Serving the High Plains

Articles from the July 1, 2020 edition


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  • Logan holds drive-up graduation

    Ron Warnick|Jul 1, 2020

    LOGAN - It wasn't easy, but Logan High School did hold a graduation Saturday morning. The school district announced venue changes twice in barely 12 hours, finally settling on a drive-up ceremony at the high-school gym's parking lot. First, the school's superintendent said the state's Department of Health threatened to fine the district up to $1.75 million if it allowed the estimated 350 people to attend the ceremony at Logan's football field, violating the state's public health order. Second,...

  • Seventh COVID-19 case in Quay County; possible exposure closes Mesalands gym

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    The seventh confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported Monday in Quay County as New Mexico saw its fifth consecutive day of reporting more than 200 cases. Also Monday, Mesalands Community College closed its fitness center after a member tested positive for the virus. The center has been closed. All of Building A, which houses the fitness center, will be closed Tuesday for disinfecting. According to the state Department of Health, the latest Quay County case was a man age 20 to 29. No other information was available. The previous case, a teenage...

  • State to "aggressively" enforce mask mandate with $100 fines

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    Citing a larger spread in coronavirus cases, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday the state's mask mandate would be more aggressively enforced with fines of $100. She also imposed up to a 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state visitors coming into New Mexico. As expected, the governor placed Phase II of the state's reopening plan on hold. She also said businesses now are required to have all customers wear masks when they enter. Her new order goes into effect now through July 15 with the hope New Mexico can stabilize its COVID-19...

  • Schools making plans to reopen

    Ron Warnick|Jul 1, 2020

    The Tucumcari and Logan school districts are looking at a hybrid model of in-person classes and online learning when the school year opens in August amid the coronavirus pandemic. San Jon, meanwhile, likely would go entirely with in-person instruction because its student body is small enough to meet the state’s 50% classroom occupancy requirement. The New Mexico Public Education Department last week released its guidance for all districts that include requirements for social distancing and face coverings for all students and staff. The plan i...

  • Rocking the route - online

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    Coronavirus had canceled the second annual Rockin' Route 66 scheduled for last weekend in Tucumcari, but the festival's promoter kept the rock rolling with a four-hour livestream of four musical acts Saturday in front of a small studio audience in Georgia. The Rockin' Route 66 livestream from the Garage 71 studios in Marietta, Georgia, began with about 10 minutes of film footage shot during the 2019 festival in Tucumcari that included a song, "Blacktop Therapy," from one of Saturday's acts. The...

  • Calendar - July 1

    Jul 1, 2020

    Note: Events subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. • Aug. 12-15 — Quay County Fair. Young exhibitors from across the county and beyond will gather to show livestock, crafts, hobbies and more. The carnival was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Stay tuned at https://quayextension.nmsu.edu/quay-county-fair.html as more details become available. Quay County fairgrounds, Tucumcari. • Sept. 25-27 — Nara Visa Cowboy Gathering. Hear cowboy poetry and songs in the Nara Visa Community Center. Activities also include a chuckwagon...

  • Menus - July 1

    Jul 1, 2020

    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 Senior Center Wednesday — Steak and stuff, spinach, Parmesan potato rounds, whole-wheat bread, lemon bar. Thursday — Turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered peas and carrots, vanilla pudding. Friday — Closed for Fourth of July holiday. Monday...

  • Real hope needed in a hurting world

    Gordan Runyan|Jul 1, 2020

    One thing preachers are good at is stating the obvious, about five weeks after everyone has already realized it. Here’s my contribution: If we are not careful, this moment in our history will go down as a period of extreme hopelessness. “Hope” ought to be a great word, but it’s one we don’t really understand. In our current, cultural landscape, “hope” is often seen as an admission that we’ve been defeated, for all practical purposes. We say, “Well, all we can do now is...

  • Rose files for re-election as independent

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    As expected, 10th Judicial District Attorney Timothy Rose filed as an independent candidate for re-election Thursday. Thursday was the official filing day for independent and minor-party candidates for the November general election. Rose is unopposed for retaining his seat for a four-year term; he is the lead prosecutor in Quay, Harding and De Baca counties. Rose first took office in 2013. Rose switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent during the winter. "While my political values have not substantially changed, I feel that...

  • Quay's sixth COVID-19 case confirmed

    Ron Warnick|Jul 1, 2020

    The New Mexico Department of Health reported the sixth confirmed coronavirus case Friday in Quay County since the pandemic began. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also said during her health briefing Thursday she likely would delay Phase II of the state's economy reopening because of a recent rise in the COVID-19 spread rate and large surges of cases in Texas and Arizona. Texas on Friday ordered bars closed and restaurants to scale back to 50% occupancy because of the virus. The latest local coronavirus case is a person is a male in his teens,...

  • Election may hinge on votes of independents

    Jul 1, 2020

    A defining feature of the Trump presidency has been the seemingly rock-solid support of his partisan base. When Donald Trump declared at a January 2016 campaign event in Iowa that “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” most observers took it as hyperbole. Four and a half years later, the apparent imperviousness of Trump’s base to crisis after crisis has transformed this belief into received wisdom among political observers. Indeed, in the face of withering criticism — even among some...

  • On lookout for centipede advice

    Steve Hansen|Jul 1, 2020

    My introduction to the New Mexico version of centipede occurred a few years ago, while I was working in an office in Tucumcari. A sweet young thing who worked in an office nearby appeared in my doorway and said a centipede had gotten into the building. She said she hated them and asked could I get rid of it for her. “Sure,” I said. I walked out into the hallway and stopped. I wasn’t expecting a bug from an Indiana Jones movie, a 9-inch strand of brown segments and legs with an ill-tempered look on what passed for its face. Pincers never s...

  • Anti-cop vow is step backward

    Michael Shannon|Jul 1, 2020

    The New York Times has a story that’s entertaining reading for conservatives. It concerns a mostly white, solidly leftist neighborhood so inspired by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a rogue policeman, they decided to volunteer to become victims, too. Rapidly the residents of Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park began living in Powderkeg Park. Almost en masse, the “progressive neighbors have vowed to avoid calling law enforcement into their community. Doing so … would add to the pain that black residents of Minneapolis were feeling...

  • City to convert positions to part-time

    Steve Hansen|Jul 1, 2020

    The city of Tucumcari will not cut any positions in fiscal year 2021, from July 1 to June 30, 2021, but will convert 10 positions to part-time jobs and allow two employees to transfer into new positions in other departments. Tucumcari acting city manager Mark Martinez announced this to the city commission Thursday during a discussion of the status of the city’s budget for the last quarter of the current fiscal year, which will end Wednesday. Rachelle Arias, the city’s finance director, said cutbacks in staffing budgets that made the...

  • Man accused of drug dealing

    Ron Warnick|Jul 1, 2020

    A Tucumcari man who faces two different criminal complaints of animal abuse was accused of drug dealing in five new felony counts in an amended complaint filed last week. Ralph Earlwayne Fletcher, 30, is charged with two counts of trafficking controlled substances (second offense), distribution of marijuana (second offense) and two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance. All of the new drug counts were felonies. The trafficking counts were the most serious — a second-degree felony that could lead up to nine years in prison and...

  • Man faces charges after being accused of threatening a pregnant woman

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    A Tucumcari man faces four criminal charges, including a felony count, after being accused of threatening and shoving a pregnant woman, plus putting her infant son in jeopardy of physical harm. Peter Thomas Briones, 23, was charged with negligent child abuse, two counts of battery against a household member and violation of a restraining order prohibiting domestic violence. The child-abuse count is a third-degree felony that can lead up to three years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The other counts are misdemeanors. According to an...

  • Pages past - July 1

    Jul 1, 2020

    On this date ... 1970: Nineteen-year-olds born on July 9, 1951, were assigned the No. 1 call-up for induction next year in the national draft lottery held today. The birthdate was the 11th picked in the fateful drawing to decide the military future of 600,000 19-year-olds and a capsule draw from a separate drum gave July 9 the No. 1 position in the priority order of Selective Service call-up. • The Nara Visa Community Center, formerly the village’s school, dedicated its “living museum” of artifacts on loan or given by homestead...

  • Wheels on Fire race cancelled

    Ron Warnick|Jul 1, 2020

    The Wheels on Fire 100 bicycle race scheduled for Sept. 26 effectively was canceled after the New Mexico Department of Transportation denied it an event permit last week. Organizer Brandon Goldston announced the cancellation Wednesday on social media. "We cannot proceed with the 2020 Wheels on Fire event without this permit, no matter how much we want to!" he wrote. He said those who registered for the race would receive refunds. Goldston said in a phone interview Thursday that NMDOT sent an...

  • MainStreet receives accreditation

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    The Tucumcari MainStreet organization last week received top-tier accreditation from the National Main Street Center. Connie Loveland, executive director of Tucumcari MainStreet, said the accreditation gives the organization more access to state and national MainStreet services, including for ongoing efforts such as Tucumcari tourism branding and beefing up the city's vacant-building ordinance. "It's a pretty big deal," she said. "By achieving this it shows we are meeting the 10 standards of...

  • Some July 4 events curtailed

    Staff report|Jul 1, 2020

    This weekend's Independence Day celebrations in Quay County will be a bit sparse because of coronavirus restrictions. Tucumcari's fireworks show Saturday night will go on as usual, but many of the usual events in Logan on Saturday and San Jon on Sunday are curtailed because of the virus. Tim Farrow, exalted ruler of the Tucumcari Elks, said the fireworks show will go on as usual at nightfall Saturday. However, he said city officials will urge residents to watch the display from their homes or...

  • Police blotter - July 1

    Jul 1, 2020

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from June 22 to June 28: Monday • 5:10 a.m.: Search warrant in 2300 block of South Second Street, Tucumcari. • 5:15 a.m.: Domestic disturbance in 2600 block of South First Street, Tucumcari. • 9:34 a.m.: Reckless driving at milepost 317, U.S. 54, Tucumcari. • 11:18 a.m.: Search warrant in 200 block of East Center Street, Tucumcari. • 11:25 a.m.: Disturbance in 500 block of East High Street, Tucumcari. • 1:03 p.m.: Assault and battery in 2600 block...

  • Jail log - July 1

    Jul 1, 2020

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from June 22 to June 28: • Michelle Gloms, 50, Tucumcari, battery upon a peace officer. • Danny Joe Gutierrez, 61, Tucumcari, residential burglary and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. • Frankie Martinez, 23, Tucumcari, battery against a household member. • Audra Sue Sweet, 34, Marcellus, Michigan, possession of a stolen vehicle and warrant from other counties or states. • Billy Jack Baca, 40, Tucumcari, felony contempt of court and resisting, evading or...

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