Author Archive

Socorro ghost hunters look for answers

Cody Polston of Socorro looks for the truth in the strangest of places. He and members of the Southwest Ghost Hunters Association, an organization he founded in Socorro in 1985, are trying to clear up mysteries or, as the case may be, validate claims of hauntings.

DIGGING UP Socorro’s past

Photo by John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain:  Remnants of a stone wall have been found.

Michael Bletzer has a rough job ahead of him. The Albuquerque archaeologist is determined to map the boundaries of the original pueblo over which Socorro was built.

Fire at saw mill burns scrap lumber

Photo courtesy of Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley:  Wind fueled a scrap lumber fire at a saw mill west of Magdalena Monday afternoon.

Firefighters from three area fire departments responded Monday afternoon to a scrap lumber fire at a saw mill near the Very Large Array, off Highway 52 west of Magdalena.

Library to host music from ranch, open range

Courtesy photo: Steve Cormier will perform at the Magdalena Library 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Return to the early days of New Mexico at the Magdalena Public Library 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 when it presents an appearance by actor, singer and historian Steve Cormier in a program of old cowboy songs and stories.

Tech to play host to chess tourney

Many of the best chess players in the state will converge on Socorro for the New Mexico Open Chamnpionship Chess Tournament at Fidel Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Village protests school well

The Magdalena Village Board of Trustees approved a letter from Mayor Diego Montoya to the Office of the State Engineer protesting the Magdalena School District's application for an upgraded water well, in a special meeting last Friday.

Firefighters converge on Academy

Eric Heinz — El Defensor Chieftain: A crew gets detailed instructions on stabilizing a crashed vehicle and safely extracting injured passengers at the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy last week.

The New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy hosted over 350 firefighters from across the state and even a crew from Juarez, Mexico last week. The eight-day training extravaganza – a partnership of the 59th annual Fire School and the New Mexico Emergency Medical Technicians Association – saw firefighters, EMTs and paramedics training in a wide variety of fire- and EMS-related disciplines.

There’s no stopping Ernie

John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain: Ninety-one-year-old Ernie Andrus takes a break for breakfast at the  restaurant at Eagle Guest Ranch in Datil.

He's a World War II veteran who fought and tended the wounded in the bloody battles on Saipan and Tinian. He's 91 years old and whom CBS News has referred to as the oldest person to run across America from coast to coast.

Pie Town serves up festival Saturday

Courtesy photo: Megan Bartasevich serves up a slice of chocolate pie in a clip from the film “The Pie Lady of Pie Town.”

The Pie Festival. It's the event that has brought fame and visitors — from both across the state and nationwide — to tiny Pie Town, New Mexico, for the last 35 years.

Middleton sworn in as trustee

John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain:  Magdalena Village Clerk Stephanie Finch, left, swears in new trustee Lynda Middleton at Monday’s village board meeting.

The Magdalena Village Board of Trustees is back to full strength as of Monday after the board approved Mayor Diego Montoya's choice of Lynda Middleton to fill the fourth seat, which had been vacant since June 23 with the resignation of Barbara Baca.

Center gets makeover

John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain:  A worker cleans up debris in the cavity of the Macey Center.

Anyone driving the loop around New Mexico Tech, specifically Olive Lane, can't help but notice the gaping cavity on the south side of Macey Center.

A new leash on life

Unwanted dogs running loose in Socorro and Magdalena, as well as county wide, are becoming less of a problem than they were just a few years ago, thanks to a burgeoning dog rescue network.