News @ Noon

News @ Noon / 24 September 2012

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Welcome to News @ Noon for Monday 24 September 2012 brought to you by Gila / Mimbres Community Radio in a community media collaboration with The Grant County Beat – your daily  newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County.

News @ Noon airs daily at noon and is rebroadcast at 6pm.
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News @ Noon

Click the titles of the individual stories further down the page to read the full articles at

Job Training Incentives are
Focus of Gila EDA Roundtable

Created on Sunday, 23 September 2012 20:20

On Friday, September 21, 2012, the Gila Economic Development Alliance Roundtable met to discuss jobs in Grant County: how to create them; how to train for them; and how to retain them in Grant County.

Sara Haring, the State of New Mexico’s Program Director for the Job Training Incentive Program, and Grant County’s Bonnie Zelinko of Workforce Connections were the featured presenters at the Roundtable.

Zelinko and her staff announced the upcoming “Practical Insights for Employers 2012,” or PIE, event that is being hosted by the Silver City Workforce Connections Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.  The event includes presenters from local, state, and federal agencies who will inform local business owners about new legislation and how it affects them.  Zelinko emphasized that she and her staff have designed the event to be as convenient as possible for local employers to participate:

  • there is no cost to participants
  • it will be held at the Grant County Administration Building
  • it takes only a portion of the business day from 9:00 am to 2 pm
  • and delicious pies will be served before the meeting at 8:30 am, and pizza pie will be served for lunch.

The topics covered will include:

  • Minimum Wage & Hour Issues
  • Workers Compensation
  • Licenses & Regulations
  • Unemployment Insurances Taxes/Issues
  • Employment Law and more

Zelinko also made the point that Workforce Connections offers numerous services to employers including a state-of-the-art computer system that is linked to 20 job banks, is open to everyone in the region, and is a “virtual ‘One Stop System’ for businesses.”

She also pointed out that the new WNMU policies requiring students to do an internship with a local business and to serve as a volunteer in the community put the spotlight on our business owners to provide jobs for the students, giving them an incentive to stay in the County when they graduate.

Next, Sara Haring of the NM Economic Development Department explained the incentive programs available to local employers to support the growth of businesses in New Mexico.  EDD accomplishes this through the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP), which partially reimburses employers for wages, travel expenses, and training costs to train new employees in newly created jobs.  Eligible businesses include manufacturers, “green” businesses, and some headquarters operations.

Following the featured presentations, the Roundtable members gave their reports.

Pool attends last Silver School Board meeting
Created on Friday, 21 September 2012 20:06

A smiling, relaxed Dick Pool attended his last Silver District school board meeting on Thursday, September 20, 2012. The 5:00 p.m. work session was nearly finished in a half hour and the board voted to go into closed session shortly after. When the regular session opened at 7:00 p.m., it was also a short session, ending at 7:25.  In the closed session the board discussed possible litigation and the superintendency.

Pool gave board members the current enrollment figures.  He said enrollment numbers were down by 31 students. He noted at other schools in the district and at Cobre, all showed lower enrollments than last year.

State Senator Howie Morales was on the agenda but he was in Gallup at the time. He had been invited to speak to the board on the new A through F grading system, which he had studied since its passage in Santa Fe at the last legislative session. Pool said the board could invite Morales again at a later date.

Board members were given information on the 2013 school board election dates.  The elections are set for February 5, 2013, with absentee/early voting starting on January 11. Silver will be voting on members in areas 1 and 2. Pool spoke of the Convenience Centers and how the Grant County Clerk’s office would conduct this election.

Aldo Leopold would be expanding to add grades six, seven and eight. The charter had been written to allow for this expansion from the beginning, and the middle school would be in place, ready to begin in the fall of 2013.

Next Wednesday Tony Trujillo would be speaking at WNMU’s Global Resource Center on the impact of Freeport McMoRan on the district, and board president Trent Petty suggested that both he and Candy Milam, assistant superintendent, share the information to be presented there. Pool said the money resulting from McMoRan’s contributions to the district were based on copper mined, not equipment or property the company held.

At the conclusion of Pool’s report, Petty and other board members thanked him for his 14 years of service as superintendent and another eight years before that.

Items to go on the October agenda included approval of a letter to Lon Streib of Sundance, Wyoming, the applicant selected by the board to become the new superintendent. Among Streib’s credentials were assignments as Special Educator since 1973, principal since 1991 and superintendent positions since 1999 to the present. All his professional work was listed as being done in various towns and cities in Wyoming.

The October 18 school board meeting would occur during a fall break, so it will be delayed until the 25th, at 5:00 pm for the work session and 7:00 p.m. for the shorter, more public session.

Health Council Reports and Announcements Heard
Created on Friday, 21 September 2012 13:51

After the presentations at the Monday, Sept. 17 meeting of the Grant County Community Health Council, chairwoman Priscilla Lucero welcomed two new members—Western New Mexico University President Joseph Shepard and Sheriff Raul Villanueva.

The council also approved the appointment of Judy O’Loughlin, representing the agricultural and ranching sector, and Gus Benakis of Silver Schools, representing the  sector. The appointments will be presented to the Grant County Commission for approval.

During staff updates, Coordinator Tiffany Knauf reported that to date 4,600 assessment surveys have been filled out with a goal of 5001 by Oct. 6 – the day of the Mimbres Harvest Festival.  Anyone wishing to fill out the survey should contact the health council at 575.388.1198 or fill it out online at  Knauf said she hopes to release the profile in January, about the same time as the 2013 Resource Directory, which is being updated.

She reported the New Mexico Health Council Alliance – formed after the Department of Health ceased funding health councils throughout the state – received funding for a full-time coordinator  thanks to the Kellogg Foundation.  Knauf will attend the next meeting, because Hidalgo, Luna and Catron have no funding for health councils, so she represents the whole area.

Red Hot Children’s Fiesta was deemed a success, with a new high of 960 maps being returned for prizes, and about 2,800 community members taking part or being involved in the event.

Additional updates were provided by

  • Connie Hostetler – Senior Issues Coordinator
    She reported that surveys will be presented at the Mimbres Harvest Festival to find out how the health fairs are working.
  • A.J. Sandoval – Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities coordinator
    Reported that the Food Basket stores in Silver City and Bayard now have one lane in each store that are family-friendly, with no candy and no tabloids.
  • Dr. Don Johnson – Steering Committee
    Gave an overview of a presentation made at the last full council meeting regarding the now cancelled Getting to Outcomes process.
  • Dr Joseph Shepard – President of WNMU
    Reported the university has 450 more students this semester.
    He encouraged those present to vote yes on the Bond Issue C, for $120 million for higher education. “…If it passes, it will not raise taxes, because it is a bond issue.”
  • Francesca Estevez – District Attorney’s Office
    Said the child abuse rate is definitely not dropping.
  • Brian Bentley – Gila Regional Medical Center CEO
    Stated a need to expand and renovate the county-owned facility at a cost of $38 million. The hospital is looking at financing options, proposed construction will take about two years, and renovations about 18 months with completion by 2017.  That “will make us good for 20 years.”
  • Evangeline Zamora – LifeQuest director
    Voiced concerns about changes in coverage coming to the Medicaid waiver.  When the state decided to close developmental disabilities facilities and put the services on community organizations, the Medicaid waiver was put in place.  “Three thousand are on the waiver… There are a lot of unknowns among providers…  We, as agencies, don’t know where the individuals will be after assessment. We are more concerned about their safety. We also stand to lose revenue.”  …Bentley said the state is completely redesigning Medicaid, to cut $500 million out of the program.
  • Bonnie Zelinko  – Workforce Connections
    Her office has practical insights for employers.  A training session will be held Oct. 24. She invited those interested to call 575.538.3737 to register.
  • Colleen Boyd  – Sexual Assault Support Services
    Reports that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Visit Grant County Beat for more details on this meeting and this related article for further coverage.

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Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! / GMCR Benefit

Please join us at WNMU / Global Resource Center on 12 October 2012 / Noon to hear Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan speak in a benefit fundraiser for Gila / Mimbres Community Radio. Tickets are available at Gila Hike & Bike and Alotta Gelato in beautiful, downtown Silver City or... above to purchase online via PayPal. Note that no tickets will be mailed to avoid lost/delayed tickets. All PayPal tickets will be at the Will Call line on the […]

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