City Settles With HSLD

City of Truth or Consequences

Following a closed-door executive session, which was called amid the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission’s September 27 regular meeting, board members issued a brief statement outlining a settlement agreement with Hot Spring Land Development (HSLD).
This measure would appear to close out years of litigation between HSLD and the city.
Commissioner Kathy Clark read a prepared statement, which first acknowledged that the city com-mission had approved a settlement with HSLD to de-annex property acquired in 2008.
Clark further stated the commission also approved a declaration to vacate an April 2017 court order for deannexation that included property the city annexed in 2003. Clark emphasized the 2003 property annexation was initiated to connect the city to the municipal airport and stressed that at that time, HSLD was not part of the process.
Commissioners offered no further comments regarding the settlement.

Sea Of Hail


A Lakeshore Highlands woman found herself trapped in what looks like a sea of rocks during Mon- day’s storm, September 25. The woman reportedly attempted to drive her sedan across a water crossing between Rock Canyon and Long Point as the storm waters rushed for Elephant Butte Lake, however, the large amounts of hail had piled up making the area in passable. The woman was able to make it out of her vehicle safely, thanks to the help of neighbors who were in the area
at the time.

County Targets Mental Health


Prior to the September 19 regular meeting, Sierra County Commissioners convened a workshop to receive a presentation regarding a proposed community mental health initiative.
Introducing the issue, county manager Bruce Swingle pointed out a steady decline in mental health services at both the federal and state level. He acknowledged how over recent years this trend has prevented those in need from receiving proper treatment and led to increased numbers of incarcerated individuals, all the while placing an undue burden on local law enforcement and municipalities to address problems with little to no social support structure.
Citing a New Mexico Department of Health survey, Swingle shared sobering statistics showing Sierra County rated number one (per capita) in the state for alcohol and drug related deaths, attempted suicides and for a pronounced sadness and hopelessness among young residents.

School Board Votes Against Cummins Extension


Some executive sessions are more controversial than others. When the school board emerged from behind closed doors to resume the public meeting, Thursday, September 14 they took one action that has reverberated across the community. After calling the meeting back order the board voted 3-2, against extending for one year, the contract of school’s superintendent, Dr. Craig Cummins.
On the meeting agenda there were two items to be discussed in the executive session. One, discussion of pending or threatened litigation was removed when the agenda was approved, leaving discussion of the Superintendent’s evaluation and contract as the only executive session item.
The board returned from the private session and a motion was put forth to extend Dr. Cummins contract for one year. The vote was taken. There were two votes in favor of the extension, Jeanne Feazell, and board president, Jay Johnson and three voting against it, board vice president, Brett Smith, board secretary Crystal Runyan Diamond and Doug Whitehead. Within hours the community was buzzing. Board members were contacted to comment on their vote, for this article. Those comments are included below.

Miss Fiesta Crowned State Fair Queen

Fair officials say they are pleased to report that the newly crowned New Mexico State Fair Queen for 2018 is Clara Rabenau of Sierra County.
Clara was crowned on Saturday, September 16 during the rodeo in Tingley Coliseum. She is the 17-year-old daughter of William and Loretta Rabenau. She is homeschooled and a high school senior. She enjoys reading, hunting, archery competitions, riding and 4-H activities. Clara has participated in several other fair queen competitions at the local level, and holds the title “Miss Fiesta” for the 2017 Truth or Consequences Fiesta. She is very proud of her community and her roots as a self-described ranch girl.

EB Aligns Gun Codes With State

city of eb logo

After recognizing numerous inconsistencies relating to the possession and use of firearms September 9, Elephant Butte City Councilors approved a motion to repeal present municipal regulations outlined in Section 131.12 of the city’s codes.
Councilors noted the previously adopted measures included many confusing aspects, and agreed that the city’s residents would be better served in aligning municipal regulations with related codes already established by the State of New Mexico.
•Following a formal public hearing, board members approved a motion to accept a bid award from Smith-Co Construction for planned improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. This action accepted Smith-Co’s low bid for three of four defined “lots” (projects) proposed to

Residents Provide Rescue, Relief to Hurricane Victims


Watching the images on television of a newborn baby being floated to safety in a plastic tub, and nursing home residents sitting in waist deep water, is what Truth or Consequences resident Destiny Mitchell said moved her to act.
Across town, Chaz Glines, another Red Cross certified lifeguard, decided he couldn’t sit still and enjoy his warm, dry home while tens of thousands of people faced death and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane that hit the Texas coast Aug. 25 with record high winds and a destructive storm surge.
Three other residents, Jesse Robinson, Fishy Flores and Keelie Kink Hardin mobilized an effort to receive donated items like diapers, food, bottled water, and first aid supplies for the victims of the affected area.

Changes Made In SVH Leadership


During closed-door executive session discussions Wednesday, September 6, Sierra Vista Hospital’s (SVH) interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Donna Muder, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Steve Stewart and Executive Secretary Kathy Elverum all tendered their resignations, effective immediately.
This action prompted a direct response from the governing board once members resumed the afternoon’s regular public session.
Upon reconvening the regular meeting, board members first affirmed that only items on the agenda were discussed during the executive session and that no decisions were made.
Following this statement, governing board members approved a motion to postpone consideration of items remaining on the regular meeting agenda until September 13 except for Item 26-4, which pertained to hospital leadership management.

Shooting Star To Rise Again


The city of Truth or Consequences, in cooperation with the newly forming Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter, is proud to announce a restoration effort to bring back to our Lockheed T-33 to a more dignified condition.
In 1943 the XP-80 was the top-secret project that called for a design and build of a jet fighter in 150 days. The designer, Kelly Johnson from Lockheed, and his team delivered ahead of schedule in 143 days. Kelly would go on to start “Skunkworks” and design and build the SR-71 and U-2. The T-33 was based on the Lockheed P-80/F-80 in which they stretched the fuselage three feet to accommodate a second tandem seat and flight controls.
The T-33 was the first jet trainer for pilots that were already qualified on propeller-driven aircraft. Almost all T-33s were assigned to pilot training squadrons. However, our T-33, serial number 19022 had a special mission. It was built in 1951 and served at Holloman Air Force Base until 1964. Our T-33 was assigned to Air Force Missile Development Center, Air Force Research and Development Command, later re-designated Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) in 1961.
Our T-33’s mission was to assist in the development of our missile program by being a chase vehicle for missile testing. The T-33 was instrumental in the development of the Matador/Mace program that became our first Tactical Cruise Missile that was nuclear armed. They not only used the T-33 in support of missile chasing, but also the guidance systems for the Matador/Mace Missiles were installed on the T-33. By doing this, they could simulate long distance guidance systems that could extend the reach of our cruise missiles, they would also use the T-33 for exercises for the Matador.

Schools To Be Honored By State PED

kids holding books

Two local schools in Sierra County will be honored at a ceremony to be held in T-or-C, Friday, September 8. The event will feature representatives of the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) who are traveling the state in what they have named the “Straight A Express.” This is a tour of the fifty school districts in the state tht have the most successful schools in the state. They are giving special recognition to those schools in New Mexico that achieved the highest mark of an “A” in the recent school grading by the state.
In T-or-C we have two schools to be so honored. Both T-or-C Middle School (TCMS) and the T-or-C Elementary School (TCES) have earned this distinction. NMPED representatives will be on hand at TCMS at 8 a.m. and at TCES at 8:30. The representatives will tour each school and present the principals with a banner celebrating their achievement.