Serving the High Plains

Articles from the May 20, 2020 edition


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  • Businesses reopen doors

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    One non-essential business owner in Tucumcari who'd been closed for weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic was elated to reopen Saturday. Two other businesses also cleared to reopen said they were prepared to file or join in a lawsuit against the state for the losses they incurred during their closures or restrictions. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday her amended public health order effective Saturday would allow all retailers except wholesalers and suppliers to reopen at 25%...

  • Governor: State "on track" for more reopenings June 1

    Staff report|May 20, 2020

    New Mexico's governor signaled during a Wednesday briefing the state is meeting or close to meeting several criteria and was “on track” to reopen dine-in restaurants, salons, gyms and malls June 1 after they were closed for weeks by the coronavirus pandemic. Human Services Secretary Richard Scrase said the spread rate of COVID-19 in New Mexico had dropped below the 1.15 target rate, to 1.12, for the first time. The southeast part of the state, which includes Quay County, saw an uptick in the spread rate he attributed to cases that had spi...

  • New case reported in Quay

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    The New Mexico Department of Health announced last week a new case of COVID-19 had been reported in Quay County. The case, reported by the agency May 12, was the fifth in the county during the pandemic and the first since April 23. One resident died last month from the disease. The Department of Health does not identify the person who tested positive for the virus. An interactive map by the agency hadn't been updated with data from the latest case. Previous cases in the county were two men and two women. Two were age 40-49, and the others were...

  • Churches reopen for in-person services

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    Churches in Quay County reopened this weekend to in-person services for the first time since mid-March after being shuttered because the coronavirus pandemic. The example of First Baptist Church of Tucumcari, one of the first to announce an in-person service after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she would amend her public health order to allow 25% occupancy for churches, indicates houses of worship may undergo a complicated and lengthy slog before returning to normalcy. Several First Baptist...

  • Locals mostly wearing masks

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    Saturday became the first day when all New Mexico residents were required to wear protective masks in public to help slow the spread of coronavirus. For the most part, it appeared locals in Tucumcari had heard and accepted Wednesday’s message from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her amended public health order that took effect that day. During a one-hour period Saturday morning at the Lowe’s Market in Tucumcari, a 46 of 62 shoppers were observed exiting the grocery wearing masks, or nearly three-fourths of the total. That compares to less tha...

  • Secession: Biblical wisdom of moving on

    Gordan Runyan|May 20, 2020

    Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. Stop throwing pearls to the swine, as Jesus said. When the arguments have all been had, and everybody’s made their points a million times, maybe a peaceful split is not the worst answer in the world. That was the thinking of the signers of “The Declaration of Independence.” All efforts at reconciliation had failed. It was time to go. They declared their intention to secede from the authority of King George III. Of course, the tyrant branded that...

  • Calendar - May 20

    May 20, 2020

    • June 18-20 — Asavet Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic. Cost for each surgery is $40. Applications are available at Best Care Pharmacy, Tucumcari Subway, Logan Subway and the Paws and Clubs Animal Rescue of Quay County website at pawsandclawsanimalrescueofquaycounty.com. Applications must be mailed before June 1 to Paws and Claws, P.O. Box 143, Tucumcari, NM 88401. Payment also may be mailed there. Applicants will be notified one week before the event. • Sept. 26 — Wheels on Fire 100. Cyclists can enjoy a 25-, 50- or 100-mile ride on Route 666 and...

  • Menus - May 20

    May 20, 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 — Swiss steak, baked pot...

  • City administrators look at ways to save jobs

    Steve Hansen|May 20, 2020

    Tucumcari city administrators found a “silver lining” that could mean as few as two full-time city employees lose jobs next fiscal year and others who would have been dismissed would be made part-time, acting city manager Mark Martinez told the city commission Thursday during a public work session. At an April 23 work session, administrators presented options that would have meant as many as 17 full-time positions lost, along with three part-time and five current openings unfilled for fiscal year 2021 that begins July 1, as the city deals wit...

  • Governor edicts aren't helpful in combating virus

    David Stevens - Staff|May 20, 2020

    A few thoughts on the pandemic, the state’s latest directives, and being responsible for ourselves: • The governor last week announced she’s relaxing more of her public health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Most retail businesses can open again, with limits on capacity. Also, the governor says everybody has to wear a mask in public unless they’re eating, drinking or exercising. To be clear, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s one-size-fits-all commandments have been irresponsible and devastating to small business owners who may n... Full story

  • Problem solving should be focus

    Steve Hansen|May 20, 2020

    Going quietly amid the noise of Congressional grandstanding, shouting pundits and a bombastic president, a bipartisan group of 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives has been preparing the way for politics post-Trump. They call themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus, and they have been preparing the way for more bipartisan cooperation since 2017. There are 25 Democrats, including New Mexico Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, and 25 Republicans in this caucus. They get little notice because they work with each other instead of shouting insults...

  • Coronavirus deadlier to businesses

    Michael Reagan|May 20, 2020

    The disease experts and the panic-pushing media initially scared the pants off California’s 40 million people with their predictions about the death toll of the coronavirus pandemic. They said 25 million people in the state would become infected by COVID-19 and a million of us would die from it. Predictably, the experts’ computer models were way off the mark, thank goodness. Compared to devastated states like New York and New Jersey, California has been relatively unscathed by the coronavirus pandemic. So far about 3,000 people in the sta...

  • San Jon school board approves budget

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    The San Jon Municipal Schools board of trustees last week approved its $3.2 million budget for the next school year, but that amount may change after the state legislature holds a special session this summer to address budget shortfalls mainly created by the COVID-19 pandemic. San Jon’s budget assumes a 4% pay raise for employees would remain in place. But superintendent Janet Gladu said those increases may be taken away by slashes in the state budget during the special session that’s anticipated in July. “This is a best guess; we’ve never b...

  • Tucumcari man jailed on felony burglary charges

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    A Tucumcari man was jailed for several days on three felony charges after being accused of breaking into a house and stealing home-improvement items from it. Lawrence P. Rivas, 44, was charged with burglary, breaking and entering, larceny of over $250 and receiving stolen property. The burglary count is a third-degree felony that can lead up to three years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. The larceny and breaking-and-entering counts are fourth-degree felonies that can led up to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. According to a...

  • Tucumcari student earns certificate from college

    Staff report|May 20, 2020

    James Martinez of Tucumcari recently graduated with a basic automotive technology certificate from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Martinez was among more than 1,300 students who received their degrees or certificates remotely. South Plains College is a comprehensive, two-year community college that serves the greater South Plains area of Texas with educational programs that span the arts and sciences, technical education, continuing education and workforce development. South Plains College also...

  • Pages past - May 20

    May 20, 2020

    On this date ... 1970: More than 2,000 people are expected to attend a groundbreaking ceremony and meal served by Roy ladies for the new Chicosa Lake State Park seven miles northwest of Roy in Harding County. The lake encompasses 240 acres, which “never has gone dry in the memory of man,” of the park’s 640 acres. In the early cattle-drive days, Charles Goodnight used the lake as a watering spot on his trail from Texas to Montana. Chicosa Lake State Park closed in 1996 because of excessive drawdown of the water table and drying of the lake....

  • Mesalands president to continue to be paid

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    Though Mesalands Community College’s president was fired in April, the college will continue to pay his $170,000 yearly salary through June 30, according to information from a public records request by the Quay County Sun. The college’s board of trustees unanimously terminated John Groesbeck’s contract April 21 without discussion after they placed him on paid administrative leave in March. The college has declined to give a reason for Groesbeck’s firing, saying it is a personnel matter. According to an email Saturday from Josh McVey, the colleg...

  • Historic house burns

    Ron Warnick|May 20, 2020

    A vacant century-old house once owned by one of Tucumcari's founding fathers, its former mayor and Quay County's first sheriff, burned to the ground Wednesday morning. Tucumcari firefighter Dustin Hight, who was there at the Alex Street Home at 523 E. Main St. about noon Wednesday to make sure the smoldering remains didn't blaze up again, said fire was reported shortly before 4 a.m. that day. Tucumcari Fire Chief Doug Hogan stated in an email that firefighters arriving at the scene found the hou...

  • Apartments to be placed under ERHA jurisdiction

    Steve Hansen|May 20, 2020

    The Chaparral Apartments in Tucumcari will be placed under the jurisdiction of the federal Eastern Regional Housing Authority based in Roswell, like the rest of Tucumcari’s other public housing units. The transfer of the 24-unit Chaparral complex had been delayed as Tucumcari city officials explored its status as property of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development arm. The Tucumcari Housing Authority’s board of directors, consisting of all five Tucumcari city commissioners, decided Friday since Chaparral was managed on behal...

  • Tucumcari MainStreet receives seed grant

    Staff report|May 20, 2020

    The Tucumcari MainStreet program was one of 12 New Mexico communities that recently received seed grants and matching funds to spur local COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. Tucumcari MainStreet received $3,000 from the New Mexico Resiliency Alliance and McCune Foundation, plus $1,500 in matching funds from Tucumcari Federal Savings & Loan Association, Citizens Bank and FNB New Mexico. Tucumcari MainStreet will provide $500 micro-grants to eligible MainStreet businesses, said its executive director, Connie Loveland. Recipients also will receive...

  • Police blotter - May 20

    May 20, 2020

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from May 11 to May 17: Monday • 5:42 a.m.: Search warrant in 6300 block of Quay Road AM, Tucumcari. • 7:40 a.m.: Accident with property damage in 31000 block of U.S. 54, Tucumcari. • 8:37 a.m.: Found property in 6300 block of Cherokee Street, Tucumcari. • 9:35 a.m.: Vehicle theft in 3400 block of Quay Road BC, McAlister. • 10:33 a.m.: Trespassing in 500 block of East Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari. • 12:10 p.m. Vehicle fire at milepost 314, Interstate 40, Tucum...

  • Jail log - May 20

    May 20, 2020

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from May 12 to May 18: • Michael Ash, 27, Tucson, Arizona, battery against a household member. • Chasity Lucero, 31, Tucumcari, felony possession of a controlled substance (narcotic drug) and open container (possession). • Miranda Archuleta, 30, Tucumcari, public nuisance. • Donald Francis Dodson, 81, Tucumcari, public nuisance. • Ashley Nolan, 37, Tucumcari, charge not listed. • Fatima Rivas, 43, Tucumcari, warrant from other counties or states. • Austin M. Stevens, 26,...