Serving the High Plains

Articles from the July 19, 2023 edition


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  • City funds chamber after its director departs

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Jul 19, 2023

    The Tucumcari City Commission finally funded the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce after months of wrangling, but not before losing the chamber’s director. City manager Paula Chacon told city commissioners during their Thursday meeting she received word several days before from chamber Vice President Lee Judd that the chamber’s executive director, Scott Crotzer, had resigned. Commissioners ultimately settled on using $27,000 in lodgers tax funds to fund the chamber during the current fiscal year — $12,000 to pay a part-time emplo...

  • Eight city buildings need new roofs after hail

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Jul 19, 2023

    Tucumcari city manager Paula Chacon told city commissioners Thursday at least eight of its buildings will need a full roof replacements after a hailstorm on May 25 ravaged the region. Those are the Tucumcari Convention Center, Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce, Tucumcari Municipal Golf Course pro shop, Tucumcari Senior Center, Tucumcari Community Development office, Del Norte Community Center, Tucumcari Recreation Center and the trailer office at the landfill. Chacon said the cost to replace the convention center’s roof will be about $...

  • Irrigation district allocates water for first time in 3 years

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Jul 19, 2023

    A somewhat divided Arch Hurley Conservancy District board of directors last week allocated three inches of water per acre — the first time it had authorized the release of water from Conchas Lake in over three years. The vote during the board’s regular meeting July 11 was 3-1, with board member Debra Mitchell casting the only dissenting vote after a long pause when she visibly agonized over her decision. Board member John Griffiths made the motion to allocate water, and Larry Perkins seconded. Board member Jason Box was absent. Mitchell and sev...

  • Pages past - July 19

    Jul 19, 2023

    On this date ... 1973: A Clayton city police officer was fatally shot in the head during a confrontation with “a Chicano group” in a residential area of Clayton. Emilio Maestas, 50, was shot as he stepped out of a patrol car and died hours later at an Amarillo hospital. He was survived by his wife and nine children. Seven people were arrested after the shooting, including one murder suspect — Lawrence Eugene Vigil, 18, of Clayton. The shooting reportedly occurred after officers were greeted by thrown rocks and beer cans from teens at the resid...

  • Calendar - July 19

    Jul 19, 2023

    • July 28-29 — Quay County Rodeo. 4-H youth from all over the county will test their rodeo skills at the Quay County Fairgrounds rodeo arena in Tucumcari. Competition begins each day at 5 p.m. • Aug. 3-6 — Rattler Reunion. The annual gathering of Tucumcari High School alumni will include a golf tournament, barbecue dinner, pancake breakfast, Golden Rattler Luncheon and the traditional Saturday night gathering at the Tucumcari Convention Center. Email [email protected] or go to rattlerreunion.com for more information. • Aug. 9-12 — Qu...

  • Menus - July 19

    Jul 19, 2023

    Tucumcari Senior Center Wednesday — Red chile enchilada, Capri vegetables, Spanish rice, strawberry shortcake. Thursday — Fish and chips, three-bean salad, biscuit, fruit salad. Friday — Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, stewed tomatoes, whole-wheat roll with margarine, apricot crisp. Monday — Chicken fajitas, pinto beans, Spanish rice, oatmeal raisin cookie. Tuesday — Beef tips, egg noodles, country blend vegetables, whole-wheat bread with margarine, mixed fruit. Logan Senior Center Wednesday — Red chile beef enchiladas, tossed sala...

  • How things work together

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Jul 19, 2023

    For my daily devotional, I read through the Bible every other year using some reading plan and in the intervening years, I combine various devotional books to fit the same time allocated daily for my devotions. Occasionally, readings on the same day click, working together to make an excellent combined message. Last year, I used “Daily Discipleship” (Leroy Eims, NavPress, 1998) and “Devotional Talks for People Who Do God’s Business” (Warren W. and David W. Wiersbe, Baker House Books, 1986).” On one occasion, the devotion from “Daily Disc...

  • San Jon's new school might come with little additional debt

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Jul 19, 2023

    SAN JON — San Jon Municipal Schools might receive a $30 million state grant to build a new school in exchange for less than $250,000 in new debt by the district. Superintendent Alan Umholtz said during the board’s July 12 meeting that New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority officials essentially have sweetened the offer for the proposed grant. He said the only requirement would be for the district to add $200,000 to $230,000 in bond debt. Umholtz said he anticipates the board will vote on a resolution during its August meeting to put suc...

  • 'Walter White' running for Congress

    Roswell Daily Record, Syndicated content|Jul 19, 2023

    ROSWELL — Walter Hartwell White, the fictional meth cook from the hit series “Breaking Bad,” is making a run for Congress. Someone using the name of White, the lead character in the Albuquerque-based, drug-fueled crime drama, filed documents with the Federal Election Commission on June 15 to run as a Republican in the race to represent New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District in 2024. “Breaking Bad,” which aired from 2008 until 2013, centered on White, a high school chemistry teacher who becomes embroiled in the gritty and violent world of dr...

  • Amarillo motorcyclist dies in Highway 104 crash

    Staff report|Jul 19, 2023

    An Amarillo motorcyclist died Wednesday in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 104 near Trementina northwest of Tucumcari. The New Mexico State Police stated in a news release it investigated the fatal crash shortly after noon July 12 involving a motorcycle around milepost 52 of the highway. The initial investigation indicates a 2022 Harley Davidson driven by Damon Herbert, 46, of Amarillo was traveling east on Highway 104 behind a 2008 Dodge pickup truck. As the truck approached a driveway, it slowed to turn left. “For unknown reasons, the m...

  • Official: More needed to preserve Portales water

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Jul 19, 2023

    PORTALES — The citizens of Portales are doing a good job at conserving water, but there is still more that needs to be done, John DeSha, the city’s public utilities director, told the Portales City Council last week. The Stage 3 water emergency was declared on June 28, and the mandatory restrictions on water use that were enacted then still apply, DeSha told the council. The city wellfield’s capacity has been reduced over the last several years due to the declining levels in the Ogallala Aquifer, the wells’ water source, made worse due to recent...

  • Logan extends superintendent's contract

    Staff report|Jul 19, 2023

    The Logan Municipal Schools board during its July 10 meeting extended its superintendent’s contract by one year. Dennis Roch’s pact now expires on June 30, 2025, with him earning a salary of $138,000 — an increase of $13,000 from last year. He received a two-year contract last year. The board’s action last week occurred after a closed executive session to discuss Roch’s contract. Roch, a former representative in the New Mexico Legislature, has been Logan’s superintendent since 2013. The board also unanimously approved a resolution regarding t...

  • Jail log - July 19

    Jul 19, 2023

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from July 10 to July 16: — Joshua Paul Hyslop, 38, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Emilio E. Sustaita, 32, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Alex Ling Salinas, 37, Rio Rancho, driving under the influence of liquor (impaired; first offense). — Azariel Jimenez, 19, Tucumcari, criminal damage to property (over $1,000). These individuals were released from the Quay County Detention Center from July 10 to July 14: — Israel Widner-Housenga, 29, no address listed, appearance bond. — S...

  • Publisher's journal: Mayor, commissioner must agree to disagree

    David Stevens, The Staff of The News|Jul 19, 2023

    Did he or didn’t he? Only David Bryant knows for sure if he attended that Municipal League training last month. Bryant said he did. Clovis Mayor Mike Morris still says he didn’t and he wants Bryant to resign and pay back the city about $650 it spent on sending Bryant to Santa Fe. Bryant’s statement last week was not exactly clear about how much time he spent at the seminar. “I’ve attended every session of the program over my attendance at two separate offerings,” he wrote. … Huh? But Morris can’t prove Bryant wasn’t there. Nobody can, unles...

  • Congressional district in Clovis judge's hands

    Walter Rubel, Syndicated content|Jul 19, 2023

    District Judge Fred Van Soelen of Clovis has until Oct. 1 to decide if the redistricting map that allowed Democrats to wrest control of the 2nd Congressional District will still be in place for the 2024 election. Recently the state Supreme Court sent a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking to overturn the new map back to District Court, while also giving Judge Van Soelen guidance on what he should consider in making his decision. The order instructs that “a reasonable degree” of partisan gerrymandering is permissible, so long as it’s not “egre...

  • Left should take human trafficking seriously

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Jul 19, 2023

    Don’t thank Hollywood for “Sound of Freedom.” The movie, about a former Homeland Security agent who goes to Colombia and rescues more than 50 kids from child sex traffickers, is an action-thriller – a drama. But it is based closely on the true story of Tim Ballard and his personal fight against one of the planet’s most evil and profitable criminal activities – human sex trafficking. “Sound of Freedom” was actually finished in 2018. But because it couldn’t get Netflix or a major studio in Hollywood to distribute it, it was independently financed...

  • State fire marshal announces local fire-protection grants

    Staff report|Jul 19, 2023

    The Quay County municipalities of Tucumcari, Logan, House and San Jon, plus nine rural fire departments, each are receiving annual grants from the state fire marshal’s office. The four cities or villages in the county received a total of $860,000 in grants from the state. The nine rural fire districts received almost $1 million total. The total grants by municipality or fire district are: — Tucumcari, $316,659; — Logan, $274,420; — San Jon, $196,378; — House, $73,347; — Bard-Ended district, $212,474; — Conservancy District 1, $126,822; — C...

  • City impounds over 150 dogs since February

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Jul 19, 2023

    The City of Tucumcari’s animal control department has impounded more than 150 dogs since February, and its crowded kennel remains “a revolving door” for those animals. Tucumcari Police Department Patrolman Elijah Huber, also a humane law enforcement officer who supervises the city’s animal control division, gave a report to the city commission during its regular meeting Thursday. The city has beefed up the department’s personnel with two new workers and an intern. Huber also said it has issued more citations for loose dogs. Because of the cr...

  • High court overturns earlier road-access ruling

    Staff report|Jul 19, 2023

    The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday overturned an appellate court and ruled the public may cross a rancher's private property on a road in Quay County under a "prescriptive easement" established by decades of uninterrupted travel on the roadway. The court's unanimous opinion resolved a dispute over the right to use a 6-mile road - known as Quay Road AI - to access land owned by the state and several other ranchers, including property leased for a solar energy farm near Tucumcari. The...

  • MainStreet announces its artists-in-residency

    Staff report|Jul 19, 2023

    Tucumcari MainStreet last week announced its artists-in-residency choices for its new Hands on Tucumcari arts incubator pilot program, and one of the artist’s classes sold out just hours after they were announced. Hands on Tucumcari offers creative classes for the community and support for local artists to encourage growth in the local creative economy. Each artist will receive a $500 stipend for workshop instruction, up to $250 for materials, marketing and the use of the Tucumcari Railroad Depot’s east room for workshop sessions in exc...

  • Police blotter - July 19

    Jul 19, 2023

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from July 10 to July 16: Monday — 2:27 a.m.: Arrest warrant in 700 block of West Sunset Avenue, Tucumcari. — 10:15 a.m.: Fraud in 200 block of East Center Street, Tucumcari. — 10:50 a.m.: Theft in 100 block of West Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari. — 11:20 a.m.: Arrest warrant in 700 block of East Laughlin Avenue, Tucumcari. — 11:30 a.m.: Arrest warrant at South Rock Island and East High streets, Tucumcari. — 11:37 a.m.: Juvenile problem in 500 block of South Fi...

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