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Flu strikes up in January

The flu season has been at its highest peak this year. According to, the flu season occurs between January and February. Socorro General Hospital public relations manager Brad Treptow said the hospital had five confirmed flu cases in December and three hospitalizations. From Jan. 1 through Jan. 20 there have been 16 confirmed flu cases and two hospitalizations. The three hospital-based clinics of pediatrics, internal medicine and family practice are seeing 30 patients a day with flu-like symptoms, he said.

Beames to oversee five N.M. hospitals

Bo Beames

Socorro General Hospital administrator Bo Beames now holds the title interim vice president for Presbyterian Regional Hospitals. Beames accepted the temporary position as interim and will support the five Presbyterian regional hospitals: Presbyterian Española Hospital, the Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital in Tucumcari, the Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso, the Plains Region Medical Center in Clovis and Socorro General Hospital. As interim, Beames will oversee general operations, and his role will be to share information within the network of regional hospitals of Presbyterian Healthcare. Beames will also share information related to impending changes within the health care industry, he said.

City hears plea from schools

At the City Council meeting Monday night, in the public forum, Socorro Consolidated Schools Superintendent Randall Earwood presented to council members the importance of the community voting for the mill levy in the school board election Feb. 5. Earwood said the mill levy is for general maintenance of facilities and is $5 million dollars, covering a four year period. There will be no increase in taxes if the mill levy passes, he said.

School looks to improve

At the Socorro Consolodated Schools Board meeting Monday night, school board members met at Zimmerly Elementary School to receive updates about school improvements, plans and processes for the 2012-2013 school year. School board secretary Dawn Weaver asked questions regarding the areas in which the school scored poorly by state standards. The categories were "current standing," "school growth" and "growth of the highest performing student."

Up again for music awards

File photo: Jeff Bhasker

Socorro native and music producer Jeff Bhasker continues to amaze audiences with his musical talents. Throughout the years, he has produced the works of hip hop artists such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, and R&B singers Alicia Keys, Beyonce and the group FUN.

Enter Solaro Energy

Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Mayor Ravi Bhasker, Solaro vice president of operations Emilia Dikunova, Gov. Susana Martinez, Solaro CEO Dennis Grubb and Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela stand under a Solaro light that is installed in a room at City Hall during a presentation Dec. 21.

Socorro is now the new home site for Solaro Energy. Solaro, which makes point-of-use solar electric lighting, ventilation and solar electric generating systems, brings jobs and economic development to the area.

Sharing their passion

Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Leon Miler, Cathy Kincaid and Beverly Hansen

Socorro artists Cathy Kincaid, Beverly Hansen and Leon Miler share a strong passion and desire for what they love to do most.