Author Archive

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.

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.

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.

Austin singer-songwriter to perform Friday

Courtesy photo:  Guy Forsyth will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. March 28 at the Macey Center auditorium.

Socorro music lovers are in store for a little bit of blues — mixed with a side of country, folk and Americana; and plenty more — when Guy Forsyth takes the stage 7:30 p.m. March 28 in the Macey Center auditorium.

Board turns meeting over to RUS official

During its most recent meeting Feb. 26, the Socorro Electric Cooperative's Board of Trustees — with a full house in attendance — touched on concerns of the co-op's operations, issues the mayor has with the SEC and capital credits.

Officer assaulted in his own home

Timmy Leyba

A Magdalena man is in custody after being charged with four felonies and six misdemeanors in connection with a vehicle accident, a domestic dispute and a home invasion on Sunday, March 9.

State-wide exercise prepares Socorro for snowballing crisis

As a snowstorm held Socorro County paralyzed last week, all highways in and out of the area were closed, numerous wrecks on Interstate 25 stranded dozens of travelers, a vehicle carrying potentially dangerous insects overturned and snowbound cattle trucks stranded hundreds of cows — emergency services were taxed to the limit.