Familiar face in checkout line calls it a day

John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain: Thomas Herron checks out a customer during his last week at Smith’s. He’s retiring after 38 years in the business.

Thomas Herron has proven that one doesn't have to be a politician or business leader to be known and well-liked in the community. He is someone shoppers have seen behind grocery checkout counters in Socorro since 1976 – for the last 13 years at Smith's Food & Drug Center.

2015 comes storming in

Eric Heinz - El Defensor Chieftain: Anthony Silva, 14, front, and Joshua Silva, 14, hit a snow ramp together on a sled Saturday on the New Mexico Tech campus.

People stranded by snowfall, slick road conditions and freezing temperatures were all pieces of a whiteout that lasted from last Wednesday through Saturday morning in Socorro County.

Sevilleta refuge to host annual meeting Jan. 18

Photo courtesy of Fish and Wildlife Service: A group of pronghorn gather around “drinkers” of water around the McKenzie Flats of the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge north of Socorro. Amigos de la Sevilleta along with the  refuge will host their third annual meeting 1-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the visitors center.

In a celebration of wildlife and biological education, the members of the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge will host their third Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Amigos de la Sevilleta friends organization.

Socorro man accused of armed robbery

Charles Baca, 26, is being evaluated to determine if he is competent to stand trial, after he was accused of and subsequently arrested for holding a man at knifepoint and robbing him of a cell phone Dec. 6 on Bullock Boulevard near Sedillo Park.

Refuge seeks bids from farmers


To be a five-year tenant of the agricultural land at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, producers must ensure an annual supply of 1.5 million pounds of non-genetically-modified-organism (GMO) corn.

Bar counts dollar decorations

John Larson — El Defensor Chieftain: Janice Argabright and Patrick Zamora begin the happy task of removing a year’s worth of bills from the walls of the Owl Bar and Café last week.

For the past 14 years, Rowena Baca and her crew at the Owl Bar and Café have kept up the time-honored practice of bringing down the dollar bills.

Nepotism ordinance amendments passed

Cousins of county officials elected to office, who have worked for Socorro County for at least a year, are now exempt from the supervisory nepotism clause of the personnel policy, after officials voted to amend it Tuesday.