Serving the High Plains

Articles from the January 24, 2024 edition


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  • MCC's economic impact nearly $14 million

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 24, 2024

    Mesalands Community College added almost $14 million to the region’s economy and supported nearly 250 jobs during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, a report stated. The economic impact report by Lightcast, a global labor market analysis firm, was presented during the college’s board of trustees meeting on Jan. 16 by Joel Kiser, vice president of academic affairs. Kiser said the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges organization wanted economic studies of all its members, and the state’s Higher Education Department said the data would be...

  • Judge Mitchell retiring

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 24, 2024

    On Feb. 29, Judge Albert J. Mitchell Jr., the only jurist in the sprawling 10th Judicial District, will hang up his robe for the final time after 15 years on the bench. Mitchell sent a one-page letter on Jan. 10 to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Shannon Bacon, stating he would resign effective March 1. "I am privileged to work with fine people in the Tenth Judicial District, as well as my judicial colleagues statewide," Mitchell wrote. "In addition, the...

  • Unit office wing may house Early Head Start

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 24, 2024

    Classrooms at Tucumcari Elementary School might not be suitable as a temporary home for the Early Head Start program. However, a wing at the school district’s unit office might be considered. Interim superintendent Dave Johnson said during the school board’s Jan. 15 meeting the state may deem empty classrooms at TES as unsuitable for Early Head Start because they lack bathrooms and have window issues. Instead, Early Head Start might consider a wing of the district’s unit office at West Amarosa Avenue. That space is being rented by the...

  • Roch: Lawsuit prepared against 5-day school plan

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The superintendent for Logan Municipal Schools told his board last week the state superintendents association was prepared to file a lawsuit to block the state education department from implementing a five-day school week. Logan superintendent Dennis Roch, a member of the New Mexico School Superintendents’ Association, said the proposed rule by the state’s Public Education Department to raise instruction to 180 days a year conflicts with state law. The proposal would force many rural schools, including all four in Quay County, to go from a...

  • Our self-identification not enough

    Gordon Runyan, Religion columnist|Jan 24, 2024

    The truth is that within Christian churches we have a history of allowing people to “identify” as something they merely feel or wish they were, but for which there is no objective evidence. Not only have we done this consistently, but we have a little sub-culture in which this is enthusiastically encouraged. We make quasi-celebrities out of the preachers who can convince the most people to make this (false) identification. We call this evangelism. Sometimes we hold special services called revivals, in which the goal is to get as many...

  • Former TPD officer arrested

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    A former Tucumcari police officer and onetime candidate for sheriff was arrested and briefly jailed last week after being accused of using force on a city cop and menacing another. Herman Isidro Martinez, 50, of Tucumcari was detained on a warrant Thursday on charges of battery upon a peace officer and assault upon a peace officer. The battery charge is a fourth-degree felony that can lead up to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The assault charge is a misdemeanor. According to the criminal complaint, Tucumcari Police Cpl. Nemie...

  • Sonic boom felt over large area

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    An apparent sonic boom from military aircraft shook a wide swath of the region Friday afternoon. Dozens of residents in Quay County and beyond reported to authorities and on social media about rattling windows and shaking homes, making several think it was an explosion. The boom was felt in Conchas to the north and as far east as Amarillo. Quay County Sheriff Dennis Garcia said he received no reports of damage. He said he was informed by dispatchers that military aircraft from an Air Force base were in the region at the time. A public affairs o...

  • Calendar - Jan. 24

    Jan 24, 2024

    Thursday — Table Top Co-op Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program. This program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Quay County Extension Office in Tucumcari will provide an introduction and give information on water rights and irrigation. Please RSVP by today by calling (575) 461-0562 or email [email protected]. April 26-27 — Tucumcari Film Festival. The annual event, themed “Visions of Frontier,” will feature films of adventure, drama and high stakes. For more information, go to filmfreeway.com/tucumcarifilmfest. Aug. 1-4 — Rattler Reunion. This...

  • Pages past - Jan. 24

    Jan 24, 2024

    On this date ... 1973: Two state police officers stopped a vehicle 19 miles west of Tucumcari during a routine check and found 21 kilograms of marijuana. Arrested was a 24-year-old driver from Vermont, who was jailed on $5,000 bond on a possession charge. The marijuana’s estimated street value was $21,500. It was the second large pot bust in the area in a week. — A tire broke loose from a westbound truck from Arkansas and smashed through a window at Sylvia Anthony’s Cafe on East Tucumcari Boulevard. It damaged several tables, chairs,...

  • Menus - Jan. 24

    Jan 24, 2024

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Blueberry and yogurt parfait, assorted cereal, graham crackers, banana, apple juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Teriyaki chicken, brown rice, ham and egg chef salad, steamed broccoli, baby carrots, ranch dressing, mandarin oranges, 1%, skim, chocolate skim or strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Cherry frudel, assorted cereal, graham crackers, fruit cocktail, orange juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk. Lunch: Cheeseburger, ham and cheese sandwich, French fries, baby carrots,...

  • Honor rolls

    Jan 24, 2024

    These students at Tucumcari Elementary School made the honor roll for the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year. Third-grade “A” Honor Roll: Alejandra Preciado, Isadora Bennett, James Haller, Jordan Garcia and Raven Martinez. Third-grade “A/B” Honor Roll: Alejandro Apodaca, Anayi Martinez, Arabelle Holguin, Bently Henderson, Cooper Wood, Gabriella Lopez, Gwen Albrecht, Isabella Huntley, Jared Collins, Julianna Lucero, Legend Jaramillo, Lily Lucero, Lucas Najera, Rheanna Romero, Ryan Marano, Sysney Perez Bugarin, William Mosteller...

  • U.S. can't rely on China for mining needs

    Jim Constantopoulos, Guest columnist|Jan 24, 2024

    Rare earth minerals are more abundant than their name suggests. Mineral-rich deposits are scattered around the United States, but our country has only one rare earth mine, in Mountain Pass, Calif. There are other potential mineable deposits, but they are many years away from starting production. To meet our increasing need for rare earths, we rely on imports, mainly from China -- and that’s boneheaded given the brittleness of U.S.-China relations and our own resources. U.S. policymakers are well aware of the peril to our national security...

  • Don't submit to crime of 'gun control'

    Kent McManigal, Local columnist|Jan 24, 2024

    Most politicians remind me of bungling bank robbers who get foiled in their clownish attempts to rob a bank. Rather than being sorry or changing their ways, they decide they’ll rob two banks tomorrow. Instead of robbing banks, though, they keep committing the greater crime of “gun control.” New Mexico’s governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, seems to want to be on the Most Wanted list for gun-law criminals, right up there with the worst dictators in history. On one hand, how embarrassing for anyone to support such a politician. On the other...

  • Wedge issues could trouble session

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Jan 24, 2024

    As this year’s legislative session gets underway, there’s one wedge issue already getting lots of attention. Rest assured that any and all gun-control proposals, no matter how reasonable, will get plenty of attention by the usual band of Second Amendment reactionaries and their demagoguing leaders. Remember last September when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order limiting the carrying of firearms in Bernalillo County? It was specific to metro Albuquerque, but some of the most aggressive demonstrations came in the more...

  • Longhorns romp to Reserve tourney title

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The Logan boys basketball team steamrolled through the competition at the Reserve Tournament, including a 70-48 victory Saturday over Springer in the title game. Logan (16-1), ranked No. 1 in Class 1A by MaxPreps.com, defeated its foes by an average margin of 48 points during the tourney. Sophomore center Mason Wallin led the Longhorns with 22 points against the Red Devils, and sophomore power forward Hayden Bruhn added 16. Senior guard Brock Burns totaled 10 points. “We had a good tournament and were able to get everyone a good amount of...

  • Tough stretch for Lady Rattlers

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 24, 2024

    Tucumcari girls basketball coach Patrick Benavidez was reluctant to use the words "moral victory" when he prefers the real thing, but the term came up after the Lady Rattlers' 45-35 loss Friday to Robertson. That's because the Lady Rattlers had lost their last three matchups against perennially state-contending Cardinals by an average of more than 31 points. On Friday, it was a more even matchup on paper and with the result. Tucumcari (12-3) was ranked fifth in Class 3A by MaxPreps.com coming in...

  • Rattlers win consolation title at Santa Rosa tourney

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The Tucumcari boys basketball team won the consolation championship at Mighty Lion Basketball Classic tournament in Santa Rosa with a 60-45 victory Saturday over Mora. The Rattlers (6-7) went 2-1 at the tourney, losing only to Class 2A power Rehoboth Christian in the opening round. Luis Archuleta earned all-tournament honors for the Rattlers after scoring a total of 86 points in the three games. Against the Rangers, Tucumcari took control in the second half, outscoring them 34-20. “Our defense was the key in that,” THS coach Gary Hittson...

  • Two THS wrestlers win titles at Vegas tourney

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    One boy and one girl from Tucumcari High School’s wrestling teams each won a title Saturday during the Spencer Cole Invitational tournament in Las Vegas. Sophomore Fernando Ureste (20-2) notched five victories by pin at the six-team tourney, including against Nico Ulibarri of West Las Vegas in the final of the 133-pound class. “He’s like a magician,” Tucumcari coach Tim Clark said of Ureste. “He’s down, and the next thing you know, the other kid is on his back.” It was the third tournament crown that Ureste has won this season....

  • Vixens conquer Logan girls in Reserve final

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    A slow start doomed the Logan girls basketball team against Fort Sumner during a 57-38 loss Saturday in the championship game of the Reserve Tournament. The Vixens made seven of their 11 3-point shots in the first half to surge to a 30-11 lead at halftime. Allyssa Casaus led the charge for Fort Sumner, scoring 17 of her game-high 21 points during the half. The Lady Longhorns, meanwhile, went seven minutes without a field goal. “We looked tired, sluggish and worn out,” Logan coach Dustin Robertson said. “The weekend and the long trip...

  • Wastewater at area schools tests positive for drugs

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    Wastewater at all four public high schools in Quay County tested positive for opioids or stimulants in recent months. High schools at the Tucumcari, Logan, San Jon and House districts tested positive for the drugs in November or December in an initiative by the governor’s office and New Mexico Environment Department. According to the data, Tucumcari High School’s wastewater tested positive for the opioids of norfentanyl, hydromorphone and hydrocodone and the stimulants of methamphetamine and amphetamine on Nov. 28. “We are not really...

  • Logan student wins district spelling bee

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    Christa Strong, a seventh-grader at Logan, was crowned champion during the annual district spelling bee that included competitors from Tucumcari and Logan. Strong successfully spelled the word "disclaimer" to win the event at the Tucumcari Public Schools Central Office on Wednesday. Strong will advance to the state spelling bee on Feb. 28. Runner-up in the competition was Massiah Alderete, a fifth-grader from Tucumcari....

  • Tucumcari convention center to host free hospitality training

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The Tucumcari Convention Center’s Liberty Room will host guest service and hospitality training sessions on Jan. 31. The free sessions from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 2 to 5 p.m. will help participants develop customer service skills and assist them in answering a commonly asked question: “What is there to do here?” The sessions are is open to all who work in hotels, restaurants, retail or tourism-related industries. Sessions will include: — What is hospitality — Aspects of guest services — Employability skills and personal...

  • State offers home rehab services here

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority is offering direct home rehabilitation services in eight counties, including Quay County, that do not have a service provider for its Home Rehabilitation Program. The authority's program provides repairs to bring homes up to code, makes essential improvements that are non-luxury in nature, including roof and mobile home replacement, and performs accessibility modifications to homeowners who lack the resources to do so. The authority contracts with six se...

  • City to request Princess Theatre viability study

    Staff report|Jan 24, 2024

    The City of Tucumcari likely will issue a request for proposals for facade improvements and an economic viability study for the long-closed Princess Theatre. The theater soon will undergo removal of hazardous asbestos and lead paint by a Rio Rancho firm for about $200,000. The city last year received a $250,000 capital outlay award from the New Mexico Legislature for the theater. Nearly $50,000 of the remaining capital outlay funds will go to the winning bidder of the forthcoming RFP. Matt Monahan, a member of the Princess Theatre task force,...

  • Police blotter - Jan. 24

    Jan 24, 2024

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from Jan. 15 to Jan. 21: Jan. 15 — 3:24 p.m.: Accident in 200 block of East Estrella Avenue, Tucumcari. — 3:43 p.m.: Disturbance in 100 block of West Gamble Avenue, Tucumcari. — 4:27 p.m.: Theft in 900 block of East Main Street, Tucumcari. — 9:11 p.m.: Theft in 300 block of East Turner Avenue, Tucumcari. Jan. 16 — 2:28 a.m.: Utility problem at South 13th Street and West Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari. — 4:33 a.m.: Utility problem at East Laughlin...

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