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Newspaper Archive of
Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
May 22, 2015     Hidalgo County Herald
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May 22, 2015
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VOLUME 15 ISSUE 21 FRIDAY MAY 22, 2015 75 Hidalgo County SmallTown Papers 217 West Cota Street 5helton, WA 98584 Xfra Lg 1 Topping HCS0, LPD to participate in Click It or Ticket Campaign Courtesy submission Once again, The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and Lordsburg Police De- partment are reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforce- ment agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement May 18 through May 31, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. "Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes," said Sheriff W. D. Walter. "As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up." According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occu- pants killed in crashes in 2013 were un- restrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 percent of those killed. That's why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforce- ment agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Hidalgo County, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $82.00 dol- lars. In New Mexico, 152 unbelted ve- hicle occupants died in 2014 based on preliminary data. Nationally, almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2013, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 41 percent were not buckled up. "If you ask the family members of those unrestrained people who were killed in crashes, they'll tell you--they wish their loved ones had buckled up," added Chief Robert Rodriguez. "The bottom line is that seat belts save lives. If these enforcement crackdowns get people's attention, and get them to buckle up, then we've done our job." For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit Bill to help veterans through disability claims appeals process Courtesy submission U.S. Senator Tom Udall last week joined several senators to introduce a bill to help improve the quality and con- sistency of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims appeals and help address the VA's oldest pend- ing claims. Specifically, the bill would improve and expand pro bono legal ser- vices for veterans during their appeals process, and provide the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with additional author- ity to expedite consideration of unrea- sonably delayed claims. "The backlog of veterans' disabil- ity claims prevents our veterans from ac- cessing the benefits they have earned, and I'm continuing to push to eliminate the backlog and ensure that all claims are adjudicated as quickly and effi- ciently as possible," Udall said. "Provid- ing veterans with access to pro bono le- gal assistance is a common-sense step to reduce the appeals backlog, simplify navigation of the legal process for our veterans and help ensure the prompt reso- lution of claims." Veterans' appeals for benefits are initially reviewed by the Board of Veter- ans Appeals before review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Since 1991, Congress has periodically authorized the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to work with the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to provide legal assistance to low-income veterans appearing before the court. Udall's Vet- erans Appeals Assistance and Improve- ment Act of 2015 would allow the LSC to provide assistance to a veteran throughout their appeal process, includ- ing their appearance before the Board'bf Veterans Appeals, which handles a much larger backlog of claims. The bill would also clarify that the LSC has authority to coordinate with legal clinics and other local legal assistance organizations to provide help to veterans. These changes would provide more veterans with legal assistance and provide it earlier in the appeals process, which will result in faster and more equitable resolution of claims. 3 re and 4 th graders participate in Soil Stewardship Week On Monday April 27 th and Tuesday April 28 th, 3 a and 4 th graders in Animas, Duncan and Lordsburg participated in a program sponsored by the Hidalgo Soil and Water Conservation District to celebrate Soil Stewardship Week, April 27 th- May 3% Each class learned about Soil Stewardship and why it is important to be good stewards of the soil. They learned about erosion and how plants help keep the soil healthy by preventing erosion. Each student was given an Afghan Pine seedling to take home and practice good soil stewardship by planting the tree. Members ofthe Hidalgo Coopera- tive Extension Service and Southwest Cooperative Weed Management Area made demonstrations on tree planting so that the students were able to suc- cessfully plant and grow a tree at home. The Hidalgo Soil and Water Conserva- tion District Board are an elected group of officials that are charged with educa- tion about, and conservation of, soil and water in Hidalgo County. This is the sixth year the Board has done this program and is planning on making it an annual event each spring. The Board of Super- visors consists of: Stan Jones, Darr Shannon, Jonna Darnell, David Ramos, Walt Anderson, Meira Gault and Eric McSpadden. Courtesy submission PNM's application to raise residential rates unanimously rejected by PRC Courtesy submission All five members of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission LHS student wins Congressional Art competition Alondra Gonzalez, a senior at Lordsburg High School, won first place in the Congressional Art Competition, sponsored by Congressman Steve Pearce for District 2. LHS art instructor Bethany Walter submitted several works students have completed in her class, including pencil drawings, layered paper projects and pen and ink drawings.The piece that earned Gonzalez a first place for was pen and ink, entitled"Night Owl".The drawing will be displayed at the Rotunda in Washington D.C. for one year with other national winners. Gonzalez won tickets to fly to DC for the national reception on June 24, 2015 to be recognized for her artwork. A committee has been formed to help raise funds to send Gonzalez and her mother to DC. Rep. Pearce's office is paying for travel, but Gonzalez will be responsible for meals, hotel and taxis. An account has been set up at Western Bank in her name if anyone would like to donate. Courtesy photos (PRC) voted to reject Public Service Company of New Mexico's (PNM) ap- plication to increase electrical rates for the company's residential customers dur- ing the Commission's case management meeting held Wednesday afternoon, May 13. The Commission collectively agreed with PRC staff assertions that the application submitted by PNM was in- complete and, as stated by PRC Hear- ing Examiner Carolyn Glick, the state's largest utility company failed to pro- vide adequate information pertaining to how PNM calculated their estimated costs, and neglected to provide the PRC and interveners with electronic acces- sibility to many documents. PRC General Counsel Attorney Judith Amer further explained that such access is essential for PRC staff and others to effectively inspect the authen- ticity of cost estimates submitted to the PRC by any utility. The Commission's decision to re- ject the application submitted by PNM instructs the utility company to file a new application by September 1. The proposed rate increase sought to increase the base charge to residen- tial customers by $7.80, and more than 16 percent in monthly charges. PNM's proposal also requested fees for new solar customers ranging between $21 and $26 to connect to the electrical grid. "By any means, our decision is not a rejection of PNM's rate increase re- quest," Commission Vice Chair Lynda Lovejoy stated. "It is simply a proce- dural matter to have PNM resubmit their application, using more recent base period data. It's my opinion that the hearing examiner and counsel were thorough in combing thorough infor- mation." "I feel like this is the proper thing to do on this particular filing, and we look forward to PNM re-filing their rate case and see if we can find a bal- ance between the company and con- sumers," said Commissioner Patrick Lyons. "It is our job to balance afford- able rates and reliable service to the people of New Mexico." Commissioner Valerie Espinoza said, "Because many numbers and as- sumptions were combined to produce PNM's proposed rates, an intervener or staff may have wanted to change the particular number, which would have changed the resulting rates and, thus, consumers would have been the first to be hit by the impact of the rate increase. The application was incom- plete, and the FTY Rule requires esti- mates to be fully identified. After ex- hausting debate, I'm grateful for the unanimous decision." A separate order pertaining to set- ting a limit to how far out future test periods can proceed was tabled by the Commission. About the NMPRC The NMPRC regulates public utili- ties, telecommunications companies and motor carriers operating in the State of New Mexico. It also administers the State Fire Marshal's Office, the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy in Socorro, N.M., and the Pipeline Safety Bureau. UPCOMING EVEN'I'S 5th Sunday Sing The 5th Sunday Sing will be held on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lordsburg Church of Christ. All are welcome to attend. All proceeds benefit the Bootheel Ministerial Alliance schol- arship fund. Murray art show The historic Murray Hotel, 200 West Broadway, in downtown Silver City will host the 2015 Silver City Art Associa- tion Artist Member Show. The times for viewing this show are from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. on May 22, 23, 24 and from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. on May 25. The show will feature the work of many artists, many mediums, all local. Look for the Ballroom at the Murray and you will find this fantastic annual show! K of C Bake Sale The Knights of Columbus will hold a bake sale on Sunday, June 14, 2015 after the 9 and 11 a.m. services at St. Josephs Church. K of C Meetings The Lordsburg Knights of Colum- bus will hold a regular meetings on May 18 (election of officers) and June 22 at 6:00 p.m. at James H. Baxter Civic Cen- ter. All are invited to attend. SummerTransferStation hours The Hidalgo County Transfer Sta- tion is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. during the months of May-August. Elks Rummage Sale The Lordsburg Elks Lodge will hold its annual Rummage Sale on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Donations are currently being accepted and can be dropped off at the Cottage House, Hidalgo County Herald or Quality Auto. No clothes please. For more information, or to schedule pick up of items, call Brenda at 575.590.0377 or email lordsburgelks Sauced0's hours Saucedos Supermarket will be open on Monday, May 25, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Elks collecting used flags The Lordsburg Elks Lodge is cur- rently accepting torn, tattered and used flags. The flags will be properly disposed of during the organization's annual Flag Burning Ceremony on June 13, 2015. Flags can be dropped off in Lordsburg at Quality Auto, Hidalgo County Herald and the Cottage House. Commodity Distribution RRFB Mobile Food Pantry will dis- tribute commodities every third Monday of the month at Special Events Center, 10 AM to 2 PM. Recipients must self declare need. The next distribution is June 15, 2015. Continued on Page 3