Activities abound this weekend at Rockhound State Park outside Deming.
There will be a plant sale of native and "adapted" plants from 8 a-m to noon behind the Rockhound State Park Visitor's Center. One-gallon plants are mostly seven-dollars... and five-gallon plants are mostly 17-dollars.
And a desert wildlife display with animal pelts and more will be set up Saturday up from 9 a-m to noon at the Visitor's Center. The display is the work of Mesilla Valley State Park Heritage Educator LuAnn Kilday.
Plus there are two walks scheduled Saturday: a Bird Walk from 8 to 9 a-m in Spring Canyon... and a Wildflower Walk from 9 to 10 on Jasper Trail.
And then food booths, kid games, entertainment and music are set for Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5.
The County Commissioners will meet in regular session Thursday.
The commissioners will consider several items pertaining to Starmax, including a digital system upgrade of the movie theatre, a facility patio and a second addendum to the operating lease and agreement.
Also... the commissioners will consider several resolutions pertaining to colonias designations and funding... a county match to a U-S-D-A Rural Business Enterprise Grant... a county comprehensive plan update... a contract extension to the Rural Primary Health Care Act... and fire protection fund distribution applications.
Included on the agenda is a presentation by Joe Lobato of New Mexico Clean and Beautiful awarding Keep Luna County Beautiful with three awards... and the presentation of an appreciation award to Aramark by Keep Luna County Beautiful Administrator Jessica Johnson.
Also on the agenda is the introduction of new Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Darwin Williams... and the presentation of five year service awards to Dawn Lint with the Detention Center and Billy Ruiz with Facilities and Special Projects Department... and a 10-year service award to Benny Ramon with Planning and Community Development.
The meeting is set to begin at 9 Thursday morning in the commission chambers, located on the third floor of the Luna County Courthouse. The meeting is open to the public.
A closed session to discuss the Columbus port of entry bypass project and properties in the 1800 block of South Lime will follow the open meeting.
James Aaron Butz, age 27, was arrested for burglary, larceny, causing criminal damage to property and on an Adult Probation and Parole Office warrant for a probation violation... Elizabeth Diaz, age 36, was arrested on a Municipal warrant for failure to pay fines... and a 16-year-old boy was detained for minor allowing self to be served alcohol after an incident at Cesar Chavez Charter High School.
Included on the agenda is Superintendent Harvielee Moore's contract... a resolution to support Bell Elementary's School Improvement two-year grant application... a farm lease agreement... and proclamations for National Child Abuse Prevention, School Nurse Day and National School Library Week.
The board also will hear updates on the 2012-2013 Secondary Student Handbook... and policies pertaining to public participation at board meetings and order of business at board meetings.
The meeting is set to begin at 5 Thursday afternoon in the board room of the Emmett Shockley Administration Building, 400 Cody Road. The meeting is open to the public.
An executive -- or closed -- session will precede the open meeting at 3 Thursday afternoon. The closed session will be to discuss the superintendent's contract... the assignment or resignation of an employee... a tort... an unemployment claim... and the former Columbus School building and other properties.
And a work session to review Bell Elementary's data and discuss next year's School Improvement Grant proposal will precede the executive session at 2 Thursday afternoon.
Anthony Lucero-Torres, age 26, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, concealing identity and on an Adult Probation and Parole Office warrant for a probation violation... Polly Taylor, age 46, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines... Jimmy Mathis, age 30, was arrested for aggravated stalking...
Darlene Dominguez, age 50, was arrested on an Adult Probation and Parole Office warrant for a probation violation... Nicholas Dalia, age 37, was arrested on a Municipal warrant for failure to appear and was cited for possession of marijuana... a 16-year-old boy was charged with minor allowing self to be served alcohol... and a 14-year-old boy was picked up on a juvenile arrest warrant and was charged with resisting or evading officers.
The State Economic Development Department's New Mexico MainStreet Program will be hosting a three-day workshop in Deming on grant writing. The workshop will focus on how to find and compete for grant funds. Officials say funding is awarded to those who are actively pursuing grants... so the focus will be on participants learning how to get their share of funding for their agency or organization. The workshop is scheduled for April 24th through the 26th -- from 9 to 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 to noon on Thursday. Registration is 150-dollars if postmarked by April 16th... or 175-dollars after April 16th. The registration fee is non-refundable... but space is limited and registrations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is not guaranteed until the registration fee is received at the Economic Development Department office. The registration form and more information are available online at nmmainstreet.org/institutes.php .
A warrant was issued for Jamie Pannel, age 30, of Columbus, Ohio, for unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and theft of a credit card -- crimes that occurred in Luna County... James Marquez, age 50, was arrested for shoplifting at Kmart... Sergio Granillo, age 24, was arrested on an Adult Probation and Parole office warrant for a probation violation... Joe Melendez, age 41, was arrested on two warrants -- one Magistrate and one Municipal... a Magistrate warrant was served on inmate Lorenzo Jaramillo, age 23, for failure to appear, failure to comply with conditions of probation and failure to comply with D-W-I programs... and a Magistrate warrant was served on inmate Robin Loftin, age 27, for failure to pay fines.
Also... a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo valued at three-thousand dollars was stolen from a location off Klondike; a stereo valued at three-hundred dollars was taken from a residence at the same location... an ignition interlock device, a radar detector and a vehicle performance programmer with a combined value of 16-hundred dollars were taken from a vehicle parked off South Santa Fe; also the vehicle was keyed and damage is estimated at a thousand dollars... a laptop computer valued at 500-dollar was taken from a residence off North Platinum... over 200-dollars cash was taken from a wallet left at a restaurant off North Platinum... and a window was shot on a home off Corte de Diana.
Luna County officials are looking for volunteers interested in helping with the Buzz-Free After-Prom Party sponsored by the Luna County D-W-I Prevention Program. Luna County D-W-I Program Coordinator Katherine Smyer said that prom night is the deadliest night for teens... and hosting an alcohol-free party is a way for the community to keep students safely entertained. Smyer said she highly encourages parents, teachers and community members to participate in this fun-filled event. The Buzz-Free After-Prom Party will be held at the Starmax Entertainment Center, and teens will be able to enjoy two movies, bowling, arcade games, miniature golf, dancing and refreshments. Anyone interested in volunteering should call 544-7377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eight Luna County senior 4-H members will be advancing to the State 4-H Shooting Sports shotgun competition next month in Raton. The County 4-H Shotgun contest was held Monday and the highpoint shooter was Cassie Hartman, followed by Jason Lewis, Tee Pickett, and Zach Speir. Those 4 will advance as Luna County Team #1.
Comprising the second local shotgun team to advance to State are Jonathan Lewis, Tel Pickett, Crystal Hays, and James Shaffer.
On the second team, Lewis and Pickett had tying scores, as did Hays and Shaffer, and so tie-breaking shoot-offs had to be held for placings.
The Luna County 4-H Shotgun teams are coached by Tim Hartman and Wesley Peterson.
The teams will compete against other 4-H shotgun teams from around the state at the N-R-A Whittington Center outside Raton in early May.
Preliminary figures from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions show Luna County with a February unemployment rate of 20.7% -- up from the January revised rate of 20% but down slightly from last February's rate of 21.1%.
Following Luna County in the list of New Mexico counties with the worst unemployment is Mora County with 15.3% unemployment and Guadalupe at 12.1% percent. Those were the only 3 counties in the state with unemployment greater than 10%.
Rounding out the top 5 are Taos at 9.6% and Catron at 9.5%.
In our area, Grant County was at 8.3% unemployment in February, Hidalgo County was at 6.6%, and the Las Cruces area was at 8.1%.
The county with the least unemployment remains Los Alamos with 4%.
The state unemployment rate for February -- at 7.8% -- was up from the 7.3% rate in January.
The New Mexico labor force estimates show Luna County with a labor force of 12,160 -- with 9,644 employed and 2,516 unemployed.