(Deming) – Luna County is one of the most food insecure counties in the nation.
The annual Map the Meal Gap study released this week by Feeding America ranks New Mexico as the most food insecure state among children in the United States – and Luna County as the most food insecure county in the state.
Food insecurity refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
The 2013 study, which uses 2011 data, shows Luna County’s hunger insecurity for the overall population at 25.4%. Among children, the hunger rate rises to 43.2%.
The New Mexico county with the next-highest hunger rate among children is Guadalupe at 36.8%. And the county with the next-highest overall hunger rate is McKinley, at 21.2%.
Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico Communications Officer Sonya Warwick said those statistics mean roughly 6,400 people in Luna County are food insecure or hungry. And worse, she said, is that nearly half the children in the county – 2,900 – do not have access to enough nutritious food.
Warwick said the families of 92% of those 2,900 children qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, which they estimate provides food for just over two weeks every month.
She said the Roadrunner Food Bank fills the gaps by supplying food for distribution through Helping Hand in Deming, the Andrew Sanchez Youth Center in Columbus, and mobile food pantry sites throughout the county.
The annual Map the Meal Gap study did reveal some good news: the rate of hunger in Luna County is down slightly from last year, when the overall hunger rate was 27% and the rate among children was 46.3%.
Warwick said the number of families qualifying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program support was up from last year as well.
(Deming) – Here’s the area crime report:
Israel Renteria, age 74, was arrested for DUI and no driver’s license… Efrain Hernandez-Miramontes, age 52, of Santa Fe, was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer…
Kristina Garay, age 34, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines… and Leonard Hoover, age 52, of Las Cruces, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines.
Laurie Dominguez, age 48, was arrested for shoplifting at Peppers Supermarket and interference with officers… Ivy Taylor, age 25, was arrested on an Adult Probation and Parole Office warrant for a probation violation… Jose Orozco-Lujan, age 43, was arrested on a District Court arrest warrant… Craig Jackson, age 32, was arrested on two Magistrate warrants for failure to appear… and Isaac Alvarez, age 34, of Las Cruces, was arrested on a Municipal warrant for failure to pay fines.
In other news, a 47-year-old man from Hot Springs, Arkansas, said he was riding his bicycle north on the Silver City Highway at about 8:30 a.m. Monday when two Anglo males in a black pickup stopped him, demanded his bicycle, loaded it into the back of their pickup and drove off.
Also, a video game system valued at $400 was taken from a residence off Santa Barbara. Also… two cash registers and a 22-caliber handgun with a combined value of nearly $1,000 were taken from a business off E. Poplar… a 1990s model motor-scooter valued at $600 was taken from a location off 11th Street… the rear window of a pickup parked off Mallory was shot with a bb or pellet gun; damage estimated at $500… video game equipment valued at over $400 was taken from a residence off Santa Barbara… and a spare tire valued at $200 was taken from a semi-trailer parked off W. Spruce.
Deming FFA Chapter is Top in State 6/10/13 11:07a
(Deming) – The Deming High School FFA Chapter was selected as the top chapter in the state for its Program of Activities, and was one of nine chapters to receive a Superior Chapter rating.
The awards were presented during the State FFA Convention last week in Las Cruces.
Advisor Larry Von Tress said the Deming chapter also was one of seven chapters selected to compete for a national chapter award this October in Louisville, Kentucky.
2012 Deming High graduate Courtney Hurt was selected as an American FFA Degree recipient. Von Tress said less than 1% of FFA members in the nation receive an American degree.
Also, Brannick Sweetser and Stephanie Swope received their State FFA Degrees during the convention.
And Hurt was awarded the Beef Production Proficiency Award for New Mexico, while Swope was awarded the Agri-Science Proficiency Award for the state.
Plus, Von Tress said all six Deming FFA members who competed in Agri-Science and science fair projects won first place in their respective classes. Those placing with a gold rating, which allows them to move through the qualification process for competition at nationals, are Spencer McFaul, Shelbie Peterson, Tee Pickett, Taylor Scepka, Stacy Swope and Stephanie Swope.
And Tel Pickett placed second in the state in Extemporaneous Public Speaking.
(Photo: KOB.com facebook)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Several small fires were reportedly burning in the Gila National Forest in Grant County — the site of state's largest wildfire in its history last year.
More than 2,000 firefighters continue to battle two large northern New Mexico wildfires as smaller blazes pop up throughout the drought-stricken state.
Officials said Saturday that both the 29-square-miles Thompson Ridge Fire and the 15-square-mile Tres Lagunas Blaze remain 40 percent contained. Both continue to burn on opposite ends of the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico.
An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.
Tiny wildfires were also reported southwest of Cook's Peak near Angel Fire and near Mt. Taylor outside of Grants.
(Deming) – The Deming City Council will meet in regular session Monday night.
Included on the agenda is a proclamation imposing restrictions on the use of fireworks within the city limits due to the severe drought conditions.
Also, the councilors will consider a resolution designating the City of Deming Florida Street Neighborhood Redevelopment Area… a resolution supporting the Southwest New Mexico Energy and Green Jobs Task Force’s “Regional Strategic Plan for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy” and associated job creation… a resolution of support and a Memorandum of Understanding for Deming MainStreet… a mayoral appointment for a Deming Municipal Court alternate judge… and a multi-services agreement with Luna County for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
In addition, the councilors will conduct four quasi-judicial public hearings for subdivisions, and will present a Heritage Preservation Award for Community Preservation Planning for the Downtown Deming Historical District to MainStreet Manager Bill Duncan.
The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. Monday night in the council chambers of the John Strand Municipal Building on South Gold. The meeting is open to the public.
A workshop to discuss agenda items will precede the open meeting at 4 Monday afternoon.
And a closed session to discuss the sale or lease of rural land will follow the open meeting.
(Deming) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized nearly 300 pounds of marijuana valued at over $235,000 Wednesday afternoon.
According to a media release, the seizure was made at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday when a Ford F250 pickup truck towing an empty flatbed trailer entered the port from Mexico.
A narcotics canine alerted to the trailer, and an officer drilled into the wooden floor of the trailer and found a green substance which tested positive for marijuana.
Officers then opened the wooden floor of the trailer and removed 286 marijuana-filled bundles weighing 294 pounds.
The driver of the truck, 31-year-old Cain Osvaldo Barraza Valois of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico, was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
(Deming) – Here’s the area crime report:
Sergio Venzor, age 60, was arrested for DUI… Ismael Espinoza, age 19, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute… Oswald Sanchez, age 20, was arrested for shoplifting at Wal-Mart and on a Municipal warrant for failure to appear… and Richard Williams, age 22, of Chino Hills, California, was arrested for shoplifting at Wal-Mart. Yecenia Laborin, age 25, of Columbus, was arrested on a Hidalgo County warrant for failure to appear… Ruben Chavira, Junior, age 28, was cited for shoplifting at Wal-Mart… and Flor Vanessa Chavira, age 28, was cited for accessory to shoplifting at Wal-Mart. Also… 600-ft of electric cable wire valued at $4,000 was taken from a location off Stirrup Road SE… and over $100 in prescription pain medications were missing from a residence off Lucca Road SW.
(Deming) – A Las Cruces man is being held on a charge of aggravated fleeing from law enforcement officers while investigators piece together a Friday morning incident that resulted in the seizure of a large amount of marijuana.
Deming Police Captain Glenn Chadborn said 40-year-old Robert Almaraz of Las Cruces was driving a white Chevrolet pickup that received the attention of Border Patrol agents working Highway 146 to Hachita early Friday.
Almaraz refused to stop for the agents, and proceeded onto Interstate 10 heading east, exited at the western-most off-ramp into Deming at about 7:20 a.m., eluded a spike belt, and proceeded to take local law enforcement officers on a chase through several Deming residential areas until he was finally stopped on Calle Jaime.
In the process, Almaraz’s pickup impacted a Border Patrol unit, injuring Almaraz and his two passengers, identified as a 29-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy.
All three were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Chadborn said a Deming police officer fired one shot during the pursuit, but no one was injured from the shot.
Chadborn added that two large bundles of marijuana were found in the pickup.
Additional charges are expected to be filed.
(Deming) – The Department of Homeland Security has extended the current border commercial zone in southern New Mexico to 55 miles.
That means Mexican nationals who have undergone background, fingerprint and security checks may receive Border Crossing Cards that permit them to travel to Deming.
Previously, Border Crossing Card holders had a 25-mile restriction, which did not allow them to travel to Deming.
Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski said increasing the border zone in New Mexico will allow his department to better allocate resources by reducing unnecessary paperwork burdens associated with the Form I-94 process.
Current Department of Homeland Security regulations state that certain nonimmigrant Mexican nationals presenting a Border Crossing Card are not required to complete a CPB Form I-94 if they are staying within 25 miles of the border.
That regulation will now be amended to 55 miles.
Senator Tom Udall said extending the border commercial zone to include additional communities of Deming, Las Cruces and Lordsburg will be a key boost to the economies of those southern New Mexico communities. He said businesses have sought the rule change for years to put New Mexico on a level playing field with other border states.
Arizona, for example, has had a 75-mile border commercial zone since 1999.
(Deming) – A Stars-N-Parks astronomy program will take place this Saturday at City of Rocks State Park.
City of Rocks is located between Deming and Silver City.
Attendees will observe highlights of the June sky, with Venus coming into the evening sky in the west and visible at program start, Saturn high in the south and visible at program start, the Milky Way on the horizon, Scorpius rising, and Leo, Virgo, Ursa Major and the Hydra void well presented.
The event begins with a night sky tour, followed by views of deep sky objects through a high-powered telescope. Matt Wilson will be the presenter.
The program is viewed in a dark sky setting beginning at 9:20 p.m., and attendees should arrive at the park at sunset, which is at about 8:10 p.m., so they can become familiar with their surroundings before nightfall.
The program will end at about 10:50 p.m.
Stars-N-Parks is sponsored by the National Public Observatory, a non-profit membership organization that sponsors astronomy programs for all. More information is available at www.Astro-NPO.org.