Serving the High Plains

Articles from the August 4, 2021 edition


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  • City approves final budget for 2022

    Steve Hansen, QCS correspondent|Aug 4, 2021

    The Tucumcari City Commission on July 27 approved a final budget for fiscal year 2022 that shows a deficit of about $417,000 and assigns spending cuts to city departments ranging from 2% to 7%. The commission chose the department-by-department spending-cut option after considering other choices, including one that would accommodate increasing the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour with pay raises of 2% to salaried employees and $1 per hour for hourly employees but made no other changes. That choice would have raised the deficit to more than...

  • Rattler Reunion board preps for 50th

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Aug 4, 2021

    After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Rattler Reunion board was determined not to skip the 2021 edition — mainly because this is the 50th anniversary of the annual event for Tucumcari High School alumni. Tucumcari hosted its first Rattler Reunion in early August 1971. The Tucumcari Daily News at the time reported that Stanley Jennings, the event’s chairman, said the Rattler Reunion “promises to be the highlight of the year.” “We wanted to do our best to have some sort of gathering because this is the 50th year,” Ratt...

  • Senior center reopens

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Aug 4, 2021

    For the first time in 16 months, the Tucumcari Senior Center opened to serve meals to its clients inside its facility Monday morning after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Betty Martinez was the first to enter through the northwest door of the Third Street facility at 11:30 a.m. She underwent a temperature scan and was asked several screening questions - including vaccination status - before being allowed to walk to a table, where staff brought a fresh-cooked meal of chicken strips,...

  • Virus cases jump in number

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    Quay County last week saw a big jump in the number of coronavirus cases with 14, including six confirmed by the state’s Department of Health on Friday. The county had seen its caseload fall to two to three cases per week throughout most of July. Last week’s surge was the latest sign that the more-contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 was spreading fast throughout the region, state and country — mostly among the unvaccinated. Last week, cases were reported in these ZIP codes: nine in Tucumcari, three in Logan, one in Nara Visa and one in San J...

  • Wholly holy or wholly holey?

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Aug 4, 2021

    In my July 21 column in the Quay County Sun, I wrote about Christians being wholly owned and operated by God with a network of other Christians, God’s word and the Holy Spirit to provide for our needs during our life on earth. To remain wholly owned by God, we must become and stay wholly holy — sanctified, sealed with his Holy Spirit, set apart to his purposes, and growing to attain the fullness of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Acts 2:38-39; 22:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:11-16; 3 Peter 1:3-11). As each member of the body (local congregation) gro...

  • Governor announces new appointments

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    New Mexico’s governor on Thursday announced two new appointments to the state’s public education and police departments. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced these new members to her administration: • Jason Bowie, deputy chief of the Rio Rancho Police Department, as secretary of the Department of Public Safety; • Kurt A. Steinhaus, educator, education administrator and recently retired superintendent of Los Alamos Public Schools, as secretary of the Public Education Department. Bowie relieves Timothy Q. Johnson, who led the department in an a...

  • Pages past - Aug. 4

    Aug 4, 2021

    On this date ... 1971: The inaugural Rattler Reunion was set for this weekend in Tucumcari promises to be the highlight of the year, said Stanley Jennings, chairman of the event. Two graduates from the Class of 1918 have reservations for the banquet and dance scheduled for Saturday night at the new Elks Lodge. Families have already begun to arrive for the festivities, reported the alumni association. Members of the Class of 1941 have done a lot of research and correspondence for their 30-year reunion. The Class of 1951 will also hold its 20th...

  • Calendar - Aug. 4

    Aug 4, 2021

    Note: Events subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. • Thursday-Sunday — Rattler Reunion. The committee plans to hold annual events for Tucumcari High School alumni, including at the traditional site of the Tucumcari Convention Center. The 2021 Rattler Reunion hosts will be the Classes of 1990 and 1991. The Golden Rattlers will be the Classes of 1970 and 1971. For more updates on the event as it approaches, go to www.rattlerreunion.com or its Facebook page at facebook.com/THSrattlerreunion. • Saturday — First annual Cruisin’ 66 Night....

  • Menus - Aug. 4

    Aug 4, 2021

    The Tucumcari Senior Center and Logan Senior Center also offer grab-and-go meals to those who qualify. Those interested in grab-and-go should call the Tucumcari facility at 461-2307 or the Logan facility at 487-2287 for more information. Tucumcari Senior Center Wednesday — Taco with lettuce, tomato and onion, Spanish rice, salsa corn, gelatin with fruit. Thursday — King Ranch chicken, salsa corn, Spanish rice, lettuce, onion and jalapeno, cottage cheese, pears. Friday — Fish sandwich, lima beans, carrots, plum cobbler. Monday — Pork posole,...

  • Resident given credit for time served in chase

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    A Tucumcari resident who led Logan police and Quay County sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase in 2017 will leave prison earlier than anticipated after an appellate court last week ruled he should have been given credit for time served in the county jail before his sentencing. Three appeals court judges ruled unanimously on July 27 that Justin French, now 30, should have been granted an additional 293 days of confinement credit, and the case will be remanded back to Tucumcari district court...

  • Law enforcement agencies should work together

    Dallas Morning News, Syndicated content|Aug 4, 2021

    Last week, the family of Texas firefighter Elijah Snow paid their last respects, still unsure of exactly how he died in Cancun, Mexico. After receiving conflicting reports, they are understandably concerned about whether justice is being served, in addition to grieving the loss of a husband, father, son and colleague. Sadly, that murkiness is not uncommon in tragic cases that cross the border. Dozens of Americans die or go missing in Mexico every year, and their families are often left in limbo, with no one on the case. The State Department...

  • Government has share of absurdity

    Steve Hansen, QCS correspondent|Aug 4, 2021

    I do not subscribe to the theory that the greatest oxymoronic phrase in existence is “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” In my history of covering governments as a journalist and observing them as a communications specialist — OK, PR guy — for a major electric utility, whose business health depends on legislation and regulation, I have dealt with many dedicated public servants in government in positions of responsibility. They take pride in their positions, as well as in their professionalism. They are why governments accomplish...

  • Message of debate needs to change

    Walt Rubel, Syndicated content|Aug 4, 2021

    A few years ago I was scammed by callers claiming to offer a great deal on my satellite TV service. I felt bad about losing the money, but felt worse about being duped. It’s a human reaction. All of us like to think we’re too savvy to be taken in, and it stings the pride to admit it when we’re not. A few months ago, an HBO documentary exposed Ronald Watkins, a 30-something porn-addled techie living in Asia, as “Q,” the secretive mastermind behind the QAnon phenomenon. Q was supposed to be somebody in the highest reaches of the federal g...

  • Roadrunner Lodge Motel earns high placement in contest

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    The Roadrunner Lodge Motel in Tucumcari again placed high in USA Today’s annual 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for the Best Roadside Motel in the United States. This time, though, the Roadrunner finished in the very top spot. USA Today and 10Best.com announced the winner Friday. The Roadrunner Lodge Motel finished fifth in the Best Roadside Motel standings in 2020. Owner David Brenner expressed gratitude towards his guests for their support. "We are once again so very fortunate to have received recognition and especially to have placed fir...

  • New Mexico Gas Company returning to normall billing practices

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    New Mexico Gas Company is returning to normal billing practices, including disconnection of service for customers with past-due amounts, on Aug. 12. Delinquent customers are urged to contact New Mexico Gas immediately for information on payment assistance programs or to make payment arrangements. “We’d prefer not to disconnect any customers. That’s always a last resort,” company President Ryan Shell said. “We want to help. We’re here to work with customers who have fallen behind. For customers who need assistance, please don’t wait until Au...

  • Jail log - Aug. 4

    Aug 4, 2021

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from July 26 to July 30: • Richard B. Wilbanks, 28, Arlington, Texas, contempt of court. • Lawrence R. Arias, 60, Tucumcari, felony possession of a controlled substance (narcotic drug) and contempt of court. • Donovan Billiot, 60, Tucumcari, false imprisonment and battery. • Maria Margarita Romero, 33, Tucumcari, aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug (refusal). • Mario Baudillo Armijo, 51, Tucumcari, contempt of court. • Danford Cro...

  • Police blotter - Aug. 4

    Aug 4, 2021

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from July 26 to Aug. 1: Monday • 6:45 a.m.: Accident with injuries at milepost 323, Interstate 40, Tucumcari. • 7:38 a.m.: Accident at North First and East Main streets, Tucumcari. • 9:48 a.m.: Arrest warrant in 300 block of South Third Street, Tucumcari. • 10 a.m.: Disturbance in 1600 block of North Rock Island Street, Tucumcari. • 10:03 a.m.: Breaking and entering in 600 block of South Rock Island Street, Tucumcari. • 1:05 p.m.: Accident at North Grove Stree...

  • Consortium of public school districts formed

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    A new consortium of New Mexico public school districts and charter schools will allow students to enroll in virtual courses from anywhere in the state, the state’s Public Education Department announced Friday. So far, seven districts and charter schools — including Tucumcari and San Jon — are participating in the New Mexico Virtual Course Consortium by agreeing to enroll students from other districts in their online course offerings. Students will remain enrolled in their home district, which will pay the providing district $375 per cours...

  • Logan officials displeased with PED guidelines

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Aug 4, 2021

    The Logan school board voiced irritation about the prospect of state mask requirements when classes resume later this month but was unwilling to flout any such mandate because of the possible consequences. Katarina Sandoval, deputy secretary for the New Mexico Public Education Department, said via videoconference during a special board meeting Thursday the PED likely would adopt U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines that recommends all students and staff wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Last week, the...

  • Motel owner embarks on restoration

    Ron Warnick, QCS Senior Writer|Aug 4, 2021

    This week, the owner of the Roadrunner Lodge Motel in Tucumcari embarks on a quest he's planned for about seven years - restoring the west side of a long-closed property that was La Plaza Court motel. Owner David Brenner and his now-former wife Amanda purchased the property seven years ago that contained two Route 66 motels - the Leatherwood Manor motel on the east side and La Plaza Court on the west side. Because the Leatherwood was newer (built in 1964) and had more rooms, they restored that...

  • Judge denies motion to release man accused in shooting

    Staff report|Aug 4, 2021

    A district judge last week rejected an attorney’s motion to release a jailed Tucumcari man accused of shooting two people with a shotgun during a neighborhood spat. Juan Rubio, 40, has been detained in the Quay County Detention Center without bond since early May after being arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, all felonies. Rubio’s attorney, Vincent Mathias of Las Vegas, said during a mot...

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