First up in the news, we went out to Tres Piedras this week to check out the wildfire in Hondito Canyon. A bolt of lightning ignited the fire in a planning section of Carson National Forest on May 15 – but rather than put it out, forest service crews decided to help the fire grow to over 7,000 acres in order to clean the ponderosa landscape of deadfall and brush that can prove problematic when fire season heats up. Forest managers say the moist weather conditions were ideal to harness the natural fire to accomplish some of the most needed treatments in the district. We take an on-the-ground look at the Hondito Fire and what’s next for the 100 people wrangling it in Thursday’s paper.
And, Memorial Day comes back around on Monday (May 29). As a state with a proud history of service, veterans throughout New Mexico have served in the military from the American Civil War all the way to modern conflicts. We sat down with a veteran who served in the Philippines during WWII, and also spoke to the family of the late Abenicio Romero, a Llano Quemado native who served honorably in several battles during the “War to end all Wars” from 1914 to 1918 before returning home with several medals, including the Purple Heart.
Our editor, Staci Matlock discusses the importance of New Mexico’s history of military service – a common value that seems to continue to cut through the divisiveness that has pervaded our county – and our state – in recent years.
Also in the news, we covered several graduations at area high schools, including Taos High, Questa, Taos Academy and Vista Grande – where one student, Terrance Gomez, received a state bilingual seal in Tiwa and English – the native language of Taos Pueblo. The recognition marks the first time this honor has been earned by a Taos Pueblo student.
And, the Planning and Zoning Commission met Thursday to discuss final permit applications for the controversial Holiday Inn Express, planned for a build site across from the Sagebrush Inn on the south side of Taos. The Commission voted 5 to 0 in favor of the project, recommending that town councilors approve a construction permit for the new hotel – which, at four stories, will be the tallest ever built in town.
In an important win for Taos County’s ongoing fight against drug addiction, Tri-County Community Services recently announced they will be providing new drugs, Suboxone and Vivitrol, both shown to be effective treatments in helping some individuals kick hard addictions, such as those to heroin and prescription opioids.
And in lifestyles, this week’s section is all about the outdoors. Our go-to hiking freelancer, Cindy Brown, takes you on a trek up Ute Mountain and looks at the region’s policies for protecting dark skies. We also have a story about a little threatened and pretty darn adorable rodent called the Marten, known to scurry about the high mountains that hem in our small town.
In Tempo this week, we provide preview coverage of the annual Red River Memorial Day Weekend Motorcycle Rally, an event that attracts thousands of bikers to the Enchanted Circle to remember America’s fallen service men and women. We’re also covering the amazing Teatro Serpiente Gorilla Theater Festival, a new dance company deducing an original composition titled “Mechanical Nature: Movement VII,” and the return of Taos Plaza Live this Thursday evening with the Jimmy Stadler Band.
In sports, we provide a recap on the spring sports season, with highlights of the Taos High State Track Championship.
And in weather, temperatures are climbing up again after a brief cold spell last week, with highs in the mid-70s and lows descending to the mid-30s when the sun goes down. Expect sunny skies with scattered cloud cover and some high winds on Thursday.