Serving the High Plains

Articles written by Thomas Garcia Qcs Senior Writer

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  • Officials concerned water project could affect tourism

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Jun 4, 2013

    Despite an 8 percent increase in visitors to Ute Lake near Logan over the Memorial Day weekend, state and local officials are concerned about misconceptions surrounding the Ute Water Project, and their potential impact on recreational visits to the lake. The total number of people who visited Ute Lake State Park during the holiday weekend was a little more than 19,000, said Jim Winchester, public information director New Mexico State Parks. The numbers recorded are about 1,400 more than the 17,600 visitors in 2012. "The numbers reported may hav...

  • Mesalands board approves hiring firm for background checks

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Jun 4, 2013

    The Mesalands Community College board on Friday approved hiring an investigation firm to conduct background checks on candidates for president of the college. On the recommendation of Jim Streetman, trustee and presidential screening committee chairman, the board hired Albuquerque-based Rick Foley Investigations LLC to conduct background and credit history checks on all applicants. Streetman said the committee plans to present a list of candidate finalists during the board's June 11 regular meeting, after a review of the investigator's...

  • Tucumcari high school graduates take the next step in their lives

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 31, 2013

    As one chapter closes, another opens for us the graduates of Tucumcari High School, said Valedictorian, Keannette Perkins, during Friday's commencement ceremony at Rattler Gym. It was a short ceremony, though for the 46 graduates it was a moment they had been waiting for their whole lifetime. QCS photo: Thomas Garcia Following commencement ceremony tradition the 46 graduates of Tucumcari High School throw their caps into the air Friday night at Rattler Gym. "These past three years have influenced and changed us all," Perkins said. "While we...

  • Tucumcari seniors prepare for next step

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 28, 2013

    Excitement and anticipation fill the students and parents as they participate in the Tucumcari class of 2013's "Senior Week." QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia Joseph Marroquin helps his daughter Jolene with her painting project Tuesday as part of the senior week traditions at Tucumcari High School. "There is just so much to do," said Tonya Rivera, mother of senior Jordan Walker. Rivera said she is sad to see her son graduate but is excited for him to go out into the world and make his mark. She said the true emotional impact of this week would not hit...

  • Swing band backing up 'Queen of Rockabilly' at festival

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 28, 2013

    In little more than a week the streets of Tucumcari will be alive with music, Route 66 enthusiasts and classic cars for the 2013 Rockabilly on the Route. The event is sponsored by Tucumcari Convention Center will be the site for the three-day music festival's kick off June 7. The festival is being held to help raise money and awareness for the planned New Mexico Route 66 Museum at the Tucumcari Convention Center. The museum will hold a preview opening that weekend. One of the headliners for the event is the Queen of Rockabilly herself Wanda...

  • La Mesa's final appeal denied for racino license

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 21, 2013

    Quay County is back in the running for the state's last racetrack and casino license after the Supreme Court of New Mexico denied La Mesa's final appeal on Monday. "This means that it is finally over; racing in Raton is no more," said Warren Frost, executive director of the Quay County Gaming Authority. Frost said La Mesa has no more appeals left to file and there is another opportunity to convince the commission that Tucumcari is where the state's next racetrack and casino needs to be. There will be no decision made concerning the application...

  • Second controlled explosion planned at intake site

    Thomas Garcia QCS senior writer|May 21, 2013

    A second scheduled controlled explosion is planned Thursday at the construction site of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority's Ute Water Project at Ute Lake near Logan. QCS Photo: Thomas GarciaThe drill is being used to build the initial shaft for an intake structure, the authority's first phase of the Ute Water Project. The crews have begun drilling and blasting for the intake structure's initial shaft, said Gayla Brumfield, authority chair. Brumfield said the authority has been moving equipment and supplies into place to begin the f... Full story

  • School lockdown ends without incident

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 15, 2013

    A lockdown at Tucumcari Public Schools ended at 2:45 p.m. today following local law enforcement's search for a man carrying a firearm. "The students are safe," said Dave Johnson, assistant superintendent. "We will keep them inside the buildings until school is dismissed." Johnson said there was no immediate danger to any of the children. School officials were told they could lift the lockdown after Tucumcari police officers searched and cleared all of the school's buildings attempting to locate the armed man. Officers responded to several calls... Full story

  • Rattlers return from 2A state track and field competition with two champions

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 15, 2013

    The Tucumcari Rattlers track team earned two state championships and 13 top-ten places at the 2A state track meet May 9-10 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The Rattlers had a successful year , we didn't finish as strong as we thought though we had some near misses on state championships though it went as well as we expected, said Wayne Ferguson, track and field head coach. Lady Rattler's sophomore Aby Jimenez won the AA state shot-put championship with a throw of 36 feet, 3-1/2 inches. She beat Clayton Lady Yellowjacket's Kristi...

  • Mesalands president applications being reviewed

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 14, 2013

    Applications to fill Mesalands Community College's president vacancy are being reviewed by the appointed screening committee. The applications will be screened by the committee, which will make a list of finalists to be presented to the board, said Kimberly Hanna, director of public relations. Hanna said the number or name of the applicants could not be released citing limited personnel maters. She said the list of finalists for the position chosen by the committee would be released to the public. The committee is in the process of reviewing... Full story

  • Low lake levels, silt buildup prevent water allocation

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 14, 2013

    The Arch Hurley Conservancy District board reduced member assessments Tuesday by a dollar. However, due to the low level of Conchas Lake and silt build up in the district's intake channel, the district still cannot allocate water, said Chairman Larry Perkins. After speaking with the federal Bureau of Reclamation, work to remove the nine feet of silt blocking the intake channel should begin on May 20, said district Manager Franklin McCasland. Perkins said once the silt is cleared and with additional rain fall raising the level to or above 4,155... Full story

  • Mesalands Community College holds commencement ceremony

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 10, 2013

    More than 120 received their associate degree, certification or general education diploma Friday during Mesalands Community College's graduation ceremony. "You are not here because you are lucky; you are here because you had the strength to follow through," said Donald Schutte, commencement speaker. Schutte, a local attorney, said the graduates had the strength of their desire to accomplish this goal in their lives. He said as long as the graduates continue to have desire and commitment to accomplishing future goals the will prosper and succeed...

  • Sen. Pat Woods appointed to legislative committees

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior writer|May 7, 2013

    The Legislative Council made up of leaders of both the state Senate and House appointed Sen. Pat Woods as a voting member on three legislative committees. Woods, a Broadview Republican, was appointed on Thursday to the Economic and Rural Development Committee, the Water and Natural Resources Committee and the Drought Subcommittee. Woods will serve during the interim, when the legislature is not in session. Woods serves District 7, which includes Curry, Quay, and Union counties. Woods said economic development is a front line issue for the...

  • New tourism campaign announced at annual Chamber of Commerce banquet

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|May 3, 2013

    Tucumcari is now one of eight cities to join the states Department of Tourism's New Mexico True tourism campaign. Monique Jacobson, tourism department cabinet secretary made the announcement Friday to more than 180 attendants of the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet. "I want to thank Tucumcari for coming on board with this campaign," Jacobson said. "This makes you part of something which will work hard to increase tourism in your town." Jacobson was the quest speaker at the banquet and highlighted the success of the year-old program. She said...

  • Mesalands board approves $11.1 million budget

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior writer|Apr 30, 2013

    The Mesalands Community College board approved a $11.1 million budget Tuesday for the 2013-2014 school year. The board approved the budget at a special meeting held for the 2013-2014 budget and to make adjustments requested to a revised 2012-2013 budget. The adjustment requests were needed to change beginning amounts based on actual cash and to show reductions in federal and state grant amounts and a reduction in expenditures adjusting the year end amounts, said Alex Villanueva, iterim business manager. Villanueva said the adjustments to the... Full story

  • Community effort aims to boost school spirit

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 30, 2013

    A community effort is underway to boost spirit and highlight events and achievements at Tucumcari Public Schools. QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia The Tucumcari Ag metals class students work on the frame work of the sign which will be placed in front of Tucumcari High School. Several individuals and local businesses have donated money and material for construction of two signs for Tucumcari schools, said Aaron McKinney, superintendent. McKinney said Jerry Koile, a Tucumcari resident, approached the administration with a proposal to repair or replace...

  • Lady Rattlers softball team hoping for win

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 30, 2013

    The Tucumcari Lady Rattlers softball team need a win Thursday against East Mountain for a third place tie in district standing. QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia The pitch passes by the Lady Hawks batter for a strike during Friday's district softball game where the Lady Rattlers won 16-12. The (3-10) (1-4) Lady Rattlers held off a late game rally by the Laguna Acoma Lady Hawks to earn their first District 5 2A win of the season. The team needs to keep working on and following through on the fundamentals they have been learning throughout the season,...

  • State tourism director speaking at chamber banquet

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 30, 2013

    New Mexico Tourism Department Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson is the keynote speaker Friday at the Annual Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce banquet. "Having the secretary speak at our banquet is a huge honor," said Patsy Gresham, chamber director. Gresham said Jacobson would be discussing the state's latest tourism campaign. She said this topic is relevant to area business as tourism is a large part of the local economy. Jacobson will be highlighting the tourism department's New Mexico True campaign, said Veronica Valencia,...

  • Commission votes to rejoin EPCOG

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 30, 2013

    The Quay County Commission voted to rejoin the Eastern Plains Council of Governments after a three-year absence from the organization. In 2010, commissioners had concerns about EPCOG's audits, which were several years behind, said Richard Primrose, county manager. Primrose said at that time the commission did not feel comfortable spending public money to be a part of the organization until their audits were brought up to date. It was crucial to the council that audits be completed and brought up to date, said Sandy Chancey, EPCOG executive...

  • Rattlers baseball team stays unbeaten

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 23, 2013

    Late inning wins against Santa Rosa and Texico help to keep the Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team unbeaten in district play. QCS photo: Thomas Garcia Tucumcari Rattler Jordan Walker beats the throw to first base during Friday's 10-9 win over the Santa Rosa Lions. "We need to stay focused in the games," said Tony Alarcon, Rattlers head coach. Alarcon said the team's success this weekend was not without its faults. He said the mental errors allowed teams to overcome their leads or put them in a trailing situation. "We should have had commanding...

  • Officials address Conchas concerns

    Thomas Garcia QCS senior writer|Apr 23, 2013

    linkQCS photo: Thomas Garcia The Big Mesa fire station in Conchas was filled with residents who attended Saturday's meeting with concerns and questions about Conchas Lake water levels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Mexico State Parks and Rep. Dennis Roch met Saturday with more than 100 Conchas residents to address low water levels at Conchas Lake. "The Corps is very concerned about the low levels at Conchas Lake," said Carl Martin, the corps' chief of lake operations and assets branch....

  • Couple travels historic route

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 16, 2013

    A retired Michigan man traveling Route 66 stopped to enjoy a spaghetti dinner supporting the Tucumcari Rattlers class of 2016. QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia Mel and Charlotte Townsend of Sterling Heights, Mich., decided to attend a spaghetti dinner benefiting the Tucumcari High School Class of 2016 when they saw a sign advertising the event while driving on Route 66 in Tucumcari. Meeting and mingling with the locals as we travel Historic Route 66 makes the trip all that much better, said Mel Townsend, of Sterling Heights, Mich. Townsend, a retired... Full story

  • Racing commission to discuss reopening license applications

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 16, 2013

    The New Mexico Racing Commission will discuss reopening the application process for the state's last racing license during their April 25 meeting. Considering restarting the application process follows a state Court of Appeals decision March 21 upholding the racing commission's decision to yank the license once held by La Mesa racino in Raton. The commission will be monitoring La Mesa developer Michael Moldenhauer, to see if he files an appeal in the state Supreme Court, said Vince Mares, commission director. Mares said Moldenhauer has 30 days... Full story

  • Police seek help in hunt for burglary suspect

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 9, 2013

    New Mexico State Police are seeking assistance from the public to locate a burglary suspect officers were unable to locate following a seven-hour search on April 4 by air and ground on U.S. Highway 54 near Logan. Capt. Jimmy Glascock said on April 4 at 8 a.m., residents in Nara Visa reported a man later identified as John Michael Mitchell Jr., burglarizing the Nara Visa Truck Stop. Glascock said the residents called 911 and described Mitchell and the 2005 Maroon Chevy Suburban he was driving. Mitchell was traveling on U.S. Highway 54 when he...

  • Man arrested for blowing up portable toilet

    Thomas Garcia QCS Senior Writer|Apr 2, 2013

    An Albuquerque man is out on bond after his arrest Tuesday for detonating a bomb police said destroyed a portable toilet at Conchas State Park. Todd Parey 42, was charged with dangerous use of explosives, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and criminal damage to property, all felonies, said Sgt. Emmanuel T. Guttierrez, New Mexico State Police public information officer. Guttierrez said officers responded to a call at 2:25 p.m. Monday from park Superintendent Paul Fishell regarding the detonation of an explosive device. He said the... Full story

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