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  • Tucumcari man gets 10 years in child exploitation

    Staff report|Jun 19, 2024

    A Tucumcari man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for trying to engage in sexual conduct with two fictitious minor children during an undercover FBI operation. According to court documents, the investigation of Joseph Gadman, 42, began in December 2022, when an undercover FBI agent engaged him on a social networking website known to be a hub for child sexual abuse. Using the screen name “Gadmanj40,” Gadman contacted the undercover agent and expressed interest in engaging in sexual acts with the undercover agent’s fictitious child...

  • County, emergency center may share IT cost

    Staff report|Jun 19, 2024

    Quay County’s manager last week suggested a cost-sharing arrangement for information technology services with the regional emergency communications center. The Tucumcari/Quay Regional Emergency Communications board heard a proposal from Park Place Technologies of Cleveland, Ohio, to provide IT services to the county for $55,000 a year, plus a one-time $4,000 onboarding fee. Plateau Telecommunications provides IT service to both the county and emergency dispatch center. Plateau is phasing out that service in the coming years. After Park P...

  • Two Mesalands athletes compete at CNFR

    Staff report|Jun 19, 2024

    Two athletes from Mesalands Community College competed in last week’s National College Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, but neither advanced to the championship round. Mesalands saddle bronc rider Cache L. Schellenberg, a freshman, finished 27th overall in the standings. Schellenberg logged scores of 53.5 and 54.5 in the first two days of competition and failed to score in the third day. As a result, he didn’t qualify for the championship short program. New Mesalands coach Bo Segerman said Schellenberg drew a subpar animal during the first two...

  • Water flows in canals; board won't allocate more

    Staff report|Jun 19, 2024

    Water is flowing through the irrigation canals of the Arch Hurley Conservancy District, but board members were disinclined to allocate more water in them, despite recent rains. District manager Franklin McCasland said water from Conchas Lake was released into the canal system on June 3. The rate was 200 cubic feet per second. “Everything’s running pretty smooth,” he said. “We’ve had a few problems, but nothing major.” The board in April allocated 2 inches of water per acre for area farmers and ranchers. During last week’s meeting, boar...

  • New truck stop taking shape in Tucumcari

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    With the recent erection of a fuel canopy, the new truck stop under construction on South First Street and Interstate 40 in Tucumcari was starting to take shape last week. The site at 3022 S. First St. is slated by this fall to be a One9 station, part of the Pilot and Flying J network. Ian Terry, construction superintendent at the site, said in a telephone interview that work began on the undeveloped piece of land in early April. He said it's on track to open in early September, barring any cons...

  • Rawhide Days festival returns this weekend

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    The 2024 edition of Tucumcari Rawhide Days this weekend will take on more of a historical emphasis with, appropriately enough, much of the action at the Tucumcari Historical Museum. The other western-themed activities, including a youth ranch rodeo and barrel racing, will take place at the Quay County Fairgrounds arena. Rawhide Days takes its inspiration from the late 1950s and early 1960s television western series, “Rawhide,” starring Tucumcari native Paul Brinegar and a young Clint Eastwood. Portions of “Rawhide” also were shot on ranches...

  • TableTop Cooperative loses its state grant

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    The locally based TableTop Cooperative recently lost a nearly $25,000 state grant that would have enabled it to buy a walk-in cooler to store produce and increase its ability to sell it to a larger region. The loss of that grant also scuttled its ability to secure a federal grant of up to $40,000 to buy food processing equipment, said the co-owner of Tucumcari plant nursery La Casa Verde, one of the cooperative’s key members. The New Mexico Economic Development Department in February announced the $24,740.03 Healthy Food Financing Award for t...

  • Byrd captures GOP nod for county assessor

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    Jefferson Byrd defeated James Kleinsasser for the Republican nomination for Quay County assessor during light turnout last Tuesday in the primary election. Byrd, 52, a rancher and windmiller from rural Tucumcari, earned a total of 466 votes in the county - 128 more than Kleinsasser, 63, a chief deputy assessor who lives in Tucumcari. That represented 58% of the vote for Byrd. Byrd won all precincts in the county. He faces current officeholder and Democratic nominee Dana Leonard in November's...

  • Logan launches Ute tourism campaign

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    The Village of Logan has officially launched its first tourism campaign for Ute Lake, coining the slogan "the best lake you've never been to." The village also launched a new website, VisitUteLake.com, that provides potential visitors local fishing reports, where to eat, places to stay and more. Funding for the campaign came, in part, from a $15,000 outdoor marketing grant announced in March from the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The grant also is being used to print pamphlets and...

  • About 40 4-Hers compete in county contest

    Staff report|Jun 12, 2024

    About 40 Quay County 4-H members competed in the annual county contest on June 2 in 14 competitions ranging from public speaking to meats identification. Novice and junior members are eligible to compete at district contests in Lovington and Hobbs on June 17-19. Seniors who finished in the top nine are eligible to compete at the state competition in Las Cruses in July. Participants develop decision-making skills and many other skills that can assist them in future employment opportunities with...

  • Man accused of taking car from used-vehicle lot

    Staff report, The Staff of The News|Jun 5, 2024

    A man was arrested in California after being accused of taking a vehicle from a used-car business in Tucumcari for a drive and never returning to pay for it. Magistrate Judge Noreen Hendrickson on May 28 issued an arrest warrant for Leonardo Chavez Villasenor, 63, of San Fernando, California, on a felony charge of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. The charge is a fourth-degree felony that can lead up to 18 months in prison or up to a $5,000 fine. According to a probable cause statement from New Mexico State Police patrolman Antonio Esparza,...

  • Kandel's Street Sips opens sit-down restaurant

    Staff report|Jun 5, 2024

    Two years ago, Kandel's Street Sips debuted its beverage business in a trailer parked off Route 66 on the city's east side. In recent weeks, Kandel's has graduated to a brick-and-mortar business on Tucumcari's Main Street corridor and has begun offering panini sandwiches, wraps and other food. The trailer still exists, parked across the street so it can be used for festivals and other events. But co-owner Rhonda Kandel said she's committed to the new space at 112 W. Main St., in a building that... Full story

  • Tucumcari business wins Route 66 grant

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    A Tucumcari business owner was one of 10 recent grant recipients from the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-grants Program facilitated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Flora May Cordova of the Route 66 Welcome Center and Gift Shop will receive a $2,000 grant. Cordova said the money will be used to restore a longstanding neon arrow atop her business. The arrow went dark after a severe hailstorm in May 2023 damaged it. In a telephone interview, Cordova indicated recent neon-sign restoration efforts by the Route 66 Association of...

  • Fired athletic director settles suit with Mesalands

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    The Mesalands Community College board of trustees recently agreed to a settlement with its fired athletic director that includes a $80,000 payout. Milan Rasic was among four former Mesalands employees who filed lawsuits in May 2023 against the college after they claimed they were unjustly fired from their positions. Though former Mesalands president Gregory Busch was not named in the suits, the firings occurred during his tenure. A news release from Rasic’s attorney, Daniel Apodaca of the SaucedoChavez law firm in Albuquerque, concerning the s...

  • Three Lady Longhorns earn all-district softball honors

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    Three players from Logan’s softball team earned all-district honors after the Lady Longhorns tied for first place in their district and made the postseason for the first time in years. The Longhorns’ all-district picks were junior Marilyn Moreno, eighth-grader Zaiyana Grijalva and senior Camryn Cantrell. Moreno, a catcher and shortstop, hit .696 with a 1.140 slugging average. Grijalva hit .455. As a pitcher, she struck out 84 batters in 71 innings. Cantrell hit .514 during her final season with the Lady Longhorns. Honorable mentions were sen...

  • Six Longhorns make all-district team

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    Six players from Logan's state runner-up baseball team earned all-district honors in voting announced after the state tournament. Seniors Brock Burns, Kaeden Stoner and Izaiah Kneitz, junior Diego Sanchez and sophomores Mason Wallin and Devin Kotara of the Longhorns earned the top honors in District 3, which had four teams qualify for the Class 1A tournament. Wallin, a first baseman, led the team in batting average (.547), home runs (six), hits (41), slugging average (.973), RBI (45) and tied...

  • Quay County re-forming a Legion baseball team

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    A group of people is undertaking the formation of the first American Legion baseball team in Quay County in 40 years. Anthony Kent, who said he one of the region’s last Legion players as a sophomore in 1984, will be one of the coaches for the newly formed American Legion Post 20 squad. Kent said the local team will be called the Rebels — the same nickname as four decades ago. He said they have signed up 10 players so far and need a few more. Players age 13 to 19 who reside in Quay County are eligible. In addition to players from Tucumcari, Ken...

  • Fire injures woman, kills three dogs

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    A house fire at midday Friday in Tucumcari rendered a couple homeless and killed three of their dogs. One of the occupants, Sandra McLain, said she briefly was hospitalized for burns to her arms, shoulders, back and feet. The blaze apparently started shortly after noon when McLain said she was in the shower. Surrounded by flames, she barely had time to leave the house. "My shirt was melting on me," she said in front of the destroyed home on Sunday afternoon. "I didn't have time to put on any...

  • Former Logan educator inducted to NM Ag Teacher Hall of Fame

    Staff report|May 29, 2024

    A former Logan Municipal School instructor recently was inducted into the New Mexico Agriculture Teacher Hall of Fame. Jack Wiley, now the dean of instruction and an agriculture professor at Trinidad State College in Alamosa, Colorado, was inducted into the hall's Class of 2024. Wiley taught agriculture at Logan and guided its FFA chapter from 1986 to 1989. Before that, he taught ag and FFA at Moriarty. He became an administrator at Clayton Municipal Schools, first as a principal and then as...

  • Odeon Theatre lands new local owners

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    The historic Odeon Theatre in downtown Tucumcari marked a change in ownership Friday with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and the screening of the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda 4." Though Jose Almeida is associated with local Atzmus Martial Arts studio, the first movie he chose to show was strictly coincidental. "It just happened; it just lined up that way," he said in a phone interview. "We were talking to the (film) booker about the different movies available, and this one was not too old, not...

  • School bench dedicated to fallen officer

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    Tucumcari Middle School during an assembly last Wednesday dedicated a bench in memory of slain New Mexico State Police patrolman Justin Hare. Hare died after being shot on March 15 west of Tucumcari when he stopped to help a motorist with a flat tire. The suspect, also charged with the killing of a paramedic in South Carolina, remains in custody on state and federal charges. Middle-school students and members of NMSP District 9 collaborated on the event. Many of Hare's co-workers also attended....

  • Tucumcari fire chief resigns after being placed on leave

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    Tucumcari’s fire chief turned in his resignation last week after he had been placed on administrative leave earlier in the month. City manager Paula Chacon said Monday that Tucumcari Fire & Rescue Chief Garrett Nash submitted his resignation to the city’s human relations department on Friday. She said he gave no reasons for his stepping down. Nash had been placed on paid administrative leave on May 2, pending an internal investigation. Citing personnel matters, Chacon did not disclose why Nash was taken off duty. Nash, reached by phone on Mon...

  • Ruidoso ends Lady Rattlers' season at 3A tourney

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    Ruidoso ended Tucumcari’s softball season with a 13-3 decision over the Lady Rattlers on Wednesday in the first round of Class 3A playoffs at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. The 12th-seeded Lady Rattlers trailed the fifth-seeded Warriors 5-3 after two innings, but Ruidoso followed with eight unanswered runs. Tucumcari senior Haisley Huffman went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI. Harley McKinney also smacked a double and drove in a run, and Caylee Benavidez tallied an RBI. Tucumcari left nine base runners stranded during the g...

  • Mesilla Valley ousts Lady Longhorns from state tourney

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    The Logan softball team’s first postseason trip in six years was short in duration, with an 18-8 first-round loss to eventual state runner-up Mesilla Valley Christian on Wednesday. The Lady Longhorns lost despite the heroics of Marilyn Moreno, who went 3-for-3 with a triple and two home runs. She drove in four runs. “Marilyn is a phenomenal player,” Logan coach Dustin Robertson said. “She’s first-team all-state in my opinion, and no one will convince me otherwise.” Also for Logan, Jadyn Garcia hit a three-run triple and scored two runs. Presl...

  • Gonzales, Huffman named THS top senior athletes

    Staff report|May 22, 2024

    Antonio Gonzales and Haisley Huffman were named the Senior Male and Female Athletes of the Year during the Rattler Athletic Banquet last Monday organized by the Tucumcari Diamondback Booster Club. About 350 people attended the annual gathering at the Tucumcari Convention Center, where Tucumcari High School athletes in cross country, football, cheer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, powerlifting, softball, baseball, golf and track are honored. Gonzales participated in football, powerlifting...

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