Serving the High Plains

Articles from the September 27, 2023 edition


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  • Report: Shooting by sheriff's deputy 'justifiable homicide'

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    Mathew J. Dimas died while being taken to hospital. An armed Tucumcari man fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute in July had at least one bomb at his home and threatened to use bombs against his wife and children, according to a New Mexico State Police investigative report. Mathew J. Dimas, 38, died while being transported by ambulance to Trigg Memorial Hospital in Tucumcari after Quay County sheriff's deputy Joseph Otero shot him three times during a police standoff at a...

  • Assessor: Little change in county property tax rates

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    Most property owners likely to experience decrease in bill. Property owners should see little change in their 2023 county taxes, and most will experience a decrease in that bill, reported the assessor during the Quay County Commission meeting Monday. The commission as a formality approved county tax rates that are set by the state. Assessor Dana Leonard said the county has little say in rates, though it can dispute them if local officials think there is an error. Leonard said local rates will be “very similar” to last year’s, and most prope...

  • Boy jailed after stabbing outside Rattler Stadium

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    Suspect taken to Lovington juvenile detention facility. A juvenile was jailed after he was accused of stabbing another teen outside of Rattler Stadium on Thursday night during a lightning delay of the football team’s annual Homecoming game. Tucumcari Police Chief Patti Lopez, who initially investigated the attack, said the assailant was a 13-year-old boy who attacked another boy age 14 or 15 near the front gate of the stadium about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Lopez said Friday the attacker was taken to a juvenile detention facility in Lovington. She sa...

  • TPS superintendent to retire Jan. 1

    Ron Warnick, Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    Tucumcari Public Schools superintendent Aaron McKinney told the school board during its regular meeting last week he plans to retire on Jan. 1. McKinney’s retirement in 2024 had been known for some time, though the date he gave last week was earlier than expected. He had said in previous board meetings he might retire in March 2024, a few weeks before graduation. By the time McKinney steps down, he will have served in his position for about 18 years as one of the longest-tenured superintendents in New Mexico. McKinney said one of his top p...

  • Shed light so the world can see Jesus' reflection

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Sep 27, 2023

    My wife approves my church attire. Recently, having picked out everything but a shirt, I asked what shirt to wear, to which she replied, “Cream.” As we loaded to go to church, she said my shirt was white instead of cream. I held something white against it and it certainly looked white. Shortly after we turned east into the sun, I noticed that the shirt was clearly cream-colored. So, I exclaimed, “Hey, when light is shed on any subject, the truth comes out!” Light is critical for many things. Light was the second act of creation after the ear...

  • Plan for Princess Theatre money comes into focus

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    The board for Tucumcari’s Princess Theatre on Thursday formed a rough plan of action for $250,000 in recently received capital outlay money: Use a portion of the funds for asbestos and lead removal in the long-closed venue and the rest would go to facade improvements. The Tucumcari City Commission earlier this month approved a capital outlay grant agreement from the state for the Princess Theatre. The New Mexico Legislature earlier this year approved a capital outlay allocation of $250,000 for the theater. Board member Matt Monahan said he was...

  • Calendar - Sept. 27

    Sep 27, 2023

    • Oct. 7 — Quay County on the Move Fun Run/Walk. This free event that includes a new 5-kilometer course, a half course and a short course for the mobility impaired will offer a T-shirt to all finishers and snacks. Register at Kvols Park from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. Event begins at 8 a.m. sharp. • Oct. 7 — Tucumcari Historical Museum field trip to Santa Fe Harvest Festival. The bus will leave the museum at 7 a.m. to go to the Living History Museum at El Rancho de las Golondrinas to provide a glimpse of 18th- and 19th-century New Mexico. Learn how a re...

  • Menus - Sept. 27

    Sep 27, 2023

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Macaroni and cheese, turkey and cheese hoagie, steamed seasoned corn, fresh broccoli, buttermilk ranch dressing, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim, strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Pepperoni pizza, ham and cheese sandwich, garden side salad, fresh baby carrots, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim, strawberry skim milk. Monday — Orange chicken, five-space brown rice, ham ranch wrap, steamed fajita vegetables, egg, cheese, ham and turkey chef salad, applesauce, fresh apple, 1%, skim, chocolate skim,...

  • Pages past - Sept. 27

    Sep 27, 2023

    On this date … 1973: A rash of crimes were reported in Tucumcari. An employee at Michael’s Mobil station on West Tucumcari Boulevard told officers he had been hit over the head and robbed. He said the robber pumped $4.60 in gasoline without paying for it. A woman on South First Street reported someone broke into her home and stole a man’s pocket watch, woman’s gold watch and a ring. Another woman reported a house on South Second Street was ransacked, with a .22-caliber rifle stolen from it. — Lloyd Widdifield of Tucumcari and his horse, Su...

  • Executive order gives storm aid to county

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    The administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order last week approving emergency funding to Quay County after the May storms. The order, issued Thursday, provides up to $750,000 to the county for repairs and recovery efforts. An order to Curry County on the same day also authorized emergency funds for the storms. Quay County executives declared a state of emergency on June 5 as a result of rainfall that started on May 25 and accumulated more than eight inches in less than 12 hours. The city of Tucumcari and county...

  • Publisher's journal: Now some words from our readers

    David Stevens, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    This has been a pretty good month for interaction with readers … A sampling: Ron Mask read a report in the Quay County Sun that New Mexico State’s interim president has decided this “is not a good time” for a merger with Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari. This pleases Mask, who prefers Mesalands link up with Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. “NMSU's decision is heaven sent,” he wrote in an email. “ENMU is a much more logical partner for Mesalands Community College students who wish to further their education at a four-year sch...

  • McCarthy cave-in shows tenuous position

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated columnist|Sep 27, 2023

    Get your popcorn ready, because a gut-wrenching level of drama has gripped the House of Representatives. To quote Democratic minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, “The Republican party is currently in a civil war.” Speaker Kevin McCarthy slid over to a lectern and called for an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. After rabidly weaponizing the term “corruption,” he turned around and walked away, assuming he had performed another crucial task required of him, regardless of how absurd this effort was in his attempt to retain his tenuous...

  • UBI won't actually help the poor

    Paul Gessing, Guest columnist|Sep 27, 2023

    The idea of a “universal basic income” has been around a long time. Most supporters are broadly on the left of the political spectrum, but many conservative thought leaders, including Charles Murray as well as Reagan officials like James Baker and George Schultz, have also been willing to consider the idea. The idea behind UBI is simple: replace welfare payments to the poor with cash payments to empower the poor to manage their government benefits. Welfare programs have a bunch of hoops and phase-outs that can often disincentivize going fro...

  • Logan crushes Dulce 50-0

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    Burns involved in six touchdowns for Longhorns. LOGAN - On paper, Friday's non-district matchup of Dulce (3-1) and Logan (3-2) looked like it might be a competitive eight-man football game. It was anything but. Longhorns quarterback Brock Burns torched the Hawks for 214 yards and four touchdown passes. He ran for another touchdown and caught a pass for TD during a 50-0 victory that required barely an hour because of the mercy rule. Devin Kotara caught two passes - both touchdowns - for 127...

  • Rattlers dominate Wolves 50-0

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    THS romps during storm-delayed Homecoming. For once, Tucumcari's still-young team encountered a squad with even less football experience. As a result, the Rattlers dominated from start to finish Thursday in a 50-0 victory over Hozho Academy during Tucumcari's annual Homecoming game at Rattler Stadium. The game, its start delayed by lightning for two hours, ended in the third quarter due to the mercy rule. The Homecoming game was played Thursday instead of the usual Friday because Lady Rattlers...

  • Lady Rattlers split two at SFIS tourney

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    The Tucumcari volleyball squad split a pair of matches over the weekend at the Lady Braves Volleyball Tournament at Santa Fe Indian School. The Lady Rattlers’ overall record stood at 7-4. Tucumcari is ranked third in Class 3A by MaxPreps.com. On Friday, Taos toppled the Lady Rattlers 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 during the first round of the Bronze Bracket of the tournament after pool play. “We struggled against Taos being outsized at the net; they have a 6-foot-3 hitter that we had trouble defending,” Tucumcari coach Dana Benavidez said. “We played...

  • Board delays naming Tucumcari ballfields

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    The Tucumcari school board last week delayed naming its soon-to-be-completed baseball and softball fields, though they seemed to favor calling the complex Rattler and Lady Rattler Memorial Park instead of naming it after one or two recently deceased student-athletes. Board President Heather Gonzales during the board’s August meeting suggested naming the ballfields complex after Jayden Gloms, a freshman baseball, basketball and football player who died in a vehicle accident in January. She had asked the item be placed on the board’s September me...

  • City OKs pact with 911 system

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    Tucumcari city commissioners on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with the regional 911 emergency center, including the option of it purchasing a power generator. The memo states the Tucumcari / Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center will pay monthly rent of $1,349 for space in the Tucumcari Police Department, 35% of the electric bill and 50% of the cost of a generator maintenance contract. The city will pay 65% of all other bills, including water, gas, telephone, internet and insurance. City manager Paula Chacon said the...

  • Jail log – Sept. 27

    Sep 27, 2023

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Sept. 20 to Sept. 24: — Everett Baron Khano, 52, no address listed, open container (possession), aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug (0.16 or above), failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to maintain traffic lane and expired registration plate. — Robert Marroquín, 32, Tucumcari, charge not listed. — Marc Hazelton, 44, Tucumcari, probation violation and charge not listed. — Sylvia DeLuca, 40, Tucumcari, contempt...

  • Senator expresses optimism for MCC's future

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Sep 27, 2023

    State Sen. Pat Woods said last week he has grown more optimistic about the future of financially troubled Mesalands Community College. Woods, a Republican from Broadview whose 7th District includes Quay County, traveled to the college Wednesday to deliver a keynote speech for Mesalands' annual Constitution Day celebration. In an interview after his speech, Woods said he had talked Stephanie Rodriguez, Secretary of to New Mexico Higher Education Department, about efforts to help rectify...

  • Oil spill reported at closed truck stop

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    State and local officials were called to the closed Tucumcari Truck Terminal on the city’s west side last week to contain a motor oil spill. New Mexico State Police on the evening of Sept. 18 notified the New Mexico Environment Department about the oil release at the site at 3700 W. Tucumcari Blvd., also formerly known as Ortega Shell Truck Stop. George Estrada, public relations coordinator of the Environment Department, stated the coordinator worked with state police and the City of Tucumcari’s hazardous materials team to contain the spi...

  • Police blotter – Sept. 27

    Sep 27, 2023

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24: Monday — 12:06 a.m.: Fight in 700 block of West Sunset Avenue, Tucumcari. — 2:05 a.m.: Shots fired at South Third Street and West Dehoney Avenue, Tucumcari. — 4:56 a.m.: Shots fired in 1600 block of South Third Street, Tucumcari. — 9 a.m.: Recovered property at East Maple Avenue and North Jackson Street, Tucumcari. — 9:20 a.m.: Fraud in 1100 block of South Adams Street, Tucumcari. — 11:54 a.m.: Burglary in 3600 block of Route 66, T...

  • Two TPS board members fail to complete training

    Staff report|Sep 27, 2023

    Two members of the Tucumcari school board failed to complete mandatory training during the 2022-2023 training year. That data will be included in a school district report card due to be issued by the state. Board members Jerry Lopez and Robert Lucero each logged only four hours of training during the period from Sept. 1, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023, according to an email from the New Mexico School Boards Association to the school district. The minimum number of required training hours is five. Three other school board members — Heather Gonzales, M...

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