Serving the High Plains

Articles from the February 7, 2024 edition


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  • Judge Mitchell retires early

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Tenth Judicial District Judge Albert J. Mitchell Jr. retired effective Friday, about one month earlier than his previously announced retirement date. Barry Massey, public information officer for New Mexico Courts, stated in an email Monday the New Mexico Supreme Court has designated other judges to help in the interim until a new judge likely is appointed by the governor and takes office later this year. “In order to assist with handling cases during the vacancy, the Supreme Court has appointed retired District Judge James Waylon Counts to...

  • Art City ambitions

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    About 2 1/2 years after moving here, artist Matt Monahan's efforts to make Tucumcari more of an artist-friendly city are ramping up. He recently finished installing five travel trailers, composting toilets and a stage at his Sunlit Ranch home south of town that will be used for artist residencies. Monahan recently closed on a purchase of 40 acres off Highway 104 a few miles north of Tucumcari that will become a so-called Art City - a sculpture park and luxury campground. Monahan spoke during a...

  • I-40 repairs coming in spring

    Ron Warnick|Feb 7, 2024

    Over $38 million in road work on Interstate 40 in Quay County is on tap for this spring, with more projects in the planning stages. For some drivers, those repairs won't come soon enough. Tucumcari shops have been busy all winter fixing more damaged tires because of I-40's potholes. "I know it's really bad on the west side of town," Quality Lube & Tire co-owner Leif Gray said last week. He said he began noticing four months ago an upswing in tire repairs due to the bad condition of I-40....

  • Resignations stalled memorial to civil rights activist

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    Two resignations in city government in 2022 and a lack of follow-up inquiries apparently caused a proposal for a downtown memorial to New Mexico civil rights icon and Tucumcari native Alice Faye Kent Hoppes to stall until her nephew revived the idea last month. Former Tucumcari mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield admitted in a phone interview she “dropped the ball” with the plan to install the Hoppes memorial at Sands Dorsey Park downtown. Litchfield said she took biographical information about from Hoppes’ nephew, Anthony Kent, in the spring of 20...

  • Redemption demands brutal honesty

    Gordon Runyan, Religion columnist|Feb 7, 2024

    Psalm 51:5 – “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” David is direct, even blunt, here. He’s not sugar-coating anything. Even so, these words are routinely misunderstood, especially by new readers of the Bible, or older ones who’ve never paid attention. The sense is the same as if he had said, “I was born into the tribe of Judah, and therefore Judah is my tribe.” Only, here, the tribe in question is that one we call “humanity.” As cats bring forth cats, and dogs have litters of...

  • Calendar - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    • Saturday — Mardi Gras Shrimp Boil. This event at the Tucumcari Elks Lodge at 6 p.m. serves as a fundraiser for the Mesalands Community College Foundation. It will include live music and a dessert auction organized by Altrusa International. Tickets are $30 and are available from the Mesalands Student Affairs or president’s office, Ellen White at the Quay County Clerk’s Office, Citizens Bank or any foundation member. • Feb. 17 — Annual Center Street Methodist Church Enchilada Dinner. The dinner with all the fixings will be from 11...

  • Pages past - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    On this date ... 1973: Hopes were high that a nationwide independent truckers’ strike would end, with the possibility of deliveries resuming by the weekend. There were widespread reports that communities would be short of food by the weekend because of the lack of deliveries. In the meantime, reports of violence had been reported in at least 40 states. That included a dynamite blast on one of the pillars of a bridge in Pennsylvania. Many New Mexico housewives reportedly were overbuying supplies of toilet paper and paper towels in response to...

  • Menus - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Blueberry muffin, string cheese, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, cinnamon graham cracker, banana, apple juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Chicken Alfredo, ham and egg chef salad, breadstick, seasoned peas, garden side salad, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim or strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Whole-grain doughnut ring, mandarin oranges, orange juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Cheeseburger, ham and cheese sandwich, potato smiles, garden side salad,...

  • Ban TikTok in schools? Ban phones

    Bloomberg News, Syndicated content|Feb 7, 2024

    In response to the inordinate amount of time young Americans spend online, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to curb students’ access to social media sites while at school. The goal of keeping students off TikTok during the school day is undoubtedly worthwhile, but policymakers would be better off taking a simpler and more effective approach: banning mobile phones from schools altogether. It’s by now indisputable that allowing kids to have phones in the classroom harms academic performance — even among those who don’t actually...

  • Truth, honesty no longer valued

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Feb 7, 2024

    For just a moment, let’s deviate from modern times and actually be honest about the state of our nation. Remember how, back in the old days before lawyers replaced gunslingers, honesty was actually valued. “A man’s word is his bond,” went the old adage, while a simple handshake could close the deal. Now, that handshake is considered unsanitary and you’d better have some wet wipes and a contract before you go any further. Fact is, as a society we don’t really value honesty anymore. Advertising has always been about superficial spin...

  • I'll take crazy over more Biden

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Feb 7, 2024

    It’s a good thing Donald Trump doesn’t own one of the Super Bowl teams. If he did, people would already be rioting in the streets of Las Vegas, demanding that the NFL call off this weekend’s big game. The liberal media would be cheering on the rioters, as usual. But believe it or not, Trump is not just the madman from New York who his political enemies say tried to destroy democracy in America and has plans to install himself as a dictator this fall. According to leftist Democrats and the liberal media, Trump is to blame for everything th...

  • Three THS wrestlers win district titles

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Three Tucumcari wrestlers were crowned as district champions as the Rattlers finished second at the District 6 boys dual meet Saturday at Ruidoso. Fernando Ureste (wrestling in the 133-pound weight class), Antonio Gonzales (172 pounds) and Benny Garcia (189 pounds) were Tucumcari's individual district champions. They won all five of their bouts by pin or forfeit. Tucumcari coach Tim Clark said the titles by Ureste and Gonzales weren't unexpected, but Garcia was a different matter. "Benny surpris...

  • Longhorns rally past No. 1 Buffs

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    LOGAN - Logan junior Diego Sanchez was sidelined with an injury in virtually all of his team's previous clash against Melrose at the EPAC tournament. His presence Thursday showed how much the Longhorns missed him. Sanchez scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the No. 2-ranked Longhorns to a 61-53 comeback victory over the top-ranked Buffaloes in a key district game that featured 13 lead changes and several ties. Mason Wallin scored 15 points for the Longhorns (19-2,...

  • Defense lifts Logan girls over Melrose

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    LOGAN - Strong defense carried the Lady Longhorns past foul trouble and a shooting slump in the second quarter to a 45-35 district victory Thursday over arch-rival Melrose. Camryn Cantrell scored five of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to expand Logan's lead to double digits. Hailee Robertson and Lizzy Horner also scored 11 points to lead the Lady Longhorns' balanced attack. They avenged a 44-43 loss to the Lady Buffaloes on Jan. 13 in the EPAC tournament final. Logan, ranked sixth in Class...

  • Rattlers blow lead to Demons in final seconds

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    The Tucumcari boys basketball team blew a six-point lead with less than a minute remaining during a 67-66 district-opening loss Friday at Dexter. Dexter freshman guard CJ Granados made a short jump shot with 1.3 seconds left to give the Demons (9-12) the comeback win. He scored five of his team’s seven points during the last-minute rally. The loss spoiled a 34-point performance by sophomore Luis Archuleta for the Rattlers (6-11). Daymion Urioste added 19 points for THS. The Rattlers committed four turnovers during the final minute. Ball secur...

  • Lady Rattlers cruise to district-opening win

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Starting the game with a 21-0 lead, the Tucumcari girls basketball team breezed to a 50-20 victory at Dexter in both teams’ district opener Friday. The Lady Rattlers, using their sprawling full-court press to force a flurry of turnovers by the Lady Demons, led 21-5 after the first quarter and 41-7 at intermission. The scoring pace went down after that because of a running mercy clock during much of the second half. Caylee Benavidez led the Lady Rattlers with 20 points and six assists. July Lafferty added 17 points and six steals. Kyla Lopez...

  • Jail log - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5: — Lyndsey Teakell, 36, Tucumcari, charge not listed. — Anthony Gallegos, 42, Roswell, contempt of court. — Michael Lee Armijo, 34, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Sharon Rubly, 69, Edgerton, Wisconsin, careless driving, unlawful use of highways, open container (possession) and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug (0.08 or above). — Tyler Miguel Castillo, 18, Tucumcari, driving under the influence of intoxicating...

  • EDC seeks to straighten out books

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    Board members for the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. received a draft of a memorandum of understanding that would have one manager to direct both it and the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce. Regardless of whether the respective boards approve that arrangement, the EDC’s interim director said during the board’s meeting Jan. 30 the organization needs to straighten out its financial records. Interim director Kristine Olsen said the EDC’s accounting software still contains 60 open invoices. “Something with our...

  • Mailing error affects 14,000 child-support clients

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    The New Mexico Human Services Department announced Friday it is reaching out to 14,000 child support customers whose January monthly statements were sent to the wrong address. The agency stated accurate monthly statements were being mailed that day. “We’re swiftly addressing the mailing error and ensuring all affected child support customers receive the correct statements promptly,” said Betina Gonzales McCracken, director for Child Support Services Division with the New Mexico Human Services Department. “Mistakes happen, and we take...

  • Make your heart happy: Dream big

    Patti Dobson, Religion columnist|Feb 7, 2024

    Double digits. Gavin, aka The Dad’s mini-me, is turning 10. How. Did. That. Happen? I remember when Gavin was born. I blinked, and now he’s 10. I have a million and one memories of this munchkin’s shenanigans in my brain. Some of my favorites are of my dad and Gavin. We have a photo of my dad as a toddler, and Gavin as a toddler. They look identical, which makes me laugh since they acted alike as well. Just a few decades in between kiddo and ‘grrrrrrampa.’ Even though Dad isn’t physically here with us, his mini-me sure keeps us on...

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