Serving the High Plains

Articles from the January 31, 2024 edition


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  • Tucumcari cop on leave amid charges

    Ron Warnick|Jan 31, 2024

    A Tucumcari police officer remains on administrative leave after being arrested and briefly jailed last week on domestic violence-related charges involving a former girlfriend. The woman also filed a petition for an order for protection against him, citing domestic abuse, court records show. Matthew Paul Lopez, 24, was arrested on a warrant and briefly jailed at the Quay County Detention Center on misdemeanor charges of battery against a household member, interference with communication and criminal trespass. Misdemeanor charges carry a...

  • County OKs loan app for 911 center move

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 31, 2024

    Quay County commissioners on Monday approved a $550,000 revolving fund application with the New Mexico Finance Authority to help the emergency dispatch center move to a new site in Tucumcari. The no-interest loan to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center would be paid with gross receipts taxes. The dispatch center currently is housed in one room of the Tucumcari Police Department. According to documents in the commission’s packet, costs for moving to a new 911 center include $10,000 for planning and design, $350,000 for...

  • City OKs engineering plan for Third, Fourth streets

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    Tucumcari doesn’t have the money to make improvements on Third and Fourth streets near downtown, but it approved an engineering pact so it can be ready when the funds arrive. City commissioners during their meeting Thursday approved a $133,277.65 proposal from Stantec Consulting Services in Tucumcari to provide engineering services to eventually repair those streets. The engineering would cover Third Street from Main to Aber, plus Fourth Street from Main to an alley between Aber and High. The city received $319,000 in state capital outlay fun...

  • Pages past - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    On this date ... 1973: In a hard-hitting State of the Union address, President Richard Nixon vowed to remain in office despite a growing Watergate scandal. Nixon also pledged to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry but indicated he may refuse to turn over White House documents and tapes on grounds of executive privilege. “I want you to know that I have no intention whatsoever of walking away from the job that the people elected me to do,” he said as Republican supporters applauded loudly. Nixon would resign f... Full story

  • Menus - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Pancake sausage on a stick, assorted cereal, cinnamon graham cracker, fruit cocktail, orange juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Corndog, turkey and cheese hoagie, potato smiles, steamed seasoned corn, fresh broccoli, ranch dressing, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim or strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Egg and cheese breakfast burrito, whole-grain doughnut ring, fruit cocktail, apple juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Pepperoni pizza, ham and cheese...

  • Are you a good or bad angel?

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Jan 31, 2024

    My wife related a recent incident to me involving her and our youngest grandson. She reviewed and approved of this article. Several of the grandchildren were outside in two separate areas of our yard, and some were oblivious to the situation. One of the older ones was playing with a toy she wouldn’t let the youngest grandson play with. So, when he came inside complaining, my wife came up with the wise idea of telling him to get a cheese stick and ask his cousin if she wanted to go inside and get one. After thinking for a moment, his...

  • Calendar - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    March 2 — Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration. This event by the Tucumcari Public Library to celebrate the children’s book author will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Quay County Fairgrounds. It will include door prizes, prizes for children who create the best birthday card and a scavenger hunt. For more information, call the library at (575) 461-0295. March 23 — Second annual Chess Tournament. Preliminary rounds will be in the east room of the Tucumcari Railroad Museum, with the finals in Jackalope Coffee Haus. Beginner,...

  • Trump, abortion biggest issues on 2024 ballots

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Jan 31, 2024

    Seems to me that Nikki Haley is a bigger problem for Donald Trump than he’s letting on. She’s exposing a rift in Trump World, one that might just get him defeated. I still say she’s the one who can beat Biden, but Trump appears ready to run roughshod over the Republicans’ nomination process to claim the crown. Then he’ll ride herd over another thumping at the polls, up and down the nation’s ballot. It’s almost funny to say, but I think the two biggest issues on 2024 ballots will be Trump and abortion. And on both those issues,...

  • 'Did you hear the one about …?'

    Walter Rubel, Syndicated content|Jan 31, 2024

    I was driving through Colorado last summer when I encountered a series of electronic highway signs warning me to, “Slow the fast down.” Being a product of the Colorado school system, I was taken aback by the poor grammar and sentence construction. Then it occurred to me that “fast” was a four-letter word starting with “f” so I was supposed to think — well, you know. How edgy. Just what I want in my highway signs. Now, it’s posted alongside Interstate 25, next week it will be doing the opening set at Jimmy’s Chuckle Hut....

  • Enemies exploiting weak leadership

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Jan 31, 2024

    Our belated and weak response to the missile attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea by Houthi militants has been embarrassing. But that’s what happens when there’s no strong leader in the White House. Watching Joe Biden and his inept state department screw up everything they try to do in Ukraine and the Middle East reminds me of something I saw my father do in his first year in office. In 1981 the Bad Boy of the Middle East was the late Muammar Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya who was funding deadly terrorist groups in Palestine, Syria and...

  • Rough week for Rattlers

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 31, 2024

    It's hard to win a basketball game if you can't make shots at point-blank range. The Tucumcari boys basketball team found that out during a 62-51 loss Thursday to Clayton during the Rattlers' annual Homecoming game. It was a rough week for the Rattlers, with them losing three games. Calling up his iPad used to compile statistics after the Clayton game, THS coach Gary Hittson showed on the screen a flurry of red X's near his team's basket. Those X's signified missed shots 5 feet or less from the...

  • Lady Rattlers deny Clayton's bid as spoilers

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 31, 2024

    The Tucumcari girls basketball team held Clayton scoreless the last five minutes during a 44-33 victory Thursday, denying the Yellowjackets' bid to be spoilers of the Lady Rattlers' Homecoming. The Lady Rattlers (14-3) trailed early in the fourth quarter but scored 12 unanswered points to secure the win over the Yellowjackets (11-6), ranked fourth in Class 2A by MaxPreps.com. Tucumcari was ranked sixth in Class 3A by MaxPreps going into the game. Kyla Lopez, who scored a game-high 15 points,...

  • Logan boys drop district opener at Ft. Sumner

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    The Logan boys basketball team opened its district schedule with a 76-52 loss Thursday to host Fort Sumner, the defending champion of Class 1A. The Foxes seized the initiative, taking a 25-12 lead after one quarter. The Longhorns trailed 41-27 at intermission and 53-37 after three periods. “Fort Sumner came out and played very well,” Logan coach Kyle Griffiths said. “We started slow and never recovered.” Mason Wallin led Logan withy 16 points, and Brock Burns added 15. The Foxes improved to 15-3 and were ranked fifth in Class 1A by...

  • Ureste runs the table at Cardinal Classic

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    Tucumcari standout wrestler Fernando Ureste notched six more victories during last weekend’s nine-team Cardinal Classic Duals at Robertson High School in Las Vegas. Ureste, a sophomore in the 133-pound weight class, emerged triumphant in dual-match bouts against athletes from Robertson, Raton, Bernalillo, Cleveland, Miyamura and the Cleveland junior varsity. Tucumcari’s Josh Pacheco won five bouts during the tournament in the 145-pound class, losing only to Cleveland’s James Luttrell. Antonio Gonzales also won five matches for THS in the...

  • Lady Longhorns' slow start leads to Vixens loss

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A slow start ultimately doomed the Logan girls basketball team during a 46-38 loss at district foe Fort Sumner. The Vixens seized a 12-1 lead in the first quarter. “We couldn’t hit shots in the first quarter,” Logan coach Dustin Robertson said. “It put us in a hole we couldn’t get out of.” The Lady Longhorns recovered somewhat and trailed 15-11 by intermission. The Vixens took back some of the momentum in the third quarter, taking a 25-19 lead. Logan, with the help of a full-court press, twice rallied to within a three points with...

  • Grenade found during drug bust

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A possible live grenade was confiscated last week during a multi-agency drug bust on Tucumcari's west side. Raul Diaz-Villalobos, 39, was charged with trafficking a controlled substance in a school zone (by possession with intent to distribute) and possession of explosive or incendiary device, both felonies, after the operation. The trafficking charge, the most serious, could lead to up to 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Quay County Sheriff Dennis Garcia said Diaz-Villalobos...

  • Sonic boom came from Cannon air exercises

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A sonic boom over Quay County and other parts of the region earlier this month occurred during a training exercise, public affairs officials from two Air Force bases in New Mexico said. The boom on the evening of Jan. 19 shook windows at residents’ homes and prompted calls to local emergency dispatchers. It was felt as far away as Conchas and Amarillo. No damage was reported. Jaclyn Pienkowski, public affairs chief at Cannon Air Force Base, stated in an email last week the Melrose Air Force Range had hosted an air integration training exercis...

  • Lawsuit against Glenrio dispensary dismissed

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A local contractor’s lawsuit against a company that owns and operates a recreational marijuana dispensary in Glenrio was dismissed earlier this month. Pacheco Construction & Trucking’s complaint against Glenrio Properties was dismissed with prejudice on Jan. 17, which means the suit cannot be refiled in that court. Randy Knudson of Portales, the attorney for Pacheco Construction, confirmed in an email last week the case had been settled. He did not elaborate on the terms. Pacheco Construction of Tucumcari filed a money judgment complaint...

  • Local 4-H team wins state contest

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    The Quay County 4-H parliamentary procedure team recently won a championship at the state 4-H conference in Las Cruces. The team of Charmaynn Hall, MiKayla Klinger, Maddie Kenyon, Ashton Smith, Greyson Bollinger, and Paxton Smith finished first at the contest. Each team is given a set of problems they must work through using correct parliamentary procedure. The Quay County team will represent New Mexico at the National Western Roundup in Denver in January. Also, Klinger finished fourth in the...

  • Tucumcari repeats STEM Challenge win

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    For the third straight year, Tucumcari High School was among the winners of the New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge. The THS team, which proposed a system for Native Americans to have better internet access, was among 40 that received $500 prize from one of the contest sponsors, Intel. The Tucumcari team's sponsors and mentors are Tommy and Morisa Evans. "The students had to overcome a bit of adversity since they prepared their speech expecting everyone to be there," Tommy Evans stated in an...

  • Hotel briefly evacuated after fire reported

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A Tucumcari hotel was briefly evacuated Thursday morning when a possible fire was reported there. Tucumcari Fire Chief Garrett Nash said smoke was reported about 10:30 a.m. on the second floor of the Holiday Inn at 2624 S. Adams St. He said a handful of guests were evacuated. Nash said a malfunctioning heating unit was believed to be the cause. Nearly all the firefighters departed from the scene less than an hour later. No injuries were reported, and little damage was apparent. Tim Martinez, the hotel’s manager, said Friday a heating unit...

  • Police blotter - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28: Jan. 22 — 12:15 a.m.: Prowler in 1100 block of South Fourth Street, Tucumcari. — 5:09 a.m.: Domestic disturbance in 1100 block of South First Street, Tucumcari. — 9:59 a.m.: Theft in 800 block of West Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari. — 9:59 a.m.: Trespassing in 700 block of West Sunset Avenue, Tucumcari. — 11:34 a.m.: Fraud in 100 block of U.S. 54, Logan. — 12:54 p.m.: Assault and battery in 700 block of West Sunset Avenue,...

  • Jail log - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28: — Matthew Lopez, 24, Tucumcari, battery against a household member, interference with communications and criminal trespass (unposted). — Johnathan James Martinez, 30, Tucumcari, charge not listed. — Ralph Earl Wayne Fletcher, 34, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — William Holmes, 39, Tucumcari, obedience to signal indicating approach of train. — Manuel Isidro Trujillo, 51, Logan, aggravated stalking (violation of a protection order) and...

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