Water supply still a concern

In light of the water crisis that plagued the Village of Magdalena for up to five months last year, Mayor Diego Montoya proposed an ordinance to limit residents' water usage at Monday night's meeting of the Village Board of Trustees.

Line crews keep county plugged in

Jon Rejent — El Defensor Chieftain:  Jacob Ortiz, with the Socorro Electric Cooperative, fixes a security light Monday afternoon. The co-op’s line crews are responsible for maintaining power lines, replacing damaged  infrastructure, responding to power outages and more.

Responsible for maintaining more than 3,400 miles of power lines, Socorro Electric Cooperative crews have their hands full fixing streetlights, replacing poles, installing meters — and occasionally, responding to outages.

District continues JUMP discussion

As discussion surrounding Socorro Consolidated Schools' new multi-age program continues, the superintendent expanded on benefits and obstacles that the district foresees during a meeting Monday at Parkview.

Pino Fire burns more than 200 acres

Clara Garcia — for El Defensor Chieftain:  It only took one burning ember from a small trash fire Friday to spark the out-of-control wildland fire that burned 207 acres of salt cedar, grass and brush along the Rio Grande in northern Socorro County. Socorro District State Forester Doug Boykin advises against any kind of burning in dry, windy conditions.

The area's first large wildland fire this season — the Pino Fire, spanning the Socorro/Valencia county line — took five days and 110 personnel to get under control.

Vallejos to pay back $123K

The case against Joseph Vallejos, owner of JM Abstract and Title Company, has finally come to a resolution. Vallegos pleaded guilty in Seventh District Court to 30 felony counts; four counts of embezzlement and 26 counts of fraud.

Levee project expanded, start date delayed

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:  Engineered levees in Socorro can be found on either side of the Socorro Diversion Channel. Pictured here is the right upstream levee, seen looking west.

A windfall of $10 million from the federal government means the first two phases of the long-awaited U.S. Corps of Engineers Rio Grande Floodway levee project are now funded, nearly doubling the length of the river levee to be re-engineered in the next two years, according to project manager Jerry Nieto.