Serving the High Plains

Articles from the February 10, 2021 edition


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  • COVID-19 vaccinations fall again

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    The number of COVID-19 vaccinations in Quay County fell again last week, though those numbers likely will rise again this week. A state Department of Health official also said a vaccination event in the county is imminent. Through Sunday, Quay County had the second-worst vaccination rates in New Mexico, at 4.9%, according to data from the state health agency. Only Mora County, at 3.2%, was worse. Meanwhile, neighboring Union County had the state’s highest vaccination rates, at 42%. Guadalupe County was second, at 40.5%. C. Renee Hayoz,...

  • Xcel Energy declares Energy Alert, urges power cutbacks

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    Xcel Energy declared an Energy Alert on Monday morning because of unusually frigid temperatures and warned of rolling blackouts if power consumption didn’t fall. The strain on the power grid was expected to persist through Wednesday. Other electric utilities in the region issued similar pleas for electricity conservation. The storm system that brought a half-foot of snow and extremely cold temperatures over the weekend prompted the cancellation of church services Sunday and schools Monday. Xcel’s Energy Alert came after the Southwest Power...

  • Indoor dining can return; county lands in yellow zone

    Staff reports|Feb 10, 2021

    Quay County restaurants can host indoor dining again after weeks of restrictions from a surge of coronavirus cases in the late fall. The county entered the yellow designation of the state’s “Red to Green” reopening plan for the first time Wednesday afternoon, when data was released by the state. The state, beginning Nov. 30, evaluated counties on two-week periods based on whether they met the metrics of 8 daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and test positivity of 5% or lower. Green counties meet both, yellow counties meet one, and...

  • County grants opposition request

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Feb 10, 2021

    The Quay County Commission on Monday granted Sheriff Russell Shafer’s request by unanimously passing a resolution opposing House Bill 4, known as the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, because of potential insurance costs and liability concerns. The bill, being considered during the legislature’s current 60-day session, aims to provide more accountability to police officers and would allow people to sue public officials if their civil rights are violated. It also would remove qualified immunity from prosecution. Shafer noted the bill had been...

  • Board recommends expanding 'T'

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Feb 10, 2021

    The Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board on Wednesday unanimously recommended spending $5,000 for an ambitious plan to expand the current lighted "T" on Tucumcari Mountain to spelling all nine letters of "Tucumcari" in lights on the mesa's north face. The plan goes Thursday to the Tucumcari City Commission, which would make the ultimate decision whether to approve it. The proposal comes with the stipulation that written permission must come from two sets of property owners that would be...

  • Nazi flags stir controversy

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Feb 10, 2021

    A Tucumcari man caused a stir on social media over the weekend when he flew at his south-side home two flags representing the Nazi Germany era - including one with a swastika. Dave Shine, the owner of the flags, said he simply was honoring his German heritage and "wanted to do something different." Estefanita Garcia, who lives near the same south-side neighborhood, said she was driving by Shine's home on Saturday afternoon when she saw a flag on a pole with a swastika on it. "It stopped me in...

  • Sins blotted out through faith

    Gordan Runyan, Religion columnist|Feb 10, 2021

    “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1) This is the first line of King David’s confession of sin after the Bathsheba incident. I’ve mentioned previously that the basis of his hope is the steadfast love of God (as opposed to anything in himself). Now, though, take a look at that last phrase: blot out my transgressions. The Hebrew word there for blotting out is the one you would use for wiping...

  • Logan student finishes second in FFA speech contest

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    A Logan junior high student recently did well in virtual FFA state competition last month in the prepared-speech category. Braeden Lightfoot, who is in seventh grade, finished second with his speech, “Where’s the Beef?” before a panel of judges during the annual District Development event last month. Lightfoot also finished fifth in the FFA creed competition. The FFA creed was written in 1928 and remains a tradition for members of the organization to recite. Logan was one of four members competing at the state competition from District...

  • Pages past - Feb. 10

    Feb 10, 2021

    On this date ... 1971: In Los Angeles, rescuers using jackhammers, acetylene torches and cranes pulled more bodies from a three-story veterans hospital that collapsed during what became known as the San Fernando Earthquake. Twenty-three of the 40 dead found so far had died in the hospital. About 120,000 people were evacuated after a crack was seen in the Van Norman Dam after the tremblor. The quake, which was the worst in Southern California since 1933, injured more than 1,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. The...

  • Calendar - Feb. 10

    Feb 10, 2021

    Note: Events subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. • April 16-18 — Spay and neuter clinic. A low-cost clinic to spay and neuter pets will be sponsored by Quay County Paws and Claws Animal Rescue. The cost for each surgery will be $40. Payment is due when applications are submitted. Applications are available at Best Care Pharmacy, Logan Subway, Tucumcari Subway and the shelter’s website at pawsandclawsanimalrescueofquaycounty.com. The application and payment must be received by mail by April 10 to: Paws and Claws, P.O. Box 143,...

  • Menus - Feb. 10

    Feb 10, 2021

    The Tucumcari Senior Center and Logan Senior Center remain closed to the public indefinitely but will deliver meals to those who qualify. Those interested in meal deliveries should call the Tucumcari facility at 461-2307 and the Logan facility at 487-2287 for more information. Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Bagel, strawberry cream cheese, apple cherry juice, fresh strawberries; Lunch: Green Frito pie, lettuce salad, fresh tomatoes, salsa, fresh pear, chocolate skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Cinni mini, orange-pineapple juice,...

  • Trials resume with abundance of caution

    Arthur W. Pepin, Syndicated content|Feb 10, 2021

    The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered jury trials to resume on Feb. 1, following their suspension because of increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases statewide and potential for further cases after end-of-year holidays. Recognizing public concerns about the coronavirus, all courts have implemented carefully considered, successful measures to protect jurors and trial participants. New Mexicans who reported for jury service during the pandemic overwhelmingly have indicated they felt safe while performing their civic duty. Jury trials serve as a...

  • Education system needs review

    Steve Hansen, QCS correspondent|Feb 10, 2021

    There is widespread despair over the impact of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, likely because kids do learn better in close quarters. Not all educators agree that isolation is a critical factor. One of those is Erika Christakis, an early childhood educator. Christakis reminded us in a December Atlantic article that American public schools weren’t doing such a great job before the pandemic. Christakis says that’s because remote learning is actually worsening things that make current classroom learning ineffective now. The...

  • Transgender order unfair to girls

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Feb 10, 2021

    It’s not right. It’s not fair. And, on top of all that, President Biden’s executive order allowing transgender males to compete against girls is going to destroy girls sports in America. Almost every one of Biden’s many executive orders to date is going to be harmful in some way to our security, our battered economy, or both. Closing the Keystone Pipeline, stopping construction of the border wall and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour are a few of his terrible mistakes that come to mind. But the worst order Biden signed...

  • Quay passes 400 confirmed coronavirus cases

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    Quay County passed the 400 mark during the past week in confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began last year. Five more cases were reported Monday in the county. All were in the Tucumcari ZIP code. That was the largest number in one day in a month. The latest cases mostly were children – three younger than 10, one age 10 to 19 and one age 20 to 29. The county recorded 10 cases since Feb. 1, a sizable uptick from the three cases in the previous week. Fourteen cases in the county were reported during a seven-day period two weeks ago....

  • Sports scheduling on hold for meeting

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    Revisions to area high-school sports schedules remain in a holding pattern until after the New Mexico Activities Association meets this week to determine which schools likely will or won’t participate. The future of prep sports also is dependent on the status of coronavirus case numbers after hybrid classes in middle schools and high schools resumed Monday. If those numbers remain under control, sports are scheduled to resume for participating schools on Feb. 22. “The NMAA told us hold off on scheduling until they have their meeting...

  • TV show delays shooting

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    Producers of the forthcoming “Bands of Enchantment” music-television series have delayed the start of their Tucumcari shoot by one month so more people can be vaccinated for the coronavirus. Vince T. “Tyson” Chavez, executive producer of the show and president and executive producer at Elkhorn Entertainment, said in a conference call Friday with show creator and executive producer Ken C. Peterson that filming in Tucumcari would begin March 16 through March 25, with a small crew arriving in early March for preproduction. "Bands of...

  • Tax board recommends reimbursing talking tour expenses

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Feb 10, 2021

    The Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board on Wednesday recommended reimbursing $1,283.99 in expenses from the launch last summer of the Tucumcari Talking Tour. The Tucumcari City Commission will decide during its regular meeting Thursday whether to finalize the recommendation. Tucumcari Talking Tour installed low-wattage radio transmitters at 16 sites in the city. They broadcast a short message on the AM frequency that explains the site’s historic significance and contains a brief promotion for the organization’s donation website to help...

  • O'Reilly Auto Parts once again fined for virus violations

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    The New Mexico Environment Department fined O’Reilly Auto Parts for the second time in less than a month for violating coronavirus safety regulations, this time at a Lovington store where one employee died of the disease. O’Reilly Auto Parts, based in Springfield, Missouri, is slated to build a store in Tucumcari later this year. The corporation last month leveled the remnants of the closed Cactus RV Park along east Route 66 to make way for the development. NMED cited the O’Reilly Auto Parts store at 525 West Ave. in Lovington for...

  • Tucumcari yearbook staff members receive honors

    Staff report|Feb 10, 2021

    Staff members of Tucumcari High School’s 2020 Yucca yearbook, “Let’s Get Lost,” received several honors from Quill and Scroll’s Yearbook Excellence Contest and earned inclusion in the current Quill and Scroll’s PowerPoint presentation recently sent to schools across the nation. Recent Tucumcari graduate Mariah Ruvalcaba-Vaquez was the yearbook’s editor, and Victoria Stuchel was its adviser. Three Yucca staff members were placewinners in five entries in the Yearbook Excellence Contest, headquartered at the University of Iowa. Such...

  • Jail log - Feb. 10

    Feb 10, 2021

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Feb. 1 to Feb. 7: • Raymond Chano Chavez, 26, Clovis, probation violation. • Zachary Hurd, 25, Tucumcari, probation violation. • Samantha Lynne Sanderson, 33, Las Vegas, New Mexico, warrant from other counties or states. • James Gutierrez Jr., 28, Amarillo, Texas, warrant from other counties or states. • Mark Vernon Lawrence, 38, Logan, two counts of contempt of court. • Daniella Jean Pacheco, 30, Tucumcari, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer...

  • Police blotter - Feb. 10

    Feb 10, 2021

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from Feb. 1 to Feb. 7: Monday • 9:07 a.m.: Threat in 800 block of East Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari. • 10:21 a.m.: Vehicle theft in 1500 block of South Fifth Street, Tucumcari. • 12:38 p.m.: Theft in 300 block of West Aber Street, Tucumcari. • 3:17 p.m.: Fraud in 800 block of East Hines Avenue, Tucumcari. • 4:15 p.m.: Domestic disturbance in 1800 block of South Eighth Street, Tucumcari. • 5:13 p.m.: Civil dispute in 1400 block of South Second...