Here’s a look back at some of the top news stories published in January and February 2007 in the Quay County Sun.
Jan. 3: The headlines read: Snowbound in Tucumcari – Thousands stranded by storm. An estimated 7,500 semi-trucks and passenger vehicles converged on Tucumcari between Friday and Sunday when access to I-40 was closed due to hazardous road conditions. Tractor-trailers, waiting for the go-ahead, were backed up for a mile. The city’s 32 motels and about 1,200 rooms were at full occupancy. Three shelters were put into operation to accommodate the overflow. San Jon, Logan, also jammed.
Jan. 6: Former stunt driver, “Crazy”Charley Crossley, is trying to bring off-road events to Tucumcari. He’s part of a Jeep club, called the Quayz Jeeps Club.
Jan. 6: The Quay County Commissioners have put together a $4.85 million wish list to present to the 2007 New Mexico Legislature.
Jan. 10: Cold has big cost. The tab for the clean up of the snow storm over New Year’s weekend will cost an estimated $150,000. The county’s road crews worked 12-hour days throughout the storm, including New Year’s Day.
Jan. 10: Schools, colleges, get set for board elections. For the first time, Mesalands Community College board of trustees will hold an election separate from K-12 school board elections.
Jan. 10: The Arch Hurley Conservancy Board of Directors will be interviewing candidates for its general manager on Thursday, the board said at its meeting Tuesday night.
Jan. 10: The Quay County Commission agreed to a $526,254 payment to Dan Trigg Memorial Hospital at its meeting Monday.
Jan. 13: Hole lotta landfill work going on. Crews working to excavate 117,000 cubic yards of dirt for site of Tucumcari’s $1.2 million landfill on Highway 54.
Jan. 13: Weekend of Dec. 29-31 declared a disaster in Tucumcari because of snow clean-up and the costs of managing about 7,500 extra motorists and semis in the city over New Year’s weekend.
Jan. 13: No business like snow business. County hopes for best, but prepares for worst if changing weather should force motorists off I-40 again.
Jan. 17: Audit finds schools deficient in policy, supplies. Although a 2006 audit for Tucumcari Public schools found the district lacking in two areas, Board officials are happy with overall results.
Jan. 17: Cold keeps clutch on county. The Arctic cold front that moved into the Quay County area drove temperatures down to 2 degrees, frosted the landscape and iced over roads. There were also power failures in Tucumcari, which can be attributed to the storm.
Jan. 17: Tucumcari Rattlers may purchase a new uniform for Fang, the mascot. The Rattler’s Student Council is asking for donations from local clubs and businesses to raise about $3,500 to purchase the costume, which, when new, would cost $5,700.
Jan. 20: Attempted abduction of 14-year-old Grady girl leads Quay County Schools to tighten their security procedures. The girl was able to escape unharmed.
Jan. 20: Heart-felt thanks. About 100 students in Glenda Sours’ classes at Tucumcari High and MIddle schools are writing valentines to a group of soldiers, the 425th Airborne Battalion, in Baghdad.
Jan. 20: Commissioners vote not to serve as fiscal agent for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) program.
Jan. 24: “Snow rollers” showed up all over Tucumcari this past Sunday. A snow roller happens when chunks of snow are blown along the ground by the wind, picking up snow along the way, creating large snowballs.
Jan. 24: Snow blanketed Tucumcari but hard-working road crews kept the roads clear and there were a minimum of accidents.
Jan. 24: Bill Conrad of Logan is named new manager of the Arch Hurley Conservancy District.
Jan. 24: Several Quay County fire chiefs have complained about the 911 central dispatch system based at the Tucumcari Police Department.
Dispatchers have been calling the wrong units to certain locations. A new mapping system should help, but more training and funds are needed.
Jan. 27: Peter Kampfer, the executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. will be leaving his post on Feb, 9 to take a similar post in Paris, Texas.
Jan. 27: Four finalists vie for Tucumcari city manager job. Current city manager, Richard Primrose, is to become the Quay County Manager.
Jan: 27: Exreme fighting is coming to Tucumcari. “Blood War” is the title of the Desert Extreme mixed martial arts event coming early next month.
Jan. 31: DWI group plans to ask city commission to act as fiscal agent. Quay County has been the DWI’s fiscal agent but decided not to continue, leaving DWI looking for a fiscal agent.
Jan. 31: First Street open again. Barriers removed but there will be lane closures during the day for the next two weeks.
Jan. 31: Quay County’s unemployment rate in December 2006 dropped slightly compared with December 2005 – from 4.6 percent in 2005 to to 4.2 in 2006.
Jan. 31: After 18 years, Mike Delano retires from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Roy. However he says he’s still be working in conservation. He’ll be a contracted technical service provider to NRCS and an independent consultant.
Feb. 3: Thursday shooting claims life of Tucumcari’s Albert Jason Pacheco, Jr. , 31. He was killed in a fight on Main Street while fighters were being weighed in preparation for the martial arts event, Desert Xtreme Blood War, police said. The man who fired the gun was the first to call the police, the police said. The martial arts event was cancelled.
Feb. 3: Relatives remember happiness. Describe victim of shooting, Jason Pacheco, Jr., as enjoying a good joke and being passionately involved in martial arts fighting. His involvement in the competitions and, lately, coaching his own team, is said to have “brought a lot of happiness to his life.”
Feb. 3: City wants more choices. The Tucumcari City Commission, which had intended to interview four choices for the job of city manager, has decided to broaden the field, looking for more applicants.
Feb. 3: School Board Ballots. Lists where elections will be held, the questions on the ballot, and the candidates.
Feb. 7: New cameras on intersection light poles won’t track speed; will trigger changes in traffic lights. The cameras and signal lights are at Tucumcari Boulevard and First Street and are scheduled to be working today.
Feb. 7: Tucumcarian finds his place on big screen. Local man plays bit part in remake of horror movie. The aspiring actor, Michael Pack, says he “got 10 seconds of film time.” The original movie, “The Hitcher,” came out in 1986. The remake was released in January.
Feb. 7: United Way closing in on funding goal. It will take a donation of only $339 to help the agency reach its funding goal of $25,000 for 2007.
Feb. 7: Most of the races in Tuesday’s school board election in Quay County were uncontested. But in the Village of Logan, Tommy J. Bruhn won the race against Kent Terry by one vote. On the questions, Tucumcari voters approved both the capital tax and the general obligation bond.
Feb. 10: A martial arts promoter from Los Lunas said he fired the shot that killed Tucumcari’s Jason Pacheco, Jr. The promoter, Jim Burleson, said he fired when he was jumped on Main Street.
Feb. 10: City Commissioners said banning “certain events” wasn’t fair and they would not ban mixed martial arts events in Tucumcari. After the death of Jason Pacheco, the scheduled martial arts event was cancelled.
Feb. 10: The DWI task force denied by the Tucumcari City Commission. The DWI Task Force had asked the City Commission to consider becoming its fiscal agent. They were told they should go back to the county.
Feb. 14: Couple accidentally in love. Greta Estes pulled off Interstate 40 because of a problem with a tire. Then Ron Siegel, an engineer with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, stopped to offer assistance.
That led to things. They’ll be married next week.
Feb. 14: Police hope to get a leg up on inmates. The county is looking into electronic ankle bracelets to reduce expenses.
Feb. 14: Arch Hurley Board agrees to allocate water for Quay farmers and ranchers.
Feb. 17: Local congregations are ready to sacrifice as they make preparations for Ash Wednesday.
Feb. 17: Heavy metal, the Chrome Commander, makes stop in Tucumcari. It’s a shiny horse sculpted from more than 100 classic car bumpers.
Feb. 17: Daycare situation gets spotlighted. On Friday, there will be a day-long seminar to discuss Tucumcari’s need for more child daycare services.
Feb. 21: Residents of Quay County voiced their concerns to U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M. About 40 people attended the town hall meeting at Ctiy Hall where their concerns ranged from a proposed national animal identification program, to wind farms for energy, and to too slow mail service.
Feb. 21: DWI Task Force optimistic that the Quay County Commission can again be persuaded to become the DWI program’s fiscal agent.
Feb. 21: The Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team won two state championships and placed fourth overall in the 3A New Mexico State Wresting tournament Feb. 16-17 at Rio Rancho.
Feb. 24: Fight ban falls short on votes. City Commissioner Christopher Maestas tried again at Thursday night’s meeting to introduce a resolution that would ban certain fighting events at Tucumcari Convention Center. When it came to a vote, all of the other commissioners, except one who was absent, voted against the ban. Maestas said that it’s not over yet.
Feb. 24: State legislation is introduced to regulate mixed martial arts contests, sometimes called cage fights, in New Mexico. Senate Bill 305 has passed the Senate 37-0 and a House companion bill, 351, is being reviewed.
Feb. 24: DWI Task Force denied again. The DWI is without a fiscal agent. The county could not take action because its meeting was set up as a work session. As a result the DWI program could not meet its Friday deadline for a grant application and lost the opportunity to apply for $80,000 from the Department of Finance Administration.
Feb. 28: Ethanol plant set to receive $223K bonus. The Route 66 Ethanol plant – to be operational in late summer – is to receive $223,783 for creating 27 jobs from the state’s Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP).
Feb. 28: College President given salary bump. Philip O. Barry, President of Mesalands Community College, was given a 3 percent raise in a unanimous vote at a meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday night.
Feb. 28: County weighs road restrictions. Loads that are too heavy are damaging the roads. The Quay County Commission has asked the county’s road superintendent to investigate the possibility of putting weight limits on some roads.
Feb. 28: The Village of San Jon has asked to take over the operation of the Caprock Ampitheater from the Quay County Commission. The Village plans to use nature and other tours – with the ampitheater at the center – to boost its economy.