesday, May 9.
According to Truth or Consequences Police Chief Lee Alirez, HSHS faculty notified TCPD School Resource Officer Ted Ontiveros on May 8 of a rumor that a student was possibly planning an attack the following day. Officers, with the assistance of New Mexico State Police, began interviewing students, even calling them in after school hours Monday to get to the bottom of the allegations.

Film Fest Kick Off

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Now that everyone has had a few days to rest up from last weekend’s annual Fiesta celebration, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) officials are primed to host this weekend’s annual Hot Springs Festival. This year’s gathering will feature three full days of activities, music and events, centering at Healing Waters Plaza, all assembled to create a focus on healing and wellness and of course, the city’s famous thermal waters.
The following highlights many of the activities and events scheduled for this year’s festival. A full listing and details about all of the weekend’s planned events can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Sentinel or online through MainStreet T-or-C’s website (www.torcmainstreet.org) under the

New T-Ball Field Open

Little Leage Ribbon Cutting

T-or-C City Manager and Rotary Club President Juan Fuentes presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new T-Ball field at Louis Armijo Sports Complex during Sierra County Little League’s opening day, Monday, May 1. The Elephant Butte and T-or-C Rotary Clubs helpped fund the expansion of the field, including the construction of dugouts and safety rails along the fencing.