By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS
In honor of another 12 months gone by, QCS is compiling a year in review to be published in installments.
This year’s March and April kicked off the spring with the following news.
March 1: Tucumcari High School Principal Gary Salazar resigned after 13 years of service. “It’s just time for a change,” he said.
March 2: It was testing time again for local public school students with the government mandated Standards Based Assessment Tests looming within the month.
March 2: A celebration of Dr. Suess’ birthday kicked off at the library with a reading of his books by Altrusa club member Gail Owen – wearing a Cat in the Hat hat.
March 3: A community awareness meeting regarding methamphetamine labs was held at City Hall.
March 3: A sold-out crowd packed the Tucumcari Convention Center for the Chamber of Commerce banquet that featured country and Western singer Dan Roberts. One of Roberts’ songs that wowed the crowd was written with Garth Brooks, he said.
March 4: Agricultural experts were raving how one more heavy rain to match those prevalent in 2004 may end irrigation water shortages for Quay County farmers.
March 5: Interstate Distributor Company opened its working terminal in town and was actively seeking drivers.
March 6: Smokers were closer to being shuttled outside when the Clean Air Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit smoking in all public places except bars.
March 7: Howie Tucker teed off as the new golf professional in Tucumcari.
March 7: The forecast was rain, rain, rain.
March 8: A discovery at Mesalands Dinosaur Museum confirmed a theory that ancient alligator-like creatures used to fight each other. “I didn’t know it was that big a deal to find a tooth in a bone,” said Kiera Mortensen, a Mesalands Community College student who brought attention to the fossil fragment.
March 10: Interim Police Chief Mark Radosevich gave a presentation regarding the role of the Tucumcari Police in the community at a City Commission meeting.
March 11: Mesalands Community College’s annual Cajun Shrimp Boil fed more than 200 people and raised about $10,000 for the general scholarship fund.
March 12: It was reported the trial for former jailer Robert Gonzales, who was facing charges of two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of criminal sexual conduct of a minor, ended in a hung jury.
March 13: Artists from across the nation began to conglomerate in Tucumcari for Mesalands Community College’s annual iron pour.
March 14: According to a report from the city manager’s office, “Crews are out working diligently on the potholes in the city.”
March 15: Tucumcari Schools Superintendent William Reents learned he was one of five finalists for the super position at Clovis Municipal Schools.
March 15: A late winter snow storm shut down local schools plus city and government offices. Travelers passing through were also reported as staying the night while they otherwise would have moved on, according to motel owners.
March 18: The Tucumcari Bull Test Sale featured 39 bulls and 11 heifers on display, with most of them for sale, at the New Mexico State University Ag Science Center.
March 18: The afternoon was saturated with the Mesalands Community College iron pour.
March 18: The Mesalands Community College rodeo team began their season at Weatherford.
March 18: Two sisters from House, Lyndsy and Sara Lee, placed at the relays at Dexter.
March 19: A front page report said Gov. Bill Richardson signed an executive order stating Quay County was in a state of emergency following the March 15 snow storm. Quay was one of seven counties that shared the same state.
March 20: Quay Council of the Arts and Humanities Director Judy Hiner nabbed the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award.
March 21: At their evening meeting, the Tucumcari School Board was urging Superintendent William Reents to institute a four-day school week for students.
March 21: Track season for boys and girls at Tucumcari High School was in the midst of kicking off.
March 22: Lake season for locals and tourists at Ute and Conchas was in the midst of kicking off.
March 23: Tucumcari residents met to brainstorm a plan to Keep Tucumcari Beautiful.
March 23: Rattler basketballers Matt Braziel and Nemi Slavador were chosen for the all-district team while fellow Rattlers Robert Munoz and Nathan McDonald nabbed honorable mentions.
March 24: Tucumcari was awarded $475,000 in grant money to improve paving and sewers on the streets near Zia Elementary School.
March 25: More than 100 local folks walked from Stuckey’s to a small church in Montoya, a total of 10 miles, in memory of Christ’s walk to Calvary.
March 25: Thanks to an $8,000 grant from the state forestry service, San Jon planted 120 trees around their little league baseball field and inside their community park.
March 26: Identity theft was high on the list of police priorities throughout the state.
March 27: Four Tucumcari Middle School students were headed for the national tech conference in Chicago after racking up points in the state conference of the Technology Students Association. They were Cameron Manning, Justin Alvarez, Roshan Patel and Matt Trujillo.
March 29: Tucumcari students engaged in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (D.E.C.A.) earned enough money to head out to Disneyland for the upcoming weekend.
March 30: A City Commission report said $29,000 was allotted to help with the detouring of cars during the upcoming construction on First Street.
April 1: April Fools Day.
April 2: The hunt was on to find a new Tucumcari Police Chief, ideally by June, police said.
April 3: The 33rd annual spring craft fair once again graced the Quay County Fair Barn.
April 8: This day was declared as Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico Tribute to Teachers Day thanks to Tucumcari’s City Commission.
April 10: This week kicked off Quay County Employee Week thanks to a proclamation presented by County Manager Terry Turner and approved by the county commissioners.
April 13: Native American Day at Mesalands Community College included more than 50 area residents and Nicola Martinez, a Navajo from Thoreau, leading the pledge of allegiance in the Navajo language.
April 18: City residents were allowed free dumping from the City
Commission in honor of Keep Tucumcari Beautiful Week, which ran through April 23.
April 20: The wildlife service was talking about designating the Canadian River as a critical habitat for the Arkansas River shiner.
April 21: Although Tucumcari Schools Superintendent William Reents was one of the finalists for the position, the Clovis School Board members offered their superintendent’s position to Rhonda Seidenwurm. “As the length of the executive meeting suggested, this was a difficult decision,” said Clovis School Board member Mark Lansford.
April 22: Robert Roark was sworn in as postmaster at the Tucumcari Post Office, following the footsteps of father John Roark who was a postmaster there for 14 years.
April 22: Earth Day was honored at Tucumcari Elementary School with special classes like how to purify water with duck feathers.
April 28: The City Commission meeting included discussion that the odds of opening Tucumcari’s pool for the summer appeared shallow. “It’s not looking very good for the swimming pool this summer,” said City Manager Richard Primrose. “We need to get some money.”
April 28: A dedication ceremony was held for the Route 66 mural on the side of Lowe’s painted by Doug and Sharon Quarles.
April 30: A Conchas Dam field trip taught Tucumcari Elementary School fifth graders about water safety. “If you try to save the person you can end up drowning with them,” said student Kyle Brockman.