Serving the High Plains

Articles from the April 29, 2020 edition


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  • County officials approve reopening resolution

    Ron Warnick|Apr 29, 2020

    The Quay County Commission on Monday unanimously approved a resolution urging the governor and state to “reopen immediately” non-essential businesses that implement the same coronavirus safeguards as essential businesses and demanded rules that “recognize different situations” during the pandemic. The nonbinding resolution states “no one rule … is appropriate” for every geographic area of New Mexico, and “the harm to the county …. under current blanket restrictions are as great as the threat posed by the virus.” The Tucumcari City Comm...

  • Governor announces ease in some restrictions; health order extended to May 15

    Staff report|Apr 29, 2020

    New Mexico's governor announced Thursday she would extend the emergency public health order to May 15 but would ease coronavirus-based restrictions for some businesses and places – including state parks – starting Friday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during an afternoon briefing announced the lessening of these restrictions Friday as part of a “preparation phase” in reopening the state: – Non-essential business with curbside or delivery services can reopen; State parks, such as Conchas Lake and Ute Lake, can reopen on a modified day-use-o...

  • Governor lays out plan to reopen

    Ron Warnick|Apr 29, 2020

    New Mexico's governor said last week she would extend the coronavirus public health emergency to May 15 and laid out a tentative, phased-in plan to reopen the state's economy. Meanwhile, a fourth COVID-19 case was reported Thursday in Quay County on by the New Mexico Department of Health as the state’s death toll surpassed 100 on Monday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a briefing Wednesday she would extend the emergency and its restrictions — which began in mid-March and were tightened in early April — to mid-May. She also laid out a...

  • Resolution receives narrow approval

    Steve Hansen|Apr 29, 2020

    A resolution asking New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to consider allowing businesses in the state’s rural cities to reopen to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus received narrow approval Thursday at a regular meeting of the Tucumcari City Commission. The measure was approved on a 3-2 vote. District 4 Commissioner Chris Arias and Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield joined district 5 Commissioner Todd Duplantis, who proposed the resolution, in voting for the resolution. District 1 Commissioner Ralph Moya and District 2 Commissioner Paul V...

  • Jesus Christ the living hope

    Leonard Lauriault|Apr 29, 2020

    During this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are losing hope, not only because of the disease itself but because of increasing joblessness and the now-depressed economy. But there’s hope because in many areas, the disease has reached its apex or will in the foreseeable future, largely because of the proactivity of our governments and the obedience, for the most part, of the people. God won’t let anything get so bad in this world for Christians that we cannot bear it (Matthew 24:21-31). Just over two weeks ago, the world celebrated the death, bur...

  • Revenue likely to impact city jobs, services

    Steve Hansen|Apr 29, 2020

    Revenue shortages because of the COVID-19 economic freeze and increases in state minimum wage likely would result in loss of jobs, conversion of some full-time city jobs to part-time positions and reductions in city services, Tucumcari city commissioners learned during a public workshop Thursday. Acting city manager Mark Martinez and city Finance Director Rachelle Arias on Thursday presented two versions of a bad-news budget for fiscal 2021, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2021, to the commission. In one version, the city would change as...

  • Calendar - April 29

    Apr 29, 2020

    • June 25-28 — Rockin’ Route 66. This festival in Tucumcari will be packed with live entertainment, a classic car and hot rod show, a vintage and hand-built motorcycle show, a pin-up contest and fashion show, a cruise down Route 66, a Taste of New Mexico, carnie sideshow performances, Kustom Kulture artists and builders, celebrity guests, a Black Collar Markette and more. More may be found at rockinroute66.com. Most events will be at the Tucumcari Convention Center. • Sept. 26 — Wheels on Fire 100. Cyclists can enjoy a 25-, 50- or 100-mile...

  • Menus - April 29

    Apr 29, 2020

    Quay County schools will be closed through the rest of the school year because of the coronavirus pandemic. For information on children’s meals provided at each school, go to newmexico.gov/education. The Tucumcari Senior Center and Logan Senior Center also will be 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 — Chicken and dumplings, car...

  • Pages past - April 29

    Apr 29, 2020

    On this date ... 1970: Tucumcari's Ambulance Committee heard complaints about poor service, including from a New Mexico State Police officer, during a meeting. One couple complained about the service's lack of a second attendant to remove a patient from a bed to the ambulance cot. A state police officer complained about lengthy wait times and service for a traffic accident near San Jon and a shotgun accident he investigated. Others complained of ambulance equipment not in serviceable condition,...

  • Students encouraged to enter art contest

    Staff report|Apr 29, 2020

    U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M) is encouraging high-school students to enter work into the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school art competition to recognize and showcase artistic talent in young people from each congressional district. The winning entry from New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District will be displayed as part of an exhibit in the United States Capitol for one year. The theme of this year’s competition is “Art Overcomes” to showcase the strength and resilien...

  • Mask guideline reaction too slow, indecisive

    Apr 29, 2020

    If you’re confused by the conflicting messages the public has received on the necessity — or uselessness — of wearing a mask in public, you’re not alone. Of the many sound guidelines and safety suggestions delivered over the past month to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is one area where health officials have been far too slow to react, and alarmingly indecisive. At first we were told not to buy masks because it would diminish the supply for the medical professionals who need them most. That was the Twitter message from the U.S. surgeon...

  • Unpaid accomplishments have value

    Steve Hansen|Apr 29, 2020

    With plenty of time to muse in COVID-19 isolation (not that I didn’t have time as a retiree), I am wondering if social distancing away from jobs and social obligations is giving people a new appreciation of leisure time. In Tucumcari, you can maintain social distancing and get some fresh air and exercise without compromising the six-foot rule. I have seen more people out walking than usual since the COVID-19 freeze began. Couples, families, dogs. I see more kids on bikes on otherwise empty streets. I see them because I am outside more, too. A...

  • Politicians scarier than COVID-19

    Michael Reagan|Apr 29, 2020

    I don’t know what daily life is like during our Great National Shutdown in states like Pennsylvania, where I hear golfing is verboten, all liquor stores are closed and masks must be worn into retail stores. But out here in sprawling Los Angeles, where half of the state’s 1,512 COVID-19 deaths have occurred, things are getting goofier and scarier all the time. It’s not the coronavirus I’m sacred of. It’s power-mad politicians like Gov. Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, both of whom have been making it sound like we’re going to be in st...

  • Quay voters to receive absentee ballot application

    Staff report|Apr 29, 2020

    Quay County voters should receive in their mailboxes this week an application for an absentee ballot to be used in the June 2 primary election. The application will come from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office. The New Mexico Supreme Court earlier this month ordered the agency to mail an absentee-ballot application to each registered voter in the state. Early voting that runs from May 5 through May 30 and in-person voting during the primary election June 2 will continue to be in the county’s usual polling places. The high court, cou...

  • Program offers seeds for gardening to residents

    Staff report|Apr 29, 2020

    New Mexican residents can plant seeds and grow a vegetable garden while staying home and social distancing, thanks to New Mexico State University’s Seed to Supper program. Part of NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, Seed to Supper provides free seeds and gardening guidance to New Mexicans who register for the online course or who participate offline with a paper-based booklet on introductory gardening techniques. Seed to Supper is federally funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and was created by NMSU’s Ideas for Cooki...

  • Housing board approves next step

    Steve Hansen|Apr 29, 2020

    The Tucumcari Housing Authority board on Thursday approved another step in handing over authority for operating it to the Eastern Regional Housing Authority of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, based in Roswell. The board, which includes all five members of the Tucumcari City Commission and Timothy Durkin, a resident of Tucumcari public housing, voted 4-2 to give the THA board’s consent to the expansion of the ERHA’s territory to include Tucumcari’s boundaries. District 1 Commissioner Ralph Moya and District 2 Commi...

  • Mesalands board of trustees fires president

    Ron Warnick|Apr 29, 2020

    The Mesalands Community College board of trustees fired its president April 21 and hired its vice president of academic affairs as an interim replacement. After a closed executive session of less than 10 minutes near the start of its regular meeting, the board without discussion unanimously voted to terminate John Groesbeck's contract after less than two years at the helm of the college. Groesbeck had been placed on paid administrative leave at the end of the board's regularly scheduled March 17 meeting. After the closed session, board member...

  • Keeping health directives in mind

    Ron Warnick|Apr 29, 2020

    So I got tested Wednesday for COVID-19. I don't know whether I'm positive or negative for the virus. I won't know until after deadline this week. I hadn't planned on being tested. I'd been healthy the entire winter and spring. The impetus for the test came due to an misunderstanding involving Tucumcari's mayor. Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield was interviewed earlier in the week on the local radio station. She misspoke or there was a misunderstanding of what she said on the air. Regardless of what...

  • Mesalands receives nearly $200,000 in relief measures

    Staff report|Apr 29, 2020

    Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari is receiving nearly $200,000 from coronavirus relief measures. Mesalands will receive $198,978 from more than $84 million in grants to New Mexico colleges and universities, according to a news release last week from U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s press office. About $62 million came through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and $22 million through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, both authorized by the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Half, or $31 million o...

  • Jail log - April 29

    Apr 29, 2020

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from April 20 to April 27: • Jose David Urioste, 31, Tucumcari, violation of restraining order prohibiting domestic violence and breaking and entering. • Bruce Byrne, 65, Longview, Texas, aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug (0.16 or above), failure to maintain traffic lane, impeding traffic and two counts of vehicles without required equipment. • Joseph Rayne Portillo, 39, Tucumcari, contempt of court. • Anthony Nike Ramirez, 23, Tuc...

  • Police blotter - April 29

    Apr 29, 2020

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from April 20 to April 26: Monday • 6:49 a.m.: Vehicle fire in 30400 block of U.S. 54, Tucumcari. • 8:28 a.m.: Attempted suicide in 5000 block of Quay Road 25, House. • 10:56 a.m.: Found property in 200 block of East Center Street, Tucumcari. • 2:08 p.m.: Theft in 100 block of North U.S. 54, Logan. • 2:34 p.m.: Vehicle theft in 700 block of West Hancock Avenue, Tucumcari. • 3:13 p.m.: Intoxicated subject in 600 block of East Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari....

  • Schools detail online learning efforts

    Ron Warnick|Apr 29, 2020

    Administrators and staffers at Tucumcari Public Schools detailed recent efforts to convert to online learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the school board’s April 20 meeting. The meeting wasn’t held at the district’s unit office, but online through Google Hangouts, a voice conferencing program. Though the meeting went mostly smoothly, it accentuated technical challenges faced by administrators with occasional glitches, audio feedback and volume drop-offs. The district’s technology director, Patrick Benavidez, said 81 househo...

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