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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
June 13, 2014     Hidalgo County Herald
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June 13, 2014

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2HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 Train derailments in Hurley worry some Whipple, Dimas complete WNMU Leadership Program Hidalgo County EMS Director David Whipple and Transfer Station Supervisor Tommy Dimas were recognized by the Hidalgo County Commission on May 19 for their participation in'the four-month 2014 Western New Mexico University Southwest New Mexico Leadership Program. The program provides professional development to support and inspire a new generation of leaders. For four months, participants focus on key areas including identifying leaders, enhancing community knowl- edge, developing and strengthening professional leadership skills, networking, understanding forces and trends affecting community development, communication and community involvement. The leadership program allows the participants to discover and expand their leadership strengths, sharpen critical skills essential for effective results, gain increased confidence in working with groups, man- aging conflict, and leading effective meetings. The program allows students to become better edu- cated about their community and the issues and challenges facing Southwest New Mexico. Pictured are Whipple (above) and Dimas (below) with Commissioners Darr Shannon, Ed Kerr Chair and Richard Chaires. Courtesy photos We ILave a wide variety of could use a 8e 01, aTole "Free--- Delivery 12,4 E. MOTEL DR,VF ,N LORDSBURC t "'q l 542- 88 80 living to tracks By STEWART MCCLINTIClSi/ver City Daily Press SILVER CITY -- On May 30, a train derailed in Hurley. This makes four derailments on the Southwestern Railroad within two years and it is a con- cern to those who live close to the tracks. According to Hurley Police Chief of Police Pete Ordonez, four tanker cars filled with sulfu- ric acid jumped the tracks during the derailment on Friday. None of the tanks were reported to have leaked. Despite this, Ordonez said that mine experts from Freeport- McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., the owner of the Chino Mine, have declared the site safe. Ordonez added that in such emer- gencies the railroad has its own evacuation plans, hazmat capa- bilities and neutralizing agents. . Although there are plans set in place for these incidents, many citizens are still concerned. Angelina Maruffo, a Hurley resident, said she is worried about train derailments because of her family. "I think it's awful. It's very concerning," she said. "I think it (the derailment) is being ne- glected." In Bayard, Charol Brown, whose mother owns Bayard Caf6, said she is definitely concerned about these derailments because their establishment is next to the tracks. When the trains go by "they make the building rattle," she said. She expressed concern that if the trains are going too fast then they could jump the tracks and run into the building. "Yeah, it's kinda scary," said Patricia Torrez, a resident of Bayard, whose boyfriend lives by the tracks. "That's not too far from here (her boyfriend's house). If one derailed it could go flying through someone's yard." Five months prior to the most recent derailment, another train derailed in Hurley on Nov. 30. Prior to that, two others derailed in 2013 in close proximity to Bayard, Hurley and the Chino Mine. Even if there are set plans to deal with such incidents, there have still been four separate de- railments on Southwestern Railroad's watch. According to General Man- ager John McCormick of Southwestern's Deming division of the railroad, each incident has occurred under different circum- stances. One was caused by a track washout and another was due to a weak track. He said they do not yet know what caused the latest incident, but assured that the railroad regularly inspects and repairs the tracks. One derailment, just five months ago, took three lives and made national news. McCormick preferred not to comment on that derailment. Although citizens and busi- ness owners seem to be wary, Bayard's mayor, Charles Kelly, is not. "I'm not concerned yet. If there were a derailment in Bayard then I would be." Kelly might not be worried about a train derailment in his community but Mayor, Edward Encinas of Hurley is. Encinas said that he did not learn about the most recent inci- dent until a couple of days later. "I wasn't aware of it until Monday," he said. "I'm in the pro- cess of investigating." Encinas said that normally the railroad is supposed to call both him and the police about any derailments, yet this time he had to hear about it from his po- lice chief. Richard Cameron, a Hurley resident, saw the incident on his way home just after it happened. Cameron ran into a police officer and told him what he saw. The police officer did not know any- thing about the incident at the time. "I thought, you know, that's not appropriate," Cameron said in regard to the railroad'g neglect- ing to inform the town. The incidents of train derail- ment have been on Cameron's mind for a couple of years now and after speaking with some of the residents of Hurley, he learned that there used to be a system of sirens in effect that would warn residents of a potential threat. Cameron believes there should be some kind of system to warn the citizens of potential danger. According to Federal Rail- ro~d Administration spokesman Warren Flatau, there is no current investigation on the most recent derailment and the one from No- vember is still ongoing. By Lordsburg Mayor Arthur Clark Smith Continued from Page 1 up with La Frontera NM to add new trees, volleyball courts, and other items at Short Park. We are having a housing study conduted at this time along with United States Senator Tom Udall's staff, U.S. Department Of Housing and Urban Develop- ment, U.S. Department of Agricul- ture Southwest Regional Hous- ing, Hidalgo County, and many others working with us on the housing need. The City Of Lordsburg was chosen by the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department for the city's Motel Drive Streetscape and Revitaliza- tion program. We have received $1.5 million in different types of federal and state grants. I will write about these at a later date and write on new grants the city has written. There are many new programs and projects that the City of Lordsburg has going on, or will have going in the near fu- ture. Myself and the city council are working as a team for Lordsburg--present day and fu- ture. We have great working rela- tions with Hidalgo County, the Chamber Of Commerce, the fed- eral government, state of New Mexico government and many more agencies. I will keep you posted on City of Lordsburg projects and issues as time goes on. Elks hosting 4th of July Raffle The Lordsburg Elks Lodge #1813 is currently raffling off $200 worth of fireworks and a 38-quart wheeled ice chest. The tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Drawing will be held on July 4, 2014 following the lodge's Mud Volleyball Tournament. To purchase tickets, see any participating Elks member or stop by the Cottage House. Special thanks to Mom & Pop's Pyro Shop for.their support of this chari- table raffle. Herald staff photo I would like to sincerely offer my gratitude to those who showed their confidence in me in the recent Democratic Primary Election. Your votes of support are much appreciated and I vow to continue to serve to the best of my abili . Thank you again, Thomas Cbun.ty Magistrate Judge Thank you to all the citizens of Hidalgo County who took the time to vote. I am humbled by the support I received fromyou. I hope to be able to meet a lot of you on the campaign trail to the General Election in November. Thank you, Enchiladas, Potato Salad, Rice, Bread, Dessert & Drink Knights of lColumbus Jose plate For delivery, call Sal Diaz at 575-542-92z9 or Jr Saucedo at 575-313-3o4o Proceeds to benefit the Knights of Columbus Scholarship Fund Thank you to all of our Hidalgo County residents who came out to vote last week. I truly appreciate the support that was given to me. Thank you to all of the friends and supporters who helped, make my campaign a success. I promise to continue providing professional law enforcement to the people of Hidalgo County. Thanky0u, 8aturnin0 JVlader0